13 Book Pairings For Your Favorite Tracks on 1989 (Taylor’s Version)

Blank space on your TBR? To celebrate the rerelease of Taylor Swift’s 2014 pop masterpiece, we’ve matched all your favorite tracks with book companions!

Art and Music Fandom Lifestyle Pop Culture Trending
Taylor Swift smiling in front of a blue sky with seagulls in the background

This Friday (10/27), Taylor Swift releases the highly anticipated rerecording of her 2014 album 1989 — a blockbuster collection of upbeat songs that won Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards and marked her transition from country singer to pop princess. 1989 (Taylor’s Version) is the fourth installment in Swift’s ambitious project of rerecording her first six albums. This album, named after the year Swift was born, is a carefree celebration of independence and self-confidence marked by distinctive 80s synth-pop production. It’s packed with several of the singer-songwriter’s biggest hits, including Blank Space, Shake It Off, and Style, in addition to beloved fan favorites such as album-closer Clean and the deluxe track New Romantics.

Keep reading to discover a curated list of book recommendations for each of your favorite nostalgic tracks from Swift’s first official pop album!

1. Welcome to New YorkTrust by Hernan Diaz

Green book cover for Trust by Hernan Diaz featuring a skyscraper with clouds at the base
IMAGE VIA BOOKSHOP.ORG

The opening track of 1989 sets the stage for a new beginning in the big city. Similarly, Hernan Diaz’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Trust (2022) follows an influential couple who rise to the top of glitzy New York society in the 1920s and ’30s. Diaz explores the complexities of an imperfect relationship against a metropolitan setting — an approach that seems to align with several of the tracks from Swift’s fifth album. 

Everybody here wanted something more
Searching for a sound we hadn’t heard before

Taylor Swift, Welcome to New York

2. Blank SpaceThe Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

In Swift’s iconic track Blank Space, the singer-songwriter cleverly taps into a character inspired by the “serial dater” reputation often ascribed to her by the media. Although Taylor Jenkins Reid’s wildly popular novel The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (2018) could be paired with a few different songs from 1989, Blank Space seems to be a perfect fit because both the hit song and the bestselling book tell stories about women’s lives that are full of glamour, scandal, and passion.

But you’ll come back each time you leave

‘Cause darling I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream

Taylor Swift, Blank Space

3. StyleCleopatra and Frankenstein by Coco Mellors

Book cover for Cleopatra and Frankenstein by Coco Mellors featuring a painting of a woman's face in blue and pink tones

Style is a catchy track that details a tumultuous on-again, off-again relationship with vintage imagery and production. Similarly, at the heart of Coco Mellor’s debut novel Cleopatra and Frankenstein (2022) is a couple who marry impulsively and encounter various complications over the course of their relationship. Like much of 1989, Cleopatra and Frankenstein takes place in New York City and masterfully depicts an intricate relationship with sophisticated writing.

And when we go crashing down

We come back every time

Taylor Swift, Style

4. Out of the WoodsThe House in the Pines by Ana Reyes

Book cover for Ana Reyes' The House In The Pines featuring a cabin with a light in the window in the middle of a dark forest with an image of a key prominently displayed
IMAGE VIA BOOKSHOP.ORG

In Out of the Woods, Swift uses the metaphor of a forest to portray the anxiety and excitement of a past relationship, with the repeated question, “Are we out of the woods yet?” creating a fretful atmosphere despite the track’s upbeat production. Ana Reyes’ thriller The House in the Pines also tells a story full of fear and suspense through the perspective of a woman who finds a mysterious cabin in the woods, which leads her to uncover a terrifying secret. Both Out of the Woods and The House in the Pines feature protagonists who find themselves alone with their fears in the woods and must find their way back to safety by escaping the past.

