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One Book One San Diego: Frequently Asked Questions and Selection Criteria

1. What is One Book, One San Diego?

In its 10th year, One Book, One San Diego is a community reading program. It is a partnership between The San Diego Public Library, KPBS, 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.

2. How is a book chosen?

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.

3. What are the book criteria?

  • 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.

4. Who is on the Advisory Committee?

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.

5. You ask that only books with "professional reviews" be nominated. What does this mean?

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.)

6. When are the author events?

The author of the featured book will visit San Diego to participate in One Book, One San Diego events during the fall of 2016. Additional events related to the featured book will also take place in the fall of 2016.

7. What organizations partner with this program?

Additional library partners include Carlsbad Public Library, Chula Vista Public Library, Escondido Public Library, Oceanside Public Library, the Copley Library at University of San Diego, the Love Library at San Diego State University, and the Ryan Library at Point Loma Nazarene University, the UCSD Library, and the Asociación de Bibliotecarios de Baja California.

Community partners include the San Diego City College, Hoover High School, Juvenile Court Book Club, San Diego Council on Literacy, Worldview Project, Deaf Community Services of San Diego, and the San Diego Public Library Foundation.

2016 Title Selection Process

Community members nominate books through online and paper submissions.

  • The nomination submission period is between February 1, 2016 and March 7, 2016.
  • The online nomination form is available on the KPBS' website.
  • Paper nomination forms are available at all San Diego Public Library locations and all participating public libraries.
  • The 2016 One Book selection will be announced in August.

Past Year Selections

One Book, One San Diego 2015
The Shadow of the Wind book jacket

In 2015 One Book, One San Diego was proud to present The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. 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.

Guide to The Shadow of the Wind
Book reviews, book discussions, further readings, relevant films and music, materials in Spanish, a list of fun fictitious libraries similar to the story's Cemetery of Forgotten Books, events, and more.



One Book, One San Diego 2014
Photo of Lysley Tenorio by Tara Runyan

Lysley Tenorio
(Photo by Tara Runyan)

In 2014 One Book, One San Diego was proud to present Monstress: Stories by Lysley Tenorio. The accompanying young adult (middle school) title was American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang and the children's companion title was Cora Cooks Pancit by Dorina K. Lazo Gilmore.



One Book, One San Diego 2013
Photo of Geraldine Brooks by Randi Baird

Geraldine Brooks
(Photo by Randi Baird)

In 2013 One Book, One San Diego was proud to present Geraldine Brooks' novel Caleb's Crossing. The accompanying young adult (middle school) and children's companion titles were Jingle Dancer by Cynthia Leitich Smith and Sees Behind Trees by Michael Dorris.


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