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

A Wife of Noble Character (Henry Holt & Company)

Imagine Edith Wharton’s Lily Bart transported from the Gilded Age to present-day Houston. Her world would have less taffeta, more beer. Her search for love would take her to Texas-big parties, not velvet parlors. And the hush-hush small talk of New York’s drawing rooms would be replaced with Lone Star straight talk. This is the reimagined setting writer Yvonne Georgina Puig has created in her debut novel, A Wife of Noble Character, inspired by Wharton’s The House of Mirth. This sparkling novel shifts from Houston to Paris and back while Puig rekindles the perennial conversation on self-worth when it comes to women and marriage, as apt (and fraught) today as it was then. 

Vivienne Cally, heiress to the once-mighty Cally Petroleum fortune, is wealthy only in name, and has been raised to marry a wealthy and respectable man to maintain the extravagant lifestyle she’s accustomed to. The problem is finding the right one. There’s Preston Duffin, a rising architect who lacks financial means. There’s Bucky Lawler, who is not lacking for money, but comes packaged with his good-ole-boy and deep Christian beliefs—hardly progressive. Vivienne’s best friends, Waverly and Karlie, juggle being supportive with gossiping, and they don’t understand why their friend won’t settle down. What’s a girl to do? As Vivienne strikes out to set herself on a career path while finding love, she hits bumps in the road that take her to the depths of humiliation, and she is faced with choices and soul searching about what is most important in life.

Colorful and cinematic, Puig’s first novel—a true comedy of manners—is true to Houston, where she grew up like her characters. This year, she is one of three participants in the Edith Wharton Writer-in-Residence Program at the Mount, where writers spend two weeks living and working in Wharton’s home in Lenox, MA. 

Praise for A Wife of Noble Character

"Satire, social commentary, and Texas: just a few of the riches you'll find in A Wife of Noble Character. Inspired by Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth, this sharply drawn novel about Houston's oil-money elite strikes a beautiful balance—rollicking at times while deeply felt at others. It's a comedy of manners about what it's like to be wealthy in name only." ― ELLE.com

"A fresh, funny look at what it means to be an adult in the 21st century and a juicy Texan comedy of manners, at its heart, A Wife of Noble Character is a good old fashioned love story." ― Sarah Bird, author ofAbove the East China Sea

A Wife of Noble Character is a wildly unique creation: A social novel that is simultaneously classic and utterly modern. I found it sharply insightful, lyrically written, and often laugh-out-loud funny; and could barely put it down until the last page. Puig is a talented satirist and a breathtakingly astute observer of character." ― Janelle Brown, author ofAll We Ever Wanted Was Everything

Yvonne Georgina Puig's fiction and essays have appeared in SalonVariety,Los Angeles Magazine, and The Texas Observer, among others. She holds a Masters in Professional Writing from USC. She lives in Santa Monica with her husband.



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

In the Not Quite Dark (Counterpoint Press)

Following her prize-winning collection Break Any Woman DownDana Johnsonreturns with a collection of bold stories set mostly in downtown Los Angeles that examine large issues like love, class, race and how they influence and define our most intimate moments.

In "The Liberace Museum," a mixed-race couple leave the South toward the destination of Vegas, crossing miles of road and history to the promised land of consumption; in "Rogues," a young man on break from college lands in his brother's Inland Empire neighborhood during a rash of unexplained robberies; in "She Deserves Everything She Gets", a woman listens to the strict advice given to her spoiled niece about going away to college, reflecting on her own experience and the night she lost her best friend; and in the collection's title story, a man setting down roots in downtown L.A. is haunted by the specter of both gentrification and a young female tourist, whose body was found in the water tower of a neighboring building. 

With deep insight into character, intimate relationships, and the modern search for personal freedom, In the Not Quite Dark is powerful new work that feels both urgent and timeless.

Praise for In the Not Quite Dark

“In her brilliant collection, Dana Johnson presents a vision of America that is singular, utterly original, and necessary. These are superb stories grappling with the complexities of love and the way it winds through gender and race and class in our nation right now. Johnson is expert at exploring how the world tries to separate us —and how her characters find urgent ways to connect. These are stories radiant with beauty and compassion and clear-sighted, uncompromising wisdom." —Karen E. Bender, author of National Book Award finalist Refund

“Newer than tomorrow, the stories in In the Not Quite Dark illuminate the travails of contemporary life faced with aspects of gentrification—social, economic, racial, even sexual. Johnson is the poet of the uneasy place between rising and falling, the pressures of status and humiliation, the precarious moral footing we are all navigating now. A sharp edged portrait of Los Angeles, and ourselves.” —Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander andPaint it Black

