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.

Keep in mind that our website represents only a tiny percentage of the titles we actually carry in our bookstore, so if you don't see what you want, please do give us a call Monday - Saturday from 12-6pm, or email us at orders@citylights.com anytime to inquire about availability — we probably have what you want! 

For any immediate questions or concerns, see our contact page or give us a call at (415) 362-8193

 

SEE ALL STAFF RECOMMENDATIONS >>

 

Featured and Recommended Titles at the Bookstore

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Harmada
João Gilberto Noll
Told using Noll's characteristic fragmented logic and spirited prose, Harmada traces the life of this nameless man on a voyage that takes him from aimless outcast to revered director of avant-garde theater, from asylum patient to father to God, conjuring the essential questions about the power of art and storytelling, the vanity of glory,
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Still Life: A Novel
Zoë Wicomb
A stunningly original new novel exploring race, truth in authorship, and the legacy of past exploitation, from the Windham-Campbell lifetime achievement award winner
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Red Comet: The Short Life and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath
Heather Clark
The highly anticipated new biography of Sylvia Plath that focuses on her remarkable literary and intellectual achievements, while restoring the woman behind the long-held myths about her life and art. --Recommended by Ryan
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Lakota America: A New History of Indigenous Power (The Lamar Series in Western History)
Pekka Hamalainen
The first comprehensive history of the Lakota Indians and their profound role in shaping America's history Named One of the New York Times Critics' Top Books of 2019 • Named One of the 10 Best History Books of 2019 by Smithsonian Magazine • Winner of the MPIBA Reading the West Book Award for narrative nonfiction
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White Tears/Brown Scars: How White Feminism Betrays Women of Color
Ruby Hamad
Called "powerful and provocative" by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, author of the New York Times bestselling How to be an Antiracist, this explosive book of history and cultural criticism reveals how white feminism has been used as a weapon of white supremacy and patriarchy deployed against Black and Indigenous women, and women of color.
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The Technology Trap: Capital, labor and Power in the Age of Automation
Carl Benedikt Frey
How the history of technological revolutions can help us better understand economic and political polarization in the age of automation
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If Then
How the Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future
Jill Lepore
A revelatory account of the Cold War origins of the data-mad, algorithmic twenty-first century, from the author of the acclaimed international bestseller These Truths.
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Fire Is upon Us
James Baldwin, William F. Buckley Jr., and the Debate over Race in America
Nicholas Buccola
How the legendary debate between a civil rights firebrand and the father of modern conservatism illuminates America's racial divide
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Just Us
An American Conversation
Claudia Rankine
As everyday white supremacy becomes increasingly vocalized with no clear answers at hand, how best might we approach one another? Claudia Rankine, without telling us what to do, urges us to begin the discussions that might open pathways through this divisive and stuck moment in American history.
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His Truth Marching On
John Lewis and the Power of Hope
Jon Meacham
An intimate and revealing portrait of civil rights icon and longtime U.S. congressman John Lewis, linking his life to the painful quest for justice in America from the 1950s to the present—from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Soul of America
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Transcendent Kingdom
Yaa Gyasi
Yaa Gyasi's stunning follow-up to her acclaimed national best seller Homegoing is a powerful, raw, intimate, deeply layered novel about a Ghanaian family in Alabama.
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Out of Mesopotamia
A Novel
Salar Abdoh
Informed by firsthand experience on the battlefronts of Iraq and Syria, Abdoh captures the horror, confusion, and absurdity of combat from a seldom-glimpsed perspective that expands our understanding of the war novel.
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Finna
Poems
Nate Marshall
Sharp, lyrical poems celebrating the Black vernacular—its influence on pop culture, its necessity for familial survival, its rite in storytelling and in creating the safety found only within its intimacy --recommended by Paul
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Aby Warburg: Bilderatlas Mnemosyne
: The Original
$230.00 PLEASE CALL THE STORE FOR PURCHASE INQUIRIES A legendary modernist epic of visual thinking from the founder of iconology, tracing the migration of symbols through art, history and cosmology―reconstructed and accessible for the first time
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A Promised Land
Barack Obama
A riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making—from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy