Archive for books


Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on September 25th, 2017

Weird in a World That's Not: A Career Guide for Misfits, F*ckups, and Failures (HarperBusiness)

Are you “awkward?” Do you often feel like a spiky misfit at work? Does overthinking, anxiety and crippling self-doubt stand between you and the path to success? Have you taken so many wrong turns that it feels like you’ll never find the way forward, towards a truly rewarding career?

Weird in a World That's Not: A Career Guide for Misfits, F*ckups, and Failures, Jennifer Romolini’s wise, witty, and straight-talking how-to, asserts that being outside-the- norm and achieving real, high-level success are not mutually exclusive, even if the perception of the business world often seems otherwise, even if it seems like only office-politicking extroverts are set up for reward.

In this indispensable guide designed for oddballs, the popular speaker, former editor-in- chief of HelloGiggles, and self-professed weirdo shares essential information about navigating the workforce when you’re unconventional — and retaining your authenticity in the process. Romolini is an outsider who’s been there and done it; she started her career late, climbed the New York media ladder and, in just a few years, went from being a broke, divorced, college dropout to running some of the biggest websites in the world. As her inspiring story demonstrates, outliers are more than capable of excelling in the conventional business world, where weirdness can actually serve as an asset rather than a handicap.

Part memoir, part real-world guide, Weird in a World That's Not provides relatable, practical advice for readers at any stage in their careers. With real-life anecdotes and challenges interwoven throughout, this invaluable manual addresses a range of situations, including:

  • Discovering the career that’s right for you
  • Acing an initial interview and how to rebound if you don’t get the job;
  • Surviving intense office politics;
  • Knowing how and when to leave a sh*tty job;
  • Becoming a great leader when managing people is often the worst;
  • Staying true to who you are while accomplishing all of the above.

Jennifer Romolini is the former editor-in- chief and Vice President of Content at HelloGiggles, a site for millennial women founded by actress Zooey Deschanel. She was previously the editor-in- chief of Yahoo Shine, the deputy editor of Lucky Magazine, and held editorial positions at Time Out New York and Talk Magazine. She lives in Los Angeles, California.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on September 10th, 2017

The Conspiracy (Phoneme Media)

When leftist revolutionary Sergio's sniper shot misses the President of Venezuela, he's thrown into a sudden tailspin. As he attempts to escape the increasingly militarized regime, he winds up taking residence in a bohemian beachside commune, where he keeps a low profile until Lourdes, his former comrade, the object of his desire, and his possible betrayer, turns up one evening. Pursued by their former trainer in guerrilla warfare on the orders of the newly appointed Minister of the Interior, the two team up with unlikely partners to hatch a new plan for their survival. This poetic thriller, the second in Phoneme Media's City of Asylum imprint, challenges the origin myth of South America's radical left, resulting in its author's exile from Venezuela.

Praise for The Conspiracy 

"A rare voice from Venezuela. In this fever dream of a novel shot through with dark humor, Centeno grapples with the fallout from generations of violence and corruption." —Natasha Wimmer, translator of Roberto Bolaño'sThe Savage Detectives and 2666

"His fleshy, psychologically penetrating work is one of the great undiscovered literary experiences of Latin America." —Aurelio Major, co-founding editor of Granta en Español

"The alleyways and hideaways of Israel Centeno's Venezuela are as real and visceral as the streets of Pasolini's Rome." —Dermot Bolger, author of The Journey Home

Israel Centeno was born in Venezuela in 1958. He has published 14 books, primarily novels but short story and poetry collections as well. He is regarded as on of the most important Venezuelan literary figures of the last fifty years. He has won the Federico García Lorca Award in Spain and the National Council of Culture Award in Venezuela. Since 2011 he has lives in Pittsburgh with his wife and two daughters, as an exiled writer-in-residence at City of Asylum Pittsburgh.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on September 10th, 2017

Fly Me (Little Brown & Company)

The year is 1972 and Suzy Whitman arrives in Sela del Mar, a debaucherous beach town in the shadows of LAX, lured across the country by the desire for danger and acceptance, and the possibility of escaping her past. Full of startling psychological insight, Daniel Riley’s debut novel, Fly Me is a haunting tour de force. Richly evoking the sights and sounds of the era, Riley paints the vivid portrait of a nation on the verge of a new era—and a girl caught between her past and the ever-expanding present.

Suzy casts aside her recent Vassar degree, following her beloved older sister into the borderless adventures of working as a stewardess for Grand Pacific Airlines.  Suzy immerses herself into Southern California culture, meeting the surfers who populate the beaches and the musicians who play in the smoke filled clubs.  There is a dark side to this sun-soaked town and Suzy is soon drawn into a drug-trafficking scheme.  Between the years of 1961 and 1973, there were over 160 planes hijacked over U.S. airspace, and Suzy is forced to confront those who dominated the headlines and terrorized the skies. Smuggling cocaine in her (often unchecked) luggage is a lucrative side business; thrilling and terrifying, heightened even more so by the skyjacking epidemic of the day. That will all change on one fateful evening, where everything Suzy has come to know and love, goes up in smoke.

For readers of Rachel Kushner’s The Flamethrowers, Fly Me is an engaging exploration of being young, navigating expectations and learning to live with your mistakes. Fly Me is an unforgettable novel about family, a young woman on the edge, about drugs and rock ’n’ roll, and the increasingly thin line between freedom and free fall.

