Archive for literature

Matthew Zapruder, “WHY POETRY”

Posted in by skylightbooks on June 17th, 2018

In Why Poetry, award-winning poet Matthew Zapruder takes on what it is that poetry--and poetry alone--can do. Zapruder argues that the way we have been taught to read poetry is the very thing that prevents us from enjoying it. In lively, lilting prose, he shows us how that misunderstanding interferes with our direct experience of poetry and creates the sense of confusion or inadequacy that many of us feel when faced with it.

Mr. Zapruder is joined by David L. Ulin, author of the novel Ear to the Ground.

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BEN LOORY READS FROM HIS NEW BOOK TALES OF FALLING AND FLYING

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, Short Stories by skylightbooks on June 2nd, 2018

Ben Loory returns with a second collection of timeless tales, inviting us to enter his worlds of whimsical fantasy, deep empathy, and playful humor, in the signature voice that drew readers to his highly praised first collection. In stories that eschew literary realism, Loory's characters demonstrate richly imagined and surprising perspectives, whether they be dragons or swordsmen, star-crossed lovers or long-lost twins, restaurateurs dreaming of Paris or cephalopods fixated on space travel. In propulsive language that brilliantly showcases Loory's vast imagination, Tales of Falling and Flying expands our understanding of how fiction can work.

Appealing to the fans of fantasy, horror, and sci-fi writers like Ray Bradbury, Neil Gaiman, and Philip Pullman, as well as contemporary literary powerhouses like George Saunders, Karen Russell, and Helen Oyeyemi, Tales of Falling and Flying expands our understanding of how fiction can work and is sure to cement Loory’s reputation as one of the most innovative short-story writers working today.

Praise for Tales of Falling and Flying

“Ben Loory’s stories are little gifts, strange and moving and wonderfully human. I devoured this book in one sitting.”Ransom Riggs, author of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Russell Edson’s new protégé, or Steven Millhauser, distilled into tea. Meet, or re-meet Ben Loory, whose preposterous, friendly stories can’t help but charm. They are so bizarrely readable they don’t even feel like they’re made of words.”—Aimee Bender, author of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

Parables, dark fables, quirky flash fictions—call them what you will, Ben Loory has perfected the form and in Tales of Falling and Flying proves once again he can disturb a little and entertain a lot. Easily read, not easily forgotten.”—Jeff VanderMeer, author of Borne and The Southern Reach Trilogy

“To read a Ben Loory story is to slip through a portal into an adjacent dimension. To learn—with brevity and clarity—the laws of this universe next door, new rules of logic and contradiction and truth. And, in the end, to be left with the disturbing and wondrous feeling of having never left home at all.” —Charles Yu, author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

“Ben Loory is a wonder. I'd like to curl up inside his marvelous head and canoodle with a besotted squid, swallow a tiny dragon, levitate with Death and fall in love with the Eiffel Tower, and after reading these sublime stories-- slyly funny, melancholy and deeply weird-- I suppose I have, and it was fantastic.”—Elissa Schappell

“Equal parts Beckett and Twilight Zone . . . Perfect for reading on strange beaches and by oddly shaped swimming pools. Fits right in your pocket or purse for emergency doses of the charming and weird.” —Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander

Ben Loory is the author of the collection Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day, and a picture book for children, The Baseball Player and the Walrus. His stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Tin House, READ Magazine, and Fairy Tale Review, been heard on This American Life and Selected Shorts, and performed live at WordTheatre in Los Angeles and London. A graduate of Harvard University and the American Film Institute MFA program in screenwriting, Loory lives in Los Angeles, where he is an Instructor for the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program.

Event date: 
Thursday, September 7, 2017 - 7:30pm
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LUCY IVES READS FROM HER NOVEL IMPOSSIBLE VIEWS OF THE WORLD WITH AMINA CAIN

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, New York, fiction by skylightbooks on May 24th, 2018

(Podcast editor's note: The Q&A segment for this event took place off-mic for the most part and, despite our best efforts, the audio is difficult to hear at times.)

A witty, urbane, and sometimes shocking debut novel, set in a hallowed New York museum, in which a co-worker’s disappearance and a mysterious map change a life forever

Stella Krakus, a curator at Manhattan’s renowned Central Museum of Art, is having the roughest week in approximately ever. Her soon-to-be ex-husband (the perfectly awful Whit Ghiscolmbe) is stalking her, a workplace romance with “a fascinating, hyper-rational narcissist” is in freefall, and a beloved colleague, Paul, has gone missing. Strange things are afoot: CeMArt’s current exhibit is sponsored by a Belgian multinational that wants to take over the world’s water supply, she unwittingly stars in a viral video that’s making the rounds, and her mother–the imperious, impossibly glamorous Caro–wants to have lunch. It’s almost more than she can overanalyze. 

