Top Ten Tuesday | Pairing even more books with songs


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week you compile a list of ten books which coincide with that week’s theme. You can find everything you need to know about joining in here!

Today’s theme is an audio freebie! Back in December I talked about some books I’d match up with songs, and today I thought I’d do another round of that because I find it really fun to do. I did consider chatting about some of my favourite podcasts and audiobooks, but to be honest I feel like I haven’t listened to enough of either to really offer up a sufficient list.

So instead, let’s listen to some music! Seven of these books I’ve read, and three are books that are on my O.W.Ls Readathon TBR that I’ve given a song in advance – it’ll be interesting to see if I still think the songs match once I’ve read them!


Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor // bury a friend, Billie Eilish: What do you want from me? Why don’t you run from me? What are you wondering? What do you know? Why aren’t you scared of me? Why do you care for me? When we all fall asleep, where do we go?

I’m obsessed with this song and that the music video’s been filmed like a horror movie (if you have a phobia of needles, just be aware that there are some in the video linked above!) but, looking at those lyrics, I’d say it fits Sarai in Strange the Dreamer pretty well.

Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier // The Voice, Celtic Woman: I hear your voice on the wind, And I hear you call out my name, “Listen, my child,” you say to me, “I am the voice of your history, Be not afraid, come follow me, Answer my call, and I’ll set you free”

I haven’t read this book yet, but I’m planning to finally cross it off my TBR in April, and with it’s medieval Irish setting I think ‘The Voice’ makes for a fitting musical partner. It was made famous by Eimear Quinn when she won the Eurovision Song Contest with it back in the ’90s and it’s a really beautiful piece of music.

Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia // When We Were Young, Adele: You look like a movie, You sound like a song, My God, this reminds me, Of when we were young, Let me photograph you in this light, In case it is the last time, That we might be exactly like we were

I go on and on about Signal to Noise, but it’s one of my favourite novels and Meche and Sebastian’s relationship and this song are a very neat fit, I think.

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo // you should see me in a crown, Billie Eilish: You should see me in a crown, I’m gonna run this nothing town, Watch me make ’em bow, One by one by, one, One by one by

(If you’re arachnophobic, beware the above music video!) I’ve been a little obsessed with Billie Eilish lately and I love this song, it has a great attitude and it just screams my queen Zoya to me. I bloody love Zoya.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon // Queendom, AURORA: The underdogs are my lions, The silent ones are my choir, The women will be my soldiers, With the weight of life on their shoulders

Another one I haven’t read yet but am planning to read soon, and another song I looove. I saw Samantha Shannon tweeting about how she had to get used to writing ‘queendom’ after years of only ever seeing ‘kingdom’, so I’d say this is a fitting song.


Circe by Madeline Miller // Roar, Katy Perry: You held me down, but I got up (hey!), Already brushing off the dust, You hear my voice, your hear that sound, Like thunder, gonna shake the ground, You held me down, but I got up, Get ready ’cause I had enough

‘Roar’ doesn’t exactly fit the tone of Circe – I actually listened to the Troy soundtrack whilst reading it, which was a lot of fun – but it’s still a great song that sums up Circe coming into her own, despite pretty much everyone underestimating her.

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black // Beautiful Trauma, P!nk: It was you, The pill I keep taking, The nightmare I wake in, There’s nothing, no nothing, nothing but you, My perfect rock bottom, My beautiful trauma, My love, my love, my drug, oh

Let’s face it: pretty much all the relationships in this book are toxic, so what better than a song like this to sum it all up?

These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch // Spanish Ladies, Sarah Blasko: Farewell and adieu unto you Spanish ladies, Farewell and adieu to you ladies of Spain, For we have received orders to sail to old England, We hope in a short time to see you again

This is a British naval song that was certainly around in the 1800s, but may have first appeared as far back as the 1600s. These Rebel Waves is another one I haven’t read yet, and another one I’m planning to read soon, but as it has pirates in it and I read somewhere that it’s inspired by the Spanish Inquisition, this seems like a fitting song.

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse // when the party’s over, Billie Eilish: But nothing is better sometimes, Once we’ve both said our goodbyes, Let’s just let it go, Let me let you go

Like I said, I’ve been mildly obsessed with Billie Eilish recently and this song is so beautiful. Maggie spends most of Trail of Lightning feeling worthless and pushing people away while also hoping one person in particular, who’s kind of a dick, will show up for her. This song feels like a very Maggie song to me.

Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire // High Five, Sigrid: Oh, everybody loves a show, Lights on, they all go home, You won’t let anybody close, That high five is all you got, Ooh, they keep saying you’re the best, You ask and they say, “Yeah”, Ooh, when you add up all that’s left, That high five is all you got

Sigrid is another one of my favourites – I love her voice, and there’s something so optimistic about her music that’s really refreshing – and I particularly love this song. Toby spends a lot of Rosemary and Rue refusing help from people and learning to accept help, and her own mistakes and failures, again.

What did you talk about this week?




28 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday | Pairing even more books with songs

    1. Jess @ Jessticulates says:

      Thanks! Yes, I loved the Strange the Dreamer audiobook and I’ve heard brilliant things about the narrator of Circe, too.


  1. CG @ Paper Fury says:

    ahh I loved this! I honestly rarely equate songs with books in my mind, but I love seeing other people’s inspirations. 😍and I’ve been listening to some Billie Eilish lately and loooove her so much omg. Also Strange the Dreamer, King of Scars, and The Cruel Prince are EVERYTHING.

    Liked by 1 person

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