2023 One Book, One San Diego Selections
In its 17th year, One Book, One San Diego is our region's premier community reading program! It is a partnership between KPBS, San Diego Public Library, the San Diego County Library, and many other key community partners. The purpose of the program is to bring our community together 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. Each year, One Book, One San Diego features one book for adults, one for teens, one for kids and one for Spanish language readers (One Book Sin Fronteras). The Spanish-language book is a direct translation of, or explores the same themes found within, the One Book adult selection.
The process for selecting the One Book titles is designed for maximum community participation. Residents of San Diego and Imperial County and Baja California were invited to nominate books and over 400 submissions were received!
One Book, One San Diego is sponsored by the Linden Root Dickinson Foundation, the Seth Sprague Educational and Charitable Foundation, the Dr. Seuss Fund at the San Diego Foundation, the Payne Family Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, Compass Charter Schools, Lloyd Pest Control, The City of San Diego, and Francis Parker School.
Stay tuned for more information and events at https://www.kpbs.org/one-book-one-san-diego
In its 17th 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.
- Story (fiction or nonfiction) that is of high literary quality, and has a clear, compelling narrative and well-developed characters.
- Themes resonate with local and/or global communities, and people of all backgrounds.
- Inspires discussion, conversations, and action.
- Available in paperback and hardcover.
- Preferred: available in Spanish translation.
- Author is alive.
- The book has professional reviews, must be currently in print and readily available in large quantities (not print-on-demand).
- Suitable for high school study and up.
- More information on book criteria can be found here.
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.)
Heather McGhee, author of the adult selection, will be speaking at the San Diego Central Library on Tuesday, September 26th at 7 p.m. Additional events related to the featured book including film screenings, performing arts, discussion programs will also take place in the fall and winter of 2023 and early 2024.
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 email@example.com.
2022 One Book, One San Diego
The 2022 One Book, One San Diego selection, The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett.
The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters storylines intersect? Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond the issues of race, it considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person's decisions, desires, and expectations.
Teen Selection: The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen
Children Selection: We are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom and Michaela Goade
2021 One Book, One San Diego
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
2020 One Book, One San Diego
Photo Credit: George Takei
The 2020 One Book, One San Diego selection, "They Called Us Enemy" by George Takei.
For adult readers, Spanish readers and young adult readers, 2020's selection was They Called Us Enemy (Nos Llamaron Enemigo) by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, Steven Scott and Harmony Becker. For children, the selection was Write to Me by Cynthia Grady and illustrated by Amiko Hirao.
2019 One Book, One San Diego
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.
2018 One Book, One San Diego
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.
2017 One Book, One San Diego
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.”
2016 One Book, One San Diego
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.
2015 One Book, One San Diego
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.
2014 One Book, One San Diego
2013 One Book, One San Diego