Alvin Orloff, “DISASTERAMA!” w/ Trebor Healy

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, Memoir, fiction, biography by skylightbooks on November 28th, 2019

In Disasterama!, Alvin Orloff recalls the delirious adventures of his youth—from San Francisco to Los Angeles to New York—where insane nights, deep friendships with the creatives of the underground, and thrilling bi-coastal living led to a free-spirited life of art, manic performance, high camp antics, and exotic sexual encounters. Orloff looks past the politics of AIDS to the people on the ground, friends of his who did not survive AIDS’ wrath—the boys in black leather jackets and cackling queens in tacky frocks—remembering them not as victims, but as people who loved life, loved fun, and who were a part of the insane jigsaw of his community. Includes more than 60 rare photos of the underground counterculture, club flyers, drag queens, and queer icons of era.

Orloff is in conversation with Trebor Healey, author of three novels, A Horse Named SorrowFaun and Through It Came Bright Colors

Jami Attenberg, “ALL THIS COULD BE YOURS” w/ Alissa Nutting

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, fiction, novels by skylightbooks on November 27th, 2019

From critically acclaimed New York Times best-selling author Jami Attenberg comes a novel of family secrets: think the drama of Big Little Lies set in the heat of a New Orleans summer

"If I know why they are the way they are, then maybe I can learn why I am the way I am," says Alex Tuchman of her parents. Now that her father is on his deathbed, Alex--a strong-headed lawyer, devoted mother, and loving sister--feels she can finally unearth the secrets of who Victor is and what he did over the course of his life and career. (A power-hungry real estate developer, he is, by all accounts, a bad man.) She travels to New Orleans to be with her family, but mostly to interrogate her tightlipped mother, Barbra.

As Barbra fends off Alex's unrelenting questions, she reflects on her tumultuous life with Victor. Meanwhile Gary, Alex's brother, is incommunicado, trying to get his movie career off the ground in Los Angeles. And Gary's wife, Twyla, is having a nervous breakdown, buying up all the lipstick in drug stores around New Orleans and bursting into crying fits. Dysfunction is at its peak. As each family member grapples with Victor's history, they must figure out a way to move forward--with one another, for themselves, and for the sake of their children.

All This Could Be Yours is a timely, piercing exploration of what it means to be caught in the web of a toxic man who abused his power; it shows how those webs can tangle a family for generations and what it takes to--maybe, hopefully--break free.

Attenberg is in conversation with Alissa Nutting, assistant professor of English at Grinnell College.

Mark Z. Danielewski, “THE LITTLE BLUE KITE”

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, Children's Fiction by skylightbooks on November 26th, 2019

We all have fears, but if we can’t face the small ones how will we face the big ones? Kai is afraid to fly a little blue kite. But Kai is also very, very brave, and overcoming this small fear will lead him on a great adventure.
Remember: all great adventures start with one little moment. You know the one. It’s like a gentle breeze whispering in your ear what you already know by heart:

                                   not even the sky is the limit . . .

The only other thing you might want to know about this book is that there are at least three ways to read it.

The first way takes only a few minutes. Just follow the rainbow-colored words.

The second takes only a little bit longer. Just follow the words haloed with blue and red and the rainbow words too.

For the third way, just start at the beginning.

Addie Tsai, “DEAR TWIN” w/ C.B. Lee

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, Y/A, Young Adult, LGBTQ by skylightbooks on November 25th, 2019

Poppy wants to go to college like everyone else, but her father has other ideas. Ever since her mirror twin sister, Lola, mysteriously vanished, Poppy’s father has been depressed and forces her to stick around. She hopes she can convince Lola to come home, and perhaps also procure her freedom, by sending her twin a series of eighteen letters, one for each year of their lives.
When not excavating childhood memories, Poppy is sneaking away with her girlfriend Juniper, the only person who understands her. But negotiating the complexities of queer love and childhood trauma are anything but simple. And as a twin? That’s a whole different story.

Dear Twin author Addie Tsai is in conversation with C.B. Lee, a Lambda Literary Award nominated writer of young adult science fiction and fantasy.


Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, fiction, novels by skylightbooks on November 21st, 2019

In his inimitable, recursive, meditative style that reads like a comedic zen koan but contains universes, Seven Samurai Swept Away in a River recounts Korean cult writer Jung Young Moon’s time spent at an artists’ and writers’ residency in small-town Texas. Jung embraces the rambling landscape of Texas, two-stepping, cowboy hats and cowboy churches, antique stores and their an- tique owners, and transmutes them into the even more expansive space of his mind. The author plucks at each surprisingly elucidating concept over pages of reflection – moving seamlessly from chili recipe etiquette (with beans or without?) to the origins of Texas itself – and muses on his outsider experiences in this most unique of places. All the while, the author is asking what a novel is and must be, while accompanied by an invented mental cast of seven samurai who the author carries with him, silent companions in a pantomime of existential theater. Jung blends fact with imagination, humor with reflection, and meaning with meaninglessness, as his meanderings become an absorbing, quintessential novel of ideas.


Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, Comics/Graphic Novels by skylightbooks on November 20th, 2019

Malka, the black sheep of her family, learns that her relatives are making a decades-in-the-planning pilgrimage to their grandfather's pre-Holocaust home in Poland...and she wasn't invited. After guilt-tripping herself a ticket as the self-appointed "Keeper of the Family Archives," it becomes clear that everyone's brought more baggage than just their suitcases.

Chasing Echoes is a heartfelt tale about dysfunctional family dynamics, the ghosts of war and what brings us back together. 

Franny Howe, “LOVE AND I” w/ Martha Ronk

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, poetry by skylightbooks on November 19th, 2019

Set in transit even as they investigate the transitory, the cinematic poems in Love andmove like a handheld camera through the eternal, the minds of passengers, and the landscapes of Ireland and America. From this slight remove, Fanny Howe explores the edge of “pure seeing” and the worldly griefs she encounters there, cast in an otherworldly light. These poems layer pasture and tarmac, the skies above where airline passengers are compressed with their thoughts, and the ground where miseries accumulate, alongside comedies, in the figures of children in a park.

Love can do little but walk with the person and suddenly vanish, and that recurrent abandonment makes it necessary for these poems to find a balance between seeing and believing. For Howe, that balance is found in the Word, spoken in language, in music, in and on the wind, as invisible and continuous lyric thinking heard by the thinker alone. These are poems animated by belief and unbelief. Love and I fulfills Howe's philosophy of Bewilderment.

Howe is in conversation with Martha Ronk, author of 11 books of poetry and one book of short stories, Glass Grapes.

Liska Jacobs, “THE WORST KIND OF WANT” w/ Allie Rowbottom

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, fiction, novels by skylightbooks on November 18th, 2019

To cool-headed, fastidious Pricilla Messing, Italy will be an escape, a brief glimpse of freedom from a life that's starting to feel like one long decline.

Rescued from the bedside of her difficult mother, forty-something Cilla finds herself called away to Rome to keep an eye on her wayward teenage niece, Hannah. But after years of caregiving, babysitting is the last thing Cilla wants to do. Instead she throws herself into Hannah's youthful, heedless world—drinking, dancing, smoking—relishing the heady atmosphere of the Italian summer. After years of feeling used up and overlooked, Cilla feels like she's coming back to life. But being so close to Hannah brings up complicated memories, making Cilla restless and increasingly reckless, and a dangerous flirtation with a teenage boy soon threatens to send her into a tailspin.

With the sharp-edged insight of Ottessa Moshfegh and the taut seduction of Patricia Highsmith, The Worst Kind of Want is a dark exploration of the inherent dangers of being a woman. In her unsettling follow-up to Catalina, Liska Jacobs again delivers hypnotic literary noir about a woman whose unruly desires and troubled past push her to the brink of disaster.

Jacobs is in conversation with Allie Rowbottom, author of Jell-O Girls.


Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, poetry by skylightbooks on November 14th, 2019

Six poets will read work that engages with scientific disciplines such as physics, mathematics, biology, and ecology. These readings will Involve the audience in a discussion of the embodied, material consequences of experimental engagements for both scientists and poets.  


Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on November 13th, 2019

The autograph is the premise for a dream: maybe, just maybe, the autograph hunter will become the autograph hunted, maybe the autograph will double as a magical transfer of renown, and by receiving the signature, one day you will be signing your name when someone asks.

So surmises Josh Kun in the pages of The Autograph Book of L.A.: Improvements on the Page of the City, the third in his trilogy of books sponsored by the Library Foundation of Los Angeles and based on the Special Collections of the Los Angeles Public Library. But leave it to MacArthur Fellow and culture communicator par excellence Kun to take the concept of “autographs” beyond the mere signing of names in little forget-me-not books. He looks at Los Angeles, his hometown, and sees the stamp of other people who also call it home. Suddenly imagery, graffiti, and yes—hand-written names—become the signature of a new Los Angeles, far beyond the one envisioned by Charles Lummis, the city librarian who created the LAPL autograph collection by soliciting a cache of famous people’s signatures on the
library’s own embossed stationery.

