search-icon

Tune In to These 4 Radio Reads

by  | August 20

It’s rarer and rarer for people to listen to radios at home any longer, but that doesn’t mean the medium is dead and done for. Radios—and by extension podcasts—have found their way into our phones, as apps, and they’re still a mainstay in most cars. And with a growing selection of music, talk shows, fictional programs, and more to offer us, how could we not love them? Radios also continue to capture our imaginations with storytelling. In honor of National Radio Day (August 20), tune in to these stories where radio plays a central role—or better yet, give them a listen on your favorite audiobook platform.

All the Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot See

by Anthony Doerr

One of the most read and acclaimed books and the winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction! All the Light We Cannot See follows the lives of two children during World War II: Marie-Laure, who lives in France, and Werner, residing in Nazi Germany. Werner’s story starts when he fixes an old radio and he and his sister begin tuning in to all the programming available, especially a French science program that sparks his curiosity and drive to learn. The book moves backward and forward in time to map out both Marie-Laure’s and Werner’s lives and to see the consequences of their actions and question what it means to be connected to one another. Radio plays a big role throughout the book, as it was the major communication technology at the time, and it also provides the opportunity for Marie-Laure and Werner’s lives to intersect. This book will make you think about how you got to where you are today…. If you can, read all 500+ stunningly written pages in one weekend since you won’t be able to put the novel down.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoSimon & Shuster logo
Eleven

Eleven

by Mark Watson

Late night radio hosts always seem to have it together, dispensing advice to sleepless listeners trying to find their way through life. But for Xavier Ireland, late night radio DJ for a London station, “having it together” is not how anyone would describe his life. It is only when cleaning lady Pippa bursts into his life that his world starts to change, and that of those around him.

Eleven centers on one pivotal event—a young man being beaten up—and eleven different characters and how they react to it, all leading right back to Xavier, who is trying to come to terms with himself, whoever that is. The book’s intricate connections and strongly written characters really make the narrative shine, from even the smallest of interactions to the big reveal at the end that grabs the reader’s attention. Eleven will definitely make you wonder about all the lives we’ll never know about at the other end of the radio.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logoSimon & Shuster logo
Late Nights on Air

Late Nights on Air

by Elizabeth Hay

To work in radio, one has to be a real character, with an expressive voice and big personality. So don’t be surprised if you fall in love with the crew of a small radio station in Yellowknife, Canada, while reading Late Nights on Air. Harry finds himself down and out after failing in his Toronto television plans, but ends up being drawn to Dido, a woman on the local radio. He joins the team and becomes a part of a complicated family, even signing up to go on a six-week journey by canoe, following the path of Arctic explorer John Hornby. This Giller Prize–winning novel is more about ambiance than plot, but harkening back to the 1970s gives the whole book a dreamy, sepia-toned perspective that makes you long for the past…even if the characters’ messy feelings puts the whole thing in jeopardy.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoIndiebound logo
Mostly Void, Partially Stars

Mostly Void, Partially Stars

by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor

The town of Night Vale is much like any other town. It hails a glowing cloud; the townsfolk are not allowed to enter the dog park; and if they see something, they say nothing and drink to forget. Okay, so maybe Night Vale is a little weird, but it does have one thing that will be immediately familiar to readers—it’s got a great radio station. Host Cecil Palmer welcomes listeners to the fictional town in every episode and recounts the news of the day, including strange lights in the sky, a handsome new scientist moving into town, and the ongoing debate about whether or not mountains are real. The book collects scripts from the first season of the incredibly popular podcast Welcome to Night Vale, but it has so much more to offer too, with behind the scenes commentary, stunning illustrations, introductions to the guest stars, and more. While this book actually doesn’t come in audiobook format, you can listen to all the episodes of the show online. If you’ve been looking for a little bit more strangeness in your life, or if you’re just a ride or die podcast junkie, you’re going to love reading, and hearing, about this little town.

Amazon logoBarnes & Noble logoBooks a Million logoIndiebound logo
Love to get lit... erary? Sign up to get the latest delivered to your inbox!
A reporter by trade, Sara Roncero-Menendez is a lover of horror, sci-fi, and all things pop culture. From indies to classics to even the strangest genre pieces, all movies, TV shows, and books are fair game for a binge-fest. Follow her on Twitter @sararomenen or at her website, www.sara-roncero-menendez.com