Archive for nonfiction

LIVE ON CROWDCAST: Mike Davis and Jon Winer, “SET THE NIGHT ON FIRE” w/ Erin Aubry Kaplan & Danny Widener

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction by skylightbooks on September 23rd, 2020

Los Angeles in the sixties was a hotbed of political and social upheaval. The city was a launchpad for Black Power--where Malcolm X and Angela Davis first came to prominence and the Watts uprising shook the nation. The city was home to the Chicano Blowouts and Chicano Moratorium, as well as being the birthplace of "Asian American" as a political identity. It was a locus of the antiwar movement, gay liberation movement, and women's movement, and, of course, the capital of California counterculture. Mike Davis and Jon Wiener provide the first comprehensive movement history of L.A. in the sixties, drawing on extensive archival research and dozens of interviews with principal figures, as well as the authors' storied personal histories as activists. Following on from Davis's awardwinning L.A. history, City of QuartzSet the Night on Fire is a historical tour de force, delivered in scintillating and fiercely beautiful prose.

Davis and Wiener are in conversation with Erin Aubrey Kaplan and Danny Widener

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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.




SKYLIT: Vanessa Díaz, “MANUFACTURING CELEBRITY” w/ Elizabeth Hinton

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, journalism, skylit by skylightbooks on September 21st, 2020

In Manufacturing Celebrity, Vanessa Díaz traces the complex power dynamics of the reporting and paparazzi work that fuel contemporary Hollywood and American celebrity culture. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork, her experience reporting for Peoplemagazine, and dozens of interviews with photographers, journalists, publicists, magazine editors, and celebrities, Díaz examines the racialized and gendered labor involved in manufacturing and selling relatable celebrity personas. Celebrity reporters, most of whom are white women, are expected to leverage their sexuality to generate coverage, which makes them vulnerable to sexual exploitation and assault. Meanwhile, the predominantly male Latino paparazzi can face life-threatening situations and endure vilification that echoes anti-immigrant rhetoric. In pointing out the precarity of those who hustle to make a living by generating the bulk of celebrity media, Díaz highlights the profound inequities of the systems that provide consumers with 24/7 coverage of their favorite stars.

Díaz is in conversation with Elizabeth Hinton, Associate Professor of History and African American Studies at Yale University and Professor of Law at Yale Law School. She is a historian of American inequality who is considered one of the nation’s leading experts on policing and mass incarceration.

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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.




SKYLIT: Sumbul Ali-Karamali, “DEMYSTIFYING SHARIAH”

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, religion, history, skylit by skylightbooks on September 18th, 2020

Through scare tactics and deliberate misinformation campaigns, anti-Muslim propagandists insist wrongly that shariah is a draconian and oppressive Islamic law that all Muslims must abide by. They circulate horror stories, encouraging Americans to fear the “takeover of shariah” law in America and even mounting “anti-shariah protests” . . . . with zero evidence that shariah has taken over any part of our country. (That’s because it hasn’t.) It would be almost funny if it weren’t so terrifyingly wrong—as puzzling as if Americans suddenly began protesting the Martian occupation of Earth.

Demystifying Shariah explains that shariah is not one set of punitive rules or even law the way we think of law—rigid and enforceable—but religious rules and recommendations that provide Muslims with guidance in various aspects of life. Sumbul Ali-Karamali draws on scholarship and her degree in Islamic law to explain shariah in an accessible, engaging narrative style—its various meanings, how it developed, and how the shariah-based legal system operated for over a thousand years. She explains what shariah means not only in the abstract but in the daily lives of Muslims. She discusses modern calls for shariah, what they mean, and whether shariah is the law of the land anywhere in the world. She also describes the key lies and misunderstandings about shariah circulating in our public discourse, and why so many of them are nonsensical.

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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.




SKYLIT: Bett Williams, “THE WILD KINDNESS” w/ Michelle Tea

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Drugs, nonfiction, spirituality by skylightbooks on September 10th, 2020

The Wild Kindness: A Psilocybin Odyssey is the lyrical, unforgettable memoir of Bett Williams's relationship with psilocybin mushrooms, otherwise known as magic mushrooms. In pursuit of self-healing, she begins experimenting with mushrooms in solitary ceremonies by the fire. Word soon gets out about her New Mexican desert mushroom farm, though, and people arrive in droves. Not long after, the police read her her Miranda Rights, her relationships fall out of whack, and her dog Rosie just might be CIA.

