Press Release September 2, 2022

20 of Our Favorite Authors Who’ve Visited SD Public Libraries

We’ve said this many times: libraries are much more than bookshelves. They are community enrichment centers that help people of all ages learn about new topics, refresh and sharpen their existing knowledge and skills, connect with innovative resources, and explore fictional worlds.

And to meet their favorite authors.

The San Diego Public Library, thanks to the support of the Library Foundation SD and Library Shop SD, has hosted a myriad of authors to facilitate meaningful conversations. With topics ranging from health and politics to fantasy and romance, a fascinating encounter can be just around the corner for everyone.

While the list of authors who’ve visited San Diego libraries is tough to narrow down to our absolute favorite events over the years – we gave it a shot. As we celebrate our 20th anniversary, here’s a highlight reel of 20 of those moments.

While this list is finite, our love for writers is expansive.

1. Heather McGhee — February 2022

Bestselling author, economist, and activist Heather McGhee appeared virtually in February for a lecture on her National Book Award-nominated book, The Sum of Us, as part of an annual Black History Month lecture hosted by San Diego Public Library and the University of San Diego.

2. Anne Rice & Christopher Rice — November 2016

Legendary novelist Anne Rice visited the Central Library @ Joan Λ Irwin Jacobs Common with her son Christopher Rice (also a bestselling author) for the release of the penultimate novel of her career, The Prince Lestat – Realms of Atlantis.

3. Don Winslow — April 2022

Bestselling author Don Winslow visited the Central Library to launch his final novel, City of Fire. It was a rare collaborative event between the Library Shop and four fellow local independent bookstores, Mysterious Galaxy, Warwick’s, The Book Catapult, and Diesel, A Bookstore.

4. Daniel James Brown – November 2021 & September 2014

Bestselling Author Daniel James Brown has visited the Library Shop twice, both virtually. Once over Skype in 2014 as part of the Library Shop’s book club for Boys in the Boat and later on our Crowdcast channel in November 2021 as part of the Library’s programming to honor Clara Breed and confront the legacy of the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II with the book Facing the Mountain.

5. Erin Morgenstern – December 2019

The Library Shop partnered with Warwick’s to bring bestselling author Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus) to the Central Library to launch her latest novel, The Starless Sea. The Library’s IDEA Lab 3D printed commemorative coins and coded a Virtual Reality iPhone filter that allowed patrons to take pictures with the author with elements from the book.

6. Marie Lu, Astrid Scholte and Melissa de la Cruz – March 2020

In the final days before the COVID shutdown, the Library Shop SD hosted superstar YA authors Marie Lu & Melissa de la Cruz (each for the second time) and debut author Astrid Scholte. Vanessa Gempis, manager of the Pauline Foster Teen Center, moderated a lively discussion.

7. Ransom Riggs — January 2020

Ransom Riggs (bestselling author of the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series) brought his The Conference of the Birds tour to the Central Library. His publisher, Penguin Random House, later reported back that it was the biggest crowd of the entire nationwide tour.

8. Daniel Pink – February 2022 & February 2018

Thought leader and international bestselling author Daniel Pink visited the Central Library twice as part of a partnership with Adventures By the Book. In 2018, Pink filled the Neil Morgan Auditorium for his book When and in 2022 he dazzled a socially distant crowd in the Shiley Special Events Suite with his latest book, The Power of Regret.

10. Matt de la Pena and Christian Robinson – May 2016

Author Matt de la Pena and illustrator Christian Robinson presented an interactive workshop for kids at the Central Library featuring their Newberry Medal winning book Last Stop on Market Street, inspired by Matt de la Pena’s childhood in San Diego. 

11. Susan Orlean — January 2019

The brilliant author and journalist Susan Orlean christened the brand-new Mission Hills-Hillcrest/Knox Library with an event for the paperback release of The Library Book. The event was co-promoted with Warwick’s Books and in a bit of an experiment at the time. 

12. Raina Telgemeier — July 2019

On the evening before the 2019 Comic-Con, superstar YA author Raina Telgemeier overflowed the Neil Morgan Auditorium with a record crowd of over 450 fans during an exclusive pre-release event for the novel Guts.

13. Cory Doctorow – April 2019

The Library Foundation partnered with the Friends of the San Diego Library in April of 2019 to celebrate the Friends’ 40th Anniversary with a lecture about how libraries strengthen communities by sci-fi author and techno-futurist Cory Doctorow.

14. Eric Klinenberg – October 2019

Bestselling author Eric Klinenberg shared his groundbreaking study on social infrastructure,’ Palaces For the People with an audience in the Neil Morgan Auditorium. In this clip, he discusses the radical idea of the public library.

15. Geraldine Brooks – September 2013

The first author event ever at the Central Library was bestselling literary novelist Geraldine Brooks who presented Caleb’s Crossing, the official 2013 One Book One San Diego selection.

16. Lynne Cox – May 2022

The Library Shop hosted endurance swimmer and bestselling author Lynne Cox for the launch of her latest book, Tales of Al, at the La Jolla-Riford Library in partnership with Adventures By the Book.

17. Yuyi Morales – December 2019

The Library Shop supported KPBS’s One Book One San Diego program at the San Ysidro Library for an event with author/​illustrator Yuyi Morales who presented her latest work, The Dreamers, the official One Book children’s selection for 2019.

18. Susie Ghahremani – September 2020 & September 2021

Back-to-back years, the Library Shop hosted author, illustrator, artist, and official San Diego Book Crawl Ambassadress Susie Ghahremani for official San Diego Design Week events at the Central Library. In 2020, the event was virtual in support of her latest children’s book Little Muir’s Night and in 2021 it was an in-person workshop for her Growth journal.

19. Tomi Adeyemi – December 2019

Tomi Adeyemi packed the Neil Morgan Auditorium at the Central Library on the weekend that the first two novels from her Legacy of Orïsha trilogy achieved the rare feat of taking #1 and #2 slots on the New York Times Bestseller list. Adeyemi presented her second book, Children of Virtue Vengeance at the event in partnership with Mysterious Galaxy. Watch the video below for Tomi’s comments on the importance of library programs.

20. John Boyne – April 2014

Long before John Boyne was world famous for his novel The Heart’s Invisible Furies, he visited the Library Shop to present his children’s book Stay Where You Are and Then Leave. John Boyne’s work has been a favorite of many Library Shop staff over the years.