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Handsell, Ep. 12, “Chris Pine’s Good Mask and LAPL’s Jennifer Siron”

Posted in , skylight books, book stores, books, Handsell by skylightbooks on July 11th, 2020

Mick and Maddie return to the Handsell after a couple weeks off to talk about the viral Chris Pine photo and use it to remind everyone to WEAR YOUR DAMN MASKS! Then Maddie interviews the Los Angeles Public LIbrary's Jennifer Siron about the legendary Street Fleet! Good ep, good ep.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," a new, unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.




LIVE ON CROWDCAST: Rosalie Knecht, “VERA KELLY IS NOT A MYSTERY” w/ Amy Stewart

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, mystery by skylightbooks on July 3rd, 2020

When ex-CIA agent Vera Kelly loses her job and her girlfriend in a single day, she reluctantly goes into business as a private detective. Heartbroken and cash-strapped, she takes a case that dredges up dark memories and attracts dangerous characters from across the Cold War landscape. Before it’s over, she’ll chase a lost child through foster care and follow a trail of Dominican exiles to the Caribbean. Forever looking over her shoulder, she nearly misses what’s right in front of her: her own desire for home, connection, and a new romance at the local bar.

In Vera Kelly is Not a Mystery, the exciting second installment of the Vera Kelly series, Rosalie Knecht challenges and deepens the Vera we love: a woman of sparkling wit, deep moral fiber, and martini-dry humor who knows how to follow a case even as she struggles to follow her heart.

The “splendid genre-pushing” (People) Vera Kelly series returns in full force as our recently out-of-the-spy-game heroine travels from Brooklyn to a sprawling countryside estate in the Caribbean in her first case as a private investigator.

Knecht is joined in conversation by Amy Stewart, best-selling author of the Kopp Sisters series, which are based on the true story of one of America’s first female deputy sheriffs and her two rambunctious sisters.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," a new, unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




Harry Dodge, “MY METEORITE”

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Memoir, art, biography by skylightbooks on June 12th, 2020

Is love a force akin to gravity? A kind of invisible fabric which enables communications through space and time? Artist Harry Dodge finds himself contemplating such questions as his father declines from dementia and he rekindles a bewildering but powerful relationship with his birth mother. A meteorite Dodge orders on eBay becomes a mysterious catalyst for a reckoning with the vital forces of matter, the nature of consciousness, and the bafflements of belonging.

Structured around a series of formative, formidable coincidences in Dodge’s life, My Meteorite journeys with stylistic bravura from Barthes to Blade Runner, from punk to Pale Fire. It is a wild, incandescent book that creates a literary universe of its own. Blending the personal and the philosophical, the raw and the surreal, the transgressive and the heartbreaking, Harry Dodge revitalizes our world, illuminating the magic just under the surface of daily life.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," a new, unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.




LIVE ON ZOOM: Tin House Poetry Night

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, poetry by skylightbooks on June 8th, 2020

Join us for the best reading in all of time and space, featuring the poets of Tin House: Jenny Zhang, Tommy Pico, Morgan Parker and Khadijah Queen!

Find their works on the Event Page, here.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," a new, unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.




Mary Ann Cherry, “MORRIS KIGHT”

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, LGBTQ, biography, queer by skylightbooks on June 2nd, 2020

No matter how unlikely it is that an effective gay movement could have been born from an upper middle-class, law-abiding, conservative populace, there are those who refuse to identify gay history with a liberal ideology. Obtuse efforts are underway to deny the “hippie” element that makes up a large part of the DNA of gay rights. Activist Morris Kight, a unique force of nature and the grand panjandrum of post-Stonewall gay liberation, represents a large part of that hippie DNA. He was a complicated character with an instinct for social services and a tendency towards self aggrandizement. His ego stood out in a room full of egos. In a time before “gay pride,” Kight quite deliberately and openly shunned the shame that was expected of homosexuals. He created organizations, sat on boards, worked with committees, and lead seminal protests that created a new quality of life for homosexuals and, eventually, the first generation of never-closeted Gays. This book does not provide all the answers on the history of gay liberation; however, it may pose a few new questions.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," a new, unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.




LIVE ON ZOOM: Porochista Khakpour, “BROWN ALBUM” w/ Myriam Gurba

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Memoir, nonfiction, biography by skylightbooks on May 25th, 2020

Novelist Porochista Khakpour's family moved to Los Angeles after fleeing the Iranian Revolution, giving up their successes only to be greeted by an alienating culture. Growing up as an immigrant in America means that one has to make one's way through a confusing tangle of conflicting cultures and expectations. And Porochista is pulled between the glitzy culture of Tehrangeles, an enclave of wealthy Iranians and Persians in LA, her own family's modest life and culture, and becoming an assimilated American. Porochista rebels--she bleaches her hair and flees to the East Coast, where she finds her community: other people writing and thinking at the fringes. But, 9/11 happens and with horror, Porochista watches from her apartment window as the towers fall. Extremism and fear of the Middle East rises in the aftermath and then again with the election of Donald Trump. Porochista is forced to finally grapple with what it means to be Middle-Eastern and Iranian, an immigrant, and a refugee in our country today.

Brown Album is a stirring collection of essays, at times humorous and at times profound, drawn from more than a decade of Porochista's work and with new material included. Altogether, it reveals the tolls that immigrant life in this country can take on a person and the joys that life can give.

Khakpour is in conversation with Myriam Gurba, a writer, spoken-word artist, and visual artist.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," a new, unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.




Joanne McNeil, “LURKING” w/ Sarah Jaffe

Posted in by skylightbooks on May 22nd, 2020

In a shockingly short amount of time, the internet has bound people around the world together and torn us apart and changed not just the way we communicate but who we are and who we can be. It has created a new, unprecedented cultural space that we are all a part of—even if we don’t participate, that is how we participate—but by which we’re continually surprised, betrayed, enriched, befuddled. We have churned through platforms and technologies and in turn been churned by them. And yet, the internet is us and always has been.

In Lurking, Joanne McNeil digs deep and identifies the primary (if sometimes contradictory) concerns of people online: searching, safety, privacy, identity, community, anonymity, and visibility. She charts what it is that brought people online and what keeps us here even as the social equations of digital life—what we’re made to trade, knowingly or otherwise, for the benefits of the internet—have shifted radically beneath us. It is a story we are accustomed to hearing as tales of entrepreneurs and visionaries and dynamic and powerful corporations, but there is a more profound, intimate story that hasn’t yet been told.

McNeil is in conversation with Sarah Jaffe, a Type Media Center fellow and an independent journalist covering labor, economic justice, social movements, politics, gender, and pop culture.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," a new, unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.




Maggie Tokuda-Hall, “THE MERMAID, THE WITCH, AND THE SEA”

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Y/A, Young Adult, Fantasy, fiction, novels by skylightbooks on May 1st, 2020

The pirate Florian, born Flora, has always done whatever it takes to survive—including sailing under false flag on the Dove as a marauder, thief, and worse. Lady Evelyn Hasegawa, a highborn Imperial daughter, is on board as well—accompanied by her own casket. But Evelyn’s one-way voyage to an arranged marriage in the Floating Islands is interrupted when the captain and crew show their true colors and enslave their wealthy passengers. Both Florian and Evelyn have lived their lives by the rules, and whims, of others. But when they fall in love, they decide to take fate into their own hands—no matter the cost.

Maggie Tokuda-Hall’s sweeping fantasy, full of stolen memories, illicit mermaid’s blood, double agents, and haunting mythical creatures, conjures an extraordinary cast of characters and the unforgettable story of a couple striving to stay together in the face of myriad forces wishing to control their identities and destinies.

Order The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," a new, unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.




Megan Fernandes, “GOOD BOYS” w/ Catherine Pond & Callie Siskel

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels by skylightbooks on March 31st, 2020

In an era of rising nationalism and geopolitical instability, Megan Fernandes's Good Boys offers a complex portrait of messy feminist rage, negotiations with race and travel, and existential dread in the Anthropocene. The collection follows a restless, nervy, cosmically abandoned speaker failing at the aspirational markers of adulthood as she flips from city to city, from enchantment to disgust, always reemerging-just barely-on the trains and bridges and barstools of New York City. A child of the Indian ocean diaspora, Fernandes enacts the humor and devastation of what it means to exist as a body of contradictions. Her interpretations are muddied. Her feminism is accusatory, messy. Her homelands are theoretical and rootless. The poet converses with goats and throws a fit at a tarot reading; she loves the intimacy of strangers during turbulent plane rides and has dark fantasies about the "hydrogen fruit" of nuclear fallout. Ultimately, these poems possess an affection for the doomed: false beloveds, the hounded earth, civilizations intent on their own ruin. Fernandes skillfully interrogates where to put our fury and, more importantly, where to direct our mercy.

Fernandes is in conversation with Catherine Pond and Callie Siskel.




Amina Cain, “INDELICACY” w/ Adam Novy

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels by skylightbooks on March 16th, 2020

In "a strangely ageless world somewhere between Emily Dickinson and David Lynch" (Blake Butler), a cleaning woman at a museum of art nurtures aspirations to do more than simply dust the paintings around her. She dreams of having the liberty to explore them in writing, and so must find a way to win herself the time and security to use her mind. She escapes her lot by marrying a rich man, but having gained a husband, a house, high society, and a maid, she finds that her new life of privilege is no less constrained. Not only has she taken up different forms of time-consuming labor―social and erotic―but she is now, however passively, forcing other women to clean up after her. Perhaps another and more drastic solution is necessary?

Reminiscent of a lost Victorian classic in miniature, yet taking equal inspiration from such modern authors as Jean Rhys, Octavia Butler, Clarice Lispector, and Jean Genet, Amina Cain's Indelicacy is at once a ghost story without a ghost, a fable without a moral, and a down-to-earth investigation of the barriers faced by women in both life and literature. It is a novel about seeing, class, desire, anxiety, pleasure, friendship, and the battle to find one’s true calling.

Cain is in conversation with Adam Novy, author of The Avian Gospels came out in 2010.




