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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Air Raid
The Air Raid on Halberstadt on 8 April 1945
Alexander Kluge
Translated by Martin Chalmers, Kluge's Air Raid is a touchstone event in German literature of the postwar era. Incorporating photographs, diagrams, and drawings, Kluge captures the overwhelming rapidity and totality of the organized destruction of his town from numerous perspectives, bringing to life both the strategy from above and the futility..
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The Feel Trio
Fred Moten
Fred Moten is the real deal of contemporary poetry. And this book, The Feel Trio, is one of his best numbers to date. Reprinting at least one of his hard-to-find chapbooks, this book is made up of three sections of poems that flail the margins of the pedestrian and the philosophically sublime. A finalist for the 2014 National Book Award in poetry
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Retrievals
Garrett Caples
Retrievals is a collection of criticism about underrecognized poets, unfairly discredited critics, artists obscured by more famous relations—basically, writers and artists that have fallen off the cultural map or never quite made it there in the first place. These essays, collected for the first time, span 10 years of Garrett Caples' writing...
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No Place to Hide
Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State
Glenn Greenwald
In May 2013, Glenn Greenwald set out for Hong Kong to meet an anonymous source who claimed to have astonishing evidence of pervasive government spying and insisted on communicating only through heavily encrypted channels. That source turned out to be the 29-year-old NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
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Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
A Novel
Haruki Murakami
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is the long-awaited new novel—a book that sold more than a million copies the first week it went on sale in Japan—from the award-winning, internationally best-selling author Haruki Murakami.
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S O S — Calling All Black People
A Black Arts Movement Reader
John H. Bracey Jr., Sonia Sanchez, James Smethurst
This volume brings together a broad range of key writings from the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, among the most significant cultural movements in American history. The aesthetic counterpart of the Black Power movement, it burst onto the scene in the form of artists circles, writers workshops, drama groups, dance troupes...
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No Future for You
Salvos from The Baffler
Thomas Frank, Chris Lehmann, John Summers
There's never been a better time to be outside the consensus -- and if you don't believe it, then peer into these genre-defining essays from The Baffler, the magazine that's been blunting the cutting edge of American culture and politics for a quarter of a century.
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Expect Delays
Poems
Bill Berkson
"A serene master of syntactical sleight and transformer of the mundane into the marvelous."—Publishers Weekly Wide-ranging and experimental, Expect Delays confronts past and present with rare equilibrium, eyeballing mortality while appreciating the richness and surprise, as well as the inevitable griefs, inherent in the time allowed.
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Language Arts
Cedar Sigo
Here is the peopled world that a poet's mind can hold. Overheard lines cast into the poems make for a monologue out of probable dialogue. The book reads like the real world’s rubble without the poet’s overcooked glaze, but also brings out the creative reader in the poet. And we as readers traverse the real and the real contained within the...
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All the Light We Cannot See
A Novel
Anthony Doerr
From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, a stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.
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The Heyday of Malcolm Margolin
The Damn Good Times of a Fiercely Independent Publisher
Kim Bancroft
Northern California's book publishers are idiosyncratic, uncompromising, funky, forward-thinking, often brilliant, but largely unheralded beyond the state’s borders. Here’s the perfect book to shift that paradigm. Malcolm Margolin’s story of creating and sustaining Heyday Books, a vital Berkeley-based press celebrating its 40th anniversary...
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Wise Latinas
Writers on Higher Education
Jennifer De Leon
College can be a complex time for Latinas, who are traditionally expected to leave home when they get married. In her essay "Only Daughter," author Sandra Cisneros remarks, “After four years in college and two more in graduate school, and still no husband, my father shakes his head even now and says I wasted all that education.”
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Over Easy
Mimi Pond
A charming/hilarious coming of age tale told in graphic novel form that depicts Mimi's existence as an art school drop out finding a new life behind the counter of an Oakland diner, and casting off the relics of the hippie age for the new punk dawn of 1978. —Recommended by Layla, City Lights Books