Daniel Riley is a Senior Editor at GQ magazine. He grew up in Manhattan Beach, California, and lives in New York City. Fly Me is his first novel.

The Last Kid Left (MCD/Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

When a scandalous small-town crime goes viral, a teen girl takes center stage in the story of a 21st century Puritan witch-hunt.

After a double-murder kicks off a scandal in a New England beach town, a young woman struggles to create a life for herself and escape the lurid interest of a tight-knit community. No doubt one might sense echoes of The Scarlet Letter, one of Baldwin’s favorite works, in The Last Kid on the Left, his eagerly anticipated new novel. Loosely inspired by a true crime in 1930’s New England so shocking that Life magazine devoted an entire spread to the case, Baldwin sets his explosive, searching novel in the present day of Tumblr and sexting. People are haunted equally by the past and the present as the precarious lives of two teens, a small town sheriff, a retired big-city police officer and an aspiring young journalist desperate to make the pages of the New Yorker, all collide in a media firestorm that threatens to swallow them whole.

Rosecrans Baldwin is the author of Paris, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down and a debut novel, You Lost Me There. His essays and articles have appeared in a variety of publications, including GQ, the New York Times, and the Guardian. He lives in Los Angeles. 



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on September 10th, 2017

The Pox Lover: An Activist's Decade in New York and Paris (University of Wisconsin Press)

The Pox Lover is a personal history of the turbulent 1990s in New York City and Paris by a pioneering American AIDS journalist, lesbian activist, and daughter of French-Haitian elites. In an account that is by turns searing, hectic, and funny, Anne-christine d'Adesky remembers "the poxed generation" of AIDS—their lives, their battles, and their determination to find love and make art in the heartbreaking years before lifesaving protease drugs arrived.

D'Adesky takes us through a fast-changing East Village: squatter protests and civil disobedience lead to all-night drag and art-dance parties, the fun-loving Lesbian Avengers organize dyke marches, and the protest group ACT UP stages public funerals. Traveling as a journalist to Paris, an insomniac d'Adesky trolls the Seine, encountering waves of exiles fleeing violence in the Balkans, Haiti, and Rwanda. As the last of the French Nazis stand trial and the new National Front rises in the polls, d'Adesky digs into her aristocratic family's roots in Vichy France and colonial Haiti. This is a testament with a message for every generation: grab at life and love, connect with others, fight for justice, keep despair at bay, and remember.

Praise for The Pox Lover 

“Reminiscent of the luscious lesbian literature of the Parisian past, but propelled into the era of AIDS, ACT UP, and the Lesbian Avengers. D'Adesky's memoir also reveals her family's role in French colonialism, raising compelling questions about privilege, survival, homophobia, and dislocation.”—Sarah Schulman, author of The Cosmopolitans

“A haunting contribution to the record of the AIDS era.”—Laura Flanders, author of Bushwomen: Tales of a Cynical Species

“A necessary book. We need such a chronicle.”—Felice Picano, author of Like People in History

“In a voice both powerful and cool, The Pox Lover takes on a sprawling personal history, deeply aware throughout that it is the politics of anyone's day—and how we respond to it—that shapes a life. Never far from the mad joy of writing, loving, and being alive, even as it investigates our horribly mundane capacity for horror, this book is a masterpiece.”—Michelle Tea, author of Black Wave

Anne-christine d'Adesky is an investigative journalist and documentary filmmaker who reported on the global AIDS epidemic for New York NativeOUTThe Nation, and The Village Voice. She received the first Award of Courage from amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research. She was an early member of ACT UP and cofounder of the Lesbian Avengers. Her books include Beyond Shock: Charting the Landscape of Sexual Violence in Post-Quake Haiti, Moving Mountains: The Race to Treat Global AIDS, and a novel set in post-Duvalier Haiti, Under the Bone.

Councilmember Lindsey P. Horvath was elected to the West Hollywood City Council on March 3, 2015. She previously served as a Councilmember for two years from 2009-2011. Councilmember Horvath has a long history of civic and social justice advocacy. She has spearheaded policies to make West Hollywood an “Age-Friendly Community” to better serve residents of all ages. She also champions LGBTQ rights, and has led initiatives to denounce discriminatory legislation against LGBTQ individuals. Councilmember Horvath is also known for her leadership on women’s issues and served as a Global Coordinator for One Billion Rising, a global campaign to end violence against women and girls. Additionally, Councilmember Horvath has worked on a range of transportation and mobility issues. Most recently, she engaged in community advocacy to promote light rail and subway service to West Hollywood and is committed to making West Hollywood both pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly. In addition to her service as an elected official, Councilmember Horvath works as an entertainment advertising executive, and has created award-winning campaigns for both movies and television.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on September 10th, 2017

Turf (Counterpoint Press)

Blazing through states, cities, towns, continents, Crane fearlessly pivots from micro to macro, humor to tragedy, past to present, mixing an off-kilter sensibility with a heartbreaking reality, guiding us into the fringed and often fantastical lives of her characters. And that has never been truer than in her new collection, Turf.

The end of the world as seen through a young couple in Brooklyn, who find a baby in a bucket on their front step; a group of geniuses who meet every Wednesday, able to unlock all the secrets of the universe except for the unknowable mystery of love; a woman and her dog walker whose friendship is uprooted by an incident at the park; these are dark, intriguing vistas explored in Crane’s glowing collection. For as places change, and people come and go, these stories in Turf remind us that it is the unchanging nature of the human heart that connects us all.