But the appearance of a mysterious map, depicting a 19th-century utopian settlement, sends Stella–a dogged expert in American graphics and fluidomanie (don’t ask)–on an all-consuming research mission. As she teases out the links between a haunting poem, several unusual novels, a counterfeiting scheme, and one of the museum’s colorful early benefactors, she discovers the unbearable secret that Paul’s been keeping, and charts a course out of the chaos of her own life. Pulsing with neurotic humor and dagger-sharp prose, Impossible Views of the World is a dazzling debut novel about how to make it through your early thirties with your brain and heart intact.

Praise for Impossible Views of the World

“An art historical mystery that will interest fans of Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, with a narrator equal parts intellectual, ironic, and cool…Scintillating…A diversion and a pleasure, this novel leaves you feeling smarter and hipper than you were before.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“Stella is like Hannah Horvath from Girls—smart, with an equal tendency toward snark and introspection—living in From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. The novel sends up the museum world, with pretentious art folks courting corporate dollars and the usual office politics, but maintains a sense of something larger, even magical, working in the background.”Booklist

“The charm and energy of Impossible Views of the World rest in Ives’s uncanny eye for the subtle tells of romance, the idiosyncrasies of the NYC young, and the details of 19th-century furniture and art…A clever curatorial mystery, a love-gone-wrong rom-com or a sharp-witted story of a young New York woman, Impossible Views of the World is way more fun than a rainy afternoon in the American Objects wing of a cavernous museum.” —Shelf Awareness

[A] smart and singular debut novel…Ives maximizes her story’s humor with subtlety; a line here and there is enough to call attention to the absurdity of, for instance, the museum’s corporate benefactor’s attempt to secure the world’s water rights. She also isn’t afraid to make her heroine unlikable, which works in the novel’s favor…odd and thoroughly satisfying.” — Publishers Weekly 

“I first knew Lucy Ives’s work as a poet, and to have her prose is a gift, too. The detailed novel she’s built with such authenticity, wit, and feeling is remarkable for its vitality, insights, and lyrical view of a changing world.”  Hilton Als, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of White Girls

“This book was written by a rampaging, mirthful genius. It stands before me like a runestone, magical, mysterious—an esoteric juggernaut masquerading as a ‘debut novel.’ During the days I spent reading it, I said goodbye to all else.” — Elizabeth McKenzie, author of The Portable Veblen

“There are abundant pleasures to be found in Lucy Ives’s debut novel about art curation, corporate control, and utopia (among many other subjects and digressions), but the best is the poetic, elegant intelligence of its narration, vocalized by Stella Krakus, whose every sentence wryly climbs from the ridiculous to the sublime.”  — Teddy Wayne, author of Loner and The Love Song of Jonny Valentine

“Lucy Ives, a deeply smart and painstakingly elegant writer, wins the prize with this intricate, droll, stylish book—at once a mystery novel, a romantic comedy, a tricky essay on aesthetics, an exposé of art-world foibles, and a diary of emotional distress.  With sharp phrases, uncanny plot-turns, and mise-en-abymes galore, this mesmerizing tale radiates the haute irreality of Last Year at Marienbad and the dreamy claustrophobia of The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, this time for adults only.” —Wayne Koestenbaum, author of My 1980s and Other Essays

Lucy Ives is the author of several books of poetry and short prose, including The Hermit and the novella nineties. Her writing has appeared in ArtforumLapham’s Quarterly, and at newyorker.com. For five years she was an editor with the online magazine Triple Canopy. A graduate of Harvard and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she holds a Ph.D. in comparative literature from New York University. She teaches at the Pratt Institute and is currently editing a collection of writings by the artist Madeline Gins.