On a quest to find help through the psychedelic community, Bett is led to Cleveland to meet Kai Wingo, an African American leader within a high-dose psilocybin community, and to Huautla de Jim nez, home of well-known, well-respected curandera Mar a Sabina. Back home, Bett begins a solid ritual practice with the help of her partner and friends, bearing in mind the medicine's indigenous roots and power to transform one's life.

Amidst the mainstream flood of New Age practices and products, The Wild Kindness: A Psilocybin Odyssey is a dreamlike reminder that psilocybin mushrooms are a medicine of the people, not to be neatly packaged, marketed, or appropriated.


Williams is in conversation with author, poet, and arts organizer Michelle Tea

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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.




SKYLIT: Aisha Redux, “STUPID BLACK GIRL”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, essays, BIPOC by skylightbooks on August 28th, 2020
In this book, a first generation American New Yorker uses her bold voice to share life experiences through the lens of race, culture, and spirituality. Exploring topics ranging from night terrors, to schizophrenia, to gentrification, to the author's personal September 11th story. Illustrated with stunning artwork created in response to the essays, this book is a unique collection.

Aisha Redux was raised in New York City by parents who emigrated from West Africa. She is now living in the South Bronx. Stupid Black Girl is her debut title.

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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.




LIVE ON CROWDCAST: Morgan Jerkins, “WANDERING IN STRANGE LANDS” w/ Soraya Nadia McDonald

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, journalism by skylightbooks on August 22nd, 2020

Between 1916 and 1970, six million black Americans left their rural homes in the South for jobs in cities in the North, West, and Midwest in a movement known as The Great Migration. But while this event transformed the complexion of America and provided black people with new economic opportunities, it also disconnected them from their roots, their land, and their sense of identity, argues Morgan Jerkins. In this fascinating and deeply personal exploration, she recreates her ancestors’ journeys across America, following the migratory routes they took from Georgia and South Carolina to Louisiana, Oklahoma, and California. 

Following in their footsteps, Jerkins seeks to understand not only her own past, but the lineage of an entire group of people who have been displaced, disenfranchised, and disrespected throughout our history. Through interviews, photos, and hundreds of pages of transcription, Jerkins braids the loose threads of her family’s oral histories, which she was able to trace back 300 years, with the insights and recollections of black people she met along the way—the tissue of black myths, customs, and blood that connect the bones of American history. 

Incisive and illuminating, Wandering in Strange Lands is a timely and enthralling look at America’s past and present, one family’s legacy, and a young black woman’s life, filtered through her sharp and curious eyes.

Jerkins is in conversation with Soraya Nadia McDonald, award-winning cultural critic for The Undefeated, ESPN’s premiere platform covering race, sports, and culture. She writes about film, television, and the arts.

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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.

 




Colin Dickey, “THE UNIDENTIFIED” w/ Molly Lambert, Tess Lynch, & Emily Yoshida

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, journalism by skylightbooks on August 18th, 2020

In a world where rational, scientific explanations are more available than ever, belief in the unprovable and irrational–in fringe–is on the rise: from Atlantis to aliens, from Flat Earth to the Loch Ness monster, the list goes on. It seems the more our maps of the known world get filled in, the more we crave mysterious locations full of strange creatures.

Enter Colin Dickey, Cultural Historian and Tour Guide of the Weird. With the same curiosity and insight that made Ghostland a hit with readers and critics, Colin looks at what all fringe beliefs have in common, explaining that today’s Illuminati is yesterday’s Flat Earth: the attempt to find meaning in a world stripped of wonder. Dickey visits the wacky sites of America’s wildest fringe beliefs–from the famed Mount Shasta where the ancient race (or extra-terrestrials, or possibly both, depending on who you ask) called Lemurians are said to roam, to the museum containing the last remaining “evidence” of the great Kentucky Meat Shower–investigating how these theories come about, why they take hold, and why as Americans we keep inventing and re-inventing them decade after decade. The Unidentified is Colin Dickey at his best: curious, wry, brilliant in his analysis, yet eminently readable.

