Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on May 20th, 2015

Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America (Farrar Strauss Giroux)

Skylight Books is over the moon excited to welcome one of our favorite directors, writers and all-around cultural icons,John Waters for the launch of the paperback edition of Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America, his wild and wonderful memoir about what happened (and what might've happened) while hitchhiking across this great nation of ours.

NOTE: As with all Skylight Books events, this reading is free and open to the public (first come, first served).  But because we're expecting a large crowd at this event, we'll be giving out numbered tickets to the signing line to keep things organized.  To get a ticket to the signing line, you must purchase a paperback copy of Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America here at Skylight Books.  Tickets will be available starting May 12, 2015, the official release date for the paperback version of Carsick.  They will be available in-store, or you can order on our website and leave a note in the "Order Comments" field.  We will also hold a ticket for you if you order and pay for a book over the phone.  In addition to books, John Waters will sign memorabila and will pose for photographs with individual attendees. Thank you!

From acclaimed filmmaker and cult artist, John Waters, comes a cross-country hitchhiking journey with America's most beloved weirdo.

John Waters is putting his life on the line. Armed with wit, a pencil-thin mustache, and a cardboard sign that reads "I'm Not Psycho," he hitchhikes across America from Baltimore to San Francisco, braving lonely roads and treacherous drivers. But who should we be more worried about, the delicate film director with genteel manners or the unsuspecting travelers transporting the Pope of Trash? 

Before he leaves for this bizarre adventure, Waters fantasizes about the best and worst possible scenarios: a friendly drug dealer hands over piles of cash to finance films with no questions asked, a demolition-derby driver makes a filthy sexual request in the middle of a race, a gun-toting drunk terrorizes and holds him hostage, and a Kansas vice squad entraps and throws him in jail. So what really happens when this cult legend sticks out his thumb and faces the open road? His real-life rides include a gentle eighty-one-year-old farmer who is convinced Waters is a hobo, an indie band on tour, and the perverse filmmaker's unexpected hero: a young, sandy-haired Republican in a Corvette. 

Laced with subversive humor and warm intelligence, Carsick is an unforgettable vacation with a wickedly funny companion--and a celebration of America's weird, astonishing, and generous citizenry.

Praise for Carsick:

“Waters idiosyncratically cuts to the core of American diversity, finding the good (and bad) in any situation with biting wit…Waters devotees take note: this is required reading.” –Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Waters has made a funny engaging and—of course—occasionally outrageous book . . . All in all a cool trip and a delightful book." - Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post

“Fantastical and plush . . . Carsick becomes a portrait not just of America’s desolate freeway nodes — though they’re brilliantly evoked — but of American fame itself.”  – NY Times Book Review
“Travel—uh, hitchhiking—book of the year?" —Ray Olson, Booklist
"A flavorful book, with the same cheeky sentimentality we experienced in Water's memoir Role Models plus a Divine-sized dose of kitsch. John Waters fans like me will be ecstatic." —Annie Coreno, Publishers Weekly

“Waters gives full rein to his trash roots with fictional creations that rival anything he’s ever put on screen…Waters, in short, discovers Middle America, somewhere safely between his imaginary world of trash and the glitz of high culture.” –Norman Powers, New York Journal of Books
“A good helping of unbridled lewdness is surely to be expected, and no doubt cherished, from the man known as the king of filth and the pope of trash.”—Geoff Nicholson, San Francisco Chronicle
“Waters doesn’t bore us with theories as to why the open road has become so much less open; he allows his nasty nostalgic fantasies to hint at the abandon so absent from our lives.”— Michael Andor Brodeur
“Waters offers readers an outlandish glimpse into his mind in vintage Waters fashion…the book is also an homage to a lost American pastime of getting into cars with strangers.”—Justin Snow, Metro Weekly
“The book, a kind of ode to America, fits with Mr. Waters’s belief that New York is no longer the creative center of the universe” M.H. Miller, New York Observer
“The novellas read like short stories that could be made into films… Funny and shocking…yet fans of the filmmaker’s work will likely be more amused than shocked.”—Gary M. Kramer, Frontiers

John Waters is an American filmmaker, actor, writer, and visual artist best known for his cult films, including Hairspray, Pink Flamingos, and Cecil B. DeMented. He is also the author of a memoir, Role Models. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.

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KIT REED discusses her new novel WHERE, together with SCOTT O’CONNOR

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on May 20th, 2015

Where (Tor Books)

 In a coastal town on the Outer Carolina Banks, David Ribault and Merrill Poulnot are trying to revive their stale relationship. Meanwhile, a slick developer claiming to be related to a historic town hero, Rawson Steele, has come to town and is buying up property. Steele makes a romantic advance on Merrill and an unusual 5am appointment outside of town with David. But Steele is a no-show, and at the time of the appointment everyone in the town disappears, removed entirely from our space and time to a featureless isolated village - including Merrill and her young son.

Born into a Navy family, Kit Reed moved so often as a kid that she never settled down in one place, and she doesn't know whether that's a good thing or not. It's a very good thing in its relationship to, Where, in which the entire population of a small island vanishes.

As a kid she spent two years in the tidelands of South Carolina-- in Beaufort and on Parris Island, both landmarks on the Inland Waterway. Her fiction covers territory variously labeled speculative fiction/science fiction/literary fiction, with stops at stations in between that include horror, dystopian SF, psychothrillers and black comedy, making her "transgenred."

Recent novels are Son of Destruction and, from Tor, EnclaveThe Baby Merchant and the ALA award-winning Thinner Than Thou. Her stories appear in venues ranging from Asimov's SF and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction to The Yale Review, The Kenyon Review and The Norton Anthology. Her newest collection is The Story Until Now: A Great Big Book of Stories, from the Wesleyan University Press. She was twice nominated for the Shirley Jackson Award and the Tiptree Award. A Guggenheim fellow, Reed is Resident Writer at Wesleyan University, and serves on the board of The Authors League Fund.

