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One Book, One San Diego: Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is One Book, One San Diego?

    In its 8th 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. 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 the book chosen?

    The process for selecting a One Book title is designed for maximum community participation. San Diego and Imperial County residents are invited to nominate books through online and paper submissions.

    The nomination period takes place in the 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.

    All of the books that were nominated for the 2013 One Book program are on KPBS' Goodreads shelf, labeled "2013 Nominated Books." The books that are nominated for the 2014 One Book program will be listed on a new shelf as we receive them.
  3. 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.
  4. What are the book criteria?

    o Story (fiction or nonfiction) that is of high literary quality, and has a strong, compelling narrative and well-developed characters.

    o Themes resonate with local and/or global communities, and people of all backgrounds.

    o Inspires discussion, conversations, and action.

    o Available in paperback and hardcover.

    o Author is alive.

    o The book has professional reviews, must be currently in print and readily available in large quantities (not print-on-demand).

    o Suitable for high school study and up.

  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 will we know what the next book is?

    The 2014 One Book selection will be announced in May.
  7. 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 2014. Additional events related to the featured book will also take place in the fall of 2014.

If you have further questions about One Book, One San Diego, contact Clare Pister, KPBS Education & Literacy Coordinator at

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