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LeVar Burton Reads
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LeVar Burton Reads

Author: LeVar Burton and Stitcher

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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...

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195 Episodes
The world's only time traveler finally reveals his secrets. "The Toynbee Convector" © 1983 by Ray Bradbury Content advisory: suicide
A reality TV show producer tries to make love happen, on- and off-screen. “The November Story” is from MUSIC FOR WARTIME by Rebecca Makkai, published by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.Find LeVar on Instagram Live on Monday, May 6th from 6:30-8pm Pacific, celebrating 13 seasons of LeVar Burton Reads! Join us for a Q&A and surprise guests. Follow @levar.burton on IG and sign up for reminders!
Robotics, quick machines, fugitives -- none are exactly what they seem on the surface. Find more from the author at And find LeVar on Instagram Live on Monday, May 6th from 6:30-8pm Pacific, celebrating 13 seasons of LeVar Burton Reads! Join us for a Q&A and surprise guests. Follow @levar.burton on IG and mark your calendar!Content advisory: warfare, death
A young boy puzzles over the behavior of his mysterious elderly neighbor, his parents, and his older brother, a budding civil rights activist.This story appears in the collection entitled NEIGHBORS AND OTHER STORIES by Diane Oliver, published by Grove Press.Content advisory: racial slur, racism
On a long mission to search for a new home planet, an outfitter tries to protect the crewmembers' lives. But can she protect herself from the inevitable loss and heartbreak? This story first appeared in Uncanny Magazine. For more from the author, check out  Content advisory: pandemic, death
A young Black musician is heckled by a group of white fraternity brothers, asking him to play "Dixie." His response surprises everyone, including himself. This story appears in the collection DAMNED IF I DO, published by Graywolf Press.
A young woman must decide her future: planting seeds and forging civilization on Mars, or caretaking for future generations on Earth. This story originally appeared in Cast of Wonders. Find more from the author at advisory: climate change and ecological collapse
The self-proclaimed Graffiti King of Mexico brandishes his magical paintbrush, providing commentary on small-town sins. This story appears in the collection THE WATER MUSEUM. Find more from the author at  Content advisory: sexism, sexual harassment
An exploration of the depth of a father's love, and his attempts to keep his son happy, healthy and safe in a world rife with racism and violence. This story appears in Justin C. Key's collection THE WORLD WASN'T READY FOR YOU. Content advisory: death, police brutality
A human street performer breaks out his boombox for an unauthorized and unwelcome performance on Planet Drx. For more from the author, visit advisory: references to ecocide
A trickster storyteller brings camaraderie and hope to the land of the dead. Find more from the author at Content advisory: Death and dying; references to the death of a child
A scientist explores (and transcends) the limitations of the human body, using her daughter as a test subject. This story was first published by Find more from the author at Content advisory: Death
LeVar Burton Reads is back with all-new episodes starting February 20th, but if you don't want to wait, you can get a taste right here! Look out for stories from Rebecca Makkai, Luis Alberto Urrea, Justin C. Key and more. We think 13 might be our lucky number...
We champion the work of librarians at LeVar Burton Reads, not least because they preserve books and maintain archives of important information for generations to come. Today, we’re sharing a story from our friends over at Atlas Obscura. They'll introduce you to an altogether different species of librarians: The Mafra Palace Library Bats, who make sure the palace's rare book collection is well kept! Atlas Obscura is an audio guide to the world’s strange, incredible, and wondrous places. Co-founder Dylan Thuras and a neighborhood of Atlas Obscura reporters explore a wonder every day, Monday through Friday. In under 15 minutes, they’ll take you to an incredible place, and along the way, you’ll meet some fascinating people and hear their stories. Listen to Atlas Obscura wherever you get your podcasts.
If you’ve been listening to LeVar's new podcast Sound Detectives, you know there's something irresistible about a missing sound. That’s why we teamed up with our friends at 99% Invisible to tell the story of the first music streaming service, a 200-ton instrument called the Telharmonium whose sound has been lost to history.99% Invisible is a podcast about the unnoticed design that shapes the world we live in. This is their latest episode, a collection of mini-stories that weren’t quite big enough for a whole episode. You’ll hear about time measured in decimals, a rogue unlicensed Italian architect, and the ghost kitchens that power food delivery apps. And then yours truly, telling the story of the Telharmonium.Listen to 99% Invisible wherever you get your podcasts and visit for more.
Adrift in a mysterious time and place, and with the ground roiling and churning beneath their feet, a brother and sister try to return home to 1970s London. Find more from the author at
A mysterious pub draws in lost souls on Christmas Eve. This story appears in the author's collection ADD CYANIDE TO TASTE: A COLLECTION OF DARK TALES WITH CULINARY TWISTS. 
An angel surprises a humble coffee shop owner in Cairo. This story appears in E. Lily Yu's collection JEWEL BOX, published by Erewhon Books.
A teenage thief embarks on a mission to reclaim her people's sacred treasures. First published in A UNIVERSE OF WISHES in 2020 in the United States by Crown Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC, New York. Find more from Rebecca at
Enjoy more LeVar, more Detective Hunch, and more Audie with Episode #2 of LeVar's new podcast, SOUND DETECTIVES!SOUND DETECTIVES is a funny, engaging, and thought-provoking podcast that invites elementary school-aged kids to explore the magic and mystery of sound.In this episode, the Sound Swindler is still at large, and LeVar is anxious for help! Audie is a-buzz about the mystery sound, but Hunch insists that she needs some detective training first. Hunch knows just the thing: Detective Solvall's Handbook for Young Detectives!Listen to SOUND DETECTIVES on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Comments (366)