Scott O’Connor is the author of the novella Among Wolves, and the novels Untouchable and Half World, which is now out in paperback. Additional work has appeared in Zyzzyva, The Rattling Wall, and The Los Angeles Review of Books, and has been nominated for the 2015 Sunday Times/EFG Short Story Prize. He lives with his family in Los Angeles.

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UC IRVINE MFA STUDENTS read from their work

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on May 14th, 2015

Please join the UC Irvine MFA Programs in Writing Reading Series on Saturday, May 9 at 5 pm in Skylight Books for their third event of the spring 2015 quarter. The reading will feature poets Nicholas Reiner and Lynn Wang and fiction writers Jill Kato and Jennifer Milton. Please come and enjoy the work of these emerging voices. 

For more information on the UC Irvine Programs in Writing and the MFA Reading Series, you may check out their website at: http://www.humanities.uci.


Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on May 14th, 2015

The Underground is Massive: How Electronic Dance Music Conquered America (Dey Street Books)

 Ask any millennial: electronic dance music (EDM) is this decade’s rock and roll. Rolling Stone has called EDM the “defining youth culture of the 2010s” but—like hippie culture in the 60s or punk rock in the 70s—it’s about more than music. In The Underground Is Massive: How Electronic Dance Music Conquered America, author and music journalist Michaelangelo Matos chronicles the history of EDM and its meteoric rise from drug-fueled warehouse raves to an estimated $6.2 billion business.

The first comprehensive history on the EDM movement in the United States, The Underground Is Massive examines the U.S. electronic dance scene from its beginnings in Detroit and Chicago with acts like Frankie Knuckles and the Belleville Three to its current apex, where performers like Daft Punk and Skrillex sell out arenas all over the world.

In the face of such a massive history, Matos expertly explains how and why EDM has evolved from an underground scene to dominating mainstream youth culture today. He discusses dance music’s rise in tandem with the Internet, exploring the idea that ravers and EDM fanatics were partially responsible for powering the information revolution of the new millennium. He also delves into the scene’s relationship with illegal drugs, from cocaine to Ecstasy to nitrous oxide, and links the changes in EDM fans’ drugs of choice to the evolution of the music.

Based on hundreds of exclusive interviews as well as a score of vintage fanzines, mailing list archives and out-of-print books and magazines, The Underground Is Massive joins the ranks of the classic music histories like Please Kill Me and Can't Stop Won't Stop.  It tells the bizarre yet fascinating story of a drug-fueled, misfit music subculture that turned pop culture on its ear by remixing the relationship between music, sound, drugs and money in ways that fans, and the industry, could not have predicted.

Praise for The Underground Is Massive

“An EDM bible.”—Chloe Maassen,

“Matos is the perfect person to create a book of this magnitude.”—Mike Walkusky,

“We're excited about this book. Matos...has long been one of the few U.S. music journalists who consistently write about electronic dance music with intelligence and insight.”—Andy Hermann, LA Weekly

Michaelangelo Matos attended his first rave in 1993 and began writing professionally about electronic dance music a few years later. A regular contributor to Rolling Stone, NPR, Red Bull  Music Academy Magazine, Wondering Sound, and Beatport, he is the author of an acclaimed volume on Prince’s Sign ‘O’ the Times for Continuum’s 33 1/3 monograph series. He lives in Brooklyn.

Simon Reynolds is the author of seven books about pop culture, including the rave chronicle Energy Flash,  the postpunk history Rip It Up and Start Again and Retromania: Pop Culture’s Addiction to Its Own Past. Born in London but these days living in LA, he’s currently writing a book about glam rock. In addition to writing for magazines including The New York Times, The Guardian, Pitchfork and The Wire, Reynolds also maintains a bunch of blogs centered around Blissblog

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CATIE DISABATO reads from her debut novel THE GHOST NETWORK

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on May 14th, 2015

The Ghost Network (Melville House)

 When Molly Metropolis, the world’s hottest pop star, goes missing, two young women launch a desperate search across the underbelly of Chicago to find her. Using Molly’s songs and journals to uncover clues to her whereabouts, her personal assistant and a journalist join forces to determine if Molly’s been kidnapped, gone into hiding, or worse.

Catie Disabato’s debut novel, The Ghost Network is the story of the young women’s quest to find Molly, which leads them to a secret side of Chicago, as they make their way through a half-completed subway system and the secret, subterranean headquarters of an intellectual sect. As they race to locate her and end up in grave danger, they find themselves falling in love, in a witty, haunting story of larger-than-life fantasies—of young love, sex, pop music, transportation, and personal reinvention.

Suspenseful and wildly original, The Ghost Network has already been hailed by The Millions as one of the “Most Anticipated Books of 2015,” and by The Masters Review as one of “Fifteen Books We’re Looking Forward to This Year.”

Praise for The Ghost Network:

“The writing throughout is so crystalline, the dialogue so acerbically funny and the characters so engaging as to make the pages seem as though they’re turning themselves.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“One of the most entertaining books I’ve read in years.”—Christopher Boucher, author of How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive

"Brilliant, daring, and masterful. . . Impossible to put down."--Edan Lepucki, New York Times bestselling author of California

Catie Disabato is a columnist for Full Stop. She’s written criticism and commentary for This Recording, The Millions, and The Rumpus, and her short fiction was recently featured on Joyland. After growing up in Chicago and graduating from Oberlin College, she now lives in L.A. and works in public relations.

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BRIAN DeLEEUW reads from his newest novel THE DISMANTLING

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on May 6th, 2015

The Dismantling(Plume Books)

InThe Dismantling, troubled med-school dropout Simon Worth is faced with the grim reality of failure and massive student loans. Haunted by the accidental death of his sister, he accepts a lucrative job at Health Solutions as a black market organ broker, arranging the sales of kidneys and livers from donors who need the money to recipients whose time on the transplant list is running out.