Praise for Elizabeth Crane:

"The novel flows smoothly, and readers game for offbeat narrative approaches will be well rewarded . . . So much like the relationship they’re borne of, Crane’s deeply realized mother-daughter inventions are therapeutic and ruthless, heartfelt and crushing. A lovely exercise in the wild, soothing wonders of imagination.” —Booklist, Starred Review 

“Poignant and hilarious . . . Crane writes about the relationship between a deceased mother and her daughter as they tell each other’s stories to understand each other.” —Los Angeles Times

“Imagine sitting at a leisurely dinner with two intelligent women, a mother and daughter . . . The format may be experimental, but the emotions the book will stir in readers are moving and heartbreakingly familiar.” —Library Journal

“I cannot remember the last time I simultaneously cried and laughed as hard as I did while reading Elizabeth Crane’s glorious, tender knockout of a novel, The History of Great Things. Wait, yes I can. It was the last time I spoke to my mom about life.” —Amber Tamblyn, author of Dark Sparkler

“A poignant dual narrative . . . Alternating between laugh-out-loud humor and heart-rending melancholy, Crane gives us a mother and daughter who never quite grasp each other’s life stories, but who find truth through unconditional love.” —Bookpage

“Ultimately, The History of Great Things is a story of perception, one well worth reading. It serves as a reminder that what truly matters to each of us is not what actually happens, but how we remember it.”  —The Rumpus 

“An important work, fearless in both structure and vision, with Crane’s razor-edge fusion of intelligence, humor, and emotion informing every chapter. Get ready, world: this one’s going to be huge.” —Jamie Quatro, author of I Want to Show You More 

“Like everything Elizabeth Crane writes, The History of Great Things is wonderful fun to read—smart, insightful, and witty—but it will break your heart, too. It stares down the poignant question so many daughters want to ask: How well did my mother really know me?” —Pamela Erens, author of Eleven Hours and The Virgins

“The Copelands would feel right at home in a Noah Baumbach movie . . . Our narrator is an omniscient ‘We’ who reports the goings-on of the family with the breathless glee of an incurable gossip.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Its style is literary, with an edge: The point of view is wicked, the characters prickly, the language not quite quotable here. I can’t wait to read past the first chapter.”—Los Angeles Times

“Like any good story writer, she had me in the first two paragraphs . . . A treat to read. The characters are crisp and enjoyable; the narrator is smart and witty.”—Iowa Press-Citizen

“This is an irresistible and winsome read. A truly astute tale of love neglected and reclaimed, family resiliency, spiritual inquiries, and personal metamorphoses.” —Booklist, Starred Review

 “Crane delivers a unique and dizzying tale that delves into the emotional life of a family teetering on the brink of everything . . . The beauty in Crane’s novel is her sweep from acid commentary to heartfelt portrayal of real-life loves and losses.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Crane’s novel is filled with deliciously idiosyncratic characters, humorous and distinct narration, and a whole lot of personality. Each character’s emotional growth is just enough to satisfy, without being overbearing . . . Crane’s summer novel has undeniable heart.” —Publishers Weekly

“At last a novel from Elizabeth Crane! With her expert humorist’s eye for detail, she gives us a playful, passionate story of longing, heartbreak, and of the gargantuan human will. You won’t be able to stop reading.” —Deb Olin Unferth, author of Revolution

“Not since The Royal Tenenbaums have I loved a family so much. The Copelands of We Only Know So Much are wonderfully eccentric, hilariously not self-aware and strangely adorable. They seemed so real, I felt like I was reading my own family story.” —Jessica Anya Blau, author of The Summer of Naked Swim Parties and Drinking Closer to Home

“This is the kind of book that inspires a person to see the beauty in the ordinary, to stop concentrating on others’ failings long enough to see their spark and maybe rediscover his or her own.”—Susan Henderson, author of Up from the Blue

“A beautiful, warmhearted, ferociously honest debut that will pull you in with its chorus of true voices and catch you off guard with its playful, restless edginess.” —Patrick Somerville, author of The Cradle and This Bright River

Elizabeth Crane is the author of the novels The History of Great Things and We Only Know So Much and three collections of short stories. Her stories have been featured on NPR’s Selected Shorts. She is a recipient of the Chicago Public Library 21st Century Award, and her work has been adapted for the stage by Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company. She currently lives in Newburgh, New York



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on September 10th, 2017

Two and Two (Little, Brown and Company)

McSorley’s Old Ale House is not just a bar—it’s a home to all walks of life that has stood the test of time. For over 160 years, since 1854, the saloon has been a safe haven for regulars and tourists, workingmen and businessmen, writers and artists, old-timers and barely legal college drinkers. It has witnessed the Civil War, two world wars, the Great Depression, Prohibition, the September 11th attacks, Hurricane Sandy.  It was even the subject of a Supreme Court decision—famously a men only pub, the bar finally allowed access for women in 1970 after the Court’s decision!

In Two and Two, Rafe chronicles his life growing up at McSorley’s—a place where tradition is not just implemented for nostalgia’s sake, but is a vital component of the lifeblood. McSorley’s patrons read like a Who’s Who of 20th century icons, including Babe Ruth, Teddy Roosevelt and John Lennon.  Today, you might spot Mick Jagger, Matt Damon, Kevin Spacey or even Leo DiCaprio there. Two ale pours, sawdust-strewn hardwood floors, and the company of good folks are always to be expected when one crosses the threshold of McSorley’s—and these were the things that Rafe came to look forward to when he was just seven years old.

