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HELLO Here it is! Skylight staffers’ annual compilation of book suggestions for gift giving. Carry it around, write in the margins, make it a journal to jot down your own ideas, a reminder about that author you heard on NPR suggestions from friends, and for your own personal wish list. It’s never been easier to get books into hands... We invite you to drop by the store to browse through what’s new or featured, to ask our staff for suggestions, or you can go to our website and order books online or download an ebook for yourself, which you can read with your Kobo e-reader (we sell them!), your Nook, your computer tablet, smart phone and more. Yes, times are changing... But we’re still betting on the future of thoughtfully chosen real books as the very best holiday gifts. Ones you can touch, turn their pages, set aside on your bedside table and pick back up later, loan to a friend, and look at fondly in your bookshelf. We hope you’ll let us contribute to that special experience. Kerry Slattery General Manager and Co-Owner Skylight Books And remember... If you’re a member of our Friends With Benefits program, every book is discounted!


kerry The Round House by Louise Erdrich $25.99 (Harper) I couldn’t put down Erdrich’s powerful new novel about a violent incident that affects forever the family of 13-year-old Joe. It’s the summer of 1988 on a North Dakota Indian reservation, and this compelling human story is an unfolding search for what actually happened that day and the quest for justice—but it all depends on whose law applies, which is a challenge to determine. This masterful storyteller deals with themes of good and evil, youth and age, tradition and the present, government law and tribal law, with images that remain long after the last page is turned. Califlora: A Literary Field Guide Edited by Terry Beers $18.95 (a California Legacy Book, Heyday Books) For the literary gardeners in your life, this is a lovely anthology of prose and poetry about California plants and trees from authors as diverse as M.F.K. Fisher, T.C. Boyle, Bret Harte, Robinson Jeffers, Robert Louis Stevenson, Gary Snyder and John Muir.


Kobo Mini! Kobo Glo! $129.99



charles The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M. Banks $25.99 (Orbit Books) The latest “Culture” novel by the current Master (IMHO) of science fiction. Banks’ work always exhibits a level of detail in the setting and politics that is both baroque and Byzantine while also exhibiting real, straightforward pathos for the plight of his characters. If you’re already a fan, this definitely meets expectations. If you’re a fan of epic sci-fi, but have never read him, here’s a chance to jump on the next passing General Systems Vehicle ... (sorry, in-joke). Building Stories by Chris Ware $50.00 (Pantheon) Chris Ware published Jimmy Corrigan in 2000 and promptly won four major literary awards—an unprecedented accomplishment for a “comic book.” At that point the only other work of graphic storytelling to receive any mainstream literary attention was Maus, by Art Spiegalman, which won a Pulitzer. Maus may have opened the public’s eyes to the possibility comics as art, but Jimmy Corrigan was the book that ushered in the current golden age of graphic novels. Now, at the peak of that golden age, Ware gives us his first major work since that time. Building Stories is twelve intertwined stories revolving around one apartment building. The stories have literally been published as twelve separate volumes in a box; each with its own unique binding and design. You pretty much have to see it and hold it to really appreciate this amazing object. Ritual America by Adam Parfrey and Craig Heimbichner $29.95 (Feral House) For years I’ve been arguing the importance of studying “conspiracy theories” because, as Umberto Eco argued in his novel Foucault’s Pendulum, whether a theory is true or not says nothing about how the belief in any historical narrative (no matter how wacky) actually affects history. Now Feral House Publishing (God bless their twisted little hearts) has given us what may be the first truly comprehensive/ encyclopedic look at the history of Fraternal Orders in America and their massive, and mostly uncredited, influence in our history and how their own pretense of secrecy helped to influence some of the most famous conspiracy theories around.


The Lebanese Kitchen by Salma Hage $49.95 (Phaidon) This may be the first truly comprehensive and beautifully designed cookbook in the U.S. about one of my very favorite cuisines....mmmmm, baba ganoush and tabouleh with tahini sauce...

steve Nobrow #7: Brave New World $24.00 (Nobrow Press) Nobrow Press have been producing wonderful, colorful comics and art books since 2008. Their stable of new, relevant, and anti-boring artists consistently surprise and amaze me. Any one of their titles will do but Nobrow #7 is a grand collection of beautiful work.

The Hive by Charles Burns $21.95 (Pantheon Books) Charles Burns is a master artist and storyteller. His series/novel Black Hole is one of the best combinations of surreal and human emotions that ever appeared on the page. His new series is a trilogy and this is the second weird and momentous installment. Drawn Together by R. Crumb and Aline Kominsky-Crumb $29.95 (Norton) A collection of collaborations from the 30-year relationship of the Crumb couple ends up not just being entertaining and creative but also an insightful and very human view of what a long term love affair is like. These autobiographical stories are drawn with all the details these artists are known for—warts and all.

The Game of Sculpture by Hervé Tullet $12.95 (Phaidon) In the tradition of the Eames House of Cards comes this wonder of a punch-out board sculpture kit. Tullet has already created many modern classics including the amazingly simple and perfect Press Here. This new publication allows you to create your own colorful work of art and change it whenever you would like! Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen $22.00 (Penguin Classics, other editions available) Whatever, so I had never read it. You probably haven’t read a lot of novels I think are classics or important (Feast of Snakes!). But I was trying out one of our new Kobo eReaders and I start reading Austen’s second novel, written when she was a mere 21 years old. I totally fell in love with it! The amount of information she conveys in such short chapters! I can almost trace her influence on someone like Raymond Carver…great stuff!


mary Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace by D.T. Max $27.95 (Viking) Do you know someone who loves David Foster Wallace? This is the book they want you to give them. It’s as thorough, intelligent, and even-handed a bio as we DFW fans could have possibly hoped for. The Dog Stars by Peter Heller $24.95 (Knopf) Like Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, but much less grim. In fact, for a novel set after a civilization-ending event (a flu, in this case), it’s surprisingly hopeful and beautiful. If the person you’re buying for would be open to a post-apocalypse novel but would prefer one without roving bands of cannibals, this is the book for them. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell $15.00 (Random House) The new movie, though ambitious (and long), couldn’t hope to put any more than a fraction of this novel’s brilliant 500-plus pages on screen. Six stories from past, present, and future connect in subtle and complex ways to paint a portrait of the human condition. An incredible book for people who like to sink their teeth into something long and rewarding. The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes $14.95 (Vintage) I can’t say enough good things about this novel. The narrator—retired, divorced, content—is pulled back into remembering and reevaluating the story of his school days, his friendships, and his first love, and he discovers that not everything was as simple as he once thought. For readers of Kazuo Ishiguro and Donna Tartt.

Abe Lincoln’s Dream written and illustrated by Lane Smith $16.99 (Roaring Brook) Grownups have the Daniel Day Lewis movie, and kids have this charming book, wherein Lincoln’s ghost flies a girl around the country as she tells him all that we’ve accomplished since the Civil War. Charming and beautifully illustrated.


dan My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf $17.95 (Abrams) Comic artist Derf Backderf was friends with serial killer Jeffery Dahmer in high school. This chilling graphic novel recounts that time before Dahmer’s transformation into a monster. Originally a one shot comic book in 2003, this book has been expanded with annotations. Not violent nor sensational, this book is quite dark and studies the progression and possibilities of what would turn an introverted and troubled teen into the killer we know today. Engrossing. Derf’s quirky artwork works really well for this sad story. Batman: The Black Mirror $29.99 Batman: The Court of Owls $24.99 by Scott Snyder (DC Comics) Scott Snyder is THE Bat Man writer to read! Not since Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns or Year One have I been this excited. His take on Bat Man is fresh! If you loved Arkham Asylum by Grant Morrison or marveled at Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke and you hunger for more good Bat storytelling, these two books are a must. I’d tell you the plot but that would take away the genuine surprise of how good they are! Read them and enjoy! King City by Brandon Graham $19.99 (Image Comics) Brandon Graham makes reading comics fun again! His art reminds me of Moebius and that’s a great thing!!! It’s light and kinetic and I just enjoy reading his cat master. Yes, a man who can manipulate his mutant cat into a powerful weapon... After they get something to eat of course!!! His characters just hang out and eat at diners or play video games and I enjoy that, even while the world is ending! Great science fantasy fun! Invisibles Omnibus by Grant Morrison $150.00 (DC Comics) What predates Matrix and did a better job at questioning reality? What you hold in your hands is the complete series created by meta scribe Grant Morrison. When Philip K. Dick’s Exegesis is not enough, burn your brain with this large tome of holographic anarchy!!! What does that mean? I have no idea! Just read it!!!! Includes all 7 volumes and extra goodies! Flex Mentallo by Grant Morrison $22.99 (DC Comics) Invisibles is the secret school of reality... Flex Mentallo opens the door for the super heroes to enter into our world. Again, by Grant Morrison and rendered magnificently by Frank Quitely, this book is the touchstone of all his realitybending comics. Read it and be transformed! Or just, you know, get a kick out of it.


