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 



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

Hostage (Drawn + Quarterly) 

Join award-winning cartoonist Guy Delisle (Pyongyang, Jerusalem, Shenzhen, Burma Chronicles) for the launch of his highly anticipated, non-fiction page-turner: Hostage. Set in the Caucasus region in 1997, Hostage tells the true story of Doctors Without Borders administrator Christophe Andre who was held captive for over three months. Recounting his day-to-day survival while conveying the psychological effects of solitary confinement, Delisle’s storytelling doesn’t just show André’s experiences, but brings you into the room alongside him. Hostage is a thoughtful, intense, and undeniably moving graphic novel that takes a profound look at what drives our will to survive in the darkest of moments.

Guy Delisle is a cartoonist and animator from Québec City, Canada. Delisle spent ten years working in animation, which allowed him to learn about movement and drawing. He is best known for his bestselling travelogues about life in faraway countries, Burma Chronicles, Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City, Pyongyang, and Shenzhen. In 2012, Guy Delisle was awarded the Prize for Best Album for the French edition of Jerusalem at the Angoulême International Comics Festival. Delisle now lives in the south of France with his wife and two children.

David L. Ulin is the author, most recently, of the novel Ear to the Ground. A 2015 Guggenheim Fellow, his other books include Sidewalking: Coming to Terms with Los Angeles, shortlisted for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay; The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time; and the Library of America's Writing Los Angeles: A Literary Anthology, which won a California Book Award. He is the former book editor and book critic of the Los Angeles Times.  

David Ulin photo by Noah Ulin      

"This tour was supported by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States."



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

The Protester Has Been Released (C&R Press)

Populated by wise animals and hapless humans, Protester brilliantly evokes an end-of-the-world feeling that is equal parts dread and hilarity. In nine precisely rendered stories and a novella featuring the American president’s daughter, Sarbanes takes on the big questions with gallows humor: What is freedom? What is love? What is art? And what does it matter now?

In “Meet Koko,” the famous signing gorilla spends her nights secretly typing a hilarious “counter-narrative” onto her researcher’s laptop. “The First Daughter Finds Her Way” chronicles the quest of a president’s daughter to keep her father from invading the world’s nations in reverse alphabetical order. Sibling rivalry turns lethal in “Who Will Sit with Maman?” And in “Ars Longa,” a Colorado town riddled with cancer turns to art making in order to cope with the chaos of the present and the sins of the past.

Whether chiseled into discretely titled chunks, or rendered via extended interior monologues, Sarbanes’ witty, affective prose deftly locates the promise of a new society within the shell of the old. A fierce, funny primer for our time.

Praise for The Protester Has Been Released

The Protester Has Been Released is a spectacular and subversive collection, made even more so by its deceptive calm and supremely wry style.”--Maggie Nelson

“Exploring the subtle and not-so-subtle disjunctions between the so-called animal and the so-called human world, between police and citizens, between the resident and its electorate, between rich and poor, and between humans and the world, The Protester Has Been Released is a funny, humane, and scalpel-sharp collection. Only after you finish do you realize how close these worlds are to our own, and how implicated you are.”--Brian Evenson

“This is a profound book and necessary to the times we are living in now. Sarbanes explores the boundaries between ourselves and animals and Americans and the wider world in ways that illuminate the true issues behind the false ones. We need this book now.”--Danzy Senna

“The Protester Has Been Released gives yet more proof that Janet Sarbanes is a comic genius. She’s also some other kind of genius: these stories and novella range over broad territory, but in every case, Sarbanes is artful, precise, and prescient. Unfortunately, her apocalypse is ours, too. But as the end approaches, she’s terrific company.”--Rachel Kushner

Janet Sarbanes is the author of the short story collection Army of One, hailed by Bomb as a “stingingly funny fiction debut.” Her new collection, The Protester Has Been Released, will be published by C & R Press in February 2017. Recent short fiction appears in Black ClockP-QueueEntropy and North Dakota Quarterly. Sarbanes has also published art criticism and other critical writing in museum catalogues, anthologies, and journals such as East of BorneoAfterallJournal of Utopian Studies and the Los Angeles Review of Books. She lives in Los Angeles and teaches in the MFA Creative Writing Program at CalArts.

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 August 14th, 2017

Eartha (Fantagraphics)

Eartha is Cathy Malkasian’s fourth graphic novel — a metaphorical fable that resonates with contemporary themes. For a thousand years the unfinished dreams from the City Across the Sea came to Echo Fjord to live out their lives. Sex fantasies, murder plots, wishful thinking, and all manner of secrets once found sanctuary in Echo Fjord. Emerging from the soil, they took bodily form and wandered the land, gently guided by the fjord folk who treasured their brief and wondrous lives. But recently, city dreams have stopped coming to Echo Fjord, and without their ethereal tourists the fjord folk suddenly feel lost. Has their ancient way of life ended for good? Has something happened to the city? Are all the dreamers gone? One of Echo Fjord’s inhabitants wants answers: The story’s eponymous protagonist Eartha wants to visit the City Across the Sea, but how will she get to a place no one’s gone to for a thousand years? The city isn’t on any map, or in anyone’s memory. Without thought or hesitation she ventures into the limitless waters, hoping to find the City and solve the mystery.

Cathy Malkasian’s Eartha is an expansive tale of pastoral life, city corruption, greed, and addictions, and reverberates with questions plaguing us today, such as the alienating effects of hyper-connectivity and the self-destructive obsession with novelty. Malkasian’s drawing is notable for its rigorous draftsmanship, stunning landscapes and depictions of nature, the gestural nuances of her characters, and her sophisticated storytelling, all of which are on display in Eartha, making this the author’s lushest and most impressive graphic novel yet.

The Fifth Wall (Black Sparrow Books)

In this debut novel by Rachel Nagelberg, conceptual artist Sheila B. Ackerman heeds a mysterious urge to return to her estranged family home and arrives at the exact moment of her mother’s suicide. In an attempt to cope with and understand her own self destructive tendencies, Sheila plants a camera on the lawn outside the house to film 24/7 while workers deconstruct the physical object that encases so many of her memories. Meanwhile, as she begins to experience frequent blackouts, she finds herself hunting a robot drone through the San Francisco MOMA with a baseball bat, part of a provocative, technological show, The Last Art, and resuming a violent affair with her college professor. With a backdrop of post-9/11 San Francisco, Sheila navigates the social-media- obsessed, draught-ridden landscape of her life, exploring the frail line between the human impulse to control everything that takes place around us and the futility of excessive effort to do so. The Fifth Wall allows readers to explore from a safe distance the recesses of their own minds, leaving the haunting feeling of depths that yet remain unknown.

Praise for The Fifth Wall

Set into motion by an inexplicable, traumatic and violent real-life event, Rachel Nagelberg’s brilliant first novel begins at the limits of contemporary art, as it attempts to reflect the ungraspable present. Born in 1984 into a familiarly frayed American family, her protagonist Sheila B. Ackerman, a former art student, is neither especially likable or unlikeable: that is, she’s incredibly real.  A close artistic cousin to Joni Murphy’s Double Teenage and Natasha Stagg’s Surveys, The Fifth Wall is a new kind of novel. Female and philosophical, emotion flows through the book across a dense and familiarly incomprehensible web of information, from satellite selfies to awkward sex to internet beheadings and shamanic tourism in the third world. Nagelberg's engrossing narration is littered with stunning perception: We look into the distance to be able to see what’s right in front of us.  She writes without affect, and with unselfconscious acuity.That is, she writes really well.  – Chris Kraus, author of I Love Dick

"Nagelberg has a true gift, able to write gorgeously on the line level with unctuous images. And simultaneously, there's a readable page-turner here. Most of us are lucky to do one of those, which is a testament to the singular talent.  This book cascades beauty and meaning and truth.– Joshua Mohr, author of All This Life and Termite Parade, a New York Times Editor’s Choice pick

"The Fifth Wall crackles with braininess and sex. It's hallucinatory and interactive and funny and sad and it has something incandescent to show you." – Stephen Beachy, author of The Whistling Song and Distortion, and professor at the University of San Francisco 

Rachel Nagelberg is an American novelist, poet, and conceptual artist living in Los Angeles. The Fifth Wall is her debut novel.

