A Crack in the Edge of the World, America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906
Geologist, master storyteller, traveler and journalist, Simon Winchester succeeds again in this fast-paced, utterly fascinating account of the great 1906 earthquake that devastated San Francisco.
The Maltese Falcon
Set in San Francisco, this is Dashiell Hammett's classic story of Sam Spade, the archetypal hard-boiled detective.
Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror and Deliverance in the City of Love
A cultural history of San Francisco that covers the years from 1967 to 1982 and tells the gripping story of how the city by the bay overcame tragedy and strife to become the beloved city it is today. Starring a cast of notable figures, including Harvey Milk, Janis Joplin and Jim Jones.
San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury
Through black-and-white photos, this history of San Francisco’s infamous neighborhood covers the area’s growth from a dairy farm into the countercultural 1960s to the modern day. An installment in the reliable Images of America series.
Compass Guide California Wine Country
Covering wineries both small and large, this comprehensive guide to the Napa and Sonoma Valleys includes excellent maps, color photographs and informative essays.
The Lucky Ones, One Family and the Extraordinary Invention of Chinese America
Ngai, a professor of history at Columbia University, uncovers the story of the Tape family in post-Gold Rush, racially explosive San Francisco.
Travelers' Tales San Francisco
Experience San Francisco from the inside out with this engaging, insightful and entertaining selection of mostly contemporary eyewitness reports -- a terrific literary profile of a dynamic city.
Golden Gate, The Life and Times of America's Greatest Bridge
Starr covers the history and meaning of this beloved icon and great American feats of engineering in this slim portrait.
San Francisco Map
A laminated, folded map of the city center of San Francisco at a nice scale of 1:13,000.
Fifth Chinese Daughter
First published in 1945, Jade Snow Wong's memoir is a simply told, moving story of family life in pre-WWII San Francisco Chinatown.
California, A History
A lively short history in the excellent Modern Library Chronicles series, written by a renowned historian.
Birds of Golden Gate Park
A folding wildlife guide designed for quick reference in the field. With full-color images and text, it features more than 140 birds often seen in California's iconic park.
Tales of the City
What began as a newspaper serial then transformed into a classic novel, this is the first of nine novels about the citizens of an apartment house at 28 Barbary Lane in San Francisco.
Cool Gray City of Love, 49 Views of San Francisco
A kaleidoscopic love letter to one of the world's great cities, San Francisco, by a lifelong Bay Area resident and co-founder of Salon.
Wildsam Field Guide to San Francisco
This beautifully produced pocket guide to San Francisco is designed for the soulful traveler with a bygone sense of place. Contributors include local artists, musicians and writers who compiled recommendations, essays, illustrations and interviews intended to move the traveler beyond their itinerary.
San Francisco: A Food Biography
At the ideal intersection of rich farmlands and the Pacific Ocean, San Francisco is a reputable food destination. Peters delves into the city’s culinary history, from early Spanish missions and ongoing immigrant influences to current fixation on local ingredients.
Slouching Towards Bethlehem
A classic collection of essays on the1960s cultural climate, first published in 1968. In the acclaimed title essay, Didion vividly describes the landscape, mood and culture of '60s San Francisco.
111 Places in San Francisco That You Must Not Miss
This "111 Places" guide to San Francisco profiles so many strange and original places that it will surprise even loyal residents. Each hidden gem reveals the history and unique flavor of the Californian city.
Bay Area Figurative Art, 1950-1965
Defecting from the prevailing style of Abstract Expressionism, a number of Bay Area artists began experimenting with painting the human figure again in the 1950s. This full-color book about the resulting movement is a perfect addition to your library before or after a trip to San Francisco's museums.
Eyewitness Guide San Francisco and Northern California
Handsome, convenient and up-to-date, this is the guide to carry. With excellent maps.
Infinite City, A San Francisco Atlas
Solnit's quirky collection of maps documents the cultural riches and diversity of San Francisco.
This gorgeously tinted hand-drawn map displays California Missions in excellent detail.
San Francisco, A Cultural History
Organized more thematically than chronologically, this easy-to-read introduction to the city and its neighborhoods will appeal both to first time visitors and those who know and love the city.