Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Books du Jour, Ep #110, "And the Roots Shall Prevail"

Episode #10                        “And the Roots Shall Prevail”

New broadcasting time and day.  Fridays, at 11:30 pm, starting August 08th,  2014

This week’s episode of “Books du Jour,” continues our mission to share literature from around the world. 

George Prochnik, “The Impossible Exile, Stefan Zweig at the End of the World,” portraits the last years of Stefan Zweig’s, once one of the most celebrated authors in the 30’s, exile from Austria, after Hitler took power.  George Prochnik looks into the Zweig’s disintegration and growing disillusion with humanity as he struggles in NY and Brazil.

Boris Fishman, “The Replacement Life” looks back at WWII and how it continues to shape the life of people, in this case, ex-URSS immigrants, in our present. A young writer agrees to write letters on behalf of older holocaust survivors to apply for financial retribution from the German government.  Of course the stories are not always true, and our hero is forced to face his own moral integrity.

Antonin Baudry, “Weapons of Mass Diplomacy” takes a close look at the world of French diplomacy, viewed through the eyes of an assistant speechwriter.  Although filled with wise quotes from the Greek philosopher Heraticlus, this engaging graphic novel depicts in fact a world of insanity, where big egos clash with the constant maelstrom of last minute world crisis. Even the speeches suffer from an endless state of anxiety.

Looking forward to your feedback, the Books du Jour and Book Case TV teams.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Books du Jour Going to PBS 05-09-14

Morning Everyone,

As hinted here and there over the last few weeks, I'm pleased to announce that our weekly book- focused TV program, Books du Jour, will go on bigger things.  Indeed, after our great first season partnership with NYC Media, whose participation as a co-producer added tremendous value to the production, we are now moving into syndication nationwide via PBS.

PBS is the perfect platform for our cultural program.  It will give our participating authors, books featured and sponsors, a significant increase in exposure, roughly moving from our current 20 million people in the North East to a potential 80 millions statewide.

The terms and dates of future broadcast have yet to be determined, but we are looking for an early Fall roll out.  The only obstacle to the whole venture will reside in our ability to pay the hefty broadcasting fees.  Indeed, under the PBS categorization, Books du Jour falls under a life-style program and therefore is not entitled to any licensing broadcasting fees.  To reach our goals and as many people as possible, the program must rely entirely on sponsorships.  To this end, within a couple of weeks, we will launch a small fundraising campaign via Kickstarter to make this dream come true.

Books du Jour, along with its predecessor, Book Case TV, is the only weekly TV program in the American landscape completely devoted to books and the people who write them, without any restriction.  A country of 300 million plus citizens deserves a nationwide weekly TV book series.
If you love books and want a chance to learn more about your favorite authors, if you believe in books'  moral and cultural values, here is your chance to manifest your voice and show us your support.

Looking forward to hearing from you

Frederic Colier, Executive Producer

Monday, April 28, 2014

Books du Jour, EP #109, "Of Guts and Dust," 04-28-14

EPISODE #109    “Of Dust and Guts04-28-14, tonight only on LIFE 25 at 9:30 pm

This week’s episode of “Books du Jour,” continues our mission to share different kinds of literature and books. The guests who have accepted to share our table are perfect examples of our mission.

Kelly Cogswell

Kelly Cosgwell has written a memoir of blood, sweat and spit. “Eating Fire,” is a heart-pumping account of old fashioned activism. In this instance, her memory of the Lesbian Avengers, a group formed in the early 90’s, who called for direct action campaigns, battling cops, and mobilizing 20,000 dykes in DC while literally eating fire outside the white house. “Eating Fire” is a witty and urgent coming of age memoir spanning two decades, from the Culture War to the War on Terror.

John Wareham

John Wareham, “How to Survive a Bullet in the Heart” is the work of a humanist who is not afraid to roll his sleeve and get the dirty job done. John’s job is to visit prisons, and teach poetry to convicts to help them get in touch with their inner life. “How to Survive,” is a heart-wrenching collection of short poems written by men in captivity, men who feel regrets, guilt, and whatever else they feel, they lay bare their soul. Check out the closing chapter on self-acceptance. Really moving.

Gwen Edelman

Gwen Edelman’s “The Train to Warsaw,” takes you on a ride down the tricky memory lane of the Warsaw Ghetto during WWII. Through a pair of sympathetic characters, who survived the war, and now decides to revisit Poland for the first time, they must now confront the brutal forces of time and history, which usher them into the darkest corners of their psyche. Edelman brings about great questions. Indeed what does it mean to recapture one’s past when this past is pregnant with horrific nightmares?

Episode was shot at City Winery

Monday, April 21, 2014

Books du Jour, "Death Be Not Proud," EP#108, 04-21-14

EPISODE Death Be Not Proud,"EP#108,  04-21-14 at 9:30 only on  LIFE 25.

The guests of this week's episode of Books du Jour cannot emphasize enough the importance of turf. Turf is the stuff of the locals and inherent affinity with the material. In her most recent novel, "Unseen," crime writer, Karin Slaughter, the Georgia native, does not drift too far from her roots. She sends Will Trent on a path to wrestle with his own mind along with the natives' and to make sense of unpleasant discoveries in the process. As always, Karin's writing is precise and festers an intense psychological tension that could not happen anywhere else.

Henry Chang's new Jack Yu series, "Death Money," carries the heavy whiff of a singular place seldom visited in crime fiction.  In this case, New York China Town and particularly its seedy world.  "Death Money," is a form of bribe, a tradition of burning Joss money to supply deceased with goods and funds to bribe underworld officials.  Using a clairvoyant as a sidekick, Jack Yu's delve into the mystery of the death unidentified Asian man and reveals a world both compelling and mysterious.

Though originally from Russia, Maria Konnikova has lived and traveled in many foreign places.  Her book "Mastermind," explores the many fertile fields of Sherlock Holmes's mind, using the Sir Arthur Doyle's famous reasoner method.  Exerting neuroscience and psychology, Maria offers a guideline on how to transform yourself into the next king investigator of Baker Street.  Maria promises that you will remember better, think clearer, and improve your mental powers if you keep your mind opened.

The Books du Jour and Book Case Teams

Monday, April 14, 2014

Books du Jour, "Foreign Tongue Twisters," EP#107 04-14-14

EPISODE #107  “Foreign Tongue Twisters” Tonight 04-14-14 at 9:30 pm on LIFE 25

This week’s episode of “Books Du Jour” looks at “transplant” literature.  Andre Aciman, who over the years has become a specialist of squares: Abingdon Square, Strauss Park (which looks like a square) and Harvard Square, his latest novel, reflects on the voice of integration.  Egyptian born, Andre shares through his novel the daily struggle he encounters to define his identity, the acceptance of other precepts and values, be they moral or ethical.

 Born in Sarajevo (Bosnia), Aleksandar Hemon offers a different voice, a voice of authenticity and appropriation even in the face of the corruption of language and past.  His book “The Book of My Lives” is a collection of essays tracing the last twenty years of his life, from his departure from Bosnia and the irrupting war to the present day acceptance of life’s many pluralities.

Though born and raised in the states, Joan Silber’s “Fools” is a collection of short stories, which deals with the lure of foreign countries.  France in this instance, where we meet a cast of drifting American characters, who really are in search of themselves as they try to fill the existential void at the core of their journey.  They are idealists who have to grapple with the failures of their beliefs, the fragility of their political choices and societies’ demands, before they can fully embrace themselves.

Episode was shot at City Winery

The Book Case and Book Case TV Team

Monday, April 7, 2014

Books du Jour, "Fine Legal Boundaries" EP#106, 04-07-14

EPISODE #106  “Fine Legal Boundaries” broadcasting 04-07-14 on LIFE 25 at 9:30 pm.

Although it is not the focus of tonight’s episode, all the authors sharing the same table, Scott Turow, Jean Hanff Korelitz, and Stephan Talty, have had the same share of success with films.


Many of Scott Turow’s books, such as “Presumed Innocent,” have been turned into films, Jean’s “Admission,” was a hit last year with Tina Fey in the lead role, as for Stephan’s “Captain Phillips,” it is still in the theater.

The books discussed maybe works of fiction but their subjects are solidly anchored in reality.  On the eve of the Supreme Court decision to lift off ceiling on corporate contributions, we will talk with Scott Turow and his new book, “Identical,” which deals with the abuse of money used during a mayoral election.

Stephan Talty brings a touch of frigid crispiness from upstate New York with his serial killer, “Hangman,” who continues to spread havoc among the population of Buffalo.


While Jean Hanff Korelitz, in “You Should Have Known” deals with the ironic twist a therapist experiences, when she becomes the victim of circumstances, which force her to swallow the very medicine she prescribed in her bestseller. . .

Episode was shot at City Winery

The Books du jour and Book Case TV team

Monday, March 31, 2014

Books du Jour, "Swimming Gene Pools" EP#105, 03-31-14

Episode #5                        “Swimming Gene Pools”

Broadcasting tonight March 31st, 2014, at 9:30 pm only on LIFE 25

This week on “Books du Jour,” our guests bring some controversy to the table.  Conversations move around such topics as the 10,000-hours theory that could turn an average athlete into a world athlete, unless you have the perfect genetic makeup and can bypass the process.  

 David Epstein, in “The Sports Gene,” addresses this sort of issues in a highly entertaining book.  How much of our genes define our chances to succeed in sports?

David M. Howitt, in “Heed you Call,” circles back to the hero’s journey as defined by Joseph Campbell, to show that putting our mind into a specific coveted endeavor may well yield the results sought after.  Are a strong will and awareness enough to achieve our goals?

Giovanni Frazzetto, in “Joy, Guilt, Anger, and Love,” looks at the impact of neuroscience on emotions.  Can science really teach us to better understand ourselves, predict our behaviors and reactions by looking inside our brain?  The best way to find out the answers to all these tricky questions is to tune in tonight.

As always we look forward to your feedback

The Books du Jour and Book Case TV Teams

Monday, March 24, 2014

Books du Jour, "Inside the Scents" EP #104, 03-24-14

EPISODE #104 Inside the Scents” 03-24-14  broadcasting tonight 03-24-14, on LIFE 25 at 9:30 pm. 

This week on “Books du Jour,” our guests gather around a table at City Winery to discuss the scent of their new book and share some musing.

One of the most interesting aspects about scents is that they are always intimately tied to a location and more particularly to soils.  Our three guests carry a distinctive sense of place.


Mark Slouka, “Brewster,” writes about Brewster, NY, a poignant novel of coming of age, based in the late 60s’, about a young man seeking his place in this small country town.  There is little wandering outside the borders.


Lara Vapnyar complicates the issue of identity by straddling two continents and two time frames.  Her “Scent of Pine,” moves back and forth between the outskirts of Moscow and the countryside of Maine.


Edmund White, on the other hand, with “Inside a Pearl,” which refers to Paris, the French capital, continues his peripatetic wandering through the French cultural corridors.  His sense of place is about relocation and shifting identity.

The Books du Jour and Book Case Teams