Dickey is joined in conversation by writers Molly LambertTess Lynch, and Emily Yoshida.

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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.




LIVE ON CROWDCAST: Ben Ehrenreich, “DESERT NOTEBOOKS” w/ Anthony McCann

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, journalism, nature, climate change, science by skylightbooks on August 10th, 2020

National Magazine Award winner and The Nation columnist Ben Ehrenreich layers climate science, mythologies, nature writing, and personal experiences into a stunning reckoning with our current moment and with the literal and figurative end of time. Desert Notebooks examines how the unprecedented pace of destruction to our environment and an increasingly unstable geopolitical landscape have led us to the brink of a calamity greater than any humankind has confronted before. As inhabitants of the Anthropocene, what might some of our own histories tell us about how to confront apocalypse? And how might the geologies and ecologies of desert spaces inform how we see and act toward time—the pasts we have erased and paved over, this anxious present, the future we have no choice but to build? Ehrenreich draws on the stark grandeur of the desert to ask how we might reckon with the uncertainty that surrounds us and fight off the crises that have already begun.

In the canyons and oases of the Mojave and in Las Vegas’s neon apocalypse, Ehrenreich finds beauty, and even hope, surging up in the most unlikely places, from the most barren rocks, and the apparent emptiness of the sky. Desert Notebooks is a vital and necessary chronicle of our past and our present—unflinching, urgent—and yet timeless and profound.

Ehrenreich is in conversation with Anthony McCann, author of four collections of poetry.

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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.




SKYLIT: Jennifer Levitz & Melissa Korn, “UNACCEPTABLE” w/ Asbhy Jones

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, journalism by skylightbooks on August 7th, 2020

The largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice broke on March 12, 2019, sending shock waves through American schools and families. In Unacceptable, veteran Wall Street Journal reporters Melissa Korn and Jennifer Levitz trace the wiretapped calls, covert payments, and blatant deceit that brought the feds to Beverly Hills mansions and Upper East Side apartments, their residents all linked by one man: college whisperer and ultimate hustler Rick Singer. 
 
The shocking tale at the heart of Unacceptable is how, over decades, the charismatic Singer easily exploited a system rigged against regular people. Exploring the status obsession that seduced entitled parents in search of an edge, Korn and Levitz detail a scheme that eventually entangled more than fifty conspirators—a catalog of wealth and privilege that included CEOs, lawyers, real-estate developers, financiers, and famous actresses, mingling in jail cells and courtrooms.
 
Detailing Singer’s steady rise and dramatic fall, woven with stories of key players in the case, Unacceptable exposes the ugly underbelly of elite college admissions as a game with no rule book—paid-off proctors and storied college coaches turning a blind eye, helicopter parents and coddled teens spinning lies—opening loopholes and side doors into America’s most exclusive institutions.

Levitz and Korn are in conversation with Ashby Jones, deputy coverage chief for U.S. News at The Wall Street Journal.

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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.




SKYLIT: Megan Margulies, “MY CAPTAIN AMERICA” w/ Eva Hagberg,

In the 1990s, Megan Margulies’s Upper West Side neighborhood was marked by addicts shooting up in subway stations, frequent burglaries, and the “Wild Man of 96th Street,” who set fires under cars and heaved rocks through stained glass church windows. The world inside her parents’ tiny one-bedroom apartment was hardly a respite, with a family of five—including some loud personalities—eventually occupying the 550-square-foot space.

Salvation arrived in the form of her spirited grandfather, Daddy Joe, whose midtown studio became a second home to Megan. There, he listened to her woes, fed her Hungry Man frozen dinners, and simply let her be. His living room may have been dominated by the drawing table, notes, and doodles that marked him as Joe Simon the cartoonist. But for Megan, he was always Daddy Joe: an escape from her increasingly hectic home, a nonjudgmental voice whose sense of humor was as dry as his farfel, and a steady presence in a world that felt off balance.

