JAMES ELLROY reads from his novel PERFIDIA

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on October 17th, 2014

Perfidia (Knopf)

Please welcome back to Skylight one of L.A.'s most iconic crime writers, James Ellroy!

The Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor. The United States teeters on the edge of war. The roundup of allegedly treasonous Japanese Americans is about to begin. And in L.A., a Japanese family is found dead. Murder or ritual suicide? The investigation will draw four people into a totally Ellroy-ian tangle: a brilliant Japanese American forensic chemist; an unsatisfiably adventurous young woman; one police officer based in fact (William H. "Whiskey Bill" Parker, later to become the groundbreaking chief of the LAPD), the other the product of Ellroy's inimitable imagination (Dudley Smith, arch villain of "The Big Nowhere, L.A. Confidential, White Jazz)." As their lives intertwine, we are given a story of war and of consuming romance, a searing expose of the Japanese internment, and an astonishingly detailed homicide investigation. In "Perfidia," Ellroy delves more deeply than ever before into his characters' intellectual and emotional lives. But it has the full-strength, unbridled story-telling audacity that has marked all the acclaimed work of the "Demon Dog of American Crime Fiction."

Praise for Perfidia

"Perfidia is a brilliant, breakneck ride. Nobody except James Ellroy could pull this off. He doesn't merely write--he ignites and demolishes."
--Carl Hiaasen

"A return to the scene of Ellroy's greatest success and a triumphant return to form. . . . His character portrayals have never been more nuanced or--dare we say it--sympathetic. . . . A disturbing, unforgettable, and inflammatory vision of how the men in charge respond to the threat of war. It's an ugly picture, but just try looking away."
--"Booklist", starred review

"A sprawling, uncompromising epic of crime and depravity."
--"Publishers Weekly"

James Ellroy was born in Los Angeles in 1948. He is the author of the Underworld U.S.A. Trilogy-American Tabloid, The Cold Six Thousand, and Blood's a Rover-and the L. A. Quartet novels, The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, L. A. Confidential, and White Jazz. He lives in Los Angeles.

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ELISSA SUSSMAN reads from her young adult novel STRAY

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on October 17th, 2014
Stray (Greenwillow Books)
A cross between The Handmaid's Tale and Wicked, with a dash of Grimm and Disney thrown in, Stray is part coming-of-age story, part fairy tale, part adventure, part sweet romance.
 
Princess Aislynn has long dreamed about attending her Introduction Ball, about dancing with the handsome suitors her adviser has chosen for her, about meeting her true love and starting her happily ever after.
 
When the night of the ball finally arrives and Nerine Academy is awash with roses and royalty, Aislynn wants nothing more than to dance the night away, dutifully following the Path that has been laid out for her. She does not intend to stray. But try as she might, Aislynn has never quite managed to control the magic that burns within her--magic brought on by wicked, terrible desires that threaten the Path she has vowed to take. After all, it is wrong to want what you do not need. Isn't it? 
 
Elissa Sussman received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College and in a previous life managed animators and organized spreadsheets at some of the best animation studios in the world, including Nickelodeon, Disney, DreamWorks, and Sony Imageworks. You can find her name in the credits of The Croods, Hotel Transylvania, The Princess and the Frog, and Tangled. She lives in Los Angeles with her boyfriend and their rescue dog, Basil. Stray is her first novel.
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B.J. NOVAK reads and signs his children’s book THE BOOK WITH NO PICTURES

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on October 17th, 2014

The Book With No Pictures (Dial Books for Young Readers)

We're delighted to present the Los Angeles launch event for The Book With No Pictures, the new children's book from actor and author B.J. Novak (One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories).

NOTE: As with all Skylight Books events, this reading is free and open to the public (first come, first served). But, because we're expecting a large crowd at this event, we'll be giving out numbered tickets to the signing line to keep things organized. To get a ticket to the signing line, you must purchase a copy ofThe Book With No Pictures here at Skylight Books. Signing line tickets will become available the day the book goes on sale: Tuesday, September 30, 2014. They will be available in-store, or you can order on our website and leave a note in the "Order Comments" field. We will also hold a ticket for you if you order and pay for a book over the phone.

Once you have your signing line ticket, these are the guidelines for the signing:

  • For every copy of The Book With No Pictures purchased, B.J. Novak will sign one copy of One More Thing
  • Only The Book With No Pictures will be personalized; copies of One More Thing will be signed only
  • This signing is for books only; please leave other memorabilia at home
  • We won't be able to accommodate posed photos, but you are welcome to take photos from the line as he signs (no flash, please)

Thank you for your cooperation!

