Archive for books

SKYLIT: Daisy Pitkin, ”ON THE LINE”

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, history, skylit by skylightbooks on April 4th, 2022
Fresh off the heels of the first unionized Amazon warehouse, join us for a conversation about the tolls that fighting for fair labor can take.
 
On the Line takes readers inside a bold five-year campaign to bring a union to the dangerous industrial laundry factories of Phoenix, Arizona. Workers here wash hospital, hotel, and restaurant linens and face harsh conditions: routine exposure to biohazardous waste, injuries from surgical tools left in hospital sheets, and burns from overheated machinery. Broken U.S. labor law makes it nearly impossible for them to fight back.

The drive to unionize is led by two women: author Daisy Pitkin, a young labor organizer, who addresses this exhilarating narrative to Alma Gomez García, a second-shift immigrant worker, who risks her livelihood to join the struggle and convinces her fellow workers to take a stand. 

Forged in the flames of a grueling legal battle and the company’s vicious anti-union crusade, including the retaliatory firing of Alma, the relationships that grow between Daisy, Alma, and the rest of the factory workers show how a union, at its best, can reach beyond the workplace and form a solidarity so powerful that it can transcend friendship and transform communities. But when political strife divides the union, and her friendship with Alma along with it, Daisy must reflect on her own position of privilege and the complicated nature of union hierarchies and top-down organizing.

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Produced by Natalie Freeman, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

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

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




THE HANDSELL: Lucy Yu, YU AND ME BOOKS

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Handsell, asian-american by skylightbooks on April 1st, 2022
Join us for this special conversation with Lucy Yu, owner and founder of Yu and Me Books in Manhattan's Chinatown, as she discusses being the first female Asian-American bookstore owner in NYC and the rise in anti-Asian hate.
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Produced by Natalie Freeman, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

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

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




SKYLIT: Paul Haddad, ”FREEWAYTOPIA” w/ Steve DeVorkin

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, journalism, history, skylit by skylightbooks on March 30th, 2022

From the Arroyo Seco Parkway, which began construction during the Great Depression, to the Century Freeway, completed in 1993, author Paul Haddad provides an entertaining and thought-provoking history of the 527 miles of roadways that comprise the Los Angeles freeway system.

Each of Los Angeles's twelve freeways receives its own chapter, and these are supplemented by "Off-Ramps"--sidebars that dish out pithy factoids about Botts' Dots, SigAlerts, and all matter of freeway lexicon, such as why Southern Californians are the only people in the country who place the word "the" in front of their interstates, as in "the 5," or "the 101."

Freewaytopia also explores those routes that never saw the light of day. Imagine superhighways burrowing through Laurel Canyon, tunneling under the Hollywood Sign, or spanning the waters of Santa Monica Bay. With a few more legislative strokes of the pen, you wouldn't have to imagine them--they'd already exist.

Haddad is joined in conversation by Steve DeVorkin.

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Produced by Natalie Freeman, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

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

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




SKYLIT: Juneau Black, ”A SHADY HOLLOW MYSTERY”

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, Y/A, Young Adult, fiction, novels, skylit by skylightbooks on March 28th, 2022
Reporter Vera Vixen is a relative newcomer to Shady Hollow. The fox has a nose for news, so when she catches wind that the death might be a murder, she resolves to get to the bottom of the case, no matter where it leads. As she stirs up still waters, the fox exposes more than one mystery, and discovers that additional lives are in jeopardy.
 
Vera finds more to this town than she ever suspected. It seems someone in the Hollow will do anything to keep her from solving the murder, and soon it will take all of Vera’s cunning and quickness to crack the case.
 
Join us for this conversation with Juneau Black, the pen name of authors Jocelyn Cole and Sharon Nagel, for this discussion on their Shady Hollow book series!
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Produced by Natalie Freeman, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

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

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




SKYLIT: Kelly O’Connor McNees, ”THE MYTH OF SURRENDER”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels, skylit by skylightbooks on March 23rd, 2022
In 1960, free-spirited Doreen is a recent high-school grad and waitress in a Chicago diner. She doesn't know Margie, sixteen and bookish, who lives a sheltered suburban life, but they soon meet when unplanned pregnancies send them to the Holy Family Home for the Wayward in rural Illinois. Assigned as roommates because their due dates line up, Margie and Doreen navigate Holy Family’s culture of secrecy and shame and become fast friends as the weight of their coming decision — to keep or surrender their babies — becomes clear.

