Announcing Silicon Valley Reads 2019

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We are excited to announce that Silicon Valley Reads 2019 will feature three nationally-prominent authors who will share their stories of how their lives changed when they learned new and unexpected things about their families. The theme is “Finding Identity In Family History.”

Everyone has a family history – some they know and some they have yet to discover. The surging popularity of genealogy research is encouraging more people than ever to find out more about their ancestors and how their actions and decisions affect who we are today.

Silicon Valley Reads is proud to engage our community in a discussion of this fascinating topic and to introduce readers to three outstanding books that tell the personal stories of individuals whose lives were changed as a result of learning new and unexpected things about their families.


Finding Samuel Lowe
by Paula Madison

Madison’s book, Finding Samuel Lowe, describes growing up in Harlem and feeling that her family was somehow different from the African-American families around her. Her quest to learn more about her mother’s roots in Jamaica leads to the discovery of a Chinese grandfather and eventually reconnection with 300 long-lost relatives in China.

Bookcover: Finding Samuel Lowe

It's All Relative
by A.J. Jacobs

It’s All Relative chronicles Jacobs’ three-year adventure to help build the biggest family tree in history, starting with his own 80,000+ “cousins” identified in a genealogy database. As with his other bestselling books The Year of Living Biblically and Drop Dead Healthy, Jacobs uses humor and his own personal story to provide the reader with information and encouragement to explore on their own.

Bookcover: It's All Relative

The Stranger In My Genes
by Bill Griffeth

In The Stranger In My Genes, Griffeth, the co-anchor of “Nightly Business Report” produced by CNBC for U.S. public television, is shaken to the core when he discovers through a DNA test that the family tree he had spent years researching was not his own.  The book follows his journey of discovery about his ancestors and how this new knowledge changes him and his family.
Bookcover: Stranger In My Genes

Silicon Valley Reads (SVR) is an annual community engagement program presented by Santa Clara County Library District, San José Public Library and Santa Clara County Office of Education. Each year, the program collaborates with community organizations to promote reading and literacy and to engage the community in dialogue about themes in a selected book or books that are relevant to Silicon Valley. Events will be scheduled throughout Santa Clara County with activities for all age groups. For more information, visit the website


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