B.J. Novak's The Book With No Pictures turns the turns the notion of the picture book on its head, by delivering a text-only story book for young children. You might think a book with no pictures seems boring and serious. Except . . . here’s how books work. Everything written on the page has to be said by the person reading it aloud. Even if the words say . . .

BLORK. Or BLUURF.

Even if the words are a preposterous song about eating ants for breakfast, or just a list of astonishingly goofy sounds like BLAGGITY BLAGGITY and GLIBBITY GLOBBITY.

Cleverly irreverent and irresistibly silly, The Book with No Pictures is one that kids will beg to hear again and again. (And parents will be happy to oblige.)

B.J. Novak is well known for his work on NBC’s Emmy Award-winning comedy series The Office as an writer, actor, director, and executive producer. He is also known for his work as a standup comedian and his performances in motion pictures such as Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds and Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks. Novak’s collection of short stories One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories (Knopf) was published earlier this year to rave reviews. The New York Times Book Review called it “hugely pleasurable...droll and smart in spades, but often humane and vulnerable, too..." The Washington Post called Novak “a gifted observer of the human condition and a very funny writer capable of winning that rare thing: unselfconscious, insuppressible laughter.” He is a graduate of Harvard University with a degree in English and Spanish literature.

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THOMAS PAGE MCBEE reads from MAN ALIVE and ALI LIEBEGOTT reads from CHA-CHING!

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on October 17th, 2014

Man Alive (City Lights/Sister Spit)              

Cha-Ching!/The Beautifully Worthless (City Lights/Sister Spit)

Join us tonight for a spectacular reading from one of the most iconic publishing houses in the country, City Lights and its radical imprint, Sister Spit.

In Man AliveThomas Page McBee attempts to answer that question by focusing on two of the men who most impacted his life--one, his otherwise ordinary father who abused him as a child, and the other, a mugger who threatened his life and then released him in an odd moment of mercy. Standing at the brink of the life-changing decision to transition from female to male, McBee seeks to understand these examples of flawed manhood as he cobbles together his own identity.

In Cha-Ching!, Theo, our scruffy, big-hearted, and quick-witted heroine, is not so much down on her luck as delivered luckless into a culture where the winners and losers have already been decided. Her adventures in getting over take her from San Francisco to New York City, from dyke bars to telemarketing outfits, casinos to free clinics. With the signature poet's voice that has won her awards and acclaim, Ali Liebegott investigates the conjoined hearts of hope and addiction in an unforgettable story of what it means to be young and broke in America. 

Praise for Man Alive:
 
"Thomas Page McBee's memoir grips you like a thriller yet reads with the lyricism of poetry as he details how a brush with violence sent him on quest to untangle a sinister past, and freed him to become the man he was meant to be."— Michelle Tea

"Man Alive is a sweet, tender hurt of a memoir. Thomas Page McBee deftly recounts what has shaped him into the man he has become and how--from childhood trauma to a mugging in Oakland where he learned of his body's ability to save itself. This is a memoir about forgiveness and self-discovery, but mostly it's about love, so much love. McBee takes us in his capable hands and shows us what it takes to become a man who is gloriously, gloriously alive." -- Roxane Gay.

"Thomas Page McBee's story of how he came to claim both his past and his future is by turns despairing and hopeful, exceptional and relatable. To read it is to witness the birth of a fuller, truer self. I loved this book." -- Ann Friedman

Praise for Cha-Ching!

"Cha-Ching! is a rush - the clatter of youth on the angry move, the rattling of dreamy gambles in crappy apartments, the desperate crash of falling for someone despite the million reasons why and the bang! bang! bang! of our tender hearts."—Daniel Handler, author of Why We Broke Up

"Cha-Ching! is so raw with need that I found myself itching that addict's itch to chase the seemingly impossible."—Karolina Waclawiak, deputy editor of The Believer and author of How to Get Into the Twin Palms

"The Beautifully Worthless is an outrageous act of kindness."—Eileen Myles


"She's insanely talented, it's mad. The Beautifully Worthless crisscrosses the USA, like Close to the Knives, like Kerouac, desperately seeking out everything occluded and driven, a frenzy of seeking frozen into poetry. "—Kevin Killian

Thomas Page McBee writes the column "Self-Made Man" for the Rumpus, and his writings on gender have appeared in The New York Times and via TheAtlantic.com, VICE, BuzzFeed, and Salon. Thomas gives lectures on masculinity and media narratives across the country. He lives in New York City.
 
