JENNIFER GRAYSON DISCUSSES HER NEW BOOK UNLATCHED

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on July 22nd, 2016

Unlatched: The Evolution of Breastfeeding and the Making of a Controversy (Harper)

In Unlatched, Grayson transcends today’s “mommy wars” to offer the first incisive look at the many cultural, corporate, political, and technological factors that have transformed an essential human function into one of the most controversial thrive-and- survive issues of our time. 

Today, in our age of social media, the debate—vocal and contentious—is everywhere. In her book, Grayson contends that nearly daily, another breastfeeding blowup finds its way into the headlines: “Facebook Removes Photos of Women Breastfeeding, Citing Content as ‘Offensive’! Michelle Obama and Michele Bachmann Come to Blows on the Politics of Breast Pumps! Gisele Bündchen Reveals Breastfeeding Selfie on Instagram!” Says Grayson, “Even the release of scientific breastfeeding studies sent thousands of commenters running to the message boards, as women proclaimed themselves either ‘lactivists’ or proud bottle-feeders, each camp pointing fingers at the other.”

Yet as a new mother herself, Grayson had grappled with her own nursing decisions. “Breast is best may have been deposited into our national consciousness, and it may finally have become consensus in the medical establishment, yet still, we all felt pretty conflicted, even queasy about breastfeeding,” she relates. It wasn’t even until Grayson became a mother that she, admittedly a child of the Great Formula Age, began to consider the constellation of impacts of having missed out on this profound connection. Breastfeeding her own children and finding herself drawn into the larger story, she set off on a worldwide search for answers about the first, most fundamental experience of life. She discovered that the issues involved were momentous. Determined to present the full story about the connection of breastfeeding to the health and well-being of our children, in Unlatched Grayson weaves a meticulously reported and riveting journey through our breastfeeding history—from biblical times to eighteenth century France, from modern-day Mongolia to inner-city Los Angeles. Along the way, she takes readers behind the scenes at a human milk research laboratory, interviews controversial breastfeeding figures, and shares stories about nursing mothers around the world, including her own experience extended breastfeeding her two daughters. 

Fascinating, far-reaching and yet intimate, Unlatched is essential reading not just for American parents and parents-to- be, but for anyone interested in the endurance of our species.

Praise for Unlatched:

"Unlatched is an intelligent, often funny, deftly written page-turner. Honestly, I'm surprised at how enthusiastically I find myself recommending a book about breastfeeding. Perfect not just for new parents, but for anyone who loves a good read. ---Anne Hathaway

"Grayson's book beautifully explains how we got to the breastfeeding brouhaha that exists in America today. This book is recommended reading for anyone who has breasts or loves them. ---Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein

"I'm hearing more and more that the root of much evil in our bad health is formula-feeding instead of breastfeeding, and with terrific investigative chops Jennifer Grayson nails the most insidious part of this: the government's role in hocking formula to the most vulnerable among us. ---Michael Moss, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter and New York Times bestselling author of Salt, Sugar, Fat

"Unlatched is a deeply engaging, highly personal, well researched, and thoughtfully balanced account of how modern society has denormalized breastfeeding."---Marion Nestle is professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University and author of, among other books,What to Eat.

"Unlatched is an essential book, not only for every parent to-be, but for physicians as well. Jennifer Grayson asks all the right questions, and it is clear that we must stop letting politics, money, and societal expectations trump good science." ---Dr. Lauren Streicher, renowned women's health expert, clinical associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, and author of Sex Rx: Hormones, Health, and Your Best Sex Ever

Jennifer Grayson is an environmental journalist and Huffington Post columnist whose work has appeared in publications including USA Today, The Washington Post, and American Baby, for which she appeared on the cover. She is a frequently interviewed expert on environmental issues, and is regularly consulted and featured by media outlets including MSNBC, WGN, McClatchy and Entrepreneur. Jennifer’s personal experiences as a new mother struggling with to-breastfeed-or- not-to breastfeed issues, coupled with her lifelong fascination with our vanishing connection to the natural world, led to her work on Unlatched. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two young daughters.

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DORTHE NORS DISCUSSES HER NEW BOOK SO MUCH FOR THAT WINTER, WITH JARETT KOBEK

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

So Much For That Winter (Graywolf Press/A Public Space)

Dorthe Nors follows up her acclaimed story collection Karate Chop with a pair of novellas that playfully chart the aftermath of two very twenty-first-century romances.

In "Days," a woman in her late thirties records her life in a series of lists, giving shape to the tumult of her days--one moment she is eating an apple, the next she is on the floor, howling like a dog. As the details accumulate, we experience with her the full range of emotions: anger, loneliness, regret, pain, and also joy, as the lists become a way to understand, connect to, and rebuild her life. In "Minna Needs Rehearsal Space," a novella told in headlines, an avant-garde musician is dumped via text message. Fleeing the indignity of the breakup and friends who flaunt their achievements in life, career, and family, Minna unfriends people on Facebook, listens to Bach, and reads Ingmar Bergman, then decamps to an island near Sweden, "well suited to mental catharsis."

