Archive for nonfiction

SKYLIT: Richard Thompson Ford, “DRESS CODES” w/ Lance Morgan

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, fashion, history, skylit by skylightbooks on February 22nd, 2021
Note: Due to a technical difficulty, this episode was recorded in two different sessions. The listener will note a change in audio quality partway through this episode. 
 
In Dress Codes, law professor and cultural critic Richard Thompson Ford presents an insightful and entertaining history of the laws of fashion from the middle ages to the present day, a walk down history’s red carpet to uncover and examine the canons, mores, and customs of clothing—rules that we often take for granted. After reading Dress Codes, you’ll never think of fashion as superficial again—and getting dressed will never be the same.
 
Ford is in conversation with Skylight's own Lance Morgan.
 
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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & 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: Clover Hope, “THE MOTHERLODE” w/ Nadeska Alexis

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Feminism, nonfiction, music, hip-hop/rap, skylit by skylightbooks on February 19th, 2021
Clover Hope is a writer and editor based in Brooklyn. Hope’s work has appeared in the pages of VogueVibeBillboard, the New York TimesWIREDESPN The MagazineEssence, and the Village Voice, among other publications. She is currently the culture editor for Jezebel.
 
Hope discusses her book The Motherlode w/ Nadeska Alexis.
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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & 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: Amy Shira Teitel, “FIGHTING FOR SPACE”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Feminism, nonfiction, history, biography, science, skylit by skylightbooks on February 13th, 2021
When the space age dawned in the late 1950s, Jackie Cochran held more propeller and jet flying records than any pilot of the twentieth century—man or woman. She had led the Women's Auxiliary Service Pilots during the Second World War, was the first woman to break the sound barrier, ran her own luxury cosmetics company, and counted multiple presidents among her personal friends. She was more qualified than any woman in the world to make the leap from atmosphere to orbit. Yet it was Jerrie Cobb, twenty-five years Jackie's junior and a record-holding pilot in her own right, who finagled her way into taking the same medical tests as the Mercury astronauts. The prospect of flying in space quickly became her obsession.

While the American and international media spun the shocking story of a "woman astronaut" program, Jackie and Jerrie struggled to gain control of the narrative, each hoping to turn the rumored program into their own ideal reality—an issue that ultimately went all the way to Congress.

Fighting for Space, a dual biography of audacious trailblazers Jackie Cochran and Jerrie Cobb presents these fascinating and fearless women in all their glory and grit, using their stories as guides through the shifting social, political, and technical landscape of the time.

 
Author Amy Shira Teitel is in conversation with Skylight's own Lance Morgan.
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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & 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.




LIVE ON CROWDCAST: Megan Rosenbloom, “DARK ARCHIVES” w/ Caitlin Doughty

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, journalism, history, skylit by skylightbooks on February 5th, 2021
On bookshelves around the world, surrounded by ordinary books bound in paper and leather, rest other volumes of a distinctly strange and grisly sort: those bound in human skin. Would you know one if you held it in your hand?

In Dark Archives, Megan Rosenbloom seeks out the historic and scientific truths behind anthropodermic bibliopegy—the practice of binding books in this most intimate covering. Dozens of such books live on in the world’s most famous libraries and museums. Dark Archives exhumes their origins and brings to life the doctors, murderers, innocents, and indigents whose lives are sewn together in this disquieting collection. Along the way, Rosenbloom tells the story of how her team of scientists, curators, and librarians test rumored anthropodermic books, untangling the myths around their creation and reckoning with the ethics of their custodianship.

A librarian and journalist, Rosenbloom is a member of The Order of the Good Death and a cofounder of their Death Salon, a community that encourages conversations, scholarship, and art about mortality and mourning. In Dark Archives—captivating and macabre in all the right ways—she has crafted a narrative that is equal parts detective work, academic intrigue, history, and medical curiosity: a book as rare and thrilling as its subject.

Rosenbloom is joined by mortician and activist Caitlin Doughty.
 
This episode was recorded on October 29 during a live Crowdcast event hosted by Skylight Books. Visit us at www.crowdcast.io/skylightbooks to RSVP for future events.
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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & 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: Amelia Pang, “MADE IN CHINA” w/ Agnes Borinsky

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, journalism, skylit by skylightbooks on January 31st, 2021

Trigger Warning: Contains descriptions of torture and sexual violence.

In 2012, an Oregon mother named Julie Keith opened up a package of Halloween decorations. The cheap foam headstones had been five dollars at Kmart, too good a deal to pass up. But when she opened the box, something shocking fell out: an SOS letter, handwritten in broken English.
 

