Reading Around the World: San Francisco

Reading Around the World is a feature that combines my love of travelling with my love of reading. Each month I plan to spotlight either a city I have visited, or a city I plan to visit in the near future, and recommend some of my favourite books set there. After all even if you can’t visit these cities yourself the next best thing has to be reading about them and living the experience through the eyes of the characters.

San Francisco (1)

San Francisco was the last stop in mine and my sister’s tour of the West Coast. We stopped off in Vegas first, before flying to LA, and finally San Francisco before travelling home again. Of the three states we visited San Francisco was not only the best, in my opinion, but a new favourite city of mine. The city reminded me of New York in small ways, but a lot less people and a lot more hills. Although I never got used to the treks uphill the views at the end were worth it; Lombard Street, Alcatraz, Pier 39, and of course the Golden Gate Bridge.

San Francisco (2)

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Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins is one of the best books set in San Francisco that I can recommend. The whole of the Anna and the French Kiss trilogy really makes the most of the cities they’re set in. I’d already been to San Francisco when I picked up this book, and reading Lola’s story brought back all my memories of my time there.

Lola and the Boy Next Door

Penryn and the End of Days series by Susan Ee is set on the West Coast. I can’t say for sure whether all three books are set in San Francisco, it’s been quite a while since I read the series, but I can say with 100% certainly that World After is. Alcatraz plays a large part in the second book as Penryn finds herself trapped there while searching for her sister Paige.

Penryn and the End of Days

Also set in San Francisco, but that I haven’t read myself, is You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan. I have all of Nina LaCour’s books on my to-read list, they’ve been recommended to me by a fair few bloggers who’ve loved her work, so I can’t wait to get started.

You Know Me Well


Have you ever been to San Francisco before; what was your favourite part of the city to see and explore? Also what are some of the amazing books you’ve read set in San Francisco, or America, that you’d recommend? Let me know in the comments.

42 thoughts on “Reading Around the World: San Francisco

    1. Thanks so much, and yeah Iโ€™m the same. The main reason I started this feature was because there were so many books out there that inspired me to travel or that I could use to relive memories of my travel.
      Thatโ€™s sounds interesting, thanks for the link! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Aaah San Francisco is one of my favorite cities as well! One of my favorite books set in SF is Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee, which is a historical fiction book based on the 1906 earthquake that happened. I personally love reading about how cultures mix within SF (especially the Chinese culture, since I’m half-Cantonese and love learning more about that side of me ๐Ÿ˜Š). I will definitely check out the books your have on this list — this was the perfect post for me to read today! ๐Ÿ˜„

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s one of my favourites as well, one day I really want to go back there and experience everything all over again! ๐Ÿ˜€ Oh that sounds like an interesting book, and yeah I think it would be interesting to read about how cultures mix within San Fran. Something I need to check out a little more actually.
      That’s great to hear, I hope you enjoy them, and thanks! ๐Ÿ˜€ โค

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Aaaggghhh those are such beautiful pictures, Beth!! I especially loves the one of the Golden Gate Bridge and the water — it’s all just so calming! I went to San Diego and LA recently and it was just as pretty! (There’s so much smog tho ahahha.)

    I haven’t read any of the books you mentioned, but I might have to try Angelfall! And You Know Me Well sounds super good, especially with the LGBTQ+ characters I’ve heard it has. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much May! ๐Ÿ˜€ Oh the Golden Gate Bridge was such a sight, I loved San Francisco so much it’s one of my favourite cities I’ve visited so far. Oh San Diego is somewhere I want to go one day, I’ve been to LA and loved it there as well. ๐Ÿ™‚
      Definitely check out Angelfall, it’s one of my favourite dystopian series so I’d highly recommend it, and I’ve heard great things about Nina LaCour’s releases so I’m sure they’re amazing as well. ๐Ÿ˜€ โค

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Beth!
    Love this post, and those are beautiful photos โค San Francisco is my favourite city in the US as well. I loved visiting Alcatraz and Japantown. My friend worked at Facebook, so I was lucky to get a tour of the campus (it looked like THE best place to work haha!) I am curious, since you've been to US and you are from Europe, how would you compare the two?
    Have a great week โค

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sophie! ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thanks so much, oh San Francisco is such an incredible city isnโ€™t it? Thereโ€™s so much to see and wow a tour of Facebook sounds amazing (Iโ€™ve heard itโ€™s a pretty impressive place to work at, kind of like Google headquarters). I think in my opinion the main difference is that it feels like thereโ€™s more history in Europe, the buildings are older and thereโ€™s just that sense of it that there isnโ€™t in the US you know? Also most of the US cities have been busier than the European ones Iโ€™ve been too.
      Thanks Sophie, I hope youโ€™re having a great week too! ๐Ÿ™‚ โค๏ธ