Bestselling author James McBride (a long-time patron of McSorley’s) who praised “wonderful, young writer Rafe Bartholomew’s forthcoming memoir” in the New York Times Book Review’s Year in Reading  said, “Many a day I have sat in McSorley’s amidst the sawdust and beer and said to myself, ‘You’d have to be a child of this place to make these ghosts speak.’ And that is exactly what Rafe Bartholomew is. His is the voice of ages, the shouts of thousands of fireman, cops, soldiers, drunks, bums, wayfarers, liars, and good souls whose hard luck brought them to McSorley’s, and whose good spirit still reign over the place. He hoists this wonderful piece of Americana into the air with all the humor, joy, humility and love that it deserves.” 

Rafe’s father Bart, a poet and bartender extraordinaire, strove to be a better man than his own abusive father and that he did. They also went through losing Rafe’s mom to cancer together.   Rafe was always protected and loved and knew that the pub was a natural extension of his home. The pub also became his library—a history lesson on Irish immigration as he inspected the photographs hanging from the walls, an anthropological study on the interactions between thirsty patrons and a gruff wait staff and an etiquette course in the gift of gab. The walls of the pub are living history—with memorabilia dating back to the turn of the century.

In Two and Two, Rafe expertly pours over his and his father’s legacy in one of the last vestiges of a world that is quickly vanishing—that of old New York.  As to why people still flock to McSorley’s after all these years, Bart has the answer: “People can buy a mug of ale for cheap all over the city. They come to McSorley’s because it still feels real.”  

Praise for Two and Two 

“There is no bar in New York City—perhaps even all of America—with as much history as McSorley's Old Ale House which opened on East 7th Street in 1854. It was a campaign stop for Abraham Lincoln, a gathering spot for Boss Tweed and his Tammany Hall cronies, and a hangout for decades of artists, poets, and musicians. As a child, Bartholomew would spend magical weekend mornings at the bar with his father, playing with the mouser cat in the basement, eating hamburgers in the kitchen, and doing odd jobs. Bart never wanted to see his son behind the bar; he was a working-class kid from Ohio who'd nearly been killed by his drunk of a father and a long-suffering aspiring writer who'd never seen his literary dreams actualized. The author expertly weaves together entertaining stories from his nights behind the bar (note: never work at an Irish pub on St. Paddy’s Day) with more poignant moments between father and son. Bartholomew does both his father and McSorley’s proud with this touching, redolent memoir.”—Kirkus Reviews

“[A] big-hearted memoir of a lifelong romance with New York City’s oldest saloon….Bartholomew chronicles this history and demonstrates how a crude, unforgiving, and extremely macho camaraderie sustained his family through suffering and loss….His description of his mother’s harrowing death from cancer jarringly shifts the register and introduces pathos and intensity that infuse the following pages. Bartholomew never ignores the darkness inherent in public drunkenness and jobs without health care or pensions, so his portrayal of the rough humor and blue-collar warmth feels completely earned.”—Publishers Weekly

“I gobbled up a galley of the wonderful young writer Rafe Bartholomew’s forthcoming 2017 memoir, Two and Two. It’s about McSorley’s, New York’s oldest saloon. I’ve tipped many a glass at that joint, hoping some of the literary magic of the great writers who once got oiled up there would rub off. It hasn’t.”—James McBride, New York Times Book Review’s “The Year in Reading”

Rafe Bartholomew is the author of Pacific Rims. His writing has appeared in GrantlandSlateThe New York Times, the Chicago ReaderDeadspin and other leading online and print publications. His stories have twice been honored in the Best American Sports Writing series. 



Posted in , literature, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on September 10th, 2017

Large Animals (Catapult)

Jess Arndt's striking debut collection confronts what it means to have a body. Boldly straddling the line between the imagined and the real, the masculine and the feminine, the knowable and the impossible, these twelve stories are an exhilarating and profoundly original expression of voice. In "Jeff," Lily Tomlin confuses Jess for Jeff, instigating a dark and hilarious identity crisis. In "Together," a couple battles a mysterious STD that slowly undoes their relationship, while outside a ferocious weed colonizes their urban garden. And in "Contrails," a character on the precipice of a seismic change goes on a tour of past lovers, confronting their own reluctance to move on.  Arndt's subjects are canny observers even while they remain dangerously blind to their own truest impulses. Often unnamed, these narrators challenge the limits of language--collectively, their voices create a transgressive new formal space that makes room for the queer, the nonconforming, the undefined. And yet, while they crave connection, love, and understanding, they are constantly at risk of destroying themselves. Large Animals pitches toward the heart, pushing at all our most tender parts--our sex organs, our geography, our words, and the tendons and nerves of our culture.

