BRANDY COLBERT READS FROM HER YA NOVEL LITTLE & LION AND STEPHANIE KUEHN READS FROM HER YA NOVEL WHEN I AM TRHOUGH WITH YOU

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Y/A, Young Adult, fiction by skylightbooks on May 22nd, 2018

When Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she isn’t sure if she’ll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (along with her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support.

But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new . . . the same girl her brother is in love with. When Lionel’s disorder spirals out of control, Suzette is forced to confront her past mistakes and find a way to help her brother before he hurts himself—or worse.

When I Am Through with You (Dutton Books for Young Readers)

“This isn’t meant to be a confession. Not in any spiritual sense of the word. Yes, I’m in jail at the moment. I imagine I’ll be here for a long time, considering. But I’m not writing this down for absolution and I’m not seeking forgiveness, not even from myself. Because I’m not sorry for what I did to Rose. I’m just not. Not for any of it.”

Ben Gibson is many things, but he’s not sorry and he’s not a liar. He will tell you exactly about what happened on what started as a simple school camping trip in the mountains. About who lived and who died. About who killed and who had the best of intentions. But he’s going to tell you in his own time. Because after what happened on that mountain, time is the one thing he has plenty of.

When I Am Through With You is a gripping story of survival and the razor’s-edge difference between perfect cruelty and perfect love. 

Brandy Colbert is the author of the young adult novel Pointe, which was named a best book of the year by Publishers Weekly, Book Riot, the Chicago and Los Angeles public libraries, and Bank Street, as well as a Popular Paperback by the American Library Association. Her short fiction and essays have been published in several critically acclaimed anthologies, and her next novel, Little & Lion, will be published in August 2017. She lives and writes in Los Angeles.

Stephanie Kuehn is the critically acclaimed author of four young adult novels, including Charm & Strange, which won the ALA's William C. Morris Award for best debut novel, and Complicit, which was named to YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults list. She was also awarded the PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship for her most recent novel, The Smaller Evil. Booklist has praised her work as "Intelligent, compulsively readable literary fiction with a dark twist." Stephanie lives in Northern California and is a post-doctoral fellow in clinical psychology.

Event date: 
Saturday, August 26, 2017 - 5:00pm
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ALICIA MALONE DISCUSSES HER BOOK BACKWARDS AND IN HEELS WITH MAUDE GARRETT

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Feminism, Film, Cinema, women in film by skylightbooks on May 22nd, 2018

"After all, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did. She just did it backwards and in high heels..." - Ann Richards

Women have been instrumental in the success of American cinema since its very beginning. One of the first people to ever pick up a motion picture camera was a woman. As was the first screenwriter to win two Academy Awards, the inventor of the boom microphone and the first person to be credited with the title Film Editor. Throughout the entire history of Hollywood women have been revolutionizing, innovating, and shaping how we make movies. Yet their stories are rarely shared.

This is what film reporter Alicia Malone wants to change. "Backwards and in Heels" tells the history of women in film in a different way, with stories about incredible ladies who made their mark throughout each era of Hollywood. From the first women directors, to the iconic movie stars, and present day activists. Each of these stories are inspiring in the accomplishments of women, and they also highlight the specific obstacles women have had to face. "Backwards and in Heels" combines research and exclusive interviews with influential women and men working in Hollywood today, such as Geena Davis, J.J. Abrams, Ava DuVernay, Octavia Spencer, America Ferrera, Paul Feig, Todd Fisher and many more, as well as film professors, historians and experts.

Think of Backwards and in Heels as a guidebook, your entry into the complex world of women in film. Join Alicia Malone as she champions Hollywood women of the past and present, and looks to the future with the hopes of leveling out the playing field.

Alicia Malone is a film reporter, host, writer and self-confessed movie geek. She first gained notice hosting movie-centric shows and reviewing films in her native Australia, before making the leap to Los Angeles in 2011.

Since then, Alicia has appeared on CNN, the Today show, MSNBC, NPR and many more as a film expert. Currently, she is a host on FilmStruck, a cinephile subscription streaming service run by the Criterion Collection and Turner Classic Movies, and she is the creator and host of the weekly show, Indie Movie Guide on Fandango.

Alicia is passionate about classic films, independent movies and supporting women in film. In 2015, Alicia gave a TEDx talk about the lack of women working in film and why this is important to change. In 2017, she was invited to give a second TEDx talk, where she spoke about the hidden stories of the earliest women working in Hollywood. Alicia has also spoken at conferences around America, and because of this, was named of one the 100 Worthy Women of 2016.

Alicia has traveled the world to cover the BAFTAs, the Oscars, the Cannes Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival and SXSW. She is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, and over the years has interviewed hundreds of movie stars and filmmakers.

She also wrote this bio, but knew it would sound way less egotistical if written in third person.

Maude Garrett has spent over a decade as a host on all forms of media including television, radio and digital on an array of shows, but she tries her hardest to keep creating content about her favorite topic: geekdom, founding Geek Bomb back in 2012. Maude's other claim to fame is being best friends with Alicia Malone…

Event date: 
Sunday, August 20, 2017 - 5:00pm
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JOANNA NOVAK READS FROM HER DEBUT NOVEL I MUST HAVE YOU

Posted in book stores, books, fiction, Eating Disorders, Drugs by skylightbooks on May 20th, 2018

The year is 1999, and thirteen-year-old Elliot is a self-appointed "diet coach" who teaches her classmates how to survive on one stick of gum a day to get heroin-chic, Kate Moss thin. Elliot is obsessed with her best friend and former "client" Lisa, who is fresh out of inpatient treatment and dating a nineteen-year-old drug dealer. Meanwhile, Elliot's mother Anna, a capricious poetry professor, has a drug addiction and eating disorder of her own. When Lisa transfers her fixation from food to sex with her boyfriend, Elliot's fragile grip on reality begins to falter, at the same that time that Anna's fascination with the object of her own blind lust, the student who relinquishes his cocaine to her during office hours begins to consume her. I Must Have You is the story of what happens one three-day weekend in an explosion of desire, hunger, and lost innocence.