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes Facebook was amazing to visit! There is a cafeteria and even a frozen yogurt place where employees can get food for free. There are also board games and a beer tap in the office!
        Yes Iโ€™ve also heard that in general the US culture is busier (people work longer hours and more over time) compared Europe? I also get the sense that there is more history in the European buildings!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. See right now Iโ€™m so hungry the free food sounds like the best thing about that place! Not sure how a beer tap would work in an office where youโ€™re supposed to work though I have to admit.
        Yeah when it comes down to it theyโ€™re two very different places, but Iโ€™ve loved the places Iโ€™ve visited in the US as much as the places Iโ€™ve visited in Europe! ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Haha yes, I was wondering that about the beer tap as well. I suppose the idea is that a more casual and relaxed workplace will allow people to be more creative?
        I like both US and Europe too ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Those pictures are beautiful! Iโ€™m actually from the San Francisco area but currently living abroad, so seeing all those spots make me miss home even more haha. Iโ€™m glad you enjoyed the city! I havenโ€™t read Lola and the Boy Next Door, but I loved Anna and the French Kiss. Any book that is set in San Francisco is a book I want to read ๐Ÿ˜„.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much. ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh Iโ€™m a little jealous, Iโ€™d love to live in San Francisco but Iโ€™d probably miss home too much actually. ๐Ÿ˜€
      Well if youโ€™re looking for books set in San Francisco these are ones Iโ€™d highly recommend, especially considering you enjoyed Anna and the French Kiss as well. Angelfall is the start of a great series and Iโ€™ve heard fantastic things about Nina LaCourโ€™s books. Hopefully they wonโ€™t make you too homesick! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much Meghan! ๐Ÿ˜€ Oh San Fran is such an amazing place, and I feel like reading books set there will only make you want to visit the city even more! I hope you make it there one day soon, Iโ€™m sure itโ€™ll be a city you love! ๐Ÿ˜€ โค๏ธ

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I’ve never been to San Francisco but I have been to Santa Monica, a bit more south I think. It’s definitely a legendary city that would be fun to check out some day in my life. Your pictures are awesome as always and definitely continue to make me want to travel ASAP. Especially with the intense snow that is falling right now! ๐Ÿ˜›

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ohh, Santa Monica is somewhere I want to go one day myself. ๐Ÿ™‚ But I hope you make it to San Francisco one day Lashaan, it’s one of my favourite holiday destinations like ever!
      Thanks so much, and yeah I get what you mean, it’s been snowing here today as well and that always makes me wanna travel somewhere warm and sunny! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Your pictures are amazing, I love this feature so much and how it always makes me travel โค I so want to go to San Francisco someday, even more right now ahah. I really liked Lola, even if it was my least favorite book of the series – and You Know Me Well was so great ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much Marie. ๐Ÿ™‚ Ha, yeah writing these posts makes me want to travel as well. San Francisco was an incredible city, and one of the best I’ve travelled to so far as well, so I hope you make it one day. I can’t say I was as massive a fan of Lola as I was Anna and Isla but it was still a good book with an incredible setting. I’ve heard great things about all of Nina LaCour’s books, so one day I need to get around to them! ๐Ÿ˜€ โค

      Liked by 2 people

  7. This is such a cool feature! And I’d love to go to San Francisco! This looks like you had such a cool trip ๐Ÿ˜ And totally agree about the whole of the Anna series- but yeah, this is great for San Francisco and made me want to go there ๐Ÿ™‚ I haven’t read World After- but I’d like to see the way it’s described there. And You Know Me Well looks good too!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks so much. ๐Ÿ˜€ โค Oh San Francisco is an amazing city, and if you get the chance to go there I'd say jump on it. I had such a fun time there.
      The Anna series just really inspires my sense of wanderlust, and granted World After has a more of a dystopian setting but it was still really well written. I've heard great things about Nina LaCour's books, one day I'll have to try and get around to some of them. ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I loved San Francisco! We went there two years ago and it was fabulous. I loved the Piers, Lombard Street, Coit Tower and Alcatraz. And I’ve read and loved Angelfall. The PLay by Karina Halle begins in San Francisco too.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh San Francisco is one of my favourite places in the world as well. ๐Ÿ™‚ The Piers were amazing and Lombard Street was definitely a highlight for me as well, basically I had a brilliant week exploring all the sights.
      There are some amazing books set there, there are probably loads I have to check out still set in San Fran! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 2 people

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