Mother's Day Gift Guide

Mother's Day is on the horizon, we've put together a selection of books and gifts that are sure to bring  joy to her day. 


Product Details 

1. The Perfect Book: Tartine All Day ($40.00), Rad Women World Wide($15.99), Foraged Flora ($40.00), The Mothers ($26.00)

2. Craft + Foster Soy Wax Candles, $22.00

3.  All Linked Up Silver Necklace from, Matr Boomie $26.95

4. This Season's Newest S'well Bottle Designs, $25.00 - $42.95

5. Brass Desktop Perpetual Calendar, $21.00

6. Gold Foil Coffee Cups from Easy Tiger, $12.95

7. "Soap for Okay Moms" by Whiskey River Soap Co. $8.95

8. Storiarts Literary Infinity Scarves, $48.00

9. Vanilla Bean Boxed Pen, $15.95


Come in to see our full selection of curated gifts, or give us a call to place any featured item on hold (619) 236-5802

¡Viva Cuba Libre!

Is your bland cookbook collection stuck in the 1950s? ¡Cuba! by Dan Goldberg, Andrea Hun, and Jody Eddy will spark a revolution in your kitchen. With Fidel six feet under, and throngs of tourists flying direct to Havana, now is the perfect time to bring these Caribbean and Spanish influences onto your plate. This new era brings delicious opportunities for all of us, and this collection is just the start. Each page is a photographic tribute to the culture and history of Cuba and her people. Featuring mouth watering recipes and local anecdotes that will leave you saying "¡Viva Cuba Libre!" -Jeff

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Stocking Stuffer Goodies

There's less than a week before Christmas &  the start of Hanukkah -- still time to find those last minute little goodies to round out your gift giving selection. We've got lots of fun toys and gifties in the Shop, come on down & check out a few of our favorite Stocking Stuffers! We're open every day of the week M-Thr 9:30 to 7, Fr & Sat 9:30-6:00, and Sun 12-6 --- but we're closed Dec 25th & Dec 26th. 

1. Ideal Bookshelf Enamel Pins, $11.00

  • Such cute book cover designs from Hawaiian artist Jane Mount; you can rock your literary love on jacket, purse, or lapel. 

 2. Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty -- Minis, $3.95

  • Pocket-sized plaything, Crazy Aaron has created a 'silly putty' for the modern day. 

3. Sock It To Me Knee Highs, $10.95

  • Take your sock wearing to the next level with these fun patterned Uni-sex Knee Highs. 

4. Seven Year Pens, $7.98

  • Amazingly this pen holds enough ink to write 3 meters a day for 7 years! 

5. Finger Hands, $0.99

  • Who wouldn't want an extra set of hands? Finger Hands (Available in both Left & Right) are a hit kids and adults alike...especially when holiday cocktails are involved. 

6. Lego Batman LED Key Chains, $13.95

  • Bright LED beams from Bruce's foot, lighting the way for Justice in a dark world, right?

7. Composition Notebook Business Card Holder, $6.95

  • This handy pocket-sized rolodex makes networking a breeze, sturdy metal patterned after a classic composition notebook.

8. 50 Year Calendar Paperweight, $11.95

  • A sleek looking paperweight for any home or work desk: pick any date in the next 50 years, and this little calendar will tell you the day of the week. 

9. Cyberoptix Dewey Decimal Silk Ties, $39.95

  • We're in love with these sumptuous silk ties from Detroit's Cyberoptix. Perfect for the librarian-loving book worm in your life. 

Gift Picks for Kids!

We've chosen a range of great gift items for babies to tweens and everything in between. Stop into the Shop to see our full line of children's toys, books, games, & more. 

1. Plush Toys by Jellycat, $22.00 (Ages 0+)

  • Jellycat must infuse some kind of cloud-magic hybrid in their products; each plush toy is oh-so-soft-and-cuddly you'll have a tough time turning it over to your little one. 

2.  Remote Control Metal Detector Robot by 4M, $25.00 (Ages 8+)

  • More than just a toy, building this robot from scratch teaches kids the basics of circuit construction. 

3. Harry Potter Puzzle by New York Puzzle Company, $18.95 (Ages 12+)

  • Featuring the classic 1997 Year One cover art, this 1000 piece puzzle is the perfect post-holiday family activity.

4. Animal Parade A - Z by Begin Again, $38.95 (Ages 3+)

  • Made from sustainably harvested wood, little ones can learn their upper & lower case alphabet on this two sided puzzle-- plus play with the animal figures on their own!

