Books Inspired by Songs We All Know and Love

Want to add more titles to your TBR list? Then make sure to check out these wonderfully crafted books that were inspired by songs.

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Recently, we talked about books that inspired songs here on Bookstr. This time, we’re going to turn the tables and explore books inspired by songs. In this list you’ll find a collection of brilliant works that share their titles with popular throwbacks you probably have saved in your playlist.

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill


For a debut horror novel, Joe Hill places the perfect array of twists, suspense, and compelling characters throughout this engaging narrative (he is Stephen King’s son after all). The title is a reference to the 1993 hit single written by Kurt Cobain, guitarist and lead vocalist of Nirvana. Hill’s novel showcases a tormented, aging rockstar and some very disturbing moments, so it definitely lives up to its namesake.

(Don’t You) Forget About Me by Kate Karyus Quinn


Gardnerville is weirdly magical place where sickness and dying from old age is unheard of. Even so, the perfect place cannot exist without costing something…or someone. This strange and haunting novel will make you think differently about the well-known Simple Minds’ song at the end-credits of The Breakfast Club.

How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr


Woven by the red thread of fate, Jill MacSweeny deals with the loss of her father while Mandy Kalinowski finds out that she’s pregnant. These two come from vastly different worlds and may have never crossed paths if they weren’t connected by the emotional framework of surviving in the world. Published just four years after the The Fray released their most popular single, Zarr’s namesake title overlaps with the song’s raw and emotional nature that may or may not bring tears to your eyes.

Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks


If you loved that song from The Police, then you might enjoy this New York Times bestseller. As the title hints, the story kicks off with a divorced, single mother who finds a bottled up love letter from an unknown sender. You might think this is just another one of Nicholas Sparks’ sappy beach reads, but I wouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover!

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami


I may be a little biased here, but Norwegian Wood has got to be my favorite book of all time. If I had to define nostalgia through literature, I would do so with this book – but beware, this read isn’t for the faint of heart. At the start of the novel, Toru Watanabe’s flight lands in Germany when he hears a cover of The Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood” from the plane. He is then prompted to recall the memories of his youth, of heartbreak, and of friendship. This beautifully written work is set to cause emotional damage, and yet, you’ll have a hard time putting it down.

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