Stephen Beachy is the author of the novels boneyard, Distortion, and The Whistling Song, and the twin novellas Some Phantom/No Time Flat. He has also written and is continuing to write the “Amish Terror” sci-fi series that begins with Zeke Yoder vs. the Singularity, and his newest novel Glory Hole will be published by FC2 fall of 2017. He is Prose Editor of the journal Your Impossible Voice, teaches in the MFA Program at the University of San Francisco, and lives in San Diego.



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

Join us as students from the Otis College of Art and Design MFA Writing Class of 2017 read their work. 

Readers will include: 
George Fekaris grew up in the San Fernando Valley, and has an M.A. in English, from Cal State Northridge.

Aside from her fascination with the human body, Esther S. Lee is an MFA candidate in Otis College’s Graduate Writing Program. She is currently working on a collection of short stories centered on the practice of divination and how it affects the human psyche, though she occasionally flirts with the idea of writing poetry. She is currently located in Los Angeles, where she would like to stay put for a while after years of nomadic living.

Regis Peeples is a philosopher and poet from Cleveland, Ohio who received his BA in English & Philosophy from Howard University. He is fascinated with the idea of the self and what it is to ‘be.’ His writing focuses on humans and unveiling their limitlessness as beings. He is a writer of all genres and aspires to create a work that is timeless and simultaneously destroys language and genre. He is currently applying for PhD programs in philosophy and working on finishing his Long Poem, Ouroborose, a poem that tells the tale of God wandering the universe until it decides to create life, erase their memories, and venture to earth, where the God interacts with various characters and locations throughout literary history such as Doctor Victor Frankenstein, The Wizard of OZ and even Plato’s Cave allegory. Aside from writing, Regis is also a dedicated hip-hop emcee who goes by the alias Phusis. His obsession with the metaphysical & music allows him to create works that bounce between phonetic games and playfully restructured language.

Krystle May Statler received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of California, Merced and will earn a Master of Arts degree in Graduate Writing from Otis College of Art and Design where she worked on her thesis entitled "A Life Around" Her work utilizes collage to explore tensions of responsibility in sexual trauma, family dysfunction, and religion. While at Otis, she was a member of the Otis Books | Seismicity Editions publishing team where she completed typesetting and book design of Alan Loney's Beginnings (2016) and Amelia Rosselli's Hospital Series, translated by Diana Thow (2017). Continuing her passion for life as a writer, athlete and humanitarian, she plans to establish her small-press, May Be Books, with its first edition to be published by the end of 2017 that celebrates experimental works in chapbook form.

Kevin Thomas was born in Portland, Oregon, and moved to Los Angeles ten years ago in order to make tons of money as a screenwriter. After being wildly unsuccessful in Hollywood, Kevin decided to channel his depression into prose. He has had short stories published in a few obscure magazines no one's heard of; recently completed his first novel, Parkrose, which one reader called “soul-crushingly depressing”; and was awarded The Board of Governor's First Book Fellowship at Otis College of Art and Design, where he will be completing a Master's in Writing this spring.

Justin Wilson is a southern California native and Naval Special Warfare veteran. He served 12 years, completing multiple combat deployments in support of the Global War on Terror. Afterleaving the Navy in 2010, Justin decided to pursue his passion for tattooing and the Arts. He received his BFA from Otis College of Art and Design in 2015, and is currently a second year MFA candidate at Otis.



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

Startup (Little Brown and Company)

Doree Shafrir’s hilarious, smart debut Startup is set in the heart of New York City’s tech industry, where 36 is considered past your prime and a pole-dancing workshop is an acceptable Thursday evening activity with your co-workers. A veteran online journalist, Doree has written a hilarious and sharply observed novel about the difficulties of real-life connection in our hyper-connected world.

Startup assembles a cast of indelible characters: Mack, the it-boy visionary of the moment trying to take his app to the next level; Isabel, a social media hero working for him a bit too closely; Katya, an ambitious Russian emigre journalist desperate for a scoop; and Sabrina, an exhausted mother of two whose inattentive husband happens to be Katya's boss. When a scandal erupts in the lower Manhattan loft building where all four work, they quickly discover just how small a world the Big Apple's tech community can be.

