Meena Harris, “KAMALA AND MAYA’S BIG IDEA”

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, Children's Fiction by skylightbooks on June 2nd, 2020

Based on a true story from the childhood of Meena Harris’s aunt, Senator Kamala Harris, and mom, Maya Harris, Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea is about two sisters working together to create change in their community.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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




Andrés Neuman, “FRACTURE” w/ Chad Post

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels by skylightbooks on June 1st, 2020

Mr. Yoshie Watanabe, a former electronics company executive and a survivor of the atomic bomb, has always lived like a fugitive from his own memories. He’s spent decades traveling the world, making a life in different languages, only to find himself home again, living in Tokyo in his old age. On the afternoon of March 11, 2011, Watanabe, like millions of others, is stunned by powerful tremors. A massive earthquake has struck to the north, triggering the Fukushima nuclear disaster—and a stirring of the collective past. As the catastrophe unfolds, Watanabe’s mind, too, undergoes a tectonic shift. With his native land yet again under nuclear threat, he braces himself to make the most surprising decision of his nomadic life.

Meanwhile, four women who have known him intimately at various points in time narrate their stories to a strangely obsessive Argentinian journalist. Their memories, colored by their respective cultures and describing different ways of loving, trace sociopolitical maps of Paris, New York, Buenos Aires, and Madrid over the course of the twentieth century. The result is a metalingual, border-defying constellation of fractures in life and nature—proof that nothing happens in only one place, that every human event reverberates to the ends of the earth.

With unwavering empathy and bittersweet humor, and facing some of the most urgent environmental concerns of our time, Andrés Neuman’s Fracture is a powerful novel about the resilience of humankind, and the beauty that can emerge from broken things.

Neuman is in conversation with writer Chad Post.

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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. 8, “Protests are Good, Curbside Update, and David Gonzalez”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, politics by skylightbooks on May 30th, 2020

It's our longest episode yet! Mick and Maddie give a statement about the George Floyd protests on behalf on Skylight Books and recommend some books that might make for good reading right about now. Mary makes a special appearance to give an update on Skylight's curbside pickup, and Maddie comes back for a great main event conversation with David Gonzalez, her predecessor as events manager.

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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: Genevieve Hudson, “BOYS OF ALABAMA” w/ Cyrus Grace Dunham

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels by skylightbooks on May 29th, 2020

In this bewitching debut novel, a sensitive teen, newly arrived in Alabama, falls in love, questions his faith, and navigates a strange power. While his German parents don’t know what to make of a South pining for the past, shy Max thrives in the thick heat. Taken in by the football team, he learns how to catch a spiraling ball, how to point a gun, and how to hide his innermost secrets.

Max already expects some of the raucous behavior of his new, American friends—like their insatiable hunger for the fried and cheesy, and their locker room talk about girls. But he doesn’t expect the comradery—or how quickly he would be welcomed into their world of basement beer drinking. In his new canvas pants and thickening muscles, Max feels like he’s “playing dress-up.” That is until he meets Pan, the school “witch,” in Physics class: “Pan in his all black. Pan with his goth choker and the gel that made his hair go straight up.” Suddenly, Max feels seen, and the pair embarks on a consuming relationship: Max tells Pan about his supernatural powers, and Pan tells Max about the snake poison initiations of the local church. The boys, however, aren’t sure whose past is darker, and what is more frightening—their true selves, or staying true in Alabama.

Writing in verdant and visceral prose that builds to a shocking conclusion, Genevieve Hudson “brilliantly reinvents the Southern Gothic, mapping queer love in a land where God, guns, and football are king” (Leni Zumas, author of Red Clocks). Boys of Alabama becomes a nuanced portrait of masculinity, religion, immigration, and the adolescent pressures that require total conformity.

Hudson is in conversation with Cyrus Grace Dunham, a writer and organizer living in Los Angeles. They recently published their memoir A Year Without A Name.

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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: Anna Dorn, “VAGABLONDE” w/ Crissy Milazzo

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

Vagablonde

An exploration of the toxic nature of viral fame and a generation’s dangerous dependence on external validation, Anna Dorn’s debut is as illuminating as the light bouncing off Echo Park Lake, speaking directly to our time in biting detail.

Prue only wants two things: to live without psychotropic medication, and make it as a rap artist. Her life is good on paper but unsatisfying—she’s a lawyer with an easy government job and a nice girlfriend who gets her in to all the right shows. When Prue is introduced to music producer Jax Jameson, they instantly click. Prue joins Jax’s “Kingdom,” a collective of musicians and artists who share Prue’s aesthetic sensibilities and lust for escapism. Soon she’s off her meds, exiting her law practice, and becoming entangled with a suspect, hard-partying crew. The group they form, Shiny AF, is starting to take off and Prue is on the precipice of getting everything she thought she wanted. Life couldn’t possibly be better, or could it? 

Author Anna Dorn is in conversation with Crissy Milazzo, a writer living in Los Angeles, whose memoir BAD LAWYER will be published by Hachette Books in Spring 2021.




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. 7, “Maddie & Tara Marsden”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, Handsell by skylightbooks on May 23rd, 2020

Lucky number 7! Sorry for the delay, folks. For this episode, we talk about Skylight's curbside pickup procedure and offer some helpful tips for getting your books in a safe and secure manner. Yves talks about his conversation with Mandy Williams for Handsell Ep. 6, and Maddie hosts Tara Marsden from Wolfman Books for a great conversation. Don't miss it!

