LeVar Burton Reads

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The best short fiction, handpicked by the best voice in podcasting and presented in 3D immersive audio. In every episode, host LeVar Burton (Roots, Reading Rainbow, Star Trek) invites you to take a break from your daily life, and dive into a great story. LeVar’s narration blends with gorgeous soundscapes to bring stories by Stephen King, Toni Morrison, Nnedi Okorafor, Kurt Vonnegut, Ken Liu and more to life. So, if you’re ready, let’s take a deep breath...Our immersive audio is best with headphones! If you'd prefer to listen without immersive audio, visit levarburtonpodcast.com/mono.

Recent Episodes
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Recent Reviews
  • 2beContinue
    Awesomeness 🥇
    I can’t just listen to it once! These stories are amazing. I absolutely love how I feel. Like I’m standing in the story. I’m seeing his words in picture. Thank You LaVar for finding the perfect books that take me to another world. 100% talent! Please come to Cleveland!
  • rose-blue
    One of America’s uncles
    I love listening to LaVar. He is other one of the men that shaped my life growing up. He help me develop my love for reading. ( I missed his voice.) His movies taught me about cultures of the past and present. Then he shaped my wishes for the future. With this, I get to hear him again, his private thoughts, tidbits bits of his life. I am just so glad to have found this. Now I can take him with me for walks with my dog.
  • Whathefungus
    Do yourself a favor and listen
    He’s a national treasure and this podcast is one of the many reasons why.
  • gweinrich
    Something to think about in every story
    Always enjoy the story selections, performance and sound design. I read Gubeikou Spirit from Land of Big Numbers by Te-Ping Chen last year and immediately thought of what y’all would make of it. Keep up the good work.
  • BooksandBooks
    Cozy, Immersive, and enlightening
    I just recently started listening to this podcast and I am so sad that I didn’t know about this sooner because LeVars voice, his enthusiasm, and passion for these short stories is so cozy and comforting. I love that I am able to listen to a whole story in one podcast and I am able to learn about new authors as well. His analysis on how what the story meant to him is always so interesting to hear because he introduces ideas that even I didn’t think about. Lovely podcast and I hope that there are more seasons to come. XOXO Sincerely, a 24 year old Gen Z🥰
  • Rasputin108
    Reading rainbow for Adults? YES!!!
    Love this as both a bibliophile and an educator this show has been amazing. Would love to hear any of the short stories in “Burning Chrome” by William Gibson. Some of my favorite OG cyberpunk literature 🙏🏼💕
  • If_I_Must
    A millennial’s dream 📖🌈🦋
    1. Review: Started listening as part of my new morning routine with my newborn (since I can’t easily hold a book to read while holding her!). It is so wonderful to have LeVar “back in my life” again, after growing up with Reading Rainbow (and yes, I will be checking out Sound Detectives and Skybrary for my progeny). LeVar picks fantastic stories, and I appreciate his brief commentary at the end of each one. Obviously, he does a fantastic job of reading/performing. I really appreciate the range of story type and cultures represented. 2. Story requests! I would to love hear “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang. Please also consider reading a short story from Lucia Berlin’s “A Manuel for Cleaning Women”; a story from Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s “Sabrina & Corina” (perhaps “Ghost Sickness”); or a story from from the collection “All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens Throughout the Ages” (I recommend “Roja”).
  • PaperRedemption
    Absolutely in Love with this Podcast
    I love the short stories! I love the sounds in the background, music and his voice is just so perfect. Makes me feel like I’m listening to reading rainbow for adults. ❤️❤️❤️
  • Piper03275
    Captivating
    I’ve been listening for a while now and I’m almost done with season 2. I have been truly captivated by Every. Single. Story! I’m an avid reader but due to losses in my life have drifted from it and have had a hard time getting back into it. As a child, I grow up with both Reading Rainbow and Star Trek NG, as well as Roots later on so there is such a deep nostalgic love for Mr. Burton already. Listening to this podcast has not only helped bring back my love and passion for reading, and a new appreciation for podcasts. It’s even sparked my love and interest in writing again. I no longer dread my long drive to and from work. I’ve also sent so many episodes to family and friends! I would very much love to see a live performance come to central Mississippi! Honestly anywhere in a reasonable driving distance would do!! I can not recommend this podcast enough, nor can I accurately put into words the joy it brings me. And I say this with the highest amount of love and respect that exists, my mom would have LOVED this podcast!!! She is who I got my love of reading from. And as a parent myself, with a daughter who also loves to read, I can hardly wait until she is old enough to enjoy these herself.
  • NBinNYC
    Magnificent, deep and endlessly entertaining
    There aren’t enough words to describe how wonderful this podcast is. There are so many stories but I feel like each one is permanently written into my memory banks because of the care and thoughtfulness that the team puts into choosing and sound designing them. The discussion by LeVar Burton at the end of each story goes way beyond literary analysis and elevates these episodes into a balm for the spirit. Thank you for making these!
  • To shades
    It’s sweet potato pie for me too
    I will pass the on pumpkin with love
  • jafterdeath
    What every millennial has needed for years
    This podcast warms my heart in ways I never knew were possible. I was a huge reading rainbow fan as a child and I absolutely adore Levar. Please keep this going!
  • Trockyouomma
    Amazing and like soul food
    Thanks LeVar for striving to stay YOU after all these years! So comforting to hear you voice as it always seems to teleport me back to when I was a child watching you fondly on tv. Thank you for this podcast and you love of life and reading! All the best!
  • Greyman_
    Making mornings good
    Waking up and seeing a new drop from “LeVar Burton Reads" is an instant pick me up. It means at least something good is going to happen today.
  • treehousetop
    Wonderful 😊
    This is a great podcast! I look forward to hearing a new story every week ,and often go back and listen to old episodes. Wonderful story selection.
  • Tankgirl10
    National Treasure
    I would gladly stand with you and throw hands at these imbeciles who insist on making Americas children illiterate elitists. Read on good man!!
  • Nailgunned
    Nah
    Look out mothers, he wants to throw hands with you. Recently he said so while speaking in front of a crowd in regard to moms who don’t want books depicting pornography to be freely accessible to their children in elementary school libraries. So not only does he want to abuse women, he wants to show children pornography. Seems like a bad move but that’s the world we live in now. Weird.
  • Mike sopapo
    Amazing
    Amazing
  • Nessiebv
    Use to be obsessed with this podcast
    I know everyone is entitled to their opinion but after listening to the episode that aired 11/23/23 Where Levar discusses Donald Trump ruined this podcast for me. I’ll no longer be listening. If you like the way things have been run politically for the last 3+ years then I can no longer listen to anything you read/recommend. Keeping your political thoughts to yourself might be best for your show or maybe you just don’t want/like Donald Trump supports listening. ✌🏽
  • D-Millz
    A Treasure
    I hope this show never ends
  • Dawnlandia
    Deleting, Sadly
    Mr. Burton recently spoke about “throwing hands” with a female organization with which he is in political disagreement. So tired of people hating other people. It’s everywhere. I’m no longer supporting anyone who demonstrates this, no matter which “side” they seem to be on.
  • _______ok______
    Unsubscribing, No Violence, LeVar
    I grew up watching LeVar introduce new books and reading stories on the local broadcasting station. I found him again years later on this podcast and subscribed. LeVar’s remarks about “throwing hands” at the 2023 National Boom Awards Ceremony are unacceptable. There is absolutely zero reason for advocating violence against mothers. Disappointing behavior, LeVar. We expected more. For this reason, I am unsubscribing. I can no longer support Levar or his sponsors. I welcome others to join in unsubscribing. Our wives, mothers, and teachers deserve better.
  • haragrad
    A deep breath and a good story
    I have always loved being read too. Your choices are excellent. You also introduce me to authors I didn’t know but now love.
  • sjucksbnksignfk
    Just the best
    Huge fan of LeVar Burton and this show. I enjoy every episode. The stories are great, the narration is wonderful. Truly a breath of fresh air.
  • Joeybdreads
    Those fantastic lives
    This story is so absolutely amazing that I wish I could hear it again for the first time…
  • sweeetree
    Lavar’s voice is honey
    On the microphone but that’s not what makes it good. It’s the stories and L’s genuine and electric human interest.