A cheeky nod to the listicles and bulletins we scroll through on a daily basis, So Much for That Winter explores how we shape and understand experience, and the disconnection and dislocation that define our twenty-first-century lives, with Nors's unique wit and humor.

Praise for So Much for that Winter

“How often can we honestly say that a book is unlike anything else? Yet here it is, unique in form and effect.”—The Guardian

"[So Much For That Winter presents] an edgy evocation of contemporary life. Nors is a creator of small spaces; her fiction is relentless, edgy, brief."—Kirkus Reviews

“Uniquely composed, yet eminently readable. Nors's experimental style permits a sidelong glance, not only into perhaps the scaffolding upon which stories are built, but also the spaces between things—much as a painting or song reveals itself in the interims between brushstrokes or notes.”—Jeremy Garber, Powell’s

Dorthe Nors received the 2014 Per Olov Enquist Literary Prize for Karate Chop, which Publishers Weekly named one of the best books of 2014. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker and A Public Space.

Jarett Kobek is a Turkish-American writer living in California. His novella ATTA 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. 

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ADITI KHORANA READS FROM HER NOVEL MIRROR IN THE SKY

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

Mirror in the Sky (Razorbill)

For Tara Krishnan, navigating Brierly, the academically rigorous prep school she attends on scholarship, feels overwhelming and impossible. Her junior year begins in the wake of a startling discovery: A message from an alternate Earth, light years away, is intercepted by NASA. This means that on this mirror planet, there is another version of Tara, a Tara who could be living better, burning brighter, because of tiny differences in her choices. As the world lights up with the knowledge of Terra Nova, the mirror planet, Tara's life on Earth begins to change. At first, small shifts happen, like attention from Nick Osterman, the most popular guy at Brierly, and her mother playing hooky from work to watch the news all day. But eventually those small shifts swell, the discovery of Terra Nova like a black hole, bending all the light around it. Nothing on Earth—and for Tara—will ever be the same again.

In addition to its science fiction themes, Mirror in the Sky thoughtfully and acutely addresses issues of race, class, and gender through its Indian-American protagonist. “There’s a reason Tara is brown, poor and a woman in a world where privilege is equated with whiteness, wealth and masculinity,” said Khorana. “This is the modern world we live in, and Brierly is merely a microcosm of it. But Tara’s source of power is her narrative, her ability to see the world and the people she encounters through her own eyes, to tell a story in her own voice.”

The We Need Diverse Books organization listed Mirror in the Sky as one of its 2016 Must-Reads, with member and author Sona Charaipotra writing, “As a child, I longed to see myself in the pages of the books I loved so dearly—not just as a sidekick, but as the hero of the story. In Mirror in the Sky, scholarship kid Tara Krishnan gets to do just that: take charge, make change, and control her destiny—or at least try to.”

Praise for Mirror in the Sky

"From its first word, this book captivated me. Khorana weaves a story with nail-biting tension, mind-bending mystery, and stunning complexity. Rarely have I found myself so attached to such deeply flawed characters or so in love with those I once hated. Chilling, powerful, and real, Mirror in the Sky will have you thinking about all the tiny decisions that have shaped you and thrumming with the question, What if?"--Emily Henry, author of The Love That Split the World 

"In her thought-provoking debut, Aditi Khorana brilliantly blends the speculative with the contemporary. What results is a story full of layers, and rich with characters so engaging and complex I continued to think about them long after I turned the final page."--Stephanie Garber, author of Carava

Aditi Khorana spent part of her childhood in India, Denmark and New England. She has a BA in International Relations from Brown University and an MA in Global Media and Communications from the Annenberg School for Communication. She has worked as a journalist at ABC News, CNN, and PBS, and most recently as a marketing executive consulting for various Hollywood studios including FOX, Paramount and SONY.

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CHUCK KLOSTERMAN READS FROM HIS NEW BOOK BUT WHAT IF WE’RE WRONG?

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on July 11th, 2016

But What If We're Wrong? (Blue Rider Press)

We live in a culture of casual certitude. This has always been the case, no matter how often that certainty has failed. Though no generation believes there’s nothing left to learn, every generation unconsciously assumes that what has already been defined and accepted is (probably) pretty close to how reality will be viewed in perpetuity. And then, of course, time passes. Ideas shift. Opinions invert. What once seemed reasonable eventually becomes absurd, replaced by modern perspectives that feel even more irrefutable and secure—until, of course, they don’t.

But What If We’re Wrong? visualizes the contemporary world as it will appear to those who will conceive of it as the distant past. Chuck Klosterman asks questions that are profound in their simplicity: How certain are we about our understanding of gravity? How certain are we about our understanding of time? What will be the defining memory of rock music, five hundred years from today? How seriously should we view the content of our dreams? How seriously should we view the content of television? Are all sports destined for extinction? Is it possible that the greatest artist of our era is currently unknown (or—weirder still—widely known but entirely disrespected)? Is it possible we “overrate” democracy? And perhaps most disturbing, is it possible that we’ve reached the end of knowledge?