Eight months into the job, Simon is tasked with finding a match for Lenny Pellegrini, a severely depressed ex-NFL player with a serious drinking problem and a failing liver. When Simon is contacted by Maria Campos, he believes hes found the perfect donor. The surgery goes according to plan, but soon afterward Lenny makes a cruel and destructive decision, while startling secrets from Marias past further complicate the situation. Under tremendous pressure to keep the media and authorities from exposing Health Solutions, both Simon and Maria find themselves the targets of Peter DaSilva, Simons boss, who is desparate to protect himself and his organization at all costs. Backed into a corner, Simon is forced to decide that, against his better moral judgment, the only way to survive is to put his trust in Maria.

Embracing themes that are widespread in the media today, such as depression among ex-NFL players, black market organ transplants, adolescent trauma, and the terms of revenge and atonement, Brian DeLeeuw deftly treads the line between literary fiction and suspense with his propulsive storytelling and exquisite writing. A troubling, riveting and enthralling look at the serious stakes of the transplantation black market,The Dismantlingis a high-octane novel perfect for summer reading.

Praise forThe Dismantling

Intense, spare, and unflinching, DeLeeuwsThe Dismantlingtreads risky, ethically nuanced territory, exploring the nature of absolution and revenge, the lies we tell our families, and the honesty we can find with strangers. A psychologically insightful, gripping novel.Michaela Carter, author ofFurther Out Than You Thought

"While this is a fast-paced, engaging thriller, it is also much, much more. It is, at its heart, a fully and tenderly rendered exploration of loss and shame and the deep yearning for some manner of redemption."Thomas O'Malley, author ofThis Magnificent Desolation

"With its high tension plot and atmosphere of unease,The Dismantlingis a morally ambiguous thriller in the grand tradition of Graham Greene and Patricia Highsmith. It has smart things to say about memory, redemption, and what it's like to live in a world where everything is for sale, but it says them by telling a gripping story."Christopher Beha, author ofArts & Entertainments

Brian DeLeeuwis a novelist and screenwriter living in Los Angeles. He is a graduate of Princeton University and received his MFA in fiction from The New School. Prior to moving to Los Angeles, Brian was an editor forTin Housemagazine. His first novel,In This Way I Was Saved, was published in 2009 and long-listed for the Dylan Thomas Prize, with editions published in the UK, Germany, and France.

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Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on May 6th, 2015

LAtitudes: An Angelenos Atlas(Heyday Books)

Please join us as select contributors ofLAtitudespresent here at Skylight.

LAtitudes: An Angelenos Atlasoffers fresh insights into a city that brims with complexity and surprise, revealing its multiple histories, the nuances of its lived experiences, and the possibilities inherent in an ever-shifting world.

Illuminated by boldly conceived maps and infographics, nineteen thought-provoking essays explore the hitherto terra incognita of LA, covering terrain from the cowboys-and-spacemen-themed landscapes of the San Fernando Valley to the kitchen of a family taquero business in El Monte, and topics as varied as urban forests, catacombs, LGBT places of sanctuary and worship, and the enduring communities of the indigenous Tongva people. What has often been ignored, such as social and environmental injustice, comes to the forefront, and what has been maligned is reexamined with a sense of pride: the citys freeways, for example, take the shape of a dove when viewed from midair and pulsate with wailing blues, surf rock, and brassy banda.

Highly imaginative while deeply rooted in one extraordinary place,LAtitudesdares you to rethink Los Angeles.

Praise forLAtitudes

Unique, fascinating, and totally fresh.Oh,yes,andLAtitudeshas plenty of attitude. A must foranyone interested in Los Angeles history, culture, geography,or food. Lisa See, author ofShanghai Girls: A Novel

As a geographer Im always quick to describe LA as a failed city, an urban planning horror that has led to people like me who lived sixty miles from downtown to claim theyre basically from LA. After readingLAtitudes,however, I returned to Los Angeles this year with a newfound respect for the hopeful attempts, negotiations, complications, and mistakes that have made the city what it is today: a composite urban behemoth of bewildering beauty. The only thing more enticing than the quality of the prose in this book is the depth of the ideas contained therein. Bradley L. Garrett, author ofExplore Everything: Place-Hacking the City

A humane and beautifully written biography of the city that is also a lyrical exploration of its many layersa source of inspiration and surprise for those of us who think we know LA as well those who have only imagined it from afar. Alastair Bonnett, author ofUnruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies

Here we have a volume that, through stories of LAs history, tells stories of our present and foretells our future. Based on insights from a diverse group of authors,LAtitudesreveals not only our geography but our complicated, dark, and hopeful soul for those that seek to understand our glorious city. Karen Mack, founder and executive director, LA Commons

Offers the reader secrets that Google Maps is incapable of finding, navigation tips through the past, present, and future that Waze cannot fathom, and an understanding of Los Angeles that our trusted Thomas Guides could never reveal.What you hold in your hand is the new essential atlas for Los Angeles. Aaron Paley, cofounder, CARS and CicLAvia

Through original and illustrative cartography, the stories of LAs past and present are told the way they should bedynamically with essays rich in historical content and distinct Angeleno experiences. Liza Posas, coordinator, LA as Subject

When I created my atlas of San Francisco, I was hoping that we were at the dawn of a new era of inventive, subversive, gorgeous mapping and social geographies. Let a thousand atlases bloom, I kept muttering, and I couldnt be more pleased that the first horse out of the gatefirst tiger lily in the flowerbed?is of the city of angels and overpasses and pastrami and tacos, of forgotten rivers, wars, refugees, voters, homesteaders, of dreams busy biting the dust and tribes miraculously reappearing. Cities are inexhaustible; they exist in countless versions, depending on who you ask and where you go and what you want; and an atlas likeLAtitudesinvites you to open up other peoples versions and in so doing find your own. Rebecca Solnit, author ofInfinite City: A San Francisco AtlasandUnfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas

The contributors presenting are:

Charles Hood
David Ulin
Lynell George
Teddy Varno
Josh Sides
Cindi Alvitre
Rosten Woo
Michael Jaime-Becerra
Nathan Masters
Sylvia Sukop
Josh Kun
Laura Pulido
Wendy Gilmartin
Jen Hofer
Jason Brown
Andy Wilcox
David Deis
Glen Creason

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ANDREW ROE reads from his debut novel THE MIRACLE GIRL

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on May 6th, 2015

The Miracle Girl(Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill)

The crowds keep coming. More and more every day it seems . . . drawn by rumor and whisper and desperate wish. Somehow they heard about the little girl on Shaker Street. They come to see eight-year-old Anabelle Vincent, who lies in a comalike state--unable to move or speak. They come because a visitor experienced what seemed like a miracle and believed it was because of Anabelle. Word spread. There were more visitors. More miracles. But is there a connection? And does it matter? Set against the backdrop of the approaching millennium--with all its buzz about reckoning and doom--this impressive debut novel is narrated by Anabelle herself; by her devoted mother, who cares for her child while struggling to make sense of the media frenzy surrounding her; by Anabelle's estranged father, who is dealing with the guilt of his actions; and by the people who come seeking the child's help, her guidance, and her healing. Yet it tells a larger cultural story about the human yearning for the miraculous to be true, about how becoming a believer--in something, anything, even if you don't understand it--can sustain you.

Praise forThe Miracle Girl:

"To believe or not to believe--that is the question facing all who are touched by the comatose 'miracle girl' at the swirling center ofAndrew Roe'sdazzling debut. But more than an exploration of the mysteries of faith, it's also the unforgettable story of one family's struggle against tragedy. The result is an uplifting miracle of a book." --Will Allison, author ofLong Drive Home

"InThe Miracle Girl, we're reminded that the desire for miracles always connotes dissatisfaction, even as it articulates a hope. Roe deftly explores this paradox . . . [and] examines the strange responsibility of being believed in. A stunning, confident debut." --Peter Rock, author ofThe Shelter Cycle

"An incisive and insightful critique of America, investigating where we put our faith and why . . . It's a novel about what it means to be human, to be lost or broken, a little or a lot, and to seek connection and hope and maybe even transcendence in the world around us." --Doug Dorst, author ofS. andAlive in Necropolis

Born and raised in the Los Angeles suburb of Whittier, California,Andrew Roehas had his fiction published inTin House, One Story,theSun, Glimmer Train, The Cincinnati Review, Slice, Pank, Avery Anthology, Gigantic, Freight Stories, Failbetter,theGood Men Project,and other literary magazines, as well as the anthologiesWhere Love Is Foundand24 Bar Blues.His nonfiction has appeared in theNew York Times, San Francisco Chronicle,,SF Weekly, San Francisco Bay Guardian,and elsewhere.

An alumnus of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers andTin HouseWriters Workshop, he has received scholarships from the Getty Foundation and the San Francisco Foundation. Three of his short stories were performed by actors as part of the New Short Fiction Series, LAs longest running spoken word series. Dan Chaon selected his story Job History for the Wigleaf Top 50 Very Short Fictions of 2012, and he has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize multiple times, including aOne Storynomination for his story Americas Finest City.

He earned a bachelor of arts degree in English/creative writing from San Diego State University, and a master of arts degree in literature from San Francisco State University. For over twenty years, he has worked as a writer and editor in the publishing and software industries. A member of PEN Center USA, he currently lives in Oceanside, California, with his wife and three children.

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JACQUELINE SUSKIN discusses her book GO AHEAD & LIKE IT, together with MANDY KAHN

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on April 30th, 2015

Go Ahead & Like It (Ten Speed Press)

An artistic, smart self-help book that prompts and inspires readers to write lists of things they like--a simple yet profound way to collect and remember the good in daily life. 

This scrapbook-style art book is an invitation to write lists of things you like: small things that bring delight, intriguing things that excite, and meaningful things that make every day special. It's a how-to guide, writing prompt, model for self-discovery, and beautiful inspiration for daily gratitude, with poet Jacqueline Suskin's personal lists intertwined with photographs, illustrations, and instruction. It's a self-help book for people who might not be drawn to standard self-help, and it's creative thinking for people who might not identify themselves as creative thinkers (What does it mean to "like" something in today's digital age, anyways?). Above all, it presents a simple, dependable method to notice the good that's all around us--even in a traffic jam or waiting in line--so we can inhabit our world more fully and smile more in the process.

Jacqueline Suskin is best known through her work with Poem Store, a public performance project in which she composes custom verses on a manual typewriter in exchange for donations. She and her typewriter have been featured on the front page of the Los Angeles Times, in the New York Times, at SFMoMA, and at Los Angeles Contemporary, bringing poetry to the general public in an intimate, immediate, and accessible way.

Mandy Kahn is author of the poetry collection MathHeavenTime and is co-author of the nonfiction book Collage Culture: Examining the 21st Century's Identity Crisis. She collaborates with composers to create works that feature poetry in tandem with classical music and has had readings and signings at Colette (Paris), Motto (Berlin), Shoreditch House (London), Davies Symphony Hall (San Francisco), Printed Matter (New York) and Art Center College of Design (Pasadena).

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SARAH TOMLINSON reads from her new memoir GOOD GIRL

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on April 30th, 2015

Good Girl (Gallery Books)

 Told with raw, rugged honesty, this heartrending memoir from journalist Sarah Tomlinson recounts her unconventional upbringing and coming-of-age as colored by her complicated relationship with her father. 

