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Skylight’s Slattery to Hand Reins to New G.M.

Skylight Books’ co-owner and longtime general manager Kerry Slattery will be turning over the duties of general manager to staff member Mary Williams as of January 2015.   Slattery plans to serve as an advisor for the transition and will continue as managing partner of Skylight Books, LLC, which owns the store.          

“I have thought long and hard about what Skylight needs today — and I believe Mary has the right combination of leadership, vision, practicality, knowledge of books and the book industry, the ability to create teams, and the willingness to do whatever it takes,” said Slattery.

Williams has worked at the Los Angeles bookstore for more than six years. As Skylights’ events manager for the past five and a half years, she has booked and managed more than 300 in-store and off-site events per year. Williams is the immediate past president of the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association and has been on the SCIBA Board for four years.

Slattery said that one of the first items of business for Williams will be to create a Strategic Plan to define where Skylight is now and where it should be in five years.

“The growth and vitality of Skylight Books is the achievement I’m proudest of in my life,” Slattery said.  “We’ve continued to retain our unique personality and viability through challenging times, while rolling with the punches and embracing many changes in the bookselling world.  But now I’m 70 and I’d like to focus on some writing projects I’ve been thinking about and to take longer camping trips with my life partner, Ben DiGregorio, in our home-made teardrop trailer.”

Left Bank Publishing Program Celebrates First Release

Left Bank Books will celebrate the release of Alfred DePew’s A Wedding Song for Poorer People, the first publication of the store’s Mixed Messages Press, an imprint established this year to publish literary fiction, essays, and other quality literature by authors who have ties to the St. Louis area.

The launch party, which is free and open to the public, will feature a discussion, signing, and refreshments.

Mixed Messages Press titles are distributed to the trade by Ingram. Requests for author interviews, review copies, or photos should be addressed to Left Banks’ Lauren Wiser at

Books Unlimited Marks Anniversary During Window Wonderland

Books Unlimited in Franklin, North Carolina, will be celebrating its 31st birthday on December 6, to coincide with the town’s Window Wonderland, part of its Winter Wonderland events. The store, located on Main Street in Franklin’s historic downtown area, will have live people in its windows “doing activities that reflect our business interests. It’s fun and always draws a big crowd,” said owner Suzanne Harouff.

A November 29 edition of Winter Wonderland will also be held to coincide with Small Business Saturday. The town’s festivities draw crowds every night with music, lights, free wagon rides, parades, refreshments, and more.