New York City might be home to the big houses, but this scrappy city just happens to be the epicenter of publishing on the Best Coast. Join Alexis Coe every Wednesday for Read Local, a series focused on books published in the Bay Area.
San Francisco boasts a delightful array of eclectic bookstores, from indies to worker collectives. One may drastically differ from another in character and focus, but they all have something in common: They love books, so who better to turn to than booksellers for holiday gift recommendations? 10 local bookstores share their picks below.
10. Enamored with Place As Woman + As Architect, William Stout Architectural Books
Enamored with Place As Woman + As Architect is a memoir by a locally-based architect who came of age when women were few and far between in the industry. She goes through the whole of her life and career, hoping in part to draw attention to the concerns of women in a male-dominated environment. It's also quite Californian in character (in no small part because Bertrand had most of her architectural training at UC Berkeley). -- Chase Booker, manager and book buyer
9. Vietnamese Home Cooking, Green Apple Books
Here's the first book from S.F.'s own Charles Phan, Chef-Owner of the Slanted Door. The book is everything you want from a cookbook: inspiring, easy to follow, thorough, and clear. Thanks to lots of photos, well laid out pages, succinct recipes, and a focus on technique and ingredients, Vietnamese Home Cooking makes Phan's food truly do-able for any semi-adventurous home cook. -- Peter Mulvill, co-owner
8. Saga, Two Cats Comic Book Store
Two Cats recommends the ongoing monthly series Saga, from Image, an independent Berkeley comic book publisher. Writer Brian K. Vaughan, who is well known from Marvel's Runaways, and Vertigo's Y the Last Man, has teamed up with artist Fiona Staples to produce an ongoing work which defies many of the preconceptions of sequential art. Saga unveils a science fantasy world both strange and somehow familiar. The creative team manages to mix suspense with a character driven story that is heartfelt without feeling overly sentimental. -- Christian Nicholson, operations
7. To Die in Mexico, City Lights
Through on-the-ground reporting informed by clear, critical analysis, John Gibler gives a harrowing account of Mexico's drug war: The absolute brutality of the cartels, the complicity of the Mexican government, and the culpability of the U.S. As you follow the ongoing crisis in the news, Gibler's book provides you with a lens through which you can see very clearly how this tragic script plays out. -- Andy Bellows, manager