Hey everyone, welcome to Queerly Recommended! I am Tara Scott and I’m back as always with Kris Bryant.
Hello, everyone. Welcome to Episode 14. And guess what?
14 is my favorite number?
Yeah, it’s my favorite number.
Is there any reason why or does it just speak to your heart?
Yes, because it is a heart number for me because not only was it my number in basketball, when I played basketball. But it’s also, you know, it’s an even number. And I have a thing with numbers. And it’s an OCD thing. And also 14 is Valentine’s Day.
That’s pretty good. So if you have a thing with numbers, it’s like numerology or astrology or any of that, like?
No, it’s more like, anxiety thing. It’s, you know, it’s a counting, it’s I can’t have prime number of things. It’s an odd thing. I can only do evens.
All right. Well, you recently had a highly momentous occasion. You went on your first fully vaccinated holiday. You went on vacation.
I did. I was on holiday.
And you went to the gay center of the Northeast. I mean, it is just the Northeast, right?
Right. Right. I road tripped it. I drove 3000 miles and eight days from Kansas City, hometown all the way up to P-town, and then went to Niagara Falls and dragged Molly with me. It was fantastic. She was a great travel companion. She got to see all of the really cool things in the country that I wanted her to see like the ocean, my dog has never seen the ocean. And she got to see the ocean. Did she care? No! It’s like a kid, you know, you can take anywhere like, take him to Disneyland or Disney World at five and they don’t care. So but it was just it was good to get away.
It just kind of the main thing was the hugs. I got to see a ton of my vaxxed friends. And we had some serious hugs. And I wanted to cry every time.
That’s very good. That’s so good.
It was worth the 3000 miles. Worth it.
To me when you said that you were doing this, you’re like, we’re gonna drive to P-town. And we’re gonna spend three days and we’re gonna drive right back and I was like, Oh my God. That sounds like a not for the faint of heart kind of trip
I am a road trip warrior. Like that is my thing. And I had this massively huge SUV was a Chevy Traverse. And it was a beast and had great gas mileage. 30 miles to the gallon this beast of a thing, and it was just fun to go visit my friends. Seriously.
I visited so many writer friends and just reader friends. And P-town was great. I got to hang out in Women’s Craft, see Michelle and just P-town I was ready. I’m like going down. Figure out we’re all you know, a lot of changes are in P-town happened over COVID some restaurants and businesses did not make it and right now they’re struggling because they didn’t have enough servers for the restaurants and enough workers.
I had I went and bought a thing for my mom, which you’ll appreciate, sort of maybe. It’s a gardening piece of art. It’s a huge long wiener dog, dauschund and it’s a planter to put three different pots of plants and so my since my mom has KC, her little wiener dog loves her to death. I got that so that was on the front seat with me while I was traveling back.
Yes. So it was it was a great time and I’m hoping that P-town is ready for all of us in October during women’s week.
All right, so I haven’t been to P-town yet and I am hoping to come for a women’s week at some point. But I have been to Palm Springs. Which one is more gay?
Well, I have not been to Palm Springs so I can’t answer that. I can just, I just know that P-town is super gay. Everybody is gay. Everybody’s gay friendly. Everybody loves everybody and I don’t know with Palm Springs if you have to have like hot bodies? I don’t know if that’s a thing.
No it’s definitely not a thing because it’s where all the gays go to retire.
Okay, so I don’t know but I’m gonna go with P-town because that’s my town.
All right, we’re gonna put this question then to listeners we want you to let us know through Twitter, you can do an Instagram dm you can send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. What do you think is— which? Which town is more de is it Palm Springs? Or is it P-town?
That’s my favorite drag queen bought a house, one of my favorite drag queens bought a house in Palm Springs, which I have to think automatically makes it gayer
Um, no, I think you’re wrong and we’ll find out when we get a messages back from our listeners.
Somebody’s gonna, somebody’s gonna write in and be like, Why are you being divisive? Why do you? Why do you have to do this? Why can’t it just all be love?
It’s all yeah all love and all gay it’s pride. It’s Pride month I mean, so um yeah, so what about you? How’s your gardening going? What’s going on there?