arlo Moleskine Peanuts Box $59.95 (Moleskine) I still love Snoopy (check my socks). This is an amazing box. It really rocks. Check inside this beautifully designed gift: you get so much. Anyone who loves the Peanuts gang will get a lift out of this. Something to cherish. Alvy, Nacho y Ruben intepretan a Los Campos Magneticos $19.99 (Grillo records /Ultrapop) Get deep into the magic of 69. 69 Love Songs! And the Magnetic Fields! Every literature loving sweet sensitive soul needs love some Magnetic Fields. Do I speak truth? Then they’re gonna love this. Straight out of Buenos Aires. Reinterpreted and sung in Spanish. This might be the only place you can get hold of the actual CD (not just MP3s). Nostalgia: The Russian Empire of Czar Nicholas II Captured in Color Photographs by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii $88.00 (Gestalten) A document of mother frontier Russian in the early years of the twentieth century. The most beautiful and strange color photos I’ve ever seen. Stained and blotted and radiant in a way that makes even me nostalgic: Nostalgic for something I’ve never seen. I think you’ll feel the same. Voyeurs by Gabrielle Bell $24.95 (Uncivilized Books) The most joy I’ve had with a comic this year. Joy of color. Joy of energy and wit. Joy of truth of emotion. Skill of storytelling. And, of course, the joy of being a voyeur through the twist and turns of an exceptional life.

But wait, there’s more! Arlo fiction picks. This is a special holiday recommendation to all the amazing dark horse novels I’ve read this year and grown so fond of and have hopes that you’ll check out and share with friends and loved ones: Always bet on the dark horse. Here are a few: No One (by Gwenaelle Aubry); Huddleston Road (John Toomey); Long Time, No See (Dermot Healy); and Signs and Wonders (Alix Ohlin). Thanks.


kevin Down in the Hole: The Unwired World of H.B. Ogden by Joy DeLyria and Sean Michael Robinson $19.95 (powerHouse Books) Imagine taking all five seasons of the groundbreaking HBO television show The Wire, and then teleporting all those storylines and characters into an 1850s Victorian novel, and then you’ll get Down in the Hole. Includes woodcut-style illustrations recreating famous scenes from the show. I guarantee you that whoever you are buying this gift for does not have it yet. The Manhattan Projects by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Pitarra $14.99 (Image Comics) This is my favorite new comic of 2012. It is simply amazing; a combo platter of science fiction, war story, steampunk, and murder mystery. The story includes a locked-up psychotic Albert Einstein, death-Buddhists, an FDR artificial intelligence, aliens, World War II, Oppenheimer’s serial killer twin brother and robots. What?! My Heart Is an Idiot by Davy Rothbart $25.00 (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) Davy gets into a lot of adventures. Not Bear Grylls–style adventures, but the kind that us regular folks have on a day-to-day basis. Sort of. Whether he’s tricking his deaf mother into letting him have sleepovers through the power of imaginary phone calls, maintaining a phone sex relationship with someone that he’s never met, or celebrating somebody’s 110th birthday on a Greyhound bus, these essays have a warmth and humor that I find harder and harder to find in our increasingly cynical world. Henri’s Walk to Paris illustrated by Saul Bass, story by Leonore Klein $19.95 (Universe Books) Here is just a tiny list of the designs that Saul Bass had a hand in: AT&T, Girl Scouts of America, YWCA, Quaker Oats, Geffen Records, as well as movie posters for The Shining, Vertigo and The Man With the Golden Arm. In short, the man knew how to design things. Henri’s Walk to Paris is the only children’s book that he illustrated and it is amazing. Each page looks incredible. Fun for the kid, fun for you to have displayed on the coffee table to show how cool you are. Win win. Literary prints and Josh Cooley prints $25.00 Searching for a last minute gift item but not sure what to get? Why not try a print? Everyone loves art. We have a wide variety of styles to choose from. Throw it in a frame and boom you got yourself a classy gift.


frieda Little Big Books: Illustration for Children’s Picture Books $60.00 (Gestalten) There’s no Walter the Farting Dog here! Thank the gods. The illustrations in this fabulous book are graphically appealing, whimsical and inspiring. Look at it with your kids at bed-time! Cabinets of Wonder text by Christine Davenne, photos by Christine Fleurent $45.00 (Abrams) These folks are the most organized hoarders ever! I visited the Sir John Soane’s Museum in London. It is amazing, though not mentioned here. Similar visionary collections include Deyrolle in Paris, which suffered a devastating fire a few years ago. Sketchtravel by Dice Tsutsumi and Gerald Guerlais $40.00 (Chronicle Books) This is a super cool collection of work by 71 artists, illustrators and comic artists from all over the world. An actual Sketchtravel book was sent around the globe so that these artists could make their contribution. The book was passed hand to hand when possible, documented with a photo during the exchange. Each stop was tracked and numbered and can be followed throughout this book. A great idea, nicely executed. 20th-Century World Architecture $200.00 (Phaidon) Every year there has to be a massive tome that is perfect for your agent or producer or director. This gorgeous volume collects most of the iconic architecture in the world today. Benedict Taschen probably owns a copy!

