LeVar Burton Is Launching His Own Book Club For Adults

by Julie Scagell
Michael Tullberg/Getty

Burton has selected 3 books to kick things off

LeVar Burton — yes Reading Rainbow’s LeVar Burton — has started a book club and if you grew up watching him read stories to you as a child, you’ll probably want to check out the adult version.

His PBS show brought up generations of kids and taught us the importance of reading and curiosity. If you weren’t aware, he’s been hosting weekly livestreams reading stories to his Twitter followers since the pandemic began, a welcome respite for many. He also hosts a podcast called LeVar Burton Reads. But since plenty of fans can never have enough of him in their lives, he’s now starting a new book club on the social reading app Fable.

Burton told Entertainment Weekly he chose three books that, “represent how my identity as a reader has been shaped,” First up, James Baldwin’s semi-autobiographical novel Go Tell It on the Mountain, then Octavia Butler’s sci-fi novel Parable of the Sower, and The Fire This Time, an essay and poetry collection edited by Jesmyn Ward.

“For me, if I’m going to start a book club, I’m going to begin with who I am and my story as a reader,” Burton said. “Obviously, there are hundreds of books that have shaped my identity as a reader, and these three are really representative of an important aspect of that journey for me.”

If that’s not enough, Burton will guest host a week of Jeopardy! episodes over the summer. Nearly 250,000 people signed a petition asking for the Star Trek actor and director’s wish to take on the job that was left when Alex Trebek passed away last year.

“I know I have demonstrated over time that my attitude towards literature is ecumenical,” Burton continued. “As it happens, the first three books are by people who look like me, and if one wants to pigeonhole that, then that would be, in my estimation, their shortcoming. It’s nothing more than a starting point that reflects who I am.”

He continued: “I feel like I come by this passion honestly. My mother was an English teacher,” he said. “Her example and her insistence that reading, and the written word, be a consistent part of our lives when my sisters and I were growing up, not only shaped my attitude towards reading but really fostered a discovery of worlds that were inaccessible to me previously.”

The book club launches today and we could not be more excited to see the next books he selects.