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We’re in a special neighborhood. We’ve got a cat...and a tree… And books...all kinds of ‘em. 1818 N. Vermont Ave.  Los Angeles, CA  90027  (323) 660‐1175 

People work here who love these books, And who’re always thinking about you. What joy there is in sharing the love of reading. But you already knew that. All of us at Skylight Books want to share Some of our favorites with you And hope you’ll share some of yours With us. -Kerry

Welcome to   The Skylight Books   2010 Holiday Gift Guide!    

It's that time of year again. The time of year where we don our mid-weight jackets and stylish hats and pretend it's cold out and try to remember what real snow is like. But more importantly, it's when we take time to honor what's important to us. In our case, that is YOU, our loyal customers. For that reason, the Skylight Elves have spent 12 hours a day for the last year trying to figure out what you like, and trying to figure out which of the many worthy books (and some less worthy ones, let's be honest) will be the best to give and receive during the holidays. In return, we ask for nothing more than your continuing loyalty. For each gift you buy from us this holiday season, you'll be getting more than simply a smile from the lucky person who receives it. You will be showing your commitment to our community and you will be supporting the great events and service and selection and intellectual stimulus that we try to provide year-round.

Love always,   The Skylight Staff 


Surface Detail Iain M. Banks (Orbit) $25.99 Yet another volume (and one of the best in years) in the excellent series of 'Culture' novels by this master of epic sci-fi. Banks is easily one of the top 5 living writers of speculative fiction today and a must read for any serious geek with a well honed sense of political cynicism and a soft spot for anarchist utopian fantasy. Charles

What Is All This? Stephen Dixon (Fantagraphics) $29.99 I have a crush on this book: the cover, the paper, the heavy ink. The stories are great too. Dixon is an overlooked master, and this book is a treasure chest full of jewels, galleons, and maybe a bottle of rum or two if you’re lucky. Emily

A Visit From The Goon Squad Jennifer Egan (Knopf) $29.99 A perfectly executed postmodern novel about two people who never quite figure each other out. A gift for readers of David Mitchell, Joshua Ferris and Jonathan Franzen. Mary

Doctor Zhivago (new translation) Boris Pasternak (Pantheon) 30.00 A fresh, inspired take on Zhivago from super hot Russian translating team Pevear & Volokhonsky—and in a satisfyingly beautiful volume. Liz


Little, Big John Crowley (Harpercollins) $16.99 A misplaced, overlooked and disremembered masterpiece of American literature. In these hard and fractured times, Little, Big is more important than ever. A modern amalgam of Shakespeare and Carroll. An epic tale for a long winter's night. Chris

Madame Bovary (new translation) Gustave Flaubert (Viking) $27.95 A heroic and definitive translation by Lydia Davis that breathes freshness while maintaining the classic feel of Flaubert's perfectionism. Steve

Best European Fiction 2011 Alexander Hemon, Editor (Dalkey Archive) $16.95 You can get one big fluorescent book instead of forty little ones! Jenn

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet David Mitchell (Random House) $26.00 Amazing, amazing, amazing. It’s been six years since his brilliant novel “Cloud Atlas” came out and Mr. Mitchell doesn’t disappoint with this epic follow-up that is every bit as touching and profound as you’d expect. This book is unmissable. Brandon


Anthology of Rap Adam Bradley & Andrew Dubois, Editors (Yale) $29.99 You know all those 19th-century poetry collections everyone used to give as gifts, the ones filled with the smell of lilac and dust? Yeah, this isn’t one of those. Justin

Autobiography of Red: A Novel in Verse Anne Carson (Vintage) $15.00 Anne Carson's self-described "archaic lyric rotunda" seamlessly blends, reshapes and remakes the Greek myth of Geryon into a modern day tale of love, loss and sexual identity. Categories, genres and preconceptions smashed to bits in a short few pages. Darren

Poem of the Month Calendar 2011 Terry Wolverton & Co. $10.99 We simply need more poetry in our lives! This calendar is the perfect antidote. It features some of LA’s most amazing poets: Majid Naficy, Ron Koertge, Lynne Thompson and more! The next year SHOULD be filled with rhythm and rhyme. Noel

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Sherman Alexie (Little, Brown)$25.00 An intelligent and funny story about love and identity. YA fiction for any age in a stunning slip-cased edition. Chris


The Secret Series Pseudonymous Bosch (Little, Brown) This Isn’t What It Looks Like (#4) This Book Is Not Good For You (#3) If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late (#2) The Name of This Book Is Secret (#1)

$16.99 $6.99 $6.99 $6.99

A funny, mystery filled adventure series (with puzzles!) for the kid in your life aged 8 to 12. Start them off with the first book or give a set of all 4 for under $40!


2011: Living In The Future Geoffrey Hoyle & Alasdair Anderson (Darling & Com-


A reissue of sci-fi writer Geoffrey Hoyle's 1972 look at the far-off year 2011, featuring canny predictions (the electric car, e-books) and funky illustrations. Kate

The Chaos Walking Series Patrick Ness (Candlewick) Monsters of Men (#3) The Ask and The Answer (#2) The Knife of Never Letting Go (#1)

$18.99 $9.99 $9.99

For those looking for the next must-have, must-read YA dystopian book, look no further than this three book series by Patrick Ness. It will keep those who couldn’t get enough of Hunger Games and other fantastic YA series (you know you adults are reading these, too!) thrilled and turning the pages.



