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Best Books About Bay Area

Discover the innovation and beauty of the Bay Area through the lens of authors best celebrated by regional experts and local book enthusiasts.

Recommendations from 14 articles, Bill Gates, Hillary Clinton, Roxane Gay and 20 others.
21 books on the list
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Howl and Other Poems book cover
Howl and Other Poems
Allen Ginsberg - 2001-01-01 (first published in 1956)
Goodreads Rating
Experience the raw power and unbridled creativity of Allen Ginsberg's infamous Howl and Other Poems. Despite being seized and put on trial for obscenity, this influential work has sold over a million copies and has become a staple in modern poetry. Dive into the riveting pages and discover the lasting impact of one of the most important works of the post-World War II era.
Recommended by
Darren Aronofsky
Undaunted book cover
Surviving Jonestown, Summoning Courage, and Fighting Back
Jackie Speier - 2018-11-06
Goodreads Rating
Surviving the Jonestown massacre left Jackie Speier with a life-altering choice: become a victim or a fighter. In her inspiring memoir, Undaunted, she tells the story of her perseverance in the face of tragedy and her commitment to advocating for human rights, even in the most challenging of circumstances. Through her harrowing experiences as a widow, mother, congresswoman, and fighter, Jackie's story will inspire others to draw strength from adversity and do what is right, no matter the challenges ahead.
The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish book cover
The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish
Lil Miss Hot Mess - 2020-05-05
Goodreads Rating
Celebrate being your most fabulous self with The Hips on the Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish. Written by a founding member of the nationally recognized Drag Queen Story Hour, this playful picture book puts a quirky twist on a classic nursery rhyme by illustrating all the ways to "work it". Follow a drag queen as she performs her routine in front of an awestruck audience. A fun frenzy of fierceness that will appeal to readers of all ages.
100 Boyfriends book cover
100 Boyfriends
Brontez Purnell - 2021-02-02
Goodreads Rating
"100 Boyfriends" by Brontez Purnell is a daring and hilarious portrayal of gay dysfunction. With irreverent humor and a sharp eye for the imperfect lives of queer men, Purnell explores self-sabotage, trauma, race, and community in a white supremacist society. From Oakland to Alabama, these slice-of-life tales are a unique and unapologetic look into an unexposed queer underbelly. With a deadpan wit and uncompromising vision, Purnell is a true punk messiah of underground writing, filmmaking, music, and performance art.
Bad Blood book cover
Bad Blood
Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup
John Carreyrou - 2018-05-21
Goodreads Rating
This book sheds light on the fascinating rise and fall of a Silicon Valley startup that promised to revolutionize the medical industry. The founder and CEO, Elizabeth Holmes, was hailed as the next Steve Jobs, but her company's technology didn't work. The result? Patients were put in danger and investors lost billions. This gripping story of ambition and hubris is a cautionary tale of the biggest corporate fraud since Enron.
Bay Curious book cover
Bay Curious
Exploring the Hidden True Stories of the San Francisco Bay Area
Olivia Allen-Price - 2023-05-02
Goodreads Rating
for those who love to uncover hidden history, explore unique landmarks, and dive deep into local legends, Bay Curious is a captivating guide to the secret stories of the San Francisco Bay Area. From America's first and only Emperor to buried ships beneath the streets, this book uncovers fascinating trivia, history, and culture through fun deep-dives and engaging illustrations. Whether you're a visitor, a newcomer, or a California native, Bay Curious is a must-read for anyone curious about the hidden gems of the Bay Area.
Family Style book cover
Family Style
Memories of an American from Vietnam
Thien Pham - 2023-06-20
Goodreads Rating
Discover the captivating story of Thien Pham, a Vietnamese immigrant boy, as he searches for his place in America. Family Style is a moving young adult graphic memoir that explores the power of food and the pursuit of belonging. From the taste of watermelon and fish while adrift at sea to the struggle for survival in a refugee camp, Thien's journey takes readers on a heartfelt and poignant exploration of the immigrant experience. For fans of American Born Chinese and The Best We Could Do, this beautiful memoir will touch your heart and leave you craving more.
Christmas Presents book cover
Christmas Presents
Lisa Unger - 2023-10-24
Goodreads Rating
In "Christmas Presents," a true crime podcaster named Harley Granger arrives at The Next Chapter Bookshop, delving into a cold case that Madeline Martin, the shop's owner, would rather forget. Madeline is the sole survivor of a murderer and is haunted by the disappearance of two sisters. As Harley investigates, he begins to question the conviction and uncovers a series of missing women. With a blizzard approaching, Madeline and her childhood friend must confront the disturbing truth that is closer to home than they realized. This chilling novella combines a cozy setting with suspenseful thrills that can be enjoyed anytime.
The Joy Luck Club book cover
The Joy Luck Club
A Novel
Amy Tan - 2006-09-21 (first published in 1989)
Goodreads Rating
A group of four Chinese immigrant women in 1940s San Francisco play mahjong and share stories of their pasts in "The Joy Luck Club." Their daughters, who lead modern American lives, initially dismiss their mothers' advice until they face their own inner crises and discover how much they've inherited from their mothers' pasts. Amy Tan's insightful and poignant examination of the complex relationship between mothers and daughters reveals secrets and intertwining ties that will keep readers engaged in this tale of intrigue and mystery.
The Maltese Falcon book cover
The Maltese Falcon
Dashiell Hammett - 2005-03-01 (first published in 1930)
Goodreads Rating
Private investigator Sam Spade takes on a case to find a missing woman, but soon discovers that his client is not who she seems. When Spade's partner is murdered, he becomes both the hunter and the hunted in the search for a valuable and deadly treasure. Will he be able to outsmart those who want him dead?
Mona of the Manor by Armistead Maupin
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
Alone With You in the Ether by Olivie Blake
The Secret Hours by Mick Herron
The Golden Gate by Amy Chua
We All Want Impossible Things by Catherine Newman
Days at the Morisaki Bookshop by Satoshi Yagisawa, Eric Ozawa
The Connellys of County Down by Tracey Lange
Chain-Gang All-Stars by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
Tauhou by Kōtuku Titihuia Nuttall
Yellowface by R.F. Kuang