Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I'd Give a Theme Song To

I'm participating in Top Ten Tuesday today, a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. Every week we get a topic for our lists, but once in a while we get a freebie to pick whatever topic we want. I decided to backtrack to a topic I missed a while ago that I thought would be fun and fitting for me as a music lover:

Top Ten Twelve Books I'd Give a Theme Song To

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath | "Asleep" by The Smiths
"Asleep" is widely known as the essential theme song to Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower. I do not disagree with this; "Asleep" is perfect for that book in every way. But I also think it's perfect for The Bell Jar. This song has an incredibly sad tone to it in my opinion, which matches the protagonists ongoing battle with depression, and I always believed that this song is about suicide, and the protagonist is always trying to kill herself in The Bell Jar. It's a beautifully written book and "Asleep" is a beautifully written song.

The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan | “Powerless” by Linkin Park
Linkin Park's "Powerless" may be recognizable to book lovers as it was used in the trailer for the film adaptation of Seth Graham-Smith's Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. I posted the promo video that Linkin Park did for the movie, and if I'm not mistaken, it doesn't include the entire song but I wanted to post something official. I always associated this song with Carrie Ryan's Forest of Hands and Teeth follow-up The Dead-Tossed Waves because I think it really matches the conclusion. It matches a post-apocalyptic world and a love story, and The Dead-Tossed Waves appeals to both.

The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan | “Edge of the World” by Within Temptation
 Much like its predecessor The Dead-Tossed Waves, The Dark and Hollow Places appeals to both the post-apocalyptic world and a love story, except this one's a bit darker. Within Temptation's bone-chilling power ballad "Edge of the World" always struck me as a perfect theme song for this book and all the travelling. The first half is soft, distraught, but then the second half ricochets into something huge and powerful, thus reflecting all of the book's intensity.

Across the Universe by Beth Revis | “Rise with Me” by In This Moment
 Everything about "Rise with Me" screams something along the lines of "the beginning of an epic science fiction adventure" with its electronic and dark instrumentation and Maria Brink's distant, echoey vocals. It definitely captures the feel of being stuck on a spaceship, and that's exactly what Beth Revis' Across the Universe is about. It's the tension before shit hits the fan and everything's about to explode. It's Elder's curiosity.

Night by Elie Wiesel | “Willow” by Emilie Autumn (the instrumental from Laced/Unlaced)
 *Keep in mind that I only really associate the first half of "Willow" with Night... the second half is just too happy-sounding*
Both times I've read the Holocaust autobiography Night, I've wanted to hear Beethoven in my head when Juliek is dying. Not only because the piece was probably beautiful, but because it's so utterly important that a Jewish person was playing Beethoven even though they weren't allowed - it's like sticking up one's middle finger right at the Nazis. But every time I read it, I hear the first half of "Willow" repeating and repeating because it's so sad and there's something about the way that scene is written hat feels more emotional. It's always been a perfect fit in my opinion.

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell | “Introspect” by Epica
 "Introspect" is the orchestral introduction to Epica's celebratory tenth anniversary show, Retrospect. I was watching this concert DVD right as I started reading David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas, and the first time I heard "Introspect," I thought it was so fitting. It captures the urgency of each storyline, for Cloud Atlas is about a series of lives intertwined throughout history due to reincarnation. It's hard to describe it... "Introspect" simply feels like Cloud Atlas.

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork | “Tomorrow” by Daughter
 Marcelo in the Real World had a perfect combination of emotions, and so does Daughter's "Tomorrow." It's a fantastic match on a musical level, if I may say so. The wonderful indie vibe of Daughter's music is great for this book in general, but I really think this is THE track for the novel. It has the summertime feel, and it seems to echo some of Marcelo's anxiety throughout with the lyrics "So don't bring tomorrow, for I already know I'll lose you."

The Host by Stephenie Meyer | “Towards the End” by Within Temptation
"Towards the End," which happens to be one of my favorite songs EVER MADE, matches The Host on more of a musical level than a lyrical level, for when I hear these lyrics, I think of war, but I suppose one could put enough spin on it to match The Host in a couple ways. The very beginning of the song is full of lightness with its pretty harp line, which always makes me think of Wanderer's first experiences on Earth (and even her experiences on other planets), but after about a minute of the song passes, the feel completely changes. It's dark. It's large-scale - this is when Wanderer ends up in the caves and faces new challenges.

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer | “Blindness” by Metric
Coincidentally, I started listening to Metric's music when Twilight began to really skyrocket to popularity. But apparently Stephenie Meyer was also appreciating their music because "Blindness" is in fact featured on her Short Second Life of Bree Tanner playlist on her website. She really hit the nail on the head, because this song really is perfect. Both the music and the lyrics describe a somewhat bleak accept of fate: "What it is and where it stops, nobody knows / You gave me a life I never chose."

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green | “We’re On Our Way” by Radical Face
I discovered Radical Face's wonderful music when I heard "We're on Our Way" in the trailer for The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and within the next month or so, I picked up The Fault in Our Stars. This song was in my head for nearly the entire time I read it. It's lighthearted and serious all at once, and if that doesn't describe the laugh-cry-laugh-cry effect of John Green's masterpiece, I don't know what does. I almost fell off my chair when they used this song in The Fault in Our Stars' movie trailer.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte | “Severus and Stone” by Radical Face
 This song does not fit Wuthering Heights on a lyrical level. "Severus and Stone" is a sad song about the death of a twin brother, while Wuthering Heights doesn't deal with this specific theme (albeit that book does have a hefty dose of death though). But when I hear this song, I think of the moors. I think of Heathcliff's misery, I think of how his son would suffer, and I think of Hareton. And at the end, all I see is Lockwood looking out (I won't spoil what he's looking at) thinking (in modern terms) "Well that was a mess."

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher | “The Little Things Give You Away” by Linkin Park
 Once again, not the best of examples on a lyrical basis. "The Little Things Give You Away" is about natural disaster, but Thirteen Reasons Why deals with suicide. Like I've mentioned about every song, it just feels like Thirteen Reasons Why. Because whether there's a natural disaster or a suicide, people are bound to suffer.

So, what do you think of my choices? Do you agree/disagree with any of them? Let me know what some of your bookish theme songs would be and feel free to link my your Top Ten Tuesday freebie for the week. It'll be fun to look at various different lists this week! Have a fabulous day!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Great idea! It's amazing how well music and books go together.

    You chose some great songs/some great books. Thanks for sharing. here's mine

  3. This is one brilliant idea! Great list too :D

    And you're right, "Introspect" does fit Cloud Atlas quite well, though I'll always associate the credits song from the film adaptation to the book. That song not only kills me every time I listen to it, but takes me right back to each and every one of the stories. Now I really want to reread the book haha

    1. Thanks! :) It wasn't my idea though; it was a Top Ten Tuesday from a while ago that I missed.

      That film adaptation did have some really nice music. Two of the three people who wrote the score (Johnny Klimek and Reinhold Heil) also did a good job with the Blood and Chocolate score, in my opinion. :)