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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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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'Pataphysics
A Useless Guide
Andrew Hugill
Of all the French cultural exports over the last 150 years or so, 'pataphysics—the science of imaginary solutions and the laws governing exceptions—has proven to be one of the most durable. Originating in the wild imagination of French poet and playwright Alfred Jarry and his schoolmates, resisting clear definition, purposefully useless...
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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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Streetopia
Erick Lyle
Utopic San Francisco exists in the unrelenting imaginations of some of our most brilliant local artists and activists. This series of essays and photographs challenges us to reimagine urban space as an artistic playground for all—not just for techies and the nouveau riches. —Recommended by Ivy, City Lights Books
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All Over Coffee
Paul Madonna
"A comic strip with no characters, plot or comedy – just exquisitely observed, fine-lined drawings of sunlit San Francicso, captioned with bittersweet fragments of dialogue. For fans of . . . Pekar's slice-of-life miniatures . . ." – Entertainment Weekly
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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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Women of the Avant-Garde
1920-1940
Mette Marcus, Kristen Degel, Michael Juul Holm, Jeanne Rank
Women of the Avant-Garde 1920-1940 presents eight female artists who made major contributions to Dada, Surrealism, Constructivism and other European avant-gardes of the modernist era: Claude Cahun, Sonia Delaunay, Germaine Dulac, Florence Henri...
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Here
Richard McGuire
A beautiful exploration of a single place through time, from void to form to void again. Go ahead, open to a page, any page... —Recommended by Vanessa, City Lights Books Also recommended by Paul, City Lights Books
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Urban Code
100 Lessons for Understanding the City
Anne Mikoleit, Moritz Pürckhauer
Cities speak, and this little book helps us understand their language. Considering the urban landscape not from the abstract perspective of an urban planner but from the viewpoint of an attentive observer, Urban Code...
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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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Dada Painters and Poets
An Anthology, Second Edition
Robert Motherwell
The Dada Painters and Poets offers the authentic answer to the question "What is Dada?" This incomparable collection of essays, manifestos, and illustrations was prepared by Robert Motherwell with the collaboration of some of the major Dada figures: Marcel Duchamp, Jean Arp, and Max Ernst among others.
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The Future of the Skyscraper
SOM Thinkers
Philip Nobel
Engines of industry, expressions of ego or will, tall towers are nonetheless, when they pierce the shared skies, intensely public. We may ask of them artistic questions: what do we make of these things we make? What do these forms mean?
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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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San Francisco
A Map of Perceptions
Andrea Ponsi
San Francisco is a city designed for artists and wanderers. From North Beach, to Chinatown, to the cold, rough surf of Ocean Beach, to Marin, both visitors and lifelong residents have endless opportunities to explore new neighborhoods, buildings, environments, and cultures just by getting in the car, hopping on a cable car, or by simply...

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