Okay, so almost everything is still alive, which I feel—
—is great. Sadly I gave up on one of my phlox plants today, which is kind of fun to say I had never heard of this. It’s spelled p-h-l-o-x.
Right. I never quite pretty. My friend chose them. I bought three. And they immediately layed down on the ground. And I was like, Oh, dear. They’re not standing up. And she said, That’s okay. Just get some stakes. And maybe that’ll help encourage them. And then we had that we had we had a hot. How do you call that? I was gonna say a hot snap. No, it’s not like a cold snap. We had a heatwave. Anyway, yeah, we had a hot spell. So that was a little stressful, because the phlox were like drying up immediately. And then with them up on the stakes like that Neil came out. And he looked and he was like it looks like you’re making an example of them for the other flowers?
This is what’s gonna happen if you don’t grow.
Right? Yeah. So I don’t know. It’s fine. It’s fine. The rest of them are fine. There’s only one that I’ve given up on and pulled it out of the ground, because I felt like it was judging me with it’s a little bit dried up body in the flower bed,
or maybe it just died because of you. I mean, there’s judging, I’m just saying
so yeah, it’s, it’s good. And then like, during the week, I found that there’s a certain joy I thought I would only do waiting on the weekends. And then I had a morning where it was literally nothing but meetings back to back until 1pm. And I was like, I gotta step away from my computer. I can’t think before I do any work.
So I went outside, and I did some weeding, and I was like, Oh, shit, this is pretty good. It’s a pretty good way to change your perspective. And also, it’s no joke. Like, I thought, this isn’t gonna be a big deal. Like, it’s like I woke up this morning, I thought I’m going to, I’m going to get a really good workout in today. I’m going to do some lifting or something like that. And I went aside. I did weeding for an hour and I was like, I’m not gonna fucking lift anything.
Weeding is a workout for sure.
Right? I’m gonna have the best shoulders by the end of the summer, everybody better look out. Right? I’m just gonna wear muscle shirts. Everywhere.
You’ll have to come to P-town now for that.
Right, just to show off like my gardening shoulders and all my tattoos.
Don’t tell people you got it from gardening though. Say something. Like, I’m a volunteer firefighter. And I lift you know, big heavy hoses.
That’s right. I’ll just lie about it.
Cuz I mean, gardening. Yeah, like I got it from gardening that’s not as sexy as like, you know, firefighting or something like that.
Poor stigmatized gardeners.
So I have a thing I wanted to bring up to you. My phone, I think might be mad at me. I have an Android phone. And Google has a feature so that when I turn on my phone, and I swipe over to the left, it has a bunch of articles that it recommends for me because they’re like, hey, you’re bored. We want to keep you coming back for more and more all the time. But this time, I think my phone was choosing violence because it recommended an article to me called How to Cook the Perfect Cicada. What do you have feelings about the great cicada uprising?
So I saved two of them on my trip. I was pulled into a rest stop. And I had the door open and one landed on the armrest of my door and I automatically you know, I. Bugs. Hair, long hair. Bugs. Bad thing. Bad thing..
Yeah, they want to live there.
yeah. And so I managed to get it out. I saved it I didn’t squish it. I saved it and I got it out of the car and I shut the door real quick. But I probably murdered about 10,000 on my drive to and from. Not even kidding, I literally ran out of windshield wiper fluid I had to stop at an advanced autoparts and they actually have you know maybe it’s a northeast thing I don’t know. But they have a bug windshield sprayer stuff. You could even get like the all weather primary get the bugs and I’m like I need the bug ones cuz I I mean I ran into a bunch of sandflies, cicadas. I know more about bugs than I need to and so and one even got into the rental and I actually I was like You poor thing you just came out of the ground. So I’m going to save you and send you on your way so I scooped it up in a little bowl and I threw everything out the door literally threw and shut the door real quick so it couldn’t ly back.
Tara Scott 9:58
Including the bowl
Including the bowl. It wasn’t even my bowl. Charge me bitches, I just saved a cicada. Yes. Yes. So, um, Wow, that’s amazing that that recommended. It probably knew what I was going through and because of me recommended it to you
My phone of highly empathetic. And it’s not just trying
My phone is just an asshole
Why is your phone an asshole?
it just is it like it corrects everything wrong?
Uh, oh it’s trolling you
It’s one of those. It my phone hates hates me. anyway.
All right, well, we want to like we have in the last couple of episodes, we want to give it another big thank you to the folks who are leaving reviews on Apple podcasts. We’ve had a couple more come in. And, you know, every time it makes us smile, but even more than that, like honestly, every rating, every review, it all really does matter because it helps other folks find the show. And, you know, it can be hard sometimes to find that queer media that you know, is going to be good. And I mean, I can’t guarantee you’re always going to like, it depends on if your tastes align with ours. But hopefully, more people are finding more of the recommendations that will help them and so I want to share one from Castaway1954 Who says I’m a big lesfic fan and I’m late to this podcast. I think they found it around week six or something like that. But recently started following both of these women on social media. Since I started listening, I figured out that I’m going to have to have my notebook open for notes on the queer content, they discuss. Castaway. Just go to the show notes. We always list everything. You don’t have to do the work. We do it for you. Yes queerlyrecommended.com. Right. But they continue. The reason for this is that I agree with the recommendations on most of the stuff have already consumed but on a recommendation from Tara I read one of the funniest books I’ve read in a while and that’s saying something. I would love to know what that is so Castaway1954, If you are listening, please let me know, just because I’m really curious. And then they go on to say you will definitely relate to either one of them or both, for whatever reasons been a big fan of Kris Bryant’s books and even contribute to her Patreon, which she uses 100% to find wet food for animal shelters. How cool is that? Just listen to a really fun and laid back conversation about what they’re watching or reading and have some fun, there is something for everyone.
That is adorable.
That is so sweet. Thank you so much for leaving such a fulsome review. Being specific about what you love. That is so fantastic. And hopefully will help somebody else make a decision on if this is a show that’s for them or not.
Right? So I mean, if you listen, just go leave a review. Even if it’s a short review, at least it gets it out there and more people can hopefully find us.
So it’s listener question time. So we have two from queer weirdo human being. The first question is what is the most impressive book that you’ve ever read? So Tara, I’m gonna throw this one to you first.
Okay, I feel like this is hard, because I’ve read a lot of books in my lifetime. So I am not going to try to dig back too far, I’m not going to go with like a lot of deep, deep, deep soul searching, I am going to actually go with two that I am highly confident about, and that I have done a lot of talking about and will continue to for years to come. The first is actually The Subtweet by Vivek Shraya, which was my official recommendation, I think in Episode Three.
Was it that long ago? I said, cuz I read it with you.
I know. Time Kris is going so fast.
I think it was though, because I think it was pretty, pretty early in the life of this sweet baby podcast that I brought it up as the best books that I read last year. And it’s just one of the best books that I read in the last decade. I’m not going to get too much into it now. Because you can always go back to that episode, if you want to hear all the things that I loved about it. But just the real short reason is that it’s very, it’s crisp. It’s brilliant. It’s very like all the things that it interrogates about like friendship and social media and brown women creating content. It’s just It’s so good. I can’t recommend it enough. But because I refuse to be constrained, I did not choose only one book.
The other one is actually Backcast by Ann McMan, which would be an official recommendation and probably should be and maybe it will be at some point if I reread it but I haven’t read it in like four years or something like that. So I feel like I would need to go back and reread it but this was the book that turned me into a true Ann McMan fangirl and anybody who listened to me on my old podcast, Les Do Books would know that I love Ann McMan that I brought her up basically every chance that I had. She is hilarious, but she’s also brilliant. And I interviewed her a couple of times for the podcast.
And that last one was really, it was, it was a fantastic conversation, because we talked a lot about like, faith and writing. And I don’t know, just kind of all kinds of things. And I can find that link and add that to the shownotes for anybody who wants to catch up with that, but I had read Jericho, and I enjoyed it just as much as anybody else. I think Jericho is one of those books that if you’re lesfic fan, many, many, many people have read it and loved it. It’s kind of one of those like, along with like, All That Matters by Susan X Meagher and I’m picturing a cover, okay, And Playing the Role of Herself by K.E. Lane. Like, there’s just kind of that group of like, you bring it up and everybody starts going, Oh, my God, I love that book so much. Yeah, it’s a great book, and the characters are great, and the banter is awesome, and all that. But the book that did it for me, was Backcast.
