The release of Taylor Swift’s latest album “Red (Taylor’s Version)” already has millions feeling happy, free, confused and lonely in the best way. A rerecording of her 2012 album, the album’s tracklist has a story anyone can get lost in. With 21 rerecorded songs and nine bonus songs, including a 10 minute version of a beloved fan favorite, “Red (Taylor’s Version)” is an investment that’s worth every minute spent and emotion felt. This album is also great to listen to while reading. If you liked these “Red” songs, try these reads that perfectly correlate to some of the new album’s best tracks.
If you liked “State of Grace,” try reading “Lost at Sea” by Bryan Lee O’Malley
Raleigh is an incredibly shy 18 year old who claims a cat ate her soul. Somehow, she ends up going on a cross-country trip with three of her classmates who she’s never spoken to before.
Although the first track on “Red” is a song about a romantic relationship, it can just as easily be applied to platonic situations. “Lost at Sea” is all about a girl finding herself in an unexpected situation with an unexpected group of people that change her forever.
If you liked “Treacherous,” try reading “Stardust” by Neil Gaiman
Every nine years in the rural English village of Wall, a market for both Faeries and humans is held on the Faerie side of the stone wall that separates the two worlds. Eighteen years after being delivered in a basket to his human father, Tristran falls in love with Yvaine, who lives on the other side of the wall.
Both “Treacherous” and “Stardust” are about a love that leads to adventure and danger, but is worth every treacherous step. They’re the kind of works that make you want to risk everything for love. “Stardust” is considered one of Gaiman’s more out there works, similar to how the release of the original “Red” album marked a musical turning point for Swift when she began to transition from country to pop.
If you liked “Holy Ground,” try reading “Normal People” by Sally Rooney
“Normal People” follows the friendship and romance of Irish teenagers Marianne and Connell as they navigate their way through secondary school and university while both being deeply emotionally damaged.
“Holy Ground” is about reminiscing on a relationship that’s since ended. Although each person involved suffers a heartache, they both understand the relationship ended where it needed to and look back at their time together with fondness. “Normal People” follows this vibe, capturing the romance between two adolescents as they become adults. It follows the ups and downs, the triumph and turmoil of being young and in love.
If you liked “The Lucky One,” try reading“Wonderful Today” by Pattie Boyd and Penny Junor
One of the most influential musical muses, Pattie Boyd, shares her life story — from her childhood to her skyrocketing modeling career and her marriages to rock legends George Harrison and Eric Clapton.
Swift has said Boyd and her life have served as an inspiration for her, and she even interviewed the rock and roll muse back in 2018. Boyd’s autobiography highlights her experience as an icon of the music and fashion scenes of the 1960s. She writes with plenty of love for her past, but much like “The Lucky One,” her book reveals the immense pressure that comes with being a young woman under a spotlight.
If you liked “The Moment I Knew” and “Sad Beautiful Tragic,” try reading “Apologies That Never Came” by Pierre A. Jeanty
“Apologies That Never Came” is a dissection of heartbreak and agony that comes alive through poetry made up of words that were never spoken and feelings that can’t be expressed in any other way.
Much like how “Red (TV)” is a breakup album, “Apologies That Never Came” is a breakup book of poetry. It’s an excellent companion to read to just about any song on the album, but Jeanty’s writing flows so well with the poetic lyricism of “The Moment I Knew” and “Sad Beautiful Tragic.”
If you liked “Come Back… Be Here,” try reading “We Are Okay” by Nina LaCour
Mabel is determined to reconnect with her best friend Marin after Marin leaves everything and everyone behind in the wake of her grandfather’s death.
“We Are Okay” is about longing for a person you once knew and the struggle of being close with someone who pushes everyone away. It shares the same wistful writing as “Come Back… Be Here” and the understanding that grief is part of healing.
If you liked “All Too Well (10 Minute Version),” try reading “It Ends With Us” by Colleen Hoover
Flower shop owner Lily Bloom finds her bout of bad luck has seemingly changed when she meets neurosurgeon Ryle Kincaid. Despite Ryle’s aversion to relationships, Lily finds herself becoming the one exception to his no dating rule.
Author Anna Todd once described “It Ends With Us” as a “brave and heartbreaking novel that digs its claws into you and doesn’t let go, long after you’ve finished it.” To put it simply, this book hurts in the same way the full 10 minute version of “All Too Well” hurts. “It Ends With Us” shares the song’s emotional intensity that builds up and breaks down in the most tragically beautiful way possible as the main character gives everything she has to love and ends up losing half of herself in the process. Both are bound to leave a mark on your heart.
Any of these books are bound to let you relive the flurry of emotions that comes when listening to “Red (TV).”