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 2016 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 200 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. The list was originally conceived in January 2017 and then updated in July 2017.

DOWNLOAD THE LIST HERE, WHICH WE ENCOURAGE YOU SHARE.

 

 

 

 

Featured and Recommended Titles at the Bookstore

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How to Write an Autobiographical Novel
Essays
Alexander Chee's essays have a dark radiance to them, and are among the best examples of sensuality as a mode of intelligence I’ve found. Highly recommended. —Recommended by Vanessa
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Pasta for Nightingales
A 17th-Century Handbook of Bird-Care and Folklore
Giovanni Pietro Olina
This beautifully illustrated book brings together the newly commissioned, first-ever English translation of one of the earliest studies in ornithology with the original watercolors, now part of the British Royal Collection, that provided the inspiration for its engraved illustrations. —Recommended by Andy
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Alienation and Freedom
Frantz Fanon
A fascinating array of uncollected (and several previously lost) essays by the great Pan-African philosopher and post-colonial theorist. This tome gives us a deeper and more personal portrait of the man himself, and his essays on racism, anti-imperialism and the psychology of fascism remain deeply relevant today.—Recommended by Michael
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The Mars Room
Rachel Kushner
Stunning and unsentimental, The Mars Room demonstrates new levels of mastery and depth in Kushner's work. It is audacious and tragic, propulsive and yet beautifully refined. —Recommended by Vanessa & Paul
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The Happy End / All Welcome
Kafka meets Office Space. —Recommended by Cassie
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A Lucky Man
Stories
Jamel Brinkley
Jamel Brinkley's stories, in a debut that announces the arrival of a significant new voice, reflect the tenderness and vulnerability of black men and boys whose hopes sometimes betray them, especially in a world shaped by race, gender, and class―where luck may be the greatest fiction of all. —Recommended by Andy
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Garbage Times / White Ibis
Two Novellas
Sam Pink
Sam Pink is the funniest writer in America. He will make you laugh, cry, and see the world, and its people, with new eyes. I want to be buried with this book. —Recommended by Joey
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Happiness
A Novel
Aminatta Forna
Forna asks us to consider the interconnectedness of lives, our co-existence with one another and all living creatures, and the true nature of happiness. —Recommended by Paul
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Mrs. Caliban
Rachel Ingalls
Who doesn't secretly want a frog monster boyfriend? —Recommended by Cassie & Vanessa
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Homesick for Another World
Stories
Ottessa Moshfegh
There's not a single character in this collection that I liked, but I was addicted to these stories, and found myself identifying with those characters—cursing myself for it. —Recommended by Jared
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Her Body and Other Parties
Stories
Carmen Maria Machado
Every story in Carmen Maria Machado's "Her Body and Other Parties" unfolds with the creepy languor of a Kubrick film. Machado seduces you with devilishly great prose only to deliver the coup de grace of terror like a stiletto to the throat. —Recommended by Vanessa & Paul
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New Analog
Listening and Reconnecting in a Digital World
Damon Krukowski
—Recommended by Elaine & Andy
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Since I Laid My Burden Down
A Novel
Brontez Purnell
"DeShawn told his mother, should anything happen, he wanted to be cremated. 'Where do you want your ashes thrown?' asked his mother. 'IN THE EYES OF MY ENEMIES.'"—Recommended by Jared & Ivy