But the monsters turned out to be just trees

When the sun came up, you were looking at me

Taylor Swift, Out of the Woods

5. All You Had to Do Was StaySeven Days in June by Tia Williams

Book Cover for Seven Days in June by Tia Williams featuring a photograph of a couple embracing in front of a light blue background
IMAGE VIA BOOKSHOP.ORG

All You Had to Do Was Stay is an emotional pop-infused track that expresses Swift’s frustration towards an indecisive former lover who wants to reconnect. Tia Williams’ Seven Days in June (2022) explores a rekindled love between two writers who revive their romance over seven days spent together in Brooklyn, New York. For those who find solace in Swift’s lyrics about feeling abandoned by a former partner, Seven Days in June offers a similar story about hesitant second chances.

You were all I wanted

…But not like this

Taylor Swift, All You Had to Do Was Stay

6. Shake it OffEverything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton

Book cover for Dolly Alderton's Everything I Know About Love with pink and green bold letters against a deep blue background
IMAGE VIA BOOKSHOP.ORG

For fans of the carefree chart-topping anthem Shake it Off, Dolly Alderton’s 2021 memoir Everything I Know About Love is the perfect accompaniment. Shake it Off was the first track Swift released from 1989 in 2014, which set the upbeat, empowering tone for the rest of the album. Like Swift, Alderton is a master at her craft and has developed a signature witty and eloquent style of writing that shines through in Everything I Know About Love, which includes candid musings on self-discovery and modern relationships.

I’m dancing on my own

I make the moves up as I go

And that’s what they don’t know

Taylor Swift, Shake it Off

7. I Wish You WouldBeautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney

Book cover for Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney with a light blue background and illustrations of four characters from the story
IMAGE VIA BOOKSHOP.ORG

The bittersweet longing and nostalgia present in I Wish You Would finds a fitting companion in Beautiful World, Where Are You (2021), the most recent book from the celebrated Irish writer Sally Rooney. Rooney’s novel tells the story of two best friends who find themselves questioning the meaning of their lives in the contemporary world as they navigate relationships and careers. Like the “crooked love” that Swift depicts in I Wish You Would, Rooney delves into the complexities of imperfect relationships.

You’re thinking that I hate you now

‘Cause you still don’t know what I never said

Taylor Swift, I Wish You Would

8. Bad BloodThe Days of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante

Book cover for Elena Ferrante's The Days of Abandonment featuring a black and white image of a woman looking into a mirror against a dark blue background
IMAGE VIA BOOKSHOP.ORG

Bad Blood alludes to a falling out that has severed a once-close friendship, which can be paired nicely with reclusive Italian author Elena Ferrante’s seething novel The Days of Abandonment (2005). Both feature protagonists who are deeply hurt and who vividly express their anger about a betrayal committed by someone near to them. The Days of Abandonment tells the intense story of a woman’s emotional unraveling after her husband suddenly leaves her, and fans of Swift’s unbridled display of female rage in Bad Blood will surely adore Ferrante’s ferocious prose.

Band-aids don’t fix bullet holes

You say sorry just for show

If you live like that, you live with ghosts

Taylor Swift, Bad Blood

9. Wildest DreamsBefore Sunset & Before Sunrise by Richard Linklater & Kim Krizan

Black and yellow book cover for Richard Linklater's screenplays for Before Sunrise and Before Sunset featuring an image of a couple on a boat
IMAGE VIA BOOKSHOP.ORG

Wildest Dreams tells a vivid story about a passionate yet fleeting relationship. If you appreciate the nostalgia and romance in this track, Before Sunset and Before Sunrise (2005) is a fantastic book pairing. This volume from Richard Linklater and Kim Krizan is comprised of two screenplays for the films Before Sunrise (1995) and Before Sunset (2004), which follow two strangers who meet on a train and share a romantic night together in Vienna, and then reunite a decade later in Paris. Although these are screenplays rather than novels, they are filled with beautiful writing that captures all of the bittersweet emotions that Swift depicts in Wildest Dreams.

