SKYLIT: Lori Lansens, “THIS LITTLE LIGHT” w/ Milan Cheylov

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels by skylightbooks on August 12th, 2020

Taking place over the course of 48 hours in 2024, This Little Light draws readers into a universe of born-again Christians and celebrity worship where abortion is once again illegal and both religion and surveillance run amok. Heroine Rory Miller and her best friend, Fee, are on the run after a bomb explodes at their elite Christian private school in their triple-gated California community during their American Chastity Ball, where girls in white gowns pledge to their fathers that they will remain virgins until marriage. As the girls struggle to survive while following their own attempted capture on social media and cable news—crowdsourced by Christian zealots and bounty hunters—Rory blogs their story in real time, determined to leave behind a record in their own words in case they don’t make it out alive.
 
In This Little Light, bestselling author Lori Lansens weaves together the pressing issues of our time—women’s rights, income disparity, religion and politics, immigration—and di˝ uses them through the authentic voice of a 16-year-old navigating a frightening reality. The result is an intense, urgent, and enthralling read about an all-too-believable near future—and the world we already live in.

Lansens is in conversation with husband and TV producer Milan Cheylov.

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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.




LIVE ON CROWDCAST: Aimee Bender, “THE BUTTERFLY LAMPSHADE” w/ Sarah Shun-lien Bynum

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels by skylightbooks on August 5th, 2020

On the night her single mother is taken to a mental hospital after a psychotic episode, eight year-old Francie is staying with her babysitter, waiting to take the train to Los Angeles to go live with her aunt and uncle. There is a lovely lamp next to the couch on which she’s sleeping, the shade adorned with butterflies. When she wakes, Francie spies a dead butterfly, exactly matching the ones on the lamp, floating in a glass of water. She drinks it before the babysitter can see.

Twenty years later, Francie is compelled to make sense of that moment, and two other incidents — her discovery of a desiccated beetle from a school paper, and a bouquet of dried roses from some curtains. Her recall is exact — she is sure these things happened. But despite her certainty, she wrestles with the hold these memories maintain over her, and what they say about her own place in the world.

As Francie conjures her past and reduces her engagement with the world to a bare minimum, she begins to question her relationship to reality. The scenes set in Francie’s past glow with the intensity of childhood perception, how physical objects can take on an otherworldly power. The question for Francie is, What do these events signify? And does this power survive childhood?

Told in the lush, lilting prose that led the San Francisco Chronicle to say Aimee Bender is “a writer who makes you grateful for the very existence of language,” The Butterfly Lampshade is a heartfelt and heartbreaking examination of the sometimes overwhelming power of the material world, and a broken love between mother and child.

Bender is in conversation with Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, the author of two novels—Ms. Hempel Chronicles, a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award, and Madeleine Is Sleeping, a finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize.

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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.




SKYLIT: Ahrm Choi Wild & Muriel Leung

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, poetry by skylightbooks on July 29th, 2020

Join us for a conversation with poets Ahrm Choi Wild and Muriel Leung!

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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: Arthur Nersesian, “THE FIVE BOOKS OF (ROBERT) MOSES” w/ Johnny Temple

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels by skylightbooks on July 27th, 2020

After a domestic terrorist unleashes a dirty bomb in Manhattan in 1970, making the borough uninhabitable, FBI agent Uli Sarkisian finds himself in a world that is suddenly unrecognizable as the United States is faced with its greatest immigration crisis ever: finding housing for millions of its own citizens. The federal government hastily retrofits an abandoned military installation in the Nevada desert, vast in size. Despite the government's best intentions, as the military pulls out of "Rescue City," the residents are increasingly left to their own devices, and tribal warfare fuses with democracy, forming a frightening evolution of the two-party system: the gangocracy. Years after the Manhattan cleanup was supposed to have been finished, Uli travels through this bizarre new New York City, where he is forced to reckon with his past, while desperately trying to get out alive.

 

The Five Books of (Robert) Moses alternates between the outrageous present of Rescue City and earlier in the twentieth century, detailing the events leading up to the destruction of Manhattan. We simultaneously follow legendary urban planner Robert Moses through his early years and are introduced to his equally ambitious older brother Paul, a brilliant electrical engineer whose jealousy toward Robert and anger at the devastation caused by the man's "urban renewal" projects lead to a dire outcome.

 

Arthur Nersesian's most important work to date examines the political chaos of today's world through the lens of the past. Fictional versions of real historical figures populate the pages, from major politicians and downtown drag queens to notorious revolutionaries and obscure poets.

 

Nersesian is in conversation with musician Johnny Temple.

 

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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: Daniel WK Lee, “ANATOMY OF WANT” w/ Shane Lukas

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, LGBTQ by skylightbooks on July 25th, 2020

Poet Daniel WK Lee is in conversation about his debut collection of poetry Anatomy of Want with spoken word artist and creative solutions specialist Shane Lukas.