Alex Dimitrov, “ASTRO POETS” w/ Melissa Broder

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, fiction, astrology by skylightbooks on November 12th, 2019

Critically-acclaimed poets Alex Dimitrov (Sagittarius) and Dorothea Lasky (Aries) met at a party nearly a decade ago. There a lengthy conversation about their mutual love for astrology first planted the seed that would become @poetastrologers, a Twitter account they started for their own amusement.  The Twitter went viral and now has almost 500,000 followers. These online phenoms now bring us the first great astrology primer of the 21st century, Astro Poets: Your Guides to the Zodiac.

With humor and insight, the Astro Poets are here to share astrology with everyone from the uninitiated to the firm believers, to help you see what's written in the stars and use it to navigate your friendships, your career, and your very complicated love life. The book opens with a general primer on astrology— which explains everything from what a rising sign actually is, to where each sign falls along the karmic wheel.  The rest of the book is devoted to each sign in turn and mixes classic components from the Linda Goodman playbook (“Pisces as a Lover”) with some fresher takes (“Texting with an Aquarius”). The references are equal parts high (Emily Dickinson) and low (Drake).  

If you’ve ever wondered why your Gemini friend won't let you get a word in edge-wise at drinks, you've come to the right place. When will that Scorpio texting “u up?” at 2AM finally take the next step in your relationship? (Hint: they won’t.) What makes Andy Warhol a textbook Leo, or Beyoncé the ultimate example of a Virgo? Start with the chapter on your own sun sign, then move on to the signs of your partner, your children, your co-workers, your mortal enemy. You’ll walk away understanding them, and yourself, a little better.

Dimitrov will be in conversation with Melissa Broder author of the essay collection So Sad Today and four poetry collections.


Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, fiction, Short Stories by skylightbooks on November 11th, 2019

The Usual UncertaintiesJonathan Blum's highly anticipated first collection—is storytelling at its finest. In precise, elegant prose, these stories follow characters and communities often consigned to the edge of the frame: a community college dropout, a geriatric care manager, a square dance bar mitzvah, a Scrabble club, an entrepreneurial Thai immigrant, and a South Florida country club. With echoes of Leonard Michaels, Mavis Gallant, and Lore Segal, Blum explores the ways our divergent histories tether us together and at times push us completely apart. The Usual Uncertainties revels in the persistent human struggle to love with abandon and marks a radiant voice in American short fiction. 

Helen Shewolfe Tseng & Beatrix Gravesguard, “THE ASTROLOGICAL GRIMOIRE” w/ Yumi Sakugawa

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, astrology by skylightbooks on November 10th, 2019

The Astrological Grimoire is an illustrated interactive guide and workbook that uses the astrological calendar as a framework for considering introspection and self-discovery, creative practices, connecting with your intuition, and more.

Join Helen Shewolfe Tseng and Beatrix Gravesguard in conversation with the interdisciplinary artist and author Yumi Sakugawa for an evening of exploration and discussion on intuition, rituals, creativity, astrology, writing, and more. Yumi will offer a brief guided meditation to start off the event. 

Roshanak Kheshti,”WENDY CARLOS’S SWITCHED-ON BACH” w/ Karen Tongson

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, music by skylightbooks on November 8th, 2019

So much, popular and scholarly, has been written about the synthesizer, Bob Moog and his brand-name instrument, and even Wendy Carlos, the musician who made this instrument famous. No one, however, has examined the importance of spy technology, the Cold War and Carlos's gender to this critically important innovation.

Through a postcolonial lens of feminist science and technology studies, Roshanak Kheshti engages in a reading of Carlos's music within this gendered context. By focusing on Switched-On Bach (the highest selling classical music recording of all time), this book explores the significance of gender to the album's--and, as a result, the Moog synthesizer's--phenomenal success.

Kheshti is in conversation with Karen Tongson, author of Why Karen Carpenter Matters (2019), and Relocations: Queer Suburban Imaginaries (2011).

Monique Truong, “THE SWEETEST FRUITS” w/ Diep Tran

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, Feminism, nonfiction, biography by skylightbooks on November 7th, 2019

The Sweetest Fruits introduces readers to a trio of tenacious, brave, and inspiring women who have largely been left out of the historical record—until now. In her beautifully crafted and captivating work, Monique Truong retells the remarkable life story of 19th century writer, wanderer, and epicurean Lafcadio Hearn through the eyes of those who cared for him and made his work possible.

Truong is in conversation with Diep Tran, chef and  former owner of Good Girl Dinette in Los Angeles.

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