This week, we are speaking to the other host of that wonderful podcast, Taylor!
Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m Taylor: a hopeful pessimist, a killjoy, and one of the hosts of Working Classless! Every week I get to talk with my friend Thia about the slog and joys of working in retail and customer service. If you need a little service industry solidarity in your life, we’re here for ya: www.workingclassless.com
Outside of the podcast I’m a regular schmegular spa witch and I watch a lot of food videos on YouTube.
What types of books are you drawn to?
For text only, I’m mostly drawn to genre fiction: sci-fi, fantasy, and young adult lit. Any combination of those three is perfect.
For comics and graphic novels, I skew towards slice of life, absurdist humor, and women-focused dramas.
Terry Pratchett- his writing is so quick and clever. I also bet he would have some super apt things to say about the health care system.
Ai Yazawa- This mysterious author has written some of my favorite manga series. They write such warmth and complexity into their characters and they always provide the romantic friendship content I crave.
Octavia Butler- Absolutely brilliant. I want to learn about all the projects she abandoned and those she wanted to lengthen.
Which classic or popular book do you hate?
I first read this book when I was in my early 20s and feel like I missed the golden age bracket to enjoy it. It’s cool that it paved the way for the young adult genre, but I’ll take my dystopian sci-fi over this insufferable cool boy book any day of the week.
How do you keep track of the books you’ve finished and books you want to read?
I don’t! I do most of my reading by listening to audiobooks, so I listen to whatever my library has available for digital loan. I’ve found a lot of interesting books that way; it really helps me step outside of my comfort zone and explore new information.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Since this is an impossible question, I’ll pick my recent top 5:
This is one of my favorite books from my childhood. The Oz books are full of puns and beautiful illustrations. This one, in particular, is the first book written by the regular illustrator and is about fashion and politics!
Something I love about science fiction is how the personal is explored through the lens of a society as affected by some major technology. In this case, the hyper-empathetic protagonist Lauren creates a religion that is based around space travel, but the narrative truly focuses on exploring the personal relationships Lauren has with her family, her daughter, and her community. This book feels like a big middle finger to those who claim that science fiction is a cheap genre to show off ray guns and space squids.
I have spent a lot of time being lulled into mental comfort listening to the audiobook productions of the Discworld series, but this one is my favorite. It has some of my favorite characters, has all kinds of wacky shenanigans, and of course is littered with puns. It is the kind of book where it would feel appropriate to describe it as “a romp.”
This choice is very niche and a little self-indulgent to include, but this book really hits home for me. I have always been drawn to frilly fashions and reveling in vanity but what really drew me into participating in this particular fashion was the idea that the clothes came with a community. A community that was both tight-knit and international; a community that was viciously feminine and punk as fuck– a girl gang in petticoats. But that’s not what my actual experience has been. This book is a mirror pointing towards my disappointment in myself and what I found lacking in those around me.
Hey, remember why I loved Wonder City of Oz? Just trade the illustrations for bleak descriptions of mental illness and abuse; this book is for sad, adult me! I have always appreciated how Margaret Atwood describes inner thought– insidious, honest, and surprisingly soft– and this look into the lives of two sisters is bewildering and tender.
Finally, leave us with your favorite bookish quote.
I am not really a quote person, but I am a procrastinator so of course I love that Douglas Adams wrote…
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