Amina Cain is the author of the short story collection Creature, out with Dorothy, a Publishing ProjectHer stories and essays have appeared in BOMBn+1The Paris Review Daily, and Full Stop, among other places. She lives in Los Angeles

Event date: 
Wednesday, August 30, 2017 - 7:30pm
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MCSWEENEY’S 50TH ISSUE RELEASE PARTY

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, McSweeney's, Humor by skylightbooks on May 23rd, 2018

Join us for release party for Issue 50 of TIMOTHY McSWEENEY’S QUARTERLY CONCERN. To celebrate our 50th issue, we’ve put together a guaranteed show stopper, with stories, essays, treatises, manifestos, letters, comics, and illustrated travel diaries from fifty different contributors. There’s stunning new work from writers who we’ve long published — Jonathan Lethem, Lydia Davis, Sherman Alexie, Etgar Keret, Sheila Heti, Diane Williams, Sarah Vowell, John Hodgman, Steven Millhauser (among many others) — and fantastic new writing from authors who we’ve long admired, including Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Thomas McGuane, Kevin Young, and Carrie Brownstein. The physical object that will contain all this great work will be a sturdy and beautiful hardcover book— something to behold and something to keep. Plus, the dust jacket folds out into a poster by Tucker Nichols that can gaze down at you from above your breakfast nook, bathtub, gift wrapping station, or wherever you’d like to be reminded of 50 glorious issues of the McSweeney’s Quarterly.

Readers include: 
Kevin Moffett
Corinna Vallianatos
Sarah Walker
Carson Mell
Brian Evenson

 

 Event date:

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 - 7:30pm

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BRANDY COLBERT READS FROM HER YA NOVEL LITTLE & LION AND STEPHANIE KUEHN READS FROM HER YA NOVEL WHEN I AM TRHOUGH WITH YOU

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Y/A, Young Adult, fiction by skylightbooks on May 22nd, 2018

When Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she isn’t sure if she’ll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (along with her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support.

But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new . . . the same girl her brother is in love with. When Lionel’s disorder spirals out of control, Suzette is forced to confront her past mistakes and find a way to help her brother before he hurts himself—or worse.

When I Am Through with You (Dutton Books for Young Readers)

“This isn’t meant to be a confession. Not in any spiritual sense of the word. Yes, I’m in jail at the moment. I imagine I’ll be here for a long time, considering. But I’m not writing this down for absolution and I’m not seeking forgiveness, not even from myself. Because I’m not sorry for what I did to Rose. I’m just not. Not for any of it.”

Ben Gibson is many things, but he’s not sorry and he’s not a liar. He will tell you exactly about what happened on what started as a simple school camping trip in the mountains. About who lived and who died. About who killed and who had the best of intentions. But he’s going to tell you in his own time. Because after what happened on that mountain, time is the one thing he has plenty of.

When I Am Through With You is a gripping story of survival and the razor’s-edge difference between perfect cruelty and perfect love. 

Brandy Colbert is the author of the young adult novel Pointe, which was named a best book of the year by Publishers Weekly, Book Riot, the Chicago and Los Angeles public libraries, and Bank Street, as well as a Popular Paperback by the American Library Association. Her short fiction and essays have been published in several critically acclaimed anthologies, and her next novel, Little & Lion, will be published in August 2017. She lives and writes in Los Angeles.

Stephanie Kuehn is the critically acclaimed author of four young adult novels, including Charm & Strange, which won the ALA's William C. Morris Award for best debut novel, and Complicit, which was named to YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults list. She was also awarded the PEN/Phyllis Naylor Working Writer Fellowship for her most recent novel, The Smaller Evil. Booklist has praised her work as "Intelligent, compulsively readable literary fiction with a dark twist." Stephanie lives in Northern California and is a post-doctoral fellow in clinical psychology.

Event date: 
Saturday, August 26, 2017 - 5:00pm
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JARETT KOBEK READS FROM HIS NOVEL THE FUTURE WON’T BE LONG WITH JAMES ST. JAMES

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, New York, fiction by skylightbooks on May 16th, 2018

Jarett Kobek published his first novel, I Hate the Internet, last year with a small indie publisher and it immediately took on cult status. Kobek received a rave review from Dwight Garner in The New York Times, who described the novel “as a glimpse at a lively mind at full boil.” Jonathan Lethem declared Kobek “as riotous as Houellebecq,” and Bret Easton Ellis was photographed reading it in bed. Viking is thrilled to be publishing Kobek’s brilliant and epic follow-up novel, The Future Won't Be Long, a provocative, ecstatic story of friendship, sex, art, and ambition in the twilight days of New York City’s East Village (1986-1996).