Kinetically slingshotting through a broad spectrum of objective and subjective problems, But What If We’re Wrong? is built on interviews with a variety of creative thinkers—George Saunders, David Byrne, Jonathan Lethem, Kathryn Schulz, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Brian Greene, Junot Díaz, Amanda Petrusich, Ryan Adams, Nick Bostrom, Dan Carlin, and Richard Linklater, among others—interwoven with the type of high-wire humor and nontraditional analysis only Klosterman would dare to attempt. It’s a seemingly impossible achievement: a book about the things we cannot know, explained as if we did. It’s about how we live now, once “now” has become “then.”

Chuck Klosterman is the bestselling author of six other nonfiction books (most notably Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs and I Wear the Black Hat) and two novels (Downtown Owl and The Visible Man). He has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, GQ, Esquire, SpinThe Guardian, The Believer, Billboard, The A.V. Club, and ESPN. Klosterman served as the Ethicist forThe New York Times Magazine for three years, appeared as himself in the LCD Soundsystem documentary Shut Up and Play the Hits, and co-created Grantland with Bill Simmons. Klosterman is a native of North Dakota and currently lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Entertainment Weekly TV critic Melissa Maerz.

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RAMONA AUSUBEL READS FROM HER NEW NOVEL SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF EASE AND PLENTY

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on July 11th, 2016

Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty (Riverhead Books)

Ramona Ausubel burst onto the literary scene in 2012 with her debut novelNo One is Here Except All of Us, earning the love of critics with her inimitable voice and imaginative style, and winning the PEN Center USA Fiction Award and the VCU Cabell First Novel Award, as well as being named a finalist for the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award. Next came A Guide To Being Born, an enthralling story collection that Aimee Bender declared “fresh, delicate, beautiful, expressive, otherworldly.” 

Now, already named a most-anticipated book of the year by The Millions,Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty opens on Labor Day 1976 on Martha's Vineyard. Summering at the family beach house, Fern and Edgar—married with three children—learn that the unimaginable has occurred: There is no more money. More specifically, there's no more money in the estate that had allowed them to live this charmed and comfortable life despite their professed anti-money ideals. Quickly unraveling, they are tempted away on separate adventures—unknowingly abandoning their three young children, who set about devising a kind of Netherland for themselves. 

Fresh and vital, Ausubel’s magnetic work is chock-full of humanity and wisdom, imbued with humor and bite and a vivid sense of where we find meaning and sustenance. A story of American wealth, class and mobility,Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty explores with Ausubel’s characteristic whimsy and profundity the complicated legacies and strength of family love.

Ausubel’s uncanny ability to simultaneously transport, entertain, mesmerize and inspire, makes Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty a deeply satisfying read that will linger with you in powerful ways.

Praise for Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty

“Fortunes and hearts are lost and found in a modern fairy tale set in the 1960s and '70s. . .Ausubel's magical, engrossing prose style perfectly fits this magical, engrossing story."—KIRKUS, starred review 

"This is the book about class and love that I’ve been waiting for. A riches-to-rags story with all the twists and unraveling you could want, embroidered divine in the wizardy mind of Ramona Ausubel, whose imagination and music are simply peerless. A gorgeous and moving must-read!"—Claire Vaye Watkins, author of Gold, Fame, Citrus and Battleborn

"Ramona Ausubel has given us a brilliantly imagined novel about family and fortune and the hidden knots between. You're holding a book brimming with life by an author bursting with talent." —Maggie Shipstead, author ofSeating Arrangements and Astonish Me

Ramona Ausubel is the author of the novel No One Is Here Except All of Us, winner of the PEN Center USA Fiction Award and the VCU Cabell First Novel Award, and finalist for the New York Public Library's Young Lions Fiction Award. She is also the author of the story collection A Guide to Being Born, and has been published in The New YorkerOne StoryThe Paris Review Daily, and Best American Fantasy.

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EMMA CLINE READS FROM HER DEBUT NOVEL THE GIRLS

Posted in , skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on July 11th, 2016

The Girls (Random House)

Selected as one of 2016’s Must Read Books by Entertainment Weekly, Flavorwire & The Millions, Skylight Books is proud to welcome one of the most exciting debuts in recent memory.
 
The Girls is the story of Evie, a woman who is haunted by the summer of 1969 in California when she was a lonely fourteen-year-old. One day she sees a girl at a park, a girl with a gang of other girls who seem free and alive. She is mesmerized by them, Suzanne in particular. She is quickly drawn into their soon-to-be infamous cult and meets the man who is its charismatic leader. As her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie becomes closer and closer to unthinkable violence and to that moment in a girl’s life when everything can go horribly wrong. Cline perfectly captures the voice of an adolescent girl who feels insignificant—the girl who cannot let go of that person who first noticed her. With razor-sharp precision and startling psychological insight, The Girls is a brilliant work of fiction—and an unforgettable portrait of girls, and of the women they become.  

Praise for The Girls

“Emma Cline’s first novel positively hums with fresh, startling, luminous prose. The Girls announces the arrival of a thrilling new voice in American fiction.”—Jennifer Egan

“Emma Cline has an unparalleled eye for the intricacies of girlhood, turning the stuff of myth into something altogether more intimate. The Girls destroys our ability to consider violence a foreign territory, and reminds us that behind so many of our culture's fables exists a girl: unseen, unheard, angry. This book will break your heart and blow your mind.”—Lena Dunham

"The Girls is a brilliant and intensely consuming novel—imposing not just for a writer so young, but for any writer, any time."—Richard Ford

"I don't know which is more amazing, Emma Cline’s understanding of human beings or her mastery of language.”—Mark Haddon

Emma Cline is from California. Her fiction has appeared in Paris Review,and she was the recipient of The Paris Review’s Plimpton Prize for Fiction in 2014.

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BEN EHRENREICH READS FROM HIS NEWEST BOOK THE WAY TO THE SPRING: LIFE AND DEATH IN PALESTINE

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on July 11th, 2016

The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine (Penguin Press)

From an award-winning journalist, a brave and necessary immersion into the everyday struggles of Palestinian life.

Over the past three years, American writer Ben Ehrenreich has been traveling to and living in the West Bank, staying with Palestinian families in its largest cities and its smallest villages. Along the way he has written major stories for American outlets, including a remarkable "New York Times Magazine" cover story. Now comes the powerful new work that has always been his ultimate goal, The Way to the Spring

We are familiar with brave journalists who travel to bleak or war-torn places on a mission to listen and understand, to gather the stories of people suffering from extremes of oppression and want: Katherine Boo, Ryszard Kapuciski, Ted Conover, and Philip Gourevitch among them. Palestine is, by any measure, whatever one's politics, one such place. Ruled by the Israeli military, set upon and harassed constantly by Israeli settlers who admit unapologetically to wanting to drive them from the land, forced to negotiate an ever more elaborate and more suffocating series of fences, checkpoints, and barriers that have sundered home from field, home from home, this is a population whose living conditions are unique, and indeed hard to imagine. In a great act of bravery, empathy and understanding, Ben Ehrenreich, by placing us in the footsteps of ordinary Palestinians and telling their story with surpassing literary power and grace, makes it impossible for us to turn away.

Praise for The Way to the Spring

"Ben Ehrenreich's rendition of the Palestinian experience is powerful, deep and heartbreaking, so much closer to the ground than the Middle East reporting we usually see. I wish there were more writers as brave."--Adam Hochschild

"As heart-breaking as it is, The Way to the Spring is also a strangely joyful book, because Ehrenreich grasps the essence of the Palestinian struggle: not Islam, or even nationalism, but the stubborn refusal of injustice, the restless search for how it would feel to be free, as Nina Simone said. The Way to the Spring is more than a work of journalism. It is a freedom song, burning with humanity."--Adam Shatz

Ben Ehrenreich is a journalist whose writing has appeared in LA Weekly, the Village Voice, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times Book Review, and many other publications. He lives in Los Angeles. 

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PEN CENTER USA PRESENTS: THE EMERGING VOICES MEET AND GREET

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on July 11th, 2016

The Emerging Voices Meet and Greet

PEN Center USA will present an informational evening with current and former Emerging Voices fellows and mentors for the benefit of interested applicants. The Emerging Voices Fellowship is a literary mentorship that aims to provide new writers who are isolated from the literary establishment with the tools, skills, and knowledge they need to launch a professional writing career.

Readings/ Fellowship Overview/ Q & A/ Summer Cocktails

Victoria Chang writes poetry and children's books. Her latest poetry book is The Boss, which won a PEN Center USA Literary Award and a California Book Award. Her picture book Is Mommy? was a New York Times Notable Book. She lives in southern California with her family. 

Rayne Gasper's work has appeared in The New StatesmanThe Adirondack Review, and Word Riot, and has been selected for Long Form Fiction's Pick of The Week.  In 2012, she was named a PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellow. Rayne is a Massachusetts native and currently resides in Los Angeles, where she is at work on her debut collection of stories.

Mehnaz Sahibzada was born in Pakistan and raised in Los Angeles. She holds an MA in Religious Studies from UC Santa Barbara, and she was a 2009 PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellow. Her poetry chapbooks, Tongue-Tied: A Memoir in Poems (2012) and Summer Forgets to Wear a Petticoat (2016), were published by Finishing Line Press. Her work has appeared in publications such as Asia WritesThe Rattling Wall, and Pedestal Magazine.  An English teacher, she lives in southern California.   

