Shop Small San Diego: Books and Art

Bon Voyage Travel Journal, $17

A look at stories, designs and artworks by San Diegans


We’re spotlighting items and boutiques that are exclusive to San Diego — everything from one-of-a-kind jewelry to books written by local authors.

We scoured the city to find items that should make for unique and thoughtful gift giving this season. Happy holidays!


“Keeping Lucy”

St. Martin’s Press, $27.99

Set in 1969, T. Greenwood‘s novel is about a woman gives birth to Lucy, a daughter with Down Syndrome, then fights institutional facilities to give her child a better life.


MK Envision Galleries

$189 at MK Envision Gallery
(Vincent Darmohusodo)

At MK Envision Galleries you’ll find a variety of affordable pieces, including “Surf Lineup” by Encinitas photographer Vincent Darmohusodo. He transfers his image of a “typical summer surf lineup at Cardiff by the Sea” onto upcycled wood panels from old fences.


“How to Set Yourself on Fire”

Dzanc Books, $16.95

Author Julia Dixon Evans takes us into the life of a woman adrift in her 30s. She inherits her grandmother’s box of secret love letters from a man who is not her grandfather.


San Diego Art Institute

$35 at San Diego Art Institute

Among the many locally-made items for sale at San Diego Art Institute‘s gift shop are these handmade, functional items from Tiny Badger Ceramics, a small-batch ceramics studio that brings a modern twist to classic pieces.


“The Churchgoer”

Harper Perennial, $16.99

Patrick Coleman‘s noir novel set in Oceanside follows a former evangelical youth pastor who has fallen from grace and sets to solve the disappearance of a young hitchhiker.



Chicken Enamel Pin, $10

On her website boygirlparty, illustrator Susie Ghahremani sells artwork of whimsical animals, like sloths, chickens, owls and hedgehogs available on pins, notebooks, onesies and more.


“Crux: A Cross-Border Memoir”

Penguin Random House, $27

Winner of the Pen/Fusion Emerging Writers Prize, this memoir explores writer and reporter Jean Guerrero’s quest to understand her father’s behavior between sanity and madness.


Bhavna Mehta

Paper, Pattern, and the Story of Gush, $15
Paper, Pattern, and the Story of Gush, $15

Bhavna Mehta creates intricate worlds out of paper and embroidery. This book showcases her delicate, floral-inspired pieces made for the Oceanside Museum of Art.


“Children of Blood and Bone”

Henry Holt and Co., $18.99

Based on African history and mythology, Tomi Adeyemi‘s story takes place in a magical world ruled by a ruthless king and follows the young girl who rises up and fights oppression. It’s the first part of Adeyemi’s fantasy trilogy.


Don’t Be Self Conchas sticker, $2

North Park’s Artelexia boutique embraces our love of conchas – Mexican sweet breads – in this whimsical sticker.


“Stanley Will Probably Be Fine”

HarperCollins, $16.99

Sally J. Pla tells the story of a sensitive and anxious middle school boy forced to overcome his fears at a very popular San Diego comic book convention.