Silicon Valley Reads 2022 theme is the Power of Kindness, Resilience, & Hope. Last year’s theme of “Connecting” deeply resonated in our community, as readers of all ages found new ways to build connections through food, nature, animals, music, books, and with each other.
Through meaningful stories and a combination of virtual and in-person events focused on motivating the community to come together, Silicon Valley Reads 2022 offers an inspiring lineup of selected books, author discussions, and many events for all ages relevant to this theme.
See No Stranger: A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love*
by Valarie Kaur
A #1 Los Angeles Times bestseller. Author Valarie Kaur takes readers through her own riveting journey—as a brown girl growing up in California farmland finding her place in the world; as a young adult galvanized by the murders of Sikhs after 9/11; as a law student fighting injustices in American prisons and on Guantánamo Bay; as an activist working with communities recovering from xenophobic attacks; and as a woman trying to heal from her own experiences with police violence and sexual assault. Drawing from the wisdom of sages, scientists, and activists, Kaur reclaims love as an active, public, and revolutionary force that creates new possibilities for ourselves, our communities, and our world. See No Stranger helps us imagine new ways of being with each other—and with ourselves—so that together we can begin to build the world we want to see.
Enough About Me
by Richard Lui
When his father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, Richard Lui did something tough. The award-winning news anchor decided to set aside his growing career to care for family. Selflessness, however, did not come easily. So, Richard set out to explore why he struggled.
In every decision, big and small, Lui discovered hidden opportunities to put others ahead of himself. Similar to training physical muscles, we must train our decision-making muscles to choose others over ourselves in order to have unexpected smiles and renewed balance in our lives.
From a journalist's point of view, he digs into and shares stories from his seven-year "selfless" exploration. Lui shares practical tips, tools, and mnemonics learned along the way to help shift the way we think and live. Lui ultimately shares how small choices toward selflessness are not a compromise, but instead a way to a more satisfying life.
Part "anti-self" self-help book, part memoir, Enough About Me shows that choice by choice, step by step, the path to a more satisfying and fulfilling journey is right here in the people around us.
A Dream Called Home
by Reyna Grande
As an immigrant in an unfamiliar country, with an indifferent mother and abusive father, Reyna had few resources at her disposal. Taking refuge in words, Reyna’s love of reading and writing propels her to rise above until she achieves the impossible and is accepted to the University of California, Santa Cruz. Although her acceptance is a triumph, the actual experience of American college life is intimidating and unfamiliar for someone like Reyna, who is now estranged from her family and support system. Again, she finds solace in words, holding fast to her vision of becoming a writer, only to discover she knows nothing about what it takes to make a career out of a dream. Through it all, Reyna is determined to make the impossible possible, going from undocumented immigrant of little means to “a fierce, smart, shimmering light of a writer” (Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild); a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist whose “power is growing with every book” (Luis Alberto Urrea, Pultizer Prize finalist); and a proud mother of two beautiful children who will never have to know the pain of poverty and neglect.
Told in Reyna’s exquisite, heartfelt prose, A Dream Called Home demonstrates how, by daring to pursue her dreams, Reyna was able to build the one thing she had always longed for: a home that would endure.
Recommended Fiction Titles
The Girl with the Louding Voice
by Abi Daré
A powerful, emotional debut novel told in the unforgettable voice of a young Nigerian woman who is trapped in a life of servitude but determined to get an education so that she can escape and choose her own future.
The Authenticity Project
by Clare Pooley
The Authenticity Project's cast of characters — including Hazard, the charming addict who makes a vow to get sober; Alice, the fabulous mommy Instagrammer whose real life is a lot less perfect than it looks online; and their other new friends — is by turns quirky and funny, heartbreakingly sad and painfully true-to-life. It's a story about being brave and putting your real self forward — and finding out that it's not as scary as it seems. In fact, it looks a lot like happiness.
The Story of Arthur Truluv
by Elizabeth Berg
Wonderfully written and full of profound observations about life, The Story of Arthur Truluv is a beautiful and moving novel of compassion in the face of loss, of the small acts that turn friends into family, and of the possibilities to achieve happiness at any age.
Children's Companion Books
The Big Umbrella (PreK - K)
by Amy June Bates
By the door there is an umbrella. It is big. It is so big that when it starts to rain there is room for everyone underneath. It doesn’t matter if you are tall. Or plaid. Or hairy. It doesn’t matter how many legs you have. Don’t worry that there won’t be enough room under the umbrella. Because there will always be room.
The Girl in the Gold Dress (1st - 3rd Grade)
by Christine Paik
Hannah’s Korean name literally means “Gold Dress,” so why doesn’t she want to be seen wearing her gold hanbok dress? 10-year-old Hannah is facing a big performance for her school’s talent show. The trouble is, she’s ashamed of her dress, the dance, even the music - they’re too different, too Korean! What if everyone makes fun of her? Will Hannah be brave enough to perform, or will she run off stage like she did at rehearsal? First, she must learn about the gold dress she’s wearing and its mysterious connection to her name and her family’s past in Korea: starting with a desperate escape from war and a secret wish hidden for decades in an envelope. Can Hannah make that wish finally come true? In this touching children’s story that spans four generations, a Korean American girl overcomes her embarrassment of her heritage to step forward with pride and share her culture with others.
Shine! (4th - 8th Grade)
by Chris and J.J. Grabenstein
Shine on! might be the catchphrase of twelve-year-old Piper's hero--astronaut, astronomer, and television host Nellie Dumont Frisse--but Piper knows the truth: some people are born to shine, and she's just not one of them. That fact has never been clearer than now, since her dad's new job has landed them both at Chumley Prep, a posh private school where everyone seems to be the best at something and where Piper definitely doesn't fit in. Bursting with humor, heart, science, possibilities, and big questions, Shine! is a story about finding your place in the universe--a story about figuring out who you are and who you want to be.
Darius the Great is Not Okay (High School)
by Adib Khorram
Darius has never really fit in at home, and as he prepares for a trip to Iran, he’s sure things are going to be the same in Iran. His clinical depression doesn’t exactly help matters, and trying to explain his medication to his grandparents only makes things harder. Then Darius meets Sohrab, the boy next door, and everything changes. Soon, they’re spending their days together, playing soccer, eating faludeh, and talking for hours on a secret rooftop overlooking the city’s skyline. Sohrab calls him Darioush—the original Persian version of his name—and Darius has never felt more like himself. When it's time to go home to America, Darius needs to bring the confidence he's gained from his trip to Iran to his life in America so he can learn to be comfortable with himself and his identity wherever he is.