JoAnna Novak's kaleidoscope of 1990s America, filled with vibrant imagery from riot grrl graffiti to Michael Jordan posters, offers a vision of the complexities of womanhood and the culture that keeps the modern girl sick. I Must Have You is a provocative debut of rare honesty from a daring new voice. Similar to the works of Miranda July, Novak's novel will appeal to a new generation of readers who hunger for raw female protagonists.

Praise for I Must Have You

"I Must Have You is a book about girls―their secret languages and private codes, their painful preoccupations and complex compulsions, and their scary tendency, when caught in the gazes of society, men, (and worst, each other), to diminish themselves―sometimes to the point of disappearing completely. With risky, confident prose and brazen psychological renderings―not to mention a knack for getting the 90's just right―Novak takes us on a seductive, uncharted journey through modern womanhood, obsession and illness. I can honestly say I have never read anything like this book." ―Molly Pretiss, author of Tuesday Nights in 1980 "I Must Have You is a devastating novel about loving and trying to destroy one’s own body."―Ramona Ausubel, author of Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty 

"I Must Have You showcases JoAnna Novak's raw, real, and vivid voice in the character of Elliott, a sharp-tongued, sharp-witted, and complex young heroine unlike any we've met. Novak's intelligent, funny, frightening, and deeply felt novel bravely goes where this genre has not gone before: into the darker reaches of a culture that casts a long shadow across the lives of girls and women today. Novak explores the extent of our longing, and—ultimately—the source of our strength."—Marya Hornbacher, New York Times Bestselling Author of MadnessWasted, and others.

"JoAnna Novak's voice is unforgettable and her irreverent, addictive debut is sure to position her as one of the great stylists of her generation. I Must Have You is a brilliant and candid look at what it means to be a girl in this world; it's a meditation on hunger, on wanting, on the things and people that consume us, and on the things and people that we long to consume. A truly exciting, beautiful novel."—Diana Spechler, author of Who By Fire and Skinny 

I Must Have You presents a harrowing and immersive story of compulsion and disorder, addiction and obsession, with frequent detours through the teenage cultural wasteland of the late nineties, all rendered in JoAnna Novak’s crazed, slang-stilted, glinting prose.”—Teddy Wayne, author of Loner 

"JoAnna Novak's I Must Have You is a rhapsodic, tumbling, yet rigorously controlled excavation of the secret worlds within us all. Her characters hurtle toward the painful pleasure of self-destruction, uninterested in stopping themselves, determined to find the next prick to make them feel alive. It's a visceral process, like picking off a scab. This is a necessary book."—Sarah Gerard, author of Binary Star 

"I Must Have You is a tragic, funny, and moving coming-of-age story. It was impossible not to be swept up in JoAnna Novak's gorgeous, inventive prose, or to stop yourself from falling in love with her irreverent, wild, and ultimately human characters. I loved every word."—Anton DiSclafani, New York Times Bestselling author of The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls and The After Party

"Novak looks unflinchingly at the precarious attachments between female peers, mother and daughters, during some dangerous, inchoate transitions. With exacting prose she explores the the shadow terrain of female attachment, one that is uncertain at best, dangerous at worst. This is a book you'll want to look away from for its familiarity and its honesty, but you won't be able to. This story is nothing if not a disorienting mediation on the tangle of self-loathing, loneliness, and a desire for oblivion that so many women privately hold."—Rebecca Rotert, author of Last Night at the Blue Angel

JoAnna Novak's debut novel I Must Have You will be published in May 2017 and a book-length poem, Noirmania, will be published in 2018. She has written fiction, essays, poetry, and criticism for publications including Salon, Guernica, BOMBThe Rumpus, Conjunctions, and Joyland. She received her MFA in fiction from Washington University and her MFA in poetry from University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is a co-founder of the literary journal and chapbook publisher, Tammy. She lives in Los Angeles. 

 
 
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JARETT KOBEK READS FROM HIS NOVEL THE FUTURE WON’T BE LONG WITH JAMES ST. JAMES

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, New York, fiction by skylightbooks on May 16th, 2018

Jarett Kobek published his first novel, I Hate the Internet, last year with a small indie publisher and it immediately took on cult status. Kobek received a rave review from Dwight Garner in The New York Times, who described the novel “as a glimpse at a lively mind at full boil.” Jonathan Lethem declared Kobek “as riotous as Houellebecq,” and Bret Easton Ellis was photographed reading it in bed. Viking is thrilled to be publishing Kobek’s brilliant and epic follow-up novel, The Future Won't Be Long, a provocative, ecstatic story of friendship, sex, art, and ambition in the twilight days of New York City’s East Village (1986-1996).