A senior culture writer at BuzzFeed, Doree was inspired to write this novel by the follies and foibles of the startup world, and also in part by some of the scandals that plagued the tech industry in the last few years. Camille Perri, author of The Assistants, notes Startup “is chock-full of strong women transcending the workplace drama, sexual politics, and all-around dumb stuff the men in their life are doing. It’s a novel that just might spark the official feministing of startup culture.”

This debut, already praised by Rumaan Alam, Joanna Rakoff, and Nick Bilton, is a sharp, hugely entertaining story of youth, ambition, love, money and technology's inability to hack human nature.

Praise for Startup 

“Is there a satirist alive more brilliant—and more insightful—than Doree Shafrir? That I tore through Startup in a single day—ignoring the cries of my children and the dinging of my phone, laughing with recognition at her characters’ foibles—is perhaps not nearly as significant as the fact that this ridiculously compelling novel has haunted me, every minute, in the weeks that followed. If you have ever lived in New York or worked in an office, you will love this novel. If you love the novels of Tom Perotta, you will love this novel. But also: If you are a sentient human, you will love this novel.”--Joanna Rakoff, author of My Salinger Year

"Don't buy this book. Don't open. Don't start reading it. Because if you do, I can assure you, you won't be able to put it down. I was hooked from the first page and found myself lost in a beautifully-written fiction that so succinctly echoes today's bizarre reality."— Nick Bilton, Special Correspondent, Vanity Fair and author of Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal

“This funny, empowering debut is chock-full of strong women transcending the workplace drama, sexual politics, and all-around dumb stuff the men in their life are doing. It’s a novel that just might spark the official feministing of startup culture. If I were a tech bro, I’d be shaking in my hoodie.”–Camille Perri, author of The Assistants

Doree Shafrir has also been on staff at Rolling Stone, the New York Observer, Gawker, and Philadelphia Weekly, and has contributed to publications including the New York Times, the New Yorker, Slate, The Awl, New York MagazineMarie Claire, and Wired. She grew up outside of Boston, lived in New York for nine years, and now resides in Los Angeles with her husband Matt Mira, a comedy writer and podcaster.

Jade Chang has covered arts and culture as a journalist and editor. She is the recipient of a Sundance Fellowship for Arts Journalism, the AIGA/Winterhouse Award for Design Criticism, and the James D. Houston Memorial scholarship from the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. The Wangs VS. The World is her first book.



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

Void Star (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

A riveting, beautifully written, fugue-like novel of AIs, memory, violence, and mortality,

Not far in the future the seas have risen and the central latitudes are emptying, but it’s still a good time to be rich in San Francisco, where weapons drones patrol the skies to keep out the multitudinous poor. Irina isn’t rich, not quite, but she does have an artificial memory that gives her perfect recall and lets her act as a medium between her various employers and their AIs, which are complex to the point of opacity. It’s a good gig, paying enough for the annual visits to the Mayo Clinic that keep her from aging.

Kern has no such access; he’s one of the many refugees in the sprawling drone-built favelas on the city’s periphery, where he lives like a monk, training relentlessly in martial arts, scraping by as a thief and an enforcer. Thales is from a different world entirely—the mathematically inclined scion of a Brazilian political clan, he’s fled to L.A. after the attack that left him crippled and his father dead.

A ragged stranger accosts Thales and demands to know how much he can remember. Kern flees for his life after robbing the wrong mark. Irina finds a secret in the reflection of a laptop’s screen in her employer’s eyeglasses. None are safe as they’re pushed together by subtle forces that stay just out of sight.

Vivid, tumultuous, and propulsive, Void Star is Zachary Mason’s mind-bending follow-up to his bestselling debut, The Lost Books of the Odyssey.

Praise for Void Star

"Void Star is an extraordinary novel. The hallucinatory beauty of the prose is matched only by the book's velocity and mystery, and the story—of mortality, memory, and what it means to be human—holds all the force and power of mythology."—Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven

"Code becomes flesh in Zachary Mason's sentences. He shows us the near future of technological experience, where death becomes a 'stillness in memory,' and God is a pattern of numbers. This is the best and most beautiful book about computers since Neuromancer." —Michael Clune, author of Gamelife: A Memoir

Zachary Mason is a computer scientist and the author of the New York Times bestselling novel The Lost Books of the Odyssey. He lives in California.