Robot Dreams Sara Varon (First Second) $16.99 If you are looking for a graphic novel that is beautiful and silent and filled with a story that has a big heart, here you go. It’s about a dog who builds himself a robot friend. And then some. It’s for anyone, of any age — they will love it. Cecil

It’s Useful To Have a Duck Isol (PGW) $10.00 Such a beautiful creation, this book, and such a great way of showing how each person (and thing) has its own perspective on the world, and that’s okay. Emily

13 Words Lemony Snicket & Maira Kalman (HarperCollins) $16.99 A colorful marriage of whimsy and vocabulary. I adore this book! Jenn

Frank and Ernest Alexandra Day (HarperCollins) $16.99 A bear and an elephant run a fifties-style diner for awhile, giving each other orders in old timey short-order slang. Liz


Salted Mark Bitterman (Ten Speed Press) $35.00 Part history, part salt-ography, part gorgeous, salty recipe book. Who loves salt? Get them this book! Liz

The New Vegetarian Epicure Anna Thomas (Knopf) $19.95 My favorite cookbook! Its seasonally-inspired menus are based on Thomas’ Southern California tastes but work well for all climates. Great for foodies, farmer’s market lovers, and anyone who enjoys entertaining. Meg

Tartine Bread Elisabeth Prueitt (Chronicle) $40.00 The best thing since sliced bread! Jenn

Order online



You Never Give Me Your Money Peter Doggett (HarperCollins) $24.99 The Beatles book for grownups, old enough now to dispel illusions and see John, Paul, George and Ringo as flawed human beings caught in the eye of a cultural storm, part of an ongoing phenomenon they did not understand. Darren

What Was the Hipster? Mark Greif, Kathleen Ross & Dana Tortorici (N+1) $10.00 The good people at N+1 bring you a conversation every bit as complex, post-modern, ironic and humorous as the subculture it explores. Justin

Mad Men Unbuttoned Natasha Vargas-Cooper (HarperCollins) $16.99 An in-depth look at the world of Mad Men. Perfect for the MadMenite in your life. Kevin

Gift Cards...when you’ve exhausted all the possibilities and you still don’t know what to get that one person.


The Poetry Lesson Andrei Codrescu (Princeton University Press) $19.95 The last year, the last class, the final rambling internal thesis of a soon to retire poet and professor and survivor of his times. Wise, petty, articulate, and profane. Darren

The Autobiography of Mark Twain (Volume 1) Mark Twain (University of California Press) $34.95 A whopper of an autobiography. A groundbreaking experiment in be-bop autobopographical writing, published for the first time in its complete form (100 years after the author's death). Arlo

The Last Stand Nathaniel Philbrick (Viking) $30.00 What the actual true story of the Battle of the Little Big Horn is, we will never know. But Philbrick presents us with two compelling, passionate human beings, George Armstrong Custer and Sitting Bull. A beautiful historical journey -- highly recommended. Ben

B端K Gift Bags

From $15 to $45 B端K America creates fascinating inexpensive pamphlets ($1.49!) on all topics that are small enough for me to hold with my paws! And now they have themed gift bags with pamphlets AND coffee mugs! Great for holding and kicking. And reading. Franny


Atlas of Remote Islands Judith Schlansky (Penguin) $30.00 Fascinating maps, timelines, and histories of 50 places you’ve never heard of. Telling stories of castaways, runaway slaves, pirates, naturalists, and salty lighthouse keepers - all put together in a really cool package. Brandon

The Urban Homestead Kelly Coyne & Erik Knutzen(Process Media) $17.95 Local Echo Park residents Coyne and Knutzler have updated their how-to guide for sustainable living with even more projects. Clear instructions and abundant humor make this a great choice not only for green enthusiasts but also beginning and experienced tinkerers and gardeners of all sorts. Meg

Seeing Further: The Story of Science, Discovery, and the Genius of the Royal Society Edited by Bill Bryson (Harper) $35.00 This collection is truly international and interdisciplinary -- like the Royal Society of London itself. Its contributors include not only today's finest science writers (like Dawkins on Darwin), but also philosophers and economists and engineers, and Margaret Atwood on the archetype of the mad scientist. Its color plates are stunning -- they bring to the book the Joy of Discovery that has fueled the study of science for centuries. Emily

Graphic Novels

Drunken Dream Hagio Moto (Fantagraphics) $24.99 Amidst all the manga drek out there, this one is a pure gem. Moto Hagio is one of the pioneers of the shojo (girl ) manga. Her stories are so multilayered and complex that by the end of the final story (Willow Tree) I was practically in tears. This book includes an interview with the master herself! Want to see how deep manga can go? Get this book and see.


