Apple Launches Its First Book Club ‘Strombo’s Lit’ | What You Need to Know

Apple Books Strombos Lit Book Club Credit: Jesse Hollington
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Although Apple isn’t entirely new to the world of book clubs, it looks as if it’s embracing the idea of starting up its own, rather than merely hosting others in Apple Books as it’s done in the past.

Apple first announced the initiative to Apple Books fans in Canada via an email campaign earlier this week, since, as the company notes, the new club is being hosted by “Canada’s own George Stroumboulopoulos.” Despite this, however, it’s actually being rolled out in all of Apple’s main English-speaking markets: the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Australia.

Although Apple partnered with Oprah’s Book Club in 2019, that was more about bringing the legendary host’s highly acclaimed book club into Apple Books — and onto Apple TV+. By comparison, this new initiative is 100% Apple.

It’s also something of a unique move for the company’s curation projects, which have generally been a team effort. Even though Apple highly prizes the human aspect of curation, it’s rarely put all of that on a single person’s shoulders. Instead, a nameless team of Apple editors normally offers up the top picks for selections in Apple News, Apple Podcasts, and even the App Store and Apple Music.

In this case, however, it’s all about George “Strombo” Stroumboulopoulos, to the point where Apple has dubbed it “Strombo’s Lit.”

This suggests the new book club could simply be the first of several, and Apple is also emphasizing that this will not in any way replace its normal Apple Books editorial curation. It’s simply a new way to help readers discover interesting titles.

How ‘Strombo’s Lit’ Came About

Stroumboulopoulos is a somewhat legendary celebrity in the Canadian music scene, having been the face of Canada’s version of MTV, MuchMusic, for several years, along with hosting his own radio and television talk shows for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).

While Strombo may not be as familiar to folks outside of Canada, Apple picked him up in 2020 to host a show on its worldwide Apple Music Hits live radio station, where he now helps listeners delve deeper into their favourite artists.

Despite this, however, Strombo’s Lit won’t be about music, at least not exclusively. In fact, the first title on the list is Termination Shock by Neal Stephenson, who Strombo cites as one of his favourite authors.

Reading between the lines, it sounds like the new book club came about as a result of Strombo pitching the idea to somebody in Apple’s upper echelons. According to TechCrunch, Stroumboulopoulos, who is already “a lifelong lover of books,” began to dive into even more books during COVID-19 lockdowns, discussing his favourites with his friends. With some of these friends likely being folks inside Apple, it’s not hard to imagine how it ultimately led to the idea of this new book club.

Despite Strombo’s Canadian celebrity status, though, it’s something of an odd move on Apple’s part, and it even seems a little out of the blue. Most popular book clubs spring up around celebrities that either have superstar status or have at least managed to attract a cult of personality to surround them. While that’s somewhat true of Strombo in certain circles, particularly among the Canadian “MTV generation,” he’s certainly not a household name like Oprah Winfrey or Reese Witherspoon.

Still, whether you’re a fan of Strombo or you’ve never heard of him before now, the new Strombo’s Lit book club has the potential to provide some interesting new reading recommendations. You can find it in the Apple Books app on the iPhone, iPad, or Mac by visiting

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