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36 books by San Diego Authors

All of these writers have ties to America’s Finest City.

Local Author Books section at the San Diego Central Library

San Diego Central Library has a whole section dedicated to local authors.

Photo by Michael Beausoleil + SDtoday

Table of Contents

What’s better than a good book? A good book written by your neighbor (or former neighbor). Brew up a batch of your favorite tea or coffee and get ready to meet your next read, because we’re talking about locally written books in San Diego.


  • “The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett | Release date: June 2, 2020 | The Oceanside-born author tells the story of identical twins who separate as teens + deal with their racial identity very differently.
  • “Endless Blue Sky” by Josh Turner | Release date: Oct. 1, 2018 | A look at self-medication + the limits of sunshine, told through the narrative of Jeff Ashby.
  • “One Tiger One Teen” by Pete Peterson | Release date: April 1, 2020 | A 17-year-old wants to catch a tiger and release it as his senior prank, but things don’t go as planned.
  • “How to Set Yourself on Fire” by Julia Dixon Evans | Release date: May 8, 2018 | When Sheila’s grandmother dies, she inherits a box of love letters from a man who’s not her grandfather.
  • “The Dawn Patrol” by Don Winslow | Release date: June 16, 2009 | The Julian-based author tells the story of an avid surfer + private investigator who gets the ride of his life while exploring a case.
  • “Inside Threat” by Matthew Quirk | Release date: June 13, 2023 | In this thriller, the White House is breached and the president is sent to a doomsday bunker, only to discover the threat is locked inside, too.
  • “Kiss Me, Mi Amor” by Alana Quintana Albertson | Release date: July 4, 2023 | The second book in the “Love & Tacos” series, this story follows Enrique, the heir to a fast food empire who tries to win over agricultural hotshot Carolina.
  • “Chameleon: A Black Box Thriller” by Remi Adeleke| Release date: July 25, 2023 | The Chula Vista author — and former US Navy SEAL — tells the story of an elite CIA special operation branch addressing an international hostage situation.
  • “Mister Magic: A Novel” by Kiersten White | Release date: Aug. 8, 2023 | Two former child stars reunite to discover secrets about their show’s host in this thriller with a dose of 1990s nostalgia.

For the family

  • “Flash Facts” by Mayim Bialik | Release date: Feb. 2, 2021 | The San Diego-born actress + neuroscientist curates stories to answer some of your burning questions — with some help from the Scarlet Speedster.
  • “When Mom Feels Great Then We Do Too” written by Phyllis Schwartz + illustrated by Siski Kalla| Release date: Sept. 2, 2022 | The Encinitas-based author teaches families how small gestures can help a parent battling cancer.
  • “Once Upon a Forest” written + illustrated by Pam Fong | Release date: Feb. 8, 2022 | A marmot helps show kindness to animals + the environment by helping a forest recover from a wildfire.
  • “The Spirit of Chicano Park/El Espíritu del Parque Chicano” written by Beatrice Zamora + illustrated by Meza Maira | Release date: April 20, 2020 | A bilingual story of two children learning about the creation of the historic park in Logan Heights, founded in 1970.
  • “Freddie vs. the Family Curse” by Tracy Badua | Release date: May 3, 2022 | A historically + culturally-based story of a Filipino-American boy that teams up with his ancestors to break a generational curse.
  • “Icky Micky” written by Victoria Bennett + illustrated by Mike Motz | Release date: July 8, 2022 | This rhyming book by the Carmel Valley author follows a boy trying to discover why gets called a gross nickname.
  • “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss | Release date: Aug. 12, 1971 | The environmentally-friendly book is believed to have drawn inspiration from La Jolla, where the author once lived.
  • “Big Tree” written and illustrated by Brian Selznick | Release date: April 4, 2023 | This acclaimed children’s book tells the story of two sycamore seeds who get separated from their mother and must navigate a dangerous world to grow big.
The outside of Warwicks in La Jolla with chess board.

This local bookstore has a section for local books.

Photo via Michael Beausoleil + SDtoday

Learn something new

Part of a series

  • “Then She Vanished” by T. Jefferson Parker | Release date: Aug. 11, 2020 | The most recent installment of the Roland Ford series follows the private investigator as he searches for a rising politician’s missing wife.
  • “The Drama Club: Senior Year” by Denise J Smith | Release date: Jan. 15, 2021 | Six teens spend their final year of high school performing in the drama club and confronting issues like racism + homophobia.
  • “Balboa Firefly” by Jack Trolley | Release date: 1994 | The first book in a 4-part series following fast-paced police sergeant Tommy Donahoo.
  • “The Sea Fairies” by L. Frank Baum | Release date: 1911 | This installment in “The Oz Series” draws inspiration from Coronado, where Baum spent many winters.
  • “A Shadow Cast in Dust” by Ben Johnson | Release date: May 11, 2014 | The first of the “Webworld Trilogy,” Stewart Zanderson escapes his captors with a mysterious knife — set in Golden Hill.
  • “The Invisible City” by John W. Wells III | Release date: Aug. 28, 2023 | This book is the San Diego native’s latest installment in “The Kalib Andrews Chronicles,” a fantasy series about a teen who is forced into a war to fulfill an ancient prophecy.
  • “Odyssey’s End” by Matt Coyle | Release date: Nov. 14, 2023 | The tenth — and most recent — entry in the Rick Cahill series features the protagonist handling a missing person case gone awry in hopes of reuniting with his own family.
Verbatim Books art display in North Park, San Diego

Used books still tell a story.

Photo by Michael Beausoleil + SDtoday

Personal stories

Need more recommendations? Stop by Warwick’s, Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore, La Playa Books, or shop used at Verbatim Books, to get expert advice from San Diego’s local booksellers. 📚

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