The Future Won't Be Long centers on Adeline—featured years later in I Hate the Internet—a wealthy art student in New York City who chances upon a young man from the Midwest known only as Baby in a shady East Village squat. The two begin a fiery friendship which propels them through a decade of New York life punctuated by the deaths of Warhol, Basquiat, Wojnarowicz, by the Tompkins Square Park riots, and by the rise of club kid culture. Adeline is fiercely protective of Baby, but he soon takes over his own education. Once just a kid off the bus from Wisconsin, Baby soon finds himself at the center of the club kid social scene, cavorting with Michael Alig and James St. James at The Tunnel, Limelight, and Alig’s infamous “Outlaw Party” at a midtown McDonald’s. As Adeline and Baby both develop into the artists they never expected to become, Kobek pays tribute to the last gasps of the gritty, drug-fueled scene of the East Village as gentrifiers begin to trickle in. Kobek, himself a graduate of NYU, writes with a native’s sensitivity to New York, especially about those who come here with hope and those who come to escape their pasts. Riotously funny and wise, The Future Won't Be Long is a euphoric, propulsive novel coursing with a rare vitality, an elegy to New York and to the relationships that have the power to change—and save—our lives.

Jarett Kobek is a Turkish American writer living in California. He is the author of the novel I Hate the Internet (2016) and the novella Atta (2011)

James St. James who was once dubbed a "celebutante" by Newsweek magazine, now leads a quiet, sedate existence in Los Angeles, far from the madness that he writes about. 

Event date: 
Thursday, August 17, 2017 - 7:30pm
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TOM PERROTTA READS FROM HIS NEW NOVEL MRS. FLETCHER

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, fiction by skylightbooks on May 3rd, 2018

A provocative and wildly funny look at parenthood, the empty nest, and sex in the suburbs.

Eve (the eponymous Mrs. Fletcher) is a single mother, divorced and raising her amiable but clueless son Brendan in the suburbs. When he heads off to college, they must both contend with life on their own. Eve takes a gender studies class, braves the local dating pool, and vastly expands her social–and sexual – circles. Brendan discovers that what impressed high school girls (being a jock, being popular) might not be so enticing to college women.

Along with Eve and Brendan, Perrotta introduces us to a cast of flawed but deeply sympathetic characters, many of whom are stretching themselves and enjoying it. There’s Amanda, Eve’s employee at the local senior center, beleaguered but doing her best to provide the seniors with stimulating programming (at times, a little too stimulating). There’s Margo, Eve’s transgender professor, whose dark personal history is belied by her ebullient nature. Amber, Brendan’s college girlfriend, is a softball-playing social justice warrior whose romantic impulses conflict with her politics. And then there’s Julian, a smart but troubled kid from Brendan’s class, whose life becomes entangled with both Brendan’s and Eve’s. Perrotta brings all these characters vividly to life with great generosity and compassion.

Most of all, though, Mrs. Fletcher is all about Eve. This is a coming of age novel in which the character who grows and changes is (refreshingly!) not an eighteen-year-old but a forty-six- year-old. Eve comes a long way, and her journey is a brilliant, funny story of sexual awakening in unexpected places.

Praise for Mrs. Fletcher

“From the thrill of learning of its existence, to the feverish turning of pages, to the contemplative afterglow that comes from having finished:  there’s nothing like a new Tom Perrotta novel. Mrs. Fletcher is all you dream it will be: hilarious, provocative, (a little too), relatable and every moment a joy ride.”— Maria Semple, bestselling author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette and Today Will Be Different

“Tom Perrotta has always been a smart, fearless writer, a wet-your- pants funny satirist who will in the very next sentence ambush you with genuine emotion.  Buckle your seat belt and surrender your dignity, because Mrs. Fletcher is a romp.”— Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author ofEmpire Falls

Tom Perrotta is the bestselling author of eight works of fiction, including Election and Little Children, both of which were made into critically acclaimed movies, and The Leftovers, which was adapted into an HBO series. He lives outside Boston.

Event date: 
Tuesday, August 15, 2017 - 7:30pm
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MIMI POND DISCUSSES HER GRAPHIC NOVEL THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS WRONG WITH WAYNE WHITE

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Comics/Graphic Novels, Oakland by skylightbooks on April 24th, 2018

Join LA-based cartoonist Mimi Pond for the launch of her highly-anticipated graphic novel The Customer Is Always Wrong. Told in the same brash yet earnest style as her previous memoir Over Easy, The Customer is Always Wrong is the saga of a young naïve artist named Madge working in a restaurant of charming drunks, junkies, thieves, and creeps. Taking place in Oakland in the late seventies, Pond’s story details the trials and tribulations of Madge’s daily grind as a waitress at the Imperial Cafe.

Mimi Pond is a cartoonist, illustrator, and writer. She has created comics for the Los Angeles Times, Seventeen magazine, National Lampoon, and many other publications. She has also written for television: her credits include the first full-length episode of The Simpsons, “Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire”, and episodes for the television shows Designing Women andPee Wee’s Playhouse. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, the painter Wayne White.

Wayne White was born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Originally White built his reputation as a world-class illustrator, animator, puppeteer, cartoonist and art director in New York and Los Angeles. He is most well-known as the Emmy-award-winning set and puppet designer of the seminal and influential 1980s children’s TV show “Pee-wee’s Playhouse.” In the last 16 years, White’s reputation in the art world has been firmly established with his masterfully created word paintings and for his rollicking, site-specific installations. He lives in Los Angeles.

