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7 Musical Novels to Add to Your Playlist

7 Musical Novels to Add to Your Playlist

Music and books shape our lives. So, what could be better than books about music? Here are seven novels where music can be heard shaping the story. We hope you will sing their praise!

Playlist Tags: Bookstore1Sarasota genre: Fiction musical music

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Night Music

A Novel

By Jojo Moyes
Narrated by: Elizabeth Knowelden
Length: 13 hours 9 minutes

Now published in the United States for the first time—an early novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Giver of Stars

Isabel Delancey, a classical violinist, has always taken her comfortable life for granted. But when her husband dies suddenly, leaving her with a mountain of debt, she and her two children are forced to abandon... Read more »

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Bel Canto

By Ann Patchett
Narrated by: Anna Fields
Length: 11 hours 17 minutes

A major motion picture starring Julianne Moore and Ken Watanabe.

“Blissfully romantic….A strange, terrific, spellcasting story.” — San Francisco Chronicle

“Bel Canto…should be on the list of every literate music lover. The story is riveting, the participants breathe and feel and are alive, and throughout this elegantly-told novel, music pours...

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The Ensemble

A Novel

By Aja Gabel
Narrated by: Rebecca Lowman
Length: 11 hours 36 minutes

The Ensemble

“My goodness, I love the quartet of flawed and wonderful characters Aja Gabel brings to life. I felt the heartbreak and triumph each time the ensemble performed. The Ensemble captures everything from the relentless rehearsals to the particular hand injuries musicians worry over to the conflict within the group. Henry, Daniel, Jana, and Britt are each characters unto themselves, but together they create a fifth character: the quartet itself. An inventive novel about the lives of musicians and the world they inhabit, full of tension, ambition, confusion, and loyalty. The Ensemble is a remarkable achievement.”

Watermark Books image Sarah Bagby, Watermark Books
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Special offer

Free audiobook with membership

For a limited time, when you sign up for a new monthly membership with code CHOOSEINDIE, we’ll give you a bonus audiobook! That means you’ll have 2 audiobook credits to redeem from the start.

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Songs in Ursa Major

A novel

By Emma Brodie
Narrated by: Kristen Sieh
Length: 10 hours 45 minutes

Songs in Ursa Major

“This was a very enjoyable listen! What impressed me most was that it surprised me. I know nothing about Joni Mitchell or James Taylor, the two musicians this book is rumored to be based on and I'm not a huge fan of the music scene but I had been hearing a lot about this book and decided to give it a try. It was well crafted and thoughtful and I really enjoyed the pacing, writing, and characters. Besides the music scene (which reminded me a lot of Carole King's musical Beautiful in terms of the history), it also focused on various levels of mental health and had some really good relationships and insights without being preachy. The audiobook production narrated by Kristen Sieh is phenomenal and played a big part in my enjoyment of the book. I was also lucky enough to be at an event with Emma Brodie and was super impressed with her background as an editor and her approach to the novel! Overall, I really enjoyed Song in Ursa Major and frequently include it in my summer recommendations!”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Kimi, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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The Guts

By Roddy Doyle
Narrated by: Laurence Kinlan
Length: 10 hours 12 minutes

Jimmy Rabbitte of The Commitments returns in the triumphant new novel from the Booker Prize–winning author

The distinct wit and lively, authentic dialogue that are the hallmarks of Roddy Doyle’s fiction are on a full display as he reintroduces Jimmy Rabbitte in this follow-up to his beloved debut novel The Commitments.

In the 1980s Jimmy Rabbitte... Read more »

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Beautiful María of My Soul

By Oscar Hijuelos
Narrated by: Armando Durán
Length: 12 hours 35 minutes

The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love is a contemporary American classic, a book that still captivates and inspires readers more than twenty years after its first publication. Now, in Beautiful Maria of My Soul, Oscar Hijuelos returns to this indelible story, to tell it from the point of view of its beloved heroine, María.

She's the great Cuban...

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The Final Revival of Opal & Nev

By Dawnie Walton
Narrated by: Janina Edwards, Bahni Turpin, James Langton, André De Shields, Dennis Boutsikaris, Steve West, Gabra Zackman & full cast
Length: 13 hours 16 minutes

If you enjoyed Daisy Jones & The Six, then you’ll love The Final Revival of Opal & Nev.

The Final Revival of Opal & Nev absolutely shines in its full cast audio production. Organized as a series of interviews interspersed with editor notes, this book reads like a documentary-style non-fiction book but is actually FICTION which blows my mind. I felt like I read this book in its true format. The audiobook narration was SPOT ON with the full cast coming together to give so much life and personality to this cast of characters. I felt like I was listening to an in-depth podcast and with the mentioning of real life musicians and stars, I had to do a double take and make sure this book wasn't rooted in fact. Walton's Opal Jewel was someone I wish existed in real life. I could see her inspiration in all the Black female stars of the era but Opal was also a force of her own and had so much depth and life. I also really enjoyed her best friend and stylist Virgil (narrated by the indomitable Andre de Shields). This book not only tackled the pure drama of the rock and roll scene but also racial and gender issues of the era. This book is great for any music or rock and roll fan as well as fans of Daisy Jones and the Six. And do yourself a favor and devour this beauty as an audiobook!!”

Buttonwood Books and Toys image Kimi, Buttonwood Books and Toys
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