For this parent who joined her children as they sat transfixed by Reading Rainbow on public television three decades ago, the smooth ebb and flow of LaVar Burton’s friendly and familiar voice reading short fiction on the LeVar Burton Reads podcast conjures a wave of nostalgia that carries listeners to a place where spoken words simultaneously ignite and calm the soul.
Burton eases into each episode by introducing listeners to the author and the selected short fiction, which he chooses simply because he loves the story. After leading his audience in a deep, cleansing breath, Burton reads, flooding the listener’s mind with images kindled by the writer’s imagination. As Burton continues, the reader is hooked, caught up in every passage of dialogue or plot twists. The story rages on, and listeners find themselves submerged in a world that unfolds as Burton floats a narrative that pulls them in deeper and deeper.
While listening to a recent episode—“Afterlife,” by Stephen King—I was so captivated and engaged that my entire morning routine was halted until he reached the end. So, a word of caution, should you decide to listen to LeVar Burton Reads: Make sure you’re not on a tight schedule and/or required to arrive at your destination at a specific time, because being consumed by these stories will likely make you late.
June 2022 Issue