“Johnson’s (Elsewhere, California) superb short story collection features well-drawn characters, vivid descriptions of Los Angeles, and nuanced reflections on money, race, and family. The stories stand alone, but they share preoccupations, and sometimes settings… This is essential reading for Angelenos, Californians, and anyone interested in masterly, morally engaged storytelling.”—Starred Publishers Weekly
“An insightful collection of stories that paint diverse portraits of present-day Los Angeles… the themes of race, perspective, and history carry through. Eleven poignant stories that look to the past to portray the present.” —Kirkus
"Set against backdrops of gritty neighborhoods, Johnson’s arresting story collection explores the boundaries of identity, relationships, and race…Emotions sneak up in many of Johnson’s 11 stories, and her characters have no choice but to deal with what hits them." —Booklist
“There is an exquisite tension in each of the stories in Dana Johnson’s remarkable collection — couples who look past each other instead of into each other, women who try to negotiate upward mobility, wanting what you can’t have and having what you don’t want. Johnson has, truly, written an unforgettable collection. She is both a storyteller and an exacting observer of the beautiful ugly truths of Los Angeles, class, race, being alive.” —Roxane Gay, bestselling author of An Untamed State and Bad Feminist
“With deep insight into character, intimate relationships, and the modern search for personal freedom, In the Not Quite Dark is powerful new work that feels both urgent and timeless.” —Chicago Review of Books
“In her new collection, In the Not Quite Dark, [Johnson] offers 11 electrifying stories filled with tension and truth about present-day Los Angeles. “My mother died telling me what to do,” her narrator begins in “No Blaming the Harvard Boys,” a story about a young black student at a midwestern writers’ workshop navigating the caste system at a tumultuous party at her professor’s house. “She Deserves Everything She Gets” builds around the tension between the lessons parents teach young women about protecting themselves against rape and the dangers they don’t foresee. Johnson’s vision is razor sharp, her voice unmistakable.” –Lit Hub
“In her brilliant collection, Dana Johnson presents a vision of America that is singular, utterly original, and necessary. These are superb stories grappling with the complexities of love and the way it winds through gender and race and class in our nation right now. Johnson is expert at exploring how the world tries to separate us —and how her characters find urgent ways to connect. These are stories radiant with beauty and compassion and clear-sighted, uncompromising wisdom." —Karen E. Bender, author of National Book Award finalist Refund
“Newer than tomorrow, the stories in In the Not Quite Dark illuminate the travails of contemporary life faced with aspects of gentrification—social, economic, racial, even sexual. Johnson is the poet of the uneasy place between rising and falling, the pressures of status and humiliation, the precarious moral footing we are all navigating now. A sharp edged portrait of Los Angeles, and ourselves.” —Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander andPaint it Black
“What a gift to have a new collection of hard-to-shake stories from the inimitable Dana Johnson. She writes about the contradictions of our contemporary moment with an honesty that is gimlet-eyed, rueful, and often wickedly funny. But along with implacable honesty there are also deep reserves of generosity in these stories, each one taking our hearts to places we don’t see coming and can’t readily forget.” —Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum, author of PEN/Faulkner Award finalist Ms. Hempel Chronicles
“In these haunting and beautiful stories, Dana Johnson conjures a definitive portrait of contemporary Los Angeles. Her native eye is infallible, and her voice reigns over the city with grace, wit, and total authority.” —Jim Gavin, author of Middle Men

Dana Johnson is the author of Break Any Woman Down, winner of the Flannery O'Conor Award for Short Fiction, and the novel Elsewhere, California. Both books were nominees for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Born and raised in and around Los Angeles, she is an associate professor of English at the University of Southern California. Learn more atwww.danajohnsonauthor.com. 



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on September 16th, 2016

Questionnaire (Bloomsbury)

Questionnaires are everywhere: we fill them out at doctors' offices and at job interviews, to express ourselves and to advance knowledge, to find love and to kill time. But where did they come from, and why have they proliferated? Evan Kindley's Questionnaire investigates the history of “the form as form,” from the Victorian confession album to the BuzzFeed quiz. By asking questions about the questions we ask ourselves, Kindley uncovers surprising connections between literature and science, psychology and business, and journalism and surveillance.

Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things, published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic.

Praise for Questionnaire

"A marvelous book that gathers an unexpected array of materials under the heading of the questionnaire: from IQ tests to the early days of marriage counseling, from data-mining Facebook quizzes to Scientology's rigged personality tests. Playful, smart and rich with dizzying connections, Evan Kindley's Questionnaire is no less than a secret history of how we became a nation of oversharers." - Hua Hsu, author of A Floating Chinaman: Fantasy and Failure Across the Pacific; Contributor for The New Yorker;  Associate Professor of English, at Vassar College

Evan Kindley is a senior editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books and a visiting instructor at Claremont McKenna College. His writing has appeared in the New Republic, Bookforum, n+1, the London Review of Books, the Los Angeles Times, and other publications.

Rosten Woo is an artist, designer, writer, and educator living in Los Angeles. He makes things that help people understand complex systems, re-orient themselves to places, and participate in group decision-making.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on September 16th, 2016

#RECURRENT, is a new series at Civil Coping Mechanisms, which launches two titles in 2016 and is edited by Janice Lee, author of Damnation,ReconsolidationThe Sky Isn't Blue, and Executive Editor of Entropy.

The series will push the boundaries of narrative with books that seek to reconstruct, reimagine & expand on existing narrative spaces. Not bound to genre or category, #RECURRENT books will be intuitive, instigative, innovative, sensitive, perceptive, heart-breaking, and honest. More than anything, #RECURRENT is interested in writing that gestures towards intimacy in different ways, in writing that isn’t afraid to reveal or retreat, and writing that makes us feel all the feelings.

Blind Spot (Civil Coping Mechanisms)

Here, memory like a dripping faucet, slowly leaking events and considerations, one constantly feels like they are balancing on a teetering chair. This rigorous investigation of being leads one to consider the way a world revolves around a man like a vortex, the propensity of clipped phrases that alter, edit, build, revise, a constant modification of the one way one sees the world, exists in the world, remembers. Repetition, like stuttering, leads one through and around the vortex of consideration, yet like poetry the language points and articulates, then stutters again, the text as a glitchy archetype of keeping track, of observation, of the harmonious discontinuity of time’s ebb and flow: “There is no break in the harmony, and no seeing anything but for what it is.”