The Future Won't Be Long centers on Adeline—featured years later in I Hate the Internet—a wealthy art student in New York City who chances upon a young man from the Midwest known only as Baby in a shady East Village squat. The two begin a fiery friendship which propels them through a decade of New York life punctuated by the deaths of Warhol, Basquiat, Wojnarowicz, by the Tompkins Square Park riots, and by the rise of club kid culture. Adeline is fiercely protective of Baby, but he soon takes over his own education. Once just a kid off the bus from Wisconsin, Baby soon finds himself at the center of the club kid social scene, cavorting with Michael Alig and James St. James at The Tunnel, Limelight, and Alig’s infamous “Outlaw Party” at a midtown McDonald’s. As Adeline and Baby both develop into the artists they never expected to become, Kobek pays tribute to the last gasps of the gritty, drug-fueled scene of the East Village as gentrifiers begin to trickle in. Kobek, himself a graduate of NYU, writes with a native’s sensitivity to New York, especially about those who come here with hope and those who come to escape their pasts. Riotously funny and wise, The Future Won't Be Long is a euphoric, propulsive novel coursing with a rare vitality, an elegy to New York and to the relationships that have the power to change—and save—our lives.

Jarett Kobek is a Turkish American writer living in California. He is the author of the novel I Hate the Internet (2016) and the novella Atta (2011)

James St. James who was once dubbed a "celebutante" by Newsweek magazine, now leads a quiet, sedate existence in Los Angeles, far from the madness that he writes about. 

Event date: 
Thursday, August 17, 2017 - 7:30pm
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TOM PERROTTA READS FROM HIS NEW NOVEL MRS. FLETCHER

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, fiction by skylightbooks on May 3rd, 2018

A provocative and wildly funny look at parenthood, the empty nest, and sex in the suburbs.

Eve (the eponymous Mrs. Fletcher) is a single mother, divorced and raising her amiable but clueless son Brendan in the suburbs. When he heads off to college, they must both contend with life on their own. Eve takes a gender studies class, braves the local dating pool, and vastly expands her social–and sexual – circles. Brendan discovers that what impressed high school girls (being a jock, being popular) might not be so enticing to college women.

Along with Eve and Brendan, Perrotta introduces us to a cast of flawed but deeply sympathetic characters, many of whom are stretching themselves and enjoying it. There’s Amanda, Eve’s employee at the local senior center, beleaguered but doing her best to provide the seniors with stimulating programming (at times, a little too stimulating). There’s Margo, Eve’s transgender professor, whose dark personal history is belied by her ebullient nature. Amber, Brendan’s college girlfriend, is a softball-playing social justice warrior whose romantic impulses conflict with her politics. And then there’s Julian, a smart but troubled kid from Brendan’s class, whose life becomes entangled with both Brendan’s and Eve’s. Perrotta brings all these characters vividly to life with great generosity and compassion.

Most of all, though, Mrs. Fletcher is all about Eve. This is a coming of age novel in which the character who grows and changes is (refreshingly!) not an eighteen-year-old but a forty-six- year-old. Eve comes a long way, and her journey is a brilliant, funny story of sexual awakening in unexpected places.

Praise for Mrs. Fletcher

“From the thrill of learning of its existence, to the feverish turning of pages, to the contemplative afterglow that comes from having finished:  there’s nothing like a new Tom Perrotta novel. Mrs. Fletcher is all you dream it will be: hilarious, provocative, (a little too), relatable and every moment a joy ride.”— Maria Semple, bestselling author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette and Today Will Be Different

“Tom Perrotta has always been a smart, fearless writer, a wet-your- pants funny satirist who will in the very next sentence ambush you with genuine emotion.  Buckle your seat belt and surrender your dignity, because Mrs. Fletcher is a romp.”— Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author ofEmpire Falls

Tom Perrotta is the bestselling author of eight works of fiction, including Election and Little Children, both of which were made into critically acclaimed movies, and The Leftovers, which was adapted into an HBO series. He lives outside Boston.

Event date: 
Tuesday, August 15, 2017 - 7:30pm
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LINDSAY HUNTER READS FROM HER NOVEL EAT ONLY WHEN YOU’RE HUNGRY WITH ROXANE GAY

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books by skylightbooks on April 24th, 2018

A father searches for his addict son while grappling with his own choices as a parent (and as a user of sorts)

Achingly funny and full of feeling, Eat Only When You’re Hungry follows fifty-eight-year-old Greg as he searches for his son, GJ, an addict who has been missing for three weeks. Greg is bored, demoralized, obese, and as dubious of GJ’s desire to be found as he is of his own motivation to go looking. Almost on a whim, Greg embarks on a road trip to central Florida—a noble search for his son, or so he tells himself.

