Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on May 15th, 2016

The Stardom Affair (Five Star Publishing)

Newspaper columnist Neil Gulliver and his ex-wife, "Sex Queen of the Soaps" Stevie Marriner, are back.

It's decades ago, when the internet was in its infancy. Neil is summoned to the apartment of actor Roddy Donaldson, leader of the "Diapered Dozen" gang of teenage movie stars, by condo manager Sharon Glenn. Roddy is in bed clinging to life alongside two dead girls, no memory of who they are or how they got there. Evidence points to him as their killer.

At the urging of Roddy's mother, a prominent casting director, Neil chases after the truth, encountering a motley cast of suspects: among them nasty Nicky Edmunds, co-starring with pal Roddy in Tough Times Two, and glamorous Jayne Madrigal, a high-powered press agent with whom Neil is smitten when Stevie introduces them at a lavish Stardom Magazine gala. Also: rap superstar Maxie Trotter and his manager, Roscoe Del Ruth; Gene Coburn and Knox Lundigan, millionaire partners in Stardom House companies revolutionizing the internet; model-songstress Aleta Haworth, who knows more than she's telling; fading film star Brian Armstrong, who harbors dark truths; and Stevie's mother, Juliet, and her fiancé, Bernie Flame, a computer whiz who may be able to find answers for Neil in the secret underground world of the Web.

More bodies fall and Neil faces an ugly death before the killer of the two girls is revealed in this fast-paced mystery-thriller by an author who knows Hollywood's many sins and secrets from the inside out.

Praise for The Stardom Affair

“The author has delivered a fast-paced, surprisingly dark, not-surprisingly witty thriller that includes a scene of movieland sex and violence more nightmarish than anything devised by Nathanael West or David Lynch”—Dick Lochte, award-winning author of Sleeping Dog, a New York Times Book of the Year

 “When one of Hollywood's hottest young stars finds himself in a tangle with two dead bodies and almost dead of a drug overdose himself, Neil Gulliver's reporter's instincts are aroused, and he's plunged into an ever darker world of sex, drugs, and murder.  The patter is snappy, the writing is sharp, and the observations are pointed as a dagger in another winner from Levinson.”—Bill Crider, award-winning author of the Sheriff Dan Rhodes mysteries

“From big box office powerbrokers to L.A.'s seething underworld of designer drugs and porn movies, you're in for the roller-coaster ride of your reading life.  But then, it's no surprise –Robert S. Levinson is a master of style and suspense.  Buy this book and enjoy!”  -- Gayle Lynds, New York Times best-selling author of The Assassins

“Robert S. Levinson handles the hardboiled style of storytelling with soft, sure hands. Neil Gulliver continues to be one of the most reliable main characters in the genre. And, along with his ex-wife, Stevie Marriner, they continue to channel Nick & Nora Charles. Reading The Stardom Affair is time well spent.”—Robert J. Randisi, best-selling author of the Rat Pack mysteries, founder of the Private Eye Writers of America and the annual Shamus Awards, co-founder of Mystery Scene Magazine

Robert S. Levinson, the best-selling author of fourteen crime thrillers, in The Stardom Affair brings back newspaper columnist Neil Gulliver and his ex-wife, “Sex Queen of  the Soaps” Stevie Marriner, who co-starred in his first four novels. Bob’s background includes stints as a newspaper reporter, founder of what became the world’s largest PR firm specializing in rock-and-roll, and a television writer-producer of myriad music, awards, and comedy specials. A Shamus Award nominee and a Derringer Award winner, he served four years on the Mystery Writers of American national board of directors, two as president of the Los Angeles chapter, two years on the Writers Guild of America-West board, and four terms as president of the Hollywood Press Club. 

Bob’s short stories appear regularly in the Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock mystery magazines and have carried for years in various mystery anthologies and “year’s best” collections. He was voted several times onto Queen’s annual Readers Poll of favorites. His non-fiction has appeared in Rolling Stone, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Written By Magazine of the Writers Guild of America West, Westways, and Los Angeles Magazine. Bob wrote and produced two MWA annual “Edgar Awards” shows and two International Thriller Writers “Thriller Awards” shows. His plays Transcript and Murder Times Two had their world premieres at the annual International Mystery Writers Festival. 

Bob resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Sandra, and Rosie, their loveable, bossy Besenji Mix. 


ALEXANDRE VIDAL PORTO reads from his newest novel SERGIO Y.

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on May 15th, 2016

Sergio Y. (Europa Editions)

A startling and inspirational work of transgender fiction by a leading figure in Brazil’s “New Urban” fiction movement.

Armando is one of the most renowned therapists in Saõ Paulo. One of his patients, a 17-year-old boy by the name of Sergio, abruptly interrupts his course of therapy after a trip to New York. Sergio’s cursory explanation to Armando is that he has finally found his own path to happiness and must pursue it. For years, without any further news of Sergio, Armando wonders what happened to his patient. He subsequently learns that Sergio is living a happy life in New York and is now a woman, Sandra. Not long after this startling discovery, however, Armando is shocked to read about Sandra’s unexpected death. In an attempt to discover the truth about Sergio and Sandra’s life, Armando starts investigating on his own.

Sergio Y. is a unique and moving story about gender, identity, and the search for happiness.

Praise for Sergio Y.

Sergio Y. is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time…I gush about it to everyone I meet.”—Zoë Perry, translator of Paulo Coelho

“With Sergio Y., Alexandre Vidal Porto makes clear why he is one of the essential writers in Brazilian contemporary literature.”—Luiz Ruffato

“Readers will find it impossible to put this book down.”—José Castello

"Porto’s captivating, impeccably structured novel is a detective story wrapped around a deeper exploration of identity. [...] The result is a methodical and deeply layered narrative about the sacrifices we make in the search for happiness."--Publisher's Weekly, Starred Review

Alexandre Vidal Porto was born in Saõ Paulo. A career diplomat, a Harvard-trained lawyer, and a human rights activist, he writes a regular column for Folha de S. Paulo. His fiction has appeared in some of the most respected literary publications in Brazil and also abroad. Sergio Y. was the winner of the Paraná Literary Prize for best novel. To learn more about Alexandre Vidal Porto please visit:


BRENDAN JONES reads from his debut novel THE ALASKAN LAUNDRY

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on May 15th, 2016

The Alaskan Laundry (Mariner Books)

A fresh debut novel about a lost, fierce young woman who finds her way to Alaska and finds herself through the hard work of fishing, as far as the icy Bering Sea 

Tara Marconi has made her way to The Rock, a remote island in Alaska governed by the seasons and the demands of the world of commercial fishing. She hasn't felt at home in a long while. Her mother's death left her unmoored and created a seemingly insurmountable rift between her and her father. But in the majestic, mysterious, and tough boundary-lands of Alaska she begins to work her way up the fishing ladder from hatchery assistant all the way to King crabber. She learned discipline from years as a young boxer in Philly, but here she learns anew what it means to work, to connect, and in buying and fixing up an old tugboat how to make a home she knows is her own. A beautiful evocation of a place that can't help but change us and a testament to the unshakable lure of home, The Alaskan Laundry also offers an unforgettable story of one woman's journey from isolation back to the possibility of love.

Praise for The Alaskan Laundry

"This novel is a rarity -- a gripping, straight-forward, old-fashioned novel about coming of age (a woman, no less) in Alaska. It is reminiscent of the best of Wallace Stegner."--Richard Ford 

"This is a truly towering debut novel. Brendan Jones charts new novelistic territory and sends back moving dispatches from the frontiers of the human heart."--Adam Johnson, author of The Orphan Master's Son

"The Alaskan Laundry is a gorgeous and powerful novel that succeeds both as a page-turning adventure story and an evocative exploration of the meaning ofhome. With acute psychological precision and a naturalist's attention to detail, Brendan Jones has created a hauntingly beautiful novel that will stay with me for a long time."--Molly Antopol, author of The Unamericans 

"A taut, page-turning narrative, an indomitable heroine, and a rich cast of characters all steeped ina world where you can smell the tang of kelp at low tide, the creak of seiners at their moorings, hear the rustling of the Southeast Alaska rain forest. The Alaskan Laundry plunges the reader into the heart and soul of a unique commercial fishing culture and the story of Tara Marconi, as she struggles for respect, love, inner peace, and a place to call her own. A cinematic tour de force, it offers up an empowering message of hope and resilience."-- Nick Jans, author of A Wolf Called Romeo 

"There are the easy journeys, the ones that take us where we mean to travel, and there are those we shy from, the dark and uncertain treks of the soul. Without flinching, nineteen-year-old Tara ventures from South Philly to the male-dominated Rock, an island off the coast of Alaska. True to her boxer instincts, Tara comes out swinging, unsure what the island will make of her. As layers of her former life wash away, she proves as raw and tender as the landscape, as striking and unforgettable. A promising debut, true to the core a novel of grit and redemption."--Deb Vanasse, author of Cold Spell andOut of the Wilderness 

"The Alaskan Laundry is a novel of bracing air that gets deep into your lungs. As Tara Marconi reinvents herself in Alaska, we see all facets of the American dream of self-reliance and boundless possibility play out on the stage of the Last Frontier. A strong, singular person grows in these pages. Like a protagonist in a Daniel Woodrell novel, she is stubborn, heroic, and capable of anything."--Will Chancellor, author of A Brave Man Seven Storeys Tall

"A fresh voice in contemporary realism arrives on the scene in this coming-of-age novel. Fierce and flawed, protagonist Tara Marconi leaves the Lower 48 behind to cut her teeth on the Alaskan wilderness, searching for salvation in the notion that 'people come to Alaska to wash themselves clean.' Jones's dynamic love of America's last frontier comes through in spare, gripping prose."--Suzanne Rindell, author of The Other Typist

After receiving a B.A. and M.A. from Oxford University, where he boxed for the Blues team, Brendan Jones made his living in Alaska in carpentry and commercial fishing. He has published work in the New York Times, Ploughshares, Narrative Magazine, Popular Woodworking, The Huffington Post, and recorded commentaries for NPR. A recipient of grants from the Elizabeth George Foundation and the MacDowell Colony, he is currently a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University


Pulitzer Prize-winning author VIET THANH NGUYEN discusses his new book NOTHING EVER DIES: VIETNAM AND THE MEMORY OF WAR

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on May 15th, 2016

Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War (Harvard University Press)

All wars are fought twice, the first time on the battlefield, the second time in memory. From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sympathizer comes a searching exploration of the conflict Americans call the Vietnam War and Vietnamese call the American War—a conflict that lives on in the collective memory of both nations. 

From a kaleidoscope of cultural forms—novels, memoirs, cemeteries, monuments, films, photography, museum exhibits, video games, souvenirs, and more—Nothing Ever Dies brings a comprehensive vision of the war into sharp focus. At stake are ethical questions about how the war should be remembered by participants that include not only Americans and Vietnamese but also Laotians, Cambodians, South Koreans, and Southeast Asian Americans. Too often, memorials valorize the experience of one’s own people above all else, honoring their sacrifices while demonizing the “enemy” —or, most often, ignoring combatants and civilians on the other side altogether. Visiting sites across the United States, Southeast Asia, and Korea, Viet Thanh Nguyen offers penetrating interpretations of the way memories of the war help to enable future wars or struggle to prevent them.
Drawing from this war, Nguyen offers a lesson for all wars by calling on us to recognize not only our shared humanity but our ever-present inhumanity. This is the only path to reconciliation with our foes, and with ourselves. Without reconciliation, war’s truth will be impossible to remember, and war’s trauma impossible to forget.

Praise for Nothing Ever Dies:

"Beautifully written, powerfully argued, thoughtful, provocative".--Marilyn B. Young, author of The Vietnam Wars, 1945-1990

"Nothing Ever Dies provides the fullest and best explanation of how the Vietnam War has become so deeply inscribed into national memory. Nguyen's elegant prose is at once deeply personal, sweepingly panoramic, and hauntingly evocative."--Ari Kelman, author of A Misplaced Massacre: Struggling over the Memory of Sand Creek"

"Is there hope for an ethics of memory, or for peace? Nothing Ever Dies reveals that, in our collective memories of conflict, we are still fighting the Forever War. Nguyen's distinctive voice blends ideas with family history in a way that is original, unique, exciting. A vitally important book."--Maxine Hong Kingston, author of To Be a Poet"

"Inspired by the author's personal odyssey, informed by his wide-ranging exploration of literature, film, and art, this is a provocative and moving meditation on the ethics of remembering and forgetting. Rooted in the Vietnam War and its aftermath, it speaks to all who have been displaced by war and revolution, and carry with them memories, whether their own or of others, private or collective, that are freighted with nostalgia, guilt, and trauma.--Hue-Tam Ho Tai, editor of The Country of Memory: Remaking the Past in Late Socialist Vietnam"

Viet Thanh Nguyen, the author of the Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Sympathizerwas born in Vietnam and raised in America. His stories have appeared in Best New American Voices, TriQuarterly, Narrative, and the Chicago Tribune and he is the author of the academic book Race and Resistance, and a new work of nonfiction, Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War (Harvard University Press, March 2016). He teaches English and American Studies at the University of Southern California and lives in Los Angeles. He tweets at @viet_t_nguyen. 


MARINAOMI discusses her new graphic memoir TURNING JAPANESE, with YUMI SAKUGAWA

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on May 15th, 2016

Turning Japanese (2D Cloud)

In 1995, 22-year-old Mari has just exited a long-term relationship, moving from Mill Valley to San Jose, California. Soon enough she falls in love, then finds employment at an illegal hostess bar for Japanese expats, where she is determined to learn the Japanese language and culture. She hopes to finally connect with her Japanese relatives without her mother as a translator and filter. Turning Japanese is a story about otherness, culture clashes, generation gaps and youthful impetuosity.

Praise for Turning Japanese

“It is a tremendous blessing to read anything that comes from a skillful graphic memoirist like MariNaomi. In Turning Japanese, her unflinching honesty, open heart and hard-earned wisdom challenges us to embrace the unexpected detours that unfold in our own lives. The empty spaces in her minimalist artwork contain many wells of unspoken feelings that linger with you long after you finish reading her book.”  -- Yumi Sakugawa, author of Your Illustrated Guide to Becoming One with the Universe

Praise for MariNaomi’s Past Work

“Refreshing and poignant...” -- Publishers Weekly 

“In Dragon’s Breath and Other True Stories, MariNaomi weaves a crazy-quilt of despair, hope, lost loves, new beginnings, horrible regrets, hilarious memories, and above all else, survival. Her beautiful, spare line is stripped of all but the most important details in order to impart the greatest emotional impact in a given story, creating a delicate storytelling rhythm built on restraint, subtlety and total vulnerability. Her short autobiographical anecdotes create a gestalt of a person who has lived and viewed life with a curious intellect and her heart on her sleeve.” -- Rob Clough, The Comics Journal

“...just how a girl does it in this day and age.” -- ELLE Magazine 

“Packed with wisdom and raw experience.” -- BUST Magazine 

MariNaomi is the author and illustrator of the SPACE Prize-winning graphic memoir Kiss & Tell: A Romantic Resume, Ages 0 to 22, the Eisner-nominated Dragon's Breath and Other True Stories, and her self-published Estrus Comics. Her work has appeared in over sixty print anthologies, and has been featured on such websites as The Rumpus, The Weeklings, LA Review of Books, Midnight Breakfast, Truth-out, XOJane, Buzzfeed, Bitch Media, and more. She is also the creator and curator of the Cartoonists of Color Database and the LGBTQ Cartoonists Database.

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, 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 at



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on May 15th, 2016

Riot. Strike. Riot: The New Era of Uprisings (Verso)

Riots are coming, they are already here, more are on the way. They deserve an adequate theory.

Ferguson. Tottenham. Clichy-sous-Bois. Oakland. In recent decades we have returned to an “age of riots” as the prominent form of struggle against the abuses of capitalism. This theoretical and historical account by award-winning poet Joshua Clover explores how riots, the leading form of protest in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, are supplanted by the strike in the early nineteenth century, and then re-emerged as the preeminent form in the early 1970s. 

From the early years of workers’ demands for increased wages through riots to recent social demands for economic equlity through occupations, Clover looks at historical moments like the economic crisis of 1968 and the decline of organized labor from the perspective of changes in protest tactics. As social unrest against government and corporate abuses continues to grow, this valuable history and theoretical framework will help guide future activists in their struggles for justice. 

Praise for Riot. Strike. Riot. 

“Riot, in this absolutely necessary book, is considered as differential procedure and rigorous improvisational method, as essential repertoire on the way from general malaise to general strike. But then this conception folds tightly yet disorderly into a new and open set of questions. It’s not that the raging, ragged entrance to the new golden age is the new golden age. It’s not that theory can’t bear a riot. It’s just that riot makes new ways of seeing what theory can and can’t do and imposes upon us a kind of knowledge of our own embarrassing and already given resources of enjoyment. Joshua Clover says riot deserves a proper theory but here—sly, stone cold—he gives us more than that. Now we have some guidelines for the new and ongoing impropriety that fleshes forth and fleshes out our optimal condition.”—Fred Moten, scholar, activist, poet and author of In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical TraditionHughson’s Tavern, B. JenkinsThe Feel Trio and co-author of The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study

“In its sweep, rigor, and elegance, Riot Strike Riot is pleasurable and provocative, worthy of the urgent debates it should inspire.”—Jeff Chang author of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation and Who We Be: The Colorization of America.

Riot. Strike. Riot. is the crystalline analysis of this fraught moment - between communism and anarchism, between street protest and economic strike. Clover’s text is clear without being simple, contemporary yet historical, and affectionate without being mawkish - much like a riot, in fact, it opens up the future while remembering that the past is comprised of little other than exploitation, exclusion and the kinds of violence that deliberately are attributed to the very people who suffer most from it.”—Nina Power is a senior lecturer in philosophy at Roehampton University and the author of One-Dimensional Woman.

Joshua Clover is a professor of Literature and Critical Theory at the University of California Davis. A widely published essayist, poet, and cultural theorist, his most recent books are Red Epic and 1989: Bob Dylan Didn’t Have This to Sing About.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on May 15th, 2016

The Walled Wife (Red Hen Press)

A woman is buried so a church will rise. Nicelle Davis’ The Walled Wife unearths from the long-standing text “The Ballad of the Walled-up Wife,” a host of issues that continue to plague women in the contemporary world: the woman’s body as sacrifice; the woman’s body as tender or currency; the woman’s body as disposable; the woman’s body as property; the woman’s body as aesthetic object; the woman’s body unsafe in the world she must inhabit, and in the hands of the people she loves. By unearthing “this fucked-up story,” found in a centuries-old folktale (The Ballad of the Walled-Up Wife) Nicelle Davis’ poems remind us that narratives, like the individuals and cultures that produce them, are imperfect structures. However, through her intelligent and effective use of craft and voice, and the heartbreaking vulnerability with which she engages the perspectives within and without the story, Davis avoids simple replication; she does not “rebuild a corrupt structure.” Rather, she exhibits in The Walled Wife the powerful and expansive possibilities of narrative. This collection makes space (in the narrative, and thus in the reader, and thus in the culture) for so much—for remorse from the builder, for sorrow from the husband, but mostly for this sacrificed woman to be angry, to feel betrayed, to be avenged, to tend to her inner life in the hours of her death, to speak her truth, and insist on her humanity. These poems allow the wife to mourn her stolen life, and as we mourn with her, they enrich our possibilities for empowerment and empathy in the narratives of our lives. 

A poetry reading for ugly bridesmaid dresses. Poetry readings, refreshments, photo ops, and an ugly bridesmaid contest competition. Moderated by Juicee Courture. 

Nicelle Davis is a California poet, collaborator, and performance artist who walks the desert with her son J.J. in search of owl pellets and rattlesnake skins. She is the author of four poetry collections including her most recent, The Walled Wife, from Red Hen Press. In the Circus of You is available from Rose Metal Press, Becoming Judas, is available from Red Hen Press and her first book, Circe, is available from Lowbrow Press. Her poetry film collaborations with Cheryl Gross have been shown across the world. She is currently working on the manuscript/play, On the Island of Caliban which was recently workshopped by The Industrial Players. She has taught poetry at Youth for Positive Change, an organization that promotes success for youth in secondary schools, MHA, Volunteers of America in their Homeless Youth Center, and with Red Hen’s WITS program. She currently teaches at Paraclete High School.

 photo by Sascha Vaughn, Dress by Pavlina Janssen

Jackie Bang’s work has appeared in ZYZZYVA and The Alaska Quarterly Review and most recently their piece, "Rent Easy" in The Los Angeles Poetry Circus Chapbook. They are currently at work on Dinner Bait, a book length end-of-love story set in a New Orleans of adjunct teaching and sex work ten years after Katrina. They are working also on a related psych, folk, blues erotica record with their partner in poetry performance Caspar Sonnet. Both works engages the possibility for species transformation in the human response to climate change through high stakes eroticism as metaphor. Jackie Bang lives and teaches in the IE.

Alexis Rhone Fancher’s poem, “when I turned fourteen, my mother’s sister took me to lunch and said:” was chosen by Edward Hirsch for inclusion in The Best American Poetry of 2016. She is the author of How I Lost My Virginity To Michael Cohen and other heart stab poems, (Sybaritic Press, 2014), and State of Grace: The Joshua Elegies, (KYSO Flash Press, 2015). Alexis is published in Rattle, The MacGuffin, Menacing Hedge, Blotterature, Slipstream, Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles, Chiron Review, Hobart, and elsewhere. She is poetry editor of Cultural Weekly

 Photo by Baz Here

Ashley Inguanta is a writer and photographer who is driven by landscape, place. She is the author of three collections:The Way Home (Dancing Girl Press), For The Woman Alone (Ampersand Books), and Bomb (forthcoming with Ampersand Books in 2016). Her work has appeared in PANK, The Rumpus, The Good Men Project, Bartleby Snopes, Adrienne: A Poetry Journal of Queer Women, OCHO, Corium Magazine, the Rough Magick anthology, and other literary spaces. Ashley is also the Art Director of SmokeLong Quarterly. Currently she is working with musician Sarah Morrison, creating a series of projects and performances that combine music, visual art, and language.

Jennifer Bradpiece was born and raised in the multifaceted muse, Los Angeles, where she still resides. She has her Bachelors in Creative Writing from Antioch University. When not rescuing Pit Bulls, she tries to remain active in the Los Angeles writing and art scene: she has interned at Beyond Baroque, and often collaborates with multi-media artists on projects. Her poetry has been published in various journals, anthologies, and online zines, including 491 Magazine, The Mas Tequila Review, and Redactions. She has poetry forthcoming in Rip Rap Journal and The Whiskey Fish Review among others. 



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on May 12th, 2016

Please join us for a reading with the graduate writing students of Otis College of Art and Design. The readers will include:

N.J. Arps has a lifelong fascination with art, science, and fairytales, and has always wondered whether wishing wells grant wishes first-come-first serve, or if they operate using a more need-based fulfillment system.

Emily Ansara Baines is the author of The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook and The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook. Her work has appeared on Jezebel,The Huffington Post, The Independent, The Bold Italic, XOJane, Narrative, andHello Giggles, where she is a contributing writer. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and an invisible cat named Rufus. Her favorite word is murmur.

Raised in Dallas, Texas and Ontario, California, Garcia Bassier's writing shifts between poetry and prose. Her work has appeared in Torrid Literature Journal and The Corvus Review. Her current project is a book of prose poetry about growing up in the Inland Empire.

Niko Nelson is a poet living in Los Angeles and plans on leaving. She enjoys traveling at high velocities and making books, though she requests you ask in person if she has actually done so. Her sixth-month trajectory includes living in a van and reading poems to strangers on streets. Niko used to be a journalist, and will probably be one again for the money.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on May 12th, 2016

Join us today as we celebrate the 3rd Annual Independent Bookstore Day! After the popularity of the innaugural Californa Bookstore Day the event has gone national and been proclaimed Independent Bookstore Day by the rest of the country! 

Today, we'll have special, limited edition items from authors and artists like Anthony Bourdain, Kate DiCamillo, Ann Patchett, and Neil Gaiman. Special non-book items include coloring books, posters, tea towels, plushies, and a 7" vinyl record. Show up early as these items will be first come, first served (one of each item per customer!).

Also, also! Skylight Books will be unveiling, for Independent Bookstore Day (!!), a special, exclusive t-shirt collaboration between Otherwild and Carolyn Pennypacker-Riggs inspired by Rad American Women A-Z: Trailblazers, and Visionaries who Shaped History and Our Future

And finally! starting at 2pm, BouquetEssence HardenJen Wang, Charlyne Yi and friends will be reading from Rad American Women and performing the song "X is For" from the special Independent Bookstore Day vinyl record. This companion record to the NYT bestselling Rad American Women A-Z (by Kate Schatz & Miriam Klein Stahl) was created just for Independent Bookstore Day. 

Side A features "X is For...," an original alphabet song by Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs of Bouquet. Side B is a lively and poetic reading of the "X" chapter from the book featuring the voices of ANGELA DAVIS, REBECCA SOLNIT, CHARLENE YI, ALICE BAG, AMINATOU SOW & ANN FRIEDMAN of Call Your Girlfriend Podcast/Empire, and many more rad women! Includes a poster with lyrics and chords, and free digital download instructions. 

Get weird/loud/sassy/soulful/rockful/thoughtful and come celebrate your love for independent bookstores the Skylight way!



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on May 12th, 2016

The Regional Office is Under Attack! (Riverhead Books)

In a world beset by amassing forces of darkness, one organization the Regional Office and its coterie of super-powered female assassins protects the globe from annihilation. At its helm, the mysterious Oyemi and her oracles seek out new recruits and root out evil plots. Then a prophecy suggests that someone from inside might bring about its downfall. And now, the Regional Office is under attack. 

Recruited by a defector from within, Rose is a young assassin leading the attack, eager to stretch into her powers and prove herself on her first mission. Defending the Regional Office is Sarah who may or may not have a mechanical arm fiercely devoted to the organization that took her in as a young woman in the wake of her mother's sudden disappearance. On the day that the Regional Office is attacked, Rose's and Sarah's stories will overlap, their lives will collide, and the world as they know it just might end. 

Weaving in a brilliantly conceived mythology, fantastical magical powers, teenage crushes, and kinetic fight scenes, The Regional Office Is Under Attack!"is a seismically entertaining debut novel about revenge and allegiance and love.

Praise for The Regional Office is Under Attack!

“[A] wry and propulsive work of inventive fiction by a terrific young writer! Read it!”—Jess Walter, New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Ruins

“Delightfully weird, weirdly delightful! Manuel Gonzales clearly has a labyrinth of a brain—all stuffed with monsters, trapdoors, and complicated heroes. Sign me up as a member of the fan club, please.”—Kelly Link, author of Get in Troubleand Magic for Beginners

“With exuberant prose and a corkscrew plot, Manuel Gonzales vanquishes artistic orthodoxies, tiresome genre boundaries and every humdrum narrative convention in sight, leaving in his wake a riveting story of secrets, betrayals, and vengeance!” —Claire Vaye Watkins, author of Battleborn and Gold Fame Citrus

“[A]n exciting new voice."—Aimee Bender, The New York Times Book Review

“It’s easy to compare Manuel Gonzales to George Saunders, but it would be just as easy to compare him to Borges or Márquez or Aimee Bender . . . He makes the extraordinary ordinary, and his playfulness is infectious.”—Benjamin Percy,Esquire

“Manuel Gonzales has an imagination that's as expansive and open as a Texas prairie.”—Hector Tobar, Los Angeles Times

“A brand-new American literary voice.”—Ben Marcus, author of The Flame Alphabet

The Regional Office is Under Attack! is wickedly subversive, suspenseful, and thoughtful, all at once—but most of all, it's just fun to read, from the first  sentence to the last. Put down your expectations and pick up this book.  It'll hit you like a lightning bolt.”—Jess Row, author of Your Face in Mine

“Wild, visionary, ablaze with heart and riot, The Regional Office is Under Attack! is unforgettable—an epic love story that confronts our future with a howl and fireworks.”—Paul Yoon, author of Snow Hunters

Manuel Gonzales is the author of the acclaimed story collection The Miniature Wife, winner of the American Academy of Arts and Letters Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction and the John Gardner Fiction Book Award. A graduate of the Columbia University Creative Writing Program, he teaches writing at the University of Kentucky and the Institute for American Indian Arts. He has published fiction and nonfiction in Open City, Fence, One Story, Esquire, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, andThe Believer. Gonzales lives in Kentucky with his wife and two children.