5. Crystal Growing Coral Reef by Copernicus Toys, $13.95 (Ages 6+)

  • Kit contains three multi-colored coral forms to grow your own beautiful desk top ocean reef. 

6. Sushi Go! by Gameright, $13.95 (Ages 8+)

  • A fun family card game that encourages strategy and probability learning in middle grade kids.

7. Books For Everyone to Enjoy, $17.99 - $29.95

  • A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers & Sam Winston, $17.99 (All Ages)
  • Shy by Deborah Freedman, $17.99 (Ages 3-5)
  • The Ultimate Peter Rabbit by Camilla Hallinan, $19.99 (Ages 10+)
  • Dinosaurs: How They Lived and Evolved by Paul Barret, $29.95 (Ages  12+)
  • The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon, $18.99 (Ages 12+)




Holiday Gift Picks

It's December 1st and officially time to get serious about your holiday shopping. Check out our first installment of the Library Shop Holiday Gift Guide 2016: a curated selection for everyone on your list. 

1. Books for the Art & History Buff in your life, $15.99-$75.00

  • Rad Women Worldwide by Kate Schatz & Miriam Klein Stahl, $15.99
  • The Smithsonian's History of America in 101 Objects by  Richard Kurin, $35.00
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Masterpiece Paintings, $75.00
  • An Artist's Alphabet by Norman Messenger, $17.99

2. Bottled Up Glass Decanter by Fred & Friends, $20.00

  • The perfect balance of classy and sassy, these gilded glass decanters hold 35 oz of liquid. Makes an excellent host(ess) gift!

3. "Day" Folklore Enamel Tea Pot by Wild & Wolf, $28.95

  • Drink you tea in style with this camp-ready enamelware featuring folklore inspired illustrations. 

4. Due Date Pashmina Silk Scarf by Cyberoptix, $54.95

  • Custom printed in Detroit, these luxurious scarves are light enough to wear in any season-- show your #librarylove every day of the year.  

5. Home is Where the Heart Is San Diego Bangle, by Mimi & Lu, $40.00

  • Available in 14K Gold, Rose Gold, or Nickel Silver, these locally made bangles keep you looking chic and tell the world that your heart lies in SD. 

6. Books for the Politics & Pop-Culture Lover in your Life $30.00-$45.00

  • The Daily Show (The Book): an Oral History by Jon Stewart, $30.00
  • Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda, $45.00
  • Red-Blooded American Male: Photographs by Robert Trachtenberg $40.00
  • Star Trek 50 Artists 50 Years, $39.95 




BUYER'S PICK: My Kids Book Obsessions This Winter

I wanted to pick one stellar kids book to write about today, but I just couldn't decide. There are three books currently rocking my children's lit world--and the common denominator seems to be... "dissatisfaction?" I'm not so sure what this says about me, but my soul connects with the protagonists of each of these absolutely lovely picture books. Lessons geared toward our children can be just as important to remind ourselves of as adults.  Be present. Be content. Be Nice. 

  • Tek: The Modern Cave Boy by Patrick McDonnell

Poor little Tek, he just loooves his tablet. He never sees his friends anymore, never sees his family. "Outside the world was evolving," the story bemoans, "but Tek couldn't have cared less." But one day, everything changes. Tek is forced to disconnect. And what does he find? That the world, is in fact, worth appreciating. "He looked around and discovered a dragonfly, a tiger lily, a ginkgo tree, a hairy elephant, the hairy people, and an awesome Awesomesaurus." 

This fuzzy little grump could be any kid these days; it's so easy to get plugged in and hooked. Patrick McDonnell, who just happens to be one of my favorite kids books authors, is spot on here-- don't forget to experience the world around you! Each page is an adorable Mutts-like take on the classic cave man, and the book itself is shaped like a tablet, complete with home screen button and text emojis. 


  • Penguin Problems by Jory John & Lane Smith

Oh BOY do penguins have problems. "It's too cold... the ocean smells too salty today... everybody looks the same as me... I look the same as everybody else." Our penguin narrator woke up on the wrong side of the iceberg and refuses to see the world in any other light. Why should he? It's too dang bright.  But one day a walrus shows up, as they do, always thinking the glass is half full. "Have you gazed upon the blue of that cloudless, winter sky, my friend? Have you felt the sun as it gently warms your back?" It's all about perspective. We might find a thousand things to complain about, but take a step back and we'll see the world for its better side. At least for a moment. And that's a step in the right direction.


