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

 

Featured and Recommended Titles at the Bookstore

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W.E.B. Du Bois's Data Portraits
Visualizing Black America
Whitney Battle-Baptiste, Britt Rusert
Recommended by Paul The colorful charts, graphs, and maps presented at the 1900 Paris Exposition by famed sociologist and black rights activist W. E. B. Du Bois offered a view into the lives of black Americans, conveying a literal and figurative representation of "the color line."
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Ways of Hearing
Damon Krukowski
Based on his ear-opening podcast, Ways of Hearing expertly chronicles the transition from analog culture to digital. And while Krukowski points out what is gained in the digital world, he also reminds us what we're losing- and who's making those decisions for us. - Recommended by Andy & Paul
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Black Leopard, Red Wolf
(The Dark Star Trilogy)
Marlon James
Spilling copious amounts of warm blood, Marlon James has dipped into African folklore & myth to breathe new life into a genre that was in danger of stagnation. I had given up on anything contemporary resembling high fantasy. Then this book hit. What seemed old & stuffy now feels unique, shocking, & challenging. As it should. - Recommended by Daven
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One, No One, and One Hundred Thousand
Luigi Pirandello
Another Spurl Editions book for you FREAKS out there. A book about a descent into madness, sprung from an outside observation, and thus realization, about his nose. Point your finger and holler MADMAN! MADMAN! MADMAN! recommended by Jared, City Lights Bookstore
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Compass
Mathias Enard
Every decade or so, a book comes along that demonstrates the true gift that is 'Literature'. Compass is just such a book, one that through one man's single sleepless night plumbs no less than mortality, love, music, and the historical intermingling of two great cultures seemingly at odds. -- Recommended by Christopher P.
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Emergent Strategy
Shaping Change, Changing Worlds
adrienne marie brown
Inspired by Octavia Butler's explorations of our human relationship to change, Emergent Strategy is radical self-help, society-help, and planet-help designed to shape the futures we want to live.
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Women of Resistance
Poems for a New Feminism
Danielle Barnhart, Iris Mahan
"Pick up this glowing book as you're crawling through the rubble, and poem by poem and page by page you’ll begin to know that you’ll be okay. You’re in there, and so are your friends. You won’t starve, you’re safe and strong thanks to all these proud, funny, violent, trembling words." --Eileen Myles
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They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us
Essays
Hanif Abdurraqib
"THIS IS MY FAVORITE COLLECTION OF ESSAYS RIGHT NOW. IF YOU DON'T APPRECIATE HANIF ABDURRAQIB, YOU'RE NOT MY FRIEND! --Recommended by Jared