Revolver Matt Kindt (Vertigo) $24.99 Post-apocalyptic comic book. Or is it? Great for your office Secret Santa gift. Kevin

X’ed Out Charles Burns (Pantheon) $19.95 Charles Burns returns to his surrealistic adventures with a literary graphic omelet of amnesia, nostalgia, photographs, some razor blades, a little swine, a pinch of alienation, a couple aborted fetuses, and last but certainly not least...eggs. Served in a Tintin-esque platter. Dario

Barefoot Gen (series) Keiji Nakazawa (Last Gasp) $14.99 Never give up the fight for peace. That's the ultimate message of this series about the lead up to, and the after effects of, America's detonation of atomic weapons in WWII Hiroshima. If you can only read or give one I would start with volume 7. Read it and weep. That's what I did. Arlo

Graphic Novels

Unlovable (boxed set) Esther Pearl Watson (Fantagraphics) $39.95 Esther Pearl Watson is an extremely talented artist and illustrator. Her imagination is just off enough to be engaging and hilarious without humiliating the subject. The Unlovable boxed set contains the continuing saga of Tammy Pierce, a social misfit persevering awkwardly through the indignities of adolescence. Key word: INDIGNITIES. Frieda

Parker: The Outfit By Darwyn Cooke (IDW) $24.99 The 2nd volume in Darwyn Cooke's masterpiece series of graphic adaptations of the old Richard Stark novels. Cooke's work with the mainstream comix houses has been well respected for years, but with the 'Parker' books his effortless juggling of text, storyboarding, and style has raised him to the ranks of artists like Alan Moore or Chris Ware. Definitely not for children or those adults who just don't get it... Charles

Lynd Ward: Six Novels in Wood Cuts Edited by Art Spiegelman (Library of America) $70.00 Finally, a beautiful slipcased 2 hardcover edition worthy of artist storyteller Lynd Ward! Surreal, beautiful woodcut narratives tell the story of early American experience, from the American dream to its disillusionment. These two books are wonderfully edited by Art Spiegelman. Get me these. Please. I'll be your friend for life.



Assume Vivid Astro Focus Cay Sophie Rabinowitz (Rizzoli) $60.00 Ecstatic, playful, cosmic psychedelia; the visual equivalent of a Klaxons song or a Diplo/M.I.A. collaboration — all collected in a proper book for the first time. Justin

Maripol: Little Red Riding Hood Maripol (Damiani/D.A.P) $65.00 Maripol is a designer and photographer known best for styling Madonna and creating the black rubber bangles many of us wore stacked up our arms. In this visual diary, she has created an inspirational history and the perfect book for fans of fashion and Eighties culture. Kate

Neo Rauch: Paintings Neo Rauch (Hatje Cantz /D.A.P) $75.00 Neo Rauch is a fabulous painter. This book presents his paintings from Leipzig and Munich. Your artist friends will be impressed if you get this book for them. Frieda

Decade Terence McNamee (Phaidon) $39.95 Like Phaidon's previous book Century, this collection of some of the most amazing pictures from around the world spans the first decade of the 21st century. ALL FOR $39.99? WOW! Get me one will you? I mean it. Get it for me? Dan


Muji Jasper Morrison (Rizzoli) $65.00 “Our goal is to suppress extravagant global appetites." Muji is amazing. Their products are clean and simple. I wish we had a store in L.A. There was going to be one in Santa Monica. I wonder what happened! Frieda

Victore, or who died & made you boss James Victore (Abrams) $40.00 James Victore unleashes his first book with a collection of his best graphic design projects. Equal parts philosophy and graphic art, his brutally funny work gets harsh truths out but somehow leaves you feeling good. Humor is a powerful economic and political tool — Victore demonstrates how he uses it in an authoritatively conscious manner. Dario

Hiroshige: One Hundred Famous Views of Edo Hiroshige (Taschen) $39.95 This is a great gift for anybody. One hundred reprints of the famous Japanese woodblock prints on fine parchment paper, bound together in a beautiful hardcover ivory-clasp style book. Brandon

Los Angeles in Maps Glen Creason (Rizzoli) $50.00 The craft and color of historic and beautiful maps of Los Angeles makes me feel warm and curious. Steve

Skylight Bestsellers 2010 Fiction 1.


The Millenium Trilogy by Steig Larsson 2. Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann 3. Wilson by Daniel Clowes 4. Freedom by Jonathan Franzen 5. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet by David Mitchell 6. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender 7. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro 8. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell 9. Los Angeles Noir 2: Classics edited by Denise Hamilton 10. The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi Durrow


Tattoos on the Heart by Father Gregory Boyle 2. Just Kids by Patti Smith 3. Secret Stairs by Charles Fleming 4. SLAKE: The Los Angeles Quarterly 5. McSweeney’s #33: Panorama Newspaper 6. Role Models by John Waters 7. How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer 8. Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert 9. People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn 10. Save the Cat by Blake Snyder

Skylight Books 1818 N. Vermont Ave. (in Los Feliz between Hollywood Blvd. & Franklin Ave.) Order any book in print at: (323) 660-1175 BLOG: FACEBOOK: Like the Skylight Books Page TWITTER: @skylightbooks

Skylight Holiday Catalog 2010  

Favorites from the staff of Skylight Books

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