Monday, May 16, 2016

Books du Jour, Ep #208, "Beyond the Torrid Fiesta"

Episode #208        “Beyond the Torrid Fiesta"

In this week's episode, we look at the impact of reality on our writing.  Do the events in our life shape our stories? Or do the stories we tell ourselves affect our lives? But can these questions however always apply? This week’s authors come from diverse backgrounds, from power lawyer to cabaret actor, and one would be but surprised at the type of stories they generate.

Goldhagent-SmallShari Goldhagen, “In Some Other World Maybe” explores family dynamics and relationships with a sharp eye and six-degrees-of-separation, coming-of-age tale, written from multiple POVs. An absorbing ensemble heads to the movie theater in December 1992, in different parts of the globe, and mulls over their friendships, sex, ambition, fame and tragedy.

Hruska-SmallAlan Hruska, “Pardon the Ravens” is a fast-paced legal thriller about a gifted young lawyer who lets his heart get in the way of his business affairs and the consequences of crossing the man who controls organized crime in New York during the Mad Men era.

Amanda Vaill, “Hotel Florida: Truth, Love and Death in the Spanish Civil War.” Beginning with the cloak-and-dagger plot that precipitated the first gunshots of the war and moving forward month by month to the end of the conflict, Vaill traces the tangled and disparate wartime destinies of three couples, Hemingway-Gellhorn, Capa-Taro, and Barea-Kulcsar, against the backdrop of a critical moment in history.

Thank you to City Winery NY

Monday, April 25, 2016

Books du Jour, Ep #207. "Queens and Spiritus Mundi"

Episode #207           “Queens and Spiritus Mundi

Sponsor: City Winery, New York.

Textbooks only outline the key players of our socio-historical conflicts to better elevate their status and mythologize them within our ideological assumptions. This is what we called the “Grand Narratives.” But what about the “little narratives”? The lives of those millions of people whose contributions have made the “Grand Narratives” possible but have been forgotten? This week books look into personal accounts:

JohnOller-SmallBDJ_EP207-06John Oller, “American Queen: The Rise and Fall of Kate Chase Sprague” depicts the story of the charismatic and beautiful daughter of Lincoln’s Treasury Secretary who used her social graces and political acumen to make a name for herself in Washington and ran the show from behind the scenes, only to lose everything at the end and be forgotten.

M J Rose, “The Witch Of Painted Sorrows” moves to the backdrop of the Belle Époque in Paris. When Sandrine Salome escapes an abusive husband for her grandmother’s Paris mansion, what she finds there is even more menacing. The house is closed and under renovation for mysterious reasons. But Sandrine insists on visiting the dangerous mansion, where her “wild night of the soul” is forced to find expression and flight.

ARichman-Small Alyson Richman, “The Garden of Letters,” follows Elodie, a young cello prodigy. When Mussolini’s fascist regime strikes her family, Elodie is drawn into the burgeoning resistance movement by a young and impassioned bookseller. “The Garden of Letters” is a story of love, courage, and the power of the human spirit to find hope against the backdrop of war.

As always you look forward to your feedback
The Books du Jour Team

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Books du Jour, Ep #206, "The Other Side of Others"

Episode #206                      “The Other Side of Others”

 Sponsor: City Winery, New York

Logline: The dustbins of history are filled with conflicts born out of blaming others for one’s misfortune: David Margolick, Jon Ronson, Jane Green.

Whether scapegoats or martyrs, the dustbins of history are filled with conflicts born out of blaming others for one’s misfortune. The history of Others is also the history of acceptance and differences. Why are we so determined to exclude those who do not resemble us? Punish moral dissents? Or turn a blind eye on those who fall prey to society’s ever increasingly disregard?

David Margolick, “Dreadful: The Short life and Gay Times of John Horne Burns” portrays the once-celebrated largely forgotten author of what’s arguably the first great gay novel in American literature. “Dreadful” retraces the breathtaking rise of a writer hailed as a worthy successor of Hemingway, John Dos Passos, only to vanish as quickly as he appeared, in just six years.

