66°

San Diego
Weather

Accessibility Tools

  • Check if your spelling is correct, or try removing filters.
  • Remove quotes around phrases to match each word individually: "blue drop" will match less than blue drop.
  • You can require or exclude terms using + and -: big +blue drop will require a match on blue while big blue -drop will exclude results that contain drop.

2019 One Book, One San Diego

The Great Believers book by Rebecca Makkai

Photo Credit: Benjamin Busch

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 13th 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 one book for adults, one for young adults, one for kids and one for Spanish language readers. This year’s selections are: "The Great Believers" by Rebecca Makkai for adult readers, "The Crossover" by Kwame Alexander for young adults, "Dreamers" by Yuyi Morales for children, and "Éramos unos niños" by Patti Smith for readers of Spanish.
 
 

About the Book

A dazzling novel of friendship and redemption in the face of tragedy and loss set in 1980s Chicago and contemporary Paris
 
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.

About the Author

Rebecca Makkai is the Chicago-based author of the story collection Music for Wartime, as well as the novels The Hundred-Year House (a BookPage “Best Book” of 2014 and winner of the Chicago Writers Association Award) and The Borrower (a Booklist Top Ten Debut). Her short fiction was featured in The Best American Short Stories anthology in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, and appears regularly in publications such as Harper’s, Tin House and Ploughshares, and on public radio’s This American Life and Selected Shorts. The recipient of a 2014 NEA Fellowship, Rebecca teaches at Northwestern University, Lake Forest College, and StoryStudio Chicago.

Reading Recommendations

 

One Book Events

Special Events

Oasis presents "Life's Sunset: Plan Before the Sun Goes Down"
September 13, 2019 @ 2:00 PM | San Carlos Library
 
The end of one’s life can be tragic or warm and fulfilling. A good end takes knowledge and planning. Learn about advance directives, POLSTs, California End of Life Option Act and other end of life options from attorney Bill Simmons.
 
LGBTQIA+ Themed Painting Workshop
September 14, 2019 @ 2:00 PM | Logan Heights Branch Library
 
Create your own LGBTQIA+ themed gouache painting to celebrate the One Book, One San Diego selection "The Great Believers."
 
LGBTQ Civil Rights in San Diego
September 17, 2019 @ 6:00 PM | Ocean Beach Library
 
A history in slides of the LGBTQ rights movement in San Diego, presented by Walter Meyer of the Lambda Archives of San Diego.
 
HIV Testing Clinics
September 18, 2019 @ 2:00 - 6:00 PM | Central Library | Room 221
October 16, 2019 @ 2:00 - 6:00 PM | Central Library | Room 221
November 20, 2019 @ 2:00 - 6:00 PM | Central Library | Room 221
December 18, 2019 @ 2:00 - 6:00 PM | Central Library | Room 221
 
Family Health Centers of San Diego will provide free and confidential HIV testing clinics every 3rd Wednesday to all members of the public using the cotton swab testing method.
 
Heart to Heart: a community conversation
October 22, 2019 @ 6:00 PM | Allied Gardens/Benjamin Library
 
Our day to day lives seldom afford us the opportunity to have meaningful conversations with people from diverse backgrounds. If you would like the opportunity to gain insights and understanding into the LGBTQ community, please join us for a focused discussion with panel members from a variety backgrounds. While this program is free and open to the public we encourage attendees to bring an open mind and open heart.
 
One Book, One San Diego Death Cafe
November 16, 2019 @ 3:00 PM | Carmel Valley Library
 
Death Cafes provide a safe, agenda-free place to discuss death and dying. Not a grief support or therapy group, it is just a friendly and interested group of people discussing death, dying and end-of-life.
 
One Book, One San Diego Art Showcase and Poetry Slam
December 7, 2019 @ 3:00 PM | Scripps Ranch Library
 
Adults and young adults are welcome to join us for this One Book program powered by creativity and inspiration. Showcase will be curated by our very own Teen Council.
 
Building a History
December 14, 2019 @ 2:00 PM | City Heights/Weingart Library
 
In honor of AIDS awareness month, the library will host original work by local artists, photographers, and writers inspired by the themes of the One Book, One San Diego selection, “The Great Believers.”

Youth

One Book, One San Diego: Dreamers Storytime
September 5, 2019 @ 10:30 AM | Allied Gardens/Benjamin Library
 
Celebrate One Book, One San Diego with a storytime where we will read "Dreamers" by Yuyi Morales. Touching on the diversity that makes up our wonderful community, we will create a craft to show what we love about our local library.
 
One Book, One San Diego Storytime
September 6, 2019 @ 10:30 AM | Mission Hills-Hillcrest/Knox Library
 
Join us to celebrate One Book, One San Diego with our September Bilingual Spanish/English Storytime featuring "Dreamers" by Yuyi Morales!
 
