4 Classic San Francisco Summer Reads to Pack in Your Weekender

July 24, 2018

No matter where you find yourself this summer, whether that be on the coastline of Spain or poolside at The Harrison, it’s always smart to have a book in hand. And while summer reads can span all genres, it’s crucial to choose a topic that you love. For us, that topic is San Francisco. Take a look at our list of favorite SF-themed reads and be prepared to fall for the city all over again.

San Francisco Stories by Jack London

From one of America’s greatest writers comes this beautiful collection of 23 adventurous tales set in the San Francisco Bay Area. While renowned for his accounts about the Pacific and Klondike, Jack London was a steadfast San Francisco native who wrote extensively about his home. The San Francisco Stories portrays the city both prior to and following the Great 1906 Earthquake and Fire; yet while London experienced even the worst of it, his admiration for San Francisco never wavered.

The Subterraneans by Jack Kerouac

Written by famed Beat Generation novelist Jack Kerouac, The Subterraneans recounts underground San Francisco after World War II where the streets came alive with paint, poetry, smoke and music. The story follows writer Leo Percepeid’s brief love affair with Mardou Fox, granting the reader vivid, yet oftentimes dizzying, snapshots of San Francisco that leave you hungry for more.

Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin

The first of nine novels in Armistead Maupin’s beloved Tales of the City series is, quite aptly, the series’ title itself. The story follows Mary Ann Singelton’s move from Cleveland to San Francisco in 1976, where she hopes to start a new chapter in her life. Here, her life becomes intertwined with those of her varied neighbors and a myriad colorful characters, offering an inspired perspective on San Francisco’s underground culture.

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

A 1989 novel written by Amy Tan, The Joy Luck Club focuses on four immigrant Chinese families in San Francisco where the matriarchs become united in shared loss and hope. Together, the four women gradually reveal their secrets while relationships become more and more tangled, providing a unique lens of San Francisco as the mother-daughter pairs navigate their way through both Chinese and American cultures.

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