Gustav Klimt: The Complete Paintings by Tobias Nater $200.00 (Taschen) Speaking of Taschen... There are those who think Klimt, among other popular artists, is banal. Arguable. Amazing and beautiful? No argument here! While absorbing the imagery here I recommend reading Lady in Gold by Anne-Marie O’Connor. It’s a facinating report of the saga of the Klimt painting of Adele Bloch-Bauer known as the “Lady in Gold” which fell victim to Nazi plunder in the 1930s, and its eventual and difficult recovery of the painting to the family.


There are too many amazing art books that would make great gifts to mention here. PLEASE visit our “Arts Annex” while you’re shopping!

jenn I grew up in a cold place and miss the seasons terribly. I wonder how you L.A. kids connect with Fall and Winter... Three of the very best books to come out this year paint a beautiful portrait of change that will stoke the imagination: Bear Has a Story to Tell by Philip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead $16.99 (Roaring Brook Press) Another lovely book from 2011’s Caldecott Award–winning pair (A Sick Day for Amos McGee). This story has just the right combination of magical illustration, adorable character and poetic repetiton to captivate your little critters as it introduces different creatures of the wild and how they prepare for hibernation. Moomin’s Winter Follies by Tove Jansson $9.95 (Drawn & Quarterly) Previously collected in Moomin: The Complete Tove Jansson Comic Strip, Vol. 2, now in color! This particular comic is one of Jansson’s flirtiest and funniest, revolving around the spirit of winter sportsmanship.

December by Alexander Kluge and Gerhard Richter $20.00 (Seagull Books) For the big kids, in case you need to remember how to feel December. We Got Power! Hardcore Punk Scenes from 1980s Southern California by David Markey and Jordan Schwartz $39.95 (Bazillion Points) Featuring essays by members of Black Flag, Circle Jerks, The Vandals, The Adolescents, The Minutemen, Suicidal Tendencies, White Flag, and others. Including the complete color reprints of We Got Power Fanzine from 1981-1983 and beyond. Presenting hundreds of photos from the forming years of hardcore punk in greater Los Angeles. Extreme! Near to the Wild Heart The Passion According to G.H. Água Viva A Breath of Life by Clarice Lispector $14.95 to $15.95 (New Directions) Four new translations masterfully wrought (one brand new to the English language). The literary event of my life!


dario My Abuela’s Table: An Illustrated Journey into Mexican Cooking by Daniella Germain $29.95 (Rizzoli) This is a book about food and cooking, but even if you don’t like food, it’s great for the illustrations alone.

Osamu Matsuo: On Photography by Osamu Matsuo $50.00 (Plancton) Someone at some point said that a picture is worth a thousand words. I disagree... I’d say more like an infinite amount of words. Osamu Matsuo’s On Photography is book of medium-format photographs taken within the last four years of the photographer’s life in Japan, including friends, family and places gone. One word ... pure. Archivo compiled by Paul Kooiker and Willem van Zoetendaal $60.00 (Van Zoetendaal) An archive of 14 booklets by various European photographers. Difficult to describe, must be seen.

Dive Dark Dream Slow

by Melissa Catanese $29.95 (Ice Plant) A strange time-travelling dream of WWII paranormal nuclear paranoia...and then after a lightning storm, you are reminded of an old lover dressed in white, or a long gone favorite aunt and her comedian bodybuilder husband...this book is wierd, but I wanna ride it again. Forever: The New Tattoo by Robert Klanten $60.00 (Gestalten) Compiled by the über-cool publishing house Gestalten in Germany, this is indisputably the most thorough book on modern tattooing. Includes examples of some of the most interesting geometric, cosmic, horror and humorous tattoos and the artists behind them and much more about tattoo culture. If you’re only ever going to get one book on tattooing, this is it. This publishing house has a habit of making timeless books that stand up to changing trends and ideas.


chris Joseph Anton: A Memoir by Salman Rushdie (Random House) The Ayatollah Khomeini’s 1989 Valentine’s Day fatwa against Salman Rushdie began one of the greatest censorship fights in the history of publishing. Suddenly, the author of The Satanic Verses and his family were swept into hiding, and with them, the author’s conflicted identity - hidden inside an avatar called Joseph Anton. Rushdie -- who combined the first names of two authors he loved, Conrad and Chekhov, to create his new name -- tells his story in the third person with a novelistic detachment that makes the narrative of Joseph Anton all the more riveting. Parker: The Martini Edition by Darwyn Cooke $75.00 (IDW Publishing) This tremendous slip-cased edition collects Cooke’s first two graphic novels, The Hunter and The Outfit, based on the classic crime novels by Richard Stark, a.k.a. Donald Westlake. One of the great series characters in crime fiction, career thief Parker boils the hard boiled archetype.

