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5 books about Silicon Valley you need to read right now

Our April pick for the PBS NewsHour-New York Times book club is Emily Chang’s “Brotopia.” Become a member of the Now Read This book club by joining our Facebook group, or by signing up to our newsletter. Learn more about the book club here.

Photo by David Paul Morris

Journalist Emily Chang has been covering Silicon Valley for nearly a decade. As the anchor of the TV show Bloomberg Technology, she has interviewed Silicon Valley’s biggest executives, investors and entrepreneurs. As the author of this month’s book club pick, “Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys’ Club of Silicon Valley,” she has also investigated the American tech industry’s darker, misogynistic side.

Below, Chang recommends five books you need to read to understand Silicon Valley right now, from the memoir of a tech icon’s daughter to an exposé of corporate fraud. In her words:


1. “Broad Band” by Claire L. Evans

In the style of “Hidden Figures,” Evans writes an illuminating social history that shines a much-needed spotlight on the women who helped build the internet as we know it today.

2. “Small Fry” by Lisa Brennan-Jobs

This eloquent memoir by first-time writer Brennan-Jobs, daughter of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, is mesmerizing and heartbreaking. Brennan-Jobs offers a fresh take on the Bay Area in the 1980s and 1990s and touches on difficult topics related to family, belonging and identity. You’ll never think of Steve Jobs the same way.

3. “Bad Blood” by John Carreyrou

Carreyrou tells the jaw-dropping inside story of the rise and fall of Theranos, the multibillion-dollar biotech startup founded by Elizabeth Holmes. You truly won’t be able to put down this Silicon Valley story about the biggest corporate fraud in recent history; it reads like a dark thriller.

4. “Elon Musk” by Ashlee Vance

Veteran tech journalist Ashlee Vance (and my colleague) takes us behind the scenes into the life of one of today’s most daring, innovative entrepreneurs, SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk. Musk’s complexities are fully fleshed out in this insightful portrait of one of today’s most influential tech leaders.

5. “The Moment of Lift” by Melinda Gates

Philanthropist, businesswoman, and mother of three Melinda Gates shows that by empowering women we can lift each other up and change the world. Gates addresses the tough issues that are holding us back and inspires on every page.

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