Greg takes us on a tour of highway and roadside, of Taco Bell, KFC, gas-station Slurpees, sticky strip-club floors, pooling sweat, candy wrappers and crumpled panes of cellophane and wrinkled plastic bags tumbling along the interstate. This is the America Greg knows, one he feels closer to than to his youthful idealism, closer even than to his younger second wife. As his journey continues, through drive-thru windows and into the living rooms of his alluring ex-wife and his distant, curmudgeonly father, Greg’s urgent search for GJ slowly recedes into the background, replaced with a painstaking, illuminating, and unavoidable look at Greg’s own mistakes—as a father, as a husband, and as a man.

Brimming with the same visceral regret and joy that leak from the fast food Greg inhales, Eat Only When You’re Hungry is a wild and biting study of addiction, perseverance, and the insurmountable struggle to change. With America’s desolate underbelly serving as her guide, Lindsay Hunter elicits a singular type of sympathy for her characters, using them to challenge our preconceived notions about addiction and to explore the innumerable ways we fail ourselves.

Praise for Eat Only When You're Hungry

"[A] commanding narrative . . . A savage tale of parenthood and squandered hope from an author whose unsparing eye never ceases to subvert the mundane." —Kirkus

"Hunter's absurd Floridian landscapes and darkly tender moments are keen and hilarious, exposing the complexities of addiction and an overweight man with a weak heart but unfailing love." —Booklist

"The frailties of the human body and the human heart are laid bare in Lindsay Hunter’s utterly superb novel Eat Only When You’re Hungry. There is real delicacy, tenderness, and intelligence with which Hunter tackles this portrait of a broken family of people who don’t realize just how broken they are until they are forced to confront the fractures between them and within themselves. With this novel, Hunter establishes herself as an unforgettable voice in American letters. Her work here, as ever, is unparalleled." —Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist

"This novel takes us on a road trip with an American Everyman into the heart of American hunger—for freedom, for connection, for junk food, for love. Hunter has a brilliant sense for the perfectly telling image, and her humor is so biting and smart it was almost a surprise, at the end of this engrossing book, to realize how thoroughly she had broken my heart.” —Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You

"Compassionate, claustrophobic, gut-wrenchingly observed, Eat Only When You’re Hungry probes the fine lines between hunger and addiction, addiction and desire. In perfectly nuanced prose, Lindsay Hunter observes the human ability to go on in the face of the unexpected, the unknown, the regretted, and, perhaps most important, the mundane." —Lori Ostlund, author of After the Parade

Lindsay Hunter is the author of the story collections Don’t Kiss Me and Daddy’s and the novel Ugly Girls. Originally from Florida, she now lives in Chicago with her husband, sons, and dogs.

Photo by Liliane Calfee

Roxane Gay is the author of the novel An Untamed State, which was a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Fiction; the essay collection Bad FeministAyiti, a multi-genre collection, the collection of stories Difficult Women and the memoir, Hunger. She is at work on a comic book in Marvel’s Black Panther series. Her writing has appeared in Best American Short Stories 2012the New York Timesthe Guardian, and many others. She is a recipient of the PEN Center USA Freedom to Write Award, among other honors. She splits her time between Indiana and Los Angeles. She can be found online at www.roxanegay.com and on Twitter @rgay.

Event date: 
Thursday, August 10, 2017 - 7:30pm
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CHRISTA FAUST AND GARY PHILLIPS READ FROM THEIR COMIC PEEPLAND

Posted in literature, los angeles, book stores, books, Comics/Graphic Novels, Crime, New York by skylightbooks on April 17th, 2018

Times Square, 1986: the home of New York’s red light district where strip clubs, porno theatres and petty crime prevails. 

When a chance encounter for Peepbooth worker Roxy Bell leads to the brutal murder of a public access pornographer, the erotic performer and her punk rock ex-partner Nick Zero soon find themselves under fire from criminals, cops, and the city elite, as they begin to untangle a complex web of corruption leading right to city hall.

Like The Naked City, there are eight million stories in The Deuce. This is one of them.

Praise for Peepland 

 "Don’t let the bright lights in PEEPLAND’s pages fool you into thinking this story is sweet. This graphic novel is rife with pain, suffering and death. There are some moments of rightful justice, tender warmth, and laugh-out-loud humor. PEEPLAND is a story that I would not hesitate to call beautiful. However, it’s not for the faint of heart. This story is surprisingly honest, realistic and harsh in how it handles the fate of its characters. Writers Christa Faust and Gary Phillips, along with artist Andrea Camerini, craft a beautiful work of art together. So, cash in your token and sit down. You’re about to read something you won’t forget."--Mya Nunnelly, Comicverse 

Gary Phillips has published various crime novels, short stories, edited anthologies, written comics and radio scripts and whatever else he can to forestall his appointment at the crossroads.

