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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Funk & Soul Covers
Joaquim Paulo, Julius Wiedemann
Following the success of Jazz Covers, this epic volume of groove assembles over 500 legendary covers from a golden era in African-American music. Psychedelia meets Black Power, sexual liberation meets social conscience and street portraiture meets fantastical cartoon in this dazzling anthology of visualized funk and soul.
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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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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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The Hare with Amber Eyes
A Hidden Inheritance
Edmund de Waal
An Economist Book of the Year        Costa Book Award Winner for Biography     Galaxy National Book Award Winner (New Writer of the Year Award)Edmund de Waal is a world-famous ceramicist. Having spent thirty years making beautiful pots—which are then...
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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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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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Philosophers on Art from Kant to the Postmodernists
A Critical Reader
Christopher Kul-Want
Here, for the first time, Christopher Kul-Want brings together twenty-five texts on art written by twenty philosophers. Covering the Enlightenment to postmodernism, these essays draw on Continental philosophy and aesthetics, the Marxist intellectual...
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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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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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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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Shock Treatment
Expanded 25th Anniversary Edition
Karen Finley
Expanded anniversary edition of this 1990 classic by America's most provocative performance artist, as outrageous, insightful and relevant as ever.

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