Five Star Friday – Coulrophobia & Fata Morgana by Jacob M. Appel

Coulrophobia & Fata Morgana

Looking for something to read over the weekend?

Nothing on your book radarscreaming read me?

Then take a look at my Five Star Friday pick. It may be old. It may be new . But it is a book that is special to meย  one that has captured both my imagination and my heart.

I selected this book today because I have just received a copy of Amazing Things Are Happening Here, Jacob’s latest collection of short stories due for publication April 1st.

I hope you enjoy these short stories as much as I do.

EXCERPT: From the short story Silent Theology-
My dead wife is dating Greta Garbo. It’s that same spiteful streak Helen had when she was alive. She could have chosen Clark Gable or Humphrey Bogart or Gary Cooper – and instead she goes out and picks up Greta Garbo, because I once made the mistake of joking that I ‘d married the second sexiest woman on earth.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: In his ninth book and fifth collection of stories, Jacob M. Appel introduces readers to a a diplomats wife who attempts to seduce her chimney sweep through Norwegian lessons, a minister whose dead wife is romantically involved with Greta Garbo and a landlord menaced by a rent-delinquent mime.

MY THOUGHTS: Jacob M Appel has done it again. He has written another collection of short stories that tickle your funny-bone and pull at your heart strings.

All of us seek love and understanding on some level – yet not all of us are prepared to give it. You will recognise parts of yourself, parts of people you know, as Jacob gives us a glimpse into the lives of the unpredictable characters he is so good at portraying.

A wonderful collection of short stories, in my opinion his best yet.


THE AUTHOR: Jacob M. Appel’s first novel, The Man Who Wouldn’t Stand Up, won the Dundee International Book Award in 2012. His short story collection, Scouting for the Reaper, won the 2012 Hudson Prize. He has published short fiction in more than two hundred literary journals including Agni, Conjunctions, Gettysburg Review, Southwest Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, and West Branch. His work has been short listed for the O. Henry Award (2001), Best American Short Stories (2007, 2008), Best American Essays (2011, 2012), and received “special mention” for the Pushcart Prize in 2006, 2007, 2011 and 2013.

Jacob holds a B.A. and an M.A. from Brown University, an M.A. and an M.Phil. from Columbia University, an M.S. in bioethics from the Alden March Bioethics Institute of Albany Medical College, an M.D. from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, an M.F.A. in creative writing from New York University, an M.F.A. in playwriting from Queens College, an M.P.H. from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He currently practices psychiatry in New York City.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to author Jacob M Appel and Black Lawrence Press for sending a copy of Coulrophobia & Fata Morgana all the way to NZ for me to enjoy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my profile page or the about page on for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my page


Author: sandysbookaday

I love good quality chocolate. I love the ocean and love to be in, on or beside it. I read any and every where. I am a proud mum and Nana. I like wine, gin, Southern Comfort, a cold Heineken on a hot day. I am very versatile like that. I cross stitch, do jigsaws, garden, and work on a farm. I am an occasional scribbled. I have far too many books I want to read to ever find the time to die. I am an active member of Goodreads as Sandy *the world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* and review on Amazon under the name Sandyj21. My Goodreads reviews are automatically linked to my Facebook page. Groups I belong to and participate in on Goodreads include: The Mystery, Crime and Thriller Group; Mysteries and Crime Thrillers; Psychological Thrillers; Reading for Pleasure; Crime Detective Mystery Thrillers; English Mysteries; Dead Good Crime; Kindle English Mystery, All About Books and NZ Readers. April 2016 I made the Top 1% of Goodreads reviewers (As follows) Hello Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*, In our community of readers, you stand out in a notable way: You're one of the top 1% of reviewers on Goodreads! With every rave and every pan, with every excited GIF and every critical assessment, you've helped the Goodreads community get closer to a very important milestone โ€“ the 50 Million Reviews mark!

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