Sarah Tomlinson was born on January 29, 1976, in a farmhouse in Freedom, Maine. After two years of attempted family life in Boston, her father's gambling addiction and broken promises led her mother to pool her resources with five other families to buy 100 acres of land in Maine and reunite with her college boyfriend. Sarah would spend the majority of her childhood on "The Land" with infrequent, but coveted, visits from her father, who--as a hitchhiking, acid-dropping, wannabe mystic turned taxi driver--was nothing short of a rock star in her eyes. 

Propelled out of her bohemian upbringing to seek the big life she equated with her father, Sarah entered college at fifteen, where a school shooting further complicated her quest for a sense of safety. While establishing herself as a journalist and rock critic on both coasts, Sarah's father continued to swerve in and out of her life, building and re-breaking their relationship, and fracturing Sarah's confidence and sense of self. In this unforgettable memoir, Sarah conveys the dark comedy in her quest to repair the heart her father broke. 

Bittersweet, honest, and ultimately redemptive, Good Girl takes an insightful look into what happens when the people we love unconditionally are the people who disappoint us the most, and how time, introspection, and acceptance can help us heal.""

Praise for Good Girl:

“A compelling, insight-laden memoir documenting the devastating impact of a father’s undependable love on a daughter.  Tomlinson’s lucid depiction of her DIY backwoods girlhood and punk teen years, precocious entry to college, tempestuous love life and literary ambitions, her excesses and failures and successes—portrays a young woman whose emotional life is a shimmering, shifting sea whose currents are shaped by a geologic formation a the bottom, the charming bohemian fantastist that was her father.”–Janet Fitch, New York Times bestselling author of White Oleander

“Tomlinson is a clear-eyed, compassionate writer, and she brings an emotional rigor to this book that is rare and beautiful.” –Edan Lepucki, bestselling author of California

Good Girl is a father-daughter story unlike any other I’ve read before. Tomlinson’s prose is vivid and compelling, bringing you right along with her as she travels from her rural hometown to the big city in search of fulfillment, clarity, and—hopefully—a sense of peace in her relationship with the man who made her who she is.”Jill Soloway, creator of the 2015 Golden Globe-winning television show “Transparent” and author of Tiny Ladies in Shiny Pants

“Shot from the heart, Tomlinson's memoir of her dance around her enigmatic and elusive father resonated deeply with me, as it will with anyone who has yearned for a parent's love and their own place in the world.”Wendy Lawless, New York Times bestselling author of Chanel Bonfire

“Sarah Tomlinson's Good Girl courageously explores the central journey of every woman's life: from wanting the love of Daddy -- and the men who stand in for him -- to learning how to love herself.”Tracy McMillan, television writer and author of the soon to be released Multiple Listings;  I Love You and I'm Leaving You Anyway, and Why You're Not Married...Yet

“With great poignance and vulnerability, Tomlinson turns a frank, funny, and honest gaze on one girl’s struggle to redefine ‘good’ on her own terms.”–Jillian Lauren, New York Times bestselling author of Some Girls: My Life in a Harem

Sarah Tomlinson has more than a decade of experience as a journalist, music critic, writer, and editor. She has ghostwritten ten books (with two more in the works), including two uncredited New York Times-bestsellers. 

She has turned her passion for music, literature, and pop culture trends into cutting-edge coverage and cultural criticism. Her personal essays have appeared, or are forthcoming, in publications including Marie Claire, MORE, Salon.comThe Huffington Post and The Los Angeles Review of Books. Her fiction has appeared on Vol. 1 Brooklyn. Her articles and music reviews have appeared in publications including The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Boston magazine,,, Alternative Press, Swindle, Preen, Rockpile, The OC Weekly, and The Willamette Week, and she wrote a weekly local music column, “Notes,” for The Boston Phoenix.  She has written bios for bands on Virgin, Red Ink/Columbia, and MySpace Records and contributed to the electronic press kits for artists on Warner Bros. Records.

Sarah currently splits her time between Los Angeles and Brooklyn. She writes journalism, novels, memoirs, screenplays, TV pilots, personal essays, short stories and online dating profiles for her friends. She has read at Los Angeles literary happenings including Sit ‘n Spin, Vermin on the Mount, Tongue and Groove and Little Birds. Her favorite band is T. Rex. 

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Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on April 30th, 2015

Join us for a special evening as students from Otis College or Art and Design's Graduate Writing Program share their poetry and prose.

California native, Sarah Daniele Dickerson is a writer whose biggest influences are Joan Didion, Kendrick Lamar, Frida Kahlo, and Angela Davis. After earning an MFA she intends to spend a year creating and exploring all manner of internal and external wilderness. She is the editor-in-chief of Revel Empire, a digital publication founded on a belief in collaborative creativity as a revolutionary act, and her audio/chapbook “Invisibly Wounded Adult-Sized Children” will be released digitally and in print this summer.

A writer from Los Angeles, Justin Evans is forever fretting and fussing. He writes mainly prose and has a very large nose. That immigrant old fellow Justin has been published in journals like Bird's Thumb, the Point and SMR. He prefers walking to cars. His first novel he is just now redrafting. 

Eunice Kim received her MFA from Otis College of Art and Design and her BA from Amherst College. In her free time she likes playing jazz, making jewelry, and creating art out of anything recycled. A New York native, she is currently living in Los Angeles with her pet turtle Soren who is about ten years older than she is. Together they have produced writing that strives for a balance of spirituality and melodrama.

Taylor McDaniel grew up in Louisiana, where he earned his B.A. in English from Louisiana State University. His poetry has appeared in Vitrine: a printed museum and Smoking Glue Gun magazine, among others, and is forthcoming in Bat City Review. Taylor is currently an MFA writing candidate at Otis College of Art and Design.

