Books Can Take You Places: San Francisco

Half Price Books encourages you to travel more in 2016. Not the kind of travel that involves airplanes, passports and hotels, but the easier, more affordable kind — where you open a great book and let it take you somewhere.

SFThroughout 2016 we’ll share about the world’s great destinations, along with our recommendations for the books, movies and music that will help you get there.

Last month, we took a trip to Paris, France. This month’s stop is San Francisco, California.

Freedom of expression has always been celebrated in the City by the Bay. Even before the midcentury flowering of the Beat Generation, the counterculture movement and Haight-Ashbury, the area was known for attracting literary non-conformists like Mark Twain. Residents like Amy Tan and Michael Chabon keep San Francisco’s creative spirit alive today.

San Fran


American Beauty, The Grateful Dead • Bullitt The Conversation Dirty Harry Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables, Dead Kennedys • I Left My Heart in San Francisco, Tony Bennett • Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus, Vince Guaraldi • The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan • The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett • McTeague, Frank Norris • Mrs. Doubtfire Stand!, Sly & The Family Stone • The Subterraneans, Jack Kerouac • Surrealistic Pillow, Jefferson Airplane • Tales of the City, Armistead Maupin • Vertigo


  • Private detective Sam Spade dines at John’s Grill in Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon. The historic eatery was also named one of the top 10 restaurants in the United States by Esquire magazine.
  • The University of California at Berkeley’s Sproul Plaza was the site of student protests in the 1960s and became the epicenter of the Free Speech Movement.
  • Writer Gertrude Stein coined the phrase “There is no there there” in reference to Oakland. In response and tribute, a sculpture called “There” was installed in the city in 1988.
  • Oakland bar Heinold’s First and Last Chance, open since 1883, is known as “Jack London’s Rendezvous.” London’s writings were influenced by sailors and others he met there.

This week I’ll be visiting the San Francisco area for the very first time! I’m super excited to explore the sights and sounds of the city. And maybe I’ll pack one of these San Fran inspired reads for the flight…

If you don’t want to miss a stop on HPB’s journey to the world’s great destinations, join the Half Price Books Booklovers Survey Club and we’ll send you an email each month with a new city alongside a quick survey. Plus, you’ll receive coupons to save throughout the year when you travel to your favorite Half Price Books.


Carmen is Web Production Artist at Half Price Books Corporate.

4 thoughts on “Books Can Take You Places: San Francisco

  1. Pingback: Books Can Take You Places: Rome | The Half Price Blog

  2. Pingback: Books Can Take You Places: Chicago | The Half Price Blog

  3. Pingback: Books Can Take You Places: Tokyo | The Half Price Blog

  4. Pingback: Books Can Take You Places: Seattle | The Half Price Blog

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