Let’s face it, we’re all in our Taylor Swift era right now. Her albums explore powerful stories ranging in topics from whirlwind romances to revenge, reflections of girlhood to acceptance of adulthood. Each song is a fully realized story in itself. Since we sadly only get these narratives in five-minute intervals, we thought we’d pair up some of our favorite albums with a perfect paperback book. We’ve found a novel for everything from the sweetness of Fearless to the scorching passion of Reputation, and everything in between.

The Summer I Turned Pretty

For Fearless Fans

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Belly has spent every summer of her life with her family at Cousins Beach. In her sixteenth summer, Belly is especially excited to spend it with her long-time crush, Conrad, and his brother Jeremiah. This summer, however, something is different between the boys and her, and she finds herself conflicted in her growing feelings for them.

Taylor’s innocent girl next door persona is a defining characteristic of Fearless, and we see this same darling trait in Belly. Most notably this album is all about love triangles, a Jenny Han trademark as well as a T-Swift staple. Taylor’s tenth track, “The Way I Loved You”, could have been written by Belly as she struggles to choose between the sensible guy or the complicated one. We see the same theme in “You Belong with Me.” What ultimately solidifies the connection between the two works, is that for Belly, everything happening this summer is new, full of firsts, and full of things that you didn’t know at fifteen.

Notable lyrics that are interchangeable with book quotes:

Book: “It was the summer everything began. It was the summer I turned pretty. Because for the first time, I felt it.”

Album: “It’s the first kiss, it’s flawless, really something, it’s fearless”

Buy the book now: Bookshop.org | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

For Speak Now fans

Advika and the Hollywood Wives by Kirthana Ramisetti

Speak Now is defined by its fairytale imagery including tales of kings and queens. It is laden with romantic ballads, but also with realizations of lost innocence. The novel companion that I chose for Speak Now takes a less traditional approach, focusing on the theme of the deception of blind optimism.

Advika and the Hollywood Wives is a Cinderella story gone wrong. Advika Srinivasan, is bartending the star-studded Oscars after party when she meets the legendary, and much older, Julian Zelding. The two quickly fall for each other, resulting in a whirlwind matrimony. With 41 years on Advika, Julian has been in the spotlight for quite some time, racking up many famous relationships. A short month into their marriage, the tabloids report a shocking stipulation in the recently announced will of Julian’s first wife. A single film reel and $1,000,000 will be bequeathed to “Julian’s latest child bride” on one condition: Advika must divorce him first.

What follows is an enchanting story of investigating the truth, self-discovery, and the refusal to submit to the antiquated ways of people who incessantly try to tear you down. Listeners of “Innocent” and “Dear John” don’t have to dig too deep to identify that Taylor Swift fights many of the same battles as Advika. Both songs allude to famous public events in Taylor’s life that showcase her incredible strength and ability to remain graceful even when unfairly challenged.

Notable lyrics that are interchangeable with book quotes:

Book: “She was a real person. A real person whose dreams were dashed by Advika’s own husband.

Album: “Don’t you think 19’s too young to be played by a dark twisted game when I loved you so”

*Out on paperback January 2024

Buy the book now: Bookshop.org | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

For Red fans

Tell Me Lies by Carola Lovering

Tell Me Lies is a masterful representation of the passionate emotions felt throughout a tumultuous and toxic relationship. The story follows Lucy Albright during her freshman year of college when she meets Stephen DeMarco through the ensuing messy years together and apart. Then together again, then apart. It is made clear to the reader from the beginning of the story that Stephen is not the one. He is the wrong one. The one who violently upends your life, haunting you forever.

Red tells the story of a treacherous love like Lucy and Stephen’s. She flawlessly articulates the beginning of this relationship when you are doing nothing but dancing in kitchens and following each other home. But as the relationship begins to turn, Swift paints the conflicts in vibrant colors, eventually admitting the paralyzing truth, that a twin flame should not leave you blue.

Notable lyrics that are interchangeable with book quotes:

Book: “I didn’t know if I was addicted to the pain or if love was pain that you had to push through.

Album: “Did the twin flame bruise paint you blue”

Buy the book now: Bookshop.org | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

For 1989 fans

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

When an album opens with an anthem as energetic as “Welcome to New York,” the matching paperback simply had to take place in the city itself. Taylor Swift’s album, 1989, is a liberating and overall fun collection of songs that expertly expresses what it feels to be young and free.

In City of Girls, an older Vivian Morris looks back on her time as a nineteen-year-old banished to Manhattan by her parents to live with her Aunt Peg, owner of a flamboyant theater called the Lily Playhouse. It is during this time that Vivian is introduced to a whole new world of unconventional people, a glittering way of life, and of course, an all-consuming love. It is not long until Vivian becomes intoxicated by her freedom that her life turns upside down.

What unites City of Girls and 1989 is the range in themes from the unabashed freedom of self, seen in songs like “Shake it Off”, to the shameless display of female sexuality, as heard in “Style” and “Wildest Dreams.”

Notable lyrics that are interchangeable with book quotes:

Book: “At some point in a woman’s life, she just gets tired of being ashamed all the time. After that, she is free to become whoever she truly is.”

Album: “Everybody here was someone else before. And you can want who you want. Boys and boys and girls and girls.”

Buy the book now: Bookshop.org | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The Whisper Network

For Reputation fans

The Whisper Network by Chandler Baker

We all know the story of Taylor Swift and the line of powerful men (and media talking heads) who tirelessly tore her down. This resulted in her yearlong disappearance only to come back stronger and more powerful than ever with Reputation.

