"My mind had slipped back to a Fourth of July when I bought my first package of firecrackers and with it the long pieces of punk which break so easily, the punk that you blow on to get a good red glow, the punk whose smell sticks to your fingers for days and makes you dream of strange things."

Henry Miller in Tropic of Cancer

Cocaine’s a hell of a book…?

Cocaine’s a hell of a book…?

"What color is lunch? Maybe some sort of lipsticky red? (My favorite colors are actually orange and blue.)"
- Frank O’Hara to Lawrence Ferlinghetti, 1964

citylightsbooks just dropped a 50th anniversary edition of O’Hara’s LUNCH POEMS, complete with postcards, letters, and a cloth cover in Frank’s favorite colors.

On June 28, 1969, police stormed the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, where members of the NYC gay community were known to gather. The riots and protests that ensued - and the activist groups that formed as a result - made the event a watershed moment in the gay liberation moment, and, today, cities worldwide mark the anniversary with Gay Pride celebrations. In recognition of the 45th anniversary of Stonewall, as well as Pride week here in Chicago, we put together a window display of LGBTQ literature, art, and theory.
Complete list/ordering info here.

On June 28, 1969, police stormed the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, where members of the NYC gay community were known to gather. The riots and protests that ensued - and the activist groups that formed as a result - made the event a watershed moment in the gay liberation moment, and, today, cities worldwide mark the anniversary with Gay Pride celebrations. In recognition of the 45th anniversary of Stonewall, as well as Pride week here in Chicago, we put together a window display of LGBTQ literature, art, and theory.

Complete list/ordering info here.

It’s been five years since Infinite Summer. Who’s down for My Summer?

It’s been five years since Infinite Summer. Who’s down for My Summer?

Ok, so maybe you’re like “Doesn’t the vast majority of literature and art and whatnot come from New York? Isn’t a celebratory window therefore overkill?” And then maybe we’re like “Maybe and maybe and so what?” A few of our booksellers took a trip to New York a few weeks ago for Book Expo America, and another one is heading there soon for grad school, so NYC has been on our minds a lot lately. Bookish New York has been in the news a lot lately, too, from the instantly-infamous article in the NYT about bookstores closing in Manhattan to the ongoing Rizzoli saga and abundant coverage of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s recent string of appearances in the city. And yeah, many of our favorite living authors are living and working there, and a lot of our favorite dead authors spent a lot of time there, too. And chances are 99% of the books on your shelf come to you via a whole army of people that make up the NYC publishing industry. So why NOT give a little hat tip to the city that, for a few hundred years now, has brought us so much of the culture we consume every day? Here’s to you, New York, and the Whartons and Warhols and Whites and Woodys you’ve given us . We read you, and, yes, we <3 you. 
Complete list/ordering info here.

Ok, so maybe you’re like “Doesn’t the vast majority of literature and art and whatnot come from New York? Isn’t a celebratory window therefore overkill?” And then maybe we’re like “Maybe and maybe and so what?” A few of our booksellers took a trip to New York a few weeks ago for Book Expo America, and another one is heading there soon for grad school, so NYC has been on our minds a lot lately. Bookish New York has been in the news a lot lately, too, from the instantly-infamous article in the NYT about bookstores closing in Manhattan to the ongoing Rizzoli saga and abundant coverage of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s recent string of appearances in the city. And yeah, many of our favorite living authors are living and working there, and a lot of our favorite dead authors spent a lot of time there, too. And chances are 99% of the books on your shelf come to you via a whole army of people that make up the NYC publishing industry. So why NOT give a little hat tip to the city that, for a few hundred years now, has brought us so much of the culture we consume every day? Here’s to you, New York, and the Whartons and Warhols and Whites and Woodys you’ve given us . We read you, and, yes, we <3 you. 

Complete list/ordering info here.

Jay McInerney, Tama Janowitz, &amp; Bret Easton Ellis ca. 198?

Jay McInerney, Tama Janowitz, & Bret Easton Ellis ca. 198?

New titles out NOW at the Seminary Co-Op and 57th Street from the likes of César Aira, Anne Carson, Samuel Beckett (?!), Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) and others. PLUS: the scholarly book on Swedish crime fiction that you never knew you needed.