This brilliant, poetic novel weaves a new structure for narrative, forces the reader to consider the complex and profound structures hidden in a record of time, each observation of the utterly quotidian transforming into a lyrical evocation of essential significance. Each repetition is a surprise, and each consideration an impossible enigma. Narrated by a mysterious and clairvoyant consciousness, Blind Spot, is both blind and honest, isolated and compulsive, and achieves with such magnificent beauty a reconceptualization of seeing and reading that one might enter this book through its first lines and wish to never come out again.

Praise for Blind Spot

"This is a gorgeous slippery novel in the mode of Georges Perec or Magdalena Tulli or Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi or . . . Harold Abramowitz! I read it with a tumbling sort of pleasure by a small body of water as a hummingbird with a purple throat came and went. It, the bird, seemed, in its hovering, to be trying to read Blind Spot over my shoulder. Is that why it kept coming back? One impossibly exquisite thing seeking another?"—Danielle Dutton

“It’s one thing to write a novel about trauma – to tell a coherent story, to create (and be comforted by, to whatever extent) a narrative arc of pain and loss. But it’s something else entirely to find oneself inside a series of imagistic and syntactical loops – a Venn diagram of partial thoughts (or dreams or memories) that become more certain and more troubling each time they refuse to relate or resolve. Harold Abramowitz’s Blind Spot is not about anything – about, from the Old English, ‘outside of.’ Instead, it’s a kind of prayer made out of attention (Simone Weil). Incantatory and somatechnic. I fucking love this book. Abramowitz writes the mind and body (in trauma, in everyday life) from the knotted and careful inside."—TC Tolbert

“Like a careful clinician, a mathematician of the soul, Abramowitz takes us on a voyage of cautious deliberation. How does he do it? How is it that he creates such deep suspense and eager, almost anxious, anticipation through such minute & slightly various ministrations of lexicon? Alongside him we become careful detectives of our narrators’ confusions & disappointments even as we try to discover, again alongside him, just where it is that the center of those confusions lie …. It is a strange, unsettling, and beautiful book.”—Veronica Gonzalez

Harold Abramowitz is from Los Angeles.  He is author and co-author of books of poetry and prose, including Dear Dearly DepartedNot Blessed, and UNFO Burns A Million Dollars. Harold writes and edits as part of the collaborative projects eohippus labs, SAM OR SAMANTHA YAMS and UNFO.

Gaijin (Civil Coping Mechanisms)

“I build a body back from these fractured myths and severed edges.”—Jordan Okumura, Gaijin

How can a family be a demolition of the self and a home one lives in? How does a fractured body heal a trauma through connection? Deeply embedded in the novel Gaijin, by Jordan Okumura, is an unsettling nostalgia for family and for her Japanese culture, haunted by whispers and by abandoning, by illness and isolation, by silence and trauma. The novel attempts to simultaneously track a personal rupture and a family, through the painful and awkward reclamation of the self after sexual violence and the evocation of a patriarch who is half dreamed, half real.  The narrative bravely plows forward in reconciling two disparate sources of grief in order to heal them, trying to articulate the inarticulatable in a style that straddles genres—part memoir, part mythology, and part eulogy to a grandfather.Gaijin, a first novel for Okumura, is so powerful in its poetry and aching, it crushes the breath out of you as you read, cracks your chest wide open. Though the sum of Okumura’s exquisite metaphors is often grim, tragic, there is always a glimmer in the yearning.

Praise for Gaijin 

“And what is the measure of self inside grief? Jordan Okumura’s novelGaijin is a body song. By weaving stories of loss and myth, Okumura brings an identity to life, half real, half imagined. I was mesmerized from start to finish.”—Lidia Yuknavitch, author of Small Backs of Children

“Labile, alluvial, fricative, abrasive, Gaijin cuts a channel through stone which takes the shape of its own persistence. I want to say your name with a rock beneath my tongue. It stages and restages memory to pinpoint the exact site where the skin broke and the shard sank in, then gestures towards a moment-after wherein this wound, inverted, might become both shield and sword. A nervy, unnerving book.”—Joyelle McSweeney, author ofDead Youth, or, The Leaks

