From late January through March, Silicon Valley Reads will offer more than 100 free virtual events for all ages

By Heather Geddes

Heather Geddes

This past year has highlighted for me the many different ways we, as individuals and as a community, are able to connect with each other and the strength that comes from these bonds.

As I reflect on 2020, I think about the extraordinary lengths our community has gone to stay connected. From the “Morgan Hill Together” window art competition to the chamber’s Virtually Congregate Facebook group, I have witnessed again and again people reaching out to support each other in unique and novel ways.

For the past 18 years, Silicon Valley Reads has encouraged people of all ages in Santa Clara County to read books and join conversations relevant to a theme. With the many challenges, hardships and life adjustments needed throughout 2020 and into 2021, the theme for this year is “Connecting.”

An array of books was chosen to embody the importance of connecting with each other and with things that bring comfort. The 2021 featured titles address relationships, nature, art, music, food, and animals. The selection provides a variety of books to help people identify with what they connect with most.

From late January through March, Silicon Valley Reads will offer more than 100 free virtual events for all ages including author visits, cultural conversations around art and music, children and teen events, weekly UNAFF in Libraries films, a wide range of free classes to virtually connect with others, and conversations about nature, birdwatching and ways in which people can connect with their community.

“We’ve seen so many examples of this during the past months,” said Jennifer Weeks, Santa Clara County Librarian, who serves as Silicon Valley Reads co-chair along with Dr. Mary Ann Dewan, Santa Clara County Superintendent of Schools and Jill Bourne, City of San José Library Director. “Singing from balconies. Baking bread. Adopting a pet. Enjoying the outdoors. Re-reading favorite books. Contacting old friends. We have identified a set of recommended books that describe ways people can feel connected and experience moments of happiness in the most challenging circumstances.”

The medley of books for Silicon Valley Reads 2021 includes two memoirs, two novels, and two nonfiction books. Each approaches the concept of “connecting” from a different vantage point such as nature, music, food, animals, books and human contact for mental and physical health.

Silicon Valley Reads is presented by the Santa Clara County Library District, Santa Clara County Office of Education, and the San Jose Public Library.

All are welcome and encouraged to join. See the full schedule of events online at

Heather Geddes is the Morgan Hill community librarian in the Santa Clara County Library District.


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