Thursday, December 15, 2016

Author du Jour: Larry Atkins, "Skewed" ‎

Skewed: A Critical Thinker’s Guide to Media Bias,” by Larry Atkins 

(Prometheus Books, pp 280, $24.00)

I am not sure how many people have read this book so far . . . But given what we now know about the Presidential elections fiasco, meant here as the shocking Trump’s victory, “Skewed,” should ...

Read book review . . .

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Author du Jour: Chris Pavone, "The Travelers" ‎

The Travelers,” by Chris Pavone

(Crown Publishers pp 437, $ 27.00)

If you have read Chris Pavone’s previous novels “The Expats” and “The Accident,” you know that you will travel abroad, extensively. “The Travelers” will not disappoint you. I suspect one day . . .

Read book review . . .

Friday, December 9, 2016

Book Reviews: Resident Magazine December 2016

Resident Magazine December 2016

Read book reviews by Frederic Colier online. Feature article is about
Ian Mellencamp (nephew of John M).

Only in the Resident Magazine.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Author du Jour: Malin Persson Giolito

(trans. Rachel Willson-Broyles, Other Press, pp 432, $26.95)

Kudos to Other Press for publishing this Nordic wonder. “Quick Sand” has been bestsellers in more than 20 countries, mainly the old continent, and it was shocking to see that no US publisher would rush to snatch up the US rights. “Quick Sand” is Persson Giolito fourth crime novel, and it takes its cue from a mass killing, such as the one in Norway in 2011 . . . Its main protagonist, the 18-year old, Maja Norberg, is a popular student who survives a school rampage. Set as a flashback, prior to the gory event, the plot trails Maja’s past to find out whether she participated in the mass murdering. She has been accused, being the only one to survive, and waits in jail for her trial.

This alone would not have been enough to get this book included in this month column. But Persson Giolito’s craft takes us on a psychological ride, where perhaps the narrator of the story is not as reliable as first thought. She met a questionable character, Sebastian Fagerman, prior to the massacre. Little by little, we can hear the cogs of her internal life flicker with strange sounds. As she is swept off her feet, alienating everyone in her immediate circle, we ponder if her outcries are not simply screams for help . . . that everyone missed.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Author du Jour: Jesse Jarnow

Author du Jour: Jesse Jarnow, "Heads"

(Da Capo Press, pp 468, $27.99)

If you are a fan of books dealing with the history of salt, timber or something more exotic like ... Read book Review . . .…/10/26/author-du-jour-jesse-jar…/

Friday, October 21, 2016

Author du Jour: Saul Friedländer

Where Memory Leads” by Saul Friedländer.

(Other Press, pp 284, $24.95)

If you remember the Pulitzer Prize winning book, "The Years of Extermination,” you will know at once that this review refers to Saul Friedländer. If you also know that he spent sixteen years writing his magnum opus, you could claim that he spent 80 years writing his new . . .
Read book review

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Author du Jour: Charlotte Wood

Author du Jour: Charlotte Wood
“The Natural Way of Things,” (Europa Editions, pp 233, $17.00)

Though not her first novel, "The Natural Way of Things" is Charlotte Wood’s first print in the States. Better late than never, and it is wholly deserved . . . read book review . . . ‎

Monday, October 17, 2016

Author du Jour: Anne Korkeakivi, "Shining Sea"

Shining Sea,” by Anne Korkeakivi
(Little, Brown and Company, pp 282, $ 26.00)

Sophomore novels have the reputation to be always the hardest one to produce, especially if the breaking-out novel was a success or generated buzzing reviews. Self-pressure being often the cause as the challenge to recapture the lengthy feat, embedded in the first published novel, is insurmountable for authors. It is not the case for “Shining Sea.” Though not a fan of multi-generational novel, I tip my hat to Anne Korkeakivi’s second . . .

Read book review . . .


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Author du jour: Jennifer Noonan

(Da Capo/Life Long Books, p 316, $19.99)

This book is about the “A-Word.” A could stand for Atomic, since explosion is implied, but in this case it is about autism. Autism is a trend that keeps on gaining momentum, and its label, once inflicted on a child, reverberates as a social suicide for families. The merit of Jennifer Noonan’s journey is precisely to expose the daily struggle families with autistic children must live through, bringing her resourceful personality to the front.

When her son was diagnosed . . . red book review . . .

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Author du Jour: Susan Strecker

Author du jour: Susan Strecker, "Nowhere Girl"

(Thomas Dunne Books, P 297, $ 25.99)

A sophomore book for Susan Strecker after her elegiac and biographical debut novel “Night Blindness,” which appeared . . . read book review . . .…/…/author-du-jour-susan-strecker/

Friday, October 7, 2016

Author du Jour: Eric Geissinger

Virtual Billions,” by Eric Geissinger.

(Prometheus Books, P 295, $25.00)

This is the book that will explain to you what is Bitcoin and how they came to be, if you only have heard about them and thought it was just another App. If you are looking for a roller-coaster ride in the underworld of alternative finance, Virtual Billions is the book as well.  You will learn about the reclusive genius creator of Bitcoins, Satoshi Nakamoto, who, on his own, decided to wage war against the world financial and banking system, and the prince of darkness himself, Ross Ulbricht,

Read book review . . .

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Books du Jour, Ep #211, "Jazzing up the Tune"

Episode #211    “Jazzing Up the Tune” 

Only on LIFE 25 at 10:30 pm

The ears don't lie. They know when something sounds phony. But what about authors writing about music? This week's episode takes a look at the crossroad of music and literature, in all its form: rhyme, rhythm, lyricism, repetitions, and of course the theme of music itself, not only in the lives of the characters depicted but also in the authors’.


