Music + Books = Soundtracks for Books!

Jennifer's picture

Recently I learned that some authors are creating music playlist to go with their books. Most great movies have awesome music to go with them; something that captures key moments in the story, expands the feel of the whole experience, or even helps to define characters and scenes. So many authors (and fans!) have begun asking: Why not soundtracks for books?

Note: Links open in a new window.

I think that is a great idea! What better way to enhance the story, add to character, bring a book to a whole new interactive level, or even be able to take a piece of the book and the characters it brought to life with you! I've found that when I am reading certain books I naturally listen to specific songs the whole way through - instinctively creating a kind of playlist as I read. It really sets the tone and immerses me in that world.

CD Cover for the Playlist for the Book RelativityRecently I read Relativity by  Cristin Bishara which is a surprisingly realistic science fiction book about a girl who discovers a way to Book cover for Relativity by Cristin Basharaaccess multiple versions of her life and must choose which version she wants to be her own. It was fast paced, jumping from world to world, life to life, really giving you a lot to think about along the way. Bishara has created a playlist to go with the story, one I wished I had discovered before I read the book. Click the CD for a link to the author's website and the music playlist and click the book cover for a link to the book in the library catalog.

CD Cover for the Playlist for the Book Eleanor and Park  Eleanor and Park (2014 Printz Honor Book) author Rainbow Rowell says that with every book she writes she makes a playlist to go with Book Cover for Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell them. She actually works on them at the same time she writes the story! She has created quite an extensive playlist, with links to songs, videos, and commentary for Eleanor and Park. Again this would have been awesome to read while listening to the music, as the music aspect is deeply embedded in the story, creating a beautiful dynamic between the two main characters. The mixed tapes that Park makes for Eleanor and that give her a glimmer of light in her life truly captures the ways music connects people. Click the CD for a link to the Eleanor and Park website and click the book cover for a link to the book in the library catalog.

CD Book Cover for If I StayMusic was also an integral part of the book  If I Stay by Gayle Forman. It's a story about a girl who looks back on her life after a tragic Book Cover for If I Stay by Gayle Formanaccident and must decide if she wants to stay or move on. She is a gifted classical musician who's father is a former rock musician so music has been part of her childhood. She falls in love with a rock musician and their relationship is bound up in the their love for music and is key to their story as is the way that music ties her to her parents and family. The author, Gayle Forman, has put together a playlist of some of the songs from the book in the order that they appear in the story. Click the audiobook cover for links to the playlists, video trailers, and a talk about musical inspirations for the book and click the book cover for a link to the book in the library catalog.

YALSA LogoFor a list of books with playlists check out the Young Adult Library Services Association's ( YALSA) wiki Books/Authors with Soundtracks/Playlists.

For links to the library catalog for these and other books with playlists or that have music as a central part of the story check out the links below.