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Books Du Jour

Books Du Jour puts you in the middle of great conversations between some of the most intelligent, creative and most successful published writers. The conversation is moderated by Executive Producer and Host Frederic Colier. While a student, Frederic worked for four years at the now defunct Borders Books and Music. He segued into the audio-visual world in 2000 and founded Altered Ego Entertainment. Over the years, he has worked extensively in film and documentary as a writer, director and producer. He is the author of several novels, short story collections and plays. He holds a MA in literary criticism.

To watch Book Case TV, the last book oriented series from Frederic Colier, click here.



It's a ThrillFest

Books Du Jour puts you in the middle of great conversations between some of the most intelligent, creative and most successful published writers.




A Sight for Sore Eyes

Nicole C. Kear, “Now I see You”. Shortly after arriving in college, Nicole is afflicted by a macular degenerative condition. In other words, she will go blind in a few years. This heartfelt memoir traces her journey from learning about her illness through the years of turmoil while attempting to hide her condition, to self-acceptance that only the arrival of children could facilitate. Christopher Beha, “Arts and Entertainments,” follows the meandering of a failed screenwriter, for whom the prospect of an easy gain, and so in order to pay for his wife’s pregnancy treatment, makes him cross moral lines too easily. The consequences of course are devastating for all parties. But moral decay, soullessness, and the pernicious glib values of Reality TV are really at the heart of this engaging novel. Kerry Zukus & “Inside the Hotel Rwanda,” written with Edouard Kayihura, on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the genocide against the Tutsi, takes a controversial look at what really happened at the Hotel des Milles Collines, known in the Hollywood portrayal as “Hotel Rwanda.” This memoir investigates the role played by the hero of the film, Paul Rusesabagina and demonstrates that the movie could not be further from reality. Paul was nothing more than a ruthless, profiteering, and threatening opportunist willing to send anyone into the hands of the Hutu murderers.


And the Roots Shall Prevail

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.


Of Dust and Guts

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.


Death Be Not Proud

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.


Foreign Tongue Twisters

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.


Fine Legal Boundaries

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 Sport 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?


Swimming Gene Pools

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 Sport 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.


Inside the Scents

This week on “Books du Jour,” our guests gathered around a table at City Winery to discuss the scent of their new book and share some musing. The interesting aspect about scents is that they are always intimately tied to a location and more particularly to soils. All 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 complicated 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.


Of Power and Executives

This week host, Frederic Colier, looks into the nature of executive power and the power of executives. His first guest is Mike Offit, “Nothing Personal,” a first time thriller writer who wrote a coming of age story about a wiz kid on wall street who learns how far he can get wit the power he is entrusted with. Historian Harlow Giles Unger, “Mr. President,” looks at George Washington’s presidency and the US constitution that left him pretty much a lame duck to rule. To pursue his agenda Washington made ample use of his executive power and set up a precedent. Since his days in power only five wars have been backup by congress, the others were started by presidential executive power. Finally Judith Glazer, “Conversational Intelligence,” deals with a new aspect of the digital society where the hierarchical power structure is quickly eroding.


Give Peace Freedom

This week host Frederic Colier invites Lodro Rinzler, author of “Walk Like a Buddha” and Director of the Center for Compassion. Lodro tackles the everyday issues not normally discussed in spiritual circles - drinking, smoking and sexual desires, to name a few. Stanton Peele, author of “Recover”, goes against the 12-step program and discuss his PERFECT program, which empowers substance addicted individuals. Stanton teaches personal responsibility and self-acceptance. Finally Billy Hayes, who wrote the story of his ordeal in Turkish prison, “Midnight Express, comes back with “The Midnight Express Letters,” a book about the letters he wrote while in jail, his individual growth and spiritual journey.


Across the Universe and Back

Frederic Colier introduces a brand new literary program, Books Du Jour. The new series has a simple premise: every week for the duration of the series, the host will take three authors to lunch to discuss their work and their main concerns about life at large. His first guests are Ayana Mathis, “The Twelve Tribes of Hattie”; Gary Shteyngart, “Little Failure: A Memoir,” and Joshua Henkin, “The World Without You.”

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