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SAN DIEGO — For San Diegans looking for a good read that hits close to home, there are many fiction and non-fiction books that are set in America’s Finest City.

With the help of Goodreads, a book-focused website that helps you keep track of what you’re reading, FOX 5 has compiled a list of publications local readers can add to their dockets for 2023.

The Torrey Pines Hermit

In this book, a newly divorced man, “Nick the Hermit,” explores an isolated portion of the Torrey Pines State Nature Reserve, where he ends up living for 20 years making art. This read received a 4.3 star rating on Goodreads.

The Spaceman of Ocean Beach, Vol. Two

This read shares the story of Clint Cary, “The Spaceman of Ocean Beach,” detailing his adventures both here on Earth and in another planet, which is described within the pages of the book. There are no Goodreads reviews available for star ratings.

The Romance of Balboa Park

This story about those who have taken the lead in improving Balboa Park over time. It also contains almost 100 black and white photos of the park. This book has a 4.5 star rating on Goodreads.


This book is set in “Old California” during the time of fading Spanish order. The main character, an orphan named Ramona, falls in love with a Native American and this is their love story. The book received 3.74 stars on Goodreads.

The Dawn of the New Cycle: Point Loma Theosophists and American Culture

This book shares the story of a group of Americans who founded a new community at Point Loma while embracing the Theosophical religious movement. Goodreads shows a 4 star rating for this publication.

My Seven Years in Captivity: Tails and Misadventures in the San Diego Zoo

This book is the memoir of Bill Seaton, who handled publicity for the San Diego Zoo. The recount has been described as “hilarious” with stories about his experiences. The book has a 3.42 star rating on Goodreads.

If none of these synopses caught your reader’s eye, a longer list of books set in San Diego can be found here.

Do you prefer e-books over paperback or hardback? Most of these reads can also be enjoyed in digital form.