Welcome to City Lights Bookstore!

A literary meeting place since 1953, City Lights is a landmark general bookstore, internationally known for its expert selection of books and for its commitment to free intellectual inquiry. Here you can check out our events calendar, browse a selection of featured books, new releases and recommended titles from the City Lights staff, sign up to receive City Lights newsletters, and learn a bit of the history of City Lights.

For any immediate questions or concerns, see our contact page or give us a call at (415) 362-8193

 

ABOUT OUR NEW BOOKSTORE SECTION, "PEDAGOGIES OF RESISTANCE"

Created in the wake of the November election, our newest bookstore section, Pedagogies of Resistance, is designed to act as an educational course in revolutionary competence. These texts build upon one another to highlight the motivations, ideas, successes, and failures that define past and present revolutionary movements in order to illuminate possibilities for current and future movement builders. 

This developing list consists of nearly 100 books, and can be found on a visit to our bookstore—we hope you'll come by to check out our new section. Our democracy needs every one of us to be as informed and engaged as possible! Arm yourself with information.

DOWNLOAD THE LIST HERE, WHICH WE ENCOURAGE YOU SHARE.

 

 

 

 

Featured and Recommended Titles at the Bookstore

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American Originality
Essays on Poetry
Louise Gluck
Determined to wrest ample, often contradictory meaning from our current literary discourse, Glück comprehends and destabilizes notions of "narcissism" and “genius” that are unique to the American literary climate. Forceful, revealing, challenging, and instructive, American Originality is a seminal critical achievement.
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The Golden Legend
A Novel
Nadeem Aslam
In his characteristically luminous prose, Nadeem Aslam has given us a lionhearted novel that reflects Pakistan's past and present in a single mirror, a story of corruption, resilience, and the disguises that are sometimes necessary for survival--a revelatory portrait of the human spirit.
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Such Small Hands
Andrés Barba
A brilliant little fright!—Recommended by Cassie & Paul
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An Unrestored Woman
Shobha Rao
In paired stories that hail from India and Pakistan to the United States, Italy, and England, we witness the ramifications of the violent uprooting of families, the price they pay over generations, and the uncanny relevance these stories have in our world today. —Recommended by Jared, City Lights Booksellers
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Too Much and Not the Mood
Essays
Durga Chew-Bose
A debut collection of essays that feels at once like a long cool drink and a finely calibrated prism. Chew-Bose is one to keep an eye on.—Recommended by Vanessa
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American War
A Novel
Omar El Akkad
Sarat Chestnut, born in Louisiana, is only six when the Second American Civil War breaks out in 2074. But even she knows that oil is outlawed, that Louisiana is half underwater, and that unmanned drones fill the sky. When her father is killed and her family is forced into Camp Patience for displaced persons...
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Jazz and Cocktails
Rethinking Race and the Sound of Film Noir
Jans B. Wager
Film noir showcased hard-boiled men and dangerous femmes fatales, rain-slicked city streets, pools of inky darkness cut by shards of light, and, occasionally, jazz. Jazz served as a shorthand for the seduction and risks of the mean streets in early film noir.—Recommended by Michael
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White Tears
A Novel
Hari Kunzru
White Tears is a ghost story, a terrifying murder mystery, a timely meditation on race, and a love letter to all the forgotten geniuses of American music and Delta Mississippi Blues.—Recommended by Paul
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What It Means When A Man Falls From The Sky
Stories
Lesley Nneka Arimah
In "Who Will Greet You at Home," a National Magazine Award finalist for The New Yorker, A woman desperate for a child weaves one out of hair, with unsettling results. In “Wild,” a disastrous night out shifts a teenager and her Nigerian cousin onto uneasy common ground.
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Sorry To Disrupt the Peace
A Novel
Patty Yumi Cottrell
A bleakly comic tour de force that's by turns poignant, uproariously funny, and viscerally unsettling, this debut novel has shades of Bernhard, Beckett and Bowles—and it announces the singular voice of Patty Yumi Cottrell.
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The Idiot
A Novel
Elif Batuman
The year is 1995, and email is new. Selin, the daughter of Turkish immigrants, arrives for her freshman year at Harvard. She signs up for classes in subjects she has never heard of, befriends her charismatic and worldly Serbian classmate, Svetlana, and, almost by accident, begins corresponding with Ivan, an older mathematics student from Hungary.
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Poems from the Women's Movement
Honor Moore
The Women's Movement of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s generated an extraordinary outpouring of poetry that captured an age of expectancy, of defiant purpose, and exuberant exploration. Here, brought together for the first time, are the poems that gave voice...
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Lincoln in the Bardo
A Novel
George Saunders
February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln's beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill.
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White Trash
The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America
Nancy Isenberg
In her groundbreaking  bestselling history of the class system in America, Nancy Isenberg, #4 on the 2016 Politico 50 list, takes on our comforting myths about equality, uncovering the crucial legacy of the ever-present, always embarrassing—if occasionally entertaining—poor white trash.