Jim Gavin’s fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Zoetrope, Esquire, Slice, The Mississippi Review, andZYZZYVA. He lives in Los Angeles.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on May 12th, 2016

True Homosexual Experiences: Boyd McDonald and Straight to Hell (We Heard You Like Books)

A World War II veteran from the Great Plains, Boyd McDonald (1925-1993) had the makings of a successful career in the 1950s—an education at Harvard, jobs at Time/Life and IBM—but things didn’t turn out as planned. After 20 years of resentful conformity and worsening alcoholism, McDonald dried out, pawned all of his suits, and went on welfare. It was then that his life truly began. From a tiny room in a New York SRO hotel, McDonald published Straight to Hell, a series of chapbooks collecting readers’ “true homosexual experiences.” Following the example of Alfred Kinsey, McDonald obsessively pursued the truth about sex between men just as gay liberation began to tame America’s sexual outlaws for the sake of legal recognition. Admired by such figures as Gore Vidal and William S. Burroughs, Straight to Hell combined a vigorous contempt for authority with a keen literary style, and was the precursor of queer ’zines decades later. Even after his death, Boyd McDonald continued to trouble the powers that be—he was the subject of a 2006 opinion by U. S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who ruled that one of his books was pornographic while acknowledging that this question is ultimately vague and subjective.

William E. Jones conducted in-depth interviews with many people from McDonald’s life, including friends, colleagues, and most unexpectedly, family members who revealed that he was a loving uncle who doted on his nieces and great-nieces. A complex portrait drawn from a wealth of previously unpublished material, True Homosexual Experiences: Boyd McDonald and Straight to Hell is the first biography devoted to a key figure of the American underground.

Praise for True Homosexual Experiences

“Move over Maxwell Perkins - here's another literary editor who deserves to be more famous than you. Boyd McDonald may have been an alcoholic, sex-obsessed lunatic who masturbated chronically while encouraging his perverted readers to send in endless descriptions of their gay sex lives with heterosexual men but he remained pure in spirit. His “Straight To Hell” chapbooks join Valerie Solanas’s “SCUM Manifesto” as the most radical (and hilarious) filth classics in modern literature.” -- John Waters

William E. Jones was born in Canton, Ohio. He received a B. A. from Yale University and an M. F. A. from California Institute of the Arts. He has made the films Massillon (1991) and Finished (1997), which won a Los Angeles Film Critics Association award, the documentary Is It Really So Strange? (2004), and many videos including The Fall of Communism as Seen in Gay Pornography (1998). His work was included in the 1993 and 2008 Whitney Biennials, and he has had retrospectives at Tate Modern (2005), Anthology Film Archives (2010), and the Austrian Film Museum (2011). Jones has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grant, two California Community Foundation Fellowships, and most recently, a Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant. His books include "Killed": Rejected Images of the Farm Security Administration (2010), Halsted Plays Himself (2011), Between Artists: Thom Andersen and William E. Jones (2013), Imitation of Christ, named one of the best photo books of 2013 by Time magazine, and Flesh and the Cosmos (2014). He lives in Los Angeles.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on April 25th, 2016

The New Guy and Other Senior Year Distractions (Poppy Books)

Senior-class competitions and hunky heartthrobs meet in this hilarious high school story, narrated by a hilariously relatable girl, who exemplifies what it’s like to be a high schooler today.

Neurotic over-achiever Jules McCallister Morgan has her senior year all planned out: get into Brown, keep up her community service hours and become the editor of her prestigious high school’s newspaper. But on only her second day, the new guy at school and boy band sensation, Alex Powell, puts a damper on her plan for perfection by asking her out. Just as Jules comes around to the idea of having a boyfriend, Alex commits the ultimate betrayal when he joins the school’s TV news show that’s putting her paper out of business. Amid cutthroat  competition and schedule overload, Jules must decide what’s more important – college applications or first love.

The New Guy (And Other Senior Year Distractions) encapsulates what it’s like to be a teenage girl today, from first loves to final exams and everything in between.

Praise for The New Guy:

“The sparks that fly between Jules and Alex, the ex-boy band star and newest addition to the senior class, are hot enough to make them a couple worth rooting for...”- Kirkus Reviews

"Amy Spalding writes endearing characters who stumble and soar in the most entertaining ways.”-Melissa Walker, author ofUnbreak My Heart

Amy Spalding grew up in St. Louis, but now lives in the better weather of Los Angeles. She received a B.A. in Advertising & Marketing Communications from Webster University, an M.A. in Media Studies from The New School, and currently manages digital media planning for an advertising agency specializing in indie film. Amy studied longform improv at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, and can be seen performing around L.A. Amy is also the author of Kissing Ted Callahan (and Other Guys)The Reece Malcolm List, and Ink Is Thicker than Water.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on April 25th, 2016

Democracy Now!: Twenty Years Covering the Movements Changing America (Simon & Schuster)

In 1996 Amy Goodman started a radio show called "Democracy Now!" to focus on the issues that are underreported or ignored by mainstream news coverage. Shortly after September 11, 2001, they were broadcasting on television every weekday. Today it is the only public media in the US that airs simultaneously on satellite and cable television, radio, and the Internet. Now Amy and her journalist brother, David, share stories of the progressive heroes, the whistleblowers, the organizers, the protestors who have brought about remarkable, often invisible change over the last two decades in seismic ways. 

This book looks back over the past twenty years of "Democracy Now!" and considers that as the courts and government abdicate their responsibilities, it has fallen to ordinary people to hold the powerful to account. Amy gives voice to these leaderful, not leaderless, movements: the countless charismatic leaders who are taking to the streets in Ferguson, Staten Island, Wall Street, and other places where people are rising up to demand justice. 

