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.

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Featured and Recommended Titles at the City Lights Bookstore

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My Torturess
Bensalem Himmich
In this harrowing novel, a young Moroccan bookseller is falsely accused of being involved in jihadist activities. Drugged and carried off the street, Hamuda is "extraordinarily rendered" to a prison camp in an unknown location where he is interrogated and subjected to various methods of torture.
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An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
2015 Recipient of the American Book Award Today in the United States, there are more than five hundred federally recognized Indigenous nations comprising nearly three million people, descendants of the fifteen million Native people who once inhabited this land.
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Big Data
A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think
Kenneth Cukier, Viktor Mayer-Schonberger
"Illuminating and very timely . . . a fascinating—and sometimes alarming—survey of big data's growing effect on just about everything: business, government, science and medicine, privacy, and even on the way we think." —New York Times
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The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness
Rebecca Solnit
The incomparable Rebecca Solnit, author of more than a dozen acclaimed, prizewinning books of nonfiction including Men Explain Things To Me, brings the same dazzling writing to the essays in The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness.
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Crossing the Bay of Bengal
The Furies of Nature and the Fortunes of Migrants
Sunil S. Amrith
Recommended by Paul, City Lights Books For centuries the Bay of Bengal served as a maritime highway between India and China, and as a battleground for European empires, while being shaped by monsoons and human migration. Integrating environmental history and mining a wealth of sources, Sunil S. Amrith offers insights to the many challenges...
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Deep Down Dark
The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free
Héctor Tobar
When the San José mine collapsed outside of Copiapó, Chile, in August 2010, it trapped thirty-three miners beneath thousands of feet of rock for a record-breaking sixty-nine days. After the disaster, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Héctor Tobar received exclusive access to the miners and their tales...
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Internal Medicine
A Doctor's Stories
Terrence Holt
"Illuminates human fragility in tales both lyrical and soul-wrenching." ―Danielle Ofri, New York Times Book Review In this “artful, unfailingly human, and understandable” (Boston Globe) account inspired by his own experiences becoming a doctor, Terrence Holt puts readers on the front lines of the harrowing crucible of a medical residency.
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Dr. Mutter's Marvels
A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine
Cristin O'Keefe-Aptowicz
A mesmerizing biography of the brilliant and eccentric medical innovator who revolutionized American surgery and founded the country's most famous museum of medical oddities Imagine undergoing an operation without anesthesia, performed by a surgeon who refuses to sterilize his tools—or even wash his hands.
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LAPD '53
James Ellroy
James Ellroy, the undisputed master of crime writing, has teamed up with the Los Angeles Police Museum to present a stunning text on 1953 LA. While combing the museum's photo archives, Ellroy discovered that the year featured a wide array of stark and unusual imagery—and he has written 25,000 words that illuminate the crimes and...
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Writing America
Literary Landmarks from Walden Pond to Wounded Knee
Shelley Fisher Fishkin
American novelist E.L. Doctorow once observed that literature "endows places with meaning." Yet, as this wide-ranging new book vividly illustrates, understanding the places that shaped American writers' lives and their art can provide deep insight into what makes their literature truly meaningful.
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The Witches
Salem, 1692
Stacy Schiff
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Cleopatra, the #1 national bestseller, unpacks the mystery of the Salem Witch Trials. It began in 1692, over an exceptionally raw Massachusetts winter, when a minister's daughter began to scream and convulse. It ended less than a year later, but not before 19 men and women had been hanged...
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The Stories of Breece D'J Pancake
Breece D'J Pancake
Breece D'J Pancake cut short a remarkably promising career when he took his own life in 1979 at the age of 26. In 1983 Little, Brown and Company's posthumous publication of this book—a collection of stories that depict, with astonishing power and grace, the world of Pancake's native rural West Virginia—electrified the literary world...
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A Novel
Michel Houellebecq
A controversial, intelligent, and mordantly funny new novel from France's most famous living literary figure It's 2022. François is bored. He's a middle-aged lecturer at the New Sorbonne University and an expert on J. K. Huysmans, the famous nineteenth-century Decadent author. But François's own decadence is considerably smaller in scale.
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Our Only World
Ten Essays
Wendell Berry
In this new collection of ten essays, Berry confronts head-on the necessity of clear thinking and direct action. Never one to ignore the present challenge, he understands that only clearly stated questions support the understanding their answers require. For more than fifty years we've had no better spokesman and no more eloquent advocate...
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The Future of the Skyscraper
SOM Thinkers
Philip Nobel
Engines of industry, expressions of ego or will, tall towers are nonetheless, when they pierce the shared skies, intensely public. We may ask of them artistic questions: what do we make of these things we make? What do these forms mean?
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The Money Makers
How Roosevelt and Keynes Ended the Depression, Defeated Fascism, and Secured a Prosperous Peace
Eric Rauchway
Shortly after arriving in the White House in early 1933, Franklin Roosevelt took the United States off the gold standard. His opponents thought his decision unwise at best, and ruinous at worst. But they could not have been more wrong. With The Money Makers, Eric Rauchway tells the absorbing story of how FDR and his advisors pulled the levers...
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The Lost Art of Finding Our Way
John Edward Huth
Long before GPS and Google Earth, humans traveled vast distances using environmental clues and simple instruments. What is lost when technology substitutes for our innate capacity to find our way? Illustrated with 200 drawings, this narrative―part treatise, part travelogue, and part navigational history―brings our own world into sharper view.
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The First Bad Man
A Novel
Miranda July
A surreal and hilarious telling of how one woman found herself through self-defense videos, a reincarnated baby named Kubelko Bondy, and realizing that everyone is just as neurotic as you fear yourself to be. —Recommended by Caitlyn, City Lights Books