Praise for Large Animals
"Reading Arndt is like walking toward a shimmering desert mirage and being met with a cloud of acid instead of an oasis of cool water. . . . A deeply transgressive, riveting shot out of the gate. Arndt is one to watch."--Kirkus Reviews 

"Arndt's short stories are delicious flights of fancy, or obsession, or fertile curiosity--or, more accurately, some beguiling combination of all three...This is a playful and provocative collection, full of sly, deft turns of phrase and striking imagery."--Publishers Weekly

"Arndt tells stories that resemble handfuls of ribbons--vibrant, overlapping, tangled, seemingly more middles than beginnings and endings. . . . Arndt's keen, wild stories are truly original, and readers will hope for more."--Booklist

Jess Arndt received her MFA at the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College, and was a 2013 Graywolf SLS Fellow and 2010 Fiction Fellow at the New York Foundation of the Arts. Her writing has appeared in Fence, Bomb, Aufgabe, Parkett, and Night Papers, and in her manifesto for the Knife's Shaking the Habitual world tour. She is a co-founder of New Herring Press, dedicated to publishing prose and polemics. She lives and works in Los Angeles.

Maggie Nelson ​is ​the author of nine books of poetry and prose​, many of which have become cult classics which defy classification​. Her nonfiction titles include the National Book Critics Circle Award winner and New York Timesbestseller The Argonauts (2015), The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning (2011; a New York Times Notable Book of the Year), Bluets (2009; named by Bookforum as one of the top 10 best books of the past 20 years), The Red Parts​: Autobiography of a Trial​ (​​2007,​ reissued ​in​ 2016), and Women, the New York School, and Other True Abstractions (2007). Her poetry titles include Something Bright, Then Holes (2007) and Jane: A Murder (2005; finalist for the PEN/ Martha Albrand Art of the Memoir). She has also been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in Nonfiction, an NEA in Poetry, an Innovative Literature Fellowship from Creative Capital, and an Arts Writers Fellowship from the Andy Warhol Foundation. She holds a PhD in English Literature from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and has taught literature, writing, art, criticism and theory at the New School, Pratt Institute, Wesleyan ​University, and CalArts. In 2016 she was awarded a MacArthur “genius” Fellowship. She lives in Los Angeles.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on September 10th, 2017

Please join us as students from the MFA Program at UC Irvine read from their work. 

Readers include: 

Jack Foraker is from Davis, California. 

Corinna Rosendahl is most recently from Seattle and Portland and Corvallis.

William Hawkins grew up in Louisiana. He is a third year in fiction in the MFA program at UC Irvine.

Megan Grant grew up in Reedley, California. She went on to get her BA in Literature and Creative Writing and a minor in Jewish Studies at Cal State Long Beach.  She enjoys writing, sarcasm, pineapple, and occasionally, drawing ninja turtles on the sidewalk.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on September 10th, 2017


Nature Poem (Tin House Books)

Nature Poem follows Teebs―a young, queer, American Indian (or NDN) poet―who can’t bring himself to write a nature poem. For the reservation-born, urban-dwelling hipster, the exercise feels stereotypical, reductive, and boring. He hates nature. He prefers city lights to the night sky. He’d slap a tree across the face. He’d rather write a mountain of hashtag punchlines about death and give head in a pizza-parlor bathroom; he’d rather write odes to Aretha Franklin and Hole. While he’s adamant―bratty, even―about his distaste for the word “natural,” over the course of the book we see him confronting the assimilationist, historical, colonial-white ideas that collude NDN people with nature. The closer his people were identified with the “natural world,” he figures, the easier it was to mow them down like the underbrush. But Teebs gradually learns how to interpret constellations through his own lens, along with human nature, sexuality, language, music, and Twitter. Even while he reckons with manifest destiny and genocide and centuries of disenfranchisement, he learns how to have faith in his own voice.

Praise for Nature Poem

“I love this work. Unpredictable & sweet & strong...” —Eileen Myles

“A thrilling punk rock epic that is a tour of all we know and can't admit to. Pico is a poet of canny instincts, his lyric is somehow so casual and so so serious at the same time. He is determined to blow your mind apart, and . . . you should let him.”—Alexander Chee

*A Most Anticipated Book of 2017 at Publishers Weekly, Buzzfeed, and more.*

Tommy "Teebs" Pico is the author of Nature Poem (Tin House Books), IRL(Birds LLC), and the zine series Hey, Teebs. He was a Queer/Art/Mentors inaugural fellow, 2013 Lambda Literary fellow in poetry, and a 2016 Tin House summer poetry scholar. Originally from the Viejas Indian reservation of the Kumeyaay nation, he now lives in Brooklyn where he co-curates the reading series Poets With Attitude (PWA) with Morgan Parker, co-hosts the podcast Food 4 Thot, and is a contributing editor at Literary Hub. 

Melissa Broder is the author of four poetry collections, most recently Last Sext (Tin House Books). She is also the author of the essay collection So Sad Today (Grand Central). Her poems have appeared in Poetry, the Iowa Review, Tin House, Guernica, Fence, the Missouri Review, and the Awl among others. Broder lives in Venice, California.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on August 28th, 2017

To Have and to Hold (Fantagraphics Books)

Couched in the traditional trappings of a noir heist thriller, Graham Chaffee’s To Have and To Hold is a hard-boiled disquisition on the darker regions of married life and the American Dream. Set in October 1962, while the world holds its collective breath awaiting the possibly apocalyptic climax of the unfolding Cuban Missile Crisis, the banality of everyday life goes on, as Lonnie and Kate Ross confront their own domestic cold war. As Kate, frustrated and disillusioned, looks outside her marriage for satisfaction, Lonnie’s justifiable suspicions of his wife’s infidelity lead him down a deadly road of increasing paranoia and violence as he seeks to reclaim what he’s lost. Possession, jealousy, lust, and betrayal — the classic ingredients for a rocky marriage in an America on the verge of nuclear apocalypse. Masterfully paced and drawn in Chaffee’s fluid, inky brushstrokes, To Have and To Hold captures the pulpy, nocturnal atmosphere of classic noir.