One Book, One San Diego Special Storytime and Craft
September 12, 2019 @ 10:30 AM | Point Loma /Hervey Library
 
Please join us as we will be reading "Dreamers" in a special storytime featuring books, songs, and craft. Our craft will be on Monarch Butterflies.
 
One Book, One San Diego Crafttime
September 17, 2019 @ 3:30 PM | Mission Hills-Hillcrest/Knox Library
 
Come celebrate One Book, One San Diego selection, "Dreamers" by Yuyi Morales with our after-school crafttime. Let's make a dream catcher and enjoy Mexican snacks and hot chocolate!
 
Craft Time for Kids: Keith Haring Edition
September 18, 2019 @ 2:00 PM | City Heights/Weingart Library
 
During regular craft hour, come celebrate One Book, One San Diego by creating your own Keith Haring inspired painting.

 

One Book, One San Diego Book Fiesta
September 26, 2019 @ 10:30 AM | Mira Mesa Library
 
Celebrate One Book, One San Diego selection, "Dreamers" by Yuyi Morales, with our special storytime, craft, and Mexican hot chocolate.

 

One Book, One San Diego Kids Storytime and Craft
October 8, 2019 @ 6:00 PM | City Heights/Weingart Library
 
Come celebrate the One Book, One San Diego Kids selection "Dreamers" by Yuyi Morales with a special storytime and crafts inspired from the book.

 

One Book, One San Diego Storytime
October 9, 2019 @ 3:00 PM | Carmel Mountain Library
 
Celebrate One Book, One San Diego with a special story time featuring "Dreamers" by Yuyi Morales!
 
One Book, One San Diego Kids Storytime & Crafts
October 10, 2019 @ 4:00 PM | Otay Mesa Library
 
Come celebrate the One Book, One San Diego Kids selection "Dreamers" by Yuyi Morales with a special storytime and crafts inspired from the book.
 
One Book, One San Diego Book Fiesta
October 12, 2019 @ 10:30 AM | Paradise Hills Library
 
Come celebrate One Book, One San Diego selection, "Dreamers" Yuyi Morales with our Saturday crafttime. Let's make a dream catcher and enjoy Mexican snacks and hot chocolate!
 
One Book, One San Diego Kids Storytime and Craft
October 24, 2019 @ 10:30 AM | Mission Valley Library
 
Come celebrate the One Book, One San Diego Kids selection "Dreamers" by Yuyi Morales with a special storytime and craft.

 

One Book, One San Diego Kids Storytime and Craft
October 28, 2019 @ 10:30 AM | University Community Library
 
Come celebrate the One Book, One San Diego Kids selection "Dreamers" by Yuyi Morales with a special storytime and crafts inspired from the book.

 

One Book One San Diego Book Fiesta
November 5, 2019 @ 4:00 PM | Tierrasanta Library
 
Celebrate the One Book, One San Diego selection "Dreamers" by Yuyi Morales with a Book Fiesta. Enjoy a reading of the book, complete a craft project and enjoy Mexican hot chocolate.
 
One Book, One San Diego Book Fiesta
November 6, 2019 @ 6:00 PM | Rancho Bernardo Library
 
Celebrate the One Book, One San Diego selection "Dreamers" by Yuyi Morales with a Book Fiesta. Enjoy a reading of the book, complete a craft project and enjoy Mexican hot chocolate.
 
One Book, One San Diego Kids Storytime and Craft
November 7, 2019 @ 10:30 AM | North University Community Library
 
Come celebrate the One Book, One San Diego Kids selection "Dreamers" by Yuyi Morales with a special storytime and craft.
 
One Book, One San Diego Book Fiesta
November 10, 2019 @ 2:00 PM | Central Library
 
Celebrate the One Book, One San Diego selection "Dreamers" by Yuyi Morales with a Book Fiesta. Enjoy a reading of the book in English and Spanish, arts and crafts, food and more.
 
One Book One San Diego Poetry Workshop
December 4, 2019 @ 3:00 PM | Pacific Beach/Taylor
 
Learn about List poems and then create one of your own. For teens and tweens. Inspiried by "The Crossover" by Kawme Alexander
 
One Book, One San Diego for Kids
December 7, 2019 @ 10:30 AM | San Ysidro Library
 
Celebrate One Book, One San Diego featuring author Yuyi Morales and her book "Dreamers". Her presentation will be in English and Spanish. There will be arts & crafts, food and more. Everyone is welcome. Free admission.

Book Discussion

Gay Men's Book Club
September 10, 2019 @ 6:00 PM | Mission Hills-Hillcrest/Knox Library
 
Join our Gay Men's Book Club to read and discuss the 2019 One Book, One San Diego selection, "The Great Believers" by Rebecca Makkai.
 
