LeVar Burton Reads


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
  • Jedi Master Stringfellow
    Wonderfull stories, wonderfully told. Thanks, LeVar…
    This is a really great find. I have listened to books on audible and chirp for years and now I found a source for audible short stories. I have loved LeVar on Star Trek for decades, but I never knew he had such a range as an actor and that he was such a talented story teller. More than once, I said to myself, hey, was that LeVar? Whenever he speaks, you can hear the sincerity and passion in every word. He loves what he’s doing. That’s why he’s so great at it. His is a fantastic voice to have in your ear while you go about life.
  • Gigi Majors
    Incredible, but don’t take my word for it …
    I didn’t know I was a fan of science fiction or short stories before this podcast, much in the way that I didn’t realize I was a reader before Reading Rainbow. The stories are beautiful, and LeVar’s treatment of the works is masterful. While I always have enjoyed audio productions and audiobooks, my experience with this podcast has been surreal. I began listening with my family during the pandemic; the stories took our minds off of the uncertain world beyond our doorstep and transported us to fascinating places. I am especially grateful for the deep, calming breath at the beginning of each story. On many occasions, those are the only deep breaths I take in a day. 🥰 LeVar Burton Reads earns infinite stars in my book!
  • DolphinStella
    Please never stop finding new stories!
    Stumbled across this one day I love this so much I can’t even begin to describe! LeVar your voice and everything is amazing and every story takes me back to watching Reading Rainbow on TV. You’re introducing me to stories that I never would have picked up by myself so thank you for that! Please tell more stories forever! I’d love to hear you read anything by Maya Angelou. Mom and I saw her in person reading stories once when I was in fourth grade, but I didn’t realize then how amazing the experience turned out to be, so I sadly wasn’t yet hooked on her stories. Thank you so much for this! Can’t wait to hear more stories in all the future episodes!
  • Laura Trotchie
    Wow Intense But Inspiring
    Wonderful narratives along with great stories!
  • Tabbywon
    Levar has always been the Gold standard… since childhood!
    You been the embarkment for my love of words and the love of reading. Your role in reading and literature has been purposeful for me since day one! Now our children’s love of literature has been continuously spurred by what you do daily as a bibliophile! I love the smell of books since… you! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
  • fpdd9
    LeVar Burton Reads
    This is a great podcast. A wonderful way to hear new stories.
  • ameuejd
    A must listen for anyone who loves reading
    Such a great podcast, you really feel transported into these stories. Great variety of genre and authors. Would love to hear The Rock Eaters by Brenda Peynado someday!
  • Heather DeMeno
    LeVar Burton is hands down the most amazing narrator ever. This evokes the joy and love of reading that was kindled during the days of Reading Rainbow for me. The stories are incredible but moreover - LeVar’s commentary is heartfelt, genuine and so so moving. I cannot recommend a podcast more.
  • angelbunny17
    Levar is a national treasure
    I love everything he does
  • LazyKingplayz
    I love this podcast!!!
    I love this podcast, I use this when I go to sleep and the reading just makes me feel good. Keep up the good work LeVar 👍🏻, and could you add some graphic novels to read please?
  • Yung Sum Mahm
    No words
    Just stumbled upon this podcast looking for a free audio read possibility for a short story, The Paper Menagerie. Transported back into time to beloved Reading Rainbow where LeVar spent hours reading to my 3 now grown children. He is as brilliant and magical a reader as he ever was. Thank you so much for this podcast. Can’t wait to dive in. Ten stars if I could…. a fan for many years and many more to come!
  • Landonzdv
    So Special & Amazing
    This Podcast means so much to me. Been listening for awhile to fall peacefully to sleep but really started digging deep when our family pet passed. The breath in the beginning to become receptive to a new story has become one of my saving graces and I look forward to the peace it brings every time. I’m preemptively sad to one day run out of these stories! Thank you thank you thank you for all you’ve done for the arts.
  • Adamingian
    Thank you Mr. Burton
    You instilled a love of reading within me as a child. You brought me on magical journeys and gave me joy. What a blessed little fellow I was. As I grew, you inspired an appreciation in science fiction with a particular show… you know the one. And I find myself today as a early middle aged man, an engineer of a sort and who once again comes along side me to elevate my mind and spirit? You Mr. Burton, you did. Thank you.
  • spicycurlyfries
    Mr Burton serenades, but commercials take me out
    I adore this podcast and so very grateful that LeVar Burton is narrating. I love the Vonnegut and NK Jamieson stories, maybe a Ted Chiang soon, or more Stephen King? My only request is that the commercials are at the very beginning or at the very end, it jolts me out of my imagination and the story when they are halfway through. Then, I dislike the advertisers even more, so it defeats their purpose for existing. Pretty please.
