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Books & Authors

Books with Musical Themes

Enjoy these novels with musical themes!

And After the Fire : A Novel by Lauren Belfer
In the ruins of Germany in 1945, at the end of World War II, American soldier Henry Sachs takes a souvenir, an old music manuscript, from a seemingly deserted mansion and mistakenly kills the girl who tries to stop him. In America in 2010, Henry's niece, Susanna Kessler, struggles to rebuild her life after she experiences a devastating act of violence on the streets of New York City. When Henry dies soon after, she uncovers the long-hidden music manuscript. She becomes determined to discover what it is and to return it to its rightful owner, a journey that will challenge her preconceptions about herself and her family's history--and also offer her an opportunity to finally make peace with the past.

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
Set in South America. At the home of the country's vice president, a birthday party is being held in honor of Mr. Hosokawa, a powerful Japanese businessman. Roxanne Coss has mesmerized the international guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening -- until a band of gun-wielding terrorists breaks in and takes the entire party hostage. But what begins as a life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into something quite different, as terrorists and hostages forge unexpected bonds and people from different countries and continents become compatriots.

Simon the Fiddler by Paulette Jiles
Following a barroom brawl in Victoria, Texas, twenty-three-year-old Simon Boudlin finds himself conscripted, however belatedly, into the Confederate Army. Weeks later, on the eve of the Confederate surrender, Simon can't help but notice the lovely Doris Mary Aherne, an indentured girl from Ireland, who is governess to a Union colonel's daughter.

Symphony of Secrets by Brendan Slocumb
From the celebrated author of book club favorite The Violin Conspiracy: A gripping page-turner about a professor who uncovers a shocking secret about the most famous American composer of all time-that his music was stolen from a young Black composer named Josephine Reed. Determined to uncover the truth and right history's wrongs, Bern Hendricks will stop at nothing to finally give Josephine the recognition she deserves.

The Final Revival of Opal & Nev : A Novel by Dawnie Walton
Opal is a fiercely independent young woman pushing against the grain in her style and attitude, Afro-punk before that term existed. Coming of age in Detroit, she can't imagine settling for a 9-to-5 job--despite her unusual looks, Opal believes she can be a star. So when the aspiring British singer/songwriter Neville Charles discovers her at a bar's amateur night, she takes him up on his offer to make rock music together for the fledgling Rivington Records. In early seventies New York City, just as she's finding her niche as part of a flamboyant and funky creative scene, a rival band signed to her label brandishes a Confederate flag at a promotional concert. Opal's bold protest and the violence that ensues set off a chain of events that will not only change the lives of those she loves, but also be a deadly reminder that repercussions are always harsher for women, especially black women, who dare to speak their truth. Decades later, as Opal considers a 2016 reunion with Nev, music journalist S. Sunny Shelton seizes the chance to curate an oral history about her idols. Sunny thought she knew most of the stories leading up to the cult duo's most politicized chapter. But as her interviews dig deeper, a nasty new allegation from an unexpected source threatens to blow up everything.--|cProvided by publisher.

The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes
Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich, just thirty, fears for his livelihood and his life. Stalin, hitherto a distant figure, has taken a sudden interest in his work and denounced his latest opera. Now, certain he will be exiled to Siberia (or, more likely, shot dead on the spot), he reflects on his predicament, his personal history, his parents, various women and wives, his children all of those hanging in the balance of his fate. And though a stroke of luck prevents him from becoming yet another casualty of the Great Terror, for years to come he will be held fast under the thumb of despotism: made to represent Soviet values at a cultural conference in New York City, forced into joining the Party, and compelled, constantly, to weigh appeasing those in power against the integrity of his music

The Prague Sonata : A Novel by Bradford Morrow
In the early days of the new millennium, pages of a weathered original sonata manuscript--the gift of a Czech immigrant living out her final days in Queens--come into the hands of Meta Taverner, a young musicologist whose concert piano career was cut short by an injury. To Meta's eye, it appears to be an authentic eighteenth-century work; to her discerning ear, the music rendered there is hauntingly beautiful, clearly the undiscovered composition of a master. But there is no indication of who the composer might be.

The Shadow Land : A Novel by Elizabeth Kostova
From the #1 bestselling author of The Historian comes an engrossing novel that spans the past and the present--and unearths the dark secrets of Bulgaria, a beautiful and haunted country. A young American woman, Alexandra Boyd, has traveled to Sofia, Bulgaria, hoping that life abroad will salve the wounds left by the loss of her beloved brother. Soon after arriving in this elegant East European city, however, she helps an elderly couple into a taxi--and realizes too late that she has accidentally kept one of their bags. Inside she finds an ornately carved wooden box engraved with a name: Stoyan Lazarov. Raising the hinged lid, she discovers that she is holding an urn filled with human ashes. As Alexandra sets out to locate the family and return this precious item, she will first have to uncover the secrets of a talented musician who was shattered by oppression--and she will find out all too quickly that this knowledge is fraught with its own danger.

Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb

 

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