Halal If You Hear Me
September 21, 2019 @ 4:00 PM | Central Library
 
Join contributing writers Kazim Ali, Mahin Ibrahim, Blair Imani, and Randa Jarrar for a book discussion of "Halal If You Hear Me," a new anthology of writings by Muslim writers from all walks of life including women, queer, nonbinary, and transgender authors. Edited by Safia Elhillo and Fatimah Asghar, the collected poems, essays and other pieces in the work dispel the notion that there is one correct way to be a Muslim. The book will be available for signing by the authors and for sale in the Library Shop independent book store at the Central Library
 
Book Discussion Group
September 21, 2019 @ 10:00 AM | Kensington library
 
Join us to read and discuss the 2019 One Book, One San Diego selection, "The Great Believers" by Rebecca Makkai, facilitated by Kathi Diamant. Everyone is welcome. Please read the book beforehand. Books will be available for check out at the Service Desk.
 
Book Discussion Group
October 2, 2019 @ 6:30 PM | Pacific Beach/Taylor Library
 
Join us to read and discuss the 2019 One Book, One San Diego selection, "The Great Believers" by Rebecca Makkai. Everyone is welcome. Please read the book beforehand. Books will be available for check out at the Circulation Desk, beginning 9/4/19. 
 
One Book One San Diego YA Book Discussion
October 7, 2019 @ 4:00 PM | Otay Mesa Library
 
Please join us for a discussion/Art workshop of One Book One San Diego's YA selection, "The Crossover" by Kawme Alexander.
 
Book Discussion Group
October 8, 2019 @ 1:00 PM | Allied Gardens/Benjamin Library
 
Join us to read and discuss the 2019 One Book, One San Diego selection, "The Great Believers" by Rebecca Makkai, facilitated by Kathi Diamant. Everyone is welcome. Please read the book beforehand. Books will be available for check out at the Service Desk.
 
Book Club: One Book, One San Diego Discussion
October 10, 2019 @ 10:00 AM | Carmel Mountain Library
 
Join us to read and discuss the 2019 One Book, One San Diego selection, "The Great Believers" by Rebecca Makkai.
 
Book Discussion Group
October 15, 2019 @ 6:30 PM | Carmel Valley Library
 
Join us for a discussion of 2019 One Book, One San Diego selection, "The Great Believers" by Rebecca Makkai.
 
One Book, One San Diego Book Discussion: "The Great Believers"
October 29, 2019 @ 6:30 PM | Mira Mesa Library
 
Mira Mesa Banned Book Club will host a book discussion of the One Book One San Diego adult selection "The Great Believers" by Rebecca Makkai.
 
Book Clinic: One Book "The Great Believers"
November 2, 2019 @ 3:00 PM | Scripps Miramar Ranch Library
 
Open book discussion with librarian on reactions and thoughts toward "The Great Believers" by Rebecca Makkai.
 
Book Discussion Group
November 4, 2019 @ 4:00 PM | College-Rolando Library
 
Join us to read and discuss the 2019 One Book, One San Diego selection, "The Great Believers" by Rebecca Makkai. Everyone is welcome. Please read the book beforehand. Books will be available for checkout at the Circulation Desk beginning 10/4/19.
 
One Book One San Diego Book Discussion
November 5, 2019 @ 3:30 PM | Central Library
 
Join us to celebrate the 2019 One Book, One San Diego teen selection, "The Crossover" by Kawme Alexander.
 
Book Discussion Group
November 19, 2019 @ 6:30 PM | North Clairemont Library
 
Enjoy discussing the 2019 One Book, One San Diego title, "The Great Believers" by Rebecca Makkai with other readers.
 
One Book, One San Diego Book Discussion
November 19, 2019 @ 11:45 AM | Balboa Branch Library
 
Join us to read and discuss the 2019 One Book, One San Diego selection, "The Great Believers" by Rebecca Makkai. Everyone is welcome. Please read the book beforehand. Books will be available for check out at the Circulation Desk.
 
Book Discussion Group
December 5, 2019 @ 10:30 AM | Mission Hills-Hillcrest/Knox Library
 
Join us to read and discuss the 2019 One Book, One San Diego selection, "The Great Believers" by Rebecca Makkai, facilitated by Steven Bernstein. Everyone is welcome.
 
Book Talk & Discussion: Featuring One Book
December 26, 2019 @ 3:00 PM | University Heights Library
 
The title selected will be based on 2019's One Book, One San Diego selection, "The Great Believers" by Rebecca Makkai.

Film Screening

One Book, One San Diego: Feature film
September 6, 2019 @ 2:00 PM | La Jolla Riford Library
 
"Call Me by Your Name” - In 1980s Italy, a romance blossoms between a seventeen-year-old student and the older man hired as his father’s research assistant.
 