Liana Finck,”EXCUSE ME” w/ Charlie Hankin

Posted in , skylight books, book stores, books, Comics/Graphic Novels, fiction by skylightbooks on October 29th, 2019

If you’re one of the 310,000 people who follow author Liana Finck on Instagram, you’ve probably seen a few of the following comments before: “Freaking Perfect”; “this rings so true for me I can’t even describe it”; “I'm putting this one on my bathroom mirror”; “WHY IS THIS LITERALLY ME”; “Can I get this tattooed on my body 100 times?” No matter what topic she’s covering—love and intimacy, politics, art, social anxiety,  humanity—Liana’s work contains a precision and thoughtfulness that resonates deeply with those who encounter her work. This fall, Random House is thrilled to share a new book of over 500 of Liana’s most relatable and heartfelt drawings, EXCUSE ME: Cartoons, Complaints, and Notes to Self.

Liana’s thin-penned line drawings have an uncanny ability to communicate life’s absurdities, in a way that feels not only timely and sharp, but accessible and wondrously insightful. Her fans flock to her because they feel seen in her art—she never shies away from showing us life at its most hilarious, uncomfortable, and surreal. EXCUSE ME is divided into a series of distinctive chapters on: Love & Dating; Gender & Other Politics; Animals; Art & Myth-Making; Humanity; Time, Space, and How to Navigate Them; Strangeness, Shyness, Sadness; and Notes to Self. Each chapter is packed with Liana’s signature humor and wit, but also a deep sense of compassion and a profound curiosity in what it means to be a human in this world.

Finck is in conversation with Charlie Hankin, a writer/performer, cartoonist, and animator.




Mike Pearl, “THE DAY IT FINALLY HAPPENS” w/ Brian Merchant

Posted in , skylight books, book stores, books, nonfiction, essays, technology by skylightbooks on October 28th, 2019

If you live on planet Earth you’re probably scared of the future. How could you not be? Some of the world’s most stable democracies are looking pretty shaky. Technology is invading personal relationships and taking over jobs. Relations among the three superpowers—the US, China, and Russia—are growing more complicated and dangerous. A person watching the news has to wonder: is it safe to go out there or not?

Taking inspiration from his virally popular Vice column “How Scared Should I Be?,” Mike Pearl in The Day It Finally Happens games out many of the “could it really happen?” scenarios we’ve all speculated about, assigning a probability rating, and taking us through how it would unfold. He explores what would likely occur in dozens of possible scenarios—among them the final failure of antibiotics, the loss of the world’s marine life, a complete ban on guns in the US, and even the arrival of aliens—and reports back from the future, providing a clear picture of how the world would look, feel, and even smell in each of these instances.

Pearl is in conversation with Brian Merchant, a journalist, producer, and author, focusing on science & technology.




Kimberly King Parsons, “BLACK LIGHT” w/ Leah Dieterich

Posted in by skylightbooks on September 15th, 2019

With raw, poetic ferocity, Kimberly King Parsons exposes desire’s darkest hollows—those hidden places where most of us are afraid to look. In this debut collection of enormously perceptive and brutally unsentimental short stories, Parsons illuminates the ache of first love, the banality of self-loathing, the scourge of addiction, the myth of marriage, and the magic and inevitable disillusionment of childhood.

Taking us from hot Texas highways to cold family kitchens, from the freedom of pay-by-the-hour motels to the claustrophobia of private school dorms, these stories erupt off the page with a primal howl—sharp-voiced, bitter, and wise. Black Light contains the type of storytelling that resonates somewhere deep, in the well of memory that repudiates nostalgia.

Parsons is in conversation with Leach Dieterich, the author of Vanishing Twins: A Marriage.




Dora Malech, “STET” w/ Michelle Brittan Rosado

Posted in by skylightbooks on September 15th, 2019

In Stet, poet Dora Malech takes constraint as her catalyst and subject, exploring what it means to make or break a vow, to create art out of a life in flux, to reckon with the body’s bounds, and to arrive at a place where one might bear and care for another life. Tapping the inventive possibilities of constrained forms, particularly the revealing limitations of the anagram, Stet is a work of serious play that brings home the connections and intimacies of language.

Malech is in conversation with Michelle Brittan Rosado, author of Why Can't It Be Tenderness.




Rob Zubrecky, “STRANGE CURES”

Posted in by skylightbooks on September 5th, 2019

Strange Cures is a turbulent, against-all-odds memoir of self-discovery, success, failure, and reinvention, told by one of LA’s most interesting natives. With an unflinching gaze, musician/magician/actor Rob Zabrecky recounts his bizarre coming-of-age tale and his quest to find a place in the arts—and the world. The author reveals a young life filled with both physical miracles and subversive role models, including an uncle who impersonated an FBI agent and, in a drunken delusion, shot and nearly killed him. He takes readers on a roller coaster ride through the nascent days of Silver Lake’s music and art community, as seen through the lens of his critically acclaimed band, Possum Dixon. We explore the left-of-center landscape of Jabberjaw, LA’s independent coffeehouse which featured the early talents of Nirvana and Beck; Zabrecky’s own struggles with drug addiction, love, and recovery; and finally, his re-emergence as a magician venturing into the sacred world of Hollywood’s Magic Castle.





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