This morning I awoke with Dua Lipa’s “Love Again” playing in my head, and gawdamn, it’s got me singing the song, again. Lately, between that and Ed Sheeran’s “Bad Habits”… I know I should swear off pop music, but I won’t.
My brain is forever a jukebox that is often playing songs that I may have heard recently or haven’t heard in years—maybe I dreamed about it? There isn’t always a rhyme or reason, but there is one constant, a song is playing. Once in a while, a song even gets stuck on repeat. (After singing “Mack the Knife” in a college jazz concert, I frequently found myself humming and singing, “Oh the shaaark haaas, prrretty teeeth, Deeear, and he shows themmm, PEHHRRRly white…”)
It’s for this reason that I tend to despise earworm songs—even the term creates a disgusting visual for me, and brainworm is enough to induce the heebie-jeebies. One of my most hated earworms is Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Out of My Head”, because the only thing worse than an earworm is one that mocks you! (By the way, there is a real term for this condition: Involuntary Musical Imagery or INMI, and Mental Floss offers a cure!)
Earworms aside, I am a music lover. I enjoy most genres, or at least some songs from each, but alas, as I am recognizing a sign of aging, I feel nostalgic listening to music from the 90’s and early oughts, my teenage and college years.
One of our Mead Bookish Bingo challenges this year is to read a book that has a connection to a song released in the year 2000. This can mean that the book or title was inspired by a song from that year or that the song from that year was inspired by a book from any time.
This is one of our most challenging challenges, if you will. I did some deep digging for this one, and here are a few literary options for you. This list is not exclusive, so if you have additional suggestions, please share them on our Goodreads discussion board.
“Afternoon on a Hill” by Edna St. Vincent Millay
(This is technically a poem, but the poem was made into a children’s book, so it counts.)
Inspired “The Gladdest Thing” by Deb Talan
This whimsical poem expresses the joys of being out in the natural world as “the gladdest thing under the sun.”
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
Inspired “Haunted” by Poe
This story focuses on a young family that moves into a small home on Ash Tree Lane where they discover something is terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
(This story, which was inspirited by L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, also inspired an entire musical in 2003.) Inspired seven songs on the Hannah Fury album The Thing That Feels
An astonishingly rich re-creation of the land of Oz, this book retells the story of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, who wasn’t so wicked after all. Taking readers past the yellow brick road and into a phantasmagoric world rich with imagination and allegory, Gregory Maguire just might change the reputation of one of the most sinister characters in literature.
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Inspired “Animal in Man” by Dead Prez
Mr. Jones of Manor Farm is so lazy and drunken that one day he forgets to feed his livestock. The ensuing rebellion under the leadership of the pigs Napoleon and Snowball leads to the animals taking over the farm. Vowing to eliminate the terrible inequities of the farmyard, the renamed Animal Farm is organized to benefit all who walk on four legs. But as time passes, the ideals of the rebellion are corrupted, then forgotten. And something new and unexpected emerges…
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Inspired “Brave New World” by Iron Maiden
Brave New World is Aldous Huxley’s 1932 dystopian novel. Borrowing from The Tempest , Huxley imagines a genetically-engineered future where life is pain-free but meaningless. The book heavily influenced George Orwell’s 1984 and science-fiction in general.
Captain Alatriste by Arturo Pérez-Reverte
Inspired “La Cruz de Santiago” by Mägo de Oz
It is the height of Spain’s celebrated golden century – but beyond the walls of the Royal Palace there is little on the streets of Madrid that glitters. The Invincible Armada has been defeated. The shadow of the Inquisition looms large. And the Thirty Years’ War rages on in Flanders. When a courageous soldier of this war, Captain Diego Alatriste, is forced to retire after being wounded in battle, he returns home to live the comparatively tame – though hardly quiet – life of a swordsman-for-hire. In this dangerous city where a thrust of steel settles all matters, there is no stronger blade than Alatriste’s.” The captain is approached with an offer of work that involves giving a scare to some strangers soon to arrive in Madrid. But on the night of the attack, it becomes clear that these aren’t ordinary travelers – and that someone is out for their blood. What happens next is the first in a series of riveting twists, with implications that will reverberate throughout the courts of Europe
Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling
Inspired “Ode to Harry” by Switchblade Kittens
Harry Potter is a series of seven fantasy novels written by British author J. K. Rowling. The novels chronicle the lives of a young wizard, Harry Potter, and his friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
During my research, I also discovered that Artists for Literacy began a fundraising campaign in the year 2000 to recruit literary-influenced songs by top artists to inspire new readers and support free tutoring programs. 2000 was indeed a great year for the literature-music connection.
*Book descriptions and images are from Goodreads.com, except for the Harry Potter series description, which is from Wikipedia