Event date: 
Saturday, August 12, 2017 - 5:00pm
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LINDSAY HUNTER READS FROM HER NOVEL EAT ONLY WHEN YOU’RE HUNGRY WITH ROXANE GAY

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books by skylightbooks on April 24th, 2018

A father searches for his addict son while grappling with his own choices as a parent (and as a user of sorts)

Achingly funny and full of feeling, Eat Only When You’re Hungry follows fifty-eight-year-old Greg as he searches for his son, GJ, an addict who has been missing for three weeks. Greg is bored, demoralized, obese, and as dubious of GJ’s desire to be found as he is of his own motivation to go looking. Almost on a whim, Greg embarks on a road trip to central Florida—a noble search for his son, or so he tells himself.

Greg takes us on a tour of highway and roadside, of Taco Bell, KFC, gas-station Slurpees, sticky strip-club floors, pooling sweat, candy wrappers and crumpled panes of cellophane and wrinkled plastic bags tumbling along the interstate. This is the America Greg knows, one he feels closer to than to his youthful idealism, closer even than to his younger second wife. As his journey continues, through drive-thru windows and into the living rooms of his alluring ex-wife and his distant, curmudgeonly father, Greg’s urgent search for GJ slowly recedes into the background, replaced with a painstaking, illuminating, and unavoidable look at Greg’s own mistakes—as a father, as a husband, and as a man.

Brimming with the same visceral regret and joy that leak from the fast food Greg inhales, Eat Only When You’re Hungry is a wild and biting study of addiction, perseverance, and the insurmountable struggle to change. With America’s desolate underbelly serving as her guide, Lindsay Hunter elicits a singular type of sympathy for her characters, using them to challenge our preconceived notions about addiction and to explore the innumerable ways we fail ourselves.

Praise for Eat Only When You're Hungry

"[A] commanding narrative . . . A savage tale of parenthood and squandered hope from an author whose unsparing eye never ceases to subvert the mundane." —Kirkus

"Hunter's absurd Floridian landscapes and darkly tender moments are keen and hilarious, exposing the complexities of addiction and an overweight man with a weak heart but unfailing love." —Booklist

"The frailties of the human body and the human heart are laid bare in Lindsay Hunter’s utterly superb novel Eat Only When You’re Hungry. There is real delicacy, tenderness, and intelligence with which Hunter tackles this portrait of a broken family of people who don’t realize just how broken they are until they are forced to confront the fractures between them and within themselves. With this novel, Hunter establishes herself as an unforgettable voice in American letters. Her work here, as ever, is unparalleled." —Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist

"This novel takes us on a road trip with an American Everyman into the heart of American hunger—for freedom, for connection, for junk food, for love. Hunter has a brilliant sense for the perfectly telling image, and her humor is so biting and smart it was almost a surprise, at the end of this engrossing book, to realize how thoroughly she had broken my heart.” —Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You

"Compassionate, claustrophobic, gut-wrenchingly observed, Eat Only When You’re Hungry probes the fine lines between hunger and addiction, addiction and desire. In perfectly nuanced prose, Lindsay Hunter observes the human ability to go on in the face of the unexpected, the unknown, the regretted, and, perhaps most important, the mundane." —Lori Ostlund, author of After the Parade

Lindsay Hunter is the author of the story collections Don’t Kiss Me and Daddy’s and the novel Ugly Girls. Originally from Florida, she now lives in Chicago with her husband, sons, and dogs.

Photo by Liliane Calfee

Roxane Gay is the author of the novel An Untamed State, which was a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Fiction; the essay collection Bad FeministAyiti, a multi-genre collection, the collection of stories Difficult Women and the memoir, Hunger. She is at work on a comic book in Marvel’s Black Panther series. Her writing has appeared in Best American Short Stories 2012the New York Timesthe Guardian, and many others. She is a recipient of the PEN Center USA Freedom to Write Award, among other honors. She splits her time between Indiana and Los Angeles. She can be found online at www.roxanegay.com and on Twitter @rgay.

Event date: 
Thursday, August 10, 2017 - 7:30pm
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DANIELLE DAVIS READS FROM HER BOOK ZINNIA AND THE BEES

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Children's Fiction, Bees by skylightbooks on April 18th, 2018

A colony of honeybees mistakes seventh-grader Zinnia’s hair for a hive — and that’s the least of her problems. While Zinnia's classmates are celebrating the last day of seventh grade, she's in the vice principal's office, serving detention. Her offense? Harmlessly yarn-bombing a statue of the school mascot. When Zinnia rushes home to commiserate with her older brother and best friend, Adam, she's devastated to discover that he's gone — with no explanation. Zinnia’s day surely can't get any worse . . . until a colony of honeybees inhabits her hive-like hair! Infused with magical realism, Danielle Davis delivers a quirky, heartfelt debut, exploring both the complex life of a young loner and a comical hive of honeybees. Together, these alternating and unexpected perspectives will touch anyone who has ever felt alone, betrayed, or misunderstood.

Danielle Davis grew up in Singapore and Hong Kong and now lives in Los Angeles where she reads, writes, and roller skates. She’s earned an M.A. in Literature and Creative Writing and her short stories have been published in literary magazines. She’s had the privilege of teaching English to middle school and community college students and currently volunteers with literary organizations in L.A. Zinnia and the Bees is her first novel.

Event date: 
Saturday, August 5, 2017 - 5:00pm
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CHRISTA FAUST AND GARY PHILLIPS READ FROM THEIR COMIC PEEPLAND

Posted in literature, los angeles, book stores, books, Comics/Graphic Novels, Crime, New York by skylightbooks on April 17th, 2018

Times Square, 1986: the home of New York’s red light district where strip clubs, porno theatres and petty crime prevails. 

When a chance encounter for Peepbooth worker Roxy Bell leads to the brutal murder of a public access pornographer, the erotic performer and her punk rock ex-partner Nick Zero soon find themselves under fire from criminals, cops, and the city elite, as they begin to untangle a complex web of corruption leading right to city hall.

Like The Naked City, there are eight million stories in The Deuce. This is one of them.

Praise for Peepland 

 "Don’t let the bright lights in PEEPLAND’s pages fool you into thinking this story is sweet. This graphic novel is rife with pain, suffering and death. There are some moments of rightful justice, tender warmth, and laugh-out-loud humor. PEEPLAND is a story that I would not hesitate to call beautiful. However, it’s not for the faint of heart. This story is surprisingly honest, realistic and harsh in how it handles the fate of its characters. Writers Christa Faust and Gary Phillips, along with artist Andrea Camerini, craft a beautiful work of art together. So, cash in your token and sit down. You’re about to read something you won’t forget."--Mya Nunnelly, Comicverse 

Gary Phillips has published various crime novels, short stories, edited anthologies, written comics and radio scripts and whatever else he can to forestall his appointment at the crossroads.

Christa Faust a hardboiled crime writer who has worked in the Times Square peep booths, as a professional dominatrix, and in the adult film industry both behind and in front of the cameras. Born and raised in NYC, she is now living as an ex-pat in La La Land. 

 

Event date: 
Wednesday, August 2, 2017 - 7:30pm
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RYAN GATTIS READS FROM HIS NEW NOVEL SAFE

Posted in literature, los angeles, book stores, books, Crime by skylightbooks on April 16th, 2018

A gritty, fast-paced thriller, Safe hurtles readers toward a shocking conclusion that asks the toughest question of all: how far would you go to protect the ones you love?

Ricky 'Ghost' Mendoza, Jr. is trying to be good. In recovery and working as a freelance safecracker for the DEA, the FBI, and any other government agency willing to pay him, Ghost is determined to live clean for the rest of his days. And maybe he could, if the most important person in his life hadn't gotten into serious financial trouble. To fix it, all Ghost has to do is crack a safe and steal drug money from under the noses of the gangs and the Feds without getting caught. Or killed.

Rudy 'Glasses' Reyes runs drugs and cleans up messes for the baddest of bad men. When Ghost hits one of his safes, Glasses must hunt him down or be held accountable. But Glasses is worried about more than just money. The heist puts everything in his life at risk--his livelihood, his freedom, even his family.

Ryan Gattis is the author of Kung Fu High School and All Involved, a novel about the 1992 L.A. riots. He lives in Los Angeles.

Event date: 
Tuesday, August 1, 2017 - 7:30pm
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ADITI KHORANA READS FROM HER NEW NOVEL THE LIBRARY OF FATES

Posted in literature, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on April 10th, 2018

A romantic coming-of-age fantasy tale steeped in Indian folklore, perfect for fans of The Star-Touched Queen and The Wrath and the Dawn.

No one is entirely certain what brings the Emperor Sikander to Shalingar. Until now, the idyllic kingdom has been immune to his many violent conquests. To keep the visit friendly, Princess Amrita has offered herself as his bride, sacrificing everything—family, her childhood love, and her freedom—to save her people. But her offer isn't enough.

The palace is soon under siege, and Amrita finds herself a fugitive, utterly alone but for an oracle named Thala, who was kept by Sikander as a slave and managed to escape amid the chaos. With nothing and no one else to turn to, Amrita and Thala are forced to rely on one another. But while Amrita feels responsible for her kingdom and sets out to warn her people, the newly free Thala has no such ties. She encourages Amrita to go on a quest to find the fabled Library of All Things, where it is possible for each of them to reverse their fates. To go back to before Sikander took everything from them. 

Stripped of all that she loves, caught between her rosy past and an unknown future, will Amrita be able to restore what was lost, or does another life—and another love—await?

Praise for The Library of Fates:

"[R]ich, beautiful worldbuilding and thought-provoking questions on the power of experience, stories, and fate..."—Kirkus Reviews

"Khorana's dazzling second book features a sweeping quest, sumptuous romance and complex heroines. This is the kind of book that lingers in your dreams."—Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen

"The Library of Fates transported me to a magical kingdom where troubled oracles, irreverent goddesses, and megalomaniacal kings battle for control of love and fate. With a rich, real mythology and a stunning twist, it's basically everything I ever wanted in a book."—Heidi Heilig, author of The Girl from Everywhere

“I was swept away by this unique, tantalizing tale. The Library of Fates spins a spell that breaks the heart and utterly enchants. An essential addition to any library—magical or not.”—Jessica Khoury, author of the Corpus Trilogy and The Forbidden Wish

Aditi Khorana spent part of her childhood in India, Denmark and New England. She has a degree in International Relations from Brown University and an MA in Global Media and Communications from the Annenberg School for Communication. She has worked as a journalist at ABC News, CNN, and PBS, and most recently as a marketing executive consulting for various Hollywood studios including FOX, Paramount and SONY.  Mirror in the Sky is her first novel. Her second book, Library of Fates, a feminist historical fantasy set in fictional ancient India, about a louche misogynistic dictator overthrowing a tiny, idyllic kingdom and the women who must wrench it back from him is out July, 2017.