Ali Liebegott is the author of the award-winning books The Beautifully Worthless and The IHOP Papers. In 2010 she took a train trip across America interviewing female poets for a project titled, The Heart Has Many Doors; excerpts from these interviews are posted monthly on The Believer Logger. Along with a reprint of her road classicThe Beautifully Worthless, her newest novel Cha-Ching! was released by City Lights/Sister Spit in the spring of 2013. In addition, she is the founding editor at Writers Among Artists whose first publication, Faggot Dinosaur, was released in 2012.
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KRISTIINA EHIN reads from WALKER ON WATER

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on October 17th, 2014

Walker on Water (Unnamed Press)

 Join us for a very special event as one of Skylight Book's favorite local presses, Unnamed Press.

A woman cultivates a knack for walking on water, but is undermined by her husband's brain, which he removes each night when he returns home from work; a couple overcomes the irksome mischief of the gods; a skeptical dragon wonders what sex is all about: this is the world of Kristiina Ehin.

From the 2007 British Poetry Society Popescu prize winner for European poetry in translation: a series of comic, surreal adventures. Kristiina Ehin's quirky voice takes each story directly from the dream state, at times stubborn and resistant, at other times masochistically compliant. Ehin offers up modern folktales in which the very nature of our human identity is at stake-rampant with images and archetypes both new and old, and mediated by the abrupt changes we can only experience in dreams.

Praise for Walker on Water

"The pages drip in rich images and complex emotions in Kristiina Ehin's wildly imaginative and surrealistic collectionWalker on Water. It's Etgar Keret meets Aimee Bender meets Michael Cisco meets Aesop. It's three-headed twins, a woman who inadvertently bites the arms off her husbands, and a Life Story who has a pesky Brain's Monkey. It's a wholly original and revolutionary read."—Paul Tremblay, author of The Little Sleep and A Head Full of Ghosts

"Wow! I love this book!"—Mark Mothersbaugh, lead singer of DEVO

"Sharp, jarring, and darkly funny, the stories in Walker on Water move seamlessly and defiantly between the real and the surreal, reinventing folklore, redefining fiction, and daringly reexamining relationships."—Susan Steinberg, author of Spectacle

Kristiina Ehin is the author of Walker on Water, out June 2014 from the Unnamed Press and translated from the original Estonian by Ilmar Lehtpere. An internationally renowned poet, her collection The Drums of Silence was awarded the British Poetry Society Popescu Prize for European Poetry in Translation in 2007, and her collection 1001 Winters has been nominated for the same prize in 2013.  In her native Estonia, Ehin has published six volumes of poetry, three books of short stories and a retelling of South-Estonian folk tales. She has written plays, as well as poetic radio broadcasts. She has won Estonia’s most prestigious poetry prize for Kaitseala—a book of poems and journal entries written during a year spent living as a nature reserve warden on an otherwise uninhabited island off Estonia’s north coast.

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ERIC BRACH discusses his book CONQUERING THE ELECTRON, with special guests JENNIFER OUELLETTE, ALEX KORB and KYLE HILL

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on October 17th, 2014

Conquering the Electron: The Geniuses, Visionaries, Egomaniacs and Scoundrels Who Built Our Electronic Age

(Rowman and Littlefield)

Conquering the Electron offers readers a true and engaging history of the world of electronics. Beginning with the discoveries of static electricity and magnetism and ending with the creation of the smartphone and the iPad, this book shows the interconnection of each advance to the next one on the long journey to our modern day technologies. Exploring the combination of genius, infighting, and luck that powered the creation of the electronic age we inhabit today, Conquering the Electron debunks the hero worship that so often plagues the stories of great advances.

Want to know how AT&T s Bell Labs developed semiconductor technology and how its leading scientists almost came to blows in the process? Want to understand how radio and television work and why RCA drove their inventors to financial ruin and an early grave? Conquering the Electron offers these stories and more, presenting each revolutionary technological advance right alongside the blow-by-blow personal battles that all too often took place.