The Whisper Network goes hand in hand with this album as it showcases the incredible challenges women face as we strive to achieve professional equity. When Sloane, Grace, Ardie, and Rosalita find out that their shared boss, Ames, is set to become their company’s next CEO, they decide enough is enough. Ames has a big reputation that will take more than just whispers between woman to take down, and it is up to these four women to do so.

Notable lyrics that are interchangeable with book quotes:

Book: “We had stories, all of us. Would speaking up cost us? Maybe. But maybe it would cost them too. And so, when one of us spoke up, it was never just for her. It was for us. If anything, she was the willing sacrifice. Another log on fire stoked by us, our stories, our voices. And we would fan the flames. Spread the truth. Join the chorus. Burn it to the ground. Raze the earth if we had to. Start over on level ground.”

Album: “Look what you made me do.”

Buy the book now: Bookshop.org | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

For Lover fans

Beach Read by Emily Henry

Emily Henry’s Beach Read  can be describe as “a romance writer who no longer believes in love.” It took someone special for Taylor Swift to write Lover after Reputation. As it will take someone special for the main characters of Beach Read to find their ways back to their respective literary genres after losing faith in themselves.

Beach Read tells the story of two authors at opposite ends of the literary spectrum. Stuck in neighboring beach houses for the length of one long cruel summer, January Andrews and Augustus Everett make a deal to help each other out of their writer’s block by swapping genres.  January will write a literary fiction novel and Augustus will write a love story to rival all love stories. Are they crazy to think that this could work, and no one will fall in love? With this blind faith, they might just get away with it… they might.

Notable lyrics that are interchangeable with book quotes:

Book: “And that was the moment I realized: when the world felt dark and scary, love could whisk you off to go dancing; laughter could take some of the pain away; beauty could punch holes in your fear. I decided then that my life would be full of all three.”

Album: “I once believed love would black and white, but it’s golden.”

Buy the book now: Bookshop.org | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The Hotel Nantucket

For Folklore fans

The Hotel Nantucket by Elin Hilderbrand

Swift is known for writing songs about her personal life and relationships, but for her eighth album, Folklore, she branched out and wrote an entire collection of fiction. Folklore’s mastery of multiple points of view coincides well with that of Elin Hilderbrand’s classic literary style, seen especially in her 17th novel, The Hotel Nantucket.

The Hotel Nantucket was once a Gilded Age gem that has since become a dilapidated eyesore in the middle of the town of Nantucket, Massachusetts. The historical re-telling of Holiday House in “The Last Great American Dynasty”, track three, could be the official soundtrack for The Hotel Nantucket itself. Full of Americana imagery and historical details that mirror the novel’s setting, the two are a perfect pair.

Appointed by absent billionaire Xavier Darling, Lizbet Keaton oversees the restoration of the hotel to its former glory and ensuring its success over the summer. The task is easier said than done with a staff full of complicated secrets, and a lingering bad reputation from a 1922 hotel fire that claimed the life of a chambermaid (who might still be floating down the hallways). The Hotel Nantucket is told in multiple points of view ranging from local bellboys to sultry European front desk managers, reminiscent of the differing views in the teenage affair trilogy of songs on Folklore. It is the perfect companion to read while the rich lyrics of Folklore play in your ears.

Notable lyrics that are interchangeable with book quotes:

Book: “When deep August arrives, a certain melancholy sets in, the kind people get on a Sunday afternoon.”

Album: The entire song of August, in all its melancholy glory.

Buy the book now: Bookshop.org | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

For Evermore fans

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

The Light We Lost is a story about fate and love told through a vignette of stories between Lucy and Gabe, across the span of thirteen years. Starting with their first meeting, Gabe became the first person to fully understand Lucy. Together they inspire each other to pursue meaningful lives, catapulting Gabe to the Middle East to pursue photojournalism while Lucy’s career blossoms in New York City. The two are confronted over and over again with the question: Do we have a future together.

This heartbreaking story between Gabe and Lucy alludes to the same heartbreaking stories of Evermore’s “Champagne Problems”, “Right Where You Left Me”, “Closure”, and “Happiness”. Both the album and the books are tales of almosts.

Notable lyrics that are interchangeable with book quotes:

Book: “I still think about you. I think about that fork in the road, what would have happened if we’d taken it. Two roads diverged.”

Album: “And it’s been so long, but if you ever think you got it wrong, I’m right where you left me.”

Buy the book now: Bookshop.org | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Everything I Know About Love

For Midnights fans

Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton

Taylor Swift wrote Midnights as the culmination of 13 sleepless nights and the thoughts and realizations born from them. Midnights feels like a memoir written after experiences have aged and one has had time to reflect and gain insight. Midnights is mature and developed which makes it a perfect match with a memoir about the trials and triumphs of girlhood to adulthood.

Everything I Know About Love takes you on a journey from being young and all the way to the harsh realities of adulthood. Dolly Alderton intertwines personal stories, observations, hope, and uncertainty into one beautiful realization of what true love really is and who it is truly about. Spoiler alert, it is not about a boy.

It is easy to identify “You’re On Your Own, Kid” as the anthem to this memoir, along with “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” and “Dear Reader”. Both the memoir and the album will remind you of something that takes many of us years to realize; that you are enough.

Notable lyrics that are interchangeable with book quotes:

Book: “Nearly everything I know about love; I’ve learnt from my long-term friendships with women.”

Album: “So, make the friendship bracelets, Take the moment and taste it”

Buy the book now: Bookshop.org | Amazon | Barnes & Noble