Except, they soon realize, the decision has already been made for them. Holy Family, like many of the maternity homes where 1.5 million women “relinquished” their babies in what is now known as the Baby Scoop Era, is not interested in what the birth mothers want. In its zeal to make the babies “legitimate” in closed adoptions, Holy Family manipulates and bullies birth mothers, often coercing them to sign away their parental rights while still under the effects of anesthesia.

What happens next, as their babies are born and they leave Holy Family behind, will force each woman to confront the depths and limits of motherhood and friendship, and fight to reclaim control over their own lives.

Join us for a conversation with author Kelly O'Connor McNees as she discusses The Myth of Surrenderexploring a hidden chapter of American history that still reverberates across the lives of millions of women and their children.

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Produced by Natalie Freeman, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

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

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




SKYLIT: Neema Avashia, ”ANOTHER APPALACHIA” w/ Sejal Shah

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Memoir, essays, skylit by skylightbooks on March 21st, 2022

When Neema Avashia tells people where she’s from, their response is nearly always a disbelieving “There are Indian people in West Virginia?” A queer Asian American teacher and writer, Avashia fits few Appalachian stereotypes. But the lessons she learned in childhood about race and class, gender and sexuality continue to inform the way she moves through the world today: how she loves, how she teaches, how she advocates, how she struggles.

Another Appalachia examines both the roots and the resonance of Avashia’s identity as a queer desi Appalachian woman, while encouraging readers to envision more complex versions of both Appalachia and the nation as a whole. With lyric and narrative explorations of foodways, religion, sports, standards of beauty, social media, gun culture, and more, Another Appalachia mixes nostalgia and humor, sadness and sweetness, personal reflection and universal questions.

Avashia shares a conversation with Sejal Shah in this episode.

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Produced by Natalie Freeman, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

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

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




THE HANDSELL: Jess Williamson

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, music, Handsell by skylightbooks on March 18th, 2022
Join us for a conversation with singer-songwriter Jess Williamson about her experience selling books, her transition to Los Angeles from Texas, and her upcoming tour with Jose Gonzalez!
 
Listen to her music here: https://open.spotify.com/artist/784kOgkd1H6jU4KgPMYHi9?si=S-OZBkvdTgKQfg10hM0cVw
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Produced by Natalie Freeman, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

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

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




SKYLIT: Marlon B. Ross, ”SISSY INSURGENCIES”

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, LGBTQ, BIPOC, skylit by skylightbooks on March 16th, 2022
In Sissy Insurgencies, Marlon B. Ross focuses on the figure of the sissy in order to rethink how Americans have imagined, articulated, and negotiated manhood and boyhood from the 1880s to the present. Rather than collapsing sissiness into homosexuality, Ross shows how sissiness constitutes a historically fluid range of gender practices that are expressed as a physical manifestation, discursive epithet, social identity, and political phenomenon. He reconsiders several black leaders, intellectuals, musicians, and athletes within the context of sissiness, from Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver, and James Baldwin to Little Richard, Amiri Baraka, and Wilt Chamberlain. Whether examining Washington's practice of cleaning as an iteration of sissiness, Baldwin's self-fashioned sissy deportment, or sissiphobia in professional sports and black nationalism, Ross demonstrates that sissiness can be embraced and exploited to conform to American gender norms or disrupt racialized patriarchy. In this way, sissiness constitutes a central element in modern understandings of race and gender.
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Produced by Natalie Freeman, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

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

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




Sasha LaPointe, ”RED PAINT”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, native authors, Memoir, biography, skylit by skylightbooks on March 14th, 2022
Sasha taqʷšəblu LaPointe has always longed for a sense of home. When she was a child, her family moved around frequently, often staying in barely habitable church attics and trailers, dangerous places for young Sasha.
 
