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The series we’ve been waiting for all year is finally on Netflix: Selena. Whether you’re a '90s kid who had Selena’s music on heavy rotation or someone who just discovered the wonder of the Queen of Tejano music, we’re happy you’re here. To celebrate this series, and to send ourselves on a musical blast from the past, we’re pairing some of our favorite Selena songs with some of our favorite books by Mexican-American novelists.

 

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

In Como La Flor, Selena sings about a relationship that ends in heartbreak and an ex who has moved on with a new life – without Selena. And while we know that the past that Selena is singing about has nothing to do with time travel, it’s fun to envision Como La Flor as a theme song for Frank in Outlander. Like the subject of Selena’s song, Claire leaves her 20th century husband for a new life – in 1700s Scotland. It’s a life event that would send anyone into a music infused complete loss, singing about being left. But Claire can’t control the fates of time travel, Frank!

Buy the book:

Amazon | Books A MillionBarnes & Noble | Bookshop

 

 

Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli

In Sin Una Vez, Selena sings about regretting declaring her love, promising that it’s a mistake she’ll never make again. And while Mama in Lost Children Archive doesn’t seem to regret her relationship with Papa, she’s sure that the two of them will part ways by the end of the road trip they’re on. The sultry and somber tone of Sin Una Vez fits perfectly into their world. It’s a song best listened to with the windows down, and one that seems to soundtrack this particular moment of heartbreak. It’s beautiful, like the best and worst breakups.

Buy the book:

Amazon | Books A MillionBarnes & Noble | Bookshop

 

 

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Any Selena fan will tell you that Bidi Bidi Bom Bom is the sound that your heart makes when you’re in love. So it seems only fitting to pair this upbeat tune with the coming of age romance between Aristotle Mendoza and Dante Quintana in Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. It’s true that Ari and Dante’s love story is more complex than Bidi Bidi Bom Bom’s infectious melody. But there’s a lot of joy there, both in the song and in the novel.

Buy the book:

Amazon | Books A MillionBarnes & Noble | Bookshop

 

 

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

It’s impossible to listen to Baila Esta Cumbia without getting up to dance. And it’s impossible to read The House on Mango Street without imagining Cumbia coming out of a radio in Esperanza Cordero’s home. This beautifully layered novel tells the story of a pivotal year in Esperanza’s life – partially inspired by Sandra Cisneros’ own coming-of-age experience. And while the themes often turn darker and more complex than the infectious Baila Esta Cumbia, there’s still so much to celebrate, and dance about, within these pages.

Buy the book:

Amazon | Books A MillionBarnes & Noble | Bookshop


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Danielle Mohlman's picture

Danielle Mohlman

Danielle Mohlman is a playwright, bookworm, and library connoisseur. You can find her on Twitter and Tumblr. (She has a lot to say.) And on Instagram. (She never foodstagrams.) When she grows up, she wants to be Leslie Knope.