Books that will make me feel the way Lana Del Rey songs do
August 25, 2021 4:07 PM   Subscribe

I love particularly love her Chemtrails over the Country Club, Summertime Sadness, and Young and Beautiful. I don’t I know I guess they make me feel nostalgic for things I haven’t experienced. And also as though I’m falling in love. Sorry I’m not very articulate right now but it’s difficult to put into words how her songs make me feel. I guess I’m looking for novels that are timeless, breezy but deep, about love, and stepped in nostalgia for the past (real or imaginary).
posted by bigyellowtaxi to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Acts of Desperation by Megan Nolan
Pizza Girl by Jean Kyoung Frazier
The New Me by Halle Butler
Single Man by Christopher Isherwood
Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan books
Sally Rooney's two books
Brideshead Revisited
posted by caek at 4:18 PM on August 25, 2021 [2 favorites]

Hmm. Maybe The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo?
posted by catoclock at 4:28 PM on August 25, 2021 [2 favorites]

The Mary Stewart mystery romances do this for me, like Touch Not the Cat or Stormy Petral (there are a bunch of them). Or I Capture The Castle, but it might be a bit too ascerbic.
posted by acantha at 4:42 PM on August 25, 2021 [3 favorites]

posted by lovableiago at 4:55 PM on August 25, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Very intriguing question! I read through my book list while listening to those songs, and here's what resonated for me:
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Damned Pretty Things by Holly Wade Matter
Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman
posted by oxisos at 6:39 PM on August 25, 2021 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I think The Stars and the Blackness Between Them might work. Lots of lushness, young love, and a glorious sweep of 80s and 90s history despite a contemporary teen setting.
posted by shadygrove at 7:21 PM on August 25, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I'm a true believer in the whole NFR album, and I just reread The Great Gatsby," and .... yeah, this is it. Bonus to add in the new (slightly ridiculous and I'm enjoying it) Jordan Baker-focused spinoff "The Chosen and the Beautiful."
posted by purpleclover at 12:38 AM on August 26, 2021 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor and Park has everything you're asking for.
posted by unicorn chaser at 3:05 AM on August 26, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: A Sport and a Pastime?
posted by 826628 at 1:55 PM on August 26, 2021

Best answer: I read this question as asking for books that feel like a Lykke Li song, just realized it was actually Lana Del Rey. I have been thinking about the question (Lykke Li) for a day and a half. May I answer the question I thought you were asking or will the moderators delete me for being impertinent? Taking my chances... The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch feels like a Lykke Li song.
posted by ponibrown at 5:38 PM on August 26, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I don’t I know I guess they make me feel nostalgic for things I haven’t experienced. And also as though I’m falling in love.

Milan Kundera does this exact thing for me, although it's been a long time so I'm not sure I can pinpoint exactly why.
posted by babelfish at 7:35 PM on August 26, 2021

Best answer: I can't speak for this particular translation, but The Lost Estate might fit the bill.

[Not sure where I picked up this blurb, but here's some background:]
SAL PARADISE, hero of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road”, carries only one book on his three-year travels across America. On a Greyhound bus to St Louis he produces a second-hand copy of “Le Grand Meaulnes”, stolen from a Hollywood stall. Entranced by the Arizona landscape, he decides not to read it after all.

Such is the fortune of Henri Alain-Fournier's story, one of France’s most popular novels, in the English-speaking world. Much loved yet little read, for almost a century this strange, earnest and inconsolable novel has haunted the fringes of fiction. Henry Miller venerated its hero; F. Scott Fitzgerald borrowed its title for “The Great Gatsby” (and some critics think Fournier’s main characters were models for Nick Carraway, Fitzgerald’s narrator, and his lovelorn pal). John Fowles claimed it informed everything he wrote. “I know it has many faults,” he sighed, as if trying to shake the obsession, “yet it has haunted me all my life.”

Despite its famous advocates, “Le Grand Meaulnes”—100 years old in 2013—is a masterpiece in peril. The stream of pilgrims who visit Fournier’s childhood home, near Bourges, is starting to thin. These days readers in Britain and America often choose denser, more overtly philosophical French authors. A decade ago, one British fan, Tobias Hill, noted that the book survived through “a barely audible system of Chinese whispers”. Why are many English-speaking readers unfamiliar with a book adored by some of their most respected writers? And what accounts for the curious grip that this simply written and nostalgic tale of adolescent romance holds over its most besotted fans? Some love the poetry of its language, others the interlocking mysteries of its plot. Many are entranced by the elegiac sadness that rises from the prose, as one critic remarked, “like mist over the heath”. But its appeal partly lies in the romantic life and early death of its author, and the story of the woman who inspired him.

posted by Bron at 7:31 AM on August 27, 2021 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: All excellent suggestions, just marking the ones I want to (re)read. Keep them coming!
posted by bigyellowtaxi at 8:42 AM on August 27, 2021

Best answer: I too love those songs, and your question immediately made me think of Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal Dreams and almost any of Michael Ondaatje’s novels, particularly The English Patient.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 10:27 AM on August 27, 2021

Definitely The Virgin Suicides, Jeffrey Eugenides.
posted by NatalieWood at 4:33 AM on January 26

« Older How to rebuild trust and empathy in my...   |   Can you find my ideal slippers? Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments