Finalists Announced for Annual One Book, One San Diego Selection

Ten finalists have been announced for the annual One Book, One San Diego program.

The winner – announced Aug. 20 – will become the focal point of what is essentially a months-long regional book club, discussed at public events at libraries, schools and community centers.

Modeled on similar programs in other cities, One Book is designed to foster community by getting people to think about the ideas in the book and how they relate to life here. It is in its 16th year locally. Sponsors include KPBS, public libraries and civic organizations.

Winners are chosen in part based on themes that an advisory committee believes will resonate with local and/or global communities and people from all walks of life. Last year’s selection was “Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist” by Judith Heumann (with Kristen Joiner).

This year’s finalists include novels, memoirs, poetry and true crime. They are: “The Beekeeper of Aleppo” (by Christy Lefteri); “Broken” (Jenny Lawson); “Call Us What We Wear” (Amanda Gorman); “Deacon King Kong” (James McBride); “Hollywood Park” (Mikel Jollett); “Infinite Country” (Patricia Engel); “Inner Chinatown” (Charles Yu); “Bloom Moon Killers” (David Grann); “The Dominant Story” (Richard Powers); and “The Vanishing Half” (Brit Bennett).

An advisory committee – KPBS staff members, librarians, teachers and community representatives – selects the finalists after reviewing nominations from the public. This year, more than 400 applications have been received, according to the administrators of One Book.

Among the criteria: The author must be alive; the book was published in or after 2017 and is still in print; and the book was professionally reviewed in a major publication.

In addition to selecting an adult book to read each year, the program also chooses titles for teens, children, and Spanish-speaking readers. The finalists for these categories have also been announced. Lists are available on the One Book, One San Diego website.

The winners will be announced Aug. 20 at the annual Union-Tribune Book Festival, held this year at the University of San Diego.

Angela C. Hale