Archive for books

Alex S. Vitale, “THE END OF POLICING”

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, True Crime, nonfiction by skylightbooks on July 19th, 2018

Recent years have seen an explosion of protest against police brutality and repression--most dramatically in Ferguson, Missouri, where longheld grievances erupted in violent demonstrations following the police killing of Michael Brown. Among activists, journalists, and politicians, the conversation about how to respond and improve policing has focused on accountability, diversity, training, and community relations. Unfortunately, these reforms will not produce results, either alone or in combination. The core of the problem must be addressed: the nature of modern policing itself. "Broken windows" practices, the militarization of law enforcement, and the dramatic expansion of the police's role over the last forty years have created a mandate for officers that must be rolled back.

The End of Policing attempts to spark public discussion by revealing the tainted origins of modern policing as a tool of social control. It shows how the expansion of police authority is inconsistent with community empowerment, social justice--even public safety. Drawing on groundbreaking research from across the world, and covering virtually every area in the increasingly broad range of police work, Alex Vitale demonstrates how law enforcement has come to exacerbate the very problems it is supposed to solve.

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Sloane Crosley, “LOOK ALIVE OUT THERE”

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, essays by skylightbooks on July 18th, 2018

Exactly ten years after her debut essay collection, I Was Told There’d Be Cake, introduced a strikingly original, genre-resuscitating voice to the world, the bestselling author Sloane Crosley returns to the personal essay right when we need her most. Look Alive Out There is a collection of sixteen new essays, each one brimming with Crosley’s trademark wit and observation. 

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Leslie Jamison, “THE RECOVERING”

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, Memoir, essays, journalism, criticism by skylightbooks on July 18th, 2018

With its deeply personal and seamless blend of memoir, cultural history, literary criticism, and journalistic reportage, The Recovering turns our understanding of the traditional addiction narrative on its head, demonstrating that the story of recovery can be every bit as electrifying as the train wreck itself. Leslie Jamison deftly excavates the stories we tell about addiction--both her own and others'--and examines what we want these stories to do, and what happens when they fail us. 
All the while, she offers a fascinating look at the larger history of the recovery movement, and at the literary and artistic geniuses whose lives and works were shaped by alcoholism and substance dependence, including John Berryman, Jean Rhys, Raymond Carver, Billie Holiday, David Foster Wallace, and Denis Johnson, as well as brilliant figures lost to obscurity but newly illuminated here.

For the power of her striking language and the sharpness of her piercing observations, Leslie Jamison has been compared to such iconic writers as Joan Didion and Susan Sontag. Yet her utterly singular voice also offers something new. With enormous empathy and wisdom, Jamison has given us nothing less than the story of addiction and recovery in America writ large, a definitive and revelatory account that will resonate for years to come.

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Michelle Dean, “SHARP”

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, nonfiction by skylightbooks on July 17th, 2018

Women in media must still, unfortunately, fight for their due and today they call out mansplainers on Twitter, wield power on the opinion pages, and start a movement with a single hashtag. But before that, there were women writers who shouted down the prevailing narrative of sexism and nepotism by taking to the printed page alone. Acclaimed literary and cultural critic Michelle Dean has expertly rendered a portrait of ten such revolutionary writers from the 1920s to the 1990s in her debut work, Sharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion. We all know their names: Dorothy Parker, Rebecca West, Hannah Arendt, Mary McCarthy, Susan Sontag, Pauline Kael, Joan Didion, Nora Ephron, Renata Adler, Janet Malcolm. These women are united by what Dean terms as “sharpness,” the ability to cut to the quick with precision of thought and wit, a claiming of power through writing rather than position.

Sharp is a vibrant and rich depiction of the intellectual beau monde of twentieth-century New York, where gossip-filled parties at night gave out to literary slanging-matches in the pages of the Partisan Review or the New York Review of Books as well as a considered portrayal of how these women came to be so influential in a climate where women were treated with derision by the critical establishment. Dean traces the lives of these extraordinary women as they intertwine and cut through the cultural and intellectual history of America, recounting friendships and rivalries, absent fathers and fractured families, professional triumphs and personal disappointments. Dean notes the essays and books that made their names, how their styles changed over the course of their careers, and how their work was received by their contemporaries.

Dean is joined in conversation by Carina Chocano, frequent contributor to the New York Times Magazine and Elle.

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Jonathan Ames, “YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE”

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, fiction by skylightbooks on July 17th, 2018

Joe has witnessed things that cannot be erased. A former FBI agent and Marine, his abusive childhood has left him damaged beyond repair. He has completely withdrawn from the world and earns his living rescuing girls who have been kidnapped into the sex trade.

When he's hired to save the daughter of a corrupt New York senator held captive at a Manhattan brothel, he stumbles into a dangerous web of conspiracy, and he pays the price. As Joe's small web of associates are picked off one by one, he realizes that he has no choice but to take the fight to the men who want him dead.

Brutal and redemptive in equal measure, You Were Never Really Here is a toxic shot of a thriller, laced with corruption, revenge and the darkest of inner demons.