“Sir: If you occassionally buy this product, please kindly resend this letter to the World Human Right Organization. Thousands people here who are under the persicuton of the Chinese Communist Party Government will thank and remember you forever.”

The note’s author, Sun Yi, was a mild-mannered Chinese engineer turned political prisoner, forced into grueling labor for campaigning for the freedom to join a forbidden meditation movement. He was imprisoned alongside petty criminals, civil rights activists, and tens of thousands of others the Chinese government had decided to “reeducate,” carving foam gravestones and stitching clothing for more than fifteen hours a day.

In Made in China, investigative journalist Amelia Pang pulls back the curtain on Sun’s story and the stories of others like him, including the persecuted Uyghur minority group whose abuse and exploitation is rapidly gathering steam. What she reveals is a closely guarded network of laogai—forced labor camps—that power the rapid pace of American consumerism. Through extensive interviews and firsthand reportage, Pang shows us the true cost of America’s cheap goods and shares what is ultimately a call to action—urging us to ask more questions and demand more answers from the companies we patronize.

Pang is in conversation with fellow author and Skylight's own Agnes Borinsky.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & 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.




LIVE ON CROWDCAST: Eileen Myles, “FOR NOW” w/ Adam Fitzgerald

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, Memoir, nonfiction, essays, writing, LGBTQ, biography, live on crowdcast by skylightbooks on January 27th, 2021
In this raucous meditation, Eileen Myles offers an intimate glimpse into creativity’s immediacy. With erudition and wit, Myles recounts their early years as an awakening writer; existential struggles with landlords; storied moments with neighbors, friends, and lovers; and the textures and identities of cities and the country that reveal the nature of writing as presence in time.
 
For Myles, time’s “optic quality” is what enables writing in the first place—as attention, as devotion, as excess. It is this chronologized vision that enables the writer to love the world as it presently is, lending love a linguistic permanence amid social and political systems that threaten to eradicate it. Irreverent, generous, and always insightful, For Now is a candid record of the creative process from one of our most beloved artists.
 
Myles is in conversation with Adam Fitzgerald, professor of creative writing at Rutgers University.
 
This episode was recorded on Monday, October 19 during a live Crowdcast event hosted by Skylight Books. Visit us at www.crowdcast.io/skylightbooks to RSVP for future events.
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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & 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: Betto Arcos, “MUSIC STORIES FROM THE COSMIC BARRIO”

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, nonfiction, music, latinx, skylit by skylightbooks on January 23rd, 2021

Music Stories from the Cosmic Barrios is a collection of 150 stories about music from all over Latin America, including music from Cuba, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, as well as music from Africa, the Middle East and Europe. The stories were originally broadcast on public radio programs including NPR, The World, BCC, KPCC and Latino USA. The book contains 12 chapters, each chapter follows a specific narrative: music and identity; education, community building, immigration, women's empowerment, adversity, social unrest and violence, instruments, producers, place and nation; the music of Brazil, Cuba music and the diaspora. The book's main focus is Latin American music from across the continent, with an emphasis on the music of Latinos and other ethnic groups in Los Angeles. The book also tells a personal story: the author's constant, tireless search for stories that help explain how complex and diverse humans are and how we share something so special that brings us together: music. This is a 380 page book, each story is accompanied by a black and white photo of the artist - many of the photos by author Betto Arcos.

Arcos is joined in conversation by NPR's Mandalit Del Barco.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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

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




SKYLIT: Mark de Silva, “POINTS OF ATTACK” w/ Rachel Allen

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, essays, skylit by skylightbooks on January 4th, 2021

In this collage of critical reflections, written in the tradition of the short essay running through Francis Bacon and Roland Barthes, the novelist, philosopher, and former New York Times Opinion staffer Mark de Silva looks into matters of both common curiosity and special concern in America today: technological evolution, virtuality, terrorism, the future of the self, the individual's place in a globalized society, the species' place in the natural world, the state of the arts, and the animadversions of the sciences. Above all, Points of Attack is a handbook of the ways of the good life in bad times, and an inoculation against presumption in an era when the axioms of liberal democratic life have come undone and the end of history once again appears a long way off.

de Silva is in conversation with Rachel Allen.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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

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




SKYLIT: Rebecca Simon, “WHY WE LOVE PIRATES”

Posted in los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, history by skylightbooks on December 14th, 2020

During his life and even after his death, Captain William Kidd's name was known around England and the American colonies. He was infamous for the very crime for which he was hanged, piracy. Why We Love Pirates, by Rebecca Simon, dives into the details of the two-year manhunt for Captain Kidd and the events that ensued afterward. Captain Kidd was hanged in 1701, and from that sprung a massive hunt for all pirates led by the British during a period known as the Golden Age of Piracy. Ironically, public executions only led to pirates' growth in popularity and interest. In addition, because the American colonies relied on pirates for smuggled goods such as spices, wines, and silks, they sought to protect pirates from being captured.