With little more to guide her than a passion for the thriving punk scene of the Pacific Northwest and a desire to live up to the responsibility of being the namesake of her beloved great-grandmother—a linguist who helped preserve her Indigenous language of Lushootseed—Sasha throws herself headlong into the world, determined to build a better future for herself and her people.
 
Set against a backdrop of the breathtaking beauty of Coast Salish ancestral land and imbued with the universal spirit of punk, Red Paint is ultimately a story of the ways we learn to find our true selves while fighting for our right to claim a place of our own.
 
Examining what it means to be vulnerable in love and in art, Sasha offers up an unblinking reckoning with personal traumas amplified by the collective historical traumas of colonialism and genocide that continue to haunt native peoples. Red Paint is an intersectional autobiography of lineage, resilience, and, above all, the ability to heal.
 
You can also check out Sasha's RED PAINT playlist, curated exclusively for the book. Listen here!
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Produced by Natalie Freeman, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

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

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




SKYLIT: Irene Solá & Mara Faye Lethem,

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, translated, novels, skylit by skylightbooks on March 12th, 2022
Near a village high in the Pyrenees, Domènec wanders across a ridge, fancying himself more a poet than a farmer, to “reel off his verses over on this side of the mountain.” He gathers black chanterelles and attends to a troubled cow. And then storm clouds swell, full of electrifying power. Reckless, gleeful, they release their bolts of lightning, one of which strikes Domènec. He dies. The ghosts of seventeenth-century witches gather around him, taking up the chanterelles he’d harvested before going on their merry ways. So begins When I Sing, Mountains Dance, which is as much about the mountains and the mushrooms as it is about the human dramas that unfold in their midst.
 
Join us for this episode as author Irene Solá discusses her novel with translator Mara Faye Lethem.
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Produced by Natalie Freeman, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

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

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




SKYLIT: Namrata Poddar, ”BORDER LESS”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels, skylit by skylightbooks on March 10th, 2022
Border Less is a novel that centers desert and coastal spaces, predominantly of Mumbai and Greater Los Angeles, with layovers in the Thar Desert and African islands of the Indian Ocean. Divided in two sections, “Roots” and “Routes,” the book traces the migratory journey of Dia Mittal, an airline call center agent in Mumbai who is searching for a better life. As her search takes her to the United States, Dia’s checkered relationship with the American Dream dialogues with the experiences and perspectives of a global South Asian community across the class spectrum—call center agents, travel agents, immigrant maids, fashion designers, blue- and white-collar workers in the hospitality industry, junior and senior artists in Bollywood, hustling single mothers, academics, tourists in the Third World, refugees displaced by military superpowers, Marwari merchants and trade caravans of the Silk Road, among others. What connects the novel’s web of brown border-crossing characters is their quest for belonging and a negotiation of power struggles, mediated by race, class, caste, gender, religion, nationality, age, or place. With the novel's fragmented form, staccato rhythm, repetition, and play with English language, author Namrata Poddar questions the “mainstream” Western novel and its assumptions of good storytelling.
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Produced by Natalie Freeman, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

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

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




SKYLIT: Jeff Yang, Philip Wang, Phil Yu: ”RISE”

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, history, skylit by skylightbooks on March 7th, 2022

When the Hart-Celler Act passed in 1965, opening up US immigration to non-Europeans, it ushered in a whole new era. But even to the first generation of Asian Americans born in the US after that milestone, it would have been impossible to imagine that sushi and boba would one day be beloved by all, that a Korean boy band named BTS would be the biggest musical act in the world, that one of the most acclaimed and popular movies of 2018 would be Crazy Rich Asians, or that we would have an Asian American Vice President. And that’s not even mentioning the creators, performers, entrepreneurs, execs and influencers who've been making all this happen, behind the scenes and on the screen; or the activists and representatives continuing to fight for equity, building coalitions and defiantly holding space for our voices and concerns. And still: Asian America is just getting started.