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

The Lights (Rare Bird Books)

A broken love letter to an ex-boyfriend, The Lights navigates the self-destruction and hopeful redemption of a writer who relocates to Austin, TX, for an MFA program. While there, she immerses herself into a new obsession: Jason, a younger MFA student with dreams of Hollywood screenwriting and the intended audience to the narrator’s twelve steps of AA.

Grappling with mental illness, alcoholism, and her own difficult behavior, her battle boils down to the question: can a person love another while hating herself? 

The Lights is an endeavor in the psyche of a writer and a damaged woman. Against a backdrop of changing cities from New York to Austin to Los Angeles, the narrator must learn the only person she cannot outrun is herself.

Brian McGreevy grew up new Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and now lives in Los Angeles. He is the author of Hemlock Grove and the companion book Desire. He is a writer on the TV show The Son based on Philipp Meyer's novel of the same name, and the head writer and executive producer of the Netflix adaptation of Hemlock Grove.

Grace Parra is known for her work on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore (2015), Pretty Strong Opinions with Grace Parra (2014) and Planes (2013).



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on August 13th, 2017

Eat Only When You're Hungry (Farrar, Straus, Giroux)

A father searches for his addict son while grappling with his own choices as a parent (and as a user of sorts)

Achingly funny and full of feeling, Eat Only When You’re Hungry follows fifty-eight-year-old Greg as he searches for his son, GJ, an addict who has been missing for three weeks. Greg is bored, demoralized, obese, and as dubious of GJ’s desire to be found as he is of his own motivation to go looking. Almost on a whim, Greg embarks on a road trip to central Florida—a noble search for his son, or so he tells himself.

Greg takes us on a tour of highway and roadside, of Taco Bell, KFC, gas-station Slurpees, sticky strip-club floors, pooling sweat, candy wrappers and crumpled panes of cellophane and wrinkled plastic bags tumbling along the interstate. This is the America Greg knows, one he feels closer to than to his youthful idealism, closer even than to his younger second wife. As his journey continues, through drive-thru windows and into the living rooms of his alluring ex-wife and his distant, curmudgeonly father, Greg’s urgent search for GJ slowly recedes into the background, replaced with a painstaking, illuminating, and unavoidable look at Greg’s own mistakes—as a father, as a husband, and as a man.

Brimming with the same visceral regret and joy that leak from the fast food Greg inhales, Eat Only When You’re Hungry is a wild and biting study of addiction, perseverance, and the insurmountable struggle to change. With America’s desolate underbelly serving as her guide, Lindsay Hunter elicits a singular type of sympathy for her characters, using them to challenge our preconceived notions about addiction and to explore the innumerable ways we fail ourselves.

Praise for Eat Only When You're Hungry

"[A] commanding narrative . . . A savage tale of parenthood and squandered hope from an author whose unsparing eye never ceases to subvert the mundane." —Kirkus

"Hunter's absurd Floridian landscapes and darkly tender moments are keen and hilarious, exposing the complexities of addiction and an overweight man with a weak heart but unfailing love." —Booklist

"The frailties of the human body and the human heart are laid bare in Lindsay Hunter’s utterly superb novel Eat Only When You’re Hungry. There is real delicacy, tenderness, and intelligence with which Hunter tackles this portrait of a broken family of people who don’t realize just how broken they are until they are forced to confront the fractures between them and within themselves. With this novel, Hunter establishes herself as an unforgettable voice in American letters. Her work here, as ever, is unparalleled." —Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist

"This novel takes us on a road trip with an American Everyman into the heart of American hunger—for freedom, for connection, for junk food, for love. Hunter has a brilliant sense for the perfectly telling image, and her humor is so biting and smart it was almost a surprise, at the end of this engrossing book, to realize how thoroughly she had broken my heart.” —Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You

"Compassionate, claustrophobic, gut-wrenchingly observed, Eat Only When You’re Hungry probes the fine lines between hunger and addiction, addiction and desire. In perfectly nuanced prose, Lindsay Hunter observes the human ability to go on in the face of the unexpected, the unknown, the regretted, and, perhaps most important, the mundane." —Lori Ostlund, author of After the Parade

Lindsay Hunter is the author of the story collections Don’t Kiss Me and Daddy’s and the novel Ugly Girls. Originally from Florida, she now lives in Chicago with her husband, sons, and dogs.