Gaijin makes possible the impossible language of trauma.”— Molly Gaudry, author We Take Me Apart
“To pirate, to scratch. To press or be pressed: “into the girl corner.” To watch: “the water run home.” How the cliffs “ignite.” Jordan Okumura’sGaijin is an extraordinary book of poetry written, or so it feels, into the axial space of memory, embodiment and dream. In it, a grandfather, a man “born from tears and war,” moves from space to space, just as the narrator does: the “river floor,” the garage that becomes a Japanese theater, the mouth “that is already closed.” What does it mean to have had a hand in one’s “own erasure”? I was very moved by Okumura’s decision to make a book the site of “wet erosion,” tongueless. And yet the stories pour out, “beautiful” in their “heat.” Towards the question. Of what it would be. “To stop.” I am honored to write in support of Gaijin, which takes it’s place in the contemporary literatures of exile and diaspora: an index of fire and water, “original bone,” and light.”—Bhanu Kapil, author of Schizophrene
“Reading Jordan Okumura’s poetic prose will change the way you breathe and the way you move. Her prose reaches inside you, caresses the very core of who you are, and transforms what you thought you knew about love, hope, and desire in unnerving ways. Her writing does not simply remind me of the writing of Carole Maso, Helene Cixous, and Marguerite Duras; her writing extends this tradition of intimate, passionate writing that does not fear the pain of seeing into truth. Gaijin will awaken you to new ways for seeing and feeling. Each time I have read Gaijin, I have come to know something new about myself, about my own heart. It is rare for a first novel to look in such a relentless and courageous way into familial relationships and memories as does Gaijin.”—Doug Rice, author of Between Appear and Disappear
The narrator of Jordan Okumura’s haunting and evocative Gaijin says “I “want to live the life of tongues.” But what if that tongue has been inscribed with the language of others? In lyric prose born of breath and body, Okumura wrestles with questions like: How to find one’s self when “memories don’t know how to stay past?” How to “reconcile the possibility of a girl and men” when those men have stolen all possibility from the girl? How to escape the legacy of a father when that father “is me. Wrapped in the stone of me?” In doing so, she gives us a beautifully fractured story of a journey to uncover the history of a woman hidden within the history of a family. I dare you not to fall under Okumura’s spell.”—Peter Grandbois, author of Nahoonkara

Jordan Okumura is a writer and editor. Her work has been published inGargoyleDIRTY:DIRTY (Jaded Ibis Press), Black Rabbit, and First Stop Fiction. Jordan lives and works in Sacramento, California where she is an editor for trade news publications in the agricultural industry and is a regular contributor at Enclave/EntropyGaijin is her first book.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on September 4th, 2016

Spectacular Illumination: Neon Los Angeles 1925-1965 (Angel City Press)

Spectacular Illumination: Neon Los Angeles, 1925-1965 is a unique, and indeed, spectacular collection of vintage photos that showcases the glowing neon heritage of the City of Angels. L.A. has long been recognized as the most vibrant city in the U.S., with part of its radiance coming from the signs lining its streets during the Golden Age of neon from 1925 to 1965. Photographer and historian Tom Zimmerman shows images depicting, in both color and black-and-white, what Raymond Chandler, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and countless other writers have tried to put into words.

More than 200 stunning images fill its pages, mostly in the era’s predominant black-and-white photography —  photos that attest to the amazing communicative power of neon, the light that was revered for its dramatic color. An historic black-and-white view of Broadway, with thousands of neon tubes and flourescent bulbs beaming, captured by photographer J. Howard Mott, instantly expresses why L.A. gained the reputation as a city where everything is new, everything is exciting, and everything is for show. The image of ’Wich Stand that adorns the cover of Spectacular Illumination juxtaposes vivid neon lights with the other classic symbols of the city, a palm tree and a drive-in eatery. And without doubt the neon steals the show. Photographers such as Mott, John Swope, and Will Connell and their work are featured in the pages of Spectacular Illumination, a book meticulously designed and edited by neon historian and graphic designer J. Eric Lynxwiler.
Spectacular Illumination tells a story of a city that has glowed, now glows, and, thanks to institutions such as Southern California’s Museum of Neon Art that preserve the art form, will glow forever.

Tom Zimmerman is a native of Los Angeles and shares a birthday with the city. His prose has been published in Southern California Quarterly, California History, and Los Angeles Times Magazine. His photography has appeared in many magazines and newspapers, as well as in several books on Los Angeles history and architecture. His photos have been exhibited across the country and are in several permanent collections including the Library of Congress, California State Library, and the Los Angeles Public Library. Three books of his photographs have been published: A Day in the Season of the Los Angeles DodgersWednesday at the Pier, and Downtown in Detail. A catalog of his photographic series Neon Noir was published by the Museum of Neon Art, where it was first exhibited. He has also written three historical books. Light and Illusion: The Hollywood Portraits of Ray Jones;Paradise Promoted: The Selling of Los Angeles 1870–1930, and El Camino Real, Highway 101 and the Route of the Daylight.

J. Eric Lynxwiler grew up in Southern California and earned his degree in urban anthropology at UCLA. Popular host of the Museum of Neon Art’s renowned Neon Cruise, he also serves on the museum’s board of directors and has saved dozens of neon signs. Lynxwiler is a graphic designer and co-authored the celebrated book Wilshire Boulevard: Grand Concourse of Los Angeles as well as Knott’s Preserved: From Boysenberry to Theme Park, the History of Knott’s Berry Farm.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on September 4th, 2016

My Damage: The Story of a Punk Rock Survivor (Da Capo Press)

Keith Morris is a true punk icon. No one else embodies the sound of Southern Californian hardcore. Short and sporting waist–length dreadlocks, Morris is known the world over for his take–no–prisoners approach on the stage and his integrity off of it. Over the course of his forty–year career, he’s battled diabetes, drug and alcohol addiction, and the record industry.

My Damage is more than a book about the highs and lows of a punk rock legend, however. It’s also a look at rock ’n’ roll through the lens of someone who has shared the stage with just about every major figure in the music industry and appeared in cult films like The Decline of Western Civilization and Repo Man. It’s a Hollywood story from a native’s perspective. My Damage is Morris’s streets, his scene, his music—as only he can tell it.