Praise for Graham Chaffee:

"The world does not have nearly enough graphic novels told from the perspective of adorable dogs. Let alone graphic novels that have a good chance of making you feel delighted on one page, then maybe like you might cry a little bit on the next page. Good Dog does those things, and also, did I mention it’s told from the perspective of an adorable dog? Seriously, the dog is so great! I would adopt him in a second and we would do everything together." – Erik Henriksen, WiredThe Best Comic Books of 2013

Graham Chaffee is a professional tattooist and comics artist. His previous books are The Big Wheels (1993), The Most Important Thing & Other Stories (1995), and Good Dog (2013). He lives and works in Los Angeles

Sammy Harkham is an American cartoonist and editor, born in Los Angeles in 1980. He began making his own comics and created the zine Kramers Ergot, which has become one of the most influential comics anthologies published today. He is associated with the bookstore Family and the auteur movie house Cinefamily in Los Angeles.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on August 28th, 2017

City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion, and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles, 1771-1965 (University of North Carolina Press)

Los Angeles incarcerates more people than any other city in the United States, which imprisons more people than any other nation on Earth. This book explains how the City of Angels became the capital city of the world's leading incarcerator. Marshaling more than two centuries of evidence, historian Kelly Lytle Hernandez unmasks how histories of native elimination, immigrant exclusion, and black disappearance drove the rise of incarceration in Los Angeles. In this telling, which spans from the Spanish colonial era to the outbreak of the 1965 Watts Rebellion, Hernandez documents the persistent historical bond between the racial fantasies of conquest, namely its settler colonial form, and the eliminatory capacities of incarceration. 

But City of Inmates is also a chronicle of resilience and rebellion, documenting how targeted peoples and communities have always fought back. They busted out of jail, forced Supreme Court rulings, advanced revolution across bars and borders, and, as in the summer of 1965, set fire to the belly of the city. With these acts those who fought the rise of incarceration in Los Angeles altered the course of history in the city, the borderlands, and beyond. This book recounts how the dynamics of conquest met deep reservoirs of rebellion as Los Angeles became the City of Inmates, the nation's carceral core. It is a story that is far from over. 

Praise for City of Inmates

"In this compelling and comprehensive history of incarceration in Los Angeles, Hernandez demonstrates how authorities whether Spanish, Mexican, or American have long used imprisonment as a tool to control labor and immigration. Covering nearly two centuries of incarceration, Hernandez masterfully synthesizes the history of immigration and deportation, the history of crime and punishment, and the history of settler colonialism."--Margaret Jacobs, author of White Mother to a Dark Race: Settler Colonialism, Maternalism, and the Removal of Indigenous Children in the American West and Australia, 1880-1940 

"Using settler colonialism as an analytical touchstone, City of Inmates extends arguments about mass incarceration's antiblack violence while challenging its commonly asserted origins in the Deep South or the northeastern United States. Excavating the deep histories of punishment in Los Angeles, Hernandez significantly broadens our understanding of mass incarceration's intersections with immigrant detention and colonial dispossession. Vast in scope and intimate in detail, this book is timely and necessary."--Ethan Blue, author of Doing Time in the Depression 

City of Inmates is a pathbreaking work that not only considers together the histories of the regimes of domestic incarceration and immigration detention, the major mechanisms that plague the condition of African Americans and Latino/as in our time. It also incorporates histories of incarceration and removal of Native Americans, Chinese, and poor whites as modes of 'elimination' by white settler colonialism. City of Inmates is a bold work that will surprise and provoke.--Mae Ngai, author of Impossible Subjects 

Kelly Lytle Hernandez's City of Inmates is a remarkable book. No historian has ever told California's history with the breadth and depth of its enduring significance quite like this. Since the Spanish colonial period every kind of American--from Native Americans to Mexican and Chinese Americans, to landless whites and African Americans--has passed through California's jailhouse doors with profound implications for the shape of our nation today. No telling or teaching of the past is complete without reckoning with these supremely urgent stories of our carceral history.--Khalil Gibran Muhammad, author of The Condemnation of Blackness 

Kelly Lytle Hernandez is associate professor of history at the University of California, Los Angeles



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on August 14th, 2017

Spells (Counterpoint Press)

Acclaimed author Peter Rock’s interest in using images for storytelling began while working as a security guard in an art museum. Twenty years later, reminded of the stories he created from the photographs and images he saw on the job, he began to envision a similar project—a project for which he received a Guggenheim scholarship, and which eventually became Spells: A Novel Within Photographs.

First, he asked five photographers he admired to send him images. Then, he used those images as a foundation for his writing—a ship in a lit window gives hope to a dark night, a pair of shadow hands fumble to make a duck or a dog. From a collection of diverse images Rock builds a single narrative that effortlessly weaves between the specific and the universal, dream and reality, prose and poetry.

As he explains: “The images came first. One way to think of it is that the stories herein, and the larger story they become, were already embedded in the photographs. My attention and intuition acted as a kind of excavation that brought them to the surface, into words.”