Evoking New York City both in the 1980s and ’90s and during the Golden Age of comics in the 1930s and ’40s, My Captain America flashes back from Megan’s story to chart the life and career of Rochester-native Joe Simon, from his early days retouching publicity photos and doing spot art for magazines, to his partnership with Jack Kirby at Timely Comics (the forerunner of Marvel Comics), which resulted in the creation of beloved characters like Captain America, the Boy Commandos, and Fighting American.

 

Margulies is in conversation with Eva Hagberg, author of How to Be Loved

 

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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




SKYLIT: Erica C. Barnett, “QUITTER” w/ Maer Roshan

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Memoir, nonfiction, biography by skylightbooks on July 31st, 2020

Erica C. Barnett had her first sip of alcohol when she was thirteen, and she quickly developed a taste for drinking to oblivion with her friends. In her late twenties, her addiction became inescapable. Volatile relationships, blackouts, and unsuccessful stints in detox defined her life, with the vodka bottles she hid throughout her apartment and offices acting as both her tormentors and closest friends.

By the time she was in her late thirties, Erica Barnett had run the gauntlet of alcoholism. She had recovered and relapsed time and again, but after each new program or detox center would find herself far from rehabilitated. "Rock bottom," Barnett writes, "is a lie." It is always possible, she learned, to go lower than your lowest point. She found that the terms other alcoholics used to describe the trajectory of their addiction--"rock bottom" and "moment of clarity"--and the mottos touted by Alcoholics Anonymous, such as "let go and let God" and "you're only as sick as your secrets"--didn't correspond to her experience and could actually be detrimental.

With remarkably brave and vulnerable writing, Barnett expands on her personal story to confront the dire state of addiction in America, the rise of alcoholism in American women in the last century, and the lack of rehabilitation options available to addicts. At a time when opioid addiction is a national epidemic and one in twelve Americans suffers from alcohol abuse disorder, Quitter is essential reading for our age and an ultimately hopeful story of Barnett's own hard-fought path to sobriety.

 

Barnett is in conversation with writer, editor, and entrepreneur Maer Roshan.

 

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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.




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.




Handsell, Ep. 6, “Yves and Mandy Harris Williams”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Feminism, nonfiction, LGBTQ by skylightbooks on May 19th, 2020

In this special early edition of the Handsell podcast, Yves talks to Mandy Harris Wiliams (@idealblackfemale), the Programming Director at the Women's Center for Creative Work. Williams is launching the Algorithms of Oppression Book Club, co-hosted by WCCW and FeministAI, in alliance with The Free Black Women's Library LA. 

The first meeting of the book club is tonight (5/19), and will occur monthly! Please use the following link to find out more:

https://womenscenterforcreativework.com/events/algorithms-of-oppression/

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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: Chelsea Bieker, Aja Gabel, Nina Renata Aron

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, Short Stories, nonfiction, novels by skylightbooks on May 15th, 2020

Join us for a Skylight virtual event! Chelsea Bieker, Aja Gabel and Nina Renata Aron will talk about their journeys to publication, the current literary landscape, and moms in all their forms.

Order Godshot by Chelsea Bieker

Order The Ensemble by Aja Gabel

Order Good Morning, Destroyer of Men's Souls by Nina Renata Aron

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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




Lane Moore, “HOW TO BE ALONE”

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Memoir, nonfiction, biography by skylightbooks on May 11th, 2020

Lane Moore is a rare performer who is as impressive onstage—whether hosting her iconic show Tinder Live or being the enigmatic front woman of It Was Romance—as she is on the page, as both a former writer for The Onion and an award-winning sex and relationships editor for Cosmopolitan. But her story has had its obstacles, including being her own parent, living in her car as a teenager, and moving to New York City to pursue her dreams. Through it all, she looked to movies, TV, and music as the family and support systems she never had.

From spending the holidays alone to having better “stranger luck” than with those closest to her to feeling like the last hopeless romantic on earth, Lane reveals her powerful and entertaining journey in all its candor, anxiety, and ultimate acceptance—with humor always her bolstering force and greatest gift.

How to Be Alone is a must-read for anyone whose childhood still feels unresolved, who spends more time pretending to have friends online than feeling close to anyone in real life, who tries to have genuine, deep conversations in a roomful of people who would rather you not. Above all, it’s a book for anyone who desperately wants to feel less alone and a little more connected through reading her words.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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





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