Event date: 
Sunday, July 30, 2017 - 5:00pm
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CHRISTINE PELISEK DISCUSSES HER BOOK THE GRIM SLEEPER WITH DEBORAH VANKIN

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, True Crime, Serial Killers by skylightbooks on April 9th, 2018

In 2006, Christine Pelisek broke the case of a terrifying serial killer who went unchecked in Los Angeles for decades. Two years later, in her cover article for L.A. Weekly, Christine dubbed him "The Grim Sleeper" for his long break between murders. The killer preyed on a community devastated by crime and drugs and left behind a trail of bodies--all women of color, all murdered in a similar fashion, and all discarded in the alleys of South Central.

The case of the Grim Sleeper is unforgettably singular. But it also tells a wider story: about homicide investigations and police-community relations in areas beset by poverty and gang violence; about how a serial killer could roam free for two decades in part due to society’s lack of concern for his chosen victims; and about the persistence of those women's families and the detectives who refused to let the case go cold.
No one knows this story better than Pelisek, the reporter who followed it for more than ten years. Based on extensive interviews, reportage, and information never released to the public, The Grim Sleeper captures the long, bumpy road to justice in one of the most startling true crime stories of our generation.

Christine Pelisek is an award-winning investigative reporter who has been covering crime for almost fifteen years. She is currently the crime reporter for People Magazine, and previously worked at LA Weekly; she has also covered national stories for The Daily Beast and 20/20. She’s been profiled in the Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Columbia Journalism Review, andOttawa Sun, and has been interviewed as a crime expert by CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and Headline News. She lives in Los Angeles. 

 Photo by Amanda Pelisek

Deborah Vankin is an arts and culture writer for the Los Angeles Times. Her award-winning interviews and profiles unearth the trends, issues and personalities in L.A.’s explosive arts scene. She has live-blogged her journey across Los Angeles with the L.A. County Museum of Art’s “big rock,” scaled downtown mural scaffolding with street artist Shepard Fairey, navigated the 101 freeway tracking the 1984 Olympic mural restorations and ridden Doug Aitken’s art train through the Barstow desert. Most recently, she spent a day roller-coastering at Universal Studios with Chinese piano virtuoso Yuja Wang for a profile. Her work as a writer and editor has also appeared in the New York Times, LA Weekly and Variety, among other places. Originally from Philadelphia, she’s the author of the graphic novel “Poseurs.” Her career began, more than a decade ago at the LA Weekly, where she was situated at a desk next to another young, budding reporter, Christine Pelisek...

Event date: 
Saturday, July 29, 2017 - 5:00pm
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TAMARA SHOPSIN DISCUSSES HER GRAPHIC MEMOIR ARBITRARY STUPID GOAL

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, Greenwich Village, New York Memoir, Memoir by skylightbooks on April 7th, 2018

In Arbitrary Stupid Goal, Tamara Shopsin takes the reader on a pointillist time-travel trip to the Greenwich Village of her bohemian 1970s childhood, a funky, tight-knit small town in the big city, long before Sex and the City tours and luxury condos. The center of Tamara’s universe is Shopsin’s, her family’s legendary greasy spoon, aka “The Store,” run by her inimitable dad, Kenny—a loquacious, contrary, huge-hearted man who, aside from dishing up New York’s best egg salad on rye, is Village sheriff, philosopher, and fixer all at once. All comers find a place at Shopsin’s table and feast on Kenny’s tall tales and trenchant advice along with the incomparable chili con carne.

Filled with clever illustrations and witty, nostalgic photographs and graphics, and told in a sly, elliptical narrative that is both hilarious and endearing, Arbitrary Stupid Goal is an offbeat memory-book mosaic about the secrets of living an unconventional life, which is becoming a forgotten art.

Praise for Arbitrary Stupid Goal

Arbitrary Stupid Goal is a completely riveting world—when I looked up from its pages regular life seemed boring and safe and modern like one big iPhone. This book captures not just a lost New York but a whole lost way of life.” —Miranda July

“Tamara Shopsin's illustrations are instantly recognizable: economical, seemingly simple and straightforward, but always working on a few different levels. Tamara the person is similar: quiet but charming and warm and tough and determined. Now it turns out her prose is the same way: funny and playful but revealing, and making us see the world we thought we knew with fresh eyes.” —Christoph Niemann, author of I Lego N.Y.

“Tamara Shopsin’s new memoir is hilarious. Just in like the West Village itself, you zigzag along on a fun adventure, never knowing who you are going to meet. What a fun read!” —Amy Sedaris

“Tamara Shopsin’s memoir is a funny and absorbing portrait of the city in a grubbier, less corporate incarnation. If you believe, as she does—and I do—that New York is, ‘matter-of-fact, the best place on earth,’ then read this book. And if you don’t believe that, after you read this book, you will.” —Roz Chast

"[Shopsin] weaves a marvelous patchwork quilt of stories about a Manhattan that doesn’t exist anymore . . [Arbitrary Stupid Goal is] an artistic ode to a way of life that people now living in New York City might never experience." —Publishers Weekly (Pick of the Week, Starred Review)

