“Whenever I come here (…) San Francisco strikes me as being at once the most heart-wrenchingly beautiful and the most tantalizing of all the great cities of the world.” ~Jan Morris
The Golden Gate, Vikram Seth, 1986 — This brilliant early novel by the author of A Suitable Boy is written as a narrative poem about five contemporary San Francisco residents.
Tales of the City, Armistead Maupin, 1978 — Before Sex and the City, there were these tales of San Francisco set in a Russian Hill apartment house—vibrant, gay, sentimental and funny.
The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett, 1930 — Tough but tender Sam Spade gumshoes his way across the city, helping a beautiful woman get her manicured paws on a golden bird.
San Francisco Almanac: Everything You Want to Know about the City, Gladys Hansen, 1995 — An indispensable reference with inside info on everything from the 1906 earthquake to cable cars to famous locals.
The World of Herb Caen: San Francisco 1938–1997, Barnaby Conrad, 1999 — The newsprint voice of San Francisco for over half the 20th century, the late Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Caen is the consummate crusty insider driven by an insatiable curiosity for his home town.
Reclaiming San Francisco: History, Politics, Culture, James Brook, Chris Carlsson, and Nancy J. Peters, eds., 1998 — A sweeping, diverse essay collection that includes the perspectives of historians, writers, architects, geographers and artists.
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