So the premise of Backcast is that there is a woman who gets a massive arts grant. And I forget the name of like, whoever does like the largest arts funding in the United States, whatever that granting organization is, if it was Canadian, I could tell you what it was. But it’s not. So, I can’t, but to do this big project. And so what she does is she has, she brings all these women together, and there ends up being 13 of them total herself included out to this lodge in Vermont, and each woman is going to write a personal essay. And then she is a sculptor. And so she’s going to create a sculpture, like some kind of a metal work sculpture to go with each of the essays. And where it gets so brilliant, is that it shifts back and forth. So each chapter has one of the essays. And so there’s a different voice for each of these essays, and you don’t know who wrote them. And then it dives into the goings on at this Vermont lodge, which is hilarious.
And so some of these essays are quite dark, and includes like child sexual abuse, and getting your period for the first time. And there’s like one about a nun and like, so yes, some of them can be can be dark, I personally didn’t find them too dark. I mean, I, I think that’s gonna be one of those like your mileage may vary. I was never, I never experienced child sexual assault. And so I don’t know that that’s, and it doesn’t go like into depth or detail or anything like that. But like it’s a real, it’s a very real thing. But like, whatever is kind of the theme. Or there’s, whether it’s the theme where there’s something to do with the essay, something about that shows up in their actual, what they’re doing at the lodge. And it’s like, the goings on at the lodge are also often hilarious. And so it does a really good job of balancing like, you might feel like it’s kind of heavy reading an essay, but then like you’re laughing your ass off at one of the jokes later on. And so it does a really good job of balancing all of that. And then there’s this like, magical fish that talks to one of them because there’s also a fishing contest. I don’t know, that that’s probably the part that I connected the least with. But the rest of it I just thought like, how brilliant to infuse all these voices in and to be wondering the whole time because you’re seeing you’re like, Okay, whose story was that one about the nun? Which which one of these women used to be a nun? Like, what’s that? And then you kind of when you you can you find out at the end basically like there’s a you do end up there within the text. There’s a way that you’re told who did each one, but it’s just so brilliant because it really delves into that idea of what parts of our story do we reveal? And which do we conceal? And we get to choose that and who we do it with and in which contexts.
We’re just gonna pretend that that was an official recommendation because if you ever read I’m not gonna be able to say it better in the future, even if I do reread it. If you haven’t read it. you absolutely must, like, go out get this book. It’s fabulous in audio as well. Christine Williams narrates it who, I love her. Her voice with all of Ann McMan’s books are fantastic. Or if you are inclined to buy from the publisher, please do go to the Bywater Books site because when you can buy especially in lesfic with our small presses, like Bywater, Bold Strokes, Ylva, Bella, more money goes to the authors and more money stays with the publisher. So I mean, I absolutely respect if you’re a Kindle person like me, you’re probably still going to get it from Amazon. That’s just how that goes. But if you’re not necessarily a Kindle person, then that’s, you know, please do go get it from their sites.
What about you though? I’ve gone and done a whole episode. What’s the most impressive book that you’ve ever read? You know,
That’s a tough question. Because that’s, I just, just now read this question. So I was not prepared. I didn’t see this question.
I just read this question an hour ago.
Um, I have a hard, I don’t know, like, it’s, I have read so much of my life. So is this specifically, you know, lesfic? Or is it just, because Catch 22? That book pissed me off more than anything of any book ever. But then it took about a month for it to seep in. And I was like, Oh, my god, that was brilliant. You know, but I mean, is it as that? I mean, as far as less vague, I can’t pick a term,
It’s our podcast, you can do whatever you want
Well, actually, you know, one of the books that I really, really enjoyed is going to be my recommendation for this week. So we’ll get into that later. Queer weirdo you got to just hang on for like
20 minutes. Let’s be honest, it’s gonna be more than that. I did. Like, there is a book that came out like the same time my my debut book came out. In 2014. CF Frizzell wrote Stick McLaughlin: The Prohibition Years. And it was, it won a Goldie. And it was a prohibition type, growing up on the streets. And I think I might have mentioned it in the past. That’s really good. I like books that play out in movie format in my head, where the descriptions are so good that I feel like it’s a movie that I’ve seen it and then I’ll go to sleep and wake up. I was like, Oh, I need to finish that. You know, watching that movie? Oh, wait a minute, it was a book. So there are several books like that. And it’s just really hard to pick a favorite. It’s like, how do you pick your favorite pet, your favorite child, your favorite? I have so many for different reasons. And as you grow, the books change, you know, your favorites change. It’s like, you know, your favorite actresses or you know, your top 10 list, it always changes. And I feel that’s how it is with books for me too. So, apparently, I’m not gonna answer this question fully.
But I also think your favorite can be different from the one that you view is the most impressive.
True, true. That is true.
Because I would actually say my favorite book, and I’ve said this kind of for a long time is Hoosier Daddy, also by Ann McMan and her wife Salem West. I don’t think it’s the most impressive book that I’ve read. But I love it with all my heart.
Yeah, I think like The Subtweet. I thought that was a very impressive book. And literature at its finest for sure.
Yeah. Yeah. All right. The other question? Oh, Kris, you’re gonna answer this one first. Do you listen to any LGBTQ+ artists?
The answer is yes. Everybody is gay.
Especially now, right? coming out.
David Archuleta from American Idol came out. Like yesterday or today.
I have no idea who you’re talking about?
Right? You probably don’t. Okay, so. So long time ago, I was into American Idol, I think, do I still watch it? No, I watch The Voice. And sometimes I watch American Idol. It just depends. But there was this one little kid he was 17 years old. He was just adorable. And I just saw him and I was like, first of all, His voice is amazing. And I just wanted him to win. He didn’t win. Spoiler alert. He came in like runner up. But I was like this kid. He’s queer. And he just either doesn’t know it yet. Or you know, I mean, I’m sure it’s hard. And so, fast forward 10 years later, or whatever, and he does come out.
So did you shout like a big I knew it!?
Well, I did. I was like, Well, I’m glad that this is happening and what a great month to happen. So So yeah, I mean, Lady Gaga, Lady Gaga, and she’s queer. Hello, Melissa Etheridge is like lives next door to me. So of course, I grew up listening to her. And I know that there’s some other I know Jason Mraz, he’s bisexual. I do know that you know, then you have Queen you have you know, Freddie Mercury, a lot of the greats. So good. So yes, I listened to any and all of them. And then Demi Lovato. You know, here’s an interesting fact. I don’t really listen to Demi Lovato. But I have so much respect for just their their whole coming out and yes, and experience and being very open about it. I mean, I remember I read an article, I think I said this before, I was on a Southwest Airlines Flight. And I read this article about Demi, and just the whole every problem they were having mentally with anxiety and stuff. So it was it was that’s why I started paying attention to Demi
Because they came out first as pansexual I think, right? And then it was like in the last month or so came out as nonbinary.
Right. So there’s a lot going on. Yeah, that’s Yeah. So there’s a lot of artists now in it and I love it. I love the fact that you know, you look at artists in their 60s and 50s and there aren’t too many that have either come out or were around or whatever. And so now, you know, all the YouTube, Tiktockers that are up and coming and have made a name for themselves during the pandemic, you know, younger generations are just more queer. Yeah. You know, and they accept it. And I think that’s great.
Speaking of YouTubers, so Jojo Siwa, I saw an article the other day that I thought was so cute. So she’s decided now that she’s 18, she doesn’t want to wear those big ass bows in her hair anymore. And in an interview, she said that her mom asked her what was harder coming out to me or telling me that you didn’t want to wear the hair anymore? And she was like, it was the bows. The bows was the hardest and I just thought how cute is that? But also, how wonderful is that? It was so good.
