Bookish Musings: 3 Book & Song Match-Ups


Books and music just go together beautifully. Personally, I think it’s because they both evoke emotions so well, and songs can very much enhance the emotions from a book for me.

But, while I do enjoy making whole playlists, sometimes I just end up connecting one song in particular to a book, so here are three book and song match-ups that I think go together perfectly!

Book: Slowly We Rot by Bryan Smith
Song: “I Need Some Sleep” by Eels


Why It’s Perfect: The melancholy vibe of the song fits the feel of the book perfectly. And some of the lyrics also fit the story because it takes place years after the apocalypse when most of the zombies are dead and is about an MC, who’s struggling with alcoholism and mental illness, trekking across the country to find a girl he used to date. Except he spirals downward and for a while just spends his days drinking and stumbling forward until he passes out only to wake back up, keep drinking, and keep stumbling forward. So the line “I need some sleep” seem appropriate since he really did need some sleep. And the lines “Everyone says I’m getting down too low // Everyone says you just gotta let it go” seem fitting too—he did reach a low point, and he was obsessive and therefore it probably would’ve been healthy to just let go of some things.

Slowly We Rot by Bryan Smith

Review | Goodreads | Amazon


Book: House of Pawns by Keary Taylor
Song: “Castle” by Halsey


Why It’s Perfect: The main character was supposed to be the one in charge of the vampires in her area, but another vampire took that role and didn’t want to relinquish the leadership. This book, which is the second in the series, is basically about the MC playing the game, getting all the vampires on her side, and taking control in order to get her rightful position of leadership. This song just seems to suit the plot as well as the MC’s kickass attitude.

House of Pawns by Keary Taylor

Review | Goodreads | Amazon


Book: Vespers by Irene Preston & Liv Rancourt
Song: “Demons” by Imagine Dragon


Why It’s Perfect: This song goes well with the whole series I think, not just the first book. I don’t claim to understand all the meaning in the song, but I feel like it could be Thad’s anthem for the lines “Don’t get too close // It’s dark inside // It’s where my demons hide” and “Don’t wanna let you down // But I am hell bound.” Thad hates the fact that he’s a vampire so much that he tries to disassociate himself from it and refers it as a separate entity, “le monstre.” He considers himself evil even though he’s devoutly religious, and he always seems to feel like he doesn’t deserve his lover, Sara, because of the evilness he feels is inside him.

Vespers by Irene Preston & Liv Rancourt

Review | Goodreads | Amazon

More Book & Song Match-Up Posts:

Bookish Musings: 3 Book & Song Match-Ups
Bookish Musings: 3 Book & Song Match-Ups (2)
Bookish Musings: 3 Book & Song Match-Ups (3)
Bookish Musings: 3 Book & Song Match-Ups (4) – The Simon Snow + FUN. Edition
Bookish Musings: 3 Book & Song Match-Ups (5)
Bookish Musings: 3 Book & Song Match-Ups (6) – In Which I Gush about The Darkness Outside Us


Talk to me!

Have you read any of these books?
Do you like any of these songs?
Do you ever find that a certain book will remind you of a certain song, or vice versa?


Your Thoughts


34 thoughts on “Bookish Musings: 3 Book & Song Match-Ups

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  1. Christy LoveOfBooks

    A song will often pop in my head that fits a book I’m reading. I love when authors include playlists, but I’m terrible at making them myself. I like these songs, love Halsey.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I love when authors have playlists too, but I rarely forget to check for that lol. I used to make playlists more but haven’t in a while because it is kind of a lot of work. I love Halsey too!

  2. Adrian

    This is cool. A while back I was thinking of pairing up my book reviews with album recommendations. After all, heavy metal and horror go hand in hand almost.

  3. Greg

    I definitely do associate some songs with books, it can be something I just heard as I was reading, and it makes a connection, or like these where the music or lyrics just seems to go well with the story. I tend to associate ambient music with books sometimes since I have them on in the background when reading.

    I like the Halsey song!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, sometimes it’s a song that ends up playing while I’m listening (which happened with the first song, but the lyrics also fit perfectly), sometimes it’s a song I find later and realize it matches perfectly. There’s one book I associate w/ an ambient kind of song, but I didn’t think it’d work very well for this post.

      Halsey is great!

  4. Let's Get Beyond Tolerance

    Fun post! I LOVE coming up with songs that suit books. I can’t usually think of more than one or so, but it’s fun when authors have full playlists. I know when I write, I like finding songs that fit MY stories. Thanks for sharing all of these!! 🙂 Love Halsey and Imagine Dragon.


    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! I love it too. I used to make whole playlists, but those did take a lot of work. It’s great when authors have playlists! I just usually forget to look for them lol. Music while writing is great too!

    1. Kristen Burns

      That’s the only Eels song I know, but now I will have to go listen to more! (I’m not sure why I haven’t already, actually.)

      Imagine Dragons have a lot of great songs.

      Sometimes single song playlists are great!

  5. verushka

    I don’t often think about songs and books, I must admit. I do like your choice of Demons — that’s one of my fave songs of theirs!

  6. Aimee (Aimee, Always)

    I haven’t read any of these books yet, but choosing a Halsey song to match to the second book has gotten me super intrigued. :O I LOVE Castle, and if the book is anywhere near the dark and eerie vibe of Castle, I am so in.

  7. Daniela Ark

    Awesome post Kristen! What great idea to match books with songs. That never occurs to me or maybe only when read Poe or other Gothic reads , dark classical music comes to mind 🙂 I do though listen to different kind of music when I writing to to get inspiration for the scene I’m writing (romantic, action, etc )

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! Dark classical music would go great w/ Gothic lit! Music is great for writing too for the same reasons, it makes you feel all the emotions and mood of the scene!

  8. Stephanie Jane

    I rarely put books and music together – maybe because I usually zone out everything but the book when I read? Love the idea of your Eels and Bryan Smith pairing though so I need to look out that book!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Some people can’t have music in the background while reading, but I find it helpful. Everyone is different! Slowly We Rot is a great book though, I hope you like it if you read it!

  9. Lola

    I do listen to music sometimes, but not when I read, so I have trouble envisioning what kind of song would go with a certain book. I do know some authors make playlists which seems nice to readers who like to listen to music while reading. I do like reading why you thought these songs fit the books so well.

  10. Nomadic Worlds

    Wah, we’re on the same wavelength! I know what you mean. I did this for my bookstagram october challenge. For each day of Oct, I matched a song to a book, like how a song reminded me of a book. It was awesome.

  11. Becky @ A Fool's Ingenuity

    Song and book match ups! I love it because I love connecting music with books but I can never be bothered to put in the time to do it. I am almost feeling inspired by you, I may have to give this a shot for a few of the books I’ve read lately. I love that Eels song, I definitely get the slow melancholy vibe you’re going for with that and Slowly We Rot. I may not have read the book but I remember your review and it feels apt. I definitely think you’re right that Castle goes well too. But I also like Halsey so maybe I was enjoying listening to that song again. Same goes for Demons, that’s an awesome song so I would want it to go with many a book,

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yes! I don’t do it much anymore, so who knows if I’ll ever do another one of these posts lol. But you should totally a post like this too! I had the Eels song on repeat while reading once I found it because it’s perfect. And yay, I’m glad you think the song fit based on my explanations! And they’re all just great songs period.

  12. Danya @ Fine Print

    Such a cool post! You always have the most creative ideas, Kristen. While I know all these songs, I’m actually not familiar with any of these books. But based on what you’ve said about it (and the song pairing, love Castle), I’ve got to read the House of Royals series!

  13. Olivia Roach

    I rarely connect music with books, because I don’t listen to music while reading unless I’m finding a book boring and need background noise to keep me awake while reading (which is never good news for the rating or my thoughts on the book. Those are 1 star reads). I more so relate music to movies.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I used to love listening to music while reading but haven’t had a chance to do it much lately. No, I guess that’s not a good thing when you listen while reading then lol. I really only relate music to movies if the song is from a musical or it was the song used the in the preview lol. But it’s cool how music is so often connected to *something* in our minds!

  14. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    I think I’m the only bookish person who doesn’t listen to all that much music or make playlists. I only listen to music in the car (and lately I listen to audiobooks more often than not). Plus, the music I DO listen do is almost all Christian, so most people wouldn’t know what I’m talking about. I could just imagine trying to pair some of those songs up with the paranormal books I read, though—now that would be hilarious!

    1. Kristen Burns

      No, it’s not just you. I think you’re in the majority. Tbh I haven’t listened to music much lately either. There’s some good Christian music out there though!