Roxane Gay is the author of the novel An Untamed State, which was a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Fiction; the essay collection Bad FeministAyiti, a multi-genre collection, the collection of stories Difficult Women and the memoir, Hunger. She is at work on a comic book in Marvel’s Black Panther series. Her writing has appeared in Best American Short Stories 2012the New York Timesthe Guardian, and many others. She is a recipient of the PEN Center USA Freedom to Write Award, among other honors. She splits her time between Indiana and Los Angeles. She can be found online at and on Twitter @rgay.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on August 6th, 2017

Writers At Work--20th Anniversary Reading, Celebrating National Poetry Month featuring Poets At Work and alumnae.

Yvonne M. Estrada
Dylan Gailey
Brett Guitar Hofer
Ann Pibel
Helen Yeoman
Terry Wolverton

Kim Dower — Last Train to the Missing Planet
Eric Howard – Taliban Beach Party
Angela Peñaredondo — All Things Lose Thousands of Times
Sharon Venezio — The Silence of Doorways

Writers At Work: Inspiring, Encouraging and Empowering Writers since 1997 (



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on August 6th, 2017

Soupy Leaves Home (Dark Horse Books)

Two misfits with no place to call home take a train-hopping journey from the cold heartbreak of their Eastern homes to the sunny promise of California in this Depression-era coming-of- age tale.

When Pearl runs away from her abusive father, she has nowhere to go—until she stumbles upon a disguise that gives her the key to a new identity. Reborn as a boy named Soupy, she hitches her star to Ramshackle, a hobo who takes her under his wing. 

Ramshackle’s kindness and protection go a long way toward helping Soupy heal from her difficult past. But he has his own demons to wrestle with, and he’ll need Soupy just as much as she needs him.

Praise for Soupy Leaves Home:

Soupy Leaves Home tells the story of a time no longer familiar to us—a time of living the rails and simmering Mulligan Soup, a time of chosen names and secret languages—yet a tale that anyone with a longing heart and a restless spirit can relate to. It transports you magically to a place long gone, but its tale of poverty and survival are still as relevant as they ever were—the characters may be penniless, but they are so emotionally wealthy that this book leaves you filled with warmth, hope, and love.”—Gerard Way

“Castellucci’s heartfelt odyssey is a reckoning with death and identity on the tracks, brought to life by Pimienta’s patient, ever-evolving use of color. Soupy Leaves  Home is for all restless souls hungry to start again.”—Nate Powell (March, Swallow Me Whole)

“A charming and optimistic slice of Americana.”—Hope Larson (Wrinkle in Time, Batgirl)

"I love Cecil Castellucci, she is crazy and cool and full of energy and heart, and so is all of her work. And Soupy Leaves Home may be one of her finest and most effecting works yet!”—Jeff Lemire

“Soupy's journey comes alive through richly color-saturated, usually monochromatic panels that orient readers to a bygone era. Castellucci has created a strong heroine who both defies conventionality and embodies empowerment; as her transformative journey nears its denouement, she makes a resolute decision: 'I have to go and face my things or else I'll never be free' a message still highly relevant to today's world. A compelling graphic offering that explores relevant gender roles and self-identity through a historical lens.”—Kirkus Reviews

“A well-researched and richly illustrated runaway tale that will appeal to fans of escapist fiction and thoughtful readers.”—Anna Murphy, Berkeley Carroll School, Brooklyn (School Library Journal Reviews)

Cecil Castellucci is the author of books and graphic novels for young adults including Boy Proof, The Plain Janes, First Day on Earth, The Year of the Beasts, Tin Star, Stone in the Sky, and the Eisner-nominated Odd Duck. In 2015 she coauthored Moving Target: A Princess Leia Adventure, and in 2016 she worked on Shade, the Changing Girl, an ongoing comic for Gerard Way’s Young Animal imprint at DC Comics. Her picture book Grandma’s Gloves won the California Book Awards Gold Medal. Her short stories have been published in Strange Horizons, YARN,, and various anthologies, including Teeth, After, and Interfictions 2. She is the children’s correspondence coordinator for The Rumpus, a two-time MacDowell Fellow, and the founding YA editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books. She lives in Los Angeles.

