During my first listen through Taylor Swift’s recent album “evermore” I knew that I would eventually make this list. Each song so clearly and lyrically tells a story. It’s hard not to get swept up in the emotions of all these lost loves, lost chances, bittersweet memories, newfound feelings of contentment, and realizations of one’s sense of self. As a result of listening to this album on repeat for the past day or so, I’ve made this list recommending a book for each song on “evermore.”
- willow | Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. The willow imagery in this song immediately reminded me of the Prayer Tree that plays such a central role in Jellicoe Road.
- champagne problems | The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Dramatic and yearning, with a singer who wishes that things could be different–The Great Gatsby seemed like the perfect pick for this song.
- gold rush | Emma by Jane Austen. The lyrics “But I don’t like a gold rush, gold rush/I don’t like anticipating my face in a red flush” remind me of Emma’s sudden realization of love in this Austen novel.
- ’tis the damn season | Writers & Lovers by Lily King. Tumultuous and reluctantly relenting, this song reminded me of Casey’s ups and downs as she attempts to make sense of her messy life in the midst of grief.
- tolerate it | Play It As It Lays by Joan Didion. This song is heart-breaking and leaves you with a sense of futility and desperation, matching Didion’s raw writing in Play It As It Lays.
- no body, no crime | Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to recommend this pair. Gone Girl is the very first thing that came to mind when I first listened to this song.
- happiness | The Falconer by Dana Czapnik. Both this song and this book really tugged at my heartstrings in a personal way. I think they provide a similar sense of bittersweet hope, of having gone through something but knowing that it’s behind you.
- dorothea | Middlemarch by George Eliot. Am I partially recommending Middlemarch because one of the main characters is named Dorothea? Perhaps. But Dorothea is also an excellent headstrong character, so I feel like it fits well.
- coney island | Looking for Alaska by John Green. Listening to “coney island” leaves me with a similar drained, searching, sorrowful feeling as reading Looking for Alaska did. Both also give a sense that the singer/protagonist doesn’t know someone as well as they once did (or thought they did).
- ivy | Persuasion by Jane Austen. This song was the hardest one for me to find a recommendation for. I ultimately decided to go with Persuasion because they both seem to involve complicated feelings towards potential love.
- cowboy like me | The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. This might seem like an odd pair, but hear me out! This song seems to involve someone who didn’t really want a relationship at first, which reminded me of Katniss and Peeta…
- long story short |Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. For some reason this song reminded me of the very last chapter of Jane Eyre where things finally settle down after her tumultuous journey in the second half of the novel.
- marjorie | The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. Yes, naturally there are two Didion books on this list (because she is brilliant). I can’t think of a better book that so perfectly captures the feeling of losing someone but feeling like they are still there with you.
- closure | The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen. Unlike some of Sarah Dessen’s other books, I really appreciate the way she portrays different relationships in this book (particularly how the book ends, but I won’t give that away…). Suffice it to say that the main character realizes that she is fine on her own.
- evermore | My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan. I can’t go too far into details of why this pairing works so well because that would spoil parts of My Oxford Year. But trust me–the emotions are similarly bittersweet and intense!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this list! Let me know: Do you have any other recommendations for books that remind you of any of these songs, or even the album in general? Also, let me know your favorite song on the album!