Nonfiction writer Sylvia Sukop grew up in rural Pennsylvania and lived in Boston and New York City before settling in Los Angeles. She was a PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellow in 2009, and her work has since been published in the anthologies Emerge (Lambda Literary Foundation, 2016), LAtitudes: An Angeleno’s Atlas (Heyday, 2015), and Strange Cargo (PEN Center USA, 2010). She is a 2016 Fellow in NewGround: The Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change, and a longtime volunteer and writing coach for the Posse Foundation. She will be entering the Washington University in St. Louis creative writing MFA program this fall.

For a full list of benefits and application details visit: penusa.org/programs/emerging-voices

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JENSEN KARP DISCUSSES HIS NEW MEMOIR KANYE WEST OWES ME $300, WITH GREG BEHRENDT

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on June 27th, 2016

Kanye West Owes Me $300: And Other True Stories from A White Rapper Who Almost Made it Big (Crown)

After Vanilla Ice, but before Eminem, there was "Hot Karl," the Jewish kid from the L.A. suburbs who became a rap battling legend and then almost became a star. 

When 12-year old Karp got his first taste of rapping for crowds at his friend's bar mitzvah in 1991, little did he know that he was taking his first step on a crazy journey— one that would end with a failed million-dollar recording and publishing deal with Interscope Records when he was only 19, but along the way would also include feuding with Fred Durst, opening for Snoop Dogg, blacking out with Mark McGrath, and recording with a young Kanye. He also introduces his rap partner, Rickye, who constitutes the second half of their group XTra Large; his supportive mom, who performs with him onstage; and the soon-to-be-household-name artists he records with, including Kanye West, Redman, Fabolous, Mya, and will.i.am. Finally, he reveals why his album never saw the light of day (two words: Slim Shady), the downward spiral he suffered after, and what he found instead of rap glory. Karp’s hilarious yet surprisingly poignant memoir is the ultimate fish-out-of-water story about a guy who follows an unlikely passion—trying to crack the rap game—despite what everyone else says. It’s 30 Rock for the rap set; 8 Mile for the suburbs; and quite the journey for a white kid from the valley.

Praise for Kanye West Owes Me $300

“The funniest person I follow on Twitter finally got smart and wrote about his unlikely—and hilarious—odyssey as teenage rapper Hot Karl. Karp’s sharp wit and gossipy giggles keep you turning pages, but what lingers is the story of a survivor. This book should be mandatory reading for or anyone who has ever wanted to be famous.”—Kevin Smith, New York Times bestselling author of Tough Sh*t
 
 “If I had kids, I'd read passages from this to them at night. Rap careers definitely haven't been explored from this perspective, and I'm excited to see the ripples. Jensen’s gonna make some enemies, though. I’ve been on television.” —Hannibal Buress
 
“I remember hearing faint whispers about a white kid on the west coast who got like the craziest deal ever from some radio freestyles or some shit. But we never saw anything concrete, so I assumed he was hip-hop's Bigfoot and left it at that. Who knew it was real??!!! This is the story of the rap game's Sasquatch.”—Bun B, Grammy-nominated rapper
 
 “Jensen's story is so funny and so well-written that it's impossible there's any truth to it.” —Kay Cannon, writer, Pitch Perfect and 30 Rock 
 
“Sure, everyone is curious to know what it's like to be a white rapper, but only Jensen Karp has the wit and humility to reveal what it was like to get knocked down by the music industry, dust off his Cross Colours, and keep moving.”—Paul Scheer

Jensen Karp, formerly known as Hot Karl, is an LA-based writer, comedian, and co-owner of Gallery 1988, the nation’s leading destination for pop-cultured themed artwork. He hosts the “Get Up On This” podcast on the Earwolf Network, co-hosts the web series “Baby Talk,” and has written and produced for Funny or Die, the MTV VMAs, HelloGiggles, Rolling Stone, WWE Raw, The Hundreds, and the ESPYs. As an actor, he’s appeared on VH1’s “Barely Famous” and “Candidly Nicole.” You can find him at jensenkarp.com or follow him at @Jensenclan88.

Greg Behrendt is a comedian, author, musician and sometime screen printer. He’s is the co- author of the New York Times bestselling books He’s Just Not That Into You and It’s Called A Breakup Because It’s Broken. Greg is a veteran standup whose resume includes specials on HBO, Comedy Central, Netflix and a recent imaginary special performed in the underground garage at Madison Square Garden. He has appeared on Conan, The Tonight Show and some cancelled stuff as well as being cut out of the film Jerry Maguire. Greg currently spends time over parenting his two lovely daughters, touring as a standup, recording his popular podcast Just Keep Them Alive, and playing with his timely surf, punk, reggae, ska band The Reigning Monarchs. He some day hopes to own a pillow and two chickens. 