One Book, One San Diego: Feature film
October 5, 2019 @ 2:30 PM | Scripps Miramar Ranch Library
 
“Dog Day Afternoon” - When inexperienced criminal, Sonny Wortzik,  leads a bank robbery in Brooklyn things quickly go wrong and a hostage situation develops.
 
Picture This: Film Screening of "San Diego Gay Bar History" followed by a Filmmaker Q&A
October 14, 2019 @ 6:30 PM | Central Library
 
Please join us for a screening of "San Diego Gay Bar History" (2018), followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker, Paul Detwiler.
 
One Book, One San Diego: Feature film
October 14, 2019 @ 2:00 PM | Pacific Beach/Taylor Library
 
“Milk”  - The 2008 biopic of Harvey Milk, the murdered San Francisco politician, human-rights activist and the first openly gay man elected to a major public office.
 
One Book, One San Diego: Feature film
October 15, 2019 @ 6:00 PM | Point Loma /Hervey Library
 
“Boy Erased” - The son of a Baptist preacher is forced to participate in a church-supported gay conversion program after being forcibly outed to his parents.
 
"Tongues Untied": 30th Anniversary Screening
October 18, 2019 @ 7:00 PM | Central Library
 
Join us for the 30th anniversary screening of the ground-breaking film "Tongues Untied" by late filmmaker Marlon Riggs. Made to “shatter this nation’s brutalizing silence on matters of sexual and racial difference”, this bold and beautiful film combines poetry, performance, and music into a personal and universal statement on the experiences and resulting persecution of black gay men. During its release, this film met with a storm of controversy that reached all the way to Congress. Post-screening dialogue after the film.
 
"Compensation": 20th Anniversary Screening
October 25, 2019 @ 7:00 PM | Central Library
 
Join the UCSD Communication Department and the San Diego Central Library for a 20th anniversary screening of "Compensation", the groundbreaking independent drama, featuring pioneering African American Deaf actress Michelle Banks, by award-winning filmmaker and UCSD professor Zeinabu Irene Davis. Banks and Davis will facilitate a discussion after the film. Simultaneous interpretation in American Sign Language (ASL) and English will be provided.
 
One Book, One San Diego: Feature film
November 6, 2019 @ 6:00 PM | Linda Vista Library
 
“How to Survive a Plague” - A film that documents the activism of ACT-UP and TAG in contention with the slow and sometimes hostile response of the government and medical establishment to the AIDS epidemic and impacted communities.
 
One Book, One San Diego: Feature film
November 8, 2019 @ 2:00 PM | Pacific Beach/Taylor Library
 
“Dallas Buyers Club” - An HIV-positive man traffics unapproved medical drugs in order to help fellow patients during an era when doctors were still struggling to understand the virus.
 
Living With Pride: Ruth Ellis @ 100 | 20th Anniversary Screening
November 14, 2019 @ 6:30 PM | Central Library
 
When Ruth Ellis died in 2000 at the age of 101, she was thought to be the oldest "out" African American lesbian known. Directed by award-winning independent filmmaker Yvonne Welbon, "Living With Pride" is an extraordinary film about a most remarkable woman, portraying Ruth Ellis’ indomitable spirit in old age and her life spanning the 20th century. The film won 10 best documentary film awards and offers a rare opportunity to experience a century of American history as lived by one inspiring woman. Ruth Ellis shows what is possible and what can be realized, if one not only lives long and ages well, but also lives with pride. Welbon will be present to lead the post-screening discussion of her film.

Display

Exhibit: One Book, One San Diego Books
September 1 - 30, 2019 | Mira Mesa Library
 
One Book, One San Diego Display of selected titles for adults and youths.
 
"Surviving and Thriving: AIDS, Politics and Culture" Traveling exhibition from the National Library of Medicine
September 16 - October 26, 2019 | Central Library - Popular Library
 
Banner exhibition explores the rise of AIDS in the early 1980s and the evolving response to the epidemic.  The exhibit centers on the experience of people with AIDS, showing their critical role in the political and medical fight against the disease. Historic images show how a group of people responded -- or failed to respond -- to the crisis.
 
Exhibit: The Time of the Great Believers
September 9, 2019 - December 9, 2019 | Linda Vista
 
The Time of the Great Believers exhibits visual context for our One Book One San Diego adult selection.
 
One Book, One San Diego Display
September 1 - 30, 2019 | Rancho Penasquitos Library
 
Celebrate this year's One Book, One San Diego selection "The Great Believers" by Rebecca Makkai with inspiring titles exploring the themes of: families we make and choose; history of the AIDS epidemic; LGBTQ awareness; dealing with illness; coping with death.
You must have Javascript enabled to use this form.