"A warm evocation of a quirky life and exuberant times." —Kirkus

"Deeply nostalgic but not at all mawkish, Shopsin’s supremely charming and affecting memoir of growing up in a pre-gentrified Greenwich Village will enchant fans of restaurant lore and postwar New York historyalike. In short, impressionistic chapters illustrated with photos, ephemera, and Shopsin’s own adorably insouciant line drawings, the book conjures a vanished bohemia without any hint of the irritating pedantry that dogs so many of its kind. Shopsin’s parents—familiar to fans of the writer Calvin Trillin and those who’ve seen the documentary I Like Killing Flies—opened Shopsin’s General Store in 1973 and turned it into a restaurant shortly thereafter, one beloved by local weirdos, celebrities, models, artists, and everyone in between. Shopsin, who still works there sometimes, recalls her unconventional childhood and those who shaped it with considerable warmth; she pays special attention to her dad’s late friend, Willy, an outsize personality whom Shopsin cares for in his dotage. Gumball machines, meat slicers, Nazi bunkers, and pancake methodologies all make cameo appearances, much to the reader’s delight.— Eugenia Williamson, Booklist

Tamara Shopsin is a well-known cook at the distinctly New York City eatery Shopsin's, a New York Times and New Yorkerillustrator, and the author of 5 Year Diary and What Is This?, as well as the coauthor of This Equals That and Mumbai New York Scranton. She lives in New York City with her husband.

Event date: 
Thursday, July 27, 2017 - 7:30pm
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EUGENE LIM READS FROM HIS NEW NOVEL DEAR CYBORGS, WITH JANICE LEE, HAROLD ABRAMOWITZ AND KAREN AN-HWEI LEE

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on April 5th, 2018

The novel begins with the friendship between two young, Asian American boys in a small, Midwestern town who bond over their outcast status and shared love of comic books. Meanwhile, in an alternate or perhaps future universe, a team of superheroes debates the efficacy of protest and swaps stories of artistic ennui on their lunch breaks. Recalling the work of Tom McCarthy and Valeria Luiselli, Eugene Lim gleefully toys with narrative conventions—blending Hollywood chase scenes with sharp cultural critiques, hard-boiled detective pulps with subversive philosophy. Unfolding like the revelations of a dream, Dear Cyborgs weaves together the story of a friendship’s dissolution with provocative and lively meditations on creativity and political dissent.

Praise for Dear Cyborgs 

“Eugene Lim’s Dear Cyborgs is a mad badass fan letter to comicdom and a chastening reminder of how America’s greatest fantasy doesn’t involve superheroes with superpowers but the prospect of a fair and honest political life. Go read it in the streets.” —Joshua Cohen, author of Book of Numbers

“Eugene Lim tells his sly superhero tales in a kind of hard-boiled deadpan—a voice at once incongruously comic and playfully soulful. Beneath the dry wit there’s an ache of loneliness, an echo of every comic-book reader’s yearning for the camaraderie of the super team, the intimate enmity of the nemesis.” —Peter Ho Davies, author of The Fortunes

“Eugene Lim’s Dear Cyborgs is a secret tunnel fresh with cool, strange storms. What is it to be super? What is it to be beyond? Dear Cyborgs is ripe with mysteries, heroes, even heartache.” —Samantha Hunt, author of Mr. Splitfoot

“[An] entertaining reflection on art, resistance, heroes, and villains . . . [Dear Cyborgs] is eerily reflective of our fractured times, darting from subject to subject with the speed of a mouse click. A colorful meditation on friendship and creation nested within a fictional universe.” —Kirkus Reviews

Eugene Lim is the author of two novels, Fog & Car and The Strangers. His writing has appeared in Fence, the Denver QuarterlyLittle StarDazedThe Brooklyn Rail, and elsewhere. He is the founder and managing editor of Ellipsis Press and works as a librarian in a high school. He lives in Queens, New York.

Harold Abramowitz is from Los Angeles.  His books include Blind Spot, Not Blessed, Dear Dearly DepartedMan’s Wars And Wickedness: A Book of Proposed Remedies & Extreme Formulations for Curing Hostility, Rivalry, & Ill-Will (with Amanda Ackerman), and UNFO Burns A Million Dollars. Harold co-edits the short-form literary press eohippus labs, and writes and edits as part of the collaborative projects, SAM OR SAMANTHA YAMS and UNFO.

Janice Lee is the author of KEROTAKIS (Dog Horn Press, 2010), Daughter (Jaded Ibis, 2011), Damnation (Penny-Ante Editions, 2013), Reconsolidation (Penny-Ante Editions, 2015), and most recently the essay collection The Sky Isn’t Blue (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2016). She currently lives in Los Angeles and is Editor of the imprint #RECURRENT for Civil Coping Mechanisms, Founder & Executive Editor of Entropy, Assistant Editor at Fanzine, and Co-Editor (w/ Maggie Nelson) of SUBLEVEL, the new online literary magazine based in the CalArts MFA Writing Program. She can be found online at janicel.com.

Karen An-hwei Lee is author of the poetry collections Phyla of Joy (Tupelo 2012), Ardor (Tupelo 2008), In Medias Res (Sarabande 2004), and a novel, Sonata in K (Ellipsis 2017). Currently, Lee lives in San Diego, where she serves in the university administration at Point Loma Nazarene University.

Event date: 
Wednesday, July 26, 2017 - 7:30pm
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CINDY RINNE READS FROM LISTEN TO THE CODEX, WITH SPECIAL GUESTS

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, poetry, native authors, native plants by skylightbooks on April 4th, 2018

The Native Blossoms Chapbook Series embraces poetry of place, exploring connections to the natural landscape, the untamed, the indigenous. Each chapbook, while utilizing themes and concepts that comprise the contemporary American lyric, features at least one poem that takes the botanical name of a wildflower or other flora native to the poet's locale as its title. As Joy Harjo encourages, "See those sensitive hills? They need to be talked to, sung to. . . ."

