In celebration of Taylor Swift being the first artist to have all ten spots on Billboards Top 100, Chelmsford Public Library has compiled a list of book recommendations for your favorite songs off her new album, Midnights. Read on to see which book you should read next!
Lavender Haze –> In Five Years, Rebecca Serle
Dannie Kohan is a type A lawyer making her way in Manhattan, and is now engaged. Just like in Lavender Haze, she rejects the pressure to take on traditional roles in her life. She is perfectly on track to achieving her five year plan, until she has a vision of her life five years in the future, and she wakes up married to a different man. She brushes this off until she meets the man in her vision, and accepts that love isn’t always something so cut and dry.
Maroon –> Social Creature, Tara Isabella Burton
Travel, champagne, and high rises fill nights for both Taylor and Social Creature’s Louise. For Louise, this began with the spark of a deep friendship with the rich Lavinia. However, the next day always brings pain and toxicity. Louise and Lavinia’s friendship becomes toxic and obsessive, and ultimately takes a turn for the tragic that makes their glamorous fantasies end forever.
Anti Hero –> The Days of Abandonment, Elena Ferrante
In Anti Hero, Taylor mourns in the expectation that she must be perfect according to impossible societal standards, or else be labelled as a public villain. In Elena Ferrante’s The Days of Abandonment, a woman must grapple with her own downward spiral after her husband leaves her. As her life falls apart, she becomes the villain in her own life out of grief, and must contend with the fact that her life will never return to what it was.
Snow on the Beach –> An American Marriage, Tayari Jones
Imagery and nostalgia are central in Taylor’s Snow on the Beach as she recalls past love. Celestial is forced to live in this picture perfect image of love when her husband Roy is arrested and sentenced to serve 12 years. Celestial realizes she cannot survive on memories of her love alone, and leans on her childhood friend and best man Andre for support. When Roy is released after five years, Celestial must navigate her changing feelings for both the men in her life.
You’re on Your Own Kid –> Black Buck, Matteo Askaripour
In Black Buck, Darren is truly on his own as the only Black man at his new tech startup job. In order to be taken seriously, he creates a ruthless salesman persona that is unrecognizable to his loved ones, similar to Taylor’s dilemma as she rises to stardom. However, after tragedy strikes Darren’s home life, he creates a plan to help more young Black people enter America’s sales force, ultimately changing the game.
Midnight Rain –> We are Not Like Them, Christine Pride, Jo Piazza
Midnight Rain explores when people have different expectations in relationships, for better or for worse. One wants an easy, always positive love, while the other is used to fights and drama and intensity. Pride and Piazza’s We Are Not Like Them explores when a friendship is tested on different morals and values. Riley is ambitious. She chases her dream of becoming a TV Journalist and setting a path into journalism as a Black woman. Her childhood best friend, Jen, wants a simple life with a husband and kids. When Jen’s police officer husband shoots a Black teenager, Jen and Riley’s relationship is severely tested.
Question…? –> Normal People, Sally Rooney
Taylor’s Question…? is all about young love surviving, even in the face of peer pressure and unsureties that love can last. Have they felt this way before? Are you the only one they’re interested in? Normal People asks these same questions of their lovers, Connell and Marianne, as they navigate their first college relationship.
Vigilante –> They Never Learn, Layne Fargo
Scarlett Clark in They Never Learn dresses for revenge at her prestigious university, and her cat eye really is sharp enough to kill. By day she teaches English, but by night she gets away with murdering the worst men her campus has to offer. When Carly, a freshman, comes to Scarlett looking to exact revenge on her roommate’s attacker, her fantasy might become reality.
Bejeweled –> Daisy Jones and the Six, Taylor Jenkins Reid
Daisy Jones & The Six shimmers as brightly as Taylor, submerging readers into the glitz and glam of rock and roll stardom in the 1970’s. Daisy Jones has no interest in being somebody’s muse, she wants to be the somebody. Daisy rises to fame as the people around her realize her star power, and she sparkles in the rock and roll scene.
Labyrinth –> It Ends with Us, Colleen Hoover
Labyrinth explores the fear of navigating a new relationship after getting hurt in the past, something It Ends With Us is all too familiar with. Lily has always worked for the life she wants, despite the obstacles that have stood in her way. Once she meets Ryle, her world opens up with new possibilities. Will her new chance at love be put at risk when her her first love, Atlas, reappears in her life?
Karma –> Instant Karma, Marissa Meyer
Karma is Taylor’s boyfriend, cat, and relaxing thought, to name a few. However for Pru Barnett in Instant Karma, karma is a power she has to cast upon those she thinks are lazy, rude, and deserving of it. Pru goes wild with the power of putting bullies and vandals in their place. Perceived slacker Quint, however, cannot be karma’d by Pru’s powers. Each time she attempts, her spells backfire. Pru comes to learn that there a line between vengeance and vanity, and that people may actually be a mix of the bad alongside some good.
Sweet Nothing –> Less, Andrew Sean Greer
Arthur Less, Greer’s protagonist in his Pulitzer Prize winning book Less, can’t seem to catch a break, much like Taylor in Sweet Nothing. He considers himself to be a failed novelist, His boyfriend of the past nine years just got engaged to someone else, and suddenly he has no choice but to accept the dozens of literary invitations from around the world he’s been ignoring. Even with all these mishaps and external struggles, Less is a story about how love can always be a place to return home to.
Mastermind –> Mr. Fox, Helen Oyeyemi
Oyeyemi’s Mr. Fox and Taylor’s Mastermind both play with the fear of letting go of control. John Fox, a writer who always kills his heroines, becomes sucked into the narrative of his own novels, followed by his wife. They go back and forth between writing the story, as Fox learns what love can be when he allows his relationships with both his characters and his wife to be that of equals.