Recommending Books Based On Songs

I already wrote a post like this called Books and Songs, but after some thinking I’ve decided that I want to make this a series where I recommend you books based on the first 10 songs on my on repeat playlist. Hopefully, I can provide some good music recommendations alongside the usual book recommendations!

* I’m still figuring out how I want to format these posts and I have no good title for them, so have a bit of patience with me.

1) MAMMAMIA by Måneskin


We are once again starting with a Måneskin song. What can I say? I adore them and their songs are addictive. This one is their new sexy and kinky song, and I love it. Usually, I tend to prefer their Italian songs, but their English songs are also great and usually more on the fun and dirty side.

Oh, mamma-mamma mia, spit your love on me 
I'm on my knees and I can't wait to drink your rain 
I'll keep the secret if you let me get a taste 
Tell me your limits and we'll cross that line again 
Oh, mamma-mamma mia

For this song I’ve chosen the graphic novel Sunstone by Stjepan Šejić since it’s all about kink and it fits the theme and vibe of the song perfectly.

Lisa’s tastes were always…unique. Longing to be restrained, without restrain. Lisa always felt like something was missing from her love life─until she met Ally. Ally was implacably ordinary─successful job, nice house, an average childhood─except for her preference for bedroom domination.

2) Hermit the Frog by MARINA

I’ve always been aware of MARINA, but I never actually listened to her music until recently, and now that I have, I’m kicking myself over not doing it sooner. This song in particular I’ve listened to on loop for probably hours, it’s just that good.

They call him Hermit the Frog
He's looking for a dog
Did you find your bitch in me?
Oh, you're abominable socially
You're just a little bit too much like me

This was the hardest one to find a book for, and I’ll admit my recommendation is perhaps a bit niche, but I still highly think this is an amazing book anyone can find interesting. I’m talking about Lizzie Siddal: The Tragedy of a Pre-Raphaelite Supermodel by Lucinda Hawksley. It depicts the model’s life along with her turbulent relationship with Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Saved from the drudgery of a working-class existence by a young Pre- Raphaelite artist, Lizzie Siddal rose to become one of the most famous faces in Victorian Britain and a pivotal figure of London’s artistic world, until tragically ending her life in 1862.

3) MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name) by Lil Nas X

I’ve been very obsessed with this song ever since it came out, I simply cannot seem to get tired of it. That opening guitar gets me every single time, and I just can’t skip it.

Call me when you want, call me when you need
Call me in the morning, I'll be on the way
Call me when you want, call me when you need
Call me out by your name, I'll be on the way like

I’ve decided to choose Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston for this because the chorus makes me think of the type of relationship the characters have.

First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations. The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince.

As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?

4) Thunderous by Stray Kids

Well, one of my favourite groups and one of my favourite songs. Stray Kids never disappoint me with the energy they bring, and this wasn’t any different. I listened to this song so much learning the choreo and I’m still deeply in love with it.

Here they come
악당 무리에 뜨거운 피가 돌아 온몸에 번져
소문난 꾼들의 모임에 쏟아지는 눈빛은
Freezing cold but I know we’ll burn forever
해보라는 태도 난 여전히
할 말을 내뱉지
Here they come
Villains make my blood boil and circulate throughout my body
All eyes on the gathering of the famous Thunderous ones are
Freezing cold but I know we’ll burn forever
I don’t care how they look at me
I’ll always say what I have to say

I had to think of a raucous group to represent this song, and I immediately thought of the gang from The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic. I don’t think I’ve talked much about this book, but it’s one of my favourites despite its many issues and valid criticisms.

Neil Josten is the newest addition to the Palmetto State University Exy team. He’s short, he’s fast, he’s got a ton of potential—and he’s the runaway son of the murderous crime lord known as The Butcher.

Signing a contract with the PSU Foxes is the last thing a guy like Neil should do. The team is high profile and he doesn’t need sports crews broadcasting pictures of his face around the nation. His lies will hold up only so long under this kind of scrutiny and the truth will get him killed.

But Neil’s not the only one with secrets on the team. One of Neil’s new teammates is a friend from his old life, and Neil can’t walk away from him a second time. Neil has survived the last eight years by running. Maybe he’s finally found someone and something worth fighting for.

5) 505 by Arctic Monkeys

I’ve been on an Arctic Monkeys roll lately, and this is definitely one of my favourite songs of theirs. It’s one I hadn’t paid much attention to until now, and I’m certainly enjoying it a whole lot.

But I crumble completely when you cry
It seems like once again you've had to greet me with "Goodbye"
I'm always just about to go and spoil the surprise
Take my hands off of your eyes too soon

I might just be influenced by the vibes of the song, and the fact that the book deals with music and turbulent relationships but I’ve chosen Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins-Reid for this one.

Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go-Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.

Another band getting noticed is The Six, led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.

Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.

6) Kill Me by The Pretty Reckless

My friends and I have been putting together a playlist for Halloween, and I added this song and started listening to it on loop, whoops. I really enjoy Taylor Momsen’s voice, but I had never listened to The Pretty Reckless beyond their most popular songs until now.