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LISA HANAWALT DISCUSSES HER BOOK HOT DOG TASTE TEST

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on June 27th, 2016

Hot Dog Taste Test (Drawn + Quarterly)

Hot Dog Taste Test serves up Lisa Hanawalt's devastatingly funny comics, saliva­-stimulating art, and deliciously screwball lists as she skewers the pomposities of foodie subculture. Join the James Beard Award­-winning cartoonist and production designer/producer of Bojack Horseman as she presents a selection of food­-related excerpts from Hot Dog Taste Test.

"Frankly speaking, you should get off your buns and go buy this book you'll relish it." Amy Sedaris

"Lisa Hanawalt has an amazing ability to make the mundane disturbing and the strange seem normal. Also, her baking tips are solid." David Chang, Founder of Momofuku Restaurants & Lucky Peach Magazine

"We are so lucky to get these peeks into Lisa Hanawalt's brain and stomach. The amount of joy in her gleefully pervy illustrations makes me happier to be alive. I aspire to the level of enthusiasm she seems to derive from examining how stupid it is to be a person!" Tavi Gevinson, Editor of Rookie

"Lisa Hanawalt is the Matisse of the buffet line, the O'Keefe of the fish ball, and the Vermeer of the pigeon with a hot dog in its beak. Also: horses." Jonathan Gold, food critic and Pulitzer Prize Winner

"Lisa Hanawalt is my favourite funny artist. Her special brand of humor hits me directly where I live, even though I never told her where I live." Jaime Hernandez, author of Love and Rockets.

Lisa Hanawalt is an artist living in Los Angeles and is the production designer/producer of the Netflix original series Bojack Horseman. Hanawalt has worked on illustrations, book covers, animations, comics, murals, and textile patterns, and exhibits her work in galleries. She writes and draws a James Beard Award–winning quarterly food column for Lucky Peach magazine, and cohosts the podcast Baby Geniuses with the comedian Emily Heller. Her first collection with Drawn & Quarterly was 2013's critically acclaimed My Dirty Dumb Eyes.

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TED GELTNER, MICHAEL CONNELLY AND STEVE ONEY DISCUSS BLOOD, BONE AND MARROW: A BIOGRAPHY OF HARRY CREWS

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on June 27th, 2016

Blood, Bone and Marrow: A Biography of Harry Crews (University of Georgia Press)

On what would have been Harry Crews' 81st birthday, we celebrate the lasting literary legacy of one of the most singular voices in American letters.

In 2010, Ted Geltner drove to Gainesville, Florida, to pay a visit to Harry Crews and ask the legendary author if he would be willing to be the subject of a literary biography. His health rapidly deteriorating, Crews told Geltner he was on board and would even sit for interviews and tell his stories one last time. “Ask me anything you want, bud,” Crews said. “But you’d better do it quick.” The result is Blood, Bone, and Marrow, the first full-length biography about one of the most unlikely figures in 20th Century American literature, a writer who emerged from a dirt-poor South Georgia tenant farm and went on to create a singularly unique voice of fiction.

With books such as Scar Lover, Body, and Naked in Garden Hills, Crews opened a new window into southern life, focusing his lens on the poor and disenfranchised, the people who skinned the hogs and tended the fields, the “grits,” as Crews affectionately called his characters and himself. He lived by a code of his own design, flouting authority and baring his soul, and the stories of his whiskey-and-blood soaked lifestyle created a myth to match any of his fictional creations. His outlaw life, his distinctive voice and the context in which Harry Crews lived combine to form the elements for a singularly compelling narrative about an underappreciated literary treasure.

Praise for Blood, Bone and Marrow:

"Harry Crews was a uniquely gifted and haunted storyteller. Novelist, journalist, memoirist he made each form his own in a way no one else had before or since. The pages that follow in this absorbing biography detail this and reach into the guts of the experiences that formed him and gave him a voice that was sad, brutal, and funny. Harry said that when it came to writing the truth about himself or anything for that matter he was not as interested in facts as he was in memory and belief."--Michael Connelly, from the Foreword

"In Blood, Bone, and Marrow Ted Geltner gives us a fast-paced narrative of the crazy, violent, tragic, and memorable life of Harry Crews. Geltner knew Crews and produces a book worthy of its subject. This is an excellent first-wave biography that will be a joy to all Harry Crews fans and will be an invaluable resource for scholars and enthusiasts alike.--Taylor Hagood, author of Faulkner, Writer of Disability 

Ted Geltner is an associate professor of journalism at Valdosta State University, adviser to the campus newspaper, and author of Last King of the Sports Page: The Life and Career of Jim Murray. He worked for seventeen years as a writer and editor at a number of newspapers, including theGainesville Sun, the Scranton Times Tribune, and the Ocala Star-Banner. For more information, please visit www.bloodboneandmarrow.com.

Michael Connelly is the author of the recent #1 New York Times bestsellersThe DropThe Fifth Witness, The ReversalThe ScarecrowThe Brass Verdict, and The Lincoln Lawyer, as well as the bestselling Harry Bosch series of novels. He is a former newspaper reporter who has won numerous awards for his journalism and his novels. He spends his time in California and Florida.

