Staff Recommendations

A listing of staff proclivities, recommended by both past and present bookstore and publishing employees. Check back for new recommendations each month as we bring you the best of what we're reading or have read. Browse by title, author or staff member!



  Andy
  |  Caitlyn
  |  Cassie
  |  Chris
  |  Don
  |  Elaine
  |  Erin
  |  Garrett
  |  Greg
  |  Ivy
  |  Jared
  |  Lawrence
  |  Linda
  |  Michael
  |  Nancy
  |  Paul
  |  Peter
  |  Ryan
  |  Scott
  |  Stacey
  |  Tân
  |  Vanessa

   
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    sort list by title | author | publication date


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theMystery.doc
A Novel
Matthew McIntosh
The headache gets worse & worse & never stops, not even for a second. There are lots of other subplots too. —Recommended by Jared & Paul
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Forest Dark
A Novel
Nicole Krauss
Reading a traditional synopsis, this book is not what it says it is about. It is about the "unheimlich": all that is familiar becomes strange, everything eventually becomes its opposite. A hushed and gorgeous examination of the chain of unexpected events that become our lives. —Recommended by Caitlyn
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At the Existentialist Cafe
Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails with Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Others
Sarah Bakewell
Bakewell manifests the freedom and thrill of existentialism with hardly any of the dread. You are free. You decide. —Recommended by Caitlyn
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Blood in the Water
The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy
Heather Ann Thompson
A powerful and extraordinarily comprehensive study of the Attica uprising and its aftermath, and the repercussions still felt in our diabolical prison system today. —Recommended by Michael
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My Absolute Darling
A Novel
Gabriel Tallent
A brilliant and immersive, all-consuming read about one fourteen-year-old girl's heart-stopping fight for her own soul. —Recommended by Paul
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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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Arbitrary Stupid Goal
Tamara Shopsin
A philosophical (and illustrated) NYC voyage to the art of everyday ecstasy; Shopsin's refrigerator of wisdom contains pounds of plastic grapes, menus 35 years long, and crossword puzzle correspondences. —Recommended by Ryan
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Large Animals
Stories
Like telling a joke at a funeral. Like getting the spins in a friend's car. Like losing a limb but gaining some costume-shop wings. —Recommended by Ivy
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Sallies, Romps, Portraits and Send Offs
Selected Prose 2000-2018
A delightful and cantankerous collection of essays and criticism about good poets and bad poets, homicidal musicians, obsessive music collecting and the eerie delights of San Francisco fog. A perfect introduction to the local bard's tender and curmudgeonly oeuvre. —Recommended by Michael, City Lights Bookstore
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How to Kill a City
Gentrification, Inequality, and the Fight for the Neighborhood
Peter Moskowitz
A clarifying, nuanced look at one of the defining issues of our times. —Recommended by Ivy
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You Don't Have to Say You Love Me
A Memoir
Sherman Alexie
The sad and mirthful memoir by talented fiction writer and poet about the death of his mother is filled with stories and heartfelt poetry about growing up on and off an Indian reservation. If you've ever lost a loved one, it will bring tears to your eyes. —Recommended by Don
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The End
Fernanda Torres
Bitter and bracing as a shot of Fernet.—Recommended by Vanessa
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Modernism in the Streets
A Life and Times in Essays
Marshall Berman
Both an intellectual biography and a protean collection of social criticism from the late, preeminent philosopher, urbanist and "Marxist with soul." I was skeptical when I got to his chapter on hip-hop (what could this old white man possibly have to say?) but it burned with insight and radical passion. —Recommended by Michael
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Goodbye, Vitamin
Rachel Khong
You can devour this book in a sitting or two, and then return to like a condensed memory of sweetness—our first ice cream, maybe, or fresh cherries in July. —Recommended by Vanessa

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