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'Taylored' Reads for Swifties!

By Ashly Moore Sheldon • December 12, 2021

Happy birthday to Taylor Swift! If you're a fan, you've certainly noticed what an amazing storyteller she is. Dramatic, droll, and detailed, her music is filled with all the hallmarks of a good yarn. So in celebration of her big day, we're offering a roundup of the perfect books to go with every album in her discography.

Taylor Swift

Her eponymous debut album came out when she was only seventeen, so not surprisingly, it centers on themes of high school, first love, and the drama of adolescence. Here are our reading suggestions for this sweetheart of a set.

Jesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally
This YA title is the story of Maya, a Nashville high school student and aspiring musician who's thrilled when she gets the chance to shadow teen idol Jesse Scott. But the experience turns out differently than what she expected.

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy
Featuring starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and an unforgettable heroine, this is the story of a small-town girl navigating insecurities, finding her strength, and falling head over heels for the first time.

Fearless

Secret crushes, volatile romances, and fairy tale endings dominate the songs of this album. It also marks the beginnings of Taylor's evolution from country to pop.

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong
An innovative Romeo and Juliet retelling about ex-lovers Juliette and Roma. As the leaders of rival gangs in 1920s Shanghai, their love is tainted by betrayal. And yet when a new danger emerges, they may need to join forces.

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes
A year after the death of her husband, young widow Evvie rarely leaves her house. When a flailing Major League pitcher comes back to town and moves into an apartment in Evvie's house, they find an unlikely connection.

Speak Now

This album continues Taylor's migration to a poppier sound. The now twenty-year-old artist is also exploring themes of adulthood and working through serious relationship issues.

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson
Brainy, awkward Liz never planned to go for prom queen. But when her financial aid for college falls through she's desperate for the scholarship that comes with the crown. This YA novel delivers smart, hilarious, Black girl magic.

Truth or Beard by Penny Reid
Newly graduated from college, Jessica James has had a crush on Beau Winston for most of her life, even though she can't stand his identical twin brother Duane. But after a case of mistaken identity, she finds herself utterly confused.

Red

Experimenting with more rock and electronica elements, Taylor continues to grow as an artist. The songs are packed with themes of heartbreak, resilience, and all the wisdom a twenty-two-year-old can possess.

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney
After a poetry performance one night in Dublin, precocious university students and best friends Frances and Bobbi catch the attention of a glamorous, sophisticated local photographer who invites them into her world.

The Extraordinaries by T. J. Klune
Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl meets Marissa Meyer's Renegades in this YA debut. After a chance encounter with his biggest hero (and crush), fanfiction writer Nick sets out to distinguish himself from the pack.

1989

This synth-pop album represents Taylor's complete transformation from country songstress to pop star. These songs are upbeat and fun, even as they embrace some darker themes.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
This high fantasy tale centers on a teenage, female assassin. As she navigates a corrupt kingdom and a tyrannical ruler, Celaena Sardothien forms unexpected bonds and uncovers dangerous conspiracies.

Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey
Ivy Gamble was born without magic and never wanted it. Ivy Gamble is perfectly happy with her life—or at least, she's perfectly fine. She doesn't in any way wish she was like Tabitha, her estranged, gifted twin sister. Ivy Gamble is a liar.

reputation

After more than ten years as a public figure, Taylor reckons with the public scrutiny on her personal life. With a more urban sound, this album highlights the artist's growing confidence and power.

Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno
Magic passed down through generations. An island where strange things happen. One summer that will become legend. Over the course of her last summer at home, Georgina will learn the truth about magic, in all its many forms.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
In this sexy novel, a reclusive Hollywood movie icon decides it's time to tell the story of her glamorous and scandalous life. And when she chooses an unknown reporter for the job, no one is more shocked than Monique herself.

Lover

Now thirty, Taylor begins to experiment with more of an indie folk sound on this album. Many of the songs center on love (her burgeoning relationship with British actor Joe Alwyn), breaking down barriers, and defying expectations.

The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary
After a bad breakup, Tiffy Moore needs a place to live. Fast. And cheap. Desperation makes her open-minded, so she answers an ad for a flatshare. This feel-good rom-com is about finding love in the most unexpected ways.

Girl Waits With a Gun by Amy Stewart
Based on the true story of one of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs. This novel centers on a woman who doesn't quite fit the mold. She towers over most men, eschews domesticity, and harbors a complicated past.

folklore

The first of two pandemic albums, this gorgeous collection of songs continue her movement toward a more alternative sound. Themes touch on mythology and fairy tales, with strains of romance and nostalgia.

Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
This romance takes place over the course of a single day with the story of a Jamaican girl who meets, and falls for, a Korean-American boy. But her family is just twelve hours away from being deported.

evermore

Coming out in December 2020, just six months after folklore, evermore feels a bit like part two of the project. As with other albums, these tunes are packed with stories of infatuation and heartbreak. But here, all is brushed with a dreamy sense of melancholy and regret.

Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi
In a small back alley of Tokyo, there is a café that offers something else besides coffee. Wistful, mysterious, and quirky, this bestselling novel explores the age-old question: What would you change if you could travel back in time?

Comfort & Joy by Kristin Hannah
As Christmas approaches, Joy Candellaro can't summon the old enthusiasm for her favorite holiday. Newly divorced and alone, she boards a plane bound for the beautiful Pacific Northwest and begins an adventure into the unknown.

Honestly, Taylor's songs deal with such universal and wide-ranging themes, it was a bit hard to winnow down our lists, but here you go. A Taylor-made reading list!

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Read more by Ashly Moore Sheldon

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