Book Recommendations Paired with Grammy Award Winners

Posted by Sarah Fox

[Photo by Wei-Cheng Wu on Unsplash]

The Grammys may have come and gone, but we all know the music listening has just begun. We’re offering you some recommended reading while you catch up on these Grammy Awards winners, all so you can optimize your reading/listening experience.



“Hello” by Adele with Landline by Rainbow Rowell

We have to thank Rainbow Rowell herself for this one; she mentioned the parallels she saw between the two on Twitter. We have to agree with her: the song was practically written for the novel. In Landline, Georgie’s marriage is crumbling because she is prioritizing her career at the cost of her family life. However, she is able to wake up and save it when she can talk to the 22-year-old version of her husband on a landline phone. (She initially thinks she is talking to the current version of her husband who is spending Christmas apart from her.) Talk about putting in a call from the other side.



“Stressed Out” by Twenty One Pilots and Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury

We paired “Stressed Out” with Dandelion Wine because both are all about nostalgia. In “Stressed Out,” the singer discusses how he misses his carefree childhood and the dreams and imagination that he used to have. In Dandelion Wine, Ray Bradbury recalls the summers of his childhood through the rose-colored glasses of memory. In particular, he really values the ideas that he used to dream up (i.e. the Happiness Machine). We would love to see Twenty One Pilots and Ray Bradbury sit on rocking chairs on a large porch and reminiscence about the past.



Lemonade by Beyoncé and Ulysses by James Joyce  

Rumor has it that Lemonade is about Beyoncé processing Jay-Z’s alleged affair. Going on the premise that this is all true, we think Ulysses would be a perfect pairing with Lemonade. Just as Beyoncé processes an affair and reaches healing, Leopold Bloom works through his wife’s affair and ultimately reaches peace. He did it way less fiercely and stylishly as Beyoncé though (but that goes without saying).



“Blackstar” by David Bowie and A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

We’re pairing up the works of two famous showmen: David Bowie and Charles Dickens. Both “Blackstar” and A Tale of Two Cities deal with execution. In “Black Star,” Bowie sings about execution and how “somebody else took his place.” In A Tale of Two Cities, Sydney Carton gets executed in the place of Charles Darnay. As much as we love Bowie, we have to admit that  Dickens definitely had the better closing lines.



“Hotline Bling” by Drake and War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

We are pairing “Hotline Bling” with War and Peace because both feature a man who loses his significant other after leaving the city. Drake sings about how his girlfriend no longer calls him and has an affair as soon as he leaves the city. In War and Peace, Andrey is engaged to Natasha, who frequently writes him letters while he is away at war. However, as soon as she meets Anatole, she falls in love and stops writing Andrey. Both Drake and Andrey get radio silence as soon as they leave the city.

If that’s not an argument for urban living, we don’t know what is.

Sarah Fox

Sarah Fox

Sarah Fox is an editor, writer, writing consultant, and pop culture enthusiast. Besides regularly contributing to Quirk Books’ blog, she has published an edition of William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure. She lives in Washington D.C. with her husband and Pembroke Welsh Corgi. You can find her online at