Christa Faust a hardboiled crime writer who has worked in the Times Square peep booths, as a professional dominatrix, and in the adult film industry both behind and in front of the cameras. Born and raised in NYC, she is now living as an ex-pat in La La Land. 

 

Event date: 
Wednesday, August 2, 2017 - 7:30pm
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RYAN GATTIS READS FROM HIS NEW NOVEL SAFE

Posted in literature, los angeles, book stores, books, Crime by skylightbooks on April 16th, 2018

A gritty, fast-paced thriller, Safe hurtles readers toward a shocking conclusion that asks the toughest question of all: how far would you go to protect the ones you love?

Ricky 'Ghost' Mendoza, Jr. is trying to be good. In recovery and working as a freelance safecracker for the DEA, the FBI, and any other government agency willing to pay him, Ghost is determined to live clean for the rest of his days. And maybe he could, if the most important person in his life hadn't gotten into serious financial trouble. To fix it, all Ghost has to do is crack a safe and steal drug money from under the noses of the gangs and the Feds without getting caught. Or killed.

Rudy 'Glasses' Reyes runs drugs and cleans up messes for the baddest of bad men. When Ghost hits one of his safes, Glasses must hunt him down or be held accountable. But Glasses is worried about more than just money. The heist puts everything in his life at risk--his livelihood, his freedom, even his family.

Ryan Gattis is the author of Kung Fu High School and All Involved, a novel about the 1992 L.A. riots. He lives in Los Angeles.

Event date: 
Tuesday, August 1, 2017 - 7:30pm
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ADITI KHORANA READS FROM HER NEW NOVEL THE LIBRARY OF FATES

Posted in literature, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on April 10th, 2018

A romantic coming-of-age fantasy tale steeped in Indian folklore, perfect for fans of The Star-Touched Queen and The Wrath and the Dawn.

No one is entirely certain what brings the Emperor Sikander to Shalingar. Until now, the idyllic kingdom has been immune to his many violent conquests. To keep the visit friendly, Princess Amrita has offered herself as his bride, sacrificing everything—family, her childhood love, and her freedom—to save her people. But her offer isn't enough.

The palace is soon under siege, and Amrita finds herself a fugitive, utterly alone but for an oracle named Thala, who was kept by Sikander as a slave and managed to escape amid the chaos. With nothing and no one else to turn to, Amrita and Thala are forced to rely on one another. But while Amrita feels responsible for her kingdom and sets out to warn her people, the newly free Thala has no such ties. She encourages Amrita to go on a quest to find the fabled Library of All Things, where it is possible for each of them to reverse their fates. To go back to before Sikander took everything from them. 

Stripped of all that she loves, caught between her rosy past and an unknown future, will Amrita be able to restore what was lost, or does another life—and another love—await?

Praise for The Library of Fates:

"[R]ich, beautiful worldbuilding and thought-provoking questions on the power of experience, stories, and fate..."—Kirkus Reviews

"Khorana's dazzling second book features a sweeping quest, sumptuous romance and complex heroines. This is the kind of book that lingers in your dreams."—Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen

"The Library of Fates transported me to a magical kingdom where troubled oracles, irreverent goddesses, and megalomaniacal kings battle for control of love and fate. With a rich, real mythology and a stunning twist, it's basically everything I ever wanted in a book."—Heidi Heilig, author of The Girl from Everywhere

“I was swept away by this unique, tantalizing tale. The Library of Fates spins a spell that breaks the heart and utterly enchants. An essential addition to any library—magical or not.”—Jessica Khoury, author of the Corpus Trilogy and The Forbidden Wish

Aditi Khorana spent part of her childhood in India, Denmark and New England. She has a degree in International Relations from Brown University and an MA in Global Media and Communications from the Annenberg School for Communication. She has worked as a journalist at ABC News, CNN, and PBS, and most recently as a marketing executive consulting for various Hollywood studios including FOX, Paramount and SONY.  Mirror in the Sky is her first novel. Her second book, Library of Fates, a feminist historical fantasy set in fictional ancient India, about a louche misogynistic dictator overthrowing a tiny, idyllic kingdom and the women who must wrench it back from him is out July, 2017.

