Buy Protectors, and I’ll buy a new book for Paterson’s new library

photo by Jenny Milchman
photo by Jenny Milchman

My favorite local indie bookstore, Watchung Booksellers, is carrying Protectors: Stories to Benefit PROTECT in trade paperback. (You can also buy it for the Kobo e-reader through their store).

Two years ago, the city of Paterson lost a branch of their library to Hurricane Irene. It hasn’t been rebuilt yet, due to flood zone issues. So there is a campaign to donate new and gently used books to the children of Paterson until their library is rebuilt.

Coincidentally, Watchung Booksellers has a great children’s book section. See where I’m going?

ebookProtectors1024x1544 copy

If you buy Protectors: Stories to Benefit PROTECT through Watchung Booksellers mail-order, I will donate a new children’s book (of your choice, if you’d like) that I will purchase from Watchung Booksellers, and drop off at the donation point at The Montclair Times newspaper. So you’ll be helping two causes- the kids of Paterson, and the kids of America, because 100% of the proceeds benefit PROTECT, the National Association to Protect Children. It has several exclusive stories, including my near-novella size “Black Shuck and the Summer of Blind Joe Death,” and stories by Andrew Vachss, James Reasoner, Joe Lansdale, Ken Bruen, George Pelecanos, Johnny Shaw, Patti Abbott, Roxane Gay (who has a story in The Best American Short Stories of 2012), Tony Black, Wayne Dundee, Charlie Stella, Dan O’Shea… and 30 more.

Simply buy the book online or go to the store. Use my Contact Form to email me and send the receipt, and the title of the children’s book you’d like me to buy. I’ll take a photo of it and send you the receipt, and kids in Paterson will have great books to read, you’ll have 41 great stories to read, and PROTECT will have more cash in their coffers to fight child abuse.

They also carry Lost Children: A Charity Anthology. Buy that as well, and I’ll donate two books.

So, are you in? If you can’t buy the book, spread the word. And thank you!


Review: Paths of Life: Seven Scenarios

Paths of Life: Seven Scenarios
Paths of Life: Seven Scenarios by Alice Miller

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There are few books that have succeeded in changing my way of thinking. One of them was The Confidence Course by Walter Anderson. This groundbreaking book exposes the breadth of child abuse in the world committed under the guise of discipline. “Man hands down inhumanity to man,” wrote Philip Larkin. And psychoanalyst Alice Miller- who left the Psychiatrists association for their refusal to let go of Freud’s abuser-forgiving “Oedipus Complex”- shows in stark detail how “every smack is a humiliation,” and we force ourselves to think we deserved it, because the truth- that our beloved parents hit us out of frustration or anger- is too much to bear.
I was blessed with a good childhood. I was never spanked or slapped that I remember. However, I learned that one expresses his anger by shouting, frightening his loved ones, slamming doors and punching walls, from my alcoholic father. It’s a behavior I struggle with. I avoid confrontations, because I am afraid of what my fists will do. When I was five, a playmate hit me in the head with a chunk of asphalt because he wanted the car I was playing with. My mother had to pull me off of him. Ever since then I have fought battles with temper. I’ve trained in MMA to have an outlet for it.
This short book will help you decode your own behavior, with a little introspection. And when you unravel it, you can begin to change it from the roots.
Its revelations are also stunning: not every abused child goes on to become a criminal, but every violent criminal studied has revealed a litany of abuses that “they deserved.” And they take it out on the rest of us until the day they die. Miller does not absolve the violent of their behavior, but shows us how to reduce it in future generations. We have yet to listen.

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