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Difficult Women
Stories
Roxane Gay
"Roxane Gay does not mince words or shy away from investigating the power dynamics of sex. An outstanding collection of stories including 'The Sacrifice of Darkness,' the perfect companion to Ray Bradbury's classic 'All Summer in a Day.'" —Recommended by Stacey
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Lucky Boy
a novel
Shanthi Sekaran
A prescient novel, the Bay Area's Shanthi Sekaran's Lucky Boy is the one book I'd require someone to read to the president (because, ya know . . . ) before he says or tweets one more horrifying thing about immigration policy in the U.S. —Recommended by Stacey
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My Favorite Thing is Monsters
A young girl befriends monsters, real and imagined, in this unhinged and singular coming-of-age story. —Recommended by Stacey
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Shakespeare and Company, Paris
A History of the Rag & Bone Shop of the Heart
Krista Halverson
Our "sister" bookstore finally gets the biography it deserves. Exquisite and intimate, Krista Halverson brings together the stories of the many brilliant people involved with Shakespeare & Co. over its long and fruitful history. —Recommended by Stacey, City Lights Publishers
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M Train
Patti Smith
Reading this book provided a meditative type of joy, and also reassured me that there is nothing wrong with my coffee habit. —Recommended by Stacey, City Lights Publishers
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Jane
A Murder
Maggie Nelson
Maggie Nelson has a lot of fans on staff at City Lights, and I'm the latest member to join the club. Nelson compellingly portrays the murder of her aunt using a mix of memoir, theory, and poetics. Suggest reading "The Red Parts" (a nonfiction account by Nelson) first. —Recommended by Stacey, City Lights, Publishers
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Red Parts
Autobiography of a Trail
Maggie Nelson
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Gabi
A Girl in Pieces
Isabel Quintero
Wish this book had been around during the angst of my youth, but at least one can pick it up now and revel in the author's grace and humor in dealing with very heavy subject matter. Isabel Quintero reminds us of the transformative power of journal writing, as well. (For ages 12 and up) —Recommended by Stacey, City Lights Publishers
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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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Bad Feminist
Essays
Roxane Gay
I compulsively read Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist whenever I could get a spare moment. My commute (my life!) was vastly improved as it felt like my coolest, smartest, pop-culture literate, and humane friend was sharing the ride, offering the low down on--and a considered critique of--the too numerous troublesome aspects of American life and culture.
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I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts
Drive-by Essays on American Dread, American Dreams
Mark Dery
"I must not think bad thoughts. I must not think bad thoughts." These lyrics by the band X have been my mantra on many occasions as I trudged my way here and there. Lucky for us that Mark Dery goes deep into the territories that many of us shun, illuminating the absurdity, humor and truths found on the dark side. —Recommended by Stacey, City Lights
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Migrant
The Journey of a Mexican Worker
José Manual Mateo
This absolutely exquisite book relays the truths about immigration, utilizing the ancient form of the codex to a startling contemporary effect. —Recommended by Stacey, City lights Books
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Are You My Mother?
A Comic Drama
Alison Bechdel
Pretty heady stuff going on here as Bechdel cross-examines her childhood to consider how she was affected by a smart, artistic, but emotionally-removed mother, and a repressed, angry father. If you don't regularly gravitate towards graphic novels, but love memoirs, this might be the ideal book for you to get a sense of the amazing genre.
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Just Kids
Unabridged Audiobook
Patti Smith
Patti Smith reads her award-winning memoir

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