Art & Architecture
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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Genthe's Photographs of San Francisco's Old Chinatown
John Kuo Wei Tchen
130 rare photos offer fascinating visual record of Chinatown before the great 1906 earthquake. Informative text traces history of Chinese in...
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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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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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How to Read a Novelist
John Freeman
The novel is alive and well, thank you very much. For the last fifteen years, whenever a novel was published, John Freeman was there to greet it. As a critic for more than two hundred newspapers worldwide, the onetime president of the National Book Critics Circle, and the current editor of Granta, he has reviewed thousands of books and...
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How to Read Bridges
A Crash Course in Engineering and Architecture
Edward Denison, Ian Stewart
This accessible book is a visual guide to understanding and identifying architectural styles and engineering techniques of all types of bridges, from ancient Roman arch bridges and nineteenth-century truss bridges prevalent in the United States, to the latest high-design cantilever and suspension bridges of the moment.
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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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In Praise of Shadows
Jun'ichirō Tanizaki
An essay on aesthetics by the Japanese novelist, this book explores architecture, jade, food, and even toilets, combining an acute sense of the use of space in buildings. The book also includes descriptions of laquerware under candlelight and women in...
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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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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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River of Shadows
Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West
Rebecca Solnit
The world as we know it today began in California in the late 1800s, and Eadweard Muybridge had a lot to do with it. This striking assertion is at the heart of Rebecca Solnit's new book, which weaves together biography, history, and fascinating...
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San Francisco Chinatown
A Guide to Its History and Architecture
Philip P. Choy
Both a history of America's oldest Chinese community and a guide to its significant sites and architecture San Francisco Chinatown is the first book of its kind, written by someone born and raised there.
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San Francisco in the 1930s
The WPA Guide to the City by the Bay
Federal Writers Project of the Works Project Administration
"San Francisco has no single landmark by which the world may identify it," according to San Francisco in the 1930s, originally published in 1940. This would surely come as a surprise to the millions who know and love the Golden Gate Bridge or...
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Secret Exhibition
Six California Artists
Rebecca Solnit
Secret Exhibition chronicles a vital California art movement, focusing on six artists – Wallace Bergman, Jess, Bruce Conner, Jay DeFeo, Wally Hendrick, and George Herms – who broke new ground with provocative work, especially in assemblage and...

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