Jane Green, “Saving Grace” is about Grace Chapman who lives comfortably with her husband, bestselling author Ted, in picture-perfect farmhouse, until Ted hires the young Beth, who quickly threatened Beth’s marriage. Losing her center, Grace falls into a whirlpool of paranoia and psychotic drugs, as she is misdiagnosed with mental illness.


Jon Ronson, “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed,” investigates the world of public shaming, where social media has made everyone a vigilante and where a poorly phrased tweet or comment can catapult a person to Public Enemy No 1 overnight. Ronson follows up with those whose lives have been left in tatters and questions those being most cruel in the anonymous internet playground.

Look forward to your feeback, The Books du Jour Team

Monday, March 7, 2016

Books du Jour 2016 Kickstarter PBS Campaign

The Campaign and the Target

We are seeking $40,000 to take our weekly literary TV program, “Books du Jour,” nationwide on PBS. It will not  happen without your help.

See our Kickstarter campaign here: BOOKS DU JOUR PBS

What is Our Program?

Books du Jour” is a weekly literary TV series about books and the people who write them, currently broadcasting in the North-East on LIFE 25 (NYC), Wednesdays at 10:30 pm. The program also re-runs 5 times a week at various times. “Books du Jour” has a simple premise: each week, the host, Frederic Colier, invites three authors to lunch in one of New York’s finest restaurants to talk about books, ideas, society, culture, and of course the world at large. “Books du Jour” covers all genres and types of books and writers, even self-published ones. We have grown tremendously since our modest beginning and, achieving syndication on PBS is a sign that we are taking steps in the right direction.

Watch past episodes, click on picture below.

Link to episodes

How Does PBS Work?

As a result of the strong interest in our series, its growing audience and high production value, we have been accepted for syndication with American Public Television (APT), the main supplier of programs for PBS affiliates. We want to deliver 12 to 16 episodes for our next season. Because our program falls under the life-style category, it is not eligible to receive licensing fees. In other words, we have to raise money to pay for our broadcasting fees, closed-caption, various delivery formats, and data storage units. All the money raised goes towards these expenses.
We are hopeful that once we broadcast nationwide on PBS, that Sponsors will help us cover the series' production costs.

Our History

When we started our weekly literary TV program almost years ago, we were baffled by the fact that, in a country of 310 million people, no weekly TV series encompassing fiction and non-fiction books actually existed. We set out to correct this enormous chasm to give our audience the opportunity to discover new and exciting books and authors.

Our “Books du Jour” did not start as the large production at all. The series is the outcome of an older program, Book Case TV, which started with two people in a cluttered NY studio apartment, producing short one-on-one author interviews, which were then posted on YouTube. The segments were shot with a single camera, Iphones and still cameras.

Just six weeks after starting our venture, NYC LIFE offered us a TV deal. Suddenly, we had access to a 20-million-people reach in the NY Metro area. It did not take long to build word of mouth and get the attention of the creative and publishing industry. The demand for interviews grew so fast that we had to rethink our strategy. Our one-on-one interviews were too limiting. We ended up doing 34 x 30 mn episodes of BCTV. Books du Jour was born from the success of BCTV.

Our two-first seasons include 25 episodes shot with five cameras, a full production team and elaborate graphics. Our partner, NYC Media, has been instrumental in the growth of the program by providing massive logistic support: from crew to post-sound and a successful marketing campaign in subway, buses, and taxis, while LIFE 25 contributed to our growing momentum by broadcasting and rerunning the episodes 4-5 times throughout the week.

Why Should You Support Us?

If you are an avid reader and love learning, immersing yourself in romance, sci-fi, thrillers, science, literary fiction, sociology, history, memoirs, or whatever you like, you know that chances of seeing your favorite authors on TV, unless he or she is already famous, are dismal. If you want the chance to get to know your favorite authors, here is your chance to get directly involved. Your small contribution will get them in your own living room and on your personal device. In helping us, you bring books, reading, and knowledge to the world.

What’s in it for You?

As already mentioned, we have the opportunity to broadcast the 3rd season of our Books du Jour program across the entire country. To get there however, we need your support to cover closed-captions, data storage, and the main expense: our broadcasting fees. For your support, we are offering obviously a wide selection of books (we have hundreds to give away) but we wanted also to mark your support with something special. Depending on the amount of your contribution, we are giving you artworks: photos and drawings in various sizes, signed by the artist, and if requested framed.