Steve Oney was educated at the University of Georgia and at Harvard, where he was a Nieman Fellow. He worked for many years as a staff writer for theAtlanta Journal-Constitution Magazine. He has also contributed articles to many national publications, including Esquire, Playboy, Premiere, GQ and the New York Times Magazine. Oney lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Madeline Stuart. And The Dead Shall Rise is his first book.

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MANU SAADIA DISCUSSES HIS NEW BOOK TREKONOMICS

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on June 26th, 2016

Trekonomics (Piper Text)

Star Trek is set in an amazing utopian universe of faster-than-light travel, of “beam me up, Scotty,” and Vulcan salutes. It’s also a universe where war and poverty have been eradicated, money doesn’t exist, and work is indistinguishable from leisure. 

In this ground-breaking book, timed to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of Star Trek’s first episode, Manu Saadia takes a deep dive into the show’s most radical and provocative aspect: its detailed and consistent economic vision.

Could we create such a utopia here on Earth? And why has Star Trek’s future had such staying power in our cultural imagination? Trekonomics looks at the morals, values, and hard economics that underpin the series’ ideal society, and its sources of inspiration both inside and outside the science-fiction canon. After reading this book, you’ll be able to answer the question: If you could live in Star Trek’s economic utopia, would you want to?

Manu Saadia was born in Paris, France, where he fell into science fiction and Star Trek fandom at the age of eight. He studied history of science and economic history in Paris and Chicago. His work on Trekonomics has been featured in The New York TimesThe Washington PostThe Financial Times,The Wall Street Journal, and Business Insider. He also appeared on the panel “The Amazing Economics of Star Trek” along with Paul Krugman at New York City’s Comic Con in 2015. Manu Saadia is a contributing writer for Fusion.net. He lives in Los Angeles with his son and his wife.

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WATCHLIST ANTHOLOGY READING FEATURING AIMEE BENDER, ALEXIS LANDAU, MILES KLEE, BRYAN HURT AND CORY DOCTOROW

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on June 26th, 2016

Watchlist: 32 Stories by Persons of Interest (Catapult)

In Watchlist, some of today's most prominent and promising fiction writers from around the globe respond to, meditate on, and mine for inspiration the surveillance culture in which we live. With contributions from Etgar Keret, T.C. Boyle, Robert Coover, Aimee Bender, Jim Shepard, Alissa Nutting, Charles Yu, Cory Doctorow, and many more, Watchlist unforgettably confronts the question: What does it mean to be watched? By turns political, apolitical, cautionary, and surreal, these stories reflect on what it s like to live in the surveillance state.

Aimee Bender is the author of five books; the most recent, The Color Master, was a New York Times Notable Book of 2013. Her short fiction has been published in Granta, Harper’s, The Paris Review, and more, as well as heard on This American Life. She lives in Los Angeles, and teaches creative writing at USC.

Alexis Landau studied at Vassar College and received an MFA from Emerson College and a PhD from the University of Southern California in English literature and creative writing. Her first novel, The Empire of the Senses, was published by Pantheon Books in the spring of 2015. She lives with her husband and two children in Los Angeles.

Miles Klee is an editor for the web culture site the Daily Dot as well as author of Ivyland (OR Books, 2012) and the story collection True False (OR Books, 2015). His essays, reportage, fiction, and satire have appeared inVanity Fair, Lapham’s Quarterly, The Awl, Guernica, The Collagist, and elsewhere.

Bryan Hurt is the author of Everyone Wants to Be Ambassador to France, winner of the Starcherone Prize for Innovative Fiction. His work has appeared in The American Reader, The Kenyon Review, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Recommended Reading, Tin House, TriQuarterly, among many others. He teaches creative writing at St. Lawrence University.

Cory Doctorow (craphound.com) is a science fiction author, activist, journalist, and blogger—the co-editor of Boing Boing (boingboing.net) and the author of the YA graphic novel In Real Life, the nonfiction business book Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free, and young adult novels like Homeland, Pirate Cinema, and Little Brother and novels for adults like Rapture of the Nerds and Makers. He is the former European director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and cofounded the UK Open Rights Group. Born in Toronto, Canada, he now lives in Los Angeles.
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PAUL VANGELISTI READS FROM HIS LATEST COLLECTION OF POETRY BORDER MUSIC

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, poetry, books by skylightbooks on June 26th, 2016

Border Music (Talisman House)

Border Music is Paul Vangelisti’s thirty-third book of poetry, bringing together work from the last ten years, in sundry forms from the personal lyric, to alphabet poems, to longer collage and hybrid projects, to musically inspired acrostics. Some of these poems first appeared in limited editions here and abroad, and are now made available in one volume. Border Music is Vangelisti’s second book from Talisman House, with the collectionTwo having appeared in 2011. As Bill Mohr noted in the Chicago Review, “If seemingly willful obscurity is often a deterrent in reading or viewing work from any avant-garde, Vangelisti's poems are replete with a sustained clarity that invites us to savor these moments without being penalized for letting go of that which seems inaccessible.”