Sean Pessin has lived in Los Angeles for his whole life. He earned his B.A. and M.A. in English at CSUN, and will complete his M.F.A. in writing at Otis College. His work is always strange and queer, and has appeared in Used Gravitrons, The Sigma Tau Rectangle, The New Short Fiction Series, and Interfictions Online.

Tess Satsuma is writing a novel about Waikiki. She is influenced by movie soundtracks, water, disaster predictions and bus travel.

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CATE DICHARRY discusses her debut novel THE FINE ART OF FUCKING UP, together with J. RYAN STRADAL

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on April 30th, 2015

The Fine Art of Fucking Up (Unnamed Press)

 Your archenemy taunts you with clandestine bacon frying. Your boss feverishly cyberstalks an aging romance novel cover model. Your husband unexpectedly takes in a wayward foreign national. Your best friend reveals a secret relationship with your longstanding workplace crush.  

Welcome to the life of Nina Lanning, lone and floundering administrator of a prestigious Midwestern art school.  When once-a-century flooding threatens to destroy the art building, and the priceless Jackson Pollock trapped inside, Nina and her ragtag band of faculty members undertake to rescue the early work of the splatter master. Propelled by disasters both natural and personal, Nina must confront her colleagues, her husband, and most importantly, herself. Cate Dicharry’sdebut novel is a painfully hysterical examination of what is truly worth saving, and mastering the art of letting go.

Praise for The Fine Art of Fucking Up

"Cate Dicharry's comic timing is unimpeachable and though her characters are idiosyncratic and quirky, they are deeply dimensional and exceptionally real. A richly complicated and rewarding novel."-- Jill Alexander Essbaum, author of Hausfrau

"Cate Dicharry has an unwaveringly merciless eye for the bogus aspects of art school. But you don't need a BA in Painting or Performance Studies to enjoy the screwball comedy of The Fine Art of Fucking Up. An affectionate yet unsparing view of how easy it is to lose one's way."-- Sara Levine, author of Treasure Island!!!

"How thoroughly The Fine Art of Fucking Up sucked me in, and how, like good books tend to do, this novel operated by some kind of clairvoyant book magic: This is exactly the book you need to read right now; this is your life, but enough not your life to see it clearly. Good job. Keep reading." -- Kailyn McCord in Quaint Magazine

Cate Dicharry has an MFA in Creative Writing from the Low  Residency Program at the University of California, Riverside. Cate lives in Iowa City with her husband and two small sons. The Fine Art of Fucking Up is her first novel.

J. Ryan Stradal is the author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest (Viking, July 2015). Born and raised in Minnesota, he now lives in Los Angeles, where he is Acquisitions Editor at Unnamed Press and the Fiction Editor at The Nervous Breakdown. 

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ATTICA LOCKE reads from her new novel PLEASANTVILLE

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on April 30th, 2015

Pleasantville (Harper)

 One of Skylight Books' favorite local authors Attica Locke returns with her most ambitious novel to date, taking on business corruption, scheming local politicians and murder in Pleasantville, which brings back Black Water Rising’s morally conflicted environmental attorney Jay Porter.

It’s now 1996, fifteen years since Black Water Rising, and Porter is struggling to cope with a family tragedy.  He’s decided to quit the law after he wraps up his final case: representing the citizens of Pleasantville, a storied neighborhood on the north side of Houston, against the chemical giant ProFerma.

Houston’s mayoral election is pending, and Pleasantville is a key electoral district due to the long-time organizing efforts of its now elderly “patriarch” Sam Hathorne. Its endorsement can make or break a candidate’s chances. Sam’s son, Axel, Houston’s former police chief and a favorite of Pleasantville faces a run-off against the city’s current District Attorney, Sandra Wolcott. Then Axel’s nephew, Neal, is arrested for the murder of a young woman who disappeared while campaigning in Pleasantville. Sam coerces Jay into serving as Neal’s defense attorney, even though Jay insists he’s not qualified. As he tries to untangle the complicated knot of politics, lies, and family secrets at the heart of the Hathorne campaign, Jay finds that the case puts an entire electoral process on trial, revealing the lengths to which those with power are willing to go to keep it.

Attica Locke’s first novel, Black Water Rising, was nominated for a 2010 Edgar Award, an NAACP Image Award, as well as a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and was short-listed for the prestigious Orange Prize in the UK (now the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction).  Her second book, The Cutting Season, published by Dennis Lehane books, is a national bestseller, and, like her debut, was a finalist for the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award.  It was also named an Honor Book by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, was long-listed for the Chautauqua Prize, and is the 2013 winner of the Ernest Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, the largest literary prize for African-Americans.

A graduate of Northwestern University, Locke was a fellow at the Sundance Institute’s Feature Filmmakers Lab and had planned a career as a movie director, but got derailed along the way, spending many years as a screenwriter-for-hire.  She wrote scripts for Paramount, Warner Bros, Disney, Twentieth Century Fox, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, HBO, and Dreamworks.  Highly paid, yet unproduced, Locke grew restless with the Hollywood studio system. “There were days I felt like I was writing solely for the pleasure of a group of studio execs, all with a fifteen-mile radius of Burbank, California, that my work had no meaning beyond that.”  In 2005, she gave herself one year to change this – during which she wrote the first draft of Black Water Rising.  “Besides motherhood, it was the single most transformative experience of my life.”

After two books, she felt pulled toward Hollywood again, explicitly television, where great drama is being produced “like I haven’t seen in my lifetime.”  She is currently co-producer and writer on the upcoming Fox drama, Empire, created by Lee Daniels (The Butler, Precious) and Danny Strong (Game Change, The Hunger Games) and premiering in January 2015.

Locke is a member of the academy for the Folio Prize in the UK and is also on the board of directors for the Library Foundation of Los Angeles.  