Keith Morris is an icon of American hardcore music. He is a co-founding member of Black Flag, the most recognizable name in West Coast punk rock, and the Circle Jerks, which cemented his reputation at the forefront of hardcore vocalists. He has recorded over fifteen albums, appeared on countless albums and compilations, and has a half-dozen film credits to his name. The intensity of the music produced by his latest bands OFF! and FLAG are equal to his best work from the 70s, 80s, and 90s and add to a legendary career that is still being carved out one gig at a time. A native of California, he has lived in Los Feliz for over twenty years. 

photo by Geoff Moore

Jim Ruland caught the punk rock virus when his mom took him to see the Ramones when he was 15. He has been writing for punk rock zines like "Flipside" since the early 90s and has written for every issue of "Razorcake," America s only non-profit independent music fanzine. He is the author of the award-winning novel "Forest of Fortune" and the short story collection "Big Lonesome." He is the curator of the Southern California-based irreverent reading series Vermin on the Mount. He lives in San Diego.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on September 4th, 2016

The Last Days of Night (Random House)

From Graham Moore, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of The Imitation Game and New York Times bestselling author of The Sherlockian, comes a thrilling historical novel—based on actual events—about the nature of genius, the cost of ambition, and the battle to electrify America.

In 1888 New York, gas lamps still flicker in the city streets, but electric light is in its infancy. The person who can harness this miracle and bring it to the masses, to forever change people’s relationship with night, will make history—and a vast fortune. An untested lawyer named Paul Cravath, fresh out of Columbia Law School, takes a case that seems impossible to win. Paul’s client, George Westinghouse, has been sued by Thomas Edison over a billion-dollar question: Who invented the light bulb and holds the right to power the country?

The case affords Paul entry to the heady world of high society—the glittering parties in Gramercy Park mansions, and the more insidious dealings done behind closed doors. The task facing him is beyond daunting. Edison is a wily, dangerous opponent with vast resources at his disposal—private spies, newspapers in his pocket, and the backing of J. P. Morgan himself. Yet this unknown lawyer shares with his famous adversary a compulsion to win at all costs. How will he do it?

In obsessive pursuit of victory, Paul crosses paths with Nikola Tesla, an eccentric, brilliant inventor who may hold the key to defeating Edison, and with Agnes Huntington, a beautiful opera singer who proves to be a flawless performer on stage and off. As Paul takes greater and greater risks, he’ll find that everyone in his path is playing their own game, and no one is quite who they seem.

Praise for The Last Days of Night

“In The Last Days of Night, Graham Moore takes us back to the dawn of light—electric light—into a world of invention and skullduggery, populated by the likes of Edison, Westinghouse, Tesla, and the novel’s hero, a young lawyer named Paul Cravath (a name that will resonate with ambitious law students everywhere). It’s part legal thriller, part tour of a magical time—the age of wonder—and once you’ve finished it, you’ll find it hard to return to the world of now.”—Erik Larson, author of The Devil in the White City

“Mesmerizing, clever, and absolutely crackling, The Last Days of Night is a triumph of imagination. Graham Moore has chosen Gilded Age New York as his playground, with outsized characters—Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse—as his players. The result is a beautifully researched, endlessly entertaining novel that will leave you buzzing.” —Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl

The Last Days of Night is a wonder, a riveting historical novel that is part legal thriller, part techno-suspense. This fast-paced story about the personal and legal clash over the invention of the light bulb is a tale of larger-than- life characters and devious doings, and a significant meditation on the price we as a society pay for new technology. Thoughtful and hugely entertaining.” —Scott Turow

“The author of The Sherlockian presents another twisty historical novel set at the end of the gaslight era. This time the story takes place in a New York City perched on the very precipice of electricity. The book’s central focus is on American ingenuity as the basis for commercial success and the so-called ‘war of currents’ waged between Thomas Edison, George Westinghouse, and Nikola Tesla over the creation of the lightbulb. Paul Cravath, the brilliant but inexperienced lawyer hired by Westinghouse to countersue the pugnacious Edison for copyright infringement, unscrupulous behavior, and even violence, provides a first person perspective. Legal battles and the rancor between scientists drive the pace, while a curious romance unmasks yet another underhanded charade. Woven into this complex drama is a philosophical question about invention: Who is the inventor: the one with the idea, the one who makes a working model, or the one to obtain the patent? Who really did invent the lightbulb? A thought-provoking, suspenseful novel, surprising in its focus…illuminative of character…[with] keen biographical insights.” —Booklist

“Moore, again turning to historical events for the basis of a thrilling plot, tackles the ‘war of the currents,’…Amid the bickering of the iconic characters, Paul [Cravath] ends up emerging as the emotional center, trying to hold strands of the case together and stay true to his own moral standards…Moore’s extensive research is apparent, and readers are likely to walk away from the book feeling as informed as they are entertained.” —Publishers Weekly

Graham Moore is the New York Times bestselling author of The Sherlockian and the Academy Award–winning screenwriter for The Imitation Game, which also won a Writers Guild of America Award for best adapted screenplay. Moore was born in Chicago, received a B.A. in religious history from Columbia University in 2003, and now lives in Los Angeles.

Sam Wasson is the author of the New York Times bestseller Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M .: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and the Dawn of the Modern Woman and two works of film criticism. His latest book is Fosse, a full-scale biography of the legendary director-choreographer. You can visit Sam at www.samwasson.com



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on September 4th, 2016

Break in Case of Emergency (Knopf)

Jessica Winter's ferociously intelligent debut novel is a wry satire of celebrity do-goodism as well as an exploration of the difficulty of navigating friendships as they shift to accommodate marriage and family, and the unspoken tensions that can strain even the strongest bonds.

