The best novels about love and music

Jill Santopolo Author Of Everything After
By Jill Santopolo

Who am I?

I’m Jill Santopolo, a novelist, editor, and mom who was born in New York and currently lives in Washington, DC. I’ve written Everything After, More Than Words, and The Light We Lost, which was the Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick in February 2018. My books have been named to The New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Apple, and Indiebound bestseller lists, and have been translated into more than 35 languages. I love Instagram and rarely ever use Twitter (but you can find me there, too)--and music makes my heart sing. When I was growing up I learned to play the piano, flute, and piccolo, and I loved singing and dancing.


I wrote...

Everything After

By Jill Santopolo,

Book cover of Everything After

What is my book about?

Emily Gold has come a long way since she lost her two passions fifteen years ago: music, and her musician boyfriend Rob. She's a psychologist at NYU who helps troubled college students like the one she once was. And she’s found love again—she and her husband Ezra want to start a family together.

When a tragic event occurs that too closely echoes her past, and parts of her story come to light, her perfect life is suddenly turned upside down. Then Emily hears a song on the radio about the woman who got away. The melody and voice are hauntingly familiar. As Emily's past passions come roaring back into her life, she finds herself asking who she’s meant to be and who she’s meant to love.

The books I picked & why

Shepherd is reader supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. This is how we fund this project for readers and authors (learn more).

Daisy Jones & The Six

By Taylor Jenkins Reid,

Book cover of Daisy Jones & The Six

Why this book?

Taylor Jenkins Reid’s novel is so brilliantly crafted that I had to keep reminding myself it was fiction, not fact. Written as a collection of interviews of a 1970s band, this story is propulsive and complex and filled with such fascinating details of the music business and the interpersonal band relationships. Come for the music, stay for the passion—and the phenomenal writing.  

Daisy Jones & The Six

By Taylor Jenkins Reid,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Daisy Jones & The Six as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

SOON TO BE AN AMAZON PRIME TV SERIES STARRING SAM CLAFLIN, RILEY KEOUGH AND CAMILA MORRONE

THE SUNDAY TIMES AND NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

From the author of THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO and the bestselling MALIBU RISING

'I LOVE it . . . I can't remember the last time I read a book that was so fun' DOLLY ALDERTON

Everybody knows Daisy Jones and the Six.

From the moment Daisy walked barefoot on to the stage at the Whisky, she and the band were a sensation.

Their sound defined an era. Their albums were on every turntable. They…


Heard It in a Love Song

By Tracey Garvis Graves,

Book cover of Heard It in a Love Song

Why this book?

Tracey Garvis Graves’s novel about second chances and starting over is filled with so much warmth, it’s impossible not to cheer for her characters and to feel true empathy for their situations. Newly-divorced Layla discovers she had to make peace with her past to find love in her present—and music is the key to it all. 

Heard It in a Love Song

By Tracey Garvis Graves,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Heard It in a Love Song as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


The Piano Teacher

By Janice Y. K. Lee,

Book cover of The Piano Teacher

Why this book?

Janice Y.K Lee marries historical fiction with music and passion in this epic story set in Singapore in the 1940s and 1950s. Like all the best historical novels, this book highlighted aspects of history not always discussed, and did it with a thread of beautiful music woven through the story. This book is all-consuming.  

The Piano Teacher

By Janice Y. K. Lee,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Piano Teacher as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ambitious, exotic, and a classic book club read, 'The Piano Teacher' is a combination of 'Tenko' meets 'The Remains of the Day'.

Sometimes the end of a love affair is only the beginning...

In 1942, Will Truesdale, an Englishman newly arrived in Hong Kong, falls headlong into a passionate relationship with Trudy Liang, a beautiful Eurasian socialite. But their love affair is soon threatened by the invasion of the Japanese, with terrible consequences for both of them, and for members of their fragile community who will betray each other in the darkest days of the war.

Ten years later, Claire…


Sweet Thing

By Renée Carlino,

Book cover of Sweet Thing

Why this book?

Renee Carlino’s book about being in love—and loving music—when you’re in your early 20s is the kind of story that feels like time travel. She captures life and love and grief and confusion so perfectly. And for anyone who has ever found guitar players sexy, well, I bet Will will win your heart.

Sweet Thing

By Renée Carlino,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sweet Thing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Mia Kelly thinks she has it all figured out. She's an Ivy League graduate, a classically trained pianist, and the beloved daughter of a sensible mother and offbeat father. Yet Mia has been stalling since graduation, torn between putting her business degree to use and exploring music, her true love.

When her father unexpectedly dies, she decides to pick up the threads of his life while she figures out her own. Uprooting herself from Ann Arbor to New York City, Mia takes over her father's cafe, a treasured neighbourhood institution that plays host to undiscovered musicians and artists. She's denied…

The Unsinkable Greta James

By Jennifer E. Smith,

Book cover of The Unsinkable Greta James

Why this book?

Out in March of 2022 (so pre-order if you’re reading this before then—your future self will thank you!), Jennifer E. Smith’s family story finds itself at the intersection of music, travel, familial love, and romantic love. When Rockstar Greta James finds her life spiraling downward, the music she loves and the people she loves are the only way out. 

The Unsinkable Greta James

By Jennifer E. Smith,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Unsinkable Greta James as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in romantic love, rock music, and Hong Kong?

6,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about romantic love, rock music, and Hong Kong.

Romantic Love Explore 461 books about romantic love
Rock Music Explore 137 books about rock music
Hong Kong Explore 24 books about Hong Kong

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, You Me Everything, and Remembrance if you like this list.