Jose Pimienta grew up in Mexicali, Mexico, watching a lot of cartoons and listening to as much music as possible. After finishing high school, he studied visual storytelling in Georgia, where he made friends and drank a lot of coffee. Eventually, he headed back to Southern California, where he currently resides. He draws on a regular basis and still listens to as much music as he can. He also enjoys recreational walks and whistling. Sometimes he goes by “Joe.”



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on August 6th, 2017

Imagine Wanting Only This (Pantheon Books)

When Kristen Radtke was in college, the sudden death of a beloved uncle and, not long after his funeral, the sight of an abandoned mining town marked the beginning moments of a lifelong fascination with ruins and with people and places left behind. Over time, this fascination deepened until it triggered a journey around the world in search of ruined places. Now, in this genre-smashing graphic memoir, she leads us through deserted towns in the American Midwest, Italian villas, islands in the Philippines, New York City, and the delicate passageways of the human heart.

At once narrative and factual, historical and personal, Radtke's stunning illustrations and piercing text never shy away from the big questions: Why are we here, and what will we leave behind? 

Praise for Imagine Wanting Only This:
“Cities, ambitions, romances, and bodies come to ruin before our eyes, as Kristen Radtke invites us, in her beautifully understated way, to be disturbed, fascinated, and yes, even attracted to that ruin. A remarkable bildungsroman!” —Eula Biss, author of On Immunity
“Kristen Radtke leads us through a bleak and beautifully crafted story of heart and heartbreak—creation, connection, decay, and loss. Imagine Wanting Only This is challenging and inspiring.” —Ellen Forney, New York Times bestselling author of Marbles 

“Kristen Radtke’s Imagine Wanting Only This doesn’t tell a single story but a chorus of histories, personal and familial and historical, and invents its own marvelous language for their telling—a language forged from interior thought and visual imagination, bringing together words and illustration in continually surprising and moving ways. The voice in these pages is eloquent in so many ways at once, like a shape that exists in three dimensions rather than two, and it’s utterly singular: visually alive, attentive to details, self-questioning and tender as it surveys variously haunted terrains of heart and landscape. Radtke’s world is so immersive, and so sensitively conjured, that once I entered the sketched chamber of her pages, I didn’t want to leave again—or even pause for breath—until I reached the end.”  —Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams

"Riveting and glorious. A book of sorrow filtered through intellect. In Kristen Radtke's hands, nonfiction becomes poetry. A tremendous achievement.” —Tom Hart, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Rosalie Lightning

Kristen Radtke is a writer and illustrator based in Brooklyn. She is the managing editor of Sarabande Books and the film and video editor of TriQuarterly magazine. She holds an MFA from the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program.

Jordan Crane is an American cartoonist.  He is best known for his graphic novella The Last Lonely Saturday (2000), his graphic novel The Clouds Above(2005) and his ongoing solo anthology comic book series Uptight (2006-present). His comics have received two Ignatz awards, a Xeric grant, an AIGA book design award, and have been included in the The Best American Comics 2012. As editor and publisher, Crane produced the influential comics anthology NON (1997-2000), and the anthology website What Things Do (2010-2016). His illustrations have appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, McSweeney’s and elsewhere.  His large format screen printed editions hang in private collections across the world.  Crane lives in Los Angeles, where he currently nearing completion of the graphic novel Keeping Two, to be published in 2018. 

Libby Flores is a 2008 PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellow. Her short fiction has appeared in Post Road Magazine, The Open Bar at Tin House, The Rattling Wall, Paper Darts, Bridge Eight, FLASH: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. She lives in Los Angeles, but will always be a Texan. Libby is the Director of Literary Programs at PEN Center USA. She can be found at



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on August 3rd, 2017

Selfish Issue Five: Void of Course

True to its name, “void of course” leaves the familiar for the uncertain, the inconclusive, the esoteric. featuring the work of twenty three contributors, our fifth issue explores the shadow realm, the twelfth house, and the rays of light in between. 

Join us for a panel discussing the importance of feminist art, followed by a good ol’ fashioned party celebrating two years of life and the magazine’s newest issue: Void of Course.


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