The Perks: Book Soundtracks

Hey hi, did you miss us? The internerd at Phoenix HQ was all crazy and unreliable through the end of last week. Thank Christ the www is just a series of tubes. Rest easy, everything's fixed now. Here's an interesting bit from the inbox:

Via Publisher's Marketplace:

Over the weekend the Wall Street Journal looked at books that come with soundtracks--sometimes formally packaged with the book, sometimes informally posted on the web. "The idea is that as they read, people can listen to music that matches the mood of the books. In some cases, the songs are mentioned in the books themselves; in others, the lyrics mirror themes or plot points."

James Patterson spent $100,000 commissioning a CD for one of his Maximum Ride titles, and 100,000 cds were sent to radio stations and given away as promos.

One bellwether site: "One byproduct of the book soundtrack trend has been the transformation of a grassroots music blog into a coveted marketing slot for authors like Mr. Ellis and Mr. Klosterman. The blog, called Largehearted Boy, features a running series called 'Book Notes.' About once a week, an author of a recent book posts a list of songs that inspired the work or that readers might want to listen to as they turn the pages."

We'd link you directly to the WSJ article, but the squares over there don't like giving away any of their content for free. No matter--we heart the idea of book soundtracks and wish more novels (aside from James Patterson fodder) came with a compilation CD. It reminds us of the mixtape Charlie made in one of our fave YA books of all time, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky. Written in letter-form, Perks is sort of an update on The Catcher in the Rye, though Charlie is nowhere near as entitled as Holden. Charlie is intelligent, shy, introspective, and an old-soul-type whose correspondence to an anonymous stranger takes on the intimate qualities of a journal. It's beautiful and sad and one of the best modern coming-of-age stories this half of Word Up has ever read, so there!

People either love it or hate it (there are over a thousand reviews posted on its page), though usually they love it. Each time we reference this book in conversation, someone owns up to copying Charlie's mix. We have yet to attempt it, though it'd probably create the perfect atomosphere for a reread. 

Here's the tracklist:

Asleep by the Smiths
Vapour Trail by Ride
Scarborough Fair by Simon & Garfunkel
A Whiter Shade of Pale by Procol Harum
Time of No Reply by Nick Drake
Dear Prudence by the Beatles
Gypsy by Suzanne Vega
Nights in White Satin by the Moody Blues
Daydream by Smashing Pumpkins
Dusk by Genisis
MLK by U2
Blackbird by the Beatles
Lanslide by Fleetwood Mac
Asleep by the Smiths

Sountrack to your favorite book? Commentary welcome.

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