Archive for fiction

LIVE ON CROWDCAST: Rosalie Knecht, “VERA KELLY IS NOT A MYSTERY” w/ Amy Stewart

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, mystery by skylightbooks on July 3rd, 2020

When ex-CIA agent Vera Kelly loses her job and her girlfriend in a single day, she reluctantly goes into business as a private detective. Heartbroken and cash-strapped, she takes a case that dredges up dark memories and attracts dangerous characters from across the Cold War landscape. Before it’s over, she’ll chase a lost child through foster care and follow a trail of Dominican exiles to the Caribbean. Forever looking over her shoulder, she nearly misses what’s right in front of her: her own desire for home, connection, and a new romance at the local bar.

In Vera Kelly is Not a Mystery, the exciting second installment of the Vera Kelly series, Rosalie Knecht challenges and deepens the Vera we love: a woman of sparkling wit, deep moral fiber, and martini-dry humor who knows how to follow a case even as she struggles to follow her heart.

The “splendid genre-pushing” (People) Vera Kelly series returns in full force as our recently out-of-the-spy-game heroine travels from Brooklyn to a sprawling countryside estate in the Caribbean in her first case as a private investigator.

Knecht is joined in conversation by Amy Stewart, best-selling author of the Kopp Sisters series, which are based on the true story of one of America’s first female deputy sheriffs and her two rambunctious sisters.

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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: Sara Sligar and Amy Jo Burns

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

Skylight Events are now on Crowdcast!

Our Crowdcast debut features Sara Sligar (Take Me Apart) and Amy Jo Burns (Shiner) in conversation, discussing their respective books.

Take Me Apart by Sara Silgar

A young archivist’s obsession with her subject’s mysterious death threatens to destroy her fragile grasp on sanity, in a riveting debut novel of psychological suspense

When the famed photographer Miranda Brand died mysteriously at the height of her career, it sent shock waves through Callinas, California. Decades later, old wounds are reopened when her son, Theo, hires the ex-journalist Kate Aitken to create an archive of his mother’s work.

From Miranda’s vast maze of personal effects, Kate pieces together a portrait of a vibrant artist buckling under the pressures of ambition, motherhood, and marriage. As the summer progresses, Kate navigates vicious local rumors and her growing attraction to the enigmatic Theo, all while unearthing the shocking details of Miranda’s private life. But Kate has secrets of her own, and when she stumbles across a diary that may finally resolve the mystery of Miranda’s death, her curiosity starts to spiral into a dangerous obsession.

Shiner by Amy Jo Burns

On a lush mountaintop trapped in time, two women vow to protect each other at all costs-and one young girl must defy her father to survive.

An hour from the closest West Virginia mining town, fifteen-year-old Wren Bird lives in a cloistered mountain cabin with her parents. They have no car, no mailbox, and no visitors-except for her mother’s lifelong best friend. Every Sunday, Wren’s father delivers winding sermons in an abandoned gas station, where he takes up serpents and praises the Lord for his blighted white eye, proof of his divinity and key to the hold he has over the community, over Wren and her mother. 

But over the course of one summer, a miracle performed by Wren’s father quickly turns to tragedy. As the order of her world begins to shatter, Wren must uncover the truth of her father’s mysterious legend and her mother’s harrowing history and complex bond with her best friend. And with that newfound knowledge, Wren can imagine a different future for herself than she has been told to expect. 

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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 ZOOM: Yuri Herrera, “A SILENT FURY” w/ John Gibler

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

We're taking a break from producing Handsell episodes for a bit, so we're going to give you guys an extra Skylit episode to get you through the weekend!

On March 10, 1920, in Pachuca, Mexico, the Compañía de Santa Gertrudis — the largest employer in the region, and a subsidiary of the United States Smelting, Refining and Mining Company — may have committed murder. 

The alert was first raised at six in the morning: a fire was tearing through the El Bordo mine. After a brief evacuation, the mouths of the shafts were sealed. Company representatives hastened to assert that “no more than ten” men remained inside the mineshafts, and that all ten were most certainly dead. Yet when the mine was opened six days later, the death toll was not ten, but eighty-seven. And there were seven survivors.