Say you’ll remember me

Standing in a nice dress

Staring at the sunset, babe

Taylor Swift, Wildest Dreams

10. How You Get the GirlPride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Penguin Classics book cover for Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice featuring a painting of a woman reading a book
IMAGE VIA BOOKSHOP.ORG

How You Get the Girl is a lighthearted pop track in which Swift playfully offers advice about how to win back a lost love. At her concerts this summer, Swift claimed that she loves to write songs in which she “explains to men how to apologize,” and How You Get the Girl serves as a perfect example. In terms of novelists who teach men how to apologize through their writing, Jane Austen is undoubtedly a master at this tactic. If you love the playful lyrics in How You Get the Girl, Austen’s timeless novel Pride and Prejudice (1813) is full of witty dialogue and wholesome romance that you will adore.

I want you for worse or for better
I would wait forever and ever
Broke your heart, I’ll put it back together

Taylor Swift, How You Get the Girl

11. This LoveThe Guest by Emma Cline

Book cover of The Guest by Emma Cline featuring a blue photo of an outstretched hand against a green background
IMAGE VIA BOOKSHOP.ORG

If you’re drawn to the atmospheric production, lyrical depth, and oceanic imagery of This Love, you might be interested in Emma Cline’s recent novel The Guest (2023). While The Guest doesn’t necessarily tell a love story, its dreamy Long Island setting pairs nicely with Swift’s lyrics that invoke a beachside at night. In The Guest, Cline uses beautifully crafted prose to tell the story of a woman who floats around Long Island for the latter part of the summer after being dismissed from the house where she was staying.

This love left a permanent mark

This love is glowing in the dark

Taylor Swift, This Love

12. I Know PlacesI Who Have Never Known Men by Jacqueline Harpman

I Who Have Never Known Men book cover with a geometric illustration of a horizon line with a ladder coming up from a hole in the ground
IMAGE VIA BOOKSHOP.ORG

I Know Places evokes a darker aesthetic than many of the other tracks on 1989, with the lyrics casting Swift and her partner as “foxes” on the run from the “hunters” of the media and other commentators who are eager to scrutinize. If the apocalyptic feeling of I Know Places draws you in, you might be interested in I Who Have Never Known Men, a 1995 dystopian novel by French writer Jacqueline Harpman. This book is a haunting story about a woman who is released into a post-apocalyptic world of men and catastrophic events after spending her life imprisoned in a cage.

Something happens when everybody finds out
See the vultures circling, dark clouds
Love’s a fragile little flame, it could burn out

Taylor Swift, I Know Places

13. CleanSalvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward, book cover.
IMAGE VIA BOOKSHOP.ORG

Clean is a beautiful album closer that uses the powerful metaphor of a rainstorm to represent the washing away of past attachments and moving toward a fresh start. If Swift’s use of water imagery in Clean speaks deeply to you, Salvage the Bones (2012) might be an ideal match. Salvage the Bones is a National Book Award-winning novel that tells the story of a young girl who becomes pregnant just before Hurricane Katrina hits her home in southern Mississippi. The protagonist of this book endures a storm that forever changes her life and ultimately helps her to find clarity and learn resiliency, much like Swift’s final track on 1989.

The water filled my lungs, I screamed so loud
But no one heard a thing

Taylor Swift, Clean

1989 (Taylor’s Version) will be released in stores and on streaming services on Friday, October 27. It comes with 21 songs in total, including the three tracks released with the deluxe version of the album in 2014, in addition to five brand new “vault” tracks which Swift has been teasing lyrics from this week. You can pre-save the album on Spotify and Apple Music or pre-order from Target or Swift’s official site.

1989 by Taylor Swift Album cover of a smiling taylor swift with seagulls in the background of a clear blue sky
IMAGE VIA TAYLOR SWIFT/BETH GARRABRANT

To read more Taylor Swift book pairings from Bookstr, click here!

Browse these books and more on our Bookshop Music and Books bookshelf.

IMAGE VIA TAYLOR SWIFT/BETH GARRABRANT