Praise for Conquering the Electron

"Conquering the Electron contains an amazing number of little-known facts about the giants who shaped technology and still have an impact today. This book is an interesting read and an inspiration to engineers, entrepreneurs, and young people who aspire to make a difference. It will also provide ample conversation material for any social encounter.--Dr. Milton Chang, former CEO of Newport Corporation and New Focus, Inc. and author of Toward Entrepreneurship

"Best history of electronics ever. Derek Cheung is an outstanding technologist and businessperson, and he gets the technical and business details right. This is a great story of a mighty industry."--David Rutledge, Tomiyasu Professor of Engineering, Caltech

Eric Brach is a lecturer in English West Los Angeles College in Culver City, California. He is the author of Billy the Hill and the Jump Hook, and has been a contributor to national magazines, newspapers, and academic journals, including Bleacher Report, Box Office, and The Onion. He lives in Culver City, California.

Jennifer Ouellette is the author of four popular science books, including The Calculus Diaries: How Math Can Help You Lose Weight, Win in Vegas, and Survive a Zombie Apocalypse. She also served as editor for The Best Online Science Writing 2012.

Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Times Book Review. She blogs for Scientific American, and she co-hosts the Virtually Speaking Science podcast for Blog Talk Radio. She also holds a black belt in jujitsu.

Alex Korb is a postdoctoral neuroscience researcher at UCLA. His research focuses on mood disorders and the development of brain stimulation techniques using focused ultrasound. Since 2010, he has written the neuroscience blog PreFrontal Nudity for PsychologyToday.com.

When he takes off his lab coat, Alex coaches the UCLA women's ultimate frisbee team, using his knowledge of brain and behavior to unlock their peak performance. His book The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression will be released in spring 2015 by New Harbinger Publications.

Kyle Hill is a science writer based in Los Angeles, California. His work has been published by Scientific American, WIRED, Popular Science, Slate, and the Boston Globe, and he has appeared as an expert on Fox News, Al Jazeera America, and Huffington Post Live, among others.

Kyle currently serves as the science editor for the popular Nerdist podcast, and in 2013, WIRED named him one of the 20 science communicators to follow. He graduated with a masters degree from Marquette University.

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YUMI SAKUGAWA discusses her book YOUR ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO BECOMING ONE WITH THE UNIVERSE

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on October 17th, 2014

Your Illustrated Guide to Becoming One with the Universe (Adams Media)

Please join us as one of Skylight Books' favorite (and best-selling) artists celebrates the launch of her newest book.

Your Illustrated Guide to Becoming One with the Universe erases the boundaries of the standard self-help book and sets you free on a visual journey of self-discovery. Inside you will find nine metaphysical lessons set against a surreal backdrop of intricate ink illustrations and dreamlike instructions that require you to open your heart to unexplored inner landscapes. From setting fire to your anxieties to sharing a cup of tea with your inner demons, you will learn how to let go and truly connect with the world around you.

Whether you need a little inspiration or a completely new life direction, Your Illustrated Guide to Becoming One with the Universe provides you with the necessary push to find your true path—and a whimsical adventure to enjoy on the way there. 

Yumi Sakugawa is a comic book artist and the author of I Think I Am in Friend-Love with You. She is a regular comic contributor to The Rumpus and Wonderhowto.com, and her short comic stories “Mundane Fortunes for the Next Ten Billion Years” and “Seed Bomb” were selected as Notable Comics of 2012 and 2013 respectively by the Best American Comics series editors (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). Her comics have also appeared in Bitch, the Best American Non­Required Reading 2014, Folio, Fjords Review, and other publications. A graduate from the fine art program of University of California, Los Angeles, she lives in southern California. Visit her on the web atwww.yumisakugawa.com.

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BEN LERNER reads from 10:04, in conversation with RACHEL KUSHNER

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on October 11th, 2014

10:04 (Faber & Faber)

For tonight's event Ben Lerner will be joined by one of Skylight's favorite local authors, Rachel Kushner!

A beautiful and utterly original novel about making art, love, and children during the twilight of an empire, Ben Lerner's first novel, Leaving the Atocha Station, was hailed as "one of the truest (and funniest) novels . . . of his generation" (Lorin Stein, "The New York Review of Books"), "a work so luminously original in style and form as to seem like a premonition, a comet from the future" (Geoff Dyer, "The Observer"). Now, his second novel departs from Leaving the Atocha Station's exquisite ironies in order to explore new territories of thought and feeling.

In the last year, the narrator of 10:04 has enjoyed unexpected literary success, has been diagnosed with a potentially fatal heart condition, and has been asked by his best friend to help her conceive a child, despite his dating a rising star in the visual arts. In a New York of increasingly frequent super storms and political unrest, he must reckon with his biological mortality, the possibility of a literary afterlife, and the prospect of (unconventional) fatherhood in a city that might soon be under water.

