Read Contra Costa


Read Contra Costa

Read Contra Costa is a program that invites all members of the community to read the same book and encourages readers to engage in conversations with others on the shared experience. The library purchases extra copies of the selected title in multiple formats, schedules events around the theme of the book, and invites the author to present a talk as the finale to the program.

Read Contra Costa 2021 is scheduled for October and November, and the Library would like to get your help in selecting the title. Staff has culled through hundreds of well-reviewed titles written over the past year or two and come up with a top ten list of books we want you to consider. Please fill out the book selection survey to share your favorite. Each title is listed below and linked to the catalog, so you can get more information about each one (and place a hold) as you go through the list.

Read Contra Costa Book Selection

Choose one of these 10 amazing books for the next Read Contra Costa program. Submissions can be made through June 20, 2021.
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A Knock at Midnight: A Story of Hope, Justice and Freedom

by Brittany K. Barnett

An urgent call to free those buried alive by America's legal system, and an inspiring true story about unwavering belief in humanity-from a gifted young lawyer and important new voice in the movement to transform the system.

We Are Each Other's Harvest: Celebrating African American Farmers, Land, and Legacy edited

edited by Natalie Baszile

The author of the novel Queen Sugar gathers together essays, poems, photographs, quotes, conversations, and first-person stories to examine black people's connection to the American land from Emancipation to today.

We Are Not Free

by Traci Chee

Spanning three years, from March 1942 to March 1945, Chee's accomplished young adult novel about America's treatment of Japanese Americans is told by 14 Nisei teenagers who have grown up together in San Francisco's Japantown.


by Carol Edgarian

Narrowly surviving the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, a bordello proprietor's daughter bonds with an unlikely new family - from a Chinese clan and an orphan caregiver to tenor Enrico Caruso and tabloid celebrity Alma Spreckels.

After the Last Border

by Jessica Goudreau

America has both welcomed and turned its back on immigrants and refugees since its existence. After the Last Border is an intimate look at the lives of two women as they struggle for the twenty-first century American dream, having won the golden ticket to settle as refugees in Austin, Texas.

The Removed

by Brandon Hobson

Steeped in Cherokee myths and history, a novel about a fractured family reckoning with the tragic death of their son long ago - from National Book Award finalist Brandon Hobson.

My Year Abroad

by Chang-rae Lee

Long on heart but short on talent and ambition, a young American named Tiller has his life turned around when he meets successful Chinese American businessman Pong Lou, who takes him on an eye-opening yearlong trip to Asia. From Pulitzer Prize finalist Lee.

We Run the Tides

by Vendela Vida

Teenage best friends Eulabee and Maria saunter around their San Francisco neighborhood as if they owned it. But an argument about something they thought they saw on the way to their fancy private school splits their friendship. And then Maria disappears.

The Dictionary of Lost Words

by Pip Williams

In this remarkable debut based on actual events, as a team of male scholars compiles the first Oxford English Dictionary, one of their daughters decides to collect the "objectionable" words they omit.

The Dictionary of Lost Words

by Michelle Zauner

Zauner, of indie band Japanese Breakfast, presents a memoir about growing up Korean-American, losing her mother, and forging her own identity.

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