I had to do it. It’s been a lump in my throat for over a decade and I had to get it out. I wrote a book about New Jersey.
Sorry I’m not sorry.
I mean, I know I’m no Junot Diaz or Jay Alders, but art is in my blood. I’m the offspring of a painter and a woodworker (both still thoroughly crafting along the shore). I can’t help it. I get all flustered if I don’t. Ask my wife. Language is my medium so I did as I always do and wrote about it.
"Consider the decision to write this book - I never made that decision. Rather, the idea of the book decided that for me." - Ray Kurzweil, How To Create A Mind
So it goes.
This collection is mindfulness, living by the ocean, and a whole lotta Jersey. Short stories, flash fiction, and prose.
It’s fierce, it’s sad, it’s pork roll, egg, and cheese. It’s content in being positive. Sometimes it's even a little confusing. But that’s okay. Art isn’t supposed to make sense.
I took music and painting classes in high school, trying to express some of the ideas portrayed in this book. Photography too. But I was never any good at those. Writing struck a chord for me in college, after having several pieces accepted into a few lit mags. So I practiced and practiced and realized I’d been practicing my entire life. These stories had been sitting in me since I was old enough to recognize my sense of creativity.
NJ has held my heart for as long as I can remember. I don’t know why. Some people I went to school with hated it here. They moved to places like San Diego or Seattle. I never felt that calling. I guess being fortunate enough to call the beach my home is what I grew to know.
I mean I could live other places if I had to. But there’s nothing quite like here. My bike and some salt water are all I really need. The best iced coffee I've ever had is a block down the street from me too.
This June eNJoy will be released into the wild. It will capstone one of the greatest summers of my short life, alongside my marriage and a few other life-stone achievements. 2017 is #StoriesbytheSea. Said and done.
The beach is where I find my sanity and I want to share that with you. It is where I can unplug from the Matrix and be myself again. I know I’m not alone in that sentiment. Look at all the great art that already exists along the Jersey coast.
For $13 you just might discover the mindfulness you’re looking for in this crazy-ass world. You might find a way to escape and disconnect. Or even find the answers to questions you’ve been asking your whole life.
I want to bring the lit scene to the already creatively expressive Jersey shore. We have so many awesome bookstores, coffee shops, and writing spots. It just needs a little push. (And maybe some Turnstile.) Back to where we belong.
Here’s what others are saying:
- "Having read Glen Binger's new collection eNJoy I now believe that we can only achieve true happiness when our feet are dangling in the ocean and we have an ice coffee in hand. I also believe that everything one needs to know about girls, pork rolls and the meaning of life can be found on the beaches of the Jersey shore." - Ben Tanzer, author of Be Cool - a memoir (sort of) and SEX AND DEATH
- "Glen Binger is so desperate he wrote a book. Well, I’ll read it. It’s a collection of short stories, after all. If there’s water at the shore, Glen Binger will find it, sure as he’s out there pointing his metal detector toward character, plot, and prose. I’m a semiliterate alcoholic, a realistically stupid man of letters. But, goddammit, Glen Binger is so good he can write his way off a dirt road and onto a New York City taco truck. Shit." - Mickey Hess, author of The Nostalgia Echo and The Dirty Version: On Stage, in the Studio, and in the Streets with Ol' Dirty Bastard.
- “Author Glen Binger is the quintessential ‘Jersey Boy.’ These writings - these first-hand, whimsy accounts of the Jersey Shore - are a proverbial breath of (salty) fresh air. The jetty comes alive, the gulls squawk, the mysterious waves calm the soul in this collection. eNJoy isn't just a book for the summer reader, it's for the true New Jersian year 'round. I cannot wait for what Binger has in store for me in the near future.” - Joseph A. Federico, founder & president of Anchors To Dusk Publishing, author of Voudou Juice.
Read part of the forward here. Whatever it is you’re doing or planning to do, I hope you eNJoy.