Friday Fives | LeVar Burton’s Reading List

Posted February 4, 2022 by TheNonbinaryLibrarian in books, friday fives / 1 Comment

I started Friday Fives back when I started up the blog again and wanted to make sure I kept at least one regular post a week. This was, of course, before I knew there were others out there. But I decided to keep it, especially since I have the whole year planned out. In December, I decided to change it to Friday Fives instead to have more room for topics.

In honor of Black History Month (the shortest month of the year, not saying it was done on purpose, but come on), I’m wanting to feature Black authors and/or what Black celebrities recommend to read. Today’s pick are LeVar Burton’s (of Reading Rainbow fame) suggested books.

This is a collection of stories that explores the complex ties that bind relationships, whether they’re parent & child, husband & wife, or lovers & friends.

A semi-autobiographical debut novel by James Baldwin. The story centers around a 14-year-old boy named John coming to terms with his identity within a strict and religious family. Burton stated, “At a time when Black people had very little representation in the publishing industry, Baldwin delivered a debut novel that introduced the world to an essential voice in American literature.”

Octavia Butler is the groundbreaking science fiction novelist who paved a lane for Afro-futurism. Parable of the Sower takes place in the year 2024 and follows protagonist, Lauren Olamina, on a quest for freedom. The story unfolds as the United States has become unstable due to climate change, wealthy inequality, & corporate greed….you know what’s going on right now…

A collection of poems and essays on race. Published in 2017, it was inspired by Baldwin’s 1963 collection of essays, The First This Time. The collection features works from Carol Anderson, Jericho Brown, Edwidge Danticat, Claudia Rankine, and more.

Chivalry is a tale about an elderly British widow who buys what turns out to be the Holy Grail from a second-hand shop. The purchase sets off a chain of events including a visit from an ancient knight who lures her with ancient relics in hope of getting the cup.

Happy Reading Darlings!

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