Jenerally Speaking: My Reading Playlist

I love music.  Probably as much as I love books.  I do everything with music. Just ask my boss – I am always wearing headphones at work.  Music helps me concentrate and I have a playlist for EVERYTHING, from cleaning my apartment and working out to traveling and, of course, for reading.  I think my love of music is genetic.  My grandfather use to blast the classics at his house, mostly Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Ella Fitzgerald, though we were always partial to Ol’ Blue Eyes.  A lot of my childhood memories include music.  My mom – just like her father – also played music at high volume, especially Barbra Streisand.  To this day I can probably sing every Barbra Streisand song out there.  And don’t get me started on musicals.  My sister and I used to choreograph our own routines to “The Wells Fargo Wagon” from The Music Man and “Masquerade” from The Phantom of the Opera.

Naturally, I have music I like to listen to while reading.   When thinking about what I would write for my next post I thought – “What list would I put together for reading a Swoon Reads title?”  And here is what I’ve pulled together, along with some of my favorite lyrics (in italics).  Not all titles are romantic but most are. J


1.  “The Book of Love” by Peter Gabriel –  I love it when you read to me and you can read me anything.  There is just something about this song that is both lovely and haunting.

2.  “Come Rain or Come Shine” by Ray CharlesDays may be cloudy or sunny.  We’re in or out of the money.  But I’m with you always.  I’m with you rain or shine.  Well said.

3.  “More Today than Yesterday” by Spiral Staircase – First of all, bonus points for the random band name.  Second, I think this is a fun song.  I love you more today than yesterday.  But not as much as tomorrow.  Who doesn’t want that?!

4.  “The Way You Look Tonight” by Sara Bareilles – There are many versions of this song, and most people will agree that Frank Sinatra OWNS it.  That said I stumbled across this version on YouTube and I have to say, she kind of kills it.

5.  “Time Will Tell” by Gregory Alan Isakov — I love his voice and his album is the definition of mellow.

6.  “Demons” by Guster  — Oh college.  Guster was the band that everyone listened to when I was in college.  Demons has always been my favorite.

7.  “Chances Are” by Johnny Mathis

8.  “Fields of Gold” by Eva Cassidy – For some reason, I love this song and have many versions of it on my iPod.  Eva Cassidy is by far my favorite as she has such a beautiful voice.

9.  “Main Title The Cider House Rules” by Rachel Portman – For me there is something so beautiful about this piece.  This song makes it onto almost all of my playlists and it now is my alarm tone on my phone to wake up to each morning.  It’s a very nice way to wake up.

10. “Waiting for My Real Life to Begin” by Colin HayAnd you say ‘Be still my love, open up your heart. Let the light shine in.’  Don’t understand? I already have a plan, I’m waiting for my real life to begin.  Colin Hay is always a crowd pleaser, and there is just something about this song that I think a lot of people can relate to.

11. “All I Want is You” by Barry Louis PolisarIf you were a wink, I’d be a nod.  If you were a seed, well.  I’d be the pod.  If you were the floor I’d wanna be the rug, and if you were a kiss I’d know I’d be the hug.

12. “The Glory of Love” by Bette Midler  – You’ve  got to give a little, take a little and let your poor heart break a little.  That’s the story of, that’s the glory of love.  (Cue the tears this version was included in the movie Beaches).

13. “More” by Bobby Darin / Nat King Cole  – Longer than always is a long, long time but far beyond forever you’ll be mine.  I know I never lived before, and my heart is very sure no one else could love you more.  When I get married this will be my wedding song. The Bobby Darin version is my favorite, but I’m a TERRIBLE dancer so I’ll have to go with the Nat King Cole version, which is much slower.


Do you have any particular songs you like to listen to while reading? Let me know!  I’m always looking for new music. J

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Jen E.

Jen E. lives and works in Manhattan as a sales rep for the completely awesome Macmillan Children’s Group. When she …

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