LitReading - Classic Short Stories
By Don McDonald
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Humans have shared short stories for millennia. For most of that time, telling tales was a verbal process. A storyteller would regale an audience with accounts of adventure, bravery, compassion, despair, enlightenment, and fear. Stories were a shared experience, until the advent of inexpensive mass-printing processes in the 19th century which allowed most of us to read to ourselves. Yet, that desire to have a short story read aloud is still ingrained in our collective soul. While we still read books for pleasure, most of today’s stories are told via newer forms of visual media like movies and television. Consuming stories via any visual medium requires an active commitment to the process. You probably shouldn’t read a book or watch a TV program while driving, but your brain still craves a good story. Audiobooks are suitable for long road trips. But what about those times when you only have a few minutes? Enter narrated short stories. Spoken short stories are quick, satisfying snack, while an audiobook is a seven-course meal. Allow me to help you fill those moments and fulfill your need for a captivating tale with my renditions of some of the world’s greatest literary masters best short stories. My love of the spoken word has been honed by a more than 30-year career in radio and voice acting with a modicum of performance passion from decades of stage performances. This venture is my hobby (I have a great full-time job), so all of the content is free of cost and commercials. I hope you enjoy them. If you have a public domain short story you would like me to read or would like to share thoughts or comments, please drop me a line. If you enjoy these short stories, please spread the word, subscribe, and leave a review on your favorite podcast service. Thanks for stopping by, Don McDonald
||CleanAfter Twenty Years by O. Henry||Twenty years after heading west to find his fortunes a man returns to meet a long lost friend.||1/17/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanA Lost Masterpiece by A. A. Milne||Before he wrote Winnie the Pooh, A. A. Milne was a popular humor writer. Here is one of his adult short-short stories.||1/10/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Prophet - Part Two by Khalil Gibran||Here is the second half of Kahlil Gibran's global bestselling book with sage advice on pain and pleasure, good and evil, and the inevitability of death.||1/4/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Prophet - Part One by Khalil Gibran||For almost a century, the profound words of The Prophet have stirred the hearts and moved the souls of millions of readers around the world.||1/3/2019||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanUncle Richard's New Year Dinner by Lucy Maud Montgomery||The end of the old year and the start of the new has traditionally been seen as an opportunity to start fresh by setting aside old grievances and moving forward with a clean slate.||12/26/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanA Visit from St. Nicholas or 'Twas the Night Before Christmas||You've heard it a dozen times, so why not one more. Here's a Visit from St. Nicholas, was it penned by Clement Moore?||12/22/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanA Kidnapped Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum||Santa and his friends face the most challenging Christmas in their long history as Santa is kidnapped.||12/20/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanChristmas at Red Butte by Lucy Maud Montgomery||When a bad harvest on the Canadian prairie means no Christmas for her cousins, a young woman does the only thing she can to rescue their holiday.||12/17/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Gospel According to Joan by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman||When does the end justify the means and who gets to decide? One person's definition of morality may not be shared by others.||12/11/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanMisery by Anton Chekhov||Loneliness is painful enough under normal circumstances, but social rejection in the face of a personal crisis can be devastating.||12/4/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanA Pair of Silk Stockings by Kate Chopin||Money has the power to take us away, if only temporarily, from the dull routines of life. However, there is always a price to pay for our fiscal flights of fancy and real life eventually hoists its humdrum head again.||11/27/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Good and the Bad Little Boy by Mark Twain||In the 19th Century particularly, good boys are supposed to enjoy the fruits of the righteousness, and bad boys were destined for eternal damnation, at least according to Sunday School books, but according to Mark Twain, life often contradicted expectat||11/21/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanTwo Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen by O. Henry||Somewhere there’s a great story for almost every holiday, even the decidedly American tradition of Thanksgiving and who better to tell such a story than one of America’s finest authors, O. Henry.||11/19/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Cactus by O. Henry||Pride does seem to go before a fall… In this very short story a young man’s life unravels thanks to a small vanity-induced dissimulation.||11/13/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Monkey's Paw by W.W. Jacobs||Humans are rarely content with their lot in life. We long for something more and, all too often believe that, given the right opportunity, our lives can be made better in an instant through some fortunate event, like winning a lottery.||10/31/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Damned Thing by Ambrose Bierce||As Halloween approaches, here is a bonus scary Litreading from one of my favorite authors. It’s the story of a mysterious death in the 19th-century American wilderness.||10/29/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Man in the Brown Coat by Sherwood Anderson||This special short, short story centers on a different kind of haunting, not from without, but from within. The darkness that comes from a profound loneliness that quietly haunts the souls of many.||10/27/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Black Cat by Edgar Allan Poe||As Halloween approaches, our tales of horror grow more grisly with a classic scary story, The Black Cat by one of America’s greatest devisers of dread, Edgar Allan Poe||10/24/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanYuki-Onna by Lafcadio Hearn||Ghost stories have been told around the world and often based on mythical creatures or spirits. Those living in the cold, snowy regions of Japan created the legend of a winter spirit called Yuki-Onna (or snow woman) whose beauty allows her to prey on th||10/20/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Boarded Window by Ambrose Bierce||What led a man to live an isolated life at his ramshackle cabin, with a boarded up window, in the former American wilderness? What is the tragic story that led him to this doleful existence? Here is his traumatic tale.||10/17/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThree Questions by Leo Tolstoy||What should we do, when should we do it, and whose direction should we take? Those three questions have plagued humanity throughout time. Where can the answers be found or are they unanswerable?||10/12/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald||Would it be better to start life as an old man and end it as an infant? That was the question posed by Mark Twain that inspired F. Scott Fitzgerald to write his short story, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."||10/10/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanAn Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce||Prepare to be moved by one of the most unusual short stories ever written, which tells a chilling tale of the simple life and complex death of a slave-owning planter in Union-occupied Alabama during the Civil War.||10/3/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe Million Pound Bank Note by Mark Twain||This classic Mark Twain tale is a witty commentary on poverty and wealth. There is much of Twain’s personal circumstance reflected in the story, as Twain had himself recently gone from riches to bankruptcy.||10/3/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanJabberwocky by Lewis Carroll||From the mind behind "Alice in Wonderland" comes one of the best examples of nonsense poetry. Jabberwocky tells the tale of a young knight who slays a mythical beast.||10/3/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
Love this podcast
Absolutely love this podcast!! I listen to a lot of short stories, and Don has a fantastic reading voice, as well as a good eye for choosing his stories
To sneaky Pete
Don McDonald you sneezy Pete.
You know my weakness and drew me in and there you were. The joy of hearing your voice reading Harry’s favorite author and thinker is wonderful.
I know you all are out there. The joy and wonder of being read to is alive and well.
I will be tuning in.
I like this concept
A very good narrator/orator!