Jen has reached her early thirties and has all but abandoned a once-promising painting career when, spurred by the 2008 economic crisis, she takes a poorly defined job at a feminist nonprofit. The foundation's ostensible aim is to empower women, but staffers spend all their time devising acronyms for imaginary programs, ruthlessly undermining one another, and stroking the ego of their boss, the larger-than-life celebrity philanthropist Leora Infinitas. Jen's complicity in this passive-aggressive hellscape only intensifies her feelings of inferiority compared to her two best friends one a wealthy attorney with a picture-perfect family, the other a passionately committed artist, as does Jen's apparent inability to have a baby, a source of existential panic that begins to affect her marriage and her already precarious status at the office. As Break in Case of Emergency unfolds, a fateful art exhibition, a surreal boondoggle adventure in Belize, and a devastating personal loss conspire to force Jen to reckon with some hard truths about herself and the people she loves most. 

Praise for Break in Case of Emergency:

“Jessica Winter is so insanely whip-smart and her novel, which I could not stop reading, made me see the world differently whenever I lifted my eyes from the pages.  Winter possesses that magical ability to render the familiar absurd and the absurd familiar, and to create characters that break your heart. Break in Case of Emergency is one of those books I considered my companion, and I missed it when it was over.” —Heidi Julavits
Break in Case of Emergency is compelling, funny, sad, moving, and ultimately uplifting. Winter is one of the best satirists of the workplace I've read in years; she has a deadly ear for the belief-defying hypocrisies of the office and the art world. But she's also a tender portraitist of the bonds of love, family, and friendship, and of the thousand little (and not so little) ways a person can defeat herself in the search for happiness. I couldn't put this book down.” —Paul La Farge, author of Luminous Airplanes
Break In Case of Emergency is brimming with sharp, bitingly funny commentary on the absurdities that abound in the world of celebrity philanthropy, and the seeming impossibilities of modern adulthood, but it also gives us smart, lovable characters to guide us through the maze.” —Caroline Zancan, author of Local Girls
“Jessica Winter nails the moment in your life when you go from “young” to “no longer young”—that see-saw teetering point between your 20s and 30s, and its specific mix of ignorance you’ll be embarrassed by later, and confidence you’ll someday wish you could have back.  If you’re wondering what it’s like to live in New York when you’re young, just buy Jessica Winter’s book.  It’s funny, satirical, and deftly written. And it’s much cheaper than a 2-bedroom in Brooklyn.” —Mike Schur, co-creator of Parks and Recreation

Jessica Winter is features editor at Slate and the former culture editor ofTime. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Bookforum, The Believer, and many other publications. She lives in Brooklyn.

Doree Shafrir is a culture writer for BuzzFeed News and the author of the novel Startup, forthcoming from Little, Brown in spring/summer 2017. She lives in Los Angeles.



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

You Will Know Me (Little Brown and Company)

The audacious new novel about family and ambition from "one of the best living mystery writers" ("Grantland") and bestselling, award-winning author of The FeverMegan Abbott. 

How far will you go to achieve a dream? That's the question a celebrated coach poses to Katie and Eric Knox after he sees their daughter Devon, a gymnastics prodigy and Olympic hopeful, compete. For the Knoxes there are no limits--until a violent death rocks their close-knit gymnastics community and everything they have worked so hard for is suddenly at risk. As rumors swirl among the other parents, Katie tries frantically to hold her family together while also finding herself irresistibly drawn to the crime itself. What she uncovers--about her daughter's fears, her own marriage, and herself--forces Katie to consider whether there's any price she isn't willing to pay to achieve Devon's dream. 

From a writer with "exceptional gifts for making nerves jangle and skin crawl" (Janet Maslin), You Will Know Me is a breathless rollercoaster of a novel about the desperate limits of parental sacrifice, furtive desire, and the staggering force of ambition. 

Praise for You Will Know Me:

“Almost unbearably tense, chilling and addictive, You Will Know Me deftly transports the reader to the hyper-competitive arena of gymnastics where the dreams and aspirations of not just families but entire communities rest on the slender shoulders of one teenage girl. Exceptional."–Paula Hawkins, author of the #1 bestseller The Girl on the Train

"Is there anything Megan Abbott can't do? We will have to wait for the answer to that question because You Will Know Me continues her formidable winning streak. This story of an ordinary family with an extraordinary child is gorgeously written, psychologically astute, a page-turner that forces you to slow down and savor every word... And, yes -- please forgive me -- she totally sticks the landing."–Laura Lippman, New York Times bestselling author of Hush Hush

“Megan Abbott’s latest thriller plunges readers into the shockingly realistic life of young, female gymnasts whose severely regulated lives come with unthinkable consequences. Gritty, graphic, and yet beautiful and dreamlike in the way the story unfolds, You Will Know Me comes barreling at you with all the power and urgency of a high-speed train, as Abbott asserts herself as one of the greatest crime writers of our time.”–Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Girl

