All Contra Costa County residents encouraged to read this book

All Contra Costa County residents encouraged to read this book
Photo courtesy of Contra Costa County Library.

Imagine everyone in town reading the same book at the same time. The chatter in every shop and at every street corner would center on literature.

That is the goal of a Contra Costa County Library program called CoCo Reads. It encourages all residents to join a community read of the book, “How Much of These Hills is Gold” by C Pam Zhang.

The program starts Sept. 7 and includes several virtual events that complement the book’s themes. The program will culminate with a Zoom discussion with the author on Oct. 28 at 7 p.m.

How Much of These Hills is Gold” is available in regular or large print formats via Front Door Service at 24 community libraries, as well as via eBook or eAudiobook in OverDrive or with the Libby app. Extra copies of all formats have been purchased to satisfy demand. 

Zhang’s debut novel has earned a Booker Prize nomination, glowing reviews in national publications and a spot on the BBC’s best of 2020 list. It is the tale of two recently orphaned Chinese American children amid California’s gold rush who travel into the hills in search of the perfect burial spot for their father and encounter challenges along the way.

“The novel is about conflict between two siblings, their battle with their own memories and the illusion of the American Dream,” according to a County statement.

Aside from the author’s talk, other CoCo Read virtual events will include “a talk about the history of immigration law in the United States with renowned University of San Francisco law professor Bill Hing, a book club discussion, an introduction to the newly released book ‘San Francisco’s Chinatown’ by photographer Dick Evans and writer Kathy Chin Leong, and a presentation from the Asian Art Museum titled Hidden Meanings in Chinese Art.”

Dates, times and descriptions of each event are available here or by visiting