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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




Joanne McNeil, “LURKING” w/ Sarah Jaffe

Posted in by skylightbooks on May 22nd, 2020

In a shockingly short amount of time, the internet has bound people around the world together and torn us apart and changed not just the way we communicate but who we are and who we can be. It has created a new, unprecedented cultural space that we are all a part of—even if we don’t participate, that is how we participate—but by which we’re continually surprised, betrayed, enriched, befuddled. We have churned through platforms and technologies and in turn been churned by them. And yet, the internet is us and always has been.

In Lurking, Joanne McNeil digs deep and identifies the primary (if sometimes contradictory) concerns of people online: searching, safety, privacy, identity, community, anonymity, and visibility. She charts what it is that brought people online and what keeps us here even as the social equations of digital life—what we’re made to trade, knowingly or otherwise, for the benefits of the internet—have shifted radically beneath us. It is a story we are accustomed to hearing as tales of entrepreneurs and visionaries and dynamic and powerful corporations, but there is a more profound, intimate story that hasn’t yet been told.

McNeil is in conversation with Sarah Jaffe, a Type Media Center fellow and an independent journalist covering labor, economic justice, social movements, politics, gender, and pop culture.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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




Amy Meyerson, “THE IMPERFECTS” w/ Quig Bruning

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, mystery, novels by skylightbooks on May 20th, 2020

The Millers are far from perfect. Estranged siblings Beck, Ashley and Jake find themselves under one roof for the first time in years, forced to confront old resentments and betrayals, when their mysterious, eccentric matriarch, Helen, passes away. But their lives are about to change when they find a secret inheritance hidden among her possessions—the Florentine Diamond, a 137-carat yellow gemstone that went missing from the Austrian Empire a century ago.

Desperate to learn how one of the world’s most elusive diamonds ended up in Helen’s bedroom, they begin investigating her past only to realize how little they know about their brave, resilient grandmother. As the Millers race to determine whether they are the rightful heirs to the diamond and the fortune it promises, they uncover a past more tragic and powerful than they ever could have imagined, forever changing their connection to their heritage and each other.

Inspired by the true story of the real, still-missing Florentine Diamond, The Imperfects illuminates the sacrifices we make for family and how sometimes discovering the truth of the past is the only way to better the future.

Author Amy Meyerson is in conversation with Sotheby's vice president Quig Bruning.

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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: Deborah Lott & Paul Lisicky

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, fiction, novels by skylightbooks on May 18th, 2020

Deborah Lott and Paul Lisicky will discuss their new books, writing life in quarantine, and what they've been reading. 

Don’t Go Crazy Without Me by Deborah Lott

Don’t Go Crazy Without Me tells the tragicomic coming of age story of a girl who grew up under the seductive sway of her outrageously eccentric father. He taught her how to have fun; he also taught her to fear food poisoning, other children’s infectious diseases, and the contaminating propensities of the world at large. Alienated from her emotionally distant mother, the girl bonded closely with her father and his worldview. When he plunged from neurotic to full-blown psychotic, she nearly followed him. Sanity is not always a choice, but for the sixteen-year-old, decisions had to be made and lines drawn between reality and what her mother called her “overactive imagination.” She would have to give up beliefs carried by the infectious agent of her father’s love.

Later: My Life At The Edge Of The World by Paul Lisicky

When Paul Lisicky arrived in Provincetown in the early 1990s, he was leaving behind a history of family trauma to live in a place outside of time, known for its values of inclusion, acceptance, and art. In this idyllic haven Lisicky searches for love and connection. At the same time, the center of this community is consumed by the AIDS crisis and the very structure of town life is being rewired out of necessity. What might this utopia look like during a time of dystopia?

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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. 5, “Skylight Update, Ingrid, and Liz”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Memoir, biography, Handsell by skylightbooks on May 16th, 2020

What a week! With social distancing measures beginning to relax a touch, Mick and Maddie talk about what it's going to be like for the Skylighters as they prep the store for curbside pickup. Mary comes on for an official Skylight Update and briefs us on a couple different ways we can support the store. Ingrid recommends a book, and Maddie comes back for a great conversation with Liz from Oakland's East Bay Booksellers. 

Staff Pick:

Ingrid - Tiger, Tiger by Margaux Fragoso

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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.




Angie Kim, “MIRACLE CREEK” w/ Maddie Gobbo

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels by skylightbooks on May 13th, 2020

In a small town in Virginia, a group of people know each other because they’re part of a special treatment center, a hyperbaric chamber that may cure a range of conditions from infertility to autism. But then the chamber explodes, two people die, and it’s clear the explosion wasn’t an accident.

A powerful showdown unfolds as the story moves across characters who are all maybe keeping secrets, hiding betrayals. Chapter by chapter, we shift alliances and gather evidence: Was it the careless mother of a patient? Was it the owners, hoping to cash in on a big insurance payment and send their daughter to college? Could it have been a protester, trying to prove the treatment isn’t safe?

“A stunning debut about parents, children and the unwavering hope of a better life, even when all hope seems lost" (Washington Post), Miracle Creek uncovers the worst prejudice and best intentions, tense rivalries and the challenges of parenting a child with special needs. It’s “a quick-paced murder mystery that plumbs the power and perils of community” (O Magazine) as it carefully pieces together the tense atmosphere of a courtroom drama and the complexities of life as an immigrant family. Drawing on author Angie Kim's own experiences as a Korean-American, former trial lawyer, and mother of a “miracle submarine” patient, this is a novel steeped in suspense and igniting discussion. Recommended by Erin Morgenstern, Jean Kwok, Jennifer Weiner, Scott Turow, Laura Lippman, and more-- Miracle Creek is a brave, moving debut from an unforgettable new voice.

Kim is in conversation with Maddie Gobbo, events manager for Skylight Books.




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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