The more pirates were hunted and executed, the more people became supportive of them. They felt for the "Robin Hoods of the Sea"--both because they saw the British's treatment of them as an injustice and because they treasured the goods that pirates brought to them. These historical events were pivotal in creating the portrayal of pirates as we know them today. They grew into romantic antiheroes--which ultimately led to characters like the mischievous but lovable Captain Jack Sparrow. Simon has presented her research on the history of pirates around the world and now she's bringing the spectacular story of Captain Kidd to her readers.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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

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




SKYLIT: Jared Milrad & Jan West, “BELIEVE IN YOU”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Memoir, nonfiction, biography, skylit by skylightbooks on December 7th, 2020

In Believe In You, an intimate and revealing conversation between a mother and son, Jared Milrad and Jan West take a fascinating look at the experiences, moments, and people that have shaped their lives - both together and apart. From Childhood to Marriage to Family, Animals, Activism, Movies, Politics and just about everything in between, Jared and Jan hold no punches as they explore how life, love, and loss shaped their lives and fueled their connections with others. A former staffer for President Barack Obama and a filmmaker who has worked with leaders across Hollywood and beyond, Jared reflects on growing up in a single parent household, coming out as a gay man, pursuing multiple creative passions, and working at the highest levels of politics, nonprofit advocacy, and entertainment. In a free-flowing interview style, Jared explores his mom's remarkable life: growing up in a dysfunctional household, marching for civil and human rights, working through a divorce and difficult relationships, and raising two kids as a single mother on a secretary's salary. It's a conversation rarely had - and even less often recorded - between a parent and child, particularly with such raw honesty, thoughtful reflection, and considered insight into what makes a family's bond truly eternal.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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

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




SKYLIT: Farrah Alexander, “RAISING THE RESISTANCE”

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, politics, skylit by skylightbooks on December 2nd, 2020

Acknowledging the dual role of mother and citizen, Scary Mommy writer and mom Farrah Alexander, provides empowerment and guidance for the modern progressive mother.

On the intersection of feminism and motherhood.Mothers are a force to be reckoned with. And after the Women's March and midterm elections, moms have surely secured their spot in today's feminist movement. But for those who aren't ready to make a bid for the presidency, the way forward can seem daunting and unclear. Whether it's correcting a misinformed family member about gender equality or running for political office, this bold and accessible primer presents active parents with different types of activism they can incorporate into their parenting, no matter how big or small.

When active parents support the feminist movement. With practical guidance, political commentary, and inspiration, this feminist manifesto for moms tackles problems from political representation to sexual misconduct. It doesn't just validate present-day feminist frustration, it also offers practical ways to channel it into solutions. Most importantly, it proves that by planting seeds of empathy and political awareness in their children, moms can raise their children to be change-makers. They can raise the resistance.

If you enjoyed books like Good and Mad, Unladylike, and Fight Like a Mother, then you'll love Raising the Resistance.

Alexander is in conversation with Skylight's own Kelsey Nolan.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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

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




SKYLIT: Daniel Brook, “THE ACCIDENT OF COLOR” w/ Erin Aubry Kaplan & Guenveur Smith

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, journalism, history, BIPOC, skylit by skylightbooks on November 30th, 2020

In The Accident of Color, Daniel Brook journeys to nineteenth-century New Orleans and Charleston and introduces us to cosmopolitan residents who elude the racial categories the rest of America takes for granted. Before the Civil War, these free, openly mixed-race urbanites enjoyed some rights of citizenship and the privileges of wealth and social status. But after Emancipation, as former slaves move to assert their rights, the black-white binary that rules the rest of the nation begins to intrude. During Reconstruction, a movement arises as mixed-race elites make common cause with the formerly enslaved and allies at the fringes of whiteness in a bid to achieve political and social equality for all.

In some areas, this coalition proved remarkably successful. Activists peacefully integrated the streetcars of Charleston and New Orleans for decades and, for a time, even the New Orleans public schools and the University of South Carolina were educating students of all backgrounds side by side. Tragically, the achievements of this movement were ultimately swept away by a violent political backlash and expunged from the history books, culminating in the Jim Crow laws that would legalize segregation for a half century and usher in the binary racial regime that rules us to this day.

