Monday, November 19, 2012

Around Town: Nonprofit 'Greatness' is a bestseller

Around Town: Nonprofit 'Greatness' is a bestseller

I've had a blast working on “In the Shadow of Greatness,” a nonprofit book co-written by U.S. Naval Academy Class of 2002.

Required disclaimer: I am one of 33 contributors to the book. My activities are all pro bono. The authors and editors do not profit from the book. All author profits from “In the Shadow of Greatness” go to veterans' nonprofit organizations, listed on our website,

Most of my co-authors are 32-year-olds with multiple deployments. The book is a calling for them. They want to help other vets by donating the profits. They want to tell their stories to civilians. They believe in America and want to inspire young people.

There are stories in the book that you won't see in the New York Times. You won't read them in the Washington Post. These are the first-hand accounts of service, in expected and unexpected places.

Two weeks ago, against all odds, the book made the L.A. Times Bestseller list (No.13). And now, the authors will launch a Veterans Week campaign.

The goals are simple: sell books, try to make another bestseller list, give income to the nonprofits. It's vets helping vets.

There's one more twist: The team will travel to 51 venues across the country between Nov. 8 and 17: California, Virginia, North Carolina, Arizona, Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Massachusetts and Texas. There's a mind-boggling online map at

La Cañada is very lucky. Our own Flintridge Bookstore & Coffee House, at 1010 Foothill Blvd., is on the list.

On Sunday, Nov. 11, from 5 to 6.p.m., three of us will do a book event at Flintridge Bookstore. We will talk about the leadership attributes of veterans and their applicability both in and out of uniform. Afterward, we will sign copies of the book.

My copanelists will include Patrick Anderson, a member of the Naval Academy Class of 2002. Pat was born and raised in South Pasadena and graduated from Loyola High School in 1998.

After graduating from the Naval Academy, he served 10 years as a helicopter pilot, deploying three times to the Middle East. He recently resigned his commission and is now back in Southern California with his wife, also a veteran, and young son. Pat's dad, Fire Chief Jim Anderson, recently retired from the San Marino Fire Department.

Pat was a friend and classmate of our late son, 2LT Andrew Torres, USMC. Andrew was a 1998 graduate of Flintridge Preparatory School and also a member of the Naval Academy Class of 2002. Andrew died of cancer in 2004. I'll be on the panel to talk about Andrew and his classmates.

The third panelist is Rabbi Gilbert Kollin, who retired from the U.S. Air Force as a lieutenant colonel. Rabbi Kollin is the rabbi emeritus of Pasadena Jewish Temple & Center, and a chaplain for the Pasadena Police Department and City of Hope. Rabbi Kollin is quoted in “In the Shadow of Greatness.”

Independent bookstores like Flintridge Bookstore are the backbone of our campaign. We are very lucky to have so many thriving independent bookstores in and around La Cañada.

Next Sunday, please join us to support Flintridge Bookstore, to commemorate Veterans Day, and to support our youngest vets.

ANITA SUSAN BRENNER is a longtime La Cañada Flintridge resident and an attorney with Law Offices of Torres and Brenner in Pasadena. Email her at and follow her on Twitter @anitabrenner.

No comments: