13 book recommendations based on your favorite songs from Taylor Swift's "1989"
Everybody loves Taylor Swift, don’t they? Actually, wait that’s not a question its statement – EVERYBODY LOVES TAYLOR SWIFT. And everybody especially loves her album 1989. The record is full of songs that make you want to dance, form girl gangs, cry (I’m looking at you This Love) and live a life a little more sassy. You know what else everybody loves? BOOKS. Books can make you feel all of those Taylor Swift type feelings and they last you a lot longer than three minutes. So to combine those two great loves, here is our guide to the books you need to read if you love Taylor Swift’s album 1989.
If you love “Welcome to New York,” then read Humans of New York: Stories, by Brandon Stanton
Through beautiful photographs and thought-provoking conversation Stanton evokes the diverse, exciting, New York City that Swift has fallen so passionately in love with! Stanton has a huge and loyal following and has tapped into human nature through the people who inhabit New York. If you listen to Taylor’s song and read this book at the same time, you might just convince yourself you are strolling the streets of the great city.
If you love “Blank Space,” then read Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
I can just imagine Gone with Wind’s heroine Scarlett O’Hara singing Swift’s bitingly confident Blank Space with all the irony and elegance it deserves. Scarlett is a beautiful southern belle stressed and struggling with the Civil War that rages around her. On top of that, her love life is not going her way, and gossip is rife — but that never stops her from going after what she wants. Both Scarlett are Taylor are funny, smart, determined, and ruling their worlds. Oh, and Scarlett would totally be welcome in Taylor’s squad.
If you love “Style,” then read The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby is a story of attraction, love and most importantly Style (*wink*). Much like Swift, Gatsby is a romantic who believes wholeheartedly in true love no matter how hard it is to hold onto. Daisy and Gatsby lie, cheat, fight and they look damn good doing it. While Taylor definitely doesn’t strike us as a liar, a thief, or a cheat, this song definitely showcases her darker side: “Midnight, you come and pick me up. No headlights.”
If you love “Out Of the Woods,” then read The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern
Both the song and the book discuss seemingly treacherous love stories that teeter on the edge of disaster. Both also conjure strikingly beautiful images of love and relationships. I feel like Swift herself would devour this book, sometimes lines from this books sound like they are straight from a Taylor song eg. “You’re in the right place at the right time, and you care enough to do what needs to be done. Sometimes that’s enough.”
If you love “All You Had to Do Was Stay,” then read Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes
If you have read this book already you will think the connection to the song is undeniable, undeniably depressing that is. Me Before You is a tragic love story that you need to be prepared for; our advice is a day off work, tissues, chocolate and someone to cuddle. Oh, and the movie version of the book is coming out very soon. Gotta prepare.
If you love “Shake It Off,” then read Not That Kind of Girl, by Lena Dunham
“Shake It Off” is a song about living your life the way YOU want. It’s also so catchy and dance-worthy that we are bopping (okay, full-on boogying) at our desks just thinking about it. So what book is as fun and catchy, plus has the important “I don’t give a damn what you think” message? Lena Dunham’s Not that Kind of Girl. Lena’s book is full of autobiographical stories, brimming with the nitty gritty stuff most people wouldn’t even tell their very best friend. She’s definitely a girl who has learned to shake it off.
If you love “I Wish You Would,” then read The Post-Birthday World, by Lionel Shriver
In The Post-Birthday World, Irina discovers herself torn between two men: The serious, responsible guy vs. the charming self-absorbed guy. In alternating chapters we see Irina embark on two different versions of her life with two very different guys (think Gwyneth’s Sliding Doors). Swift’s song is all about wishing she could change the way a relationship panned out and The Post-Birthday World shows us how such changes can so dramatically change the course of a relationship (and a life).
If you love “Bad Blood,” then read Red Queen, by Victoria Aveyard
In the Red Queen the world is divided by the color of your blood. This book is all about betrayal, lies, and power. You are beginning to see the connection aren’t you? I don’t really want to say much more because everybody hates a spoiler but this book compliments Taylor’s song perfectly.
If you love “Wildest Dreams,” then read The Virgin Suicides, by Jeffrey Eugenides
Both “Wildest Dreams” and The Virgin Suicides obsess over ideas of memory, desire, and loss. The book is narrated by a group of young men who as teenagers, and still as adults, obsess over a group of sisters in the neighborhood. The Lisbon sisters are mysterious, eccentric, and ultimately unattainable (much like the girl Swift describes in “Wildest Dreams”). Swift sings “I’ll bet these memories follow you around,” which seems like a direct response from the Lisbon sisters to the boys, which is all a bit eerie when put into context with the book.
If you love “How You Get the Girl,” then read Textbook Romance, by Zoe Foster
Taylor is dishing out some damn good dating advice in this song. This song is catchy, fun, playful, and reminds of us the way we SHOULD act in relationships. Another person who does that well is the delightfully, hilarious and wise Zoe Foster. Her book Textbook Romance is chock full of advice on how to get into, build and maintain the ever-elusive “perfect relationship.” Foster wrote this book with the hilarious Hamish Blake and it makes dating which normally makes people go, “blergghhhhh” seem like actual fun. Both the song and the book will leave you with a big ol’ grin on you face!
If you love “This Love,” then read I’ll Give You the Sun, by Jandy Nelson
I’ll Give You the Sun isn’t just about romantic relationships it’s also about the love between siblings and how tumultuous, meaningful, and heartbreaking they can be. This book is un-put-downable (is that even a word?) and will have you hooked like a Taylor Swift melody. Much like Swift’s beautiful lyrics this book is so quotable that you will be pulling out your highlighter and writing in the margins for future reference!
If you love “I Know Places,” then read 1984, by George Orwell
This song is Swift at her angriest. It’s gritty, and loud, and sees her hit back at the paparazzi (or the hunters) who are constantly following her around. Orwell’s 1984 is all about intrusion and control and matches the sense of urgency Swift has created in her song. At the heart of both is a love story (awwww) which ultimately seems doomed (eeeek).
If You Love “Clean,” then read Wild, by Cheryl Strayed
Both Wild and Clean look at the ways we heal ourselves after some kind of traumatic situation or life stage. Both start out quite sad, and then they get really sad BUT then the ultimate transition happens and from all the bad, cruddy and sad (yes, I have said sad three times) stuff comes the healing and the happiness. Cheryl Strayed is another cool lady who would most definitely be welcome in Taylor’s squad.
Go on, get reading, and listening!
Ali Hammond doesn’t know much. She doesn’t know why she is writing this bio in third person or why she always spills her food on her clothes. What she does know is that she loves avocados, reading and buying clothes online and then returning them. She also knows that she has the greatest job in the world being a Book Buyer. She also knows it’s time for a nap. Thanks for reading!