  • IsaNYC
    LeVar Burton Reads
    Mr. Burton demonstrates an old-fashioned generosity of the spoken word when he shares his selections of short stories with us on his podcast , LeVar Burton Reads. The multi-layered gifts he bestows upon his fans happen to be especially fortuitous during these challenging and sad days of Covid isolation. Thank you for leaving the bounty of the story with us on your exceptionally produced podcasts! ❤️♥️❤️ 📖 @isabooklady @isabookladyNYC
  • JHicks31
    Thx Levar & co.
    I don’t really write reviews but I felt compelled to just say how great it is to listen to your podcast. Listening to “D.P.” and “The Destination Star” really struck me & sat with me in a powerful way. Keep making Glen Elder proud.
  • tange621
    Loves and Thanks to Levar Burton and Team !!!!!!
    Ahhhh. Just, breathing. Thank You All so much for this. Stories, to feed my soul and imaginations, for bedtime and roadtrips and downtime and cleaning time, storytime. Love your intros to all the authors, and commentaries at the end. Sound effects are the best. This helps me create this little time-space bubble for respite, restores and inspires and moves me for whatever happens next. So good. Thank you.
  • suzette303
    Kurt Vonnegut ❤️
    Levar:can we get more Kurt Vonnegut? I love his stories☺️.
  • PureSaraSue
    I’m concerned that there are now ad breaks.
    It doesn’t seem right to break up the show with advertising. It ruins the flow. Can’t you stick them back at the top like you used to? Please I beg of you make it stop.
  • Justjovan
    Thank you Levar
    Cried real tears listening to the D.P. Thank you Levar for bringing amazing stories like this to me! Listening to you really feels surreal it’s so amazing and enlightening. I especially love how you interpret each story and how you relate it to our lives, your life. What you do matters❤️
  • Steftwill
    I love this podcast
    I’ve been taken on the best journeys and have learned so much. Way better than audio books. I love the sound effects. I now have my 11 year old requesting we listen to it! She said she’s now a fan!! Thank you for sharing your gift and giving us a cherished connection.
  • Merwyn P. Parperbarr
    My Happy Place
    I love LeVar Burton, and I love the wonderful authors and stories he reads. I listen to the stories multiple times and catch new details with each listening. It’s the only podcast I have set to download and never delete. And I’ve gone on to read many of the books written by authors he’s read. Another wonderful season!
  • FunGameDudeNES
    Not only a blast from the past, it’s a smorgasbord of authors and short stories. Always a great listen. Thank you LeVar Burton.
  • nikkinickky
    Instantly, I am 10 years old again listening to his voice. I listened to one story and felt so much joy and calmness. I am SO happy to have found this- brb- going to go share this podcast with everyone I know! Thank you for this.
  • grownclone
    Thanks LeVar and team!
    You pick great stories and are so talented in telling them!
  • athirkell
    Wonderful Story Selections
    Levar reads beautifully. I wouldn’t mind listening to him reading instructions for filling out tax forms (it’s that time of year), but that’s unnecessary. The story selection in this podcast is so interesting and so varied. I enjoy speculative fiction, and this is my favorite place to listen to it.
  • FallonM
    This brings me joy 😁😁😁
    I’m so lucky this exists! LeVar’s story telling abilities are elite. I love it.
  • msmuffintop
    Levar Burton is the best
    The absolute best reader ever! I mostly enjoy the stories but even when i find a story kind of annoying i am never sorry I listened to this talented actor read and talk about stories. If you like short stories you will love this podcast
  • LaForges Protege
    LeVar Burton is My Hero!!!
    I love this podcast, I’m a huge fan of Mr Burton and I listen to every episode!!!
  • JustRihanna
    Super good
    Th these stories are super good and at first I didn’t really wanna listen to this podcast but then I heard a story and I got hooked and I love the stories they are so good and I think you’ll love them to. if you don’t listen your truly missing out on something.
  • KimWinship
    Love this podcast - one of the best. I enjoy the stories, the commentary (makes me really think about what I read now with more intention) and most of all I just love LeVar!
  • johnthebassist1807
    If there is one thing I've learned...
    ...it's that Julia Smith is the best in the business.
  • Kiya127
    Best Podcast Ever
    Truly my favorite podcast, the selection of stories is brilliant, the telling is riveting and the sound quality is excellent. I would love to hear Little Bottles by Abigail Weaver read someday. I think its supernatural/cultural/emotional themes would fit well with the other stories collected here.
  • Mel Mwai
    Stellar Read Alouds
    There’s nothing better than listening to a fantastic story no matter how old you are. I’ve been recommending this podcast to friends because there has to be something for everyone. Thanks to the production team, editors, and Lavar making story time full of wonder one podcast at a time.
  • Accesette
    One of my favorite podcasts!
    When I discovered this podcast, I felt like I had found gold. Of course I would listen to Levar Burton read the phone book, but I adore the stories that he chooses to read. The diversity of authors is amazing & I’ve ever been able to share some of the stories with my son.