A native of Houston, Texas, Attica lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband and daughter.

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AKASHIC BOOKS presents NATHAN LARSON reading from his new novel THE IMMUNE SYSTEM, ELIZA FACTOR reading from her new novel LOVE MAPS and GINA B. NAHAI reads from THE LUMINOUS HEART OF JONAH S.

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on April 30th, 2015

The Immune System: A Dewey Decimal Novel Love Maps  & The Luminous Heart of Jonah S. (Akashic Books)

 Join us tonight for a special event brought to you by one of the most exciting independent presses in the country, Akashic Books.

The Immune System is the explosive final installment in Nathan Larson's Dewey Decimal trilogy. Picking up months after the events of The Nervous System, Dewey finds himself running dirty operations for the crooked Senator Howard. When Dewey is tasked with disrupting unrest from a growing group of outcast civilians, and simultaneously given the assignment of protecting a pair of Saudi royals, he is forced to look within and make some impossible choices. Ultimately, this puts him at odds with his benefactor and the powers that be. 

In the course of the novel, we learn the true nature of the 2/14 cataclysm that decimated New York City, and by the end of it, Dewey must choose whether or not to face his own past. He must also decide if he is to be part of the elite control system, or if he's willing to commit himself to the unknown, without the protections he enjoys in the good favor of the landlords of the new New Order.

Praise for the Dewey Decimal Series:

“The most incredible thing about Larson’s novel is just how credible it is . . . and the prose is perfect, as tweaked and jumpy and memorable as the man known as Dewey Decimal. I’m a Library of Congress girl myself, but Larson’s uncannily original fiction deserves its own number within any system of library classification.”—Laura Lippman, author of After I’m Gone

“Larson’s vividly imagined world and his quirky narrator are likely to win him a cadre of loyal fans.”—Publishers Weekly

“Whiplash prose, teeth-gnashing dialogue and post-civilization concepts that make a crazy (amateur) librarian in a pitch-black world a hell of a lot of fun . . . A good time for fans of the likes of Charlie Huston and Charles Stross.”—Kirkus Reviews

Nathan Larson is an award-winning film music composer, having created the scores for over thirty movies, including Boys Don’t Cry, Dirty Pretty Things, and Margin CallThe Dewey Decimal System and The Nervous System are the highly acclaimed first two installments in his Dewey Decimal crime-fiction trilogy. Larson lives in Harlem, New York City, with his wife and son.


The love in Love Maps is not the kind associated with domestic bliss; it is the kind that bubbles up at inopportune moments, attaching itself to people who might be better off free, causing mayhem and longing, along with moments of rare beauty. The title is taken from a series of paintings by Sarah Marker, an artist who ekes out a living teaching humanities at a fancy high school in Connecticut. 

The story begins when Sarah receives a letter from Philip, her erstwhile husband. They have lived separately for seven years, without having seen each other once, without having formally severed ties, in a state of sustained ambivalence. Now he wants to visit. As much as Sarah would like to see him, she is terrified at what he will do when he discovers that he has a son. 

Sarah bundles up her son and once again takes flight, only to arrive in a place she had not intended. While navigating the terrain of the 1980s art scene in New York City, she must confront the terrible events surrounding Philip's departure, and reconcile the expectations of domestic life with her own fractured experience of family, confronting the violence and aching love at the heart of this story.

Praise for Love Maps:

“Who can plot the turns and reversals of the heart? Who can follow its illogical loyalties and mysterious obsessions? Who can reconcile its competing claims from lovers and family? Eliza Factor, that’s who, in this stunningly assured novel about a pair of sisters—one a successful artist, the other a famous singer—and the handsome architect who comes between them. The cover should come with a warning to put your life on hold for a few days, because once you pick it up, you won’t be able to do anything else until you finish.”—Bliss Broyard, author of One Drop: My Father’s Hidden Life—A Story of Race and Family Secrets

“Eliza Factor’s second novel is a beautiful and uplifting journey through the New York art scene of the 1980s, as lived by one true artist. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a character more fully and honestly revealed across the pages of a book than Sarah Marker. A stunning and original exploration of family, romantic love, and the possibility of healing.”—Joseph Weisberg, creator/executive producer of The Americans (FX Network)

“By turns lyrical and flinty, searching and suspenseful, Love Maps is animated by the strivings and travails of characters who seek (and find) the real and the true, the territory instead of the map.”—Thad Ziolkowski, author of Wichita

“Eliza Factor’s Love Maps is a delight, and I read it with mounting pleasure and admiration. It feels strange to think of Love Maps as a pleasure—this is, after all, a book that captures in technicolor detail the pain and vulnerability that come with just about every variety of human relationship. But prose this witty and psychologically deft, and structures this intricate and heartbreaking, don’t come around often.”—Ben Dolnick, author of At the Bottom of Everything

Eliza Factor is a writer and the founder of Extreme Kids & Crew. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and three children. Her debut novel, The Mercury Fountain, was published in 2012 by Akashic Books.


From Tehran to Los Angeles, The Luminous Heart of Jonah S. is a sweeping saga that tells the story of the Soleymans, an Iranian Jewish family tormented for decades by Raphael's Son, a crafty and unscrupulous financier who has futilely claimed to be an heir to the family's fortune. Forty years later in contemporary Los Angeles, Raphael's Son has nearly achieved his goal--until he suddenly disappears, presumed by many to have been murdered. The possible suspects are legion: his long-suffering wife; numerous members of the Soleyman clan exacting revenge; the scores of investors he bankrupted in a Ponzi scheme; or perhaps even his disgruntled bookkeeper and longtime confidant.

Award-winning novelist Gina B. Nahai pulls back the curtain on a close-knit community that survived centuries of persecution in Iran before settling and thriving in the United States, but now finds itself divided to the core by one of its own members. By turns hilarious and affecting, The Luminous Heart of Jonah S. examines the eternal bonds of family and community, and the lasting scars of exile.

