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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The Dream Colony
A Life in Art
Walter Hopps
A panoramic look at art in America in the second half of the twentieth century, through the eyes of the visionary curator who helped shape it. An innovative, iconoclastic curator of contemporary art, Walter Hopps founded his first gallery in L.A. at the age of twenty-one. —Recommended by Paul
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The Answers
A Novel
Catherine Lacey
—Recommended by Cassie
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Hadriana in All My Dreams
A Novel
René Depestre
Hadriana in All My Dreams, winner of the prestigious Prix Renaudot, takes place primarily during Carnival in 1938 in the Haitian village of Jacmel. A beautiful young French woman, Hadriana, is about to marry a Haitian boy from a prominent family. But on the morning of the wedding, Hadriana drinks a mysterious potion and collapses at the altar.
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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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South and West
From A Notebook
Joan Didion
Joan Didion has always kept notebooks: of overheard dialogue, observations, interviews, drafts of essays and articles--and here is one such draft that traces a road trip she took with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, in June 1970, through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. She interviews prominent local figures, describes motels, diners...
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Other Minds
The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness
Peter Godfrey-Smith
Although mammals and birds are widely regarded as the smartest creatures on earth, it has lately become clear that a very distant branch of the tree of life has also sprouted higher intelligence: the cephalopods, consisting of the squid, the cuttlefish, and above all the octopus.
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Flaneuse
Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London
The "flaneur" has long been explicitly gendered male, but we city women know better. Elkin delves into the history of both the term and the act itself through literature, film, cultural criticism, and her own experience, leaving no doubt that a woman walking alone in the city has been—and still is—a subversive figure.—Recommended by Erin
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The Verso Book of Dissent
Revolutionary Words from Three Millennia of Rebellion and Resistance, New Edition
Andrew Hsiao, Audrea Lim
Throughout the ages and across every continent, people have struggled against those in power and raised their voices in protest-rallying others around them or, sometimes, inspiring uprisings many years later. Their echoes reverberate from Ancient Greece, China and Egypt, via the dissident poets...
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The Mirror Thief
A Novel
Seay's debut novel is a true delight, a big, beautiful cabinet of wonders that is by turns an ominous modern thriller, a supernatural mystery, and an enchanting historical adventure story." Set in three cities in three eras.—Recommended by Andy
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Miss Burma
A Novel
Charmaine Craig
A beautiful and poignant story of one family during the most violent and turbulent years of world history, Miss Burma is a powerful novel of love and war, colonialism and ethnicity, and the ties of blood.—Recommended by Paul
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Together and By Ourselves
Alex Dimitrov
Alex Dimitrov's second book of poems, takes on broad existential questions and the reality of our current moment: being seemingly connected to one another, yet emotionally alone. —Recommended by Cassie, City Lights Booksellers
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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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A Cup of Rage
Raduan Nassar
Nasty, brutish, and short, i.e. perfect.— Recommended by Vanessa
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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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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...