- Associated Press - Thursday, March 15, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) - If James Patterson thought it were possible, he’d shake the hand of every U.S. soldier. For now, he’ll let a big bundle of his novels do the talking.

The million-selling author is donating 200,000 copies of his work to the U.S. Armed Forces, continuing a tradition he started in 2006. Through such charitable organizations as Operation Gratitude and Books for Heroes, 20,000 cartons of books _ 10 books per carton _ are being shipped and distributed worldwide.

Patterson, among the world’s most prolific and popular writers, told The Associated Press on Thursday he doesn’t think the soldiers get “the appreciation they deserve.” His gift to the military will include “Tick Tock,” “The Postcard Killers” and other favorites.

“The gratitude you get is unbelievable,” Patterson said. “You get it from soldiers. You get it from families of soldiers. They’ll tell you that their son or daughter is reading my work. That’s really cool. That’s very touching.”

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