  • Holodeck 3
    Soothing voice distracted…
    …by new, pumped up production so not needed. Your satin voice alone carries any story. I loved earlier podcasts before the pump. Keep it *real like you did before
  • RowanCastle
    I adore LeVar and I’ve had this podcast on my list for ages, but it unfortunately got lost in the dozens of others I subscribe to. A friend recently reminded me of it, so I dove in and I’m *so* glad I did. Not only is LeVar a stellar storyteller (of course!), the production is beautiful. I wasn’t expecting the soft touches of music and effects that subtly add to the experience. Just beautifully done! LeVar’s insights on the stories are also sincere and thought-provoking. I’ve felt so touched and energized and inspired while listening. I hope this podcast never ends! Thank you, LeVar, for continuing to enrich me, just as you did when I was a child. As for a suggestion: anything by Gerald L. Coleman!
  • jaunna25
    Thanks for all the stories you have read they make me think they make me laugh and they make me cry. Can’t wait for the next story.
  • HitcherJason
    Quality and Love
    Great collection of stories produced wonderfully, and of course a voice that just smooth as leather. Would love to hear “The Diamond as Big as the Ritz” Novella by F. Scott Fitzgerald. If not done already. I have a lot to go through
  • zippy4tw
    Something to look forward to
    A rare bright spot in this dystopian timeline. I’d so love to hear Stephen King’s “One for the Road”, please!
  • Rainbow ldybug
    All Selections
    I have followed Lavar Burton since the Reading Rainbow days and the readings for me are comfort and enhance my love of books. I cannot tell you a favorite since I really enjoy them all. Thank you so much for your time , effort and selections.
  • Tkoftw03
    The Simplest Equation
    This was a beautiful story, as always. I just want to say for anyone who loves it, if you want a similar story, look up the song Standard Deviation by Danny Schmidt. Thank you LeVar Burton for branching out and telling so many wonderful stories throughout my life!
  • Almond1997
    Most impactful pod I’ve listened to!
    I’ve been listening to the podcast for about a year and have so many fond memories from the stories. Levar’s enthusiasm brings the stories to life, his somber tones make the sadder moments resonate even more. I love being introduced to so many wonderful and evocative stories by the talented writers. Cheers to everyone involved with bringing this podcast to life!
  • bumqyb
    Bedtime stories
    I started with this because I wanted some nice bedtime stories. Little did I know that I would get so hooked on the stories chosen that I had to stay awake to hear the ending! They are all such lovely stories and the way they are told is absolutely amazing! Can’t even begin to say enough good about this site❤️
  • Esme Katzen
    The stories we all need!
    Levar and his team do such beautiful work. They not only find authors whose voices we all need to listen to, they produce the stories with absolute care and respect. The stories on this show tells us humans who we are, who we could be and who we have been. I love the centering of authors of color and of stories we do not see in the mainstreams. Thank-you!!
  • loverlywench
    One of the best fiction podcasts ever
    As part of the generation who grew up with both Star Trek and Reading Rainbow, I love that LeVar Burton is still reading to us. I love that he wants to. Mr. Burton chooses great stories, from a diverse range of gifted writers. His commentary is thoughtful, and his narration is always excellent. It’s wonderful to hear his familiar voice giving life to the stories, and he demonstrates both his acting skills and vocal range in portraying characters. I just can’t say enough good things about this podcast. If you haven’t listened to it before, scroll through to find an author you like, or one you’ve been meaning to read, settle in with a cup of tea, and take a deep breath as LeVar Burton takes us on a journey back into the land of stories.
  • Corrinev
    Most Amazing Podcast Ever!!!
    My favorite podcast. I do breathing exercises on my on, but when LeVar has us breath before taking us on an adventure, it’s a a whole new experience.
  • bombardier15
    Love this podcast but listen at your own risk
    First, the review. Great podcast!!! 1) LeVar Burton’s has an incredible voice. He could read a phone book and I’d listen intently. 2) The selection of stories is excellent. A great variety of authors and stories. Now comes the warnings. 1) Be prepared to get so drawn in that you may lose focus on the actual world around you. Real story…I have driven past the exit going to work, not once, but twice as I was so engaged. 2) Be prepared to expand the list of books and authors that you are looking to read. I’ve always kept a list of books I plan on reading. Once I started listening to this podcast, the list has exploded. That being said, I will happily continue to drive past my work or expand my “to read” list to extreme lengths as I anxiously await each new episode.
  • Dooskie-66 year old female
    Best Podcast Ever
    I would be lost without this podcast. Listening to it at bedtime helps me wind down. The stories are almost always great. The discussion afterwards adds depth to the stories, including the philosophical ideas I pick up from these discussions. Icing on the cake is Mr. Burton’s warm, soothing voice.
  • purpleduckswim
    Listening to Levar is relaxing
    Levar’s voice and way of speaking is meditative
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