The Perfect Book for Your Favorite Taylor Swift Song, Kind Of!

Posted by Blair Thornburgh

It’s not just Friday the 13th: it’s also…well, Friday December 13th, birthday to America’s On-Again-Off-Again Sweetheart, Taylor Swift! And since some music critic somewhere has probably likened her songs to novels—right?—spend her glorious natal day blasting her hit singles and reading the appropriate work of literature. Your new favorite book is only as far away as your favorite Taylor Swift song, metaphorically speaking!

Now, I haven’t read a lot of these books, but I’m not going to let a small thing like actual experience dictate my recommendations. Onward!

If you like “Begin Again”…
…read Finnegans Wake
, by James Joyce

The leitmotifs of Joyce’s masterful narrative ourobouros of neologistic multilingual puns dovetail beautifully with Taylor Swift’s meditation on how “all love ever does is break and burn and end.”

If you like “Never Grow Up”…
…read The Tin Drum, by Günter Grass

The first book in Grass’s Danziger Trilogie, The Tin Drum and the stylistic plurality of its unreliable narrator, the preternaturally and eternally juvenile Oskar Matzerath, embody much of what Ms. Swift sings in lines such as: “don’t lose the way that you dance around in your pj’s getting ready for school.”


If you like “Picture to Burn”…
…read The Picture of Dorian Gray
, by Oscar Wilde

For similar themes of picture-destroying and its consequences.


If you like “The Lucky One”…
…read The Lucky One
, by Nicholas Sparks

Well, that was easy. I could do this all day!


If you like “Dear John”…
…read Dear John,
by Nicholas Sparks

Seriously. I actually could just spend the rest of my day matching TSwift and NSparks. They’re both hit factories!


If you like “State of Grace”…
…read Institutes of the Christian Religion
, by John Calvin

Back on track. Clearly Tay had theology on the mind when she penned this ode to what French protestant Jean Calvin would call “the benefits of Christ made available to us by the secret operation of the spirit.”


If you like “White Horse”…
…read Moby Dick
, by Herman Melville

It’s an animal, it’s big, it’s white. Ahab knows what I’m talkin’ bout.


If you like “Love Story”…
…read A Modest Proposal, Johnathan Swift

Taylor and Jonathan, long-lost Swift relatives reunited at last! “Love Story” has the line “marry me, Juliet,” which is kind of a proposal and debatably modest. Boom.

Blair Thornburgh

Blair Thornburgh

BLAIR THORNBURGH is a graduate of the University of Chicago, where she earned a B.A. in medieval studies and delivered a pretty good commencement speech. She lives in Philadelphia.