The Lizard’s Tale by José Donoso $24.95 (Northwestern University Press) 2012 Winner of PEN USA’s award for literary translation, José Donoso is the least recognized of the Latin American Boom novelists and one of the greatest. Celebrated translator Suzanne Jill Levine resurrects Donono’s “lost novel” for an Englishspeaking audience—written in 1973 and forgotten until it was discovered among his papers after his death.

Darth Vader and Son by Jeffrey Brown $14.95 (Chronicle Books) An unputdownable little book that imagines a (very) young Skywalker and his Darth dad in one charming scenario after another. As well crafted and timeless, in its own impulse-buy kind of way, as the original. Perfect for fathers in galaxies near and far.


meg A People’s Guide to Los Angeles by Laura Pulido, Laura Barraclough, and Wendy Cheng $27.95 (University of California Press) Help your friends discover and rediscover Los Angeles through this unique travel and historical guide to the city. Includes great neighborhood restaurant recommendations and a chapter of “thematic tours” to help you organize your wanderings around the city.

This Machine Kills Secrets: How WikiLeakers Cypherpunks and Hacktivists Aim to Free the World’s Information by Andy Greenberg $27.95 (Dutton) Suspenseful, inspiring, humorous, and thorough, this is a great gift not just for your geekier Boing Boing–reading friends but for anyone who enjoys good reporting and storytelling. The biographical and historical lens Greenberg uses to trace the evolution of leaking from Daniel Ellsberg to Wikileaks spin-offs is both compelling and absorbing. Yet he doesn’t ignore the technical aspect of the subject, breaking down complex technical terms for novices, yet with enough wit and style to keep experts entertained. If nothing else, it’s just a great tale of global adventure, as Greenberg travels to the likes of Iceland and Bulgaria meeting both aboveboard and underground hackers involved in struggle with governments over the freedom of information. The Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology 2012 edited by David O’Meara $19.95 (House of Anansi Press) You have someone close to you who loves poetry, but poetry’s not really your thing, so you’re always a little unsure how to choose something for them. This anthology makes it easy, packing some of the best international English-language poetry from the last year into a neat, slim volume. And if you need an opportunity to feel smug, know that royalties from sale of the book also benefit UNESCO’s World Poetry Day. Sophia’s War by Avi $16.99 (Beach Lane Books) For that middle-schooler or really sharp child you know who tears through every novel you give them. Avi writes historical fiction that’s always spot-on for young readers without dumbing anything down. In this case, he places a strong heroine in some of the most intriguing moments of the American Revolution. And as with so many Avi books, he never lets his characters make the easy choices.


laura Penguin and Pinecone by Salina Yoon $12.99 (Walker Childrens) A delightful book that reminds us that the best friendships remain with us no matter the distance. A unique and marvelous story that is fitting for the holiday season!

Pantone: Box of Color by Pantone $9.95 (Abrams) This collection would be my inner child’s holiday choice. Just look at how amazing it is! The design is creative, while also simplistic. It comes with 6 board books. It is a wonderful collection for kids and all (just saying)! Thank you Pantone!

I’d Really Like to Eat a Child by Sylviane Donnio, illustrated by Dorothée de Monfreid, $6.99 (Dragonfly Books) I’d really like to eat... no wait sorry... I’d really like to read this book! Daily! This may be one of my favorite children’s books of the year. I hope you enjoy! All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon, illustrated by Marla Frazee $17.99 (Beach Lane Books) This book has one of the sweetest messages along with the greatest illustrations. It is a wonderful book to share with your family and friends. All the World makes a great gift for the holidays and is delightful just in general. Jerusalem: A Cookbook By Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi $35.00 (Ten Speed Press) Not only are the recipes amazing, they are also paired with fantastic images. It also makes for an interesting read with the history and cultural context that accompanies the recipes and ingredients used. A great cookbook all around and one to add to your cooking experience.

Out of Print T-shirts


Out of Print products feature iconic and often out of print book covers. Some are classics, some are just curious enough to make great t-shirts, but all are striking works of art. For each product sold, one book is donated to a community in need through our partner Books For Africa. MORE STYLES AVAILABLE


gabe The Beautiful and the Damned This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald $25.00 each (Penguin) Fitzgerald and Christmas go together like a single malt scotch, a crackling fire and a view of the Nativity blurred by pools of your own tears. As a nod to this delightful pairing I’m recommending the new(ish) Penguin hardcover editions of two of his classic novels. The silver and gold jacket covers are so well designed you won’t even have to wrap them. GOOD GIFT FOR: The brazen, unapologetic sentimentalist. Dear Life by Alice Munro $26.95 (Knopf) Here’s the go-to book for the fiction junkie on your list. It comes out relatively late in the holiday season (Nov. 13) so chances are they won’t already have it. And odds are good you’ll earn some long due respect from said fiction junkie when you drop this on them. GOOD GIFT FOR: Your writing partner who has already read everything.

Just Ride

by Grant Petersen $13.95 (Workman Publishing) Is to bicycling culture what Omnivore’s Dilemma is to food culture. Nononsense advice on various aspects of safety, equipment, fitness and maintenance aimed at both the newbie and the seasoned rider. GOOD GIFT FOR: A co-worker you only kind of know but like to imagine getting sweaty. Ron Church: California to Hawaii 1960-1965 by Ron Church $65.00 (T. Adler Books/The Surfer’s Journal ) A deluxe repackaging of a previously out-of-print edition, this new version goes big. The squeaky “beach party” trope of the ’60s is nowhere to be found; anti-Gigdets giving the camera major attitude, girlfriends left stranded on roadsides, tandem surfing teams that appear unseemly to our modern eye. These wonderful B&W photos are equal parts nature photography, art photography and cultural record. The clean, gratifying packaging of this boxed volume makes it inexcusable not be given as a gift. GOOD GIFT FOR: Your boss with a predilection for mid-century modern design.

The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee: Growing, Roasting and Drinking,


with Recipes by James Freeman, Caitlin Freeman, and Tara Duggan $24.99 (Ten Speed Press) For years people have come into the store looking for a book like this. Oakland-based coffee roasters Blue Bottle finally served it up fresh and clean. This is a less technical, more user friendly alternative to the standard coffee textbook Everything But Espresso. GOOD GIFT FOR: Your friend who won’t stop talking about the Pacific Northwest.

DIANA Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block $8.99 (Harper Teen) Weetzie and her bestie Dirk glide through a fantastical LA in this magical, queer adventure story. The book was originally released in 1989, but it has enjoyed a resurgence after winning the prestigious Phoenix Award in 2009. Ahead of its time, Weetzie Bat tackles gay marriage, non-traditional families, abortion, common-law marriage, and HIV/AIDS. Perfect for young radicals or for parents who aspire to raise them! The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers $24.99 (Little, Brown) “The war tried to kill us in the spring.” So begins the dazzling debut novel of Iraq War veteran Kevin Powers. The Yellow Birds, a National Book Award finalist, tells the story of 21-year-old John Bartle, who is charged with watching over his teenage platoon mate, Daniel Murphy. We learn early that Murphy does not survive, and the novel chronicles Bartle’s descent into his own unforgiving memory. Powers received his MFA in poetry, and it shows; his sentences display knife-like precision and his details shimmer and haunt. The Yellow Birds, which has been compared to Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried and James Jones’s The Thin Red Line, is a heart-rending meditation on friendship, grief, and the futility of war. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green $17.99 (Dutton Books) Teenager cancer patient Hazel Grace Lancaster would rather watch reruns of America’s Next Top Model than make new friends. But then, at Juvenile Cancer Support Group, she meets the dashing Augustus Waters, and her social life goes from nonexistent to crazy in love. Author John Green deftly walks the line between pathos and teenage snark in this bittersweet, wonderfully readable tale of first love and what it means to be alive. Muy Bueno: Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavor $22.50 (Hippocrene Books) ¡Qué librazo! When I started flipping through this book, I could practically taste the shimmering chiles and the cinnamony atole. Cobbled together from three generations’ worth of family recipes, Muy Bueno sets forth easy-tofollow instructions, accompanied by mouth-watering photos. I recommend the Tinga de Pollo (chicken tinga) with the Paletas de Aguacate y Coco (avocado and coconut popsicles) for desert. A perfect holiday gift for a loved one—or yourself! ¡Buen provecho!


