The Big Read: 75 Summer Books About San Francisco

The Big Read: 75 Summer Books About San Francisco


Sure you might be more likely to curl up with a mug of hot chocolate instead of lounging on the beach this summer, but either way, you'll need a good book to keep you company. We rounded up our favorite books about the Bay Area, to remind you why SF is so damn great, despite the weather. 

  1. On the Road by Jack Kerouac (Beat Literature) 
  2. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiel Hammett (Mystery)

  3. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers (Memoir) 

  4. Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin (Novel)

  5. Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan (Novel)

  6. The IHOP Papers by Ali Liebegott (Novel, LGBT)

  7. Valencia by Michelle Tea (Memoir, LGBT)

  8. The Royal Family by William T. Vollmann (Novel)

  9. The Golden Gate by Vikram Seth (Novel)

  10. McTeague by Frank Norris (Classics)

  11. You Can Say You Knew Me When by K.M. Soehnlein (Novel, LGBT)

  12. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan (Novel)

  13. The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon (Novel) 

  14. The Mayor of Castro Street by Randy Shilts (Biography)

  15. Homeboy by Seth Morgan (Memoir)

  16. Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon (Novel)

  17. Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko (Historical Fiction)

  18. Escape From Alcatraz by J. Campbell Bruce (Non-Fiction)

  19. Say Hey: The Autobiography of Willie Mays (Non-Fiction, Sports)

  20. San Francisco Giants: 50 Years by Brian Murphy (Non-Fiction, Sports)

  21. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (Sci-Fi)

  22. Immigration at the Golden Gate: Passenger Ships, Exclusion, and Angel Island by Robert Eric Barde (Non-Fiction)
  23. Clemens of the Call: Mark Twain in San Francisco by Mark Twaine (Journalism) 

  24. Ansel Adams: 400 Photographs by Ansel Adams (Photography) 

  25. Gun, With Occasional Music by Jonathon Lethem (Mystery)

  26. Gather Together in My Name by Maya Angelou (Poetry, Memoir)

  27. China Boy by Gus Lee (Autobiography)

  28. Oh the Glory of It All by Sean Wilsey (Memoir)

  29. Zodiac by Robert Graysmith (Thriller, Non-Fiction)

  30. The Frisco Kid by Jerry Kamstra (Novel)

  31. The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill by Mark bittner (Autobiography)

  32. A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore (Humor, Horror)

  33. Meanwhile in San Francisco by Wendy MacNaughton (Art)

  34. Landscape Memory by Matthew Stadler (Novel)

  35. Virgin Soul by Judy Juanita (Novel)

  36. One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams Garcia (Novel)

  37. The Barbary Coast: An Informal History of the SF Underworld by Herbert Asbury (Historical)

  38. Howl by Allen Ginsburg (Beat Poetry)

  39. Pictures of the Gone World by Lawrence Ferlinghetti (Beat Poetry)

  40. The Circle by Dave Eggers (Novel)

  41. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson (Biography)

  42. Hooked: A Thriller About Love and Other Addictions by Matt Richtel (Mystery)

  43. Accident by Danielle Steele (Romance)

  44. The Bridge Trilogy by William Gibson (Sci-Fi)

  45. 1906 by James Dalessandro (Historical Fiction)

  46. The Abysmal Brute by Jack London (Novel) 

  47. The American Diary of a Japanese Girl by Yone Noguchi (Immigrant Experience)

  48. Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo by Oscar Zeta Acosta (Immigrant Experience)

  49. The Basic Eight by Daniel Handler (Novel) 

  50. The City, Not Long After by Pat Murphy (Dystopian)

  51. Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende (Novel)

  52. The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk (Sci-Fi)

  53. The Flower Drum Song by C.Y. Lee (Immigrant Experience)

  54. The Gangster of Love by Jessica Hagedorn (Memoir)

  55. If Only it Were True by Marc Levy (Romance)

  56. Jokerman 8 by Richard Melo (Novel)

  57. Koolaids: The Art of War by Rabih Alameddine (Historical Fiction)

  58. Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (Dystopian)

  59. The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick (Novel)

  60. Postsingular by Rudy Rucker (Sci-Fi)

  61. Sacrament by Clive Barker (Novel)

  62. Signal to Noise by Eric S. Nylund (Sci-Fi)

  63. The Silver Cloud Cafe by Alfredo Vea and Alfredo Vea Jr. (Novel)

  64. The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt (Comedy)

  65. South of the Pumphouse by Les Claypool (Novella)

  66. Tea With the Black Dragon by R.A. MacAvoy (Fantasy)

  67. War Boy by Kief Hillsbery (Novel)

  68. Willard and His Bowling Trophies: A Perverse Mystery by Richard Brautigan (Comedy)

  69. Blues City: A Walk in Oakland by Ishmael Reed (Historical)

  70. This Shadow Follows Me by Joseph McGinnis (Novel, Memoir) 

  71. Pastoral by Lorena Manuel (Novel)

  72. The Coldest Summer by Kate Rice (Mystery)

  73. We Are the People Our Parents Warned Us Against: The Classic Account of the 1960s Counter-Culture in San Francisco by Nicholas von Hoffman (Historical)

  74. Abuse of Power by Michael Savage (Thriller) 

  75. The Amateur Marriage by Anne Taylor (Novel)

Related Articles
Now Playing at SF Symphony
View this profile on Instagram

7x7 (@7x7bayarea) • Instagram photos and videos

From Our Partners