CoS Exclusive Features

10 Albums and Books That Make a Perfect Fit

on May 06, 2014, 3:43pm
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Soundtracking Life, a new monthly feature created by Lior Phillips and co-developed with Matt Melis, aims to pair everyday life with the music that underscores, speaks to, and enhances our experiences. This month, the CoS Staff soundtracks 10 of our favorite books.

There is a long-held belief about books: they’re silent by design and singular in experience. Unleashed by the authors’ words, you are able to run with their voice and expose yourself completely—as if dragged into a state of emotive groupthink you can’t possibly kick out of. Every so often, a book can get right under your skin, just like music, and you’re left feeling auxiliary yet completely submerged.

To put a human myth mildly, Blaise Pascal shook his fist reminding us that “the sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his room.” Unfortunately, reality is slightly grayer than that. It’s become near impossible to wade through the aural sludge: this Internet, that public transport, those paper-thin apartment walls! It’s 2014 and they still haven’t managed to invent a “life-remote,” and while some books seduce us in silence, others, if paired with the correct music, can make words promenade around the page like a choreographed waltz.

“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” ― Aldous Huxley, Music at Night and Other Essays

A soundtrack can punctuate reading, shut out that incessant gurgle in the world, and provide a way for us to take a page out of an author’s book and live in it for a little while. At some point in our lives, we all have a stack of books organically bound to the music we listened to when reading them because sounds can bring haunted figures into being, romantic characters into fruition, and amplify moods or heighten intensity. Miles Davis soundtracking William S. Burroughs, Patti Smith dancing around Sylvia Plath, Four Tet buried in Chuck Palahniuk, Iggy spiraling over Irvine Welsh, and Morrissey squalling with Oscar Wilde… Poetic isn’t it? Plug into your Life Soundtrack.

–Lior Phillips Staff Writer

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Beats By Dre
July 5, 2014 at 4:29 pm

Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like
you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do
with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that, this
is wonderful blog. A great read. I will certainly be back.

Randy Potter
June 20, 2014 at 7:58 pm

Never thought I would read a book like “The Fault In Our Stars” but I did, and when I did, I put on I Break Horses’ newest Album, which is terribly depressing but great, and being that TFIOS is also terribly depressing this match was highly effective.

June 19, 2014 at 4:27 pm

Wait, how can you have House of Leaves and not mention the album “Haunted” by the author’s sister, the singer Poe? The album has pictures of houses, voices in between tracks that sound like voices in the walls, is called HAUNTED and her brother wrote a book about a haunted house. Great pairing for extra creepiness.

June 17, 2014 at 4:33 pm

Reblogged this on nkldjokovic77 and commented:

June 17, 2014 at 2:01 pm

wizard of oz and dark side of the moon

House of Leaves
May 8, 2014 at 11:17 am

interestingly i clicked the link thinking of house of leaves and how perfectly the haxan cloak-excavation fits with it. try that out.

May 7, 2014 at 4:28 am

Try Shhh / Peaceful by Miles Davis and The Jolly Corner by Henry James.

The Dex
May 6, 2014 at 7:19 pm

New lows everyday

May 6, 2014 at 7:18 pm

New lows everyday

Dylan Tracy
May 6, 2014 at 5:28 pm

I certainly think that Weezer’s Pinkerton meshes too well with Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Lots of youthful angst and emotion pent up through the pages and songs works well together. You can listen to the album maybe four or five times and finish the book.


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