For all you Swiftie bookworms, here are all the best books for every Taylor Swift Era. Find out what to read based on your favorite Taylor Swift song.
With her masterful storytelling, it’s no wonder that so many bookworms like me love Taylor Swift.
Over the last few decades, Taylor Swift has been almost the background track to my life. Listening to “You Belong with Me” on a cross-country road trip with my husband, back when we were just friends. Dancing in the kitchen with my toddlers to “Shake It Off.” Falling it love with the live version of “Cornelia Street.” Endlessly streaming Folklore and Evermore while I try to build my book blog into a business.
I know I’m behind the curve, but with the first US leg of the Eras Tour about to wrap up, I thought it would be fun to make a Taylor Swift-inspired book list for you, pairing songs from each album with a corresponding book to read.
Pick your favorite song or era and find some fantastic books to read. Or, for non-Swifties, do it in reverse. Choose a book from the list and discover a song to match.
If you have a pairing suggestion, be sure to share it in the comments!
Taylor Swift (Debut)
“Teardrops on My Guitar”
After her sister goes off to college, Lara Jean is adjusting to life without her. To her surprise, she finds that all the past letters she wrote to her crushes, never intending for them to see the light of day, have been mailed by mistake. Now she must fake a relationship with a popular boy at school to hide her feelings for her sister’s ex-boyfriend. This acclaimed coming-of-age tale fits perfectly with the teenage longing on Taylor’s debut album.
After returning from World War II, Noah Calhoun begins restoring an old plantation house. Noah is haunted by memories of a beautiful girl from the other side of the tracks with whom he spent a beautiful summer when they were teenagers. Allie’s return sparks a memorable love story made even more famous by the popular film adaptation.
“A Place in This World”
Taylor Swift herself said that Jerry Spinelli’s Stargirl was inspirational for her as she was growing up. Leo Borlock has learned to blend in at Mica Area High School, but at the beginning of the school year, everyone is talking about Stargirl. Previously home-schooled, Stargirl bursts into school in a riot of color playing the ukelele. At first, the students can’t get enough of Stargirl’s unabashed determination to be herself, but eventually, her nonconformity causes her popularity to fade.
In 1974, Kate Mularkey becomes best friends with the cool new girl at school, Tully Hart. As Tully becomes a celebrity news anchor and Kate chooses to be a stay-at-home mom, their friendship full of love, jealousy, anger, and laughter will shape their lives over the next three decades. Tully’s friendship leads Kate toward a fearless life, yet Kate and Tully must renegotiate their friendship and struggle with their codependency as they each grew in different directions.
As a seven-year-old, Sam adores her absent father and all she wants to do is climb trees. As Sam matures, she struggles to fit in and be noticed while shying away from attention. Wanting to forge her own path, she is caught between her mother’s plans, her father’s disappointment, and her climbing coach’s attention. This coming-of-age novel is said to be emotionally powerful and hopeful.
Two star-crossed lovers are the focus of Shakespeare’s memorable tragedy. In Verona, Italy, young Juliet Capulet is swept away by Romeo Montague even though they are from feuding families. Their forbidden love leads to numerous tragedies including the infamous death of the young lovers. If you don’t want to do the obvious comparison for “Love Story,” you could also try Chloe Gong’s modern YA fantasy variation, These Violent Delights.
“You Belong With Me”
When she was sixteen, Emmie Blue released a balloon in England which Lucas discovers across the channel in France, leading to a lifelong friendship. When Lucas gets engaged to be married, Emmie begins to realize that you can’t leave your life up to fate. A heartwarming love story about friendship and loyalty, you’ll love the complicated relationship between Emmie and Lucas and Emmie’s journey of self-discovery during the novel.
“The Way I Loved You”
This modern retelling of E. M. Forster’s A Room with a View portrays a girl deciding between her perfectly safe boyfriend and the ex whose tumultuous relationship lit her up. While vacationing in Capri, Lucie Churchill finds herself attracted to George Zhao even though she can’t stand him. She’s always ignored her Chinese side in favor of her father’s blue-blooded New York heritage. Years later, when George arrives in the East Hamptons, Lucie finds herself drawn to him even though it would risk her engagement and her family’s prospects for her.
Have you ever made a snap decision that changed your life? In typical Young Adult fiction manner, Allyson, your average American teenager, meets a handsome Dutch boy Willem De Ruiter while visiting England. Sparks fly and in the spur of the moment, she is whisked away to Paris to spend one perfect day with him. Yet it’s Allyson’s journey after her perfect day that makes Just One Day perfect for any hopeless romantics out there.
Grace Turner was an up-and-coming young actress until a car crash ended her career. Now she’s just trying to be a better person. When Grace is asked to present a lifetime achievement award to director Able Yorke, former she realizes it’s time to reveal the truth about the manipulative director. For she isn’t powerless anymore.
Taylor Jenkins Reid
This addictingly fun read is the oral history of the rise and fall of a fictional 70s band. With sex, drugs, and plenty of drama, you’ll feel like you are watching a biopic on VH1 – but an extremely well-written one. Besides also being named Taylor, Taylor Jenkins Reid’s novels seem to perfectly fit with Taylor Swift’s lyrics, and Daisy Jones & The Six has that vibrant “the crowds went wild” feeling of “Long Live.”
Although they are complete opposites, Audrey is preparing to marry her down-to-earth fiance Josh. Yet as the wedding approaches, she misses the spark of romance and wonders if Josh is really The One. When Josh’s sister shows up at the rehearsal dinner with the “guy who got away” and all her wedding plans start going amiss, Audrey must decide whether it’s fate or just cold feet in a fun flip on Taylor Swift’s “Speak Now.”
“I Knew You Were Trouble”
Kiki Banjo, the host of a popular student radio show, has one mission: to keep the women of the Afro-Caribbean society at Whitewell University from falling from players. But when she kisses Malakai Korede, who she just denounced as the worst player of all, they are forced to fake a relationship to salvage their reputations. She knew he was trouble, but the more Kiki gets to know Malakai, the more she wonders if her presumptions about him were wrong.
“All Too Well”
Adelaide’s dreamy life in London is made even better when she falls hard for Rory. He might not be the perfect boyfriend, but when she’s fallen so hard for him that he lights up her world. When Rory’s world is rocked by a tragedy, Adelaide does all she can to hold him together. However, she worries she is losing herself in the process. A powerful debut exploring toxic relationships and mental health.
“The Lucky One”
Elissa R. Sloan
Like “The Lucky One,” Elissa R. Sloan’s debut novel hints at the dark side of superstardom. Overnight, Cassidy Holmes and her band The Gloss become a pop phenomenon. But with success comes overbearing media attention, band drama, and utter loneliness that eventually results in Cassidy’s suicide.
Seeing as “Eyes Open” was written for The Hunger Games films, you can’t miss Suzanne Collins’s outstanding young adult dystopian series. In Panem, all the power and wealth are concentrated in the Capitol while the outer districts are forced into poverty and manual labor. Every year, two youth from each district are chosen in a televised fight to the death. To save her sister, Katniss Everdeen volunteers as this year’s tribute, forcing her to decide what she is willing to do to win.
Coveting the life of elite socialite Daphne and her husband Jackson, Amber Patterson sets out on a mission to insinuate herself into the Parrish family. Quickly she becomes Daphne’s most trusted confidante and companion, and Amber is determined to take the life she knows should be hers. Until she learns that the Parrishes have a secret of their own.
“Shake It Off”
Taylor Jenkins Reid
When Carrie Soto retired from tennis six years ago, she was the best player the world had ever seen, shattering every record imaginable. Now a hotshot new tennis star is threatening to break Carrie’s legacy. Despite all the naysayers, at 37, Carrie attempts to come back for one more epic season to defend her title, even if defying all the odds means she has to train with a man from her past.
On their annual girls’ trip, Emily and Kristen are having the time of their lives in Chile. On the last night, Emily comes back to the hotel to find Kristen in the room with a dead body. Kristen claims that the cute backpacker she picked up attacked her and she killed him in self-defense. Except, the same thing happened last year. As Emily’s guilt over the cover-up reaches a boiling point, Kristen makes a surprise trip to visit her and Emily has serious doubts about their friendship.
“Ready for It”
Gone Girl took the book world by storm with its look at a marriage gone terribly wrong. On her fifth wedding anniversary, Amy Dunne mysteriously disappears. At the top of the suspect list – her seemingly perfect husband Nick. Both husband and wife aren’t who they seem to be, so expect plenty of twists and turns (and lots of language) in their twisted game. You might not end up loving the story or the characters, but I promise you, you’ll find them memorable enough to land it among the best domestic thriller books ever written.
After serving 18 months in prison on a drug conviction, Tara Connelly’s reputation has never been worse. As she tries to rebuild her life, she moves back in with her siblings – a brother who’s a single dad trying to overcome a brain injury and a sister struggling with an intense need for a sense of control. Just as Tara feels like she might find love again, the cop who arrested her begins to hassle her and the family’s secrets threaten to unravel everything she has worked for. A rich story about complicated sibling dynamics, The Connellys of County Down would make an excellent book club book selection.
Just as strait-laced Ava Wong’s perfect life begins to crumble, her former roommate from mainland China appears with a scheme to make them both rich. Winnie has an audacious scheme to import near replica fakes of expensive luxury goods from China, but she just needs someone with an American passport to pull it off. Yet when the scheme goes south, Winnie disappears, leaving Ava to face the consequences.
“Look What You Made Me Do”
Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
Just days away from her wedding to her charmingly attentive rich fiance, Nellie feels like someone might be following her. Meanwhile, his ex-wife Vanessa is obsessed with her replacement and desperate to stop the wedding. You might think you know how this domestic thriller will end, but appearances can be deceiving. In their first collab, Hendricks and Pekkanen have plenty of tricks up their sleeve, keeping the plot twisting and you second-guessing how it’s all going to end.
“New Year’s Day”
When Minnie meets Quinn at a New Year’s Eve party, it’s clear they have nothing in common except being born at the same time in the same hospital. Quinn is a privileged party boy who has been handed everything in life while Minnie is a hard worker struggling with the realities of life. As they keep encountering each other over the next year, they realize maybe their differences make them fit together better.
Taylor Swift has commented how much she loves Sally Rooney’s novels, and Normal People fits well with the fever dream romance of “Cruel Summer.” Exploring the relationship between two people – Marianne, whose family has taught her she doesn’t deserve love, and Connell, who is too concerned with what other people think – Rooney gives an insightful look at the connection between two people, sometimes positive and sometimes negative.
Caroline Criado Perez
In my only nonfiction pick on this list, Caroline Criado Perez shows that we live in a world designed for men that systemically discriminates against women. With overwhelming statistics, Perez exposes the prevalent gender-data gap in countless fields, including medicine, technology, and urban planning. The staggering evidence will blow your mind and make you rethink everything you thought you knew. If you have a chance, Perez’s audiobook narration is spectacular, catching every hint of sarcasm, disbelief, and anger in the author’s voice.
“You Need to Calm Down”
After writing about recovering from a marriage rocked by infidelity in Love Warrior, Glennon Doyle has a new memoir about her love story with US soccer star Abby Wambach. Doyle details how she found herself by realizing her true power comes from within and not from the expectations others put on her. If you’ve read Love Warrior, you’ll have an interesting time considering the public face we put on our lives. If you haven’t, you’ll still have a great time debating how much you agree or disagree with Doyle’s opinions.
Laura Taylor Namey
Lila Reyes has it all planned out until everything comes crashing down. Worried for her mental health, her parents send her to spend the summer with friends in England. Exchanging sunny Miami for rainy England doesn’t quite cheer up Lila, until she meets a dreamy teashop clerk who threatens to further wreck all of Lila’s carefully laid plans.
“The Great American Dynasty”
Taylor Jenkins Reid
At 87 years old, Hollywood bombshell Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to reveal her story – all the salacious details of her unapologetic life. Everyone is clamoring to know about her rise to stardom and, more importantly, about her seven husbands. Probably one of the most clever book titles I’ve ever seen, you’ll enjoy this story of a woman with Rebekah’s spirit.
It’s love at first sight for Laurie when she sees a man at a bus stop one snowy day in December. Having missed their chance, Laurie searches for him for a year before finally meeting him – as her best friend’s new boyfriend. Josie Silver’s novels give you a nuanced approach to how complicated love is for realistically flawed people.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Great American novel serves as the quintessential work of the Jazz Age. As the narrator enters the world of Long Island’s fabulously wealthy, we meet the mysterious Jay Gatsby and the beautiful Daisy Buchanan. I know there are direct Gatsby references in “This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things”, this short but memorable book feels more like a Folklore song to me.
For years, Kya Clark has survived alone in the marshes of the North Carolina coast. Dubbed “The Marsh Girl” by the locals, she raises herself in nature after her family abandons her. Now, as she comes of age, she begins to yearn for something more than her loneliness – maybe even a connection with the locals. As soon as she heard Reese Witherspoon was developing Where the Crawdads Sing, Taylor Swift wrote “Carolina” because she was so eager to contribute to the film.
When Nikole’s actor boyfriend proposes at a Dodgers game, she says no, much to the anger of the local crowd. To her rescue comes Carlos, a handsome doctor who whisks her away from the camera crew. Carlos seems like the perfect rebound for Nik until they begin to realize that these glorified hookups are becoming something deeper.
“No Body No Crime”
Five years ago, Geeta’s no-good husband simply walked away and she never heard from him again. However, in her small Indian village, the rumor persists that Geeta killed him. Geeta doesn’t mind since no one wants to mess with a black widow. Until women start asking Geeta for advice on how to off their own husbands and they won’t take no for an answer.
On the day of her father’s funeral, Lily meets Ryle, a handsome neurosurgeon, and sparks immediately fly. Although Ryle is notoriously commitment-phobic, he can’t seem to stay away from Lily. As Lily and Ryle’s relationship goes through ups and downs, Lily’s first love, Atlas, reappears in her life. As Lily struggles with the shifting line in the sand as her husband’s actions become increasingly abusive. It Ends With Us contrasts Lily’s ultra-steamy romance with her husband against her sweet young adult romance with Atlas and then brilliantly shifts to a tale of domestic violence, humanizing the complex emotions of domestic violence victims.
In a Florida already wracked by climate change, Frida gives birth to baby Wanda amid a deadly hurricane. As the world continues to disintegrate, Wanda grows and adapts to an ever-changing world. Living in a community abandoned by society, Wanda seeks adventure, community, and love in a place remade by nature.
Elizabeth Zott has always defied stereotyping, especially as the only woman chemist at the Hastings Research Institute in the 1960s. After falling in love with another chemist who sees her for who she is, life throws her a curveball. Now as a single mom, she unexpectedly finds herself the host of a tv cooking show. When the women who watch her begin to question the status quo in their own lives, making Elizabeth a target of those who find the change unwelcome. Garmus presents an engrossing progressive historical fiction read with heartfelt depth and a searing look at sex discrimination in the past (and today).
Meg. Maggie. Melody. Whatever name she’s using at the moment, she’s a con artist who slides into your life and takes everything when she leaves. Kat Roberts has been waiting ten years to expose the con artist who upended her life. Yet, when Meg returns, Kat finds matters much more complicated than she realized. Julie Clark has penned a surprisingly good con artist book where you can easily sympathize with both Kat and Meg. With a quick pace and relatable characters, The Lies I Tell was a fun thriller that leaves you with a satisfying ending.
Prudence Daniels never hesitates to judge the actions of others in her small coastal town. After a night out, Pru finds herself able to inflict instant karma on anyone. Quickly Pru starts dishing out karma, but it never seems to work on her lazy lab partner, Quint Erickson. As Pru finds herself working at the animal rescue shelter with Quint, she learns that there is a fine line between virtue and vanity as well as love and hate.
Harriet and Wyn have been the perfect couple since they began dating in high school. Except they broke up six months ago and still haven’t told anyone. Thus, at their group’s annual Maine vacation, they find themselves faking a relationship. With the cottage for sale, they don’t want to ruin everyone’s last time there. They’d been together for a decade, how hard can it be to fake another week? With its look at love and loss, author Emily Henry paired Happy Place with Swift’s reflective “Maroon.”
Any Other Swifties Bookworms Out There?
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with my Taylor Swift books list? What books have I forgotten? As always, let me know in the comments!