6 April 11 | Chad W. Post | Comments

Just received this from Jenn Witte at Skylight Books.

Skylight is one of the coolest bookstores in the States, what with their great selection, long history of passionate, literary booksellers, the tree that grows inside the store, and this hipster commercial (which includes a fleeting shot of BTBA 2010 finalist The Tanners):

Posters and shelftalkers for the BTBA finalists are being mailed out a bunch of indie stores today. If you’re a bookseller and would like some of these, please email me at chad.post [at] rochester.edu. And we’ll continue to post pics from bookstores across the country leading up to the grand announcements on April 29th.

31 July 09 | Chad W. Post | Comments

Here’s a message from Monica Carter of Salonica and Skylight Books—our featured indie store of the month—about some interesting upcoming events.

One of the trademarks of Skylight Books is the ability to recognize and promote the literary greats of our time. Ten years ago, Skylight Books not only participated in the Harry Potter phenomenon with a midnight release party, but was the originator of the Thomas Pynchon Against the Day midnight release party. The tradition continues at Skylight Books with our dedication to celebrating the literary talents of today with our second Thomas Pynchon Midnight Release Party for his new novel, Inherent Vice, on August 4. Along with Pynchon, we will be hosting not one but two parties for Infinite Summer (not a footnote of a party, a PARTY!), the effort of bibliophiles from around the world to read Infinite Jest over the summer of 2009. William T. Vollman has been a perennial bestseller at our store and also a staff favorite which is why we are the only independent bookstore in Los Angeles to host an event for his new book of photographs, Imperial. These events are indicative of Skylight Books’ commitment to fostering cultural vivacity in our own community as well as the global literary community.

17 July 09 | Chad W. Post | Comments

From this month’s featured independent bookstore:

Skylight Books turns it up a notch in July and August with Hot Summer Nights extending their hours till Midnight on Fridays and Saturdays for the rest of the summer. Located in a busy, walking-friendly neighborhood of Los Feliz and accentuated beautiful California weather, Hot Summer Nights is definitely the independent bookstore to visit. Skylight is bringing in dj’s, showing movies, featuring live music, and offering discounts on books featured in the weekly theme. Late night Twitter and Facebook contests get everyone involved even if they aren’t there to enjoy the sweet treats and libations!

Which sounds like a great time. And like something other stores could be doing as well . . . When I worked at Schuler Books & Music in Grand Rapids, MI, I was always amazed by how many people would come out on a Friday or Saturday night just to browse, talk, drink coffee, etc. The store really was a destination . . . makes me wish Rochester still had a cool independent . . .

14 July 09 | Chad W. Post | Comments

OK, I fell a bit behind on updating our Indie Bookstore of the Month. And I wasn’t able to do all that I wanted to do for The Booksmith. But now that things in my life are calming down, I’m ready to get back into this, and as a result, for the rest of July and all of August we will be be featuring Skylight Books in Los Angeles.

Skylight is an interesting store. It’s one of the few independents that recently expanded, it has a cool tree growing inside, Kerry Slattery, Charles Hauther, and Monica Carter are all fantastic booksellers. (As are the rest of the staff, I’m sure—these are just the three I know.)

So barring another catastrophe, there will be several more posts about Skylight over the next six weeks or so.

We're Not Here to Disappear
We're Not Here to Disappear by Olivia Rosenthal
Reviewed by Megan C. Ferguson

Originally published in French in 2007, We’re Not Here to Disappear (On n’est pas là pour disparaître) won the Prix Wepler-Fondation La Poste and the Prix Pierre Simon Ethique et Réflexion. The work has been recently translated by Béatrice Mousli. . .

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The Queen's Caprice
The Queen's Caprice by Jean Echenoz
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

Even though the latest from Jean Echenoz is only a thin volume containing seven of what he calls “little literary objects,” it is packed with surprises. In these pieces, things happen below the surface, sometimes both literally and figuratively. As. . .

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French Concession
French Concession by Xiao Bai
Reviewed by Emily Goedde

Who is this woman? This is the question that opens Xiao Bai’s French Concession, a novel of colonial-era Shanghai’s spies and revolutionaries, police and smugglers, who scoot between doorways, walk nonchalantly down avenues, smoke cigars in police bureaus, and lounge. . .

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Anna Karenina
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

For the past 140 years, Anna Karenina has been loved by millions of readers all over the world. It’s easy to see why: the novel’s two main plots revolve around characters who are just trying to find happiness through love.. . .

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The Cold Song
The Cold Song by Linn Ullmann
Reviewed by David Richardson

Linn Ullmann’s The Cold Song, her fifth novel, is built much like the house about which its story orbits: Mailund, a stately white mansion set in the Norwegian countryside a few hours drive from Oslo. The house, nestled into the. . .

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This Life
This Life by Karel Schoeman
Reviewed by P. T. Smith

Karel Schoeman’s Afrikaans novel, This Life, translated by Else Silke, falls into a genre maybe only noticed by the type of reader who tends toward Wittgenstein-type family resemblances. The essential resemblance is an elderly narrator, usually alone—or with one other. . .

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A Dilemma
A Dilemma by Joris-Karl Hyusmans
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

In Joris-Karl Hyusmans’s most popular novel, À rebours (Against Nature or Against the Grain, depending on the which translated edition you’re reading), there is a famous scene where the protagonist, the decadent Jean des Esseintes, starts setting gemstones on the. . .

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