Ariel Gardner

so sad this is the end.. I am honestly a bit heartbroken.

May 9th


my millennial heart is happy.

Apr 17th


♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️ Everything about this episode. A wonderful story.

Apr 3rd

Teresa Wilkinson

🙂 thank you for these beautiful stories & sharing them with the world 🫂❤️💐

Dec 6th

Hafiz Tajuddin

Amazing story. I am glad now to have heard of "The Beaglemeister". Ruminations on death tend to be grim and somber, but this story manages to do the opposite - celebrate life with its lively and youthful prose and plot.

Sep 27th

Teresa Wilkinson

❤️❤️❤️ you reading these lovely stories 🫂🫂🫂🫂 please keep reading, especially for those of us with myopia or other difficulties reading 🫂🫂🫂

Sep 21st

Jaz Pagan

oh my goodness. I was literally crying, so devastating. Such a great story

Aug 17th

Jaz Pagan

I am so happy some1 posted on Instagram that you have this podcast. I am excited!!!

May 27th

Greg Jacobs

I just started this podcast having been a fan of the host I was not disappointed . Thank you so much for these presentations.

May 24th


Thank you for selecting Different Kinds of Darkness. Love what you curate for us.

Mar 22nd

Teresa Wilkinson

oh damn! WHY the irritating, pointless 'background music'?

Mar 2nd
Reply (1)


Well that was a wild fucking ride 😱

Feb 14th
Reply (1)

Forouzan Shamei

WOW! Honestly your reading makes it irresistible to listen to. I just wanted something playing, but can't believe that I put all my work away to listen to Levar. As a fiction writer I can tell you that the plot was almost simple but the idea was brilliant!

Feb 9th

L Sprinkles

I enjoyed this story immensely.

Jan 15th

Kelleen Jones

this was a cool story great ending

Dec 23rd

Nicholas Andrew

While I don't agree with Mr. Burton politically, I am still a fan. I remember watching him on reading rainbow as a kid and I still love hearing him read. Plus the stories are wonderful. This is a 5 star podcast! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Nov 25th



Nov 19th

Andrew Browne

I made no decision. it is storey, no need to get ahead of it, let it play out. I am Irish though and we love short stories

Oct 22nd

Jeremy Ogle


Aug 27th


Love Shirley Jackson, my favorite is, The Road through the Wall.

Aug 7th