In prose that Jonathan Franzen has called "hilarious . . . cracklingly intelligent . . . and original in every sentence," Lerner captures what it's like to be alive now, when the difficulty of imagining a future has changed our relation to our present and our past. Exploring sex, friendship, medicine, memory, art, and politics, 10:04 is both a riveting work of fiction and a brilliant examination of the role fiction plays in our lives.

Praise for 10:04

"Reading Ben Lerner gives me the tingle at the base of my spine that happens whenever I encounter a writer of true originality. He is a courageous, immensely intelligent artist who panders to no one and yet is a delight to read. Anyone interested in serious contemporary literature should read Ben Lerner, and 10:04 is the perfect place to start." --Jeffrey Eugenides, author of The Marriage Plot

"Ben Lerner is a brilliant novelist, and one unafraid to make of the novel something truly new. 10:04 is a work of endless wit, pleasure, relevance, and vitality." --Rachel Kushner, author of The Flamethrowers

Ben Lerner is a poet, novelist, essayist, and critic. He has been a Fulbright scholar, a finalist for the National Book Award, a Howard Foundation fellow, and a Guggenheim fellow. In 2011 he won the Preis der Stadt Müenster für Internationale Poesie, the first American to receive this honor. He is the author of a novel, Leaving the Atocha Station, and the poetry collections The Lichtenberg Figures, Angle of Yaw, and Mean Free Path. Lerner is a professor of English at Brooklyn College.

Rachel Kushner is the author of THE FLAMETHROWERS, which was a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award, shortlisted for the 2014 Folio Prize and the James Tait Black Prize, longlisted for the 2014 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, and a New York Times Top Five Novel of 2013. Kushner's debut novel, TELEX FROM CUBA, was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, winner of the California Book Award, and a New York Times bestseller and Notable Book. Kushner's fiction and essays have appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, and the Paris Review, among other places. She is the recipient of a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship.

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ELIZABETH GORCEY reads from her children’s book GOING TO THE PARK

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on October 11th, 2014

Going to the Park (Bowie Books + Liv on Life Series)

Going to the Park is the first book in the Liv On Life Series. It tells the story of Liv and Bowie  (her Boxer dog) realizing that Mom and Dad need a break from the stresses of work. Liv and Bowie convince their Mom and Dad to put down the technology and head out together for a fun day at the park!

The Liv On Life book series was inspired by Elizabeth’s daugher, Olivia, and the joy she has brought to the lives of her mother and others. In encouraging Olivia to embrace, cherish and use her authentic voice, Elizabeth has realized how much parents can, and must, learn from the purity and honesty of a child's perspective.

Director, producer and actor Elizabeth Gorcey has expanded her repertoire to book publishing with the LIV ON LIFE (”LOL”) children’s book series. The twelve-book series is written from the endearing perspective of Elizabeth’s daughter, Olivia, who shares her insights and observations on modern-day life. Elizabeth currently lives in LA with her family. When not making films or publishing books, she works diligently on her non-profit art program for terminally ill children called the CARING STROKES ART PROGRAM. For more info, please vist www.livonlife.com

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JOSEPH O’NEILL reads from THE DOG

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on October 11th, 2014

The Dog (Pantheon Books)

The author of the best-selling and award-winning Netherland now gives us his eagerly awaited, stunningly different new novel: a tale of alienation and heartbreak in Dubai. 

Distraught by a breakup with his long-term girlfriend, the hero of this novel leaves New York to take an unusual job in a strange desert metropolis. In a Dubai at the height of its self-invention as a futuristic Shangri-La, our protagonist struggles with his new position as the "family officer" of the capricious and very rich Batros family. And he struggles, even more helplessly, with the "doghouse," a seemingly inescapable condition of culpability in which he feels himself constantly trapped--even if he's just going to the bathroom, or reading e-mail, or scuba diving. A comic and philosophically profound exploration of what has become of humankind's moral progress, The Dog is told with Joseph O'Neill's hallmark eloquence, empathy, and storytelling mastery. It is a brilliantly original, achingly funny fable for our globalized times. 