karl Scanners and Others: Three Science Fiction Stories

by Cordwainer Smith $8.99 (Wildside Press) Better known as a political scientist and Far East expert (his 1948 work Psychological Warfare is still considered a classic), Paul M.A. Linebarger wrote some of the most singularly bizarre and self-contained science fiction of the ’50s and ’60s under the pseudonym Cordwainer Smith. Like a strange marriage of Joyce, Borges, and P.K. Dick, it doesn’t get much weirder than this. Eros and Magic in the Renaissance by Ioan P. Couliano $30.00 (University of Chicago Press) The star pupil of Mircea Eliade at the University of Chicago Divinity School before his tragic premature death, Couliano was a trailblazing scholar of the occult underpinnings of the Renaissance. This book charts the magical properties of the erotic image and connects the work of 15th and 16th century Magi like Giordano Bruno and Pico Della Mirandola with the modern institutions of politics, science, psychoanalysis, and advertising. Brilliant. Person-to-Person Astrology: Energy Factors in Love, Sex, and Compatibility by Stephen Arroyo $18.95 (Frog, Ltd.) Don’t judge a book by its title! Stephen Arroyo is a leading light among rigorous 21st-century astrologers. The specificity of this one, especially in regards to Mars and Venus placement, is CHILLING—this one tends to blow skeptical minds!

In the Freud Archives

by Janet Malcolm $15.95 (New York Review of Books) This is the fascinating story of Freud’s “discovery” of the unconscious, the initial work on hysteria he did preceding this, the “cover-up” of sexual abuse in the family, and the late 20th-century clash of egos controlling Freud’s legacy. A riveting piece of little-known psycho-analytic history.



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jake A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music by George E. Lewis $25.00 (University of Chicago Press) Founded in Chicago in 1965, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians has generated some of the world’s most astoundingly original and surprisingly obscure music. A Power Stronger Than Itself thoroughly researches the history and revolutionary philosophy of the AACM, as well as its impact on the worlds of jazz, the avant-garde, and civil rights. Includes biographies and insights from such prominent composer/performers as Anthony Braxton, Wadada Leo Smith, Henry Threadgill, Roscoe Mitchell, Muhal Richard Abrams, and Lester Bowie. Love Is Not Constantly Wondering If You’re Making the Biggest Mistake Of Your Life anonymous $5.00 (Perfect Day Publishing) The story of an anonymous author’s relationship with his alcoholic girlfriend in the form of a “Choose Your Own Adventure” novel. How Music Works by David Byrne $32.00 (McSweeney’s) You may ask yourself, “What caused music to evolve so differently in various parts of the world?” And you may ask yourself, “How are royalties distributed in the recording industry?” And you may ask yourself, “Where did they come up the idea for such a crazy song?” And you may ask yourself, “What makes this record sound so good? In my home? On my stereo??” This Is Not My Hat written and illustrated by Jon Klassen $15.99 (Candlewick) A little fish has stolen a hat from a big fish. Maybe he’ll get away with it? Immediately lovable for its simplicity, subtle humor, and beautiful illustrations. Super amusing for both kids and adults. Sister-book to the equally awesome I Want My Hat Back. Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground 1981–1991 by Michael Azerrad $16.99 (Back Bay Books) Chronicles the lives, achievements, and music of the most influential and under-appreciated bands from the post-Ramones pre-Nirvana punk universe. Mission of Burma, Butthole Surfers, Minutemen, Black Flag, Big Black, Hüsker Dü, Fugazi, Minor Threat, Mudhoney, The Replacements, Beat Happening, and Dinosaur Jr.


gustavo The Ivy Look by Graham Marsh and J.P. Gaul $19.95 (Frances Lincoln) There’s been a welcome resurgence of men’s fashion books, with an emphasis on the traditional American style known as “the Ivy Look.” These are the basic rules that used to be passed on from generation to generation of dapper guys, and which one needs to be aware of even while deliberately messing with them, Sartorialist-style. This illustrated handbook is the best of the bunch by far. We’re sure you know a man or five who would appreciate a copy. Coal to Diamonds by Beth Ditto with Michelle Tea $22.00 (Spiegel and Grau) We’ll never get tired of repeating that Beth Ditto is one of the most amazing, innovative, energetic and charismatic frontpersons in 21st century music. Like all real American originals, though, she’s a much bigger deal in Europe than stateside. This autobiography, written with cult queer author Michelle Tea, is riveting and evocative, the punk/riot/disco answer to the great country music testimonials of Johnny Cash and Loretta Lynn. Ayako by Osamu Tezuka $26.95 (Vertical) Osamu Tezuka is to anime and manga what Shakespeare is to English Drama and Dylan to late 20th century songwriting: he’s the unavoidable towering figure and the one who figured all out the tricks earlier, faster and better than anyone else. Ayako could be his masterpiece, a multilayered saga that truly deserves the commonly misused name of “graphic novel.” It’s strange, poignant and amazingly rendered at every level. Bonus treat: the translation is outstanding, easing the English reader effortlessly into the complex world of Japanese culture. Gainsbourg: The Biography by Gilles Verlant $24.95 (Tamtam Books) There are other biographies of French musical genius Serge Gainsbourg in English, but none of them can boast the level of research and access Verlant obtained, or his deep knowledge of French culture from the 1930s to the 1980s that seems crucial to go beyond the simple enjoyment of the man’s melodies. Like all great music bios, this one will prompt you to go back to each record and savor each of Gainsbourg’s many moods.


Film Noir by Alain Silver and James Ursini $14.99 (Taschen) I’ve personally sold more copies of this book than of any other book in the store. It’s, purportedly, a compilation of black and white stills from Hollywood Film Noirs. But you could also argue it’s one of the most beautiful photography books we carry, and Taschen has done an impeccable printing job that surpasses that of some art books that retail for 10 times the price. Oh, yes, it’s only $14.99. Come look for yourself.

cecil Drama by Raina Telgemeier $10.99 (Graphix) Raina Telgemeir knocks it out of the park with this charming middle grade story about a girl Callie and her friends as they work backstage during a musical production at a middle school. Infused with a love of theater, it’s full of friendship, crushes, drama and growing up. Also be sure to check out her other graphic novel, Smile. A Wrinkle in Time 50th Anniversary Edition (and the rest of the trilogy) by Madeline L’Engle $24.99 hardcover (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) $9.99 paperback (Square Fish) A Wrinkle in Time Graphic Novel by Hope Larson $19.99 (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead $6.99 (Yearling Books) The story of Meg Murray and her brother, who go to rescue their dad in this science fiction kids classic, stands the test of time. Macmillan just released a 50th anniversary edition and Hope Larson just adapted it as a graphic novel, which is gorgeously done. And if you haven’t yet read When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, it’s the Newbery-winning book that is a classic on its own and a loving homage to L’Engles book. Also be sure to check out Stead’s newest middle grade Liar & Spy. The Birthmarked Trilogy: Birthmarked, Prized and Promised by Caragh M. O’Brien $9.99 to $16.99 (Macmillan) The Birthmarked Trilogy follows the adventure of Gaia Stone, a 16-year-old midwife in a post apocalyptic world. Nicely written, totally satisfying, and swoony romances to boot. Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers $16.99 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) A rip-roaring fantasy that deals with assassin nuns in late fifteenth-century France. Yes. Assassin Nuns. The main character, Ismae, is a handmaiden to the lord of death, Mortain. A well written story with great world building and interesting historical flourishes, it’s a real page turner. *And of course don’t forget that I have a bunch of YA novels out perfect for that sassy artistic girl in your life! Check out Beige, Boy Proof, The Plain Janes, First Day on Earth and my latest, The Year of the Beasts. by Cecil Castellucci Some other YA titles* that you might want to check out are Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, and The Other Normals by Ned Vizzini.


whitney The Gift by Hafiz $18.00 (Penguin Compass) Not only is getting The Gift as A Gift meta, these ecstatic poems are also perfect for anyone into Rumi, happiness, spirituality, Persia, yoga, telethons, birds, talking, not talking, you name it! I constantly return to this book randomly, often baffled to remember that Hafiz wrote these mystic gems in the 1300s—it is timeless, insightful and many times comical. Skylight Tote Bag by Skylight Books $11.95 (Enviro-tote) This spectacular tote is 100% cotton and made in the USA and full of surprises! (When it’s not full of books or groceries, that is.) Wash in cold water and NEVER put in the dryer. Ask Mary.

THE DEETS ON FWB Our store’s frequent buyers program gives you the following:

• 10 % off books, selected DVDs, blank journals, cards & sidelines (magazines are not included) • 20% off selected Skylight bestsellers and featured titles • Members only events and giveaways • Free media mail shipping within the continental United States • 20% off monthly event books and priority signing line for our biggest author events • A monthly e-newsletter for members featuring news and exclusive promotions • Buy or renew your membership online at and use your membership discount on your online purchases


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Catalog Design: Frieda Gossett Edited by: Jenn Witte, Mary Williams, Frieda Gossett Cover Art: Whitney Blank Staff Portraits: Rama Hughes and Jenn Witte

Š 2012 Skylight Books

Skylight Books 2012 Holiday Catalog  

Holiday recommendations from the staff of Skylight Books!