Activist Valarie Kaur’s book on Silicon Valley Reads list


Indian-American Sikh civil rights activist and author Valarie Kaur’s book is among the three titles that have been selected to be read at the 19th Annual Silicon Valley Reads program next year.

The Silicon Valley Reads 2022 theme is ‘Power of Kindness, Resilience & Hope’ and it has decided to bring in three inspirational memoirs and related events scheduled through February and March 2022.

The Silicon Valley Reads community engagement program is presented annually by Santa Clara County Library District, Santa Clara County Office of Education, and San José Public Library in conjunction with other public libraries, community colleges and universities, and community organizations.

The three featured nonfiction books, See No Stranger by Valarie Kaur, Enough about Me by Richard Lui and A Dream Called Home by Reyna Grande, have been selected to highlight the 2022 theme.

This year we found our books before we identified our theme,” Reid Myers, director, Silicon Valley Reads, told indica News. “The books stood out as each one tells a personal story of overcoming — with a positive, hopeful tone.

We continue to be in the pandemic together and are learning to be flexible, and make the best of the situations we are faced with,” Myers said.

Many people in our community continue to struggle with the impact of COVID-19 and we want Silicon Valley Reads to be a place of comfort for them.”

She said: “As a community we need to be kind to one another, to show our resilience in addressing the challenges we continue to face, and to remain hopeful for a bright future. The three non-fiction books we chose, as well as the three, recommended fiction titles, embody all of these elements.”

On Kaur’s book, Myers said: “See No Stranger digs deep into our history as a country, exploring difficult moments including 9/11, racism, police violence and sexual assault. Valarie Kaur helps us work through these events by giving us tools to help us move forward. How do we not only love ourselves and each other- but how do we love our opponents? People who have done heinous acts? Her overwhelmingly positive message is that together we can do the work to pull our community together and move towards what she calls ‘Revolutionary Love’. Her book is part memoir, part manifesto and the advisory board felt that the message is an important one.”

Enough About Me by Richard Lui is about Lui’s difficult decision to leave his dream job as an NBC News/MSNBC anchor to help care for his ailing father in San Francisco.

The third book, A Dream Called Home by Reyna Grande, is a beautifully written immigrant story that enlightens us to the challenges so many confront in making a home in America.

Deepka Lalwani, founder of Indian Business & Professional Women(IBPW), and one of the community advisory board members at Silicon Valley Reads, felt all the books were “very appropriate for IBPW members”.

She said Kaur’s book highlights the “discrimination we face as minorities and gives us tools to handle it,” Enough About Me will resonate with many middle-aged Indian men and women looking after their parents in the US or India. A Dream Called Home, she said was reflective of the fact that “ours is truly a sandwich generation with more complexities”.