Moody-SmallRick Moody, “On Celestial Music.” A dazzling selection of essays about music. Moody’s anatomy of the word cool reminds us that in the postwar 1940’s, the word was infused with the feeling of jazz music, whereas now it is merely a synonym for neat. The collection laments the loss in contemporary music, without failing to inspire us and dive into the music that enhances our lives.

Morris-Small Mary Morris, “The Jazz Palace.” In the midst of boomtown Chicago, two Jewish families suffer terrible blows. They have lost their boys on the SS Eastland, which sank in 1915. But Benny Lehrman, the only son left, has no interest in saving the family business and making hats. His true passion is piano—especially jazz.

Titus-smallJulia Titus, “Poetry Readers for Russian Learners.” Through the poetry of 19th and 20th Centuries Russian authors, including Pushkin and Akhmatova, the book helps all level of Russian learners refine their language skills. Poems have their own music and rhythm, singing to the witnesses of history, clamoring human insights and the muffling of tragic biographies.

Thank you to City Winery NY

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Books du Jour, EP#210, "The Monopolies of Monarchs"

Books du Jour, Episode #210   “The Monopolies of Monarchs” 

The journey from the heavens to our heart can happen in the blink of an eye. But from the heart to the Heavens is a different story. Legal battles may stand in the way. Today, we look at the downfall of a king accountable only to the Gods above; the wandering Jews in search of a promised land and only facing rejection, and finally the legal battle for a board game in the wake of the financial crisis and its pernicious values.

Mary Pilon, “The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World’s Favorite Board Game.” The way the Parker Brothers tells it, Monopoly, the world’s most famous board game, was invented by an out-of-work salesman in the depths of the Great Depression, who sold his invention. A fabulous rags-to-riches story to say the least. But as Pilon explains it: “it’s just not quite exactly true.” 

Charles Spencer, “Killers of the King” relates for the first time to the shocking stories and fascinating fates of the 59 men who signed Charles I of England’s death warrant in 1649. This act not only changed British history forever, reverberated across the ocean to the young British colonies in American, which more than 100 years later also rose up against their king, but also became their death sentence.
Roger Cohen, “The Girl From Human Street” trails the upheavals of a family saga, with none of the comfort of a happy ending. Through the decades, the Jewish sense of “otherness” is pervasive, and Cohen finds it has been significant factor in his family’s history of manic depression. A moving portrait and an elegy to his mother, June, who struggled most mightily with her illness. But also a tale of remembrance and repression, moral ambivalence, suicide, and amazing resilience.

Thank you to City Winery NY

Friday, June 3, 2016

Books du Jour, Ep #209, "A Sliver of Silver Pie"

Episode #209      “A Sliver of Silver Pie


If there is enough food for three, chances are there is enough for four. We are what we eat. But what about if you don't like the diet you eat? What would you become? We gather at a table every week, and yet we still have not had a panel about health and food. This week, we are discussing about health, physical and emotional, and how good and bad food impacts our general well-being.

O'Brien-smallGreg O’Brien, “On Pluto” is a first person account with Alzheimer. O’Brien speaks freely about what it is like to lose your mind and “see slices of your very identity being shaved off” on a daily basis. The story is a beacon of hope to anyone who can read and listen.

Laflamme-smallJena La Flamme, “Pleasurable Weight Loss.” For Jena “the key to losing weight is not about enjoying less, it’s about enjoying more.” This radical insight has allowed thousands of her students to lose weight without food plans, arduous rules, or punishing exercises. Pleasure is the secret to switching off the stress triggers.

Markey-SmallCharlotte N. Markey, in “Smart People Don’t Diet: How Psychology, Common Sense, and the Latest Science Can Help You Lose Weight Permanently,” Markey uses psychology and brain chemistry and more than 100 years of research and scientific findings to provide an accessible approach to weight loss that yields sustainable, long-term results.

Thank you to City Winery NY

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

Monday, February 1, 2016

Books du Jour, Ep #203, "Mysterious Fluid Poetry"

Episode #203      “Mysterious Fluid Poetry

Only on LIFE 25, NY at 10:30 pm

Ever since Adorno claimed that writing poetry after Auschwitz was impossible, poetry has persisted and flourished. The vitality of our three guests proves that writing more than ever is an integral part of life to share our experiences. Writing in different style and tone, their books convey the compelling energy of creativity and the much needed momentum for endless discoveries and growth.
Marc Levy, “Replay” takes place on July 9, 2012, when NYT investigative reporter Andrew Stillman while jogging alongside the Hudson collapses in a pool of blood. When he regains consciousness, it is May 7, two months earlier. Stillman has now 60 days to find out who wants him dead. If only the past mistake could be fixed to alter the present.

Paul Muldoon, “One Thousand Things Worth Knowing.” Smuggling diesel, a real trip to Havana, an Imaginary trip to the Chateau d’If, are just some topics of Paul Muldoon’s newest collection, which is exceptionally wide-ranging in its subject matter often within the same poem. If there is a theme to this collection, it is watchfulness.

Chris Pavone, “The Accident.” Following the sensation with the “Expat,” which was influenced by his experience in Luxembourg, Chris Pavone has penned “The Accident” a masterful thriller that has all the hallmarks of suspense and high-end elegance in an international story of a dangerous manuscript resurfacing and creating havoc in the lives of the characters coming into contact with it.

Thank you to City Winery NY