The best books to read if you love Taylor Swift

Who am I?

Kristina Parro is a long-time Taylor Swift fan who dove deep into the stories and lyrics of folklore to help her overcome the tumultuous period she spent as a front-line healthcare worker during the pandemic. She discovered layers of deep meaning and surprising connections in the album, as well as throughout Taylor’s entire collection, that led her down a rabbit hole of her own. A quest that brought her to a more enlightened state of being. Lucky is Parro’s first novel. She's currently working on another adult-fiction manuscript. You can also find her hosting a live, weekly show on Instagram, during which she has insightful conversations with authors, artists, thinkers, creatives, and Taylor Swift fans! 


I wrote...

Lucky: A Novel

By Kristina Parro,

Book cover of Lucky: A Novel

What is my book about?

Calling all Swifties, we found a must-add to your TBR! folklore is a collection of songs and stories from singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. In the album’s primer, Taylor urges fans, “now it’s up to you to pass them down.” Kristina Parro did just that in her novel, Lucky, which was inspired by folklore and the incredible true story of Standard Oil heiress Rebekah Harkness. In Lucky, readers join Rhea Harmonía, America’s favorite pop star, as she learns the story of Rebekah Harkness and tumbles down the rabbit-hole, on a journey through history, philosophy, math, music, mythology, and time. Keep your eyes peeled for “Easter Eggs” and allusions to Swift’s entire discography hidden throughout the novel!

The books I picked & why

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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

By Lewis Carroll,

Book cover of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Why this book?

You may have read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland as a child, but it may be worth another read as an adult. Did you know that Lewis Carroll was also a mathematician, logician, professor, philosopher, and poet? As an adult, I have become enchanted by the cascading levels of deeper, and at times esoteric, meaning Carroll encoded into this tale and its sequel. It seems that Taylor, too, was inspired by Alice. Some of the many references to Wonderland in her work include: lyrics about falling down the rabbit hole, a song titled "Wonderland," and Alice imagery in music videos ("I Bet You Think About Me (Taylor’s Version)") and performances (check out how Taylor opened the 55th annual Grammy awards).


Looking for Alaska

By John Green,

Book cover of Looking for Alaska

Why this book?

My long-time favorite writer, John Green, is another Swiftie! In 2014, after he posted on social media about her 1989 album, Taylor Swift took to Tumblr to proclaim that John Green was (also) her favorite author. While John is most well-known for The Fault in Our Stars (or more recently, his TikTok), Looking for Alaska, his debut, is always my recommendation. Looking For Alaska is packed with teenage nostalgia that hits you like a gut punch. "Sad, Beautiful, Tragic" for bookworms. I read it early on in high school and it sparked a literary awakening within me. I realized that books can hold deeper, philosophical meaning; that by diving deep and soaking it all in, I could learn more about myself and this crazy thing we call reality. 


Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations

By Peter Evans, Ava Gardner,

Book cover of Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations

Why this book?

The Secret Conversations is a unique and intimate look into the life of legendary Hollywood actress, Ava Gardner. While writing my own book, this book helped me dive deeper into the head of a character like Rebekah Harkness. Similar to Rebekah (and our girl Tay), Ava was a tabloid darling who set out to live her best life. Fun Facts: Ava once married (and divorced) Frank Sinatra and eventually served as inspiration behind Taylor Jenkins Reid’s protagonist in The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. During a GQ interview, Taylor Swift explained how The Secret Conversations inspired the concept for her "Wildest Dreams" music video.


The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

By Taylor Jenkins Reid,

Book cover of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Why this book?

Another book I read while writing my book, by another Swiftie author: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. This novel chronicles the story of an up-and-coming journalist who interviews an elderly former Hollywood starlet about fame, scandals, and love. Insightful and evocative, and a look underneath the layers of a celebrity’s public persona, I devoured this book in one sitting. When a fan of the book tweeted the author, asking if the story could be inspired by the life and times of Taylor Swift, TJR replied “oh most certainly.” 


Blue Blood

By Craig Unger,

Book cover of Blue Blood

Why this book?

Rebekah Harkness, the protagonist of Swift’s song "the last great American dynasty," once starred in a real-life fairytale, playing the role of “wealthiest American woman.” Blue Blood is a biography written about her, and it was hard to get my hands on. When I finally got access, I was intrigued by what I found within: the ultimate parable of the “American Dream.” Famous friends, impactful work, scandalous headlines, philosophical musings, epic tragedy, and so many surprising parallels to Taylor Swift and her art. Only one edition of Blue Blood was ever printed. I knew more were interested in the story of Rebekah Harkness than who had access to the book—so I transcribed the stories collected and told by Unger into my novel!  


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