For many readers, music and books are closely linked—especially if authors noticeably refer to many songs and musicians. (See: Hilary Thayer Hamann and Anthropology of an American Girl, and even Jonathan Franzen and Freedom.) I noticed this most recently while reading Ann Packer's Swim Back to Me, a collection of short stories I reviewed for BookPage's April issue. In what may have been my favorite story of the collection, a mom from the suburbs grieves the death of her teenage son. She copes by listening to his collection of rock music.

I wasn't familiar with all of the bands in the story . . . but lo and behold, Random House has created a playlist of the tunes the mom grows to need (think X and the Pixies). While you wait for the April 5 release of Swim Back to Me, I thought you might enjoy this musical preview:

What books or authors do you associate with music? Does this playlist make you want to read Swim Back to Me? Look for a Q&A with Packer and a review of the book in the next couple of weeks.

Also in BookPage: Read a review of The Dive from Clausen's Pier and Songs Without Words.

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