The texts range from narrative to prose poem, from folktale to rant to reverie to an essay written by a fourth grader. The overarching story follows three friends who have recently graduated from high school; it explores their relationships and how things change when they become entangled with an elderly widower who claims to have dreamt of one of them. The ensuing drama explores the relationship between dreams and waking life, between the head and the heart, between shadows and their bodies, between the living and the dead.

Peter Rock was born and raised in Salt Lake City. His most recent novel is Klickitat (Abrams 2016). He is also the author of six other novels, includingThe Shelter Cycle (2013) and My Abandonment (2009), as well as a collection of stories, The Unsettling (2006). The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, an Alex Award and others, he currently resides in Portland, Oregon, where he is a Professor at Reed College. His novel-within-photographs, Spells, was shown at Blue Sky Gallery in 2015 and is currently traveling around Oregon.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on August 14th, 2017

Wedding Toasts I'll Never Give (W.W. Norton & Company)

In July of 2015, the New York Times “Modern Love” column published Ada Calhoun’s essay “The Wedding Toast I’ll Never Give,” a strikingly honest rumination on the true challenges—and joys—of marriage. The essay was wildly popular: it stayed in the most-emailed list for a week, inspired hundreds of comments, and became one of the top 50 stories of the year for the entire newspaper.

In Wedding Toasts I'll Never Give, Calhoun builds off of that first essay to provide a funny (but not flip), smart (but not smug) take on the institution of marriage. Weaving intimate moments from her own married life with frank insight from experts, clergy, and friends, she upends expectations of total marital bliss to present a realistic—but ultimately optimistic—portrait of what marriage is really like. There will be fights, there will be existential angst, there may even be affairs; sometimes, you’ll look at the person you love and feel nothing but rage. Despite it all, Calhoun contends, staying married is easy: just don’t get divorced.

Wedding Toasts I'll Never Give offers bracing straight-talk to the newly married and honors those who have weathered the storm. This exploration of modern marriage is at once wise and entertaining, a work of unexpected candor and literary grace.

Praise for Wedding Toasts I'll Never Give

"What a witty, sexy, surprising testimony to the institution of marriage! It's the best essay collection I've read in a long time, just astoundingly honest and insightful about what marriage really means. And I say that as someone who has been married 20 years."—Karen Abbott, New York Times-bestselling author of Sin in the Second City and Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy

"This unflinchingly honest, astutely balanced probe of a most perplexing institution asks all the right questions. It sets up a conversation with the reader, who is challenged to reflect at each point, choosing between 'No, that's not me' and 'How did she know that?' Most of the time, she knows."—Phillip Lopate, Author of The Art of the Personal Essay

“This really spoke to me. It’s a beautiful love letter to what marriage is. Ada Calhoun seems like she’d be a ball to hang out with. Marriage: not so bad, guys.”—Kathryn Hahn, actress (Transparent, Crossing Jordan)

“Ada Calhoun has written the definitive meditation on marriage in all of its mystery and imperfection. It should be required reading for anyone considering it, and highly recommended for those who want to be reminded of why they did it in the first place.”—Molly Ringwald

“Brutally honest, hilarious and unsentimental -- but never unkind-- this is a book for anyone who has ever had a thought (good or bad) about the institution of marriage. I devoured this gem in one sitting. I want to marry this book.”—Susannah Cahalan, New York Times-bestselling author of Brain on Fire

“A warm, tart, corrective to the persistent conviction that a wedding is the neat end of a love story.”—Rebecca Traister, New York Times-bestselling author of All the Single Ladies

“Ada Calhoun is the friend we all need-- the one who lets us behind the curtain of her good marriage to help us better understand our own. She’s smart, funny, and best of all, willing to bare all.”—Emma Straub, New York Times-bestselling author of Modern Lovers

Calhoun’s first book, St. Marks Is Dead, was named a New York TimesEditor’s Choice and a Boston Globe Best Book of 2015. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and son.

Davy Rothbart is a bestselling author and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, creator of Found Magazine, a frequent contributor to public radio's This American Life, and the author of a book of personal essays, My Heart Is An Idiot, and a collection of stories, The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas. He writes regularly for GQ and Los Angeles Magazine, and his work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and The Believer. His documentary film, Medora, about a resilient high-school basketball team in a dwindling Indiana town, aired recently on the acclaimed PBS series Independent Lens, won a 2015 Emmy Award, and can now be streamed online. Rothbart is also the founder of Washington To Washington, an annual hiking adventure for inner-city kids. He lives between Los Angeles, California and his hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on August 14th, 2017

My Future Ex-Girlfriend (Viking Books for Young Readers)

In Me and Miranda Mullaly, three eighth-grade boys struggled to win the affections of one girl. In My Future Ex-Girlfriend, the same three boys have landed their perfect matches.

Follow Sam (the class clown), Duke (the intellectual), and Chollie (the athlete) as they fumble their way through boyfriend territory for the very first time. With so much to worry about as the school year comes to a close--finals, commencement speeches, the baseball championship, the end-of-year party--the guys feel ill-equipped to handle the stress of a relationship. But if they're dumped before the last day of school, they'll start high school as losers. The. Pressure. Is. On.