And so then for me, I gotta be honest, I don’t listen to as much music as you do. When I am working, like during the week, and even actually, when I’m writing my book reviews and stuff like that I can’t, I cannot write or I cannot do deep thinking work while listening to stuff with lyrics. And so I turn a lot to electronic music for that. Specifically, I like specifically, I really like DJs that do like lo-fi kind of music. And so there’s one in particular that I love. Well, there’s a few that I love. But the one that I know that is queer. She’s called Sarah the Illustrumentalist, and just very, very cool. Like, if you want something that’s like super mellow, that has like a very strong beat. I cannot listen to it on my migrainous days.
So mellow with a super fast beat?
No strong, not fast, but strong, like a really strong kind of a beat element to it. So I really, really love her and I find that her stuff is just so different than anything else I’ve ever heard before. And I know when I listen to something I’m like, Oh, that’s her. That’s Sarah and then the other one so I am still listening to The Go-Go’s since watching that documentary, so I don’t know Do they? Do they count I feel like they must count because you know Jane Weidlin is openly bisexual, Gina Schock in the documentary talks about how they dated very early on in the band’s days. And there’s a part of me that’s like they probably all slept with women at some point. Will they admit it? Not necessarily. Is it my business? Absolutely not. Is it still my operating theory?
Yes, it makes sense.
So those Yeah, those are mine I would have to like think really hard and then go do some research and be like, is this person a queer? I don’t know. I’m not going to go do that. But those are my two completely different types of music.
And Joan Jett I mean since we did the same The Go-Go’s and Joan Jett were at the same time I mean yeah, there’s there are so many LGBTQ, queer artists anymore I just vast you can just type it in. Type in though, you know, queer artists or queer musicians, since and like you’ll get a zillion. I love it.
Alright, Kris, it’s that time it’s that time! What have you been reading or watching?
Well, since I was on that trek, across the world, or at least, the country I didn’t I didn’t get to see a lot but but I did. Of course, I’m still on Handmaid’s Tale. I like rushed home, and that was the first thing I watched. I said, I’ll unpack later.
Was it also depressing?
Ah, you know, I have this fear. When I watch the show and I get where you’re coming from. I just like this episode was so tense for me because I just thought, something bad’s gonna happen. Something bad’s gonna happen. Because 99% of the time, something that is going to happen, but nothing happened that was bad. But at the same time, you see a shift going on. There’s a shift from flight to fight. So that is a shift that’s going on right now in Handmaid’s Tale. So it’s exciting, and I’m a little scared.
And also, a new season of Alone started, the survivalist show.
I don’t know what this is.
Okay, so 10 contestants for the show are dropped off in remote areas of British Columbia. I think also, maybe in Alaska. I’m not quite sure. I know there’s been several seasons of it. I think maybe
So this is not the naked show then.
No, no, no.
This isn’t drop them off naked and you got to survive show this is a different show.
This is something totally different. And they have like 10 pieces or 10 items that they can take like a tarp, a knife, you know, fishing line, whatever. And they’re, the last person standing who doesn’t call in and quit. They get like, half a million dollars. Yes. And so they stopped it because of COVID like everything else got stopped and so I was super excited. I went to my DVR the other day before I left on my vacation. And I saw that it had started up. I watched one episode and after Handmaid’s Tale I watched, I watched the second episode of Alone. So it’s just it’s a survivalist thing and I backpacked through Alaska, which was a stupidest thing I’ve ever done. Because I was not prepared. I’m not at all like, the bears. I hang out with moose
Did that moose story from Breakthrough happen to you?
Well, you know, yes and no, the they were across, they crossed my path, but they did not sit on the car. And they’re huge
Okay, so there are some people who may not actually know what I was just asking you. Kris has a book called Breakthrough. It takes place in Alaska. And it has like somebody from out of town who is sent there to do some journalism. And she is not, she’s not prepared and a moose puts its butt on the car. And the insurance company is not happy with her.
Yes. So there, you have Martha and Tuffy are the names of the moose and I actually have a picture of them. And so that kind of was that. Yeah, that’s what I named them. I don’t know what the real wild, wild names are out in the wild. Who knows. But they were Martha and Tuffy to me. And yeah, they were walking around and walked right in front of the car. And you know, the baby, which is the size of a frickin horse. So am I like “oh, look at the baby” and it comes closer. And it’s like, you know, has to lean down to look into my car. But yeah, that’s Yeah, so anyway, so yes, Breakthrough, huh?
