5 Books To Help You Get Into Your 1989 Era Before Taylor Swift's Album Release

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The moment we've waited for is here: 1989 (Taylor's Version) is just a week away. There's no doubt that 2023 has been The Year of Taylor Swift. From her 3-hour-long Eras Tour shows to the lyric changes in her 3rd studio album, Speak Now, Swift has had no shortage of successes this year. And with the upcoming re-release of her 5th studio album, she's not quitting anytime soon (thank goodness).


Swift's career has been defined by the pivotal moments in her life, but the 1989 era was especially unique. Following the devastating sentiments she expressed on her album Red, Swift entered her new era by chopping off her long hair, moving to New York City, and switching to an entirely new genre of music. She became bold with her sound, private about her life, and loud about the importance of female friendships.

With that being said, the release of 1989 (Taylor's Version) asks fans to immerse themselves in the era as well. We've put together a list of books that can help you envision and enter your 1989 era, whether that's hiding away with a secret lover or rocking one of Swift's standout red lip looks. With these stories in mind, you'll be sure to find magic, madness, heaven, and sin.


Happy Place by Emily Henry

1989 was largely defined by Swift's desire to keep her private life to herself — regardless of a messy breakup or secret rendezvous. If that sounds exciting to you, then Happy Place by Emily Henry is an excellent read. Henry, who's claimed her Swiftie identity multiple times per Brit + Co, wrote Happy Place about the secret breakup of a long-term relationship, and the efforts it takes to keep the news private. The story follows Harriet and Wyn as they navigate an intense breakup in the midst of a group vacation.


Before the 1989 era, Swift was captured with Harry Styles, leading to a whirlwind of rumors, intrusive pictures, and an inevitable breakup. After the album was released, it was clear that their romance had come to an end, with songs like All You Had to Do Was Stay, I Wish You Would, and I Know Places depicting the highs and lows of an extremely public relationship. And still — much like Harriet and Wyn's relationship — it was impossible to forget all the romantic moments.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

The ultimate read for any iconic female figure. Much like Swift and the release of her first pop album, Evelyn Hugo is not your average Hollywood star. The aged and reclusive Hollywood actress is ready to share her truth with the world, about the men she's married and how they broke her heart. The story follows journalist Monique Grant as she interviews and learns more about the formerly acclaimed star. Swift's music has often been described as autobiographical, almost like a musical diary where we, the listeners, can read, learn, and dissect more about Swift.


In 1989, she expressed these sentiments with songs like I Know Places, Wonderland, and Blank Space — and as a result, we were given small glimpses into Swift's romantic endeavors and what it means to be a woman seeking love. Much like Evelyn Hugo's journey, public opinion around Swift's dating life has shifted over time. More than ever before, Swift is recognized for her unique songwriting skills, entrepreneurial expertise, and everlasting relevancy. Both women were once deeply misunderstood but used their outlets to share their truth.

Once More With Feeling by Elissa Sussman

Number one pop star, sold-out concerts, famous boyfriends. Sound familiar? No, we're actually not talking about Swift. Once More With Feeling by Elissa Sussman follows Kathleen Rosenberg, known professionally as Katee Rose, as she navigates fame, love, and scandals. After agreeing to a Broadway show that could save her career, Katee slowly begins falling for the man who ultimately ruined it. Despite everything, however, Katee can't run from how she truly feels.


During the 1989 era, Swift battled a number of scandals that came her way — the inherent misogyny of being a famous woman, maintaining a relationship with another A-list celebrity, and defending herself in the midst of hateful rhetoric. What Katee goes through runs parallel with Swift's personal and public experiences during the 1989 era. To prepare for Taylor's Version, why not read a story that feels so close to her own?

In a New York Minute by Kate Spencer

There's nothing more 1989-coded than reading a love letter to New York City. In a New York Minute by Kate Spencer follows Franny Doyle, a young woman having the worst day of her life. While catching the subway, she bumps into an expensive-looking man named Hayes Montgomery III, and the rest is history. Franny and Hayes' romance quickly reaches social media, and after going viral, Franny is faced with navigating romance and fame all at once.


The parallels between Kate Spencer's novel and Swift's 1989 album are undeniable. After moving to New York City, Swift was caught in her own whirlwind romance with DJ Calvin Harris — wherever the two were, a line of fans and paparazzi would follow. The 1989 era was the beginning of Swift's long journey towards seeking privacy, garnering excessive fame, and balancing it all while falling in love. Still, Swift and Calvin maintained their relationship for a few years, with photographs of the two running around New York City. If this book doesn't scream 1989, we don't know what does.

Call It What You Want by Alissa DeRogatis

1989 was an era filled with 'almost-loves,' much like Alissa DeRogatis' Call It What You Want. The story follows hopeless romantic Sloane Hart, a child of divorce who still believes that her true love is out there. After moving to New York City to pursue writing, Sloane meets Ethan Brady, who quickly charms her before the two start casually dating. There's only one problem: While Sloane can see a future with Ethan, he's not willing to commit to a serious relationship. Inevitably, their differences lead to heartbreak.


Many of Swift's romantic experiences that inspired the album were linked to Harry Styles, who was dating Swift on-and-off from mid-2012 to early 2013. Despite their efforts, both artists were extremely different and headed in opposite directions. While Swift had settled into her fame, Styles was still in the honeymoon phase. In Out of the Woods, Swift expresses these sentiments through lyrics like 'We were built to fall apart/then fall back together.' Just like Sloane and Ethan, the end of Swift and Styles' relationship was inevitable. We can't wait to hear more of Swift's secrets on 1989 (Taylor's Version).