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


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White Tears
Hari Kunzru
White Tears is a ghost story, a terrifying murder mystery, a timely meditation on race, and a love letter to all the forgotten geniuses of American music and Delta Mississippi Blues. —Recommended by Paul
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An Unrestored Woman
Shobha Rao
In paired stories that hail from India and Pakistan to the United States, Italy, and England, we witness the ramifications of the violent uprooting of families, the price they pay over generations, and the uncanny relevance these stories have in our world today. —Recommended by Jared, City Lights Booksellers
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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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Flaneuse
Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London
The "flaneur" has long been explicitly gendered male, but we city women know better. Elkin delves into the history of both the term and the act itself through literature, film, cultural criticism, and her own experience, leaving no doubt that a woman walking alone in the city has been—and still is—a subversive figure.—Recommended by Erin
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The Year of the Runaways
A Novel
Sunjeev Sahota
The Year of the Runaways is a stunning work of fiction that explores what it means and what it costs to make a new life, the capaciousness of the human spirit, and the power of humanity in the face of unspeakable suffering. —Recommended by Paul, City Lights Books
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Imagine Me Gone
Adam Haslett
Adam Haslett's new novel is devastating and darkly funny. Haslett's writing is graceful, and his intellectual curiosity is wide-ranging as he creates an unforgettable family's story tacking mental illness and race among other fraught topics. —Recommended by Stacey, City Lights Publishing
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Insomniac City
New York, Oliver, and Me
Bill Hayes
"A beautifully written once-in-a-lifetime book, about love, about life, soul, and the wonderful loving genius Oliver Sacks, and New York, and laughter and all of creation."--Anne Lamott
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A Cup of Rage
Raduan Nassar
Nasty, brutish, and short, i.e. perfect.— Recommended by Vanessa
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True South
Henry Hampton and "Eyes on the Prize," the Landmark Television Series That Reframed the Civil Rights Movement
Jon Else
Henry Hampton's 1987 landmark multipart television series, Eyes on the Prize, an eloquent, plainspoken chronicle of the civil rights movement, is now the classic narrative of that history. Before Hampton, the movement’s history had been written or filmed by whites and weighted heavily toward Dr. King’s telegenic leadership.
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Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings
Joy Harjo
More than a book. More than poetry. These are the words.—Recommended by Ryan
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Homesick for Another World
Stories
Ottessa Moshfegh
There's not a single character in this collection that I liked, but I was addicted to these stories, and found myself identifying with those characters—cursing myself for it. —Recommended by Jared, City Lights Books
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Fever Dream
A Novel
Samanta Schweblin
Sickness devours our narrator as she retraces the steps that led her to this strange hospital bed. Never has a title been more apt to describe a scalding and blurry reading experience, the idea of memory twisted and tangled throughout. —Recommended by Cassie
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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 the president to read before he says or tweets one more horrifying thing about immigration policy in the U.S. —Recommended by Stacey, City Lights Publishers
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Difficult Women
Roxane Gay
Award-winning author and powerhouse talent Roxane Gay burst onto the scene with An Untamed State and the New York Times bestselling essay collection Bad Feminist (Harper Perennial). Gay returns with Difficult Women, a collection of stories of rare force and beauty, of hardscrabble lives, passionate loves, and quirky and vexed human connection.

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