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KPBS Midday Edition

Last-minute gift ideas from local indie booksellers

The outside of La Playa Books located in Point Loma in San Diego on December 20, 2021.
Andrew Bracken / KPBS
The outside of La Playa Books located in the Point Loma neighborhood of San Diego on Dec. 20, 2021.

With the holidays in full swing and Christmas upon us, it can be hard to get those last perfect gifts for the people on your list. KPBS Midday Edition caught up with a few local independent bookstores for some last-minute gift ideas.

Seth Marko, co-owner of South Park's The Book Catapult's favorite novels for the year include "Cloud Cuckoo Land" by Anthony Doerr, in which the author "shows the thin threads that connect people," Marko said, as well as "Matrix" by Lauren Groff. The Book Catapult is located at 3010-B Juniper St., in South Park.

Store manager Kelly Orazi of Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore, which specializes in science fiction, fantasy, and young adult books, shared her picks next. For middle-grade readers, Orazi suggested "The Last Cuentista" by Donna Barba Higuera.


"It's pulse-racing science fiction, but it's also a heart-wrenching testament to the power of storytelling," Orazi said.

She also recommended "Under the Whispering Door" by TJ Klune, who previously wrote "The House in the Cerulean Sea," as well as the modern fantasy tale "Legendborn" by Tracy Deonn. Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore is located on 3555 Rosecrans St., San Diego.

Finally, bookseller Marianne Reiner of La Playa Books suggested the novels "The Sentence" by Louise Erdich and "O Beautiful" by Jung Yun, of which she said, "I am putting it on my list for everyone I know and love."

For children, Reiner recommended the picture book "Dream Street" by Trischa Ellen Walker with illustrations by Ekua Holmes. La Playa Books is located at 1026 Rosecrans St., in Point Loma.