Musical Fiction Novels for Music Nerds

This year’s summer reading theme is Libraries Rock!  Sign up on our website or in one of our branches and start reading these great novels all about music.

A Visit from the Good Squad by Jennifer EganA Visit from the Good Squad by Jennifer Egan
Bennie Salazar, an aging former punk rocker and record executive, and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs, confront their pasts in this story about how rebellion ages, influence corrupts, habits turn to addictions, lifelong friendships fluctuate and turn, and how art and music have the power to redeem.

High Fidelity by Nick HornbyHigh Fidelity by Nick Hornby
The romantic trials of the owner of a London record shop, after his girlfriend leaves him for another man.



The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan LethamThe Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Letham
Through the knitting and unraveling of two boys’ friendship, Lethem creates an overwhelmingly rich and emotionally gripping canvas of race and class, superheros, gentrification, funk, hip-hop, graffiti tagging, loyalty, and memory.

The Commitments by Roddy DoyleThe Commitments by Roddy Doyle
A group of working-class Irish youths with a passion for the music of Sam Cooke and Otis Redding form a rock ‘n’ roll band and attempt to bring soul to Dublin.


Telegraph Avenue by Michael ChabonTelegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon
It is a story that explores the profoundly intertwined lives of two Oakland, California families, one black and one white. Here he creates a world grounded in pop culture: Kung Fu, 1970s Blaxploitation films, vinyl LPs, jazz and soul music, and an epic of friendship, race, and secret histories.

The Ensemble by Aja Gabel

The Ensemble by Aja Gabel
Forging a familial bond over their shared artistic talents and secrets, four young people navigate a cutthroat world and their complex relationships with each other, as ambition, passion, and love reinforce and divide them throughout the course of their lives.

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch AlbomThe Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom
An epic story of the greatest guitar player to ever live, and the six lives he changed with his magical blue strings.


Accordion Crimes by Annie ProulxAccordion Crimes by Annie Proulx
Divided into nine sections and spanning a century and a continent, this novel illuminates the lives of the founders of a nation, descendants of Mexicans, Poles, Germans, the Irish, Scots and Franco-Canadians. Through the music of the accordion they express their fantasies, sorrows and exuberance.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John MandelStation Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve.


Just Listen by Sarah DessenJust Listen by Sarah Dessen
Isolated from friends who believe the worst because she has not been truthful with them, sixteen-year-old Annabel finds an ally in classmate Owen, whose honesty and passion for music help her to face and share what really happened at the end-of-the-year party that changed her life.

Ready Player One by Ernest ClineReady Player One by Ernest Cline
Wade Watts has devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within the virtual utopia known as the OASIS–puzzles whose solution promise power and fortune. But when he stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on.

Bel Canto by Ann PratchettBel Canto by Ann Pratchett
At the birthday of a South American vice-president, Roxanne Coss, opera’s most revered soprano, has mesmerized the international guests with her singing until the group is take hostage by terrorists.