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27 books by San Diego Authors

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

Verbatim Books art display in North Park, San Diego

Used books still tell a story.

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 Halfby 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 Skyby 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 Teenby 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 Fireby 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 Patrolby 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.

For the family

  • Flash Factsby 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 Toowritten 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 Forestwritten + 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 Chicanowritten 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 Curseby 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 Mickywritten 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 Loraxby 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.

Learn something new

Warwick's in La Jolla

Hit the La Jolla bookstore before the beach.

Photo via Michael Beausoleil + SDtoday

Part of a series

  • Then She Vanishedby 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 Yearby 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 Fireflyby Jack Trolley | Release date: 1994 | The first book in a 4-part series following fast-paced police sergeant Tommy Donahoo.
  • The Sea Fairiesby 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 Dustby 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.
  • Last Redemptionby Matt Coyle | Release date: Nov. 30, 2021 | The eighth — and most recent — entry in the Rick Cahill series features the protagonist fighting for his life so he can witness the birth of his first child.

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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