Art, Architecture & Print Culture

Books in this online selection represent only a sliver of what we offer in the store. If you've got a particular book in mind and want to check on its availability, call us at 415-362-8193.



   
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All Over Coffee
Paul Madonna
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The Arcades Project
Walter Benjamin
You could spend years trying to read Walter Benjamin's The Arcades Project--after all, he spent much of the last 13 years of his life doing the research. When he committed suicide in 1940, he destroyed his copy of the manuscript, and so for decades the work was believed lost. But another copy turned up, and...
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Bibliodeath
My Archives (With Life in Footnotes)
Andrei Codrescu
Award-winning author Andrei Codrescu's Bibliodeath: My Archives (With Life in Footnotes) surveys the evolutionary relationship between language and technology by examining his own career as a prolific American writer for more than four decades,
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The Death and Life of Great American Cities
Jane Jacobs
A direct and fundamentally optimistic indictment of the short-sightedness and intellectual arrogance that has characterized much of urban planning in this century, The Death and Life of Great American Cities has, since its first publication in 1961...
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Designing San Francisco
Art, Land, and Urban Renewal in the City by the Bay
Alison Isenberg
Designing San Francisco is the untold story of the formative postwar decades when U.S. cities took their modern shape amid clashing visions of the future. —Recommended by Paul
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Doc/Undoc
Documentado/Undocumented Ars Shamánica Performática
Felicia Rice
MacArthur Genius Guillermo Gómez-Peña and award-winning book artist Felicia Rice create a multi-media, border-crossing hybrid: the book as performance art.
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Everything Is Its Own Reward
An All Over Coffee Collection
Paul Madonna
"The book is fantastic. Of time and tenderness. Beautiful drawings. Beautiful text. Ethereal and serious at once. The book is its own reward." -- Maira Kalman, author of "And the Pursuit of Happiness"
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Grapefruit
A Book of Instructions and Drawings by Yoko Ono
Yoko Ono
Quiet.It's a bomb. --Recommended by Tân, City Lights Books Back in print for the first time in nearly thirty years, here is Yoko Ono's whimsical, delightful, subversive, startling book of instructions for art and for life. "Burn this book after...
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How to Read Buildings
A Crash Course in Architectural Styles
Carol Davidson Cragoe
This practical primer is a handbook for decoding a building’s style, history, and evolution. Every building contains clues embedded in its design that identify not only its architectural style but also the story of who designed it, who it was built...
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Just Kids
Patti Smith
Just Kids illuminates the impressive lover of literature that Patti Smith is. Her memoir will be of particular interest to City Lights enthusiasts as she is our quintessential reader, a fan of the Surrealists...
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Kenneth Patchen A Centennial Selection
Kenneth Patchen, Jonathan Clark
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Lee Miller
A Life
Carolyn Burke
Lee Miller’s life embodied all the contradictions and complications of the twentieth century: a model and photographer, muse and reporter, sexual adventurer and domestic goddess, she was also America's first female war correspondent. Carolyn...
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Literary Wonderlands
A Journey Through The Greatest Fictional Worlds Ever Created
Laura Miller
Nothing is better than a book about books. This is exquisitely curated and wonderfully illustrated. Here are the fictional landscapes of Wonderlands, from ancient myths to the computer age. For every book we are given an essay, its history, the original covers, and quotations and fun facts. —Recommended by Don, City Lights Books
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Prison/Culture
Sharon E. Bliss, Kevin B. Chen, Steve Dickison, Mark Dean Johnson, Rebeka Rodriguez
Nearly fifty artists, poets, and activists examine the contemporary prison system through heartrending art and community

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