 Listen to the Codex (Yak Press)

The twenty-eight poems in this collection stitch a tale that interlaces ancient mythology with science fiction. The story we embark upon in these pages is one that is particularly feminine. Skillfully woven together, we encounter figures both mystical and ordinary, ranging from Native tribes and Zen practices to a futuristic self-healing robot. These poems bring together several disparate narrative threads and from them, reconcile an intricate whole. This is Cindy's second chapbook, and fourth poetry collection.

Praise for Listen to the Codex:

“Calling upon the energy of origins, Cindy Rinne’s sensuous Listen to the Codex parallels a woman’s journey with the cycles of the earth. These imaginative poems of opening, embodiment, and surprise bring the sacred to the everyday: lighting candles and sage, invoking meditation, chanting, dirt rituals, and the guidance of a self-healing robot. A book of flight and remembrance, Rinne shows how the act of losing and finding calls us to listen, root ourselves in the natural world, and ‘breathe a circular breath.’"~ Jennifer K. Sweeney author of Little Spells and How to Live on Bread and Music

“Cindy Rinne’s poems are ‘arms of flight,’ ceremonial offerings that create a reality both ancient and modern. In these pages, you’ll meet a feathered unicorn and a self-healing robot, visit planets and stars, and taste a seed that holds ‘the soul of burning earth.’"~ Cynthia Anderson, author of Waking Life

“Cindy Rinne’s chapbook, Listen to the Codex, presents an alternate universe side by side with the one we know. The world of the “codex” is peopled with deer goddesses, Maya gods, sacred spirit snakes, and my favorite, a ‘self-healing robot.’ Alongside, we find the California Interstates 10 and 15 intersecting freeway overpass and the city of Long Beach. Inventive, baroque with imagery, and yet spare, these poems are a striking sampling of Rinne’s gift for capturing mystical moments in ordinary time and space. We are in the mystical past, the real past, the present, and the mystical present all at once. The pristine structure of the collection contrasts with the surrealistic, sci-fi, preternatural content in the poems. Rinne’s talent cannot go unobserved as one journeys through these poems, finding that the Red Madonna meets the self-healing robot. Who knows where it goes from there?”~ Carla McGill, Ph.D., author of Writing Customs blog

Cindy Rinne creates art and writes in San Bernardino, CA. She brings myth to life in a contemporary context. Cindy is the author of Breathe in Daisy, Breathe Out Stones (FutureCycle Press), Quiet Lantern (Turning Point Press), spider with wings (Jamii Publishing), and co-author of Speaking Through Sediment  with Michael Cooper (ELJ Publications). Cindy is a Finalist for the 2016 Hillary Gravendyk Prize, and a founding member of PoetrIE, an Inland Empire-based literary community. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Sea Foam MagazineBlue Heron ReviewGulf Stream Literary MagazineDriftwood PressThe Honest Ulsterman (Northern Ireland), The Whirlwind ReviewBirds Piled LooselyCircleShow and others.

Hover the Bones (Yak Press)

This debut collection digs through the garden of the familiar “ties that bind” — family relationships — to unearth profound connections and upsetting loss. The nineteen poems included in this volume honor the memory of those lost with surprising honesty and emotional clarity. Presented in precise, yet musical language, these poems negotiate a complex landscape with contemplative grace. 

Praise for Hover the Bones:

“In Hover the Bones, burying a miscarried child looks like planting a seed in a garden, and trimming vines feels like taking the place of a dead mother. The book’s epigraph from Audre Lorde reminds us that “we were never meant to survive,” and the final poem leaves us with a peaceful benediction: ‘May we be well. / May we be happy. / May we be free from suffering.’ Melisa Malvin-Middleton has created beauty out of darkness.”     ~ Katie Manning, Founding Editor-in-Chief of Whale Road Review, and author of Tasty Other and The Gospel of the Bleeding Woman

Melisa Malvin-Middleton is a Los Angeles poet, playwright, and musician who teaches writing at California State University, Northridge and College of the Canyons. Her poetry has appeared in Silver Birch PressThe Ofi PressQuail Bell MagazineRogue AgentAngel City Review, and Clear Poetry, while her plays have been performed by Fresh Produce’d and Savage Players.

Night Walks (Yak Press)

This collection of twenty-eight poems travels through backyards, art, myth and focuses on small, familiar moments of light and loss. Carroll’s feminine voice delivers place—carefully framed and exposed—and invites us to grab our maps and join the journey.

Praise for Night Walks:

"Nancy Carroll’s Night Walks is a beautifully crafted collection of tableax that take us on a sensational journey through time and diverse archetypes. From ‘midnight swims around islands and lakes’ to ‘night wanders,’ we visit different eras inhabited by a ‘vagabond moon’ under the poet’s ‘hidden hypnosis.’ Like a skillful architect, she uses ‘stone, geometry, splinters’ to ‘construct new language like whisper, brush, tiptoe.’ Gratefully we delight in her song, where ‘she hangs like rain, strung between two ventricles, two lyres’ and ‘maps every faint implausible dream.’ " ~  Hélène Cardona, poet, translator, actor, and author of Dreaming My Animal Selves

Nancy Carroll received her Master of Arts in English with a concentration in Creative Writing at CSUN. She lives in Los Angeles and teaches composition at LA Valley College. Her poems have appeared in national journals such as BorderlandsREDzineCalifornia Quarterly, and Redheaded Stepchild

Event date: 
Sunday, July 23, 2017 - 5:00pm
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