A century later, acclaimed novelist Yuri Herrera has reconstructed a workers’ tragedy at once globally resonant and deeply personal: Pachuca is his hometown. A Silent Fury is an act of restitution for the victims and their families, bringing his full force of evocation to bear on the injustices that suffocated this horrific event into silence.

Herrera is in conversation with John Gibler, author of TORN FROM THE WORLD

 

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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: Bethany C. Morrow, “A SONG BELOW WATER” w/ Mark Oshiro

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Y/A, Young Adult, Fantasy, fiction, novels by skylightbooks on June 26th, 2020

Bethany C. Morrow's A Song Below Water is the story for today’s readers — a captivating modern fantasy about black mermaids, friendship, and self-discovery set against the challenges of today's racism and sexism. In a society determined to keep her under lock and key, Tavia must hide her siren powers.

Meanwhile, Effie is fighting her own family struggles, pitted against literal demons from her past. Together, these best friends must navigate through the perils of high school’s junior year. But everything changes in the aftermath of a siren murder trial that rocks the nation, and Tavia accidentally lets out her magical voice at the worst possible moment.

Soon, nothing in Portland, Oregon, seems safe. To save themselves from drowning, it’s only Tavia and Effie’s unbreakable sisterhood that proves to be the strongest magic of all.

Morrow is in conversation with Mark Oshiro, the author of Anger is a Gift.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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




Pedro Jiménez & Matthew Gleeson, “EARTHLY DAYS BY JOSÉ REVUELTAS”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, translated, novels, Mexico, latinx by skylightbooks on June 24th, 2020

Publisher Pedro Jiménez and translator Matthew Gleeson get together to discuss the first-ever English translation of José Revueltas's "most accomplished and controversial novel," Earthly Days.

Like Joyce, Revueltas allows the reader to view the inner depths of his characters; like Proust, he meticulously examines memories, thoughts, and feelings; like Dostoyevsky, he focuses his gaze on the darkest passages of the soul; like Sartre, he dwells on the nausea of existence; and like Simone de Beauvoir, he reflects on the possibility of a new woman, leftist and liberated. Revueltas preceded writers of the Latin American boom such as Cort zar, Garc a M rquez, and even Juan Rulfo, authors who achieved the reputation and fame that Revueltas was denied. If one may have differences with his style or ideology, the structure of the book is impeccable. Each chapter is a perfect story, woven together by an Ariadne-like thread that unites all parts. To conceptually define the book, I would have to coin the oxymoronic term "existentialist Marxism," because Revueltas never ceased to be a disciple of Marx; nevertheless, his vision of humanity is brutally negative and ferocious. In a world bereft of God, all that was left for him to describe was our earthly days, "atrocious human life.




Jean Kyoung Frazier, “PIZZA GIRL”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels by skylightbooks on June 17th, 2020

In the tradition of audacious and wryly funny novels like The Idiot and Convenience Store Woman comes the wildly original coming-of-age story of a pregnant pizza delivery girl who becomes obsessed with one of her customers.**

Eighteen years old, pregnant, and working as a pizza delivery girl in suburban Los Angeles, our charmingly dysfunctional heroine is deeply lost and in complete denial about it all. She's grieving the death of her father (whom she has more in common with than she'd like to admit), avoiding her supportive mom and loving boyfriend, and flagrantly ignoring her future.

Her world is further upended when she becomes obsessed with Jenny, a stay-at-home mother new to the neighborhood, who comes to depend on weekly deliveries of pickled-covered pizzas for her son's happiness. As one woman looks toward motherhood and the other toward middle age, the relationship between the two begins to blur in strange, complicated, and ultimately heartbreaking ways.

Bold, tender, propulsive, and unexpected in countless ways, Jean Kyoung Frazier's Pizza Girl is a moving and funny portrait of a flawed, unforgettable young woman as she tries to find her place in the world.

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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.




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.




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.




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.




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.




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.




Handsell, Ep. 4, “Mick, Sydney, Joseph, & Sarah”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, business, novels by skylightbooks on May 9th, 2020

In this week's episode, Maddie gives us a quick update on Skylight and whether it will open after California Governor Gavin Newsom's big announcement this week. Mick gives you a book recommendation, and Sydney is joined by Joseph and Sara, two bookselling pals from Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena, for a great discussion on what we mean when we talk about bookstores as essential businesses, and the real impact on booksellers. Don't miss it!

Staff Pick:

Mick - Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

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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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