Thursday, January 24, 2013


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Do you ever try to pair music with the book you’re reading? Play the movie soundtrack while reading the original book? Find mood music that fits with your story?

I rarely listen to music while I'm reading, but I like to try to pick a song that goes with each book I review. Sometimes it's a song whose words make me think of the main characters. Sometimes it's a song that evokes the setting for me, or one that's mentioned in the text. This isn't something I ever did before blogging, but it's one of my favorite parts of posting reviews. It's also one of the most time consuming things, so when my reviews start lagging, it's one of the first things to go.

One of my favorite things is when authors post a playlist that goes with their book. Author Lenore Appelhans recently shared the playlist for her new book, Level 2, in an interview on Mundie Moms. I haven't even gotten my copy of the book yet, but knowing there's a playlist makes me incredibly happy.

When I'm working on a book or story, there are certain songs that come to mind. My first protagonist--who lived at the back of my mind for 18 years before I got a chance to sit down and finish his story--yes, I could have given birth to him when I was 19 and he'd have been all grown up by the time I finished the final chapter, it's nuts--anyway, he has a whole playlist in my mind starting with 80s songs that were playing while I was writing the early drafts (songs by U2 and REM, mostly) and adding a few songs from the decades since then. There was also an album by Tanita Tikaram that had nothing to do with my story except for the fact that,  in 1989, I could press play on my little cassette deck and my mind would instantly go into creative mode.

My current protagonist has a song or two that I know she would listen to, but the music that goes with that story for me has more to do with the setting and her search for her brother, rather than her personal thoughts or feelings. It would take a lot of work for me to put that playlist together, but I promise that if there is a book launch party one day, I will make it happen.

Here's Glycerine--a song that always brought my character to mind in the 90s, when I wasn't writing a word.


  1. My personal choice it no music while I am reading. I like quiet, no distraction while I am living in another world.

  2. Great answer. I don't seek out songs for books I read and honestly prefer quiet when I read. I've seen some books have playlists but rarely do they affect me or my reading the way the author might hope.
    2 Kids and Tired Books BTT

  3. I like to just concentrate on my reading.

  4. Yeah, it is cool when authors have a playlist :)

  5. That's a cool idea of selecting a song to go with the book. I would have never thought of that! But I think you're much more musically inclined than I am. Thanks for stopping by my blog! :)

  6. I love how you connect the music to books and characters. It's a new concept for me.

    It's really hard for me to read while music is on. I tend to get lost in music or books, but I can't manage both.

  7. I never listen to music while reading at all. Thinking about a soundtrack after the fact is another story. I just can't do them at the same time! LOL

  8. I prefer to read in silence or quiet classical in the background but the truth is if the book grabs me and I have no quiet spot I'll read it in front of a blaring TV.

    I really, really like your blog, especially the playlist concept. Not to play while listening to it but being able to hear the songs, make the connection and bring back the memory of the book. Priceless!
    New follower:)

  9. Thanks for the compliment, Sim. I appreciate it!