 

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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: Rachel Kauder Nalebuff, “STAGES” w/ Sarah Ruhl

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on July 24th, 2020

Poetry. Art. Perfomance Studies. Literary Nonficition. Can care be enacted through art? Inside a cathedral, staff members from a nursing home work with an artist to perform a poetic text about caregiving, loss, and taking the time to feel one's feelings. In the months leading up to the performance, the artist navigates her twenties--and art and life converge in unexpected ways. Weaving between oral history and poetic prose, Rachel Kauder Nalebuff has created a stirring work of hybrid nonfiction that takes us behind the scenes of artmaking and caregiving. Melding curiosity, humility, playfulness, and self-deprecation, STAGES is an inquiry into the work it takes to sustain a meaningful life.

 

Nalebuff is in conversation with playwright Sarah Ruhl.

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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.




Handsell, Ep. 13, “Eden Hain of JUNIOR HIGH”

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, art, Handsell by skylightbooks on July 18th, 2020

In the lucky number 13th episode of the podcast, Mick and Maddie let off a little bit of steam before we head over to her interview with Eden Hain of Junior High Los Angeles, an arts-centered non-profit.




SKYLIT: Kristen Millares Young, “SUBDUCTION”

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, fiction, novels by skylightbooks on July 17th, 2020

Subduction by Kristen Millares Young

Fleeing the shattered remains of her marriage and a betrayal by her sister, in the throes of a midlife freefall, Latina anthropologist Claudia Ranks retreats from Seattle to Neah Bay, a Native American whaling village on the jagged Pacific coast. Claudia yearns to lose herself to the songs of the tribe and the secrets of her guide, a spirited hoarder named Maggie. But when, spurred by his mother’s failing memory, Maggie’s prodigal son Peter returns seeking answers to his father’s murder, Claudia discovers in him the abandon she craves. Through the passionate and violent collision of these two outsiders, Subduction portrays not only their strange allegiance after grievous losses but also their imperfect attempts to find community on the Makah Indian Reservation.

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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: Brandy Colbert, “THE VOTING BOOTH” w/ Nina Lacour

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, fiction, novels by skylightbooks on July 15th, 2020

Marva Sheridan was born ready for this day. She's always been driven to make a difference in the world, and what better way than to vote in her first election?

Duke Crenshaw is so done with this election. He just wants to get voting over with so he can prepare for his band's first paying gig tonight.

Only problem? Duke can't vote.

When Marva sees Duke turned away from their polling place, she takes it upon herself to make sure his vote is counted. She hasn't spent months doorbelling and registering voters just to see someone denied their right.

And that's how their whirlwind day begins, rushing from precinct to precinct, cutting school, waiting in endless lines, turned away time and again, trying to do one simple thing: vote. They may have started out as strangers, but as Duke and Marva team up to beat a rigged system (and find Marva's missing cat), it's clear that there's more to their connection than a shared mission for democracy.

Romantic and triumphant, The Voting Booth is proof that you can't sit around waiting for the world to change?but some things are just meant to be.

Author Brandy Colbert is in conversation with Nina Lacour, author of the widely acclaimed Hold StillThe Disenchantments, and Everything Leads to You, and the Michael L. Printz Award-winner, We Are Okay.

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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.




Handsell, Ep. 12, “Chris Pine’s Good Mask and LAPL’s Jennifer Siron”

Posted in , skylight books, book stores, books, Handsell by skylightbooks on July 11th, 2020

Mick and Maddie return to the Handsell after a couple weeks off to talk about the viral Chris Pine photo and use it to remind everyone to WEAR YOUR DAMN MASKS! Then Maddie interviews the Los Angeles Public LIbrary's Jennifer Siron about the legendary Street Fleet! Good ep, good ep.

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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 CROWDCAST: Wayne Koestenbaum, “FIGURE IT OUT” w/ Maggie Nelson

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, essays, LGBTQ by skylightbooks on July 8th, 2020

In his new nonfiction collection, poet, artist, critic, novelist, and performer Wayne Koestenbaum enacts twenty-six ecstatic collisions between his mind and the world. A subway passenger’s leather bracelet prompts musings on the German word for “stranger”; Montaigne leads to the memory of a fourth-grade friend’s stinky feet. Wayne dreams about a handjob from John Ashbery, swims next to Nicole Kidman, reclaims Robert Rauschenberg’s squeegee, and apotheosizes Marguerite Duras as a destroyer of sentences. He directly proposes assignments to readers: “Buy a one-dollar cactus, and start anthropomorphizing it. Call it Sabrina.” “Describe an ungenerous or unkind act you have committed.” “Find in every orgasm an encyclopedic richness . . . Reimagine doing the laundry as having an orgasm, and reinterpret orgasm as not a tiny experience, temporally limited, occurring in a single human body, but as an experience that somehow touches on all of human history.” Figure It Out is both a guidebook for, and the embodiment of, the practices of pleasure, attentiveness, art, and play.

Koestenbaum is in conversation with Maggie Nelson, author of nine books of poetry and prose, including the National Book Critics Circle Award winner The ArgonautsThe Art of Cruelty: A ReckoningBluetsThe Red Parts, and Jane: A Murder.

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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.





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