Risks and challenges

We have already succeeded in getting our program off the ground, as it is already broadcasting in the North-East. This was the hardest step.

But do not think that the next one is easier. Growth implies careful planning and outside help.
Our goal is to make our program accessible nationwide since, clearly, there exists a voracious reading audience across the country.

Should we fail at raising the funds, not only our hope to go national would be compromised, delayed for sure, but we will also be depriving the reading and book communities with wonderful opportunities to hear new voices. This program is a public necessity: good for everyone: authors, publishers, retailers, and of course readers.

We are facing a two-prong challenge: raising money for Broadcast and for Production. We have managed to produce our program on shoe-string budgets. No one gets paid. We have showed incredible resilience in the face of challenging time schedule and demand.

We are already actively looking for sponsors to help us make this program a full-time venture. Failure to raise money will put set us back a year or two with our goals, and will force us to pedal twice as hard to get there. But we will keep on pushing forth and make bigger waves until we reach our goals.
Going National with your support would certainly facilitate our task.

See our Kickstarter campaign here: BOOKS DU JOUR PBS

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Books du Jour, Ep #205, "Super Fortuna Believer"

Episode #205     “Super Fortuna Believer

From time immemorial, mankind has feared the power of a boundless universe, sky falling, earth freezing, floods, and of course its wheel of fortune. But mankind’s main pursuit consists in making meaning, finding explanations and creating stories, which both sooth its fears and serve as moral compasses. 

Caleb Scharf, “The Copernicus Complex” asks the big questions: What is our significance in the vast, ever-expanding universe of which we occupy such a small part? What are the chances we will one day detect life elsewhere in the cosmos? According to Scharf, there is compelling evidence that the Copernican Principle—the idea that the Earth is an insignificant, unremarkable speck in a boundless sea—is in need of an update.

Barb Schmidt, “The Practice,” looks at how the mind has a way of interfering with personal happiness, often causing stress and doubt. Getting in touch with one’s inner source of peace and following its guidance over the mind often-unfounded concerns requires training and discipline. This guide is for people who are looking for confidence, less stress, and deeper meaning along life’s path.

STROHM-smallPaul Strohm, “The Chaucer’s Tale” takes on the theme of rebirth. At the start of 1386, Chaucer was a middle-aged Londoner with a distasteful customs job and husband to a higher-ranking wife. By 1387, he was forced to leave London jobless, a widower, and without political allies. Strohm unravels how this calamitous year led to Chaucer’s rebirth as a literary celebrity.

Thank you to City Winery NY

Monday, February 15, 2016

Books du Jour, Ep #204, "Of Crime and Roots"

Episode #204    “Of Crime and Roots

Only on LIFE 25 at 10:30 pm

Whether based on a real event or on the spur of the moment, crime stories never cease to fascinate audiences around the world. All of them boil down to a handful of simple premises: how is the criminal going to get caught? Who did it? And we, the readers, cruise through the pages to find out. The three books this week do not escape these cardinal rules.

Okey Ndibe, “Foreign Gods, Inc.” tells the story of Ike, a New York Nigerian cab driver who sets out to steal the statue of an ancient Wa deity from his home village to sell it to a New York art gallery. Ike’s plan is fueled by desperation. Despite a degree in economics from a major American college, Ike has a strong accent, which bars him from the corporate world.

Nina Darnton, “The Perfect Mother” explores the painful relationship between a beloved daughter who acts against her privileged upbringing and her devoted mother who experiences unimaginable fears. Inspired by the infamous Amanda Knox case, the novel examines the complex questions of how well do we know our children, and how far we would go to protect them.

Bradford Morrow, “The Forgers” starts with the death of a reclusive rare book collector, whose hands have been severed, then shifts to Meghan and her lover, who specializes in forging the handwriting of Sir Conan Doyle. But when they receive threatening handwritten letters penned by long dead authors, a gripping tale of love and an exploration of the tenuous nature of authenticity follow.

Thank you to City Winery NY