 Praise for The Dog:
"Clever, witty, and profoundly insightful, this is a beautifully crafted narrative about a man undone by a soulless society."--Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Shades of Kafka and Conrad permeate O’Neill’s thoughtful modern fable of exile, a sad story that comments darkly on the human condition and refuses bravely to trade on the success of Netherland."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Joseph O'Neill is the author of the novels Netherland (which won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award), This Is the Life, and The Breezes, and Blood-Dark Track: A Family History. He lives in New York and teaches at Bard College. 

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DAVID BEZMOZGIS reads from THE BETRAYERS

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on October 3rd, 2014
The Betrayers (Little Brown and Company)
 
Please welcome back to Skylight Books David Bezmozgis, the award-winning author of Free World and Natasha and Other Stories. His latest, The Betrayers is a compact saga of love, duty, family, and sacrifice from a rising star whose fiction is "self-assured, elegant, perceptive . . . and unflinchingly honest" (New York Times)
 
These incandescent pages give us one fraught, momentous day in the life of Baruch Kotler, a Soviet Jewish dissident who now finds himself a disgraced Israeli politician. When he refuses to back down from a contrary but principled stand regarding the settlements in the West Bank, his political opponents expose his affair with a mistress decades his junior, and the besieged couple escapes to Yalta, the faded Crimean resort of Kotler's youth. There, shockingly, Kotler comes face-to-face with the former friend whose denunciation sent him to the Gulag almost forty years earlier. In a whirling twenty-four hours, Kotler must face the ultimate reckoning, both with those who have betrayed him and with those whom he has betrayed, including a teenage daughter, a son facing his own moral dilemma in the Israeli army, and the wife who once campaigned to secure his freedom and stood by him through so much.
 
Stubborn, wry, and self-knowing, Baruch Kotler is one of the great creations of contemporary fiction. An aging man grasping for a final passion, he is drawn inexorably into a crucible that is both personal and biblical in scope. In prose that is elegant, sly, precise, and devastating in its awareness of the human heart, David Bezmozgis has rendered a story for the ages, an inquest into the nature of fate and consequence, love and forgiveness. The Betrayers" is a high-wire act, a powerful tale of morality and sacrifice that will haunt readers long after they turn the final page. 
 
Praise for The Betrayers
The Betrayers is a moral thriller in the tradition of Bernard Malamud, but the generosity, grace, and wisdom of the writing belong entirely to David Bezmozgis. The magic of fiction is that it makes the reader care deeply about imaginary strangers, and Bezmozgis is a magician.”—Aleksandar Hemon, National Book Award finalist for The Lazarus Project
“This outstanding novel definitively establishes David Bezmozgis as one of the foremost writers of his generation.”
—Ben Fountain, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
“This unforgettable novel squanders no words in its brilliant, deft depictions of love, of memory, of compassion—and, ultimately, despite its title, of loyalty.”—Edith Pearlman, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award forBinocular Vision 
David Bezmozgis moved from Latvia to Canada at the age of six. After studying English literature at McGill University and fine arts at the Southern California School of Cinema-Television, he created his first documentary in 1999, entitled L.A. Mohel, capturing the busy lives of three mohels (Jewish ritual circumcisers) in Los Angeles. His debut short story collection, Natasha and Other Stories, won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book and was nominated for a Governor General's Award. Bezmozgis is currently a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.
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BARBARA THOMASON presents 100 NOT SO FAMOUS VIEWS OF L.A., in conversation with DAVID ULIN

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on September 26th, 2014

100 Not So Famous Views of L.A. (Prospect Park Books)

Join us tonight for a very special visual presentation by local painter Barbara Thomason.

For four years, artist Barbara Thomason roamed her beloved Los Angeles, seeking the vistas, nooks, bridges, signs, streets, and landmarks that most captivated her. Inspired by the color, compositions, and tonal changes of Hiroshige’s acclaimed print series One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, this grand project resulted in one hundred paintings, all of which Thomason executed in Cel-Vinyl to resemble woodblock ink in texture and tone.

Each of these original paintings have now been beautifully reproduced and are accompanied by the artist’s personal commentary and historical insight about her subject matter—an alchemical mix that results in a unique and splendid tour of the vibrancy, quirkiness, charm, and essential personality of a great American city.

Praise for 100 Not So Famous Views of L.A.

