Events With Friends


2019 Events

Celebrate Leonardo da Vinci’s 500th anniversary with

Caroline Cocciardi

Saturday, May 4, 11:30 a.m.
Grand Reading Room
Los Gatos Library


Leonardo's Knots by Caroline Cocciardi

Caroline Cocciardi (B.S. San Jose State University) writer and filmmaker began an independent study on Leonardo da Vinci, while living in Rome. Her 20 year research lead to a da Vinci discovery.

Overlooked for centuries yet visual to the naked eye Cocciardi detected that the minute interlocking embroidered knot pattern on Mona Lisa’s dress deviated from the decorative embroidery of the day.  The Mona Lisa Knot was a mathematical pattern based on its angular crossing patterns.

In the process of looking in Leonardo’s codices for his preliminary sketches of The Mona Lisa Knot, she discovered he had dedicated a lifetime to his knot art works. Her newly released art book, “Leonardo’s Knots” will introduce you to a facet of the Renaissance painter that was overlooked for centuries yet was present in his artworks: his passion for intertwining knots. She has lectured for many institutions and museums about Leonardo da Vinci’s knot art.

In 2009, Cocciardi’s documentary, “Mona Lisa Revealed” was featured at the Carmel Film Festival documenting engineer Pascal Cotte, inventor of the multi-spectral camera that uncovered five centuries of secrets within Leonardo’s iconic Mona Lisa. Cocciardi represented Cotte’s Mona Lisa photographs in a worldwide Leonardo exhibition.

Previous Presentations of 2019

Stranger in My Genes

TV financial journalist, Bill Griffeth is coming to Los Gatos from New York to talk about his memoir The Stranger in My Genes, which is a 2019 Silicon Valley Reads selection. In his book, Bill undertakes a quest to solve the mystery of his origins, which shakes his sense of identity. As he takes us on his journey, we learn about choices made by his ancestors, parents, and others, and we see Bill measure and weigh his own difficult choices as he confronts the past.


Anna Yen

Sophia of Silicon Valley is a novel about a fictional character, Sophia, and her life working with Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. Anna Yen based her character’s adventures on her own experiences working with notables like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk. She grew up in Silicon Valley, and went to local schools.

Sharp, dramatic, and full of insider dish, SOPHIA OF SILICON VALLEY is one woman’s story of a career storming the corridors of geek power and living in the shadow of its outrageous cast of maestros.



Karen Trolan
Sunday January 27
2 p.m.
Los Gatos Library

I Can Still Do It by Karen Tolan

Ms. Trolan inspired the audience with her tips for  ways to deal with set-backs to gain success. She is a real estate Broker Associate and Assistant manager who has dealt with much adversity including paraplegia and yet continues to give back to the community by volunteering, exemplified by getting inducted into the “Legends of Martial Arts Hall of Fame.



Presentation Topic


Understand Things Happen–Life can change in an Instant
Your Mind is Powerful–whatever you believe you will achieve!
Attitude matters
Push thru Pain
Learn How to be the Best & then Do It!
Your Awards are Short Lived; don’t rest on your Laurels Be Inspiring; You are a Role Model to Someone


 Events of 2018

OCTOBER with The 21st Century Irish Writers

The Friends hosted two of the writers at the Friends’ bookstore. Wendy Erskine, author of Sweet Home and Emer Martin, author of The Cruelty Men.

OCTOBER  with Joe Galiardi, author of Hooked on Autographs

Hooked on Golf

An Engaging Memoir

Joe has the largest and most diversified private collection of autographed golf balls in the world. His collection of signed golf balls extends beyond golf superstars to include other famous notable athletes, Hollywood celebrities, and the last nine U.S. Presidents.



JULY with Dr. Victoria Sweet

Dr. Sweet and Alyce Parsons

In July, Dr. Victoria Sweet spoke to a standing-room only crowd. You can find out more about her latest trip and her visit with Carlo Petrini, the creator of The Slow Food Movement.  HERE.

APRIL with Swimming Olympic Gold Medalists

Bianca and Sonja Van der Velden


Synchronized Swimming Gold Medalists Bianca and Sonja Van der Velden-OLY share their journey from Olympic Hopefuls, to Olympic Winners.

Come hear their story and see the video of their Olympic winning routine.





FEBRUARY with Mark Lukach, author of My Lovely Wife In The Psych Ward, a Silicon Valley Reads 2018

An incredible story through years of battling mental illness.

Four and five star reviews, say this is a “powerful and raw story,” “heartbreaking,” “intimate portrait of mental illness and how if affects those closest to the sufferers.” Many write, “Must read.”