top song of 2020 ➡ books | playlisting my shelf

by - 9:26 PM

Hello everyone! Man I really fell off my Blogmas train super fast 😬 I think I got through one week successfully before it went downhill. It's the attempt that counts I guess? This was actually one of my favorite post ideas so I still wanted to get this up before the end of the year.

Well, I'm sure everyone has been seeing the spotify wrapped graphics everywhere and I always love seeing how different everyone's music tastes are. I wanted to pick out 10 11 of my favorite songs from 2020 and recommend books based off of them that I read this year. 

taeyeon - my tragedy
wicked saints by emily a. duncan 
The lyric I'm drawing this rec from is the haunting repetition of "I don't need nobody." The main cast of characters each face their internal struggles throughout the novel but share the common thought that whatever their goal is, they must do it alone. While the theme of the song is drastically different from the book itself, I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed Wicked Saints and wanted to share the title since I haven't spoken much about it on the blog.

itzy - wannabe
cemetery boys by aiden thomas
"I wannabe me me me" - Ryujin's shoulders continue to save the industry with this song. In all seriousness, this is my top song of the year according to Spotify and I'm still obsessed. ITZY as a group is all about self-empowerment and loving yourself and that theme translates pretty well into Yadriel's story in Cemetery Boys. This story is more than just heartwarming and fun to read, but also explores Yadriel's journey navigating his family and culture while being both transgender and gay.

stella jang - bourgeois emotion
vanessa yu's magical paris tea shop by roselle lim
My only reason for this pairing these two are that they both give me this sense of bliss and calm. Vanessa Yu's Magical Paris Tea Shop was just a lovely story full of delicious food descriptions, family, and romance - all set against the backdrop of Paris. I could totally see Bourgeois Emotion playing in the background if this was ever turned into a film. 

iu (ft. bts suga) - eight
all the light we cannot see by anthony doerr
This is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever listened to in both its production, mv, and lyrics. One of the lines that always hits me is "forever we young" which captures the song's soul of remembering the youthful and happy times of a life that was cut short. All the Light We Cannot Sea was a reread for me and I was still captivated by the story and just the loss of innocence portrayed in the characters. The ending also has that touch of nostalgia that I think pairs well with the song's message.         

hayeon - eyes on you
you had me at hola by alexis daria
The characters literally had their eyes on each other the entire novel so this seemed the most fitting. Reading You Had Me At Hola was so much fun and reminded me that I need to check out more from the romance genre. As a Taeyeon stan, I was instantly obsessed with Hayeon's song and had it on repeat for weeks after its release which was a similar feeling to my reading experience of You Had Me At Hola (which I binged read in one night).

pentagon - daisy
the gilded wolves by roshani chokshi
It's been quite a while since a Pentagon song has made it onto my top favorites and with this song being their first win made it all the more special. This rec is drawing from the overall tone of the song which is feeling crazed after a breakup and then coming to a realization that you don't want that special person to hate you once this relationship no longer exists. If you've read The Gilded Wolves you can probably guess which certain character I'm referring to and I think this song would also pair well with the sequel The Silvered Serpents.


loona - universe
the house in the cerulean sea by t.j. klune
A song that literally reminds me of a fairytale can only be paired with one of the most fairytale-esque and magical stories I've read this year. I have yet to write a review for The House in the Cerulean Sea but I have not been able to stop thinking about the book since I've finished it earlier this month. Both the song and the book kind of sneak into your mind and just don't let go and just bring me all the magical happy feelings.

gfriend - mago
the hazel wood by melissa albert
There's a line in Mago "no more fairytale" which I'm tying into The Hazel Wood's dark and twisted fairytale origins. The lyrics as a whole focus on finding and accepting your inner confidence which I think reflects Alice's search for who she is even if that's not her initial purpose. The Hazel Wood is also one of those books that I didn't necessarily enjoy but the reading experience was so vivid for me that I still think about it so I thought it was worth a mention because Mago has been absolutely stuck in my head since its release.

btob 4u - show your love
the wolf of oren yaro by k.s. villoso
If you've read The Wolf of Oren-Yaro and especially it's sequel The Ikessar Falcon, there's a certain pairing that I'm personally very invested in. I would 100% (if I could dance) bust out this song in front of them to add a bit of excitement so they could just show their love to each other. If I was being realistic though, the actual ship would crash and burn so much before any happiness but I can still dream about it.

i*zone - o sole mio
muse of nightmares by laini taylor
This is a song and book that caught me by surprise with how obsessed I became with them. I*ZONE is a group I definitely stan but I've always gravitated more towards their title tracks. O Sole Mio came out of nowhere and now I'm convinced that any song of this title is a bop. Similarly, with Muse of Nightmares, the first book felt a bit disappointing to me so I wasn't very excited to jump into the sequel. Everything I felt was missing in Strange the Dreamer was delivered in Muse and months later I can still remember how engrossed I was in the story.


twice - cry for me
the poppy war trilogy by r.f. kuang
Um I didn't ask to be attacked like this at the end of the year but both this song and this trilogy came for me. 2020 was definitely the year TWICE climbed up on stan list and Cry for Me is officially stuck in my head 24/7. The same can be said for R.F. Kuang's masterful trilogy - I have yet to write a review for The Burning God simply because I cannot put all my internal screaming and tears into actual words.

This is a lot of k-pop in one post but I hope it was fun to read even if some of the recs were a bit of a stretch. Have you listened to any of these or read these books - do you think the pairings work or do you have one that fits better from your own playlist? I'd love to know!

Please let me know some of your favorite songs of the year and what book would you pair with them?

You May Also Like


  1. Ahh I love this post concept and there’s a bunch of books here that I really need to read :) I have such a hard time picking favourites and I feel like my spotify wrapped wasn’t the most accurate but some of my favourite songs this year include Seen You In Your Hometown – Lauren Alaina, Hypochondriac – Sasha Sloan, Still The Same – SHY Martin, Boy In Space, and Small Town Hypocrite – Caylee Hammack

    1. Cas!! <3 My spotify wrapped had songs I barely listened to so I didn't really bother referring to it for this 😂 I haven't heard of any of these artists before other than Sasha Sloan so I can't wait to check all of them out!

  2. What a cool post, Riv! My spotify wrapped was pretty much all over the place, haha! But I think that proves how often I mood listen to songs. I'll have to listen to that song when I'm rereading Cemetery Boys!

    1. Thank you Emily! Mood listening is always the best, it shows the versatility of music! If you do check out Wannabe, let me know if you think it fits 😂

  3. this was such a fun post!! i love itzy so much and omg pairing wannabe with cemetery boys is perfect!! and i've only just started getting into twice but cry for me is amazing 😭😭 i need to read the poppy war trilogy, i've only heard the best things about it! and i haven't heard any of the other songs you mentioned in this post, but i can't wait to check them out now! i loved reading this 💖

    1. Thank you Ash! I only got into Twice really this year but yeah they've been killing it - ahh TPW is AMAZING and so so powerful please let me know what you think when you get to them!! 💕

  4. After listening to only Taylor Swift (seriously haha) for several months, I am seriously in need of new music, and this is the perfect post! I haven't listened to any of the songs on this list but I'm looking forward to checking them out asap :) Especially Twice because I need anything that will help me recover from the ending of The Burning God haha.

    claire @ clairefy

    1. Thank you Claire! Haha I literally had scenes from TBG playing while listening to Cry for Me and got legit chills 😂

  5. love this post soooo much! (

    1. thank you so much! 💕 thanks for linking too, i'm excited to check out your content!