  • Averi Chelys Galactica
    Extremely high quality
    I don’t listen to this podcast often enough. Everything about the show is great. LeVar Burton is an amazing reader, of course. The selected short stories are excellent. I find myself thinking about them for months after first listening to them. The pool of authors is diverse, and made up of many authors whose work I know and others whose work I know I would like to know after I’ve listened to the episode. The sound design is beautiful and truly immersive. Finally, I always look forward to Burton’s comments on each story.
  • Cutest cat ever
    Could be great but…
    He’s so talented. But he just can’t resist inserting his politics. Then again maybe that’s the point. Fair enough, but if I’m looking for simply great stories well performed it means this is not for me. And the music on sone of this is awful. So distracting and really ruins it.
  • 90's Kid blah blah blah
    Worth listening to
    If you’re a Levar Burton fan, this is exactly what you’re looking for, 5/5 stars.
  • quicapeeka
    Wonderful stories, distracting sound design
    I have loved listening to LeVar Burton reading to us again! In this new season, it seems like the sound design has shifted & the music has gotten distracting rather than adding to the atmosphere (as it used to). Hopefully they will get it back to normal soon!
  • moka-love
    Beyond bedtime
    While being read a story typically is a bedtime experience for children and time-limited workaholics like myself, Levar Burton changes the experience by magically transporting us to other worlds. His expressive and energetic characters come to life in every story he reads. The background sound effects support each story expertly. Listening to Levar Burton Reads is like taking a trip. Listen up folks!
  • iwasjojofirst
    Adult Reading Rainbow and it’s Beautiful ❤️
    That’s all you need.
  • QuitaRoc
    LeVar Burton does not need the razzle dazzle
    The music and extra sauce added to this season is distracting. It’s competes with LeVar Burton’s voice. A few episodes into the season and I still cannot complete an episode. I have adored this podcast and have listened to it since its debut. The stories are thoughtfully curated and expose listeners to a swath of talented writers and tales. I appreciate the production evolution over the years. The beauty and singularity of this podcast is LeVar Burton’s iconic voice and performance. Respectfully, LeVar Burton does not need the razzle dazzle ya’ll.
  • Just here for a listen
    Simply the best
    First I am biased- I loved Reading Rainbow so I am feeling all kinds of nostalgic fuzzies and he is the best storyteller, but this podcast is even more! Not only is it a peaceful relaxing moments just listening to a story, but I truly enjoyed listening to his enjoyment and thoughtful comments about the book and life.
  • Maria Zonum
    The best podcast
    I cannot even write this review because it makes me emotional but this is the best podcast out there. I love the stories, the storytelling, and Mr. Burton’s passion for books and reading. It’s a gift to humanity.
  • Phoenix_Rising-1120
    LeVar Burton is a treasure, this podcast is a gift.
    I’m too young—I missed out on Roots. I should try to find it streaming somewhere. But I did grow up with both Reading Rainbow and Star Trek, The Next Generation. To have found Mr. Burton still sharing his life, his thoughts, and, as always, some really great stories, has been a gift. I’m not exaggerating when I say my life is richer as a result. There’s a wonderful personal quality here that comes through in every episode. Thank you. I listen to a lot of podcasts. This one is a favorite.
  • WorthTheHype
    Please ditch the background music!
    I have listened to this podcast from the very beginning, and I’ve been a big fan, telling all my friends to listen, too. Season 12, however, hasn’t started well. The new theme tune is overly flourished, and I could barely even get drawn in by this episode because the guitar music—if it even is from a real guitar—in the background is too loud and very distracting. Please return to the great story reading of the past and don’t drown it out with pretentious sound design.
  • bryan1001010101001
    Stop playing the music
    The new season book is great but it’s hard to hear when you have music blasting in the background. Please remove that.
  • Galactimom
    Greatest Show Ever!
    I could go on and on about what a beautiful, inspiring, challenging, and hopeful body of work this is. What an oeuvre! I find myself wishing for a bonus episode called LeVar Burton Breathes that is just a supercut of the deep breaths he takes before reading each story. ❤️
  • ninjadon94
    The centering of biopic characters and ideas is WHY I love your podcast as a white man
    Lavar I have been a fan since “The Next Generation “ and when I found your podcast it felt like such a treasure to me. I love the deeply emotional stories and your beautiful telling of them. Tonight I finished an episode and at the end you told of an experience with a listener that gave a 1 star review bc you “seemed to like only brown skinned characters” and maybe hated white people. I was offended for you!! Insecure, immature, scared, and ignorant that’s what that particular white (man I assume) is. I embrace experiences where I can see things from another humans perspective and consider it a blessing to me. It adds to the context of the world and helps me more fully see all the beautiful shades of humanity all around me. Thank you for bringing these stories from authors I might never have had the opportunity to enjoy without your voice and talent (also discernment). I’m a lifelong fan sir and I do sincerely hope you find a way to continue to record more episodes!