The timing could not be better for this intimate, eye-opening, and frequently hilarious guided tour through the pop-cultural touchstones and sociopolitical shifts of the 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, and beyond. In Rise, Jeff Yang, Phil Yu, and Philip Wang chronicle how we’ve arrived at today’s unprecedented diversity of Asian American cultural representation through engaging, interactive infographics (including a step-by-step guide to a night out in K-Town, an atlas that unearths historic Asian American landmarks, a handy “Appreciation or Appropriation?” flowchart, and visual celebrations of both our "founding fathers and mothers" and the nostalgia-inducing personalities of each decade), plus illustrations and graphic essays from major AAPI artists, exclusive roundtables with Asian American cultural icons, and more, anchored by extended insider narratives of each decade by the three co-authors. Rise is an informative, lively, and inclusive celebration of both shared experiences and singular moments, and all the different ways in which we have chosen to come together.

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Produced by Natalie Freeman, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

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

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




SKYLIT: Missouri Williams, ”THE DOLORIAD”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels, skylit by skylightbooks on March 4th, 2022
In the wake of a mysterious environmental cataclysm that has wiped out the rest of humankind, the Matriarch, her brother, and the family descended from their incest cling to existence on the edges of a deserted city. The Matriarch, ruling with fear and force, dreams of starting humanity over again, though her children are not so certain. Together the family scavenges supplies and attempts to cultivate the poisoned earth. For entertainment, they watch old VHS tapes of a TV show in which a problem-solving medieval saint faces down a sequence of logical and ethical dilemmas. But one day the Matriarch dreams of another group of survivors and sends away one of her daughters, the legless Dolores, as a marriage offering. When Dolores returns the next day, her reappearance triggers the breakdown of the Matriarch’s fragile order, and the control she wields over their sprawling family begins to weaken.

Told in extraordinary, intricate prose that moves with a life of its own, and at times striking with the power of physical force, Missouri Williams’s debut novel is a blazingly original document of depravity and salvation. Gothic and strange, moving and disquieting, and often hilarious, The Doloriad stares down, with narrowed eyes, humanity’s unbreakable commitment to life.

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Produced by Natalie Freeman, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

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

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




SKYLIT: Lauren Oyler, ”FAKE ACCOUNTS”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels, skylit by skylightbooks on March 1st, 2022

On the eve of Donald Trump's inauguration, a young woman snoops through her boyfriend's phone and makes a startling discovery: he's an anonymous internet conspiracy theorist, and a popular one at that. Already fluent in internet fakery, irony, and outrage, she's not exactly shocked by the revelation. Actually, she's relieved--he was always a little distant--and she plots to end their floundering relationship while on a trip to the Women's March in DC. But this is only the first in a series of bizarre twists that expose a world whose truths are shaped by online lies.

Suddenly left with no reason to stay in New York and increasingly alienated from her friends and colleagues, our unnamed narrator flees to Berlin, embarking on her own cycles of manipulation in the deceptive spaces of her daily life, from dating apps to expat meetups, open-plan offices to bureaucratic waiting rooms. She begins to think she can't trust anyone--shouldn't the feeling be mutual?

Narrated with seductive confidence and subversive wit, Fake Accounts challenges the way current conversations about the self and community, delusions and gaslighting, and fiction and reality play out in the internet age.

 

Author Lauren Oyler joins Skylight's Mike Jeffrey to discuss her novel.




SKYLIT: Maya Stovall, ”LIQUOR STORE THEATER”

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, art, sociology, BIPOC, skylit by skylightbooks on February 23rd, 2022
For six years Maya Stovall staged Liquor Store Theatre, a conceptual art and anthropology video project---included in the Whitney Biennial in 2017---in which she danced near the liquor stores in her Detroit neighborhood as a way to start conversations with her neighbors. In this book of the same name, Stovall uses the project as a point of departure for understanding everyday life in Detroit and the possibilities for ethnographic research, art, and knowledge creation. Her conversations with her neighbors-which touch on everything from economics, aesthetics, and sex to the political and economic racism that undergirds Detroit's history-bring to light rarely acknowledged experiences of longtime Detroiters. In these exchanges, Stovall enacts an innovative form of ethnographic engagement that offers new modes of integrating the social sciences with the arts in ways that exceed what either approach can achieve alone.
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Produced by Natalie Freeman, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

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

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.





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