July 8, 2020: This Week We're Wild About... Jordyn Taylor

It's a bit of a summer bummer but, for the safety of all, we're staying as close to home as possible these days (well, I am, anyway!). Forget about hopping a plane to Paris, it will be a long time (j'espere…) before I'm even allowed to while away the time in a café in the Bay Area, sipping an espresso and nibbling a croissant thinking about the city of lights. Luckily, with a bit of magic known as reading, I can travel there anytime I want.

I can also travel back in time.

When I open up The Paper Girls of Paris, I will walk into a story with history, romance, and mystery. Maybe I'll even learn to make croissants or macarons to create a Parisian vibe while I'm reading. I hope you'll do the same, but first, read my interview with the author! Jordyn Taylor talks about the struggle to find escape in books these days even though reading for pleasure is more important than ever and her dream virtual library.

- Natalie McCall (Head of Youth Services)

Jordyn TaylorWhat's the title of your upcoming book?

The Paper Girl of Paris.

What book should readers go to for an escape from reality?

There's a young adult book that came out this year that's literally called The Perfect Escape, by my fellow 2020 YA debut author Suzanne Park. It's a hilarious rom-com featuring a zombie survival competition. I listened to the audiobook a couple of months ago, when I was dealing with the challenges of adapting to life in quarantine, and it brought me many much-needed laughs.

What book should readers go to when they want to face reality?

I'm currently reading Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You (A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning) by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi. I'm working to educate myself on anti-racism and how to be a better ally in the Black Lives Matter movement.

What was your reading life like before the pandemic?

I've always read multiple books at once. At any given time before the pandemic, I'd have a physical book to read at home, as well as an e-book to read on my commute (or on the cardio machine at the gym-getting lost in a book makes the time fly!).

What has your reading life been like since the pandemic?

Like many avid readers I know, I struggled to focus on reading at the start of the pandemic. It was frustrating, because reading has always been an escape for me, and all of a sudden it wasn't working anymore. Then, for the first time in my life, I downloaded an audiobook (the very excellent All Your Twisted Secrets by Diana Urban), and it turned out to be exactly what my brain needed! Now, when I want to read, I put on my mask, go for a walk, and listen to an audiobook. I'm currently listening to The Best Laid Plans by Cameron Lund - it's delightful.

Why should people read for pleasure? Is that any different now?

Reading lets you explore new worlds and meet new characters all from the comfort of your home, library, or other favorite reading spot. It's a powerful experience! That's always been the case-and it's always been the reason I love to read-but I think more people are harnessing that power now, when they need a little escaping from reality.

The Paper Girl of Paris Book CoverWhat do you hope your book gives to readers?

The Paper Girl of Paris jumps back and forth in time between Alice, a girl in the present who inherits a Parisian apartment locked since World War 2, and Adalyn, a girl in Nazi-occupied France who joins the French resistance-and who also happens to be Alice's long-lost great-aunt. Readers can expect a gripping story filled with history, romance, and family secrets that slowly unfold. And I hope it leaves people with the message that it's important to stand up for what's right, even when it's hard to do.

Should book lovers worry about the future of publishing during the pandemic? If so, how can they help?

It's so hard to know what the future holds. If you have the resources, buy books from your favorite authors-and, if possible, from independent bookstores. Bookshop.org makes it easy to find and purchase books from indie bookstores!

If you could imagine your dream virtual library, what would it be like?

Is this a virtual reality situation? If so, I want to strap on a headset and be in a virtual library with shelves so high, you need one of those sliding ladders to reach the books at the very top. I'm picturing plenty of historical fiction, romance, fantasy, and non-fiction history books.

Where can readers find you online?

Come say hi! You can find me on Instagram and Twitter at @jordynhtaylor. My website is jordynhtaylor.com.