  • AMLBW22
    5 stars of course!
    From Reading Rainbow to this amazing podcast! Mr. LeVar Burton has been in my life for 40 year and like many, he has helped raise me. Thank you for continuing to bring us adults joy!
  • Talola
    Fantastic. Lucky to have this podcast.
    The stories chosen are varied and usually sublime, and Lavar is an excellent reader, which is everything. Since I started having trouble with my eyes, and can’t read all the short stories I used to, audio versions have been a life saver. I had discovered Lightspeed & Clarkesworld podcasts, etc. but I assumed that Lavar’s podcast was for kids (thinking of Reading Rainbow). I was mistaken. Although many of these stories would be great to listen to with your kids and then talk them over, these are definitely for adults.
  • Jalachan
    Must Listen
    LeVar Burton Reads is a phenomenal podcast highlighting some truly wonderful authors and pieces of short fiction. Through this show I have discovered many stories and authors I would have never known about otherwise. Required listening.
  • Ree$e$
    Absolutely LOVE Levar and this podcast!
    Absolutely love LeVar and this podcast! I stumbled across the podcast a couple of years ago! I use this as a way to drift off to sleep! It may take me a few nights to complete the story as its so soothing. I highly recommend!!! Amazing- one of these best podcasts and I am majorly into true crime and prefer this for bedtime and relaxation time! :)
  • Go99225599
    Hello! Where are you?
    Levar, I miss you, miss the podcast. Please come back.
  • Shakeskate
    Woven through our lives
    LeVar Burton has played a role in my life from my early 20’s to now in my 50’s. As a young single mother going through a divorce, Star Trek TNG became my escape from pain and reality. I dreamed of an ideal world that would care for all peoples of the earth and other planets. Unaware that my child started to sneak out of bed to watch TNG from the hall, her life was also being shaped by that idealism. During the day, we watched Reading Rainbow reruns and newly dropped shows. Our love of reading created a bond between my child and I and LeVar Burton was a part of that fusing bond. My child followed her dreams and has studied theater and English. She writes as often as she has the opportunity. She’s 33 years-old now and we recently went to our first Con. We were at Galaxy Con in Raleigh, NC. Of all the celebrities that attended, the only one my child got excited to stand in line for was LeVar Burton. She asked about his relationship working with his daughter. That touched me deeply, as it felt as a nod to his unknown part in our relationship. We follow this podcast, but just to listen to well written short stories, but as a way to continue hearing that voice that is still a bond for us, no matter how far apart we live from each other. For anyone who needs to be reminded of the richness that writing brings to our world, I recommend this Podcast with all of my heart.
  • Gaydog69
    My go to
    I’ve listened to all se stories a few times over when I’m working or joking or headed to bed. I would recommend it to anyone! It’s a Rest incredible collection of stories red by a perfect reader and great man.
  • Avid RK listener
    Nighttime go to
    I’ve not been listening for long, but I listen to get to sleep. Also if I wake up in the night. This means I get to listen to episodes twice!! LOVE IT so much, The first listen to calm and sleep, then the second to get the rest of the story:) Keep it coming LaVar (and staff). Can’t wait for season nine.
  • juvxdc
    Simply perfect.
    This podcast is absolutely phenomenal. I feel truly lucky to have discovered this. LeVar Burton is an utter gem of our lifetime and to hear him transport us to another world is really a privilege. I just found this a few days ago and have already listened to so many. I will definitely be listening to every single episode. This is one of the best things I’ve discovered in a very long time. I thank you LeVar, and team, for this gift.
  • ValiPacificNW
    LeVar Burton transports us to a magnificent story galaxy!
    LeVar Burton opens our minds to a variety of story worlds, reading these with masterful character voices, sounds and analysis. There is no other podcast like this, and we are blessed to have this marvel in our lives!
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