Amy Goodman is the host and executive producer of Democracy Now!, a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program airing on over 1,300 public television and radio stations worldwide. Time Magazine named Democracy Now! its “Pick of the Podcasts,” along with NBC’s Meet the Press. Goodman has co-authored five New York Times bestsellers. Her latest two, The Silenced Majority: Stories of Uprisings, Occupations, Resistance, and Hope, and Breaking the Sound Barrier, both written with Denis Moynihan, give voice to the many ordinary people standing up to corporate and government power. She co-authored her first three bestsellers with her brother, journalist David Goodman: Standing Up to the Madness: Ordinary Heroes in Extraordinary Times (2008), Static: Government Liars, Media Cheerleaders, and the People Who Fight Back (2006) and The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media That Love Them(2004). Goodman has received the American Women in Radio and Television Gracie Award; the Paley Center for Media’s She’s Made It Award; and the Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship. Her reporting on East Timor and Nigeria has won numerous awards, including the George Polk Award, Robert F. Kennedy Prize for International Reporting, and the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award. She has also received awards from the Associated Press, United Press International, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and Project Censored. Goodman received the first ever Communication for Peace Award from the World Association for Christian Communication. She was also honored by the National Council of Teachers of English with the George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language.

David Goodman is an independent journalist, contributing writer for Mother Jones, and the bestselling author of ten books, including four books with his sister, Amy Goodman. His books include the critically acclaimed Fault Lines: Journeys Into theNew South Africa; When the River Rose, a collection of flood stories that raised money for disaster relief his hometown in Vermont; and a series of award-winning historical guidebooks to backcountry skiing in the Northeast. He hosts a popular radio show, The Vermont Conversation. His work has also appeared in the Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Outside, The Christian Science Monitor, The Boston Globe, The Nation, and numerous other publications. He lives in Vermont. Visit him on the web at:



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on March 21st, 2016

Clandestine Occupations (PM Press)

A radical activist, Luba Gold, makes the difficult decision to go underground to support the Puerto Rican independence movement. When Luba’s collective is targeted by an FBI sting, she escapes with her baby but leaves behind a sensitive envelope that is being safeguarded by a friend. When the FBI come looking for Luba, the friend must decide whether to cooperate in the search for the woman she loves. Ten years later, when Luba emerges from clandestinity, she discovers that the FBI sting was orchestrated by another activist friend who had become an FBI informant. In the changed era of the 1990s, Luba must decide whether to forgive the woman who betrayed her.

Told from the points of view of five different women who cross paths with Luba over four decades, Clandestine Occupationsexplores the difficult decisions that activists confront about the boundaries of legality and speculates about the scope of clandestine action in the future. It is a thought-provoking reflection on the risks and sacrifices of political activism as well as the damaging reverberations of disaffection and cynicism.

Praise for Clandestine Occupations:

Clandestine Occupations is a triumph of passion and force. A number of memoirs and other nonfiction works by revolutionaries from the 1970s and ‘80s, including one by Block herself, have given us partial pictures of what a committed life, sometimes lived underground, was like. But there are times when only fiction can really take us there. A marvelous novel that moves beyond all preconceived categories.” —Margaret Randall, author of Che on My Mind

“Diana Block creates a vivid and engaging tapestry of how political passion interweaves with the intricacies of personal relationships. Clandestine Occupations takes us into the thoughts and feelings of six different women as each, in her own way, grapples with choices about how to live and act in a world rife with oppression but also brightened by rays of humanity and hope.”—David Gilbert, political prisoner, author of Love and Struggle

“Through this fascinating novel, Diana Block brings to life stories about radical history that will educate and engage today’s activists. Her portrayal of a woman in solitary confinement rings true to experience, offering a raw view of the struggle for resilience under daunting circumstances. Through flights of imagination, the novel gives us hope for political transformations in the future.” —Sarah Shourd, author of A Sliver of Light: Three Americans Imprisoned in Iran

“Diana Block once again challenges our understanding of the ethical essence of revolution. Beyond political theory and practice, the moral dilemmas and turmoils are constant and consistent. Where does your loyalty lie, how does your dedication confront obstacles? These are the questions found in these pages as Diana searches for a just balance in human relationships and politics. Clandestine Occupations captures and occupies the heart and spirit, teaching us what it means to be genuine and sincere in revolutionary life and love.”—Jalil Muntaqim, political prisoner, author We Are Our Own Liberators: Selected Prison Writings

Diana Block was a founding member of San Francisco Women Against Rape and the Prairie Fire Organizing Committee. She spent thirteen years living underground with a political collective committed to supporting the Puerto Rican independence and Black liberation movements. Since returning voluntarily from clandestinity in 1994, Diana has committed herself to anti-prison work, becoming a founding member of the California Coalition for Women Prisoners and the Jericho Movement. Previous writings include her memoir Arm the Spirit and she is a member of the editorial collective of The Fire Inside newsletter, which has been giving voice to women and transgender prisoners since 1996. She lives in San Francisco with her life partner, former political prisoner Claude Marks.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on March 21st, 2016

A Murder Over a Girl (Henry Holt & Company)

On February 12, 2008, a beautiful morning in Oxnard, CA, 14-year-old Brandon McInerney and the rest of his eighth grade class walked to the computer lab with their teacher, Dawn Boldrin. As his classmates typed their history papers, Brandon quietly stood and shot 15-year-old Larry King—who for just two weeks had been wearing traditionally female accessories and identifying as “Leticia”—twice in the head. 

Larry died in the hospital two days later. Psychologist and NYU professor Ken Corbett was unsettled by the media coverage that sidestepped the issues of gender identity and race, and went to California to attend the trial. In , A Murder Over a Girl, Corbett, a leading expert on gender and masculinity, details the case, and all the social issues still littering the American landscape eight years later. 

The brutal murder begged the question: How this could happen? Ellen DeGeneres spoke out; Newsweek and The Advocateran cover stories. Once again, "a normal boy” like Brandon had taken a gun into a school and killed another student in cold blood. But others, still, wondered: How could this not happen? 

In many ways this was a “perfect storm” of race, poverty, gun violence, and gender identity fueled by ignorance and fear. Brandon had been raised by drug-addicted parents. His mother shot his father days before their wedding, and his father later shot his mother in front of him. His home was a veritable culture of guns. Larry’s birth mother was a 15-year-old drug addicted prostitute. He had recently been removed from his adoptive parents’ home after reporting abuse. Larry identified as gay from the age of 10, and by 15 had realized he was a girl. He wore makeup and stilettos to school with his uniform and had asked the boy who would be his killer to be his valentine. Brandon says he was being sexually harassed by Larry and sought peace the only way he knew how.

Nearly eight years later, we as a country are not on the same page on so many of the major issues at play: gender identity; sexual and racial equality; gun control; drug laws. Neither experts nor lawmakers nor voters can come to a consensus, and yet, teachers—most of whom have received no training in any of these areas—are thrust to the forefront in the classroom.

Praise for A Murder Over A Girl:

“Harrowing, humane, and utterly engaging, A Murder Over a Girl is a triumph of storytelling, delivering deep insight into gender and adolescence while drawing us into a fascinating narrative. It is a book very much of the moment, but at its heart it is a classic tale of human emotion.”—Susan Orlean, New York Times bestselling author of The Orchid Thief

“Ken Corbett was put on earth to write this stunning book, now, at a moment in our history when we need him to be our secret agent, our witness, our guide inside the maelstrom of this mad hatter court.”—PETER CAREY, Booker Prize-winning author of Oscar and Lucinda and The True History of the Kelly Gang

“With great compassion, insight, and care, Ken Corbett takes us to the scene in which one transgendered child’s daring and vibrant bid to become a girl met with the murderous rage of a boy well taught in using a gun. A murdered girl is gone, a nearly undocumented life, yet her spectre lives on in this remarkable book, a narration that enters us into the minds of those who make hatred into a form of pernicious reasoning. A Murder Over a Girl is about youth culture, gender, school, and the failures of the legal system, about cunning reversals in argument whereby murderers are cast as victims, and the traces of the dead are nearly effaced. Corbett does justice to this death and to this life with a book both intelligent and loving, exposing a world tragically lacking in those very qualities, calling upon us all to intervene to halt gender violence before it begins.”—Judith Butler, author of Gender Trouble

 “A Murder Over a Girl narrates a searing tragedy, meticulously laying out the aftermath of the crime, exposing the pathos not only of the victim, but also of the classmates, parents, jurors, lawyers, and others who had to grapple with the troubling nuance of the case. And in doing so Corbett unforgettably reveals the flaws of the American judicial system, the destructive influence of sensationalizing mass media, and the blindness of good intentions at the intersection of masculinity, grief, prejudice, and empathy.”—Andrew Solomon, New York Times bestselling author of Far from the Tree

“I’ve never read a book like A Murder Over a Girl. It’s an account of a murder trial, the outcome of which is known; yet, the book is a hard-to-put-down page-turner. It achieves its extraordinary narrative intensity not through any sensationalizing of the facts, but rather through its author’s quiet authority, piercing insights, and his refusal to deliver hasty or easy judgments. Through patience, respect and empathy, Corbett allows us to see how dehumanization conceals a consequential and potentially fatal refusal to confront loss. And in confronting loss, this book renders justice, restoring to the memory of the victim her dignity, her vital subjectivity and her agency.  A Murder Over A Girl is magnificently written, shattering, original and immensely valuable."—Tony Kushner, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Angels in America

“There are events that break out of a culture as illness breaks out of a body. Ken Corbett has written an account of a crime yes, a trial yes, a tragedy, but he has also perceived a way for us to comprehend the gender dis-ease just below our cultural skin. This is a brilliant and necessary book.”
—Marie Howe, author of What the Living Do and The Kingdom of Ordinary Time

"One young teenager is dead. Another is a murderer. And all of our contemporary dividing lines--race, gender, class, orientation, homophobia, privilege, and fear of the unknown--are drawn in a California courtroom. Telling this devastating story with clarity, empathy, and insight, Ken Corbett brings his profound understanding of the minds of boys--their hopes, their dreams, their terrors, their longings--to bear in the service of making the unimaginable clear to us. This essential book will broaden your mind even as it breaks your heart." —Mark Harris, author of Pictures at A Revolution and Five Came Back

 “Ken Corbett corrals the chaos and trauma of the King murder trial into a riveting story of the “cratered minds” that result from, and perpetrate, violence.  With an analyst’s attunement, he also takes us beyond the courtroom, imagining his way into the lives and minds of Brandon McInerney and Leticia King with nuance and tremendous compassion.  He gives a devastating account of the emotional landscapes of the school, the families, and the communities in which both murderer and victim were and were not held. Corbett’s determination that this crime be named and these lives be told results in a powerful and heartbreaking book.”—GAYLE SALAMON, author of Assuming a Body: Transgender and Rhetorics of Materiality

Ken Corbett is a clinical assistant professor at NYU in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy with a private practice in New York City. He is the author of Boyhoods: Rethinking Masculinities.

Maggie Nelson is the author of The Argonauts, as well as an American poet, art critic, lyric essayist and nonfiction author of books such as The Red Parts: A Memoir, The Art of Cruelty, Bluets, and Jane: A MurderThe Art of Cruelty was a 2011 Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times and recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in Nonfiction. Jane: A Murder was a finalist for the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for the Art of the Memoir. Nelson has taught at the Graduate Writing Program of the New School, Wesleyan University, and the School of Art and Design at Pratt Institute; she currently teaches in the CalArts MFA writing program. She was awarded an Arts Writers grant in 2007 from the Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation. In 2011, she was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for Poetry.


« Older episodes ·