It is tough to be misunderstood, and nobody knows this better than the Kraken. He just wants a little social interaction. But yet fish swim away in terror. "Why?!" he cries out to the salty depths above. The solution comes from an unlikely source: the fearsome Great White knows how to make friends, it's as easy as one, two , three (...and four, five, six).

1. Keep your cool. 2. Smile! 3. Hugs, not slugs! 4. Share! 5. Lend a helping fin. 6. Be yourself!

The truth is some people have a hard time making friends--kids and adults alike. But the simplest answer is the easiest: be a nice person and stay true to yourself. You may not conquer the world, but gosh darn it, you'll have at least one good friend.  



Each of these supremely awesome kids books are avaialbe in the shop or online. I know they will be come your new obsession too    --Kimberly

Tek - The Modern Cave Boy
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Penguin Problems
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The Kraken's Rules for Making Friends
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Teen Book Review: Something in Between


Bestselling author Melissa De La Cruz has a new book out this week! Something in Between is the story of Jasmin de los Santos, daughter of devoted Filipino immigrant parents, grappling with a life changing family secret. Their visas expired years ago-- her entire family is illegal.   

Check out what real-life-teen Nkechi thinks about Something in Between,  she's one of our Super Awesome Teen Book Crew Guest Reviewers!

This book was the ultimate modern story of everything going right and then one event throwing all of it into chaos. The author turned a real life event for many people in this country into a reality for me.
-3 1/2 stars

Teen Book Review: Signs of You

Here at Central we have an awesome Teen Center. Not just a great collection of books (which we have), and not just study rooms, comfy couches, and a media gaming room (which we also have)-- but the Pauline Foster Teen Center is patronized by some of the coolest teens in San Diego. 

One such rad teen is Charisse, our very first Library Shop Guest Reviewer! The Teen Book Club meets every 2nd & 4th Friday of the month and reads the latest in YA in addition to helping with teen author events.

Here's Charisse's take on Signs of You by Emily France:

This book is really awesome! From reading this book I learned that you have to live your life and you can’t let tragedy define your life. I would definitely recommend this book to one of my friends.

Euphoric over Euphoria

Euphoria, by Lily King, is one of the best books I've ever read.

Whoa. Bold statement, right? I know I'm probably not telling you a hot secret, seeing as Euphoria is a several times over award winner, but if you haven't had a chance to pick it up: now is the time!

Based on the life of Margaret Mead (real-life pioneer in the field of anthropology)-- this 2014 novel is a can't-put-it-down thrill to read. King totally immerses you into this intense moment in history: anthropology as a budding field of research, women taking charge in the male dominated 1930s, "Western advancement" in all its evil...and yet the 254 pages of Euphoria is also perfectly written emotional journal of three unique people. A love triangle that tests the definition of marriage, of sexuality (especially in the early 20th century), and of (dare I say) euphoria. 

plus, the fact that Rainbow Gum trees are a real thing is amazingly mind blowing. Bark that oxidizes at different rates, turning bright rainbow colors?? WHAT IS THIS SCIENCE?

Did I lose you there for a minute? Sorry, I can't help but be totally wowed.

But even if you aren't impressed by Rainbows growing out of the Earth-- you will be by this book. 


San Diego Makers We Love: Wild Habit

We are so pleased to showcase one of our favorite local jewelry vendors, Wild Habit. Danielle and Sue are wanderers, collectors and makers with a passion for nature and all things "wild." Their jewelry is a stunning mix of natural stones, gold, feathers, greenery and even porcupine quills. We have a curated selection available in our shop and more pieces available in store. We're proud to support San Diego artisans like Wild Habit. Read below to find out more about these ladies, their inspiration, and, of course, what they're reading!

We create and design handmade home goods, installations, and jewelry from natural and found materials. We forage in nature to create beautiful, wild wares to bring the outside in. We collaborate and create handmade products and installations from our found, natural materials. Staying true to natural beauty and to our craft, we are impulsive in gathering (picking up anything we find interesting) and deliberate in our execution (finding the best way to show of the inherent beauty of the material). We illuminate birch bark, carve bones, wear feathers and stones. Our WILD HABIT keeps us exploring & creating - from our back woods to the beach to the mountains and world-wild. Making beauty from nature is what do and what we love - from jewelry to lighting, wall art to table art.

Tell us about the inspiration for your pieces.

There is no place we'd rather be than outside, enjoying the shapes, patterns, colors of nature and that is where our process starts. We explore and forage to find objects that inspire us and bring them into our studio to start creating. Sometimes a fallen log or dried out cactus will sit on a shelf for months until we find inspiration for its next life - a way to really show of its beauty. We want to bring that beauty of the earth into every heart and home, with the hope that by sharing the thoughtfulness of handmade goods, inspired by the earth, people will appreciate, conserve, and respect the land around us.

What does a typical work day look like?

The best days are the exploring days and the making days but not all days get to be that inspired. As a small business we do everything from sending invoices to wiring electrical sockets, so we try to reward each menial task with a fun making task (designing a new piece, visiting a new stockist). We usually chat in the morning about our goals (sometimes while walking our dogs), get some of the administrative tasks out of the way, and then we put on our jumpsuits and head to the studio to start making. From painting antlers, to cleaning birch bark, to designing jewelry, every day is different, creatively consuming and exciting.

How do you work as a team?

We went to Antarctica together 12 years ago and have been planning how to capture that magic and make something of it since. Our love for the outdoors, our complimentary creative vision, and all Earth's natural treasures brought us together. And now we get to work together to share the things we find most beautiful. Usually one of us will get excited about a certain piece and then we start to play and see what we can make from it. We go back and forth with revisions and alterations until we make something we love so much we don’t want to see it go! It is such a fulfilling collaboration and our friendship grown so much since we started our partnership. We feed off each other’s ideas, energy, and creativity with every project.

Favorite spots in San Diego to play hooky?

We are learning that our work can easily and quickly consume our lives, so we need to be sure we take time to do things that inspired us to start WILD HABIT. Playing hooky is actually essential to keeping us creative! We make an effort to get outside and play most Fridays. We love going to the Del Mar Dog Beach, Mount Laguna to get a snow fix, music at Pappy & Harriets, and camping in Joshua Tree. While it could be considered playing hooky, we usually end up with pockets full of natural treasures and talking about what we can make with them. Luckily, we love what we do so it never feels too much like work!

We often have meetings at the San Diego Botanic Gardens. When working downtown, we love the San Diego Library rooftop, admiring the design in the East Village and eating oysters at Ironside or grabbing fancy coffee at Holsem.

What are you currently reading?

The Power of Habit, Breaking Wild, My Family and Other Animals, and always Mary Oliver everything.

Valentine's Day Gift Guides for Him and Her

It's almost Valentine's Day, and we have a variety of beautiful gift options in the shop for anyone on your love list. Whether you're shopping for friends, kids, spouses or a new flame, we've got you covered!

For her...


And for him...

Until our e-commerce is up and running, we are happy to hold any item below for you in the shop. Just email us libraryshop at supportmylibrary dot org or call the store at (619) 236-5802 to purchase. 

Supplies are limited but we're happy to work as your personal shoppers if we're out of any of these one-of-a-kind items!

New Year, New Books!

Our Library Shop staff is made up of book-lovers of all types of authors and genres. Here are mini-reviews of the books we're reading right now, all available in the shop! 

Jen Sincero has a witty and wonderful take on self-help in her book You Are a Badass. Sincero prompts readers to be their own inner critic through sassy and blunt humor that will leave you both rolling on the floor laughing and staying up late thinking about all the ways you can better yourself in work, school and relationships.- Amy

From Angela Davis to Zora Neale Hurston, Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries Who Shaped Our History... and Future! is an empowering alphabet book with over 60 years full of strong women. Poets, activists, musicians: author Kate Schatz doesn't leave any rad women out. This is a great introduction to feminism and will also appeal to anyone interested in American history. - Denja

We all know him as the terrifying antagonist from the original Star Wars films. In Darth Vader and Son and Vader's Little Princess, Jeffrey Brown re-imagines the Sith Lord as a loving father, schlepping through the monotony of life in a galaxy far, far away. These fun picture books make a great gift for fans of all ages. You will never hear- "Luke, I am your father" the same way again! - Jeff

Come experience a new journey in Lewis Carroll's famous Alice's Adventures in Wonderland! Enjoy a completely re-imagined take on a fun classic through the amazing illustrations of Anna Rifle Bond. Each turn of the page will take you to a new place and keep you wanting more. Great for fans of every age or new ones that have yet to be captivated by this magical tale. - Stephanie

Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins is a new picture book classic in the making, and a sweet and hilarious addition to any family's library. Kids and parents will laugh out loud at the expressions Bruce the bear makes as he realizes the eggs he planned to eat have hatched into goslings. Even worse, they immediately imprint on him and he has to raise them as his own. This is a clever take on the Mother Goose story with a funny and ultimately heartwarming message about the family that chooses us. This would make a great read-aloud for kids 3-9. - Erin