Books and Music — The Meryl Streep Movie Club Playlist

Ever wonder what authors listen to while they write? Now’s your chance to find out! This month’s featured author, Mia March, shares her much-loved playlist:

Mia March

I could not write a word of THE MERYL STREEP MOVIE CLUB unless either one of two particular albums were playing. So I put them on repeat, and these beautiful songs, these beautiful, unique voices, would bring me right back into the story, into the characters’ worlds and issues:

21 by Adele: If you’re not familiar with Adele, you’ve definitely heard Rolling in the Deep, which I’ll never get tired of, and Someone Like You. Rumor Has It and maybe Set Fire To The Rain. Adele’s gorgeous, powerful, soulful, real voice, singing these terrific songs about love, heartbreak, and personal power. Right now my favorite songs are Turning Tables and One and Only, but every song, EVERY song, is amazing. A little tidbit that makes me laugh every time I think about: at my son’s day camp this summer, there was a little boy named Rueben, and every time the counselors blasted the song Rumor Has It, little Rueben, all of five, would sing the chorus as: “Ooh, Rueben has it . . . Ooh, Rueben has it ” and everyone joined in.

White Ladder by David Gray: When I was in grad school in New York City in 2000/2001, I went to the same coffee shop every day, where the staff was in love with this album and played it over and over. I always sat at the huge 8 person table near the electrical outlets where the laptoppers—writers, students, photographers, freelancers—worked with their coffees and treats. Very often a guy would sit down at the table with his laptop and we got to talking, then dating, then marrying . . . then divorcing. Such is the greatness, the spirit, the emotional power, of this album that I still can listen to it, be moved by it, write to it. Love, loss, hope. Each song is more beautiful than the next. You’ve likely heard Babylon, which used to be on the radio all the time: If you want it, come and get it, for crying out loud. The song Silver Lining gives me goosebumps:

Take the silver lining
Keep it in your own sweet hand
Then shine it when the light is burning red
Shine it in the twilight
Shine it on the cold cold ground
Shine it till these walls come tumbling down  

Also, there’s one song that I listened to over and over during the timeframe I wrote The Meryl Streep Movie Club, except I listened to it while NOT writing—meaning, I’d play it in my car or during my three mile thinking walk or while doing the dishes, those times when a writer is doing her “magic writing ” in her head: Coming Around Again by Carly Simon, from the movie Heartburn, one of my favorites. This is the book’s theme song. I know nothing stays the same, but if you’re willing to play the game, it’s coming around again . . .

About Ariel Lawhon

Ariel Lawhon is the author of THE WIFE THE MAID AND THE MISTRESS (2014), FLIGHT OF DREAMS (2016), and I WAS ANASTASIA (2018). Her books have been translated into numerous languages and have been Library Reads, One Book One County, and Book of the Month Club selections. She is the co-founder of and lives in the rolling hills outside Nashville, Tennessee, with her family.

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3 Responses to Books and Music — The Meryl Streep Movie Club Playlist

  1. Marybeth Whalen September 18, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    Woo hoo! I love DG and I get to see him this Friday in Asheville NC! I am counting the days I tell ya! I think we are music sisters, Mia, as I love all the songs you mentioned. Coming Around Again is one of my all-time faves and Carly Simon gets a shout out in my upcoming book. My favorite version of the song is the one where she includes “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” from the movie Heartburn. Love. It.

  2. Tedra September 18, 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I am so in like with Adele to the point where people think that she’s all I listen to. And her songs play important roles in a few of my novel soundtracks too.


  1. Your Blogging Soundtrack – blog2print - July 11, 2017

    […] writing about. And when Mia March was writing The Meryl Streep Movie Club, she listened to the same two albums over and over again, so much so that if she heard them when she wasn’t writing it instantly transported her back […]

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