“Ah, music! A magic beyond all we do here.” – Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Does listening to music make your reading experience that much more magical? That’s the inspiration behind Figment and I Heart Daily’s playlist contest. We’re asking you to create a soundtrack to go with your favorite book–and we’re giving away an iPod shuffle stacked with $50 of the music featured in these authors’ playlists!
To give you some inspiration, check out the soundtracks authors Matthew Quick and Robin Wasserman put together for their newest books. Click here to listen to Matthew’s entire playlist for BOY21 and click here to listen to Robin’s entire playlist for The Book of Blood and Shadow.
Matthew Quick on his playlist for BOY21:
“Many of the artists and songs below are mentioned in my new novel, BOY21, which is about outer space, the Irish mob, and basketball. Each song — in this order — represents and matches up with a different part of the story, so listening tells the tale.”
“Space Is The Place” by Sun Ra
“Stuck Between Stations” by The Hold Steady
“I’m A Man You Don’t Meet Every Day” by The Pogues
“Jump Around (Pete Rock Remix)” by House of Pain
“Skinny Love” by Bon Iver
“Drunken Lullabies” by Flogging Molly
“Fire Fly” by Childish Gambino
“Hedwig’s Theme” by Harry Potter Soundtrack
“Everyone Nose” by N.E.R.D.
“Outer Spaceways Incorporated” by Sun Ra
“Like Toy Soldiers” by Eminem
“I’m Beginning To See The Light” by Ella Fitzgerald
“Grow Till Tall” by Jonsi
“Coming Home” by Diddy Dirty Money
Robin Wasserman on her playlist for The Book of Blood and Shadow:
“Unlike a lot of the writers I know, I hate to listen to music when I write. (This is somewhat unfortunate, since I do all my writing in coffee shops where it’s for some reason become a rule that music must be played at all times, the louder and more annoying the better.) If it’s a song I like, I get too distracted by chair-dancing and lip-syncing to focus on my work; if it’s a song I hate, I get too distracted by my mounting rage. The best scenario is a soundtrack of songs I’ve never heard before and have no interest in hearing again–I’ve become a pro at tuning things out.But this is not to say that music plays no role in my writing process. One of the hardest things about writing a book is slipping back into the same mood, the same mood, the same strange storytelling trance day after day, even on the days when you’d rather be spending your time watching a movie or fixing your hot water heater. Music (before I sit down to write) is one of the best ways I’ve found to trick my brain back into book mode. No matter where my head was at over the year it took it finish this book, this playlist could almost always bring me back to the world of The Book of Blood and Shadow.”
“Gravity/Falling Down Again” by Alejandro Escovedo: I love the lyrics almost as much as I love the eerie children who show up out of nowhere. Especially good for writing creeptastic scenes.
“Breathe Me” by Sia: In many ways, The Book of Blood and Shadow is a book about coping with death and living on through grief, and there’s always been something about this song that seems to encapsulate that struggle and triumph.
“Let Go” by Frou Frou: The protagonist of the book has a lot of trouble with letting go–of her fears, of her secrets, of herself. The freedom it would bring is equal parts terrifying and tempting.
“Symphony #25 in G Minor, K 183” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (from the Amadeus soundtrack): My favorite piece of classical music. Though it’s neither chronologically nor geographically appropriate for the historical sections in the book, it still geared me up to write about the past.
“Galileo” by Indigo Girls: In college, I majored in the history of science, and I used to listen to this song before every exam, figuring it would bring me luck. It always has, so when I sat down to write a story about renaissance science, I put it back into the rotation.
“Save Me” by Aimee Mann; “Try Not To Breathe” by REM; “Your Lucky Day in Hell” by The Eels; “Fire” by Augustana: My songs of blood and shadow. They’re all about setting a specific mood in my brain, a mood that I was trying desperately to get onto the page. Some perfect combination of eerie, sad, dark, and determined.
“Die, Vampire, Die” by Die, Vampire, Die soundtrack: This is the song I listen to when all hope is lost and I’m ready to set my computer on fire. Trust me, it helps.