Just a prime thirteen when I rode his machine
Tried to keep my body dirty and my eyes closed and clean
So with a wink and a smile and a vial of meth
I took his hand and we walked through the shadow of death
And then I try to remember all the advice that my teacher told me

At first, I wanted to recommend My Dark Vanessa for this one, but since I already talked about it in my previous post on books and songs, I’m going with the controversial Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov basing it more on Dolores’ life as a young adult at the end of the novel.

Humbert Humbert – scholar, aesthete and romantic – has fallen completely and utterly in love with Dolores Haze, his landlady’s gum-snapping, silky skinned twelve-year-old daughter. Reluctantly agreeing to marry Mrs Haze just to be close to Lolita, Humbert suffers greatly in the pursuit of romance; but when Lo herself starts looking for attention elsewhere, he will carry her off on a desperate cross-country misadventure, all in the name of Love. Hilarious, flamboyant, heart-breaking and full of ingenious word play, Lolita is an immaculate, unforgettable masterpiece of obsession, delusion and lust.

7) Pretty by DON BROCO

TW: Gore

This is hands down one of my favourite songs of all time. I was introduced to Don Broco by a friend and they’ve become one of my favourite bands. Although I love all their songs, there’s just something about Pretty. Perhaps it is the fact that this was the first song of theirs I listened to?

You should let me love you
I could make you change I could
I would like to love you
Try to fix your brain, turn it bad to good

Perhaps this is a bit of a reach, but I’m going with The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake since the song talks about spending time with someone you don’t like, and Atlas’ six don’t really all like each other.

The Alexandrian Society, caretakers of lost knowledge from the greatest civilizations of antiquity, are the foremost secret society of magical academicians in the world. Those who earn a place among the Alexandrians will secure a life of wealth, power, and prestige beyond their wildest dreams, and each decade, only the six most uniquely talented magicians are selected to be considered for initiation.

Enter the latest round of six, when the candidates are recruited by the mysterious Atlas Blakely, they are told they will have one year to qualify for initiation, during which time they will be permitted preliminary access to the Society’s archives and judged based on their contributions to various subjects of impossibility: time and space, luck and thought, life and death. Five, they are told, will be initiated. One will be eliminated. The six potential initiates will fight to survive the next year of their lives, and if they can prove themselves to be the best among their rivals, most of them will. Most of them.

8) Red Lights by Stray Kids (Bang Chan, Hyunjin)

Another Stray Kids song, who would’ve thought! This one is way darker and sexier, and overall gorgeous. It’s different from their usual style, but I absolutely adore it, hence why it made its way into my “on repeat” playlist.

I’m going crazy now 걷잡을 수 없이 난
다시 또 이 밤을 지새운다
The moment when I close my eyes
All I see is red lights
알잖아 널 가만히 둘 수 없는 걸
I’m going crazy now, out of control
I’m staying up all night again
The moment when I close my eyes
All I see is red lights
You know I can’t leave you alone

For Red Lights I’m going with a novella I feel like I’ve been talking about endlessly lately: Fear, and Other Love Languages by Aveda Vice. Both the song and book deal with darker sexy topics, so it fits perfectly!

Any day now, the dreams will catch up to Elia.

But Elia’s too busy trying not to get fired to let recurring nightmares distract them. If they could only figure out what their creepy boss wants from them, they might actually get some sleep.

Because their dreams are just dreams…right?

But when Elia finally meets the nightmarish creatures who have been torturing them for years, they question the lines they thought existed between dreams and reality, fear and power, and love and torment.

9) Crying Lightning by Arctic Monkeys

Aaah, Arctic Monkeys again. And yet another one of their songs I hadn’t paid as much attention to until now. Turns out it’s actually one of my favourites now.

The next time that I caught my own reflection
It was on its way to meet you
Thinking of excuses to postpone
You never looked like yourself from the side
But your profile could not hide
The fact you knew I was approaching your throne

I’m choosing In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado since in the song we have an overbearing, scary protagonist and this book deals with an abusive relationship.

For years Carmen Maria Machado has struggled to articulate her experiences in an abusive same-sex relationship. In this extraordinarily candid and radically inventive memoir, Machado tackles a dark and difficult subject with wit, inventiveness and an inquiring spirit, as she uses a series of narrative tropes—including classic horror themes—to create an entirely unique piece of work which is destined to become an instant classic.

10) You Can Be So Cruel by Royal Blood

I’ve always liked some of Royal Blood’s songs, but I’ve become slightly addicted to them lately. This song is another one I added to our Halloween playlist, hence why it’s been so replayed.

Look outside your window
Look outside your door
Wake you when you're sleeping
'Cause I've never been this down before and it shows

I tried hard to stop myself from doing this, but I literally can only think of Twilight by Stephenie Meyer when listening to this song, so I’m shamelessly—okay, maybe with a bit of shame—going to chose that here.

About three things I was absolutely positive.

First, Edward was a vampire.

Second, there was a part of him—and I didn’t know how dominant that part might be—that thirsted for my blood.

And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

Deeply seductive and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight is a love story with bite.

Have you read any of this books? Or do you know any of the songs and artists I mentioned?

12 thoughts on “Recommending Books Based On Songs

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