Book Lover Creates An Awesome List Of Book Recommendations Based On Your Favorite Albums

Your holiday reading list is now in effect.

If you're a music lover who's looking for a new book to read but don't know where to start, thank Kiara Garrett for your new holiday reading list. The Charlotte, N.C., literary activist has gone viral for her "If You Liked This Album, Read This Book" list, which pairs popular hip-hop and R&B albums with books that match their vibe.


The list features 20 album and book matches, including Beyoncé's Lemonade and Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, Rihanna's Anti and Toni Morrison's God Help the Child, and SZA's CTRL and Janet Mock's Surpassing Certainty

Garrett — a teen service specialist who plans different types of literacy, educational success, and economic opportunity-based programs for teens ages 10-18 — is constantly seeking new ways to engage her kids into reading, so naturally, this kind book list helps her do just that. But the actual concept of the list was actually inspired by a conversation Garrett had on a dating app.

"The guy I matched with asked what I do for a living, and I told him I worked for the library system in our city," Garrett explained to A Plus. "He responded that he wanted to get back into reading and asked me for a book recommendation. The first book that came to mind was This is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz. Initially, he thought I was giving him a relationship advice book until I explained, 'If you liked Jay-Z's album 4:44, then you would like this book.'  I talked to one co-worker just to make sure that comparison was right and we agreed. After the conversation with my co-worker, the idea popped in my mind of creating this list. From there, I just started choosing a few of my favorite books and albums, and it just took off from there. "

After publishing her book list on Canva late September, Garrett announced her latest project on Facebook. She had no idea it would go viral. "I shared it back in September with the intentions of it maybe being seen by like 15 people in my city," the 28-year-old said. "I even plugged my library system just for people to go and check out the books. Then, I got a text late at night from my best friend that the post had almost hit 100. We were both hyped but shocked. By the time I got to work the next day, I realized it went from 100 to 800 shares. By the end of the work day, it hit 1,000 shares and it just went up from there." Over the last few months, news quickly spread throughout nearly every popular social media platform, gaining likes and reposts by the thousands. 

Garrett told us all this attention is freaking her out, "but in a good way." The bookworm has garnered fans across the country and even around the world. "Just reading the comments that people are saying this is a great idea, that they're going to their library to check out these books, or purchasing them from their local bookstores and Amazon just from my recommendations makes my little librarian heart smile. My best friend clicked on one person's name in the comment section and saw that the post had reached Australia! At that point, I just knew that I did something good. I most definitely wasn't expecting Vibe magazine to write an article about it. I smooth hit the 'Wee-Bey from The Wire' GIF when I saw the tweet." 

What truly makes Garrett's list special is that it exclusively features authors of color, something that's often left out of mainstream book recommendation lists. Garrett's project is in support of #WeNeedDiverseBooks, a social media movement that promotes diverse stories from authors of marginalized groups.

So far, Garrett's recommendations have reawakened the bibliophile in many. "With this list, I really just want to bring back that love of reading," she said. "We all know that music is universal and it speaks to everyone — as cliché as that sounds. If I can get people to read books based off their musical tastes, then my job here is done." As for whether or not we can expect another list from the book guru, Garrett said, "I am in the process of creating another book list. It has a few more albums on it, but don't let it fool you: It's a ton of work! I want to make sure that people who see this are picking up on my connections, but I want them to make their own connection to the album/book."

For the full list of Garrett's recommendations, check it out on Canva. Be sure to follower her for more updates on her next list. 

Cover image via Canva


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