Anyway, Alone. So I like I like the whole survivalist things. More so than just survivor itself. I mean, this is like, literally, you’re there alone with your thoughts and your skills. And that’s it. And the camera people aren’t there. They literally drop you off with cameras. You know, you have a GoPro, one you put on your head, and then you have two for camp. And one you’re supposed to carry with you when you go do whatever you’re doing. So yeah, there’s nobody there. You have a you have like a satellite phone that you call in when you quit, like I’m done, whatever. And, yeah.
I’d think that’s one show that wouldn’t necessarily have to have been canceled for COVID. Because there was already social distancing built into the premise.
But think about your stress level. If you were on a show like that, knowing that the world was just you had no idea what the fate of the world was. I mean, I wouldn’t want to be out in the middle of nowhere, I’d be close to my family.
So I mean, I think that’s, that’s got to be like a book or a show premise where you’re doing a show like that. And then a COVID happens, but nobody tells you.
Interesting. Well, I mean, Alone, we have the book alone, that E. J. Noyes.
I started it. And I was enjoying it. And I stopped reading it.
And then life happened,
And then I never went back to it. For no actual reason. I need to go back to it. At some point. It caught so much love.
And I think it won— did it win a Goldie?
I’m sure it did. I’m sure it did. I’m trying to think so that was that was 2020. Right. I think it was in 2020. Within the last year, maybe
That that book came out? Or maybe it was actually, I think it was pre pandemic. I could be wrong. I don’t know.
I think you’re right. I think it was prior. Yeah. Yeah. So but that, yeah, kind of like that. Except, so the character in that book, you know, takes the, goes to do this. I’m not quite sure what to call it. What is it? What is it experiment? You know
It was like a research study wasn’t it?
Yeah, it was like and like the money was so, it was only like 100 grand or something. I was like, no for 100 grand, I’m gonna have to, I need more. So it’s gonna have to be more. Okay.
So would you do the show Alone? Would you do something like that? where it’s like, okay, half a million dollars. You’re gonna go do this.
So I would do it. Except I would suck at it. I would be out in three days. Like, yeah. So maybe two days. I mean, I think I’m like this great camper and survivalist I mean, I hiked through Alaska for two weeks, and I thought, but, you know, I still didn’t like kill things to eat it and to eat and I didn’t steal anything I had with me. I had a knife and some bugs spray. Right. And that was about it. Oh, I did have I did have bear spray, which was ridiculous. And everybody said no, you need a gun. You don’t need bear spray. I can’t buy a gun. I’m only here for two weeks.
Can you borrow a gun? Somebody must have a gun that they can loan you.
Sure. So like everybody go everybody has guns and they all have an airplane.
Cathy. Cathy can tell us. Are you listening? Cathy if you are listening. You must tell us. Is it possible to rent guns in Alaska? Surely as a resident of Alaska, she can tell us about all of Alaska.
And like all the dumb things I did while I was up there anyway. So I really, really like that show i like i like, it’s amazing. You know, they come in like I think, I don’t know if it’s every three days or something, they have medics come in to check. And your weight has to be a certain level and your fat has to be a certain level.
So if you lose weight too quickly, they’ll get you out of there?
Yeah. So one person has already bowed out because they had heart, had like a heart attack years ago, and all of a sudden, right. So I think that was just kind of a kind of a puss way out. I think. I feel like, I mean, maybe maybe he was having issues. But I mean, why would you go through all of that knowing you have a bad heart? There’s no choice. So But yeah, I would love to do it. But I would never survive. No, no, I couldn’t do that. No, no.
So that was those are kind of like what I watched on TV since I’ve been back and right before my vacation. But on my vacation, I read a book that’s coming out. It actually came out June 1. It’s by CF Frizzell and it’s called Measure of Devotion. And it’s basically a Civil War love story. And it’s all Yeah, so “measure of devotion” is in the Gettysburg Address. I’m not quite sure where it is. I think it’s the very last sentence maybe but measure of devotion of courses, you know, love of country