Let&#8217;s talk about otherpress​, Pushkin Press, and Stefan Zweig. Other has been all over the news lately as every reviewer and his/her mother jumps on the bandwagon of praise for George Prochnik&#8217;s biography of Stefan Zweig, The Impossible Exile (and with good reason). But don&#8217;t stop there - dig into Other&#8217;s backlist (with a little help from our staff recs) and thank them later. Meanwhile, Pushkin&#8217;s been releasing Zweig&#8217;s novellas and short stories with style and grace since way before Wes Anderson started talking them up. But why read anything by or about Stefan Zweig, you ask? Because he is your next favorite author. Because his tragedy is the tragedy of the 20th century. Because you need more Zs on your bookshelf. Ok?
otherpress titles:
All Russians Love Birch Trees by Olga Grjasnowa
Your Voice in My Head by Emma Forrest
The Impossible Exile by George Prochnik
The Deep Whatsis by Peter Mattei
The Artificial Silk Girl by Irmgard Keun
Pushkin Press titles:
The Collected Stories of Stefan Zweig
Fear by Stefan Zweig
Burning Secret by Stefan Zweig
Wondrak and Other Stories by Stefan Zweig
Amok and Other Stories by Stefan Zweig
Three Lives: A Biography of Stefan Zweig by Oliver Matuschek

Let’s talk about otherpress​, Pushkin Press, and Stefan Zweig. Other has been all over the news lately as every reviewer and his/her mother jumps on the bandwagon of praise for George Prochnik’s biography of Stefan Zweig, The Impossible Exile (and with good reason). But don’t stop there - dig into Other’s backlist (with a little help from our staff recs) and thank them later. Meanwhile, Pushkin’s been releasing Zweig’s novellas and short stories with style and grace since way before Wes Anderson started talking them up. But why read anything by or about Stefan Zweig, you ask? Because he is your next favorite author. Because his tragedy is the tragedy of the 20th century. Because you need more Zs on your bookshelf. Ok?

otherpress titles:

All Russians Love Birch Trees by Olga Grjasnowa

Your Voice in My Head by Emma Forrest

The Impossible Exile by George Prochnik

The Deep Whatsis by Peter Mattei

The Artificial Silk Girl by Irmgard Keun

Pushkin Press titles:

The Collected Stories of Stefan Zweig

Fear by Stefan Zweig

Burning Secret by Stefan Zweig

Wondrak and Other Stories by Stefan Zweig

Amok and Other Stories by Stefan Zweig

Three Lives: A Biography of Stefan Zweig by Oliver Matuschek

This window all started with a book called BARN, and a conversation about a certain play by Edward Albee about a man who loves a goat. Inspired, we combed the store looking for other books related to life on the farm, whether real or fictional, idyllic or dystopic, and came up with an electic mix of novels, how-to guides, and art &amp; photography tomes. Whether you want to learn about bee keeping, gawk at beautiful chickens, or return to childhood classics, this window has something for you. E-i-e-i-o.

This window all started with a book called BARN, and a conversation about a certain play by Edward Albee about a man who loves a goat. Inspired, we combed the store looking for other books related to life on the farm, whether real or fictional, idyllic or dystopic, and came up with an electic mix of novels, how-to guides, and art & photography tomes. Whether you want to learn about bee keeping, gawk at beautiful chickens, or return to childhood classics, this window has something for you. E-i-e-i-o.

See all those pieces of paper taped to the shelves? Those are staff recs. See all those books wrapped in newspaper? Those are advance reading copies (ARCs) sent to us by publishers. Every time you buy a staff recommended title, you get a FREE ARC. Because we like when you buy what we like.

"Do you always watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it? I always watch for the longest day in the year and then miss it."

Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby.

Happy summer solstice! Don’t miss it.

"‘There’s no score, no teams, no matches,’ he said. ‘The stadiums have long since been condemned and are falling to pieces. Nowadays everything is staged on the television and radio. The bogus excitement of the sportscaster- hasn’t it ever made you suspect that everything is humbug? The last time a soccer match was played in Buenos Aires was on 24 June 1937. From that exact moment, soccer, along with the whole gamut of sports, belongs to the genre of the drama, performed by a single man in a booth or by actors in jerseys before the TV cameras.’"

Jorge Luis Borges & Adolfo Bioy Casares in “Esse Est Percipi”

Complete text here.