Archive for books

A.G. Lombardo, “GRAFFITI PALACE”

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

It’s August 1965 and Los Angeles is scorching. Americo Monk, a street-haunting aficionado of graffiti, is frantically trying to return home to the makeshift harbor community (assembled from old shipping containers) where he lives with his girlfriend, Karmann. But this is during the Watts Riots, and although his status as a chronicler of all things underground garners him free passage through the territories fiercely controlled by gangs, his trek is nevertheless diverted.

Embarking on an exhilarating, dangerous, and at times paranormal journey, Monk crosses paths with a dizzying array of representatives from Los Angeles subcultures, including Chinese gangsters, graffiti bombers, witches, the Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad, and others. Graffiti Palace is the story of a city transmogrified by the upsurge of its citizens, and Monk is our tour guide, cataloging and preserving the communities that, though surreptitious and unseen, nevertheless formed the backbone of 1960s Los Angeles.

With an astounding generosity of imagery and imagination, Graffiti Palace heralds the birth of a major voice in fiction. A. G. Lombardo sees the writings on our walls, and with Graffiti Palace he has provided an allegorical paean to a city in revolt.

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David Correia and Tyler Wall, “POLICE: A FIELD GUIDE”

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, True Crime, Crime, journalism, activism by skylightbooks on July 14th, 2018

Join author/activists David Correia and Tyler Wall for an in-depth discussion on the language that we use to talk about policing and police reform in the hopes that understanding the historical context of these terms will help us move beyond the limits of police reform and toward a society free from police violence and free from police entirely.

Police: A Field Guide is an illustrated handbook to the methods, mythologies, and history that animate today’s police. It is a survival manual for encounters with cops and police logic, whether it arrives in the shape of officer friendly, Tasers, curfews, non-compliance, or reformist discourses about so-called bad apples. In a series of short chapters, each focusing on a single term, such as the beat, order, badge, throw-down weapon, and much more, authors David Correia and Tyler Wall present a guide that reinvents and demystifies the language of policing in order to better prepare activists—and anyone with an open mind—on one of the key issues of our time: police brutality. In doing so, they begin to chart a future free of this violence—and of police.

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Junot Diaz, “ISLANDBORN”

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, Children's Fiction by skylightbooks on July 14th, 2018

From New York Times bestseller and Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Díaz comes a debut picture book about the magic of memory and the infinite power of the imagination. “Every kid in Lola's school was from somewhere else. Hers was a school of faraway places.” So when Lola's teacher asks the students to draw a picture of where their families immigrated from, all the kids are excited. Except Lola. She can't remember The Island—she left when she was just a baby. But with the help of her family and friends, and their memories—joyous, fantastical, heartbreaking, and frightening—Lola's imagination takes her on an extraordinary journey back to The Island.  As she draws closer to the heart of her family's story, Lola comes to understand the truth of her abuela's words: “Just because you don't remember a place doesn't mean it's not in you.” Gloriously illustrated and lyrically written, Islandborn is a celebration of creativity, diversity, and our imagination's boundless ability to connect us—to our families, to our past and to ourselves.

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Lynell George, “AFTER/IMAGE”

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, journalism by skylightbooks on July 14th, 2018

After/Image: Los Angeles Outside the Frame​ by Lynell George is the result of this award-winning journalist’s years of contemplating and writing about the arts, culture, and social issues of Los Angeles, always with an emphasis on place and the identity of the people who live in—or leave—L.A. As a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times and LA Weekly, Lynell George explored place after place that makes the city tick, met person after person, and encountered the cumulative heart of the city.

George’s contemplations about Los Angeles are deeply in sync with the Angel City Press mantra: no one book can capture the scope of the city—a place with many stories to tell. And yet, with After/Image: Los Angeles Outside the Frame​, Lynell George proves every mantra can be re-examined.

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Planaria Price, “CLAIMING MY PLACE”

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books by skylightbooks on July 13th, 2018

Claiming My Place is the true story of a young Jewish woman who survived the Holocaust by escaping to Nazi Germany and hiding in plain sight.

Meet Barbara Reichmann, once known as Gucia Gomolinska: smart, determined, independent, and steadfast in the face of injustice. A Jew growing up in predominantly Catholic Poland during the 1920s and '30s, Gucia studies hard, makes friends, falls in love, and dreams of a bright future. Her world is turned upside down when Nazis invade Poland and establish the first Jewish ghetto of World War II in her town of Piotrkow Trybunalski. As the war escalates, Gucia and her family, friends, and neighbors suffer starvation, disease, and worse. She knows her blond hair and fair skin give her an advantage, and eventually she faces a harrowing choice: risk either the uncertain horrors of deportation to a concentration camp, or certain death if she is caught resisting. She decides to hide her identity as a Jew and adopts the gentile name Danuta Barbara Tanska. Barbara, nicknamed Basia, leaves behind everything and everyone she has ever known in order to claim a new life for herself.

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Ramona Ausubel and Michael Andreasen

Posted in literature, book stores, books, fiction, Short Stories, anthology by skylightbooks on July 13th, 2018

Awayland

Some of them previously published in The New Yorker and The Paris Review, this collection of eleven delightfully idiosyncratic and elegantly structured stories spans the globe and showcases Ramona Ausubel’s unique ability to tackle the “frustrations and fantasies of being alive” (Publishers Weekly). Her subtle touch of magic used to confront the mysteries of death, love and longing make the stories “weird and wonderful” (New York Times) and perfect for fans of Kelly Link, Karen Russell and Helen Oyeyemi. Ausubel, however, continues to occupy a space as a writer that is all her own—delivering stories that manage to be both “highly imaginative and philosophical in scope” (Refinery29), wildly unconventional yet universally resonant, darkly comic yet tender and soulful. Ausubel’s uncanny ability to simultaneously amuse, mesmerize, move and inspire, makes Awayland a deeply satisfying read that will linger with you in powerful ways.

The Seabeast Takes a Lover

Observe: the Fiction of the Future. See it carry our elders away to the ocean. Note how it pulls wires from our alien brains. Watch as a ship is slowly pulled under determined by an amorous kraken. Meet the happy, headless girl. Visit the funhouse that is Michael Andreasen's wild, brilliant mind. Find out how surprisingly familiar these bizarre scenarios feel; how true to life; and how delighted you are to find that the carnival barker's voice has drawn you into a ride you didn't realize you wanted to go on. Squeeze the guard rails, and whoop your way through the curves. Then, get back in line and go again.

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Cheston Knapp, “UP UP, DOWN DOWN”

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, nonfiction, essays by skylightbooks on July 12th, 2018

The subjects Cheston Knapp, the managing editor of Tin House and an exceptional new voice in the literary community, examines in Up Up, Down Down are wildly different and equally engaging: From skateboarding camp to local professional wrestling to UFO enthusiasts, beer pong in fraternity basements, a neighbor’s murder, fathers, community and nostalgia. Taken together, these sharp, observant essays chronicle Knapp’s coming of age and tackle the Big Questions of life. Knapp deftly explores the hazards of becoming who you are.

Knapp’s remarkable essays will simultaneously make you cry from laughter and from an earth-shattering realization about what it means to be human. His sentences can soar into lyricism and descend into the most commonplace absurdities in the same breath. Much like David Foster Wallace’s collection Consider the Lobster, these essays are for the everyday reader and for the literati alike.

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Farrah Penn, “TWELVE STEPS TO NORMAL”

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, fiction by skylightbooks on July 12th, 2018

Eight months ago, Kira's father was sent to rehab for alcoholism and she was forced to move in with her aunt across the country. She left behind everything--her best friends, her boyfriend, her dance team, and the life she'd known and loved. Now her father's done with rehab and wants her back home. But the normal life she once knew proves elusive--her friends are distant, one of them is dating her ex, and her dad brought home three strangers from rehab to live with them.

Is there any way to get back the life she once had? Kira embarks on her own twelve-step program to try to find some normalcy. But somewhere along the way, she learns that while some broken things can't be put back exactly the way they were, they can be repaired, and sometimes made even stronger.

Life, love, and loss come crashing together in this achingly authentic debut by Farrah Penn that will catch you and hold you close till the very end.

Penn is in conversation with Nicola Yoon, the author of The Sun Is Also a Star and Everything, Everything.

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Mallory Ortberg, “THE MERRY SPINSTER”

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, fiction by skylightbooks on July 11th, 2018

Sinister and inviting, familiar and alien all at the same time, The Merry Spinster updates traditional children's stories and fairy tales with elements of psychological horror, emotional clarity, and a keen sense of feminist mischief. Unfalteringly faithful to its beloved source material, The Merry Spinster also illuminates the unsuspected, and frequently, alarming emotional complexities at play in the stories we tell ourselves, and each other, as we tuck ourselves in for the night.