“This is Los Angeles without its history of forgetting, no longer rootless, placeless, but instead, through Thomason’s transforming imagination, the embodiment of place.”—David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times book critic (from the Foreword)

“Everyone who loves L.A. is going to want this book. Once you get the idea, it becomes addicting—you're compelled to pore over each page. She had me at Felix, the strangely ironic cat that lorded over all of my really awful late-night food choices as an undergrad at USC. It’s the perfect hostess/Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/anyone who lives in or has ever loved L.A. gift.” —Greg Freitas, Traveler’s Bookcase (Los Angeles, CA)

Barbara Thomason is a Los Angeles-based artist and professor of printmaking, sculpture, and painting at California Polytechnic University, Pomona. Her paintings, drawings, and prints have been shown in exhibitions at many galleries, museums, and universities. She received a masters degree in printmaking from California State University, Long Beach, and worked as a master printer in lithography at the renowned Gemini G.E.L., where she printed for Robert Rauschenberg, Claes Oldenberg, Jasper Johns, Frank Stella, Ed Ruscha, Ellsworh Kelly, and many others. She has been on the art faculty at the University of California, Santa Cruz; University of Redlands; Otis College of Art and Design; and other fine institutions.

David Ulin" is a book critic for the Los Angeles Times and the editor of The Library of America's Writing Los Angeles.

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COURTNEY MORENO reads her novel IN CASE OF EMERGENCY

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on September 26th, 2014

In Case of Emergency (McSweeney's)

Join us as we celebrate the release of the debut novel from this award-winning writer. 

What do you do when you can’t function? After rookie EMT Piper Gallagher responds to a call outside a Los Angeles shopping mall for a man who can only tell her, "I can’t function," the question begins to haunt her.

How will Piper continue to function despite the horror she sees working in South Central, and despite her own fractured past? And how will the woman Piper loves continue to function as she experiences the aftershocks of her time spent serving in Iraq?

Piper’s experiences as a rookie break her down and open her up. This vivid and visceral debut is a rich study in trauma—in its causes and effects, in its methods and disguises, in its power and its pull. 

Praise for In Case of Emergency:
"Moreno writes about physical and emotional damage with such precision that the reader feels supine, strapped into her own ambulance, careening from page to page. It's a story about the greatest emergency of all: the plight of being a human with a fragile heart, beating amidst all these dangers." —Joshua Mohr, author of Some Things That Meant the World to Me

"Piper may be a rookie with a lot to learn, but Moreno’s inspiring debut reads like it’s been written by someone with years of experience already under her belt." —K.M. Soehnlein, author of Robin and Ruby and The World of Normal Boys

Courtney Moreno's award-winning writing has been published in LA Weekly and Best American Nonrequired Reading. She received a B.S. in molecular biology from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of San Francisco. During the ten years in between, she worked as an entomologist’s assistant, lab technician, clinical research coordinator, stagehand, set carpenter, modern and aerial dancer, EMT, and field training officer. She lives in San Francisco. 

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SHEILA HETI, HEIDI JULAVITS, and LEANNE SHAPTON present their book WOMEN IN CLOTHES

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on September 26th, 2014

Women in Clothes (Blue Rider)

Skylight Books is thrilled to present three phenomenal writers -- Sheila Heti (How Should a Person Be?), Heidi Julavits (The Vanishers), and Leanne Shapton (Important Artifacts) -- for a discussion on their highly anticipated new book, Women in Clothes.

This event will feature a clothing swap!  Attendees are encouraged to bring one special item of clothing that you’d like to swap, with your name and an interesting detail about the garment pinned to the piece. Men are welcome to participate in the swap, too. You don’t have to bring an item to attend, but we encourage it. All leftover clothing will be donated.

Women in Clothes is a book unlike any other. It is essentially a conversation among hundreds of women of all nationalities--famous, anonymous, religious, secular, married, single, young, old--on the subject of clothing, and how the garments we put on every day define and shape our lives. 

It began with a survey. The editors composed a list of more than fifty questions designed to prompt women to think more deeply about their personal style. Writers, activists, and artists including Cindy Sherman, Kim Gordon, Kalpona Akter, Sarah Nicole Prickett, Tavi Gevinson, Miranda July, Roxane Gay, Lena Dunham, and Molly Ringwald answered these questions with photographs, interviews, personal testimonies, and illustrations. 

Even our most basic clothing choices can give us confidence, show the connection between our appearance and our habits of mind, express our values and our politics, bond us with our friends, or function as armor or disguise. They are the tools we use to reinvent ourselves and to transform how others see us. Women in Clothes embraces the complexity of women's style decisions, revealing the sometimes funny, sometimes strange, always thoughtful impulses that influence our daily ritual of getting dressed. 

