Hardcover, 148 pages
THE LIFE STORY OF ONE OF THE MOST COLORFUL DEALERS IN THE WESTERN ART WORLD MAKES FOR COMPELLING READING. Forrest Fenn leads his autobiography with his short-lived school career and youthful backcountry adventures, describes being shot down as a fighter pilot in Vietnam, recounts his founding of the Modern art scene in Santa Fe, and mentions his third and fourth careers as an art historian (he’s authored eight books) and archeologist. But Fenn’s account of being diagnosed with cancer and, in the course of pondering mortality and the meaning of life, making an extraordinary decision to fill a treasure chest and bury it in the mountains north of Santa Fe, is riveting. What we love about this book, which reads like a story told by a particularly charming narrator, is its self-deprecating tone. Even in describing the treasure chest — a Romanesque Lock Box circa 1150, which Fenn filled with jewels, lumps of gold, ancient artifacts and $1,000 bills, then buried — Fenn never takes himself too seriously. The million-dollar treasure is for real, though. And the book holds all the clues to finding it.