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New Year, New Chapter for PBS Books as it launches the national PBS Books Readers Club

Readers and PBS viewers get a new space to explore and connect through the shared joy of reading.

Detroit, MI — Jan. 8, 2024 – After many years of working to amplify books and authors through the PBS Books initiative, leading regional station Detroit PBS is launching a new national online hub for avid readers who enjoy public television: the PBS Books Readers Club, in partnership with PBS.

The PBS Books Readers Club is a multi-platform initiative connecting a community of readers nationwide to diverse and important stories by many of today’s most prolific and thought-provoking authors and PBS personalities, featuring the likes of Geraldine Brooks, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and James Crichton, the new executive producer of the hit PBS series “All Creatures Great and Small.”  There is no cost to join the PBS Books Readers Club.

Offerings will include a new monthly digital video series featuring in-depth conversations with authors, weekly social media content, a biweekly e-newsletter with book-related articles and book recommendations plus an interactive PBS Books Readers Club Facebook Group where readers can chat, discover new books, and submit questions for the authors who will be featured in the new digital-first streaming series.

Every month, PBS Books will select book club picks that will be discussed in the series, e-newsletter, and on social media. The featured books will pair with programming and themes viewers see on PBS programs. The effort will be promoted by PBS Books and PBS stations nationwide, as well as through the national PBS Books Library Engagement network.

The first installment of the new exclusive series will be released on Wednesday, Jan. 31, featuring Crichton, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks, author of the inaugural PBS Books Readers Club January selection, “Horse,” a sweeping tale that uses the true story of the famous 19th-century racehorse, Lexington, to explore the roots and legacy of enslavement (Viking, 2022).

The next episode on Feb. 28 will feature a conversation with scholar and documentarian Henry Louis Gates Jr., who has published numerous books and produced and hosted an array of documentaries. Gates will discuss his newest four-part PBS series “Gospel;” his mega-popular weekly PBS program, “Finding Your Roots;“ and several of his books including “The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song,” a New York Times bestseller that braids an odyssey from religion and mythology in Africa to the expressions of African American religiosity familiar to us today (first published in the U.S. by Penguin Press, 2021; by Penguin Books, 2022). Gates will also discuss the soon-to-be-released (March 2024, Penguin Press), “The Black Box: Writing the Race,” the epic story of Black self-definition in America through the prism of the writers who have led the way and redefined themselves, in resistance to the lies of racism, across the country’s history.

The PBS Books Readers Club will include an interactive Facebook Group community (already 90,000+ strong) where members can read along, discuss their favorite books, find book recommendations, and submit questions for featured authors.

“We are collaborating with PBS to create a comfortable, online forum for book lovers to interact with other readers to share their thoughts and insights,” said Detroit PBS CEO and President Rich Homberg. “There is collective power through community, and we are building a new community where there is opportunity to engage with stories and with each other.”

The digital programs will be released on Facebook and YouTube on the last Wednesday of every month. Viewers can also stream the episode at,, and through the PBS App. An extended interview version of each episode will be made available on PBS Passport, a member benefit that offers on-demand access to a library of videos.

To join the PBS Books Readers Club, visit

To sign up for the e-newsletter, visit

For additional information, visit

About PBS Books (
Started in 2015, PBS Books is a trusted national brand and a multiplatform initiative connecting diverse audiences to literature through PBS stations and programming, daily and original content, book fairs, conferences, live performances, screenings, and other book-related events. The vision of PBS Books is to foster a community of people engaged in unique literary experiences that spark curiosity, promote dialogue, and inspire learning. PBS Books aims to provide context for complex issues — both national and local. In early 2019 with the support of the Knight Foundation and the Wyncote Foundation, PBS Books launched a free Library Engagement Program. Currently, PBS Books has a library and museum engagement network of 2,000+ partners nationwide. PBS Books also produces regular virtual programming with significant authors and filmmakers, partnering with the Library of Congress, the Institute of Library and Museum Services, major publishers, and other significant institutions promoting critical dialogue about current topics and crucial issues across the U.S.

To learn more, please visit

Contact for publishers: Lauren Smith Jurcak, executive producer of National Projects at Detroit PBS;

Detroit PBS: (
Serving Southeast Michigan, Detroit PBS is Michigan’s largest and most watched public television station, with the most diverse public television audience in the country. Each week, more than 2 million people watch Detroit PBS’s five broadcast channels and nearly 200,000 people listen to its radio station, 90.9 WRCJ, for classical days and jazzy nights. In addition, Detroit PBS is building the next generation of public media with a rapidly growing digital presence, which
now reaches more than 1.75 million unique visitors through its website, and its content is viewed more than 2 million times each month on its YouTube channels and social media platforms. Visit 

About PBS (
PBS, with more than 330 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 42 million adults on linear primetime television, more than 15 million users on PBS-owned streaming platforms, and 56 million people view PBS content on social media, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature, and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front-row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’s broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS Learning Media for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. As the number one educational media brand, PBS KIDS helps children 2-8 build critical skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality content on TV — including a PBS KIDS channel — and streaming free on and the  PBS KIDS Video app, games on the  PBS KIDS Games app, and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, Facebook, Instagram, or through PBS  apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for the press are available at or by following  PBS Communications on Twitter.


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