Praise for Women in Clothes:
"Thoughtfully crafted and visually entertaining.... A provocative time capsule of contemporary womanhood, this collection is highly recommended." --Publishers Weekly

"Poems, interviews, pieces that read like diary or journal entries—all these responses help the editors fulfill their aims: to liberate readers from the idea that women have to fit a certain image or ideal, to show the connection between dress and 'habits of mind,' and to offer readers 'a new way of interpreting their outsides.' 'What are my values?' one woman asks. 'What do I want to express?' Those questions inform the multitude of eclectic responses gathered in this delightfully idiosyncratic book." --Kirkus Reviews

Sheila Heti is the author of five books, including the critically acclaimed How Should a Person Be? She writes regularly for the London Review of Books, and collaborates frequently with other writers and artists. She lives in Toronto.

Heidi Julavits is the author of four novels, most recently The Vanishers, winner of the PEN/New England Fiction Award. She is a founding editor of The Believer and an associate professor at Columbia University.

Leanne Shapton is a Canadian artist, author, and publisher based in New York City. She is the author of Important Artifacts and Swimming Studies, winner of the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography.

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JUNOT DIAZ reads from THIS IS HOW YOU LOSE HER

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on September 26th, 2014
This Is How You Lose Her (Riverhead Books)
 
Join us tonight for a very special reading from one of our generation's most celebrated writers, Junot Diaz! Junot is visiting Los Angeles for the Library Foundation of Los Angeles' 22nd Anniversary Celebration, during which he will receive the Los Angeles Public Library's 2014 Literary Award. To learn more about the work of the Library Foundation, visit lfla.org.
Junot Díaz’s first book, Drown, established him as a major new writer with “the dispassionate eye of a journalist and the tongue of a poet” (Newsweek). His first novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, was a literary sensation, topping best-of-the-year lists and winning a host of major awards, including the Pulitzer Prize.  Now Díaz turns his remarkable talent to the haunting, impossible power of love—obsessive love, illicit love, fading love, maternal love.
 
This Is How You Lose Her (Riverhead) is one of the most celebrated books of last year. In prose that is endlessly energetic, inventive, tender, and funny, Díaz’s stories lay bare the infinite longing and inevitable weakness of the human heart. They remind us that passion always triumphs over experience, and that “the half-life of love is forever.”
 
At the heart of these stories is the irrepressible, irresistible Yunior, a young hardhead whose longing for love is equaled only by his recklessness—and by the extraordinary women he loves and loses: artistic Alma; the aging Miss Lora; Magdalena, who thinks all Dominican men are cheaters; and the love of his life, whose heartbreak ultimately becomes his own. 
 
Praise for This Is How You Lose Her
 
"Junot Diaz writes in an idiom so electrifying and distinct it's practically an act of aggression, at once enthralling, even erotic in its assertion of sudden intimacy... [It is] a syncopated swagger-step between opacity and transparency, exclusion and inclusion, defiance and desire... His prose style is so irresistible, so sheerly entertaining, it risks blinding readers to its larger offerings. Yet he weds form so ideally to content that instead of blinding us, it becomes the very lens through which we can see the joy and suffering of the signature Diaz subject: what it means to belong to a diaspora, to live out the possibilities and ambiguities of perpetual insider/outsider status." -"The New York Times Book Review " 
 
"Nobody does scrappy, sassy, twice-the-speed of sound dialogue better than Junot Diaz. His exuberant short story collection, called This Is How You Lose Her, charts the lives of Dominican immigrants for whom the promise of America comes down to a minimum-wage paycheck, an occasional walk to a movie in a mall and the momentary escape of a grappling in bed." -Maureen Corrigan, NPR 
 
"Exhibits the potent blend of literary eloquence and street cred that earned him a Pulitzer Prize... Diaz's prose is vulgar, brave, and poetic." -"O Magazine" 
 
"Searing, irresistible new stories... It's a harsh world Diaz conjures but one filled also with beauty and humor and buoyed by the stubborn resilience of the human spirit." -"People "  
 
Junot Diaz was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New Jersey. He is the author of the critically acclaimed DrownThe Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award; and This Is How You Lose Her, a New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist. He is the recipient of a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship, PEN/Malamud Award, Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship, and PEN/O. Henry Award. A graduate of Rutgers College, Diaz is currently the fiction editor at Boston Review and the Rudge and Nancy Allen Professor of Writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 
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