Praise for The Luminous Heart of Jonah S.

"A wide-ranging, page-turning, magical realist, multigenerational family saga and Iranian-Jewish-American immigration tale enveloped in a murder both entertains and instructs, and its differing genres seem more complimentary than conflicting."--New York Journal of Books

"Nahai has crafted an engaging combination of family saga and murder mystery, placed it in the framework of a relatively unknown subculture, and people it with fascinating characters. Flavored with both elements of magical realism and down-to-earth observations, The Luminous Heart of Jonah S. brings a little-known Los Angeles community to vivid life."--Shelf Awareness

"What results is a novel that feels more universal than anything, and an engrossing, expansive epic that charts not only thousands years of Iranian Jewish life, but the brutality of one family's survival amidst revolution and cultural upheaval."
--Kirkus Reviews

"One of the many pleasures of this sprawling, multigenerational story is the way it transcends the specifics of the Iranian diaspora with insights that could apply to anyone."--LA Weekly

"One of Nahai's gifts is her astute observation of this community, her own, which she describes with unsparing precision."--Los Angeles Review of Books

"Nahai's eye for detail, whether it's succinctly summing up a funeral or providing a description of a Tehran summer, always seems to be spot on."--PopMatters

"An intriguing murder-mystery journey anchored within the Iranian-Jewish community of Los Angeles. Vivid and raw...Nahai masterfully introduces us to the mythical and mundane layers that make up Iranian-American identity."--Washington Independent Review of Books

"It's the family connections--the true Iranian heritage--that is the luminous heart of the novel."--The Reporter Group

Gina B. Nahai is a best-selling author, columnist, and full-time lecturer at USC’s Master of Professional Writing Program. Her novels have been translated into eighteen languages, and have been selected as “Best Books of the Year” by the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune. She has also been a finalist for the Orange Prize, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and the Harold U. Ribalow Prize, and has won the Los Angeles Arts Council Award, the Persian Heritage Foundation’s Award, the Simon Rockower Award, and the Phi Kappa Phi Award. Her writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles magazine, Publishers Weekly, and the Huffington Post, among others. She writes a monthly column for the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, and is a three-time finalist for an LA Press Club Award. Nahai holds a BA and a Masters degree in International Relations from UCLA, and a Master of Professional Writing from USC. She’s a former consultant for the Rand Corporation, and a frequent lecturer on the politics of pre- and postrevolutionary Iran.

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ALINE OHANESIAN reads from her debut novel ORHAN’S INHERITANCE

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on April 26th, 2015

Orhan's Inheritance (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill)

 In her extraordinary debut, Aline Ohanesian has created two remarkable characters--a young man ignorant of his family's and his country's past, and an old woman haunted by the toll the past has taken on her life.

When Orhan's brilliant and eccentric grandfather Kemal--a man who built a dynasty out of making "kilim" rugs--is found dead, submerged in a vat of dye, Orhan inherits the decades-old business. But Kemal's will raises more questions than it answers. He has left the family estate to a stranger thousands of miles away, an aging woman in an Armenian retirement home in Los Angeles. Her existence and secrecy about her past only deepen the mystery of why Orhan's grandfather willed his home in Turkey to an unknown woman rather than to his own son or grandson. Left with only Kemal's ancient sketchbook and intent on righting this injustice, Orhan boards a plane to Los Angeles. There he will not only unearth the story that eighty-seven-year-old Seda so closely guards but discover that Seda's past now threatens to unravel his future. Her story, if told, has the power to undo the legacy upon which his family has been built. Moving back and forth in time, between the last years of the Ottoman Empire and the 1990s, Orhan's Inheritance is a story of passionate love, unspeakable horrors, incredible resilience, and the hidden stories that can haunt a family for generations.

Praise for Orhan's Inheritance:

"Aline Ohanesian draws from her family's own dark history to create a tender, powerful story of love and reclamation.Orhan's Inheritance is a breathtaking and expansive work of historical fiction and proof that the past can sometimes rewrite the future." --Christina Baker Kline, author of Orphan Train

“A harrowing tale of unimaginable sacrifice...A novel that delves into the darkest corners of human history and emerges with a tenuous sense of hope.” – Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“To take the tumultuous history of Turks and Armenians in the early part of this century, and to tell the stories of families and lovers from the small everyday moments of life to the terrible journeys of death, to make a novel so engrossing and keep us awake - that is an accomplishment, and Aline Ohanesian's first novel is such a wonderful accomplishment.” - Susan Straight, author of Highwire Moon

“Readers who were moved by the work of Carol Edgarian, Mark Mustian, and Nancy Kricorian will appreciate the historical authenticity and passion that Aline Ohanesian brings to this story of the Armenian Genocide. Orhan’s Inheritance is heartfelt and sincere.”— Chris Bohjalian, author of The Sandcastle Girls

“From its first startling image, Orhan's Inheritance will seep under your skin and leave an indelible mark upon your heart. What lucky readers we are to inherit Aline Ohanesian’s gorgeous work.” —Gayle Brandeis, author of Delta Girls

“Orhan's Inheritance is a remarkable debut from an important new voice. It tells us things we thought we knew and shows us we had no idea. Beautiful and terrible and, finally, indelible.” – Luis Alberto Urrea, author of Queen of America

Aline Ohanesian's great-grandmother was a survivor of the Armenian Genocide. Her history was the kernel for the story that Ohanesian tells in her first novel, Orhan's Inheritance. Ohanesian was a finalist for the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Fiction and "Glimmer Train"'s Short Story Award for New Writers. Born in Northridge, California, she lives and writes in San Juan Capistrano, California, with her husband and two young sons. Her website is

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