Praise for My Future Ex-Girlfriend 

"The gang from Me and Miranda Mullaly returns for more hijinks and heartbreak as eighth grade comes to an end. The storyas dizzying structure rotates narration among the three male leadsa insufferably arrogant Duke, jock Chollie, and class clown Sama intermingled with English class prompts written by the boys and two of their girlfriends, Miranda and Erica. (Only Dukeas girlfriend, Sharon, gets shut out of telling her side, but sheas a seventh grader, and there is a definite hierarchy at Penn Valley Middle School.) Relationships wobble, the canceled class trip is replaced with an ambitious talent show meant to replicate a night in New York City, and graduation looms, bringing anxiety about the prospect of what awaits in high school. The multiple perspectives offer amusing insights into how the boys and girls view the same episode through completely different lenses, but they arenat enough to offset the thin characterizations. Readers in search of light humor about middle school romance will find what the yare looking for."--Publishers Weekly

"Jake Gerhardt s debut novel is sweet, knowing, and a super-fun read."--Patton Oswalt, New York Times bestselling author, comedian, and actor 

"Gerhardt s light narrative touch is addictive . . . [Readers will] eat up this satisfying confection where all s fair in love and war."--Booklist 

"A strong purchase for middle school libraries that will circulate well."--School Library Journal 

"A comedy of errors meets coming-of-age story that will resonate with middle-grade readers."--Bay State Parent 

"Full of humor, sweetness, authenticity, engaging storytelling, and likable characters . . . delightful and entertaining."--Word Spelunking 

"The characters are developed, distinct and . . . relatable."--VOYA

Jake Gerhardt was born and raised in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania. He attended Elkins Park Middle School, where he played football and basketball, ran track, performed in the school musical, and was a member of the student council. He also found time to attend many school dances, in constant pursuit of a (future ex) girlfriend. Since graduating from West Chester University, he has worked as a teacher. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his pulchritudinous wife and two amazing daughters. My Future Ex-Girlfriend is his second book.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on August 14th, 2017

The Explosion of Deferred Dreams: Musical Renaissance and Social Revolution in San Francisco, 1965–1975 (PM Press)

As the fiftieth anniversary of the Summer of Love floods the media with debates and celebrations of music, political movements, “flower power,” “acid rock,” and “hippies”; The Explosion of Deferred Dreams offers a critical re-examination of the interwoven political and musical happenings in San Francisco in the Sixties. Author, musician, and native San Franciscan Mat Callahan explores the dynamic links between the Black Panthers and Sly and the Family Stone, the United Farm Workers and Santana, the Indian Occupation of Alcatraz and the San Francisco Mime Troupe, and the New Left and the counterculture.

Callahan’s meticulous, impassioned arguments both expose and reframe the political and social context for the San Francisco Sound and the vibrant subcultural uprisings with which it is associated. Using dozens of original interviews, primary sources, and personal experiences, the author shows how the intense interplay of artistic and political movements put San Francisco, briefly, in the forefront of a worldwide revolutionary upsurge.

A must-read for any musician, historian, or person who “was there” (or longed to have been), The Explosion of Deferred Dreams is substantive and provocative, inviting us to reinvigorate our historical sense-making of an era that assumes a mythic role in the contemporary American zeitgeist.

Praise for The Explosion of Deferred Dreams

“Mat Callahan was a red diaper baby lucky to be attending a San Francisco high school during the ‘Summer of Love.’ He takes a studied approach, but with the eye of a revolutionary, describing the sociopolitical landscape that led to the explosion of popular music (rock, jazz, folk, R&B) coupled with the birth of several diverse radical movements during the golden 1965–1975 age of the Bay Area. Callahan comes at it from every angle imaginable (black power, anti–Vietnam War, the media, the New Left, feminism, sexual revolution—with the voice of authority backed up by interviews with those who lived it.” —Pat Thomas, author of Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965–1975

“All too often, people talk about the ’60s without mentioning our music and the fun we had trying to smash the state and create a culture based upon love. Mat Callahan’s book is a necessary corrective.” —George Katsiaficas, author of The Imagination of the New Left: A Global Analysis of 1968

“Something very special took place in San Francisco in the Sixties, generating waves of social and aesthetic motion that still ricochet around this planet. The Explosion of Deferred Dreams takes a clear-eyed, politically engaged view that separates truth from propaganda. Grasping why the time became legendary and how society dealt with the challenges it created is what Explosion is about—and it accomplishes this critical task with intelligence and clarity.” —Dennis McNally, author of A Long Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead

“In this landmark work, Mat Callahan painstakingly braids disparate threads of the rich tapestry of San Francisco—music, politics, race, culture. In this vast, panoramic portrait, Callahan digs out social/political undercurrents that have never been more thoroughly explored.” —Joel Selvin, Summer of Love: The Inside Story of LSD, Rock & Roll, Free Love and High Times in the Wild West

Mat Callahan is a musician and author originally from San Francisco, where he founded Komotion International. He is the author of three books, Sex, Death & the Angry Young ManTestimony, and The Trouble with Music as well as the editor of Songs of Freedom: The James Connolly Songbook. He currently resides in Bern, Switzerland.

Pat Thomas is the author of Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-1975 and the author of the forthcoming book Did It! Jerry Rubin – An American Revolutionary (both published by Fantagraphics). As a reissue producer, he has overseen the release of vintage recordings from Public Image Limited, Allen Ginsberg, and Judee Sill amongst others. He has appeared multiple times on the BBC and NPR discussing the impact of the Black Panther Party on popular music and served as a consultant to the PBS documentary: The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution 


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