Paul Vangelisti is the author of more than thirty books of poetry, as well as being a noted translator from Italian. In 2015 his Solitude was published in a bilingual edition by Galleria Mazzoli Editore in Modena; and a new collection, Border Music, has just appeared from Talisman House in Greenfield, MA. In 2006, Lucia Re’s and his translation of Amelia Rosselli’s War Variations won both the Premio Flaiano in Italy and the PEN-USA Award for Translation; while in 2010, his translation of Adriano Spatola’s The Position of Things: Collected Poems, 1961-1992 received an Academy of American Poets Prize. From 1971-1982 he was co-editor, with John McBride, of the literary magazine Invisible City and, from 1993-2002, edited Ribot, the annual report of the College of Neglected Science. He worked as a journalist at the Hollywood Reporter (1972-1974), and as Cultural Affairs Director at KPFK Radio (1974-1982). Vangelisti was Founding Chair of the Graduate Writing program at Otis College of Art & Design in Los Angeles, and is currently a professor in that program.

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MARTIN POUSSON LAUNCHES HIS NEW NOVEL BLACK SHEEP BOY

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on June 26th, 2016

Black Sheep Boy (Rare Bird Books)

Meet a wild-hearted boy from the bayou land of Louisiana. Misfit, outcast, loner. Call him anything but a victim. Sissy, fairy, Jenny Woman. Son of a mixed-race Holy Ghost mother and a Cajun French phantom father.

In a series of tender and tough stories, he encounters gender outlaws, drag queen renegades, and a rogues gallery of sex-starved priests, perverted teachers, and murderous bar owners. To escape his haunted history, the wild-hearted boy must shed his old skin and make a new self. As he does, his story rises from dark and murk, from moss and mud, to reach a new light and a new brand of fairy tale. Cajun legends, queer fantasies, and universal myths converge into a powerful work of counter-realism. Black Sheep Boy is a song of passion and a novel of defiance.

Praise for Black Sheep Boy

“Beautifully impressionistic, and also raw, open and vulnerable. Pousson’s bayou is such a frightening and vibrant place, generous and punishing, and the narrator’s perspective pulls us in, and brings the reader close.”—Aimee Bender, author of The Color Master and The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

"Electrical, convulsive, hallucinatory, elemental... A book to give you fevers, chills, and visions."—Ben Loory, author of Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day

Praise for No Place, Louisiana

finalist for the John Gardner Book Award in Fiction

“Setting out to capture the modern South, the first-time novelist confidently eschews the style of a Faulkner or the charm of a McCullers to evoke the prejudices and limitations of Cajun culture in its unique, enriching and destructive complexity.”—Publishers Weekly

No Place, Louisiana is the Southern answer to The Ice Storm; from its sultry pages there emerges a chilling portrait of a family in the midst of a very deep freeze.”—The Los Angeles Times

“Powerful and empathetic...A beautiful ode to the lonely and unloved.”—New Orleans Times-Picayune 

“Pousson has written a strong, confident novel... many veteran authors have yet to write a novel of this depth.”—BookReporter.com

“A remarkably sure-footed and rich first novel, admirable not only for the clarity of its voice and the fluidity of its style but for the coherence of its vision; its dramatic family saga, gradually unfolding in a deftly integrated Cajun universe, reveals the narrator to be a complex and acrobatic survivor. Pousson brings remarkable insight and literary power to the landscape of the American novel.” —Lis Harris, author of Rules of Engagement

Praise for Sugar

finalist for the 2006 Lambda Literary Awards for Poetry

“With Sugar, Martin Pousson returns to the territory that activated his novel, No Place, Louisiana, recharging that fertile ground with a shift from prose to poetry. The result is a series of compressed observations, by turns satiric and heartbreaking, languorous, outraged, and tender.” —Dave King, author of The Ha-Ha

“Here is the poet Louisiana has always wanted. Gulf Coast heat turns into huge trees and lush flora, which then turn into sex and dramatic dialogue. Desire so metamorphic inevitably slides toward hallucination. To convey experience at the edge, Martin Pousson has invented a new poetics that takes from the earlier art only its intense imagery and verbal economy. The few dozen pages of Sugar bring a tragic and sensuous bayou mindscape unforgettably to life.” —Alfred Corn, author of Stake and Contradictions

“...his sugar ain’t sweet, it’s scorched.” —Jake Shears, Scissor Sisters

Martin Pousson was born and raised in the bayou land of Louisiana. His short stories won a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and have appeared in The Antioch Review, Epoch, Five Points, StoryQuarterly, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere. He also was a finalist for the John Gardner Fiction Book Award, the Glimmer Train Very Short Fiction Award, and the Lambda Literary Award. He now lives in Los Angeles.

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