Author Mallory Ortberg is joined in conversation by Michelle Dean, a journalist, critic, and the recipient of the National Book Critics Circle’s 2016 Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing.

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Mr. Fish, “AND THEN THE WORLD BLEW UP”

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, Comics/Graphic Novels by skylightbooks on July 11th, 2018

What do you get when you cross a fistful of pens and an enormous stack of blank paper with somebody who resents the sweet-smelling muzzle of good manners and polite conversation, will go to his grave insisting that phuck is not a four-letter word, has never been able to hold a 9 to 5 job for more than a handful of meager months, who regularly permits himself the crude grace of giving a shit about absolutely everything, and who delights in always saying the wrong thing at the right time in contempt of every expectation that the naked truth is at all obscene?

You get And Then the World Blew Up, a collection of cartoons, illustrations, personal essays and culture-war correspondence from an author who's just trying to defuse the apocalyptic bomb that is the miracle of our Creation. Drawn, painted, and collaged in Mr. Fish’s many virtuosic styles, And Then the World Blew Up is an eloquent take-no- prisoners response to American political life. 

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Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, “WRESTLING WITH THE DEVIL”

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, Memoir, nonfiction by skylightbooks on July 10th, 2018

Written in the early 1980s and never before published in America, this compelling prison memoir gives readers a rare glimpse into the hidden story behind one of Ngũgĩ’ wa Thiong'o's most famous novels. Beginning literally half an hour before Ngũgĩ’s release on December 12, 1978, Wrestling with the Devil: A Prison Memoir recounts both the intense drama and painful challenges of writing fiction under twenty-four-hour surveillance.

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Joy Press, “STEALING THE SHOW”

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, Feminism, Film, nonfiction, film/tv, journalism by skylightbooks on July 10th, 2018

In Stealing the Show: How Women are Revolutionizing Television, journalist and television critic Joy Press celebrates the women who broke through male-dominated Hollywood and helped change the face of television forever.

Drawing on scores of interviews with key participants in this revolution, Stealing the Show is a revelatory story about the women who changed not just what we see on television but the culture in which we live.

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Wallace Shawn, “NIGHT THOUGHTS”

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, nonfiction, essays by skylightbooks on July 9th, 2018

Writer and actor Wallace Shawn's probing, honest, and self-critical take on civilization and its discontents.

Although he is guided and inspired by the people he respects, and despite the insufficiency of his knowledge and experience—an insufficiency shared by most (or all) other humans, Wallace Shawn can’t see any real alternative to trying to figure out his own answers to the most essential questions about the world he lives in.

Having recently passed the age of seventy, before which he found it difficult to piece together more than a few fragments of understanding, Shawn would like to pass on anything he's learned before death or dementia close down the brief window available to him, but he may not be ready yet.

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Elizabeth Flock, “THE HEART IS A SHIFTING SEA”

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, nonfiction, India by skylightbooks on July 9th, 2018

We may view India as a country steeped in, and perhaps constrained by, tradition, yet in the twenty-first century the pervasive influence of Western culture touches the lives of all ethnicities, classes, and religions. In her enveloping work of narrative nonfiction, The Heart is a Shifting Sea, journalist Elizabeth Flock, a reporter for PBS NewsHour, offers a penetrating look into three contemporary Mumbai marriages that reveals the surprising diversity and complexity of marital life in the largest metropolis of that evolving nation.

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Alec Byrne, “LONDON ROCK”

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, Memoir, music, photography by skylightbooks on July 8th, 2018

What happened on the music scene in 1960s and 1970s London was nothing short of a cultural revolution. At the center of this heyday was photographer and teenager Alec Byrne, who, because of his talent and tenacity, landed a job capturing rock and roll’s greatest legends for various British media outlets. After ten years, Byrne packed up his archive and moved to Los Angeles where these photos remained in Byrne’s garage, sequestered from the public for close to forty years.

Now, Insight Editions will publish London Rock: The Unseen Archive, a striking compilation of Byrne’s never-before-seen images documenting an unprecedented time in music history. From The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and David Bowie to Jimi Hendrix, The Who and The Doors, Byrne’s unique portraits, rare concert performance shots, and intimate candids, offer a distinct perspective of rock stars celebrated and known around the world. With a signature style that fuses artistry and a documentarian’s eye, Byrne’s collection is a coveted back-stage pass to many rock stars’ rise to stardom. Containing more than 250 pages of untouched and uncompromised high-quality photos, this recently unearthed collection of rock and roll history brings the era into stunning focus, painting an evocative picture of an inimitable time and place.

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