Event date: 
Sunday, July 30, 2017 - 5:00pm
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TAMARA SHOPSIN DISCUSSES HER GRAPHIC MEMOIR ARBITRARY STUPID GOAL

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, Greenwich Village, New York Memoir, Memoir by skylightbooks on April 7th, 2018

In Arbitrary Stupid Goal, Tamara Shopsin takes the reader on a pointillist time-travel trip to the Greenwich Village of her bohemian 1970s childhood, a funky, tight-knit small town in the big city, long before Sex and the City tours and luxury condos. The center of Tamara’s universe is Shopsin’s, her family’s legendary greasy spoon, aka “The Store,” run by her inimitable dad, Kenny—a loquacious, contrary, huge-hearted man who, aside from dishing up New York’s best egg salad on rye, is Village sheriff, philosopher, and fixer all at once. All comers find a place at Shopsin’s table and feast on Kenny’s tall tales and trenchant advice along with the incomparable chili con carne.

Filled with clever illustrations and witty, nostalgic photographs and graphics, and told in a sly, elliptical narrative that is both hilarious and endearing, Arbitrary Stupid Goal is an offbeat memory-book mosaic about the secrets of living an unconventional life, which is becoming a forgotten art.

Praise for Arbitrary Stupid Goal

Arbitrary Stupid Goal is a completely riveting world—when I looked up from its pages regular life seemed boring and safe and modern like one big iPhone. This book captures not just a lost New York but a whole lost way of life.” —Miranda July

“Tamara Shopsin's illustrations are instantly recognizable: economical, seemingly simple and straightforward, but always working on a few different levels. Tamara the person is similar: quiet but charming and warm and tough and determined. Now it turns out her prose is the same way: funny and playful but revealing, and making us see the world we thought we knew with fresh eyes.” —Christoph Niemann, author of I Lego N.Y.

“Tamara Shopsin’s new memoir is hilarious. Just in like the West Village itself, you zigzag along on a fun adventure, never knowing who you are going to meet. What a fun read!” —Amy Sedaris

“Tamara Shopsin’s memoir is a funny and absorbing portrait of the city in a grubbier, less corporate incarnation. If you believe, as she does—and I do—that New York is, ‘matter-of-fact, the best place on earth,’ then read this book. And if you don’t believe that, after you read this book, you will.” —Roz Chast

"[Shopsin] weaves a marvelous patchwork quilt of stories about a Manhattan that doesn’t exist anymore . . [Arbitrary Stupid Goal is] an artistic ode to a way of life that people now living in New York City might never experience." —Publishers Weekly (Pick of the Week, Starred Review)

"A warm evocation of a quirky life and exuberant times." —Kirkus

"Deeply nostalgic but not at all mawkish, Shopsin’s supremely charming and affecting memoir of growing up in a pre-gentrified Greenwich Village will enchant fans of restaurant lore and postwar New York historyalike. In short, impressionistic chapters illustrated with photos, ephemera, and Shopsin’s own adorably insouciant line drawings, the book conjures a vanished bohemia without any hint of the irritating pedantry that dogs so many of its kind. Shopsin’s parents—familiar to fans of the writer Calvin Trillin and those who’ve seen the documentary I Like Killing Flies—opened Shopsin’s General Store in 1973 and turned it into a restaurant shortly thereafter, one beloved by local weirdos, celebrities, models, artists, and everyone in between. Shopsin, who still works there sometimes, recalls her unconventional childhood and those who shaped it with considerable warmth; she pays special attention to her dad’s late friend, Willy, an outsize personality whom Shopsin cares for in his dotage. Gumball machines, meat slicers, Nazi bunkers, and pancake methodologies all make cameo appearances, much to the reader’s delight.— Eugenia Williamson, Booklist

Tamara Shopsin is a well-known cook at the distinctly New York City eatery Shopsin's, a New York Times and New Yorkerillustrator, and the author of 5 Year Diary and What Is This?, as well as the coauthor of This Equals That and Mumbai New York Scranton. She lives in New York City with her husband.

Event date: 
Thursday, July 27, 2017 - 7:30pm
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BOOKWOMEN SPEAK: WNBA CENTENNIAL VISIONARIES SERIES FEATURING JADE CHANG, NATASHIA DEON AND LISA MECHAM

Posted in literature, los angeles, book stores, books, WNBA, Women's National Book Association by skylightbooks on March 30th, 2018

In honor of Women’s National Book Association’s 2017 centennial anniversary, WNBA/LA is proud to present: Bookwomen Speak: WNBA Centennial Visionaries Series Jade Chang and Natashia Deón In Conversation with Lisa Mecham.