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Joe Donnelly, “L.A. MAN”

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, Memoir by skylightbooks on July 17th, 2018

During his many years writing for publications such as LA Weekly, the Los Angeles TimesSlakeSurfer's Journal and more, Joe Donnelly has driven to Texas with Wes Anderson, shot pool with Sean Penn, surfed with Chris Malloy, sparred (verbally) with Christian Bale, gone on a date with Carmen Electra, and listened to tall tales told by Werner Herzog. These profiles, which also include encounters with Drew Barrymore, Lou Reed, Craig Stecyk, the wolf OR7, the Z-boys and others who have indelibly stamped the cultural landscape, drill through the facade of fame to get at the core humanity behind the myth-making. L.A. Man manages to show Los Angeles' biggest export in a light in which it is rarely seen. 

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Mark Sarvas, “MEMENTO PARK”

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, fiction by skylightbooks on July 16th, 2018

After receiving an unexpected call from the Australian consulate, Matt Santos becomes aware of a painting that he believes was looted from his family in Hungary during the Second World War. To recover the painting, he must repair his strained relationship with his harshly judgmental father, uncover his family history, and restore his connection to his own Judaism. Along the way to illuminating the mysteries of his past, Matt is torn between his doting girlfriend, Tracy, and his alluring attorney, Rachel, with whom he travels to Budapest to unearth the truth about the painting and, in turn, his family.

As his journey progresses, Matt’s revelations are accompanied by equally consuming and imaginative meditations on the painting and the painter at the center of his personal drama, Budapest Street Scene by Ervin Kálmán. By the time Memento Park reaches its conclusion, Matt’s narrative is as much about family history and father-son dynamics as it is about the nature of art itself, and the infinite ways we come to understand ourselves through it.

Of all the questions asked by Mark Sarvas’s Memento Park—about family and identity, about art and history—a central, unanswerable predicament lingers: How do we move forward when the past looms unreasonably large?

Joining Sarvas in conversation with Janet Fitch, author of  the novels White Oleander, an Oprah Book Club selection, Paint It Black, and most recently The Revolution of Marina M.

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Beth Pickens, “ART WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE”

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, self-help by skylightbooks on July 16th, 2018

As a teenager visiting the Andy Warhol Museum, Beth Pickens realized the importance of making art. As an adult, she has dedicated her life to empowering working artists. Intimate yet practical, Your Art Will Save Your Life helps artists build a sustainable practice while navigating the world of MFAs, residencies, and institutional funding.

Pickens is joined in conversation by Ali Liebegott (The Beautifully WorthlessThe IHOP Papers, Cha-Ching!) and Michelle Tea (ValenciaHow to Grow UpBlack Wave).

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OTIS COLLEGE MFA WRITING PROGRAM

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Short Stories by skylightbooks on July 16th, 2018

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

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Sarah Andersen, “HERDING CATS”

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, Comics/Graphic Novels by skylightbooks on July 15th, 2018

Sarah Andersen’s hilarious third collection, Herding Cats, features the two time Goodreads Choice Award favorite continuing to poke fun at herself and her insecurities, her cat obsession, and the inherent humor in the daily life of a young woman.

Sarah’s imaginative and right-on-target comics explore the complexities of being an introvert, a millennial, a young woman, and an artisit with a distinctive, quirky, and honest style. Readers will relish her latest installment with a warm feeling of solidarity and familiar recognition, as she depicts the challenges in navigating real life and the Internet-infused world of today in a humorous, refreshingly candid, and poignant manner.

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Amy Spalding, “THE SUMMER OF JORDI PEREZ”

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, Y/A, Young Adult, fiction by skylightbooks on July 15th, 2018

A hilarious, nuanced LGBTQ+ young adult novel about a teen trying to make waves in the fashion industry by running a plus-size fashion blog and rocking her dream internship—until she falls for her competition, Jordi.

Seventeen, fashion-obsessed, and gay, Abby Ives has always been content playing the sidekick in other people’s lives. While her friends and sister have plunged headfirst into the world of dating and romances, Abby’s been happy to focus on her plus-size style blog and her dreams of taking the fashion industry by storm. When she lands a great internship at her favorite boutique, she’s thrilled to take the first step toward her dream career. Then she falls for her fellow intern, Jordi Perez. Hard. And now she’s competing against the girl she’s kissing to win the coveted paid job at the end of the internship.

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Bruce Holbert, “WHISKEY”

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, fiction by skylightbooks on July 15th, 2018

Whiskey is the story of two brothers, their parents, and three wrecked marriages, a searching book about family life at its most distressed—about kinship, failure, enough liquor to get through it all, and ultimately a dark and hard-earned grace. With the gruff humor of Cormac McCarthy and a dash of the madcap irony of Charles Portis, and a strong, authentic literary voice all his own, Bruce Holbert traverses the harsh landscape of America’s northwestern border and finds a family unlike any you’ve met before.

Holbert is joined by Elizabeth McCracken, author of five books: the story collections Here’s Your Hat What’s Your Hurry and Thunderstruck & Other Stories, the novels The Giant’s House and Niagara Falls All Over Again, and the memoir An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination.

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