TTT: Books You’d Want to Experience as Radio Plays

Since this week’s Top Ten prompt from The Broke and the Bookish is “all about audio”, and we haven’t done much audiobook listening lately, I figured this would be a more suitable topic. Have at!


Requirements: lots of dialogue; witty dialogue; dialogue rife with misunderstandings; and a relatively limited cast of characters (so I don’t get who they are mixed up).

  • Nimona by Noelle Stevenson.
  • Bite Me! by Dylan Meconis.
  • The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner. This would have to be different from most radio plays, as Gen would have to narrate his own story, but there is abundant opportunity for scenes, or parts of scenes, where Gen’s narrative voice is silent and we hear the other characters/external noises only. Alternately, Gen’s voice immediately juxtaposed with what everyone else says would be a wonderful contrast in audio.
  • Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein,
  • The Water of Possibility by Hiromi Goto.


  1. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi: I know, graphic novels are an odd choice, but I really do think this one would work. 

  2. On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis: Because even though it’s a post-apocalypse book, the pacing of the story is unusual, and it is character-driven which is a good thing, I feel, when you’re taking the time to listen to a story? 

  3. Legend by Marie Lu: Okay, not much dialogue, but there is a sense of urgency to the trilogy that makes an episodic format appealing. Done right, the wait to the next episode could be excruciating for listeners. (Also, this means no age-appropriate casting right, because guys, imagine John Cho as Day!)

  4. Bad Kitty by Michele Jaffe: Deranged cats! Detectives! Kidnapping! Hilarity! What more do you need in a murder mystery radio-play? 

  5. Huntress by Malinda Lo: Because I love it and I’m not entirely sure how this would go down? I’m just … very for it, you know … ?

  6. Binti by Nnedi Okorafor: Binti has a strong voice and I’d be happy to listen to stories about her space adventures any time. Actually, a radio play would be more like reliving her adventures and that’s even better.

  7. Lucy and Linh by Alice Pung: There are so many opportunities for misleading listeners when it comes to Lucy and Linh—the way that Pung does in her novel—plus, so many fun characters who get to have a voice! Definitely should have been placed at the top of this list.

  8. Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova: Same reason as Huntress. I am not entirely sure how the gorgeous visuals would be incorporated into a radio play, but I do want this as a radio play. 

  9. Razorhurst by Justine Larbalestier: I wondered what the book would be like in audio format as there’s a lot of talking over one another that’s done—the challenge would be to make it just confusing enough to be creepy (because ghosts are the ones interrupting the narrative) but not overwhelming. 

  10. Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz and Kat Helgeson: I think this could easily work as a radio play. Most of it is a dialogue of some sort—email exchanges, text messages etc. 

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