Writer, poet, and literary enthusiast Lisa Mecham will engage critically acclaimed authors Jade Chang (The Wangs vs. The World) and Natashia Deón (Grace) in a discussion on writing, stories, and community and inclusion in literary spaces. All are welcome to attend.

​​ABOUT WOMEN'S NATIONAL BOOK ASSOCIATION, LOS ANGELES CHAPTER: Women's National Book Association, Los Angeles is a nonprofit organization that promotes literacy and supports the role of women in the book community. WNBA/LA brings together individuals with diverse backgrounds to share knowledge of the book industry and to support local reading initiatives. ​www.wnba-books.org/la

Event date: 
Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - 7:30pm
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RICHARD LANGE READS FROM HIS NEW NOVEL THE SMACK

Posted in literature, los angeles, book stores, books, Reno by skylightbooks on March 30th, 2018

Rowan Petty is a conman down on his luck. He's flat broke, living out of cheap hotels, and wondering how it all went wrong. His car quits on him in Reno, and he takes a job there on the bottom rung of a lousy phone scam. When he's not swindling lonely widows, he tries to turn nickels into dimes at the poker table. One snowy night, he crosses paths with a sweet-talking hooker who's tired of the streets, and sparks fly.

When an old friend of his turns up spreading a rumor about two million dollars in army money smuggled out of Afghanistan and stashed in an apartment in Los Angeles, it seems like a chance at the score of a lifetime. So Petty and the hooker head south, and straight into trouble. A wounded vet, a washed-up actor, and Petty's estranged daughter are all players in the dangerous game they find themselves caught up in. For the winner: a fortune. For the loser: a bullet to the head.

Praise for Richard Lange

"Lange writes of the disaffections and bewilderments of ordinary lives with as keen an anger and searing lyricism as anybody out there today. He is Raymond Carver reborn in a hard cityscape. Read him and be amazed." -- T.C. Boyle, author of The Harder They Come

"When you find yourself rooting for the killer in a grisly crime novel, you know you're in the hands of a real writer. Every character feels like flesh and bone."-- Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review

"Lange is incapable of creating a character that isn't memorable. Even the most minor are indelibly sketched.... The zone where literary fiction meets genre fiction is a crowded borderland these days. Lange proves himself comfortable on both sides of the line."-- Antoine Wilson, Los Angeles Times

"Richard Lange is a natural-born storyteller."-- Ron Rash, author of Above the Waterfall

"Make all the comparisons you like-Cormac McCarthy, Dennis Lehane, Martin Scorsese-but Richard Lange is a force of his own, the high standard for crime fiction." -- Benjamin Percy, author of Red Moon, The Wilding, andRefresh, Refresh

"Lange stands out as the greatest young crime writer of his generation, precisely because he doesn't write crime - he writes literature." -- Jerry Stahl, author of Permanent Midnight and Bad Sex on Speed

"The Smack just might be Mr. Lange's best yet, and that's saying something. His Los Angeles tableau of concrete and graffiti and neon is as sharp as razor wire. The characters are authentic down to the bone, the dialogue pitch-perfect believable, the desperation palpable, the situation urgent, the story riveting. Simply put, The Smack wallops you upside the head with its bad-ass-ness."-- Tom Cooper, author of The Marauders

"If Elmore Leonard and Dennis Cooper collaborated on a novel, they might produce something as exciting, harrowing and emotionally powerful as The Smack. Call it a literary thriller or call it thrilling literature--Richard Lange is emerging as the master of a new kind of novel: One that delivers breathless, gripping action while anchored in the authentic troubles of the real world. The Smack arrives like a genuine miracle--that rare thriller that will jack your pulse even as it breaks your heart."-- Adam Sternbergh, author of Shovel Ready

"The Smack is much more than a crime novel. It is a novel about life itself. The secret to great writing isn't just to observe. It's to create a world that readers understand at least as well as they do their own. Richard Lange has accomplished this, and more. His sensitivity and pacing are reminiscent of Raymond Carver, Charles Willeford, and Jim Thompson." -- Gerald Petievich, author of To Live and Die in L.A. and The Sentinel

"It's hard to imagine Richard Lange wasn't, in some previous life, a hustler from Reno with a girlfriend named Tinafey he met on a professional date who goes to LA to steal a fortune from a one-legged soldier home from Afghanistan and a host of other terrifying individuals. The characters are real and satisfying, the relationships will warm your heart and break it at the same time. The Smack is convincing, hectic and terrific fun."-- Joe Ide, author of IQ

Event date: 
Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 7:30pm
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