Nothing gets me quite in my feels like a great Maggie Rogers song, and I’ve loved everything I’ve heard off of her new album, Surrender, coming out July 29. To celebrate, we paired some books with our favorite songs!
“I found myself when I was going everywhere”
Back In My Body – This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub
On the eve of her 40th birthday, Alice’s life isn’t terrible. She likes her job, even if it isn’t exactly the one she expected. She’s happy with her apartment, her romantic status, her independence, and she adores her lifelong best friend. But her father is ailing, and it feels to her as if something is missing. When she wakes up the next morning she finds herself back in 1996, reliving her 16th birthday. But it isn’t just her adolescent body that shocks her, or seeing her high school crush, it’s her dad: the vital, charming, 40-something version of her father with whom she is reunited. Now armed with a new perspective on her own life and his, some past events take on new meaning. Is there anything that she would change if she could?
“I never loved you fully in the way I could”
Fallingwater – Red At the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson
As it explores sexual desire and identity, ambition, gentrification, education, class and status, and the life-altering facts of parenthood, Red at the Bone most strikingly looks at the ways in which young people must so often make long-lasting decisions about their lives—even before they have begun to figure out who they are and what they want to be.
“It all works out in the end
Wherever you go, that’s where I am”
That’s Where I Am – People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry
Poppy and Alex. Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She’s a wild child; he wears khakis. She has an insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends. For most of the year they live far apart—she’s in New York City, and he’s in their small hometown—but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together. Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven’t spoken since.
“Can’t hide what you desire once you’re on it
Can’t fake what you can’t break up with, ooh”
Want Want – Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock ‘n’ roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things. Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road. Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.
“I was walking through icy streams
That took my breath away…
And I walked off an old me”
Alaska – The Unsinkable Greta James by Jennifer E. Smith
Right after the sudden death of her mother, and just before the launch of her high-stakes sophomore album, Greta James falls apart on stage. The footage quickly goes viral and she stops playing, her career suddenly in jeopardy—the kind of jeopardy her father, Conrad, has always predicted. Months later, Greta—still heartbroken and very much adrift—reluctantly agrees to accompany Conrad on the Alaskan cruise her parents had booked to celebrate their fortieth anniversary. It could be their last chance to heal old wounds in the wake of shared loss.
“Would you hear me out
If I told you I was terrified for days?
Thought I was gonna break”
Light On – Must Love Books by Shauna Robinson
When Nora landed an editorial assistant position at Parsons Press, it was her first step towards The Dream Job. But after five years of lunch orders, finicky authors, and per my last emails, Nora has come to one grand conclusion: Dream Jobs do not exist. With her life spiraling, Nora gets hit with even worse news. Parsons is cutting her already unlivable salary. Unable to afford her rent and without even the novels she once loved as a comfort, Nora decides to moonlight for a rival publisher to make ends meet…and maybe poach some Parsons’ authors along the way.
“If I was who I was before
Then I’d be waiting at your door
But I cannot confess I am the same”
Give A Little – The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters’ storylines intersect?
“And every time our fingers touched
I felt like it would be too much
And too little to hang on to”
Say It – We Do What We Do In the Dark by Michelle Hart
Mallory is a freshman in college when she sees her for the first time at the university’s gym, immediately entranced by this elegant, older person, whom she later learns is married and works at the school. Before long, they begin a clandestine affair. The woman absolutely consumes Mallory, who is still reeling from her mother’s death a few months earlier. Mallory retreats from the rest of the world and into a relationship with this melancholy, elusive woman she admires so much yet who can never be fully hers. Years after the affair has ended, Mallory must decide whether to stay safely in this isolation, this constructed loneliness, or to step fully into the world and confront what the woman meant to her, for better or worse.
“So many things that I still wanna say
And if devotion is a river, then I’m floating away”
Love You For A Long Time – Normal People by Sally Rooney
Connell and Marianne grew up in the same small town, but the similarities end there. At school, Connell is popular and well liked, while Marianne is a loner. But when the two strike up a conversation—awkward but electrifying—something life changing begins. A year later, they’re both studying at Trinity College in Dublin. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain. Throughout their years at university, Marianne and Connell circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together.
“The knife of insight tore its way in me
A brash collision without sympathy”
The Knife – Woman of Light by Kali Fajardo-Anstine
Luz “Little Light” Lopez, a tea leaf reader and laundress, is left to fend for herself after her older brother, Diego, a snake charmer and factory worker, is run out of town by a violent white mob. As Luz navigates 1930s Denver, she begins to have visions that transport her to her Indigenous homeland in the nearby Lost Territory. Luz recollects her ancestors’ origins, how her family flourished, and how they were threatened. She bears witness to the sinister forces that have devastated her people and their homelands for generations. In the end, it is up to Luz to save her family stories from disappearing into oblivion.
“ ‘Cause people change overnight
Things get strange, but I’m alright”
Overnight – These Impossible Things by Salma El-Wardany
It’s always been Malak, Kees, and Jenna against the world. Since childhood, under the watchful eyes of their parents, aunties and uncles, they’ve learned to live their own lives alongside the expectations of being good Muslim women. Malak wants the dream: for her partner, community, and faith to coexist happily, and she wants this so much she’s willing to break her own heart to get it. Kees is in love with Harry, a white Catholic man who her parents can never know about. Jenna is the life of the party, always ready for new pleasures, even though she’s plagued by a loneliness she can’t shake. But as their college years come to a close, one night changes everything when harsh truths are revealed.
“Take me through this wild time
Stay with me through all of time”
On + Off – Seven Days In June by Tia Williams
Eva Mercy is a single mom and bestselling erotica writer who is feeling pressed from all sides. Shane Hall is a reclusive, enigmatic, award-winning novelist, who, to everyone’s surprise, shows up in New York. When Shane and Eva meet unexpectedly at a literary event, sparks fly, raising not only their buried traumas, but the eyebrows of the Black literati. What no one knows is that fifteen years earlier, teenage Eva and Shane spent one crazy, torrid week madly in love. While they may be pretending not to know each other, they can’t deny their chemistry—or the fact that they’ve been secretly writing to each other in their books through the years.
“Oh, I could feel the darkness
Wrapping all its arms in mine
Oh, I could feel the world was turning”
Past Life – Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel
When Gaspery-Jacques Roberts, a detective in the black-skied Night City, is hired to investigate an anomaly in the North American wilderness, he uncovers a series of lives upended: The exiled son of an earl driven to madness, a writer trapped far from home as a pandemic ravages Earth, and a childhood friend from the Night City who, like Gaspery himself, has glimpsed the chance to do something extraordinary that will disrupt the timeline of the universe.
“Feeling all I’ve ever known
Fall away and letting go
Oh come out of the darkness”
Retrograde – Circe by Madeline Miller
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child—not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power—the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.
Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.
Ellen Whitfield is senior publicist at Books Forward, an author publicity and book marketing firm committed to promoting voices from a diverse variety of communities. From book reviews and author events, to social media and digital marketing, we help authors find success and connect with readers.