Brook is in conversation with journalist Erin Aubry Kaplan and actor/director/writer Roger Guenveur Smith.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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

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

 




SKYLIT: Frederick Kaufman, “THE MONEY PLOT” w/ Indrani Sen

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, journalism, business, skylit by skylightbooks on November 25th, 2020

Frederick Kaufman tackles the complex history of money, beginning with the earliest myths and wrapping up with Wall Street’s byzantine present-day doings. Along the way, he exposes a set of allegorical plots, stock characters, and stereotypical metaphors that have long been linked with money and commercial culture, from Melanesian trading rituals to the dogma of Medieval churchmen faced with global commerce, the rationales of Mercantilism and colonial expansion, and the U.S. dollar’s 1971 unpinning from gold.
 
The Money Plot offers a tool to see through the haze of modern banking and finance, demonstrating that the standard reasons given for economic inequality—the Neoliberal gospel of market forces—are, like dollars, euros, and yuan, contingent upon structures people have designed. It shines a light on the one percent’s efforts to contain a money culture that benefits them within boundaries they themselves are increasingly setting. And Kaufman warns that if we cannot recognize what is going on, we run the risk of becoming pawns and shells ourselves, of becoming characters in someone else’s plot, of becoming other people’s money.

Kaufman is in conversation with Indrani Sen, editor-in-chief at Forge and editorial director at Medium.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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

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




SKYLIT: Riva Lehrer, “GOLEM GIRL: A MEMOIR” w/ Terry Myers

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Memoir, nonfiction, health, biography, skylit by skylightbooks on November 23rd, 2020

What do we sacrifice in the pursuit of normalcy? And what becomes possible when we embrace monstrosity? Can we envision a world that sees impossible creatures?

In 1958, amongst the children born with spina bifida is Riva Lehrer. At the time, most such children are not expected to survive. Her parents and doctors are determined to fix her, sending the message over and over again that she is broken. That she will never have a job, a romantic relationship, or an independent life. Enduring countless medical interventions, Riva tries her best to be a good girl and a good patient in the quest to be cured.

Everything changes when, as an adult, Riva is invited to join a group of artists, writers, and performers who are building Disability Culture. Their work is daring, edgy, funny, and dark--it rejects tropes that define disabled people as pathetic, frightening, or worthless. They insist that disability is an opportunity for creativity and resistance. Emboldened, Riva asks if she can paint their portraits--inventing an intimate and collaborative process that will transform the way she sees herself, others, and the world. Each portrait story begins to transform the myths she's been told her whole life about her body, her sexuality, and other measures of normal.

 

Written with the vivid, cinematic prose of a visual artist, and the love and playfulness that defines all of Riva's work, Golem Girl is an extraordinary story of tenacity and creativity. With the author's magnificent portraits featured throughout, this memoir invites us to stretch ourselves toward a world where bodies flow between all possible forms of what it is to be human.

Lehrer is in conversation with writer and editor Terry Myers. 

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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

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




SKYLIT: Unni Turrettini, “BETRAYING THE NOBEL” w/ Brian Keating

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, history, politics, science, skylit by skylightbooks on November 18th, 2020

The Nobel Prize, regardless of category, has always been surrounded by politics, intrigue, even scandal. But those pale in comparison to the Peace Prize.

In Betraying the Nobel, Norwegian writer Unni Turrettini completely upends what we thought we knew about the Peace Prize—both its history and how it is awarded.

As 1984’s winner, Desmond Tutu, put it, “No sooner had I got the Nobel Peace Prize than I became an instant oracle.” However, the Peace Prize as we know it is corrupt at its core.

In the years surrounding World War I and II, the Nobel Peace Prize became a beacon of hope, and, through its peace champions, became a reference and an inspiration around the world. But along the way, something went wrong. Alfred Nobel made the mistake of leaving it to the Norwegian Parliament to elect the members of the Peace Prize committee, which has filled the committee with politicians more loyal to their political party’s agenda than to Nobel’s prize's prerogative. As a result, winners are often a result of political expediency.

Betraying the Nobel will delve into the surprising, and often corrupt, history of the prize, and examine what the committee hoped to obtain by its choices, including the now-infamously awarded Cordell Hull, as well as Henry Kissinger, Al Gore, and Barack Obama.  Turrettini shows the effects of increased media attention, which have turned the Nobel into a popularity prize, and a controversial and provocative commendation.

Turrettini is in conversation with Brian Keating, Distinguished Professor of Physics at the Center for Astrophysics & Space Sciences at UC San Diego, and author of the book Losing the Nobel Prize.

Video chat between Turrettini and Keating: https://youtu.be/3CPfcHoZe7U?sub_confirmation=1

Free meditation download here: https://UnniTurrettini.simplero.com/page/183887-link-to-optin-page-for-free-meditation-download

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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

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





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