In its 16th year, One Book, One San Diego is our community’s premier literary program with a purpose to bring community together through the shared experience of reading and discussing the same book! Each year, One book, One San Diego features a selection for adults, one for teens, one for kids and one for Spanish language readers (One Book Sin Fronteras).
The 2022 One Book open call for nominations is now open through March 4 - April 30, 2022.
In its 15th year, One Book, One San Diego is a community reading program. It is a partnership between KPBS, San Diego Public Library, and the San Diego County Library, and a long list of other community partners found below. The purpose of the program is to bring together our community and encourage residents to join together in the shared experience of reading and discussing the same book. The program also encourages participation in related events, discussions of the ideas raised in the featured books, and examination of how these ideas connect with our daily lives and local communities.
The process for selecting a One Book title is designed for maximum community participation. Residents of San Diego and Imperial County and Baja California are invited to nominate books through online and paper submissions.
The nomination period takes place in early spring. During a set amount of time, the nomination form is available on KPBS' website, and paper forms are available in all library locations.
The One Book Advisory Committee reviews all book nominations and select a title they believe will best meet the One Book criteria and the goals of the program.
The One Book Advisory Committee is comprised of representatives from KPBS and our community collaborative of partners, as well as college and high school educators, librarians, and various community representatives.
A professional review of a book is one that appears in a reputable publishing magazine, a major national newspaper, or a literary journal. Examples of professional reviews are found in: the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Publisher’s Weekly, Library Journal, Kirkus, Booklist, the Bloomsbury Review, the Gettysburg Review, the Iowa Review, etc. (Note that this list is not exhaustive, but is meant to provide examples of professional reviews.)
The author of the featured book will visit San Diego to participate in One Book, One San Diego events during the fall of 2021. Additional events related to the featured book including film screenings, performing arts, discussion programs will also take place in the fall of 2021.
Additional One Book, One San Diego community partners include San Diego City College, Hoover High School, San Diego State University's Love Library, University of San Diego's Copley Library, Escondido Public Library, Chula Vista Public Library, Point Loma Nazarene University's Ryan Library, Asociación de Bibliotecarios de Baja California, San Diego Council on Literacy, Oceanside Public Library, and Deaf Community Services of San Diego.
If you have further questions about One Book, One San Diego, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2021 One Book, One San Diego selection, Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of A Disability Rights Activist by Judith Heumann.
Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist tells the personal story of Judith Heumann’s lifelong campaign to gain respect and acceptance in a world that didn’t initially recognize the rights of the disabled. Paralyzed from polio at a young age, she became one of the most influential disability rights activists in US history.
Teen Selection: When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed
Children Selection: All the Way to the Top: How One Girl's Fight for Americans With Disabilities Changed Everything by Annette Bay Pimentel
Photo Credit: George Takei
The 2020 One Book, One San Diego selection, "They Called Us Enemy" by George Takei.
One Book, One San Diego is our region's premier literary program, presented in partnership between KPBS and over 80 public libraries, service organizations and educational institutions. Now in its 14th year, the purpose is to bring our community closer together through the shared experience of reading and discussing the same book.
Each year, One Book, One San Diego features a literary work for adults, young adults, kids, and Spanish language readers. For adult readers, Spanish readers and young adult readers; this year’s selection is They Called Us Enemy (Nos Llamaron Enemigo) by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott and Harmony Becker. For children, the selection is Write to Me by Cynthia Grady and illustrated by Amiko Hirao.
Photo Credit: Benjamin Busch
The 2019 One Book, One San Diego selection, "The Great Believers" by Rebecca Makkai.
In 1985, Yale Tishman, the development director for an art gallery in Chicago, is about to pull off an amazing coup, bringing in an extraordinary collection of 1920s paintings as a gift to the gallery. Yet as his career begins to flourish, the carnage of the AIDS epidemic grows around him. One by one, his friends are dying and after his friend Nico’s funeral, the virus circles closer and closer to Yale himself. Soon the only person he has left is Fiona, Nico’s little sister.
Thirty years later, Fiona is in Paris tracking down her estranged daughter who disappeared into a cult. While staying with an old friend, a famous photographer who documented the Chicago crisis, she finds herself finally grappling with the devastating ways AIDS affected her life and her relationship with her daughter. The two intertwining stories take us through the heartbreak of the eighties and the chaos of the modern world, as both Yale and Fiona struggle to find goodness in the midst of disaster.
Credit: Carlos Gonzalez / The1point8
The 2018 One Book, One San Diego selection, March: Book One, by Congressman John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell.
This graphic novel is Congressman John Lewis' first-hand account of his lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis' personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement. Book One spans Lewis' youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins, building to a climax on the steps of City Hall. His commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken him from an Alabama sharecropper's farm to the halls of Congress, from a segregated schoolroom to the 1963 March on Washington D.C., and from receiving beatings from state troopers, to receiving the Medal of Freedom awarded to him by Barack Obama, the first African-American president.
In 2017 One Book, One San Diego was proud to present The Sandcastle Girls by New York Times bestselling novelist Chris Bohjalian.
The Sandcastle Girls is a multi-generational tale that spans nearly 100 years. It is initially set in Syria during World War I and focuses on the Armenian Genocide. “These days it is very important for me to tell people that I am the grandson of two Middle Eastern immigrants,” Bohjalian said. “We are a nation of refugees and immigrants. The novel is set in Aleppo - yes, that Aleppo that has broken all of our hearts the last five years - and the city as it appears in the novel exists now only in romance and memory.”
In 2016 One Book, One San Diego was proud to present Waiting for Snow in Havana by National Book Award-winning author, Carlos Eire.
Waiting for Snow in Havana is Carlos Eire’s beautiful, nostalgia-laced memoir of his childhood in Cuba, the country he left in 1962 at age 11. Using humor, magical realism and lyrical language, Eire paints a portrait of a childhood shattered forever by the Cuban Revolution. He was one of 14,000 Cuban children brought to the U.S. without their parents as part of Operation Peter Pan. He is now a professor of religion and history at Yale University.
In 2015 One Book, One San Diego was proud to present The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. Read the KPBS article to learn more about our 2015 author and book. The accompanying young adult (middle school) title is The Dumbest Idea Ever! by Jimmy Gownley and the children's companion title is The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce.