Get ready for the International Booker Prize and Deezer to take you on an immersive journey into this year’s shortlisted novels 

  • Deezer and Booker Prize join forces to pair music with literature in new ‘Sounds of…’ series
  • Hit play and let six dedicated playlists set the mood to the most anticipated stories of the year 
  • Not sure which book to start with first? Take our quiz to reveal the shortlisted novel that’s best for you 
  • If you’re still hungry for more, International Booker Prize chair, Ted Hodgkinson, shares his recommended summer reads, plus tunes to match

Ever wanted to get completely lost in the world of a book? Music streaming service Deezer and the International Booker Prize are making this happen. Together, they’ve created the ‘Sounds of…’ series to match music with the six shortlisted books. Not unlike the pairing of a delicious meal with a great bottle of wine. 

You may be wondering, isn’t listening to music distracting while reading? Not according to research. Recent research proves that music can be an effective aid for reading as it can stir up emotions, enhancing the experience1.  

Each book has been paired with specific songs to take readers from the real to fictional world. In Memory Police, you’ll be transported to a dystopian reality with the help of Asian-inspired electronic beats. Hurricane Season’s dark setting in a narco-inhabited Mexican village is mirrored by the sounds of Mexico. Meanwhile, the comedic themes of Tyll come through with the energetic folk rhythms of its dedicated playlist.

So without further ado, let us present our ‘Sounds Of…’ International Booker Prize 2020 series: 

  1. The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree by Shokoofeh Azar. Playlist here
  2. The Adventures of China Iron by Gabriela Cabezón Cámara (translated by Iona Macintye and Fiona Mackintosh). Playlist here
  3. Tyll by Daniel Kehlmann (translated by Ross Benjamin). Playlist here
  4. Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor (translated by Sophie Hughes). Playlist here
  5. The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa (translated by Stephen Snyder). Playlist here
  6. The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld (translated by Michele Hutchison). Playlist here

“Every playlist changes tone, beat and mood to complement the different narratives, from the magic in The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree, to the satire of Tyll. Pairing the disturbing and tragic themes of The Discomfort of Evening with dark and mysterious sounds sent shivers down my spine. I had so many of those surreal moments creating these playlists. For the readers, I’m sure it will keep intensifying as they get further engrossed in the book. They took me on six exciting journeys; now let’s see where they take you!” said Adam Read, our UK & Ireland Music Editor. 

Once you’ve made your way through the shortlist, International Booker Prize chair Ted Hodgkinson has more books for you. He’s got a list of great summer reads across fantasy, comedy and murder mystery for you to get lost in, and Deezer’s got the tunes to match. 

Ted’s summer selections are:

  • Afropean by Johny Piits
  • Square Haunting by Francesca Wade
  • Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino
  • My Darling from the Lions by Rachel Long
  • Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz
  • Breasts and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami (translated by Sam Bett and David Boyd)
  • Low by Jeet Thayil
  • The Topeka School by Ben Lerner
  • Little Eyes by Samantha Schweblin (translated by Megan McDowell) 

“Over the past year of reading I’ve been tuned into some brilliant translated fiction. Now I’m excited to hear some sounds selected by the experts at Deezer, who have curated playlists tailored to this year’s shortlist. I hope this will inspire more readers to immerse themselves in the sights and sounds of our International Booker Prize shortlist.” said Ted Hodgkinson, chair of the International Booker Prize 2020 judges. 

Ready to get lost in your first book of the summer? Head to Deezer’s International Booker Prize channel, hit play on our ‘Sounds of…’ playlists to choose the tunes to match your book. If you’re not sure which book to start with, take our quiz to find the story and music that suits you best!  You can also find out more about each novel on the International Booker Prize website.