“That rarefied sweet spot between unnerving psychological suspense and a family drama with heart, You Will Know Me induces equal parts dread and unease, empathy and warmth. The pages couldn't turn fast enough as I dug deeper into the peculiar and fascinating Knox-family world, trying to figure out who was lying, who was telling the truth, and who was dangerous. Luscious writing, a timely and unique premise, and an ending that will haunt you all summer long.”–Jessica Knoll, author of the New York Times bestseller Luckiest Girl Alive

You Will Know Me takes you into the dark heart of family, a journey that feels more menacing with every page. Abbott cranks the tension up in this disturbing tale of exactly what we are prepared to do for our children - I was reading compulsively into the night. A beautifully written, gripping read that feels unshakeably real.”–Kate Hamer, author of The Girl in the Red Coat

Megan Abbott is the award-winning author of eight novels, including The Fever and Dare Me. She received her Ph.D. in English and American literature from New York University. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Salon, the Los Angeles Review of Books, the Wall Street Journal, and the Guardian. Megan is currently a staff writer on HBO's forthcoming David Simon show, The Deuce. She lives in New York City. 



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

Selfish Issue Four: Hot and Bothered

Selfish, the feminist memoir magazine, is back with its fourth and boldest issue yet. Join us for a night of wine and the sweaty tension that comes from trying to become and trying to be. You know the one, don't you? Come hear six of the 30 contributors read about what has them feeling hot and bothered. Guaranteed to make you warm in some regard or another. And seriously, don't forget that we'll have wine. 

Our readers will include: 

Allison Noelle Conner is a writer and zine-maker of Haitian descent. Currently she is at work on her first book, a prose project exploring institutionalization, possessions, and unbecoming from the perspective of an anxious young woman. She lives in Los Angeles.

Bonnilee Kaufman attended the Lambda Literary Foundation writing retreat for emerging voices (2012) and is an active member of the QueerWise senior writing collective. She has been published in the anthologies: Ghosts of the HolocaustMilk and Honey--A Celebration of Jewish Lesbian Poetry; on-line at BayLaurelL50+& journalsRiver's VoicesConceptions Southwest & Sinister Wisdom.

A. Nicole Kelly is a Kimbilio Fiction Fellow who received an MFA from the Programs in Writing at UC Irvine. Her essays have been published byEntreMundos and yr an adult, and her fiction has appeared in Drunken Boat,ZYZZYVAFiction Southeast, and The Carolina Quarterly. She is a host ofBitchface, a feminist podcast featuring the words, sounds, and stories of dope women. Raised in the south and based in LA, she is working on a novel in New York City and a collection of short stories that take place around the world. 

Dacy Lim is a writer and photographer with a tendency to make bad drawings. She is about to start an MFA program for Creative Writing at Kingston University where she hopes to indulge in her obsession with the mouth. If she's not making a fool of herself with her friends, she's sitting at home making a fool of herself in front of her dog. Currently she is trying to figure out what to figure out next. Follow her on IG: @lacydim or read some occasionally inspired words at her blog www.yourbroad.weebly.com.

Kelsey Nolan is a writer, editor, professional book-slinger, and bottom-shelf wine extraordinaire. She received her Masters in Professional Writing from USC and spends her time asking people if they know what that is. Other interests include dealing with inbox anxiety, hyping LA, and binging on literature. 

Chloe Isabella Parks is an LA-based art director and co-founder of the bi-annual magazine, Object Journal (objectjournal.com). Her background lies in design, and has spent her formative years working for fashion tech companies in Los Angeles. Always keeping humor as a focus of her work, she aims to create optimistic designs that create playful conversations. She doesn’t usually write poems, but she did for this project and she might very well do it again!!



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

Join WriteGirl at 5pm to hear new creative voices by teen girls! Get inspired as WriteGirl teens speak their minds and read their original work. The reading will be the culmination of a series of five summer workshops that WriteGirl is holding July 20 through August 6 at The Huntington in Pasadena. Please RSVP at rsvp@writegirl.org or (213) 253-2655. For information about WriteGirl, visit www.writegirl.org.

WriteGirl is a creative writing and mentoring organization that promotes creativity, critical thinking and leadership skills to empower teen girls.



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

LOVF (Fantagraphics)

LOVF is the sketchbook companion of a man literally losing his mind. Homeless and broke after giving all his stuff to punk rock heroin dealers, he ends up off his meds and on a secret quest from Portland to Brooklyn, DC, LA, San Francisco, and Seattle. He throws himself into every experience like it was his last; like it should be his last. With wild energy, promiscuity, criminal activity, and substance abuse, this becomes a full-blown manic episode... all of it captured by LOVF, the trusty sidekick. Jammed with cartoons, mad schemes, psychedelic portraits, and notes from the road, LOVF is a travel journal, and a mirror of the post-traumatic dreamworld its author can’t escape from. After losing his house, his job, his partner, and his best friend, he is triple-diagnosed with bipolar mood disorder, PTSD, and crippling chronic pain. As a self-professed over-achiever, he made sure things only got worse from there. Getting beat up in the street, running from the law, getting dragged out of a creek and into a mental hospital… it’s a Kerouacian meltdown of cross-hatching, spattered marker, crayons, glitter, tape, nail polish, white-out, fingerpainting, rain, wine, stickers, and word balloons, like the found diary of a homeless crazyman, turned into a comic book.

"Equal parts confounding, bleak, psychedelic, and beautiful. I'm ever grateful to Jesse and Fantagraphics for preserving and sharing such intimate vulnerabilities with the world."
--Craig Thompson [Blankets, Habibi]

Jesse Reklaw grew up in Sacramento, studied at UC Santa Cruz, and completed a master’s degree in computer science at Yale University. In 1995, while pursuing a Ph.D. in artificial intelligence, he began self-publishing comics and dropped out of Yale to be a cartoonist. His other books includeCouch TagApplicant, and The Night of Your Life.



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

Drinking Mare's Milk on the Roof of the World: Wandering the Globe from Azerbaijan to Zanzibar (OR Books)

Tom Lutz is addicted to journeying. Sometimes he stops at the end of the road, sometimes he travels further. In this richly packed portmanteau of traveler’s tales, we accompany him as he drives beyond the blacktop in Morocco, to the Saharan dunes on the Algerian border, and east of Ankara into the Hittite ruins of Boğazkale. We ride alongside as he hitches across Uzbekistan and the high mountain passes of Kyrgyzstan into western China. We catch up with him as he traverses the shores of a lake in Malawi, and disappear with him into the disputed areas of the Ukraine and Moldova. We follow his footsteps through the swamps of Sri Lanka, the wilds of Azerbaijan, the plains of Tibet, the casinos of Tanzania, the peasant hinterlands of Romania and Albania, and the center of Swaziland, where we join him in watching the king pick his next wife. All along the way, we witness his perplexity in trying to understand a compulsion to keep moving, ever onward, to the ends of the earth.

Praise for Tom Lutz

“Move over Pico Iyer: Tom Lutz has returned to town with an irresistible book of true stories about accidental intimacies in unexpected places. His encounters on the road, described in gorgeous prose, are brief but intense. Lighting out for the territories has never seemed so enthralling.”—Jon Wiener

“Highly intelligent, stimulatingly eclectic, and impressively learned.” —Salon on Lutz's Doing Nothing

“In these provocative and personal travel essays, Tom Lutz walks the seam between memory and landcape, finding traces in the physical that illuminate the inner life. Smart, pointed, funny, and surprising, Lutz's journeys reveal both the writer and the world he navigates, offering not epiphany so much as engagement, which is, of course, the only thing that counts.” —David L. Ulin

Tom Lutz is Editor-in-Chief of the Los Angeles Review of Books and teaches creative writing at the University of California, Riverside. His previous books include Doing Nothing: A History of LoafersLoungers, Slackers, and Bums and Crying: The Natural and Cultural History of Tears.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on August 14th, 2016

Summer Forgets to Wear a Petticoat (Finishing Line Press)

Summer Forgets to Wear a Petticoat explores the author's passions & obsessions. These include subjects as varied as cooking, religion, fashion, and mystery novels. Set against the backdrop of Los Angeles, the poems in this chapbook suggest that to embrace the mystery of existence, one must play detective.

Mehnaz Sahibzada was born in Pakistan and raised in Los Angeles. She holds an M.A. in Religious Studies from UC Santa Barbara, and she is a 2009 PEN USA Emerging Voices Fellow in Poetry. Her short story, "The Alphabet Workbook," appeared in the August 2010 issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. Her poetry chapbook, Tongue-Tied: A Memoir in Poems, was published in 2012 by Finishing Line Press, and her second chapbook, Summer Forgets to Wear a Petticoat, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. Her work has appeared in publications such as Asia WritesThe Rattling Wall,Wide Awake and Pedestal Magazine. An English teacher, she lives in southern California.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on August 14th, 2016

World of Warcraft (Boss Fight Books)

At more than 100 million user accounts created and over $10 billion made, it is not only the most-subscribed MMORPG in the world, but the highest-grossing video game of all time. Ten years after its launch, Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft is less a game and more a world unto itself, and it's a world Daniel Lisi knows well. More time in his high school years was spent in Azeroth than in his hometown of Irvine, CA—a home he happened to share with Blizzard itself.

Now that Lisi has founded his own game development studio, WoW remains his most powerful example of just how immersive and consuming a game can be. Based on research, interviews, and the author's own experience in a hardcore raiding guild, Lisi's book examines WoW's origins, the addictive power of its gameplay loop, the romances WoW has both cemented and shattered, the enabling power of anonymity, and the thrill of conquering BlizzCon with guildmates you've known for years and just met for the first time.

Daniel Lisi is the CEO and co-founder of Game Over, a video game development studio based in Los Angeles, CA. He's a member of Art Share LA's board of directors and facilitates an incubator for individual artists and their projects.

Jarett Kobek is a Turkish-American writer living in California. His novellaATTA was called “highly interesting,” by the Times Literary Supplement, has appeared in Spanish translation, been the subject of much academic writing, and was a recent and unexplained bestseller in parts of Canada. His most recent book is I Hate the Internet. Presently, he's working on a book about Ol' Dirty Bastard's first album for Bloomsbury's 33 1/3 series. 

Gabe Durham is the founder, editor, and publisher of Boss Fight Books. His novel FUN CAMP was one of BuzzFeed's 17 Books We Loved in 2013. He lives in Los Angeles, CA.

Brock Wilbur is a nightmare man with a heart of solid gold. Born in Salina, Kansas and booklearn'd at the Northwestern University in Chicago, Brock is a 6'7" writer slash comedian now living in Los Angeles. He has some books and standup albums and films that you might enjoy, and you can track them all down on the internetwebs. He accepts tributes in the form of video games and gin -- like an adult.


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