How To Hold a Cockroach: A book for those who are free and don't know it
Matthew Maxwell, author
A heartbroken and miserable boy begins a life-changing journey when a menacing guest disturbs him at dinner. Confronted one-by-one by the sources of his torment, the boy is forced to consider some of life's key questions: What makes one thing vile and another sacred? How can I be at peace with a broken heart, a bruising childhood, or a critical illness? What decides how I experience life? What am I? With a surprising and simple message, How to Hold a Cockroach is a moving love letter to humankind, a book for all who are free and don't know it... yet.
Leadership coach Maxwell debuts with a wide-eyed allegory about a boy who considers how what he feels and believes about cockroaches may reflect what others have taught him to feel, rather than his own perspective. After seeing a cockroach at dinner, the nameless boy later sees himself as a cockroach in a mirror—an image that sparks his philosophical rumination. Through stories of him becoming overwhelmed with the effort of his chores, errands, and assignments, or stressed by others who cross his path, Maxwell teases out a message that “whatever truth there may be, you can choose how to hold it... maybe cockroaches aren’t that different from me.” Despite a cyclical structure that has each chapter follow a repetitive pattern—the boy comes to a question or problem, feels insecure, and eventually realizes he is fine the way he is—Maxwell effectively uses these vignettes to reflect on self-criticism, love, overcoming one’s past, and embracing unknowns. Always the boy returns to how his understanding of himself is much like his understanding of the cockroach—influenced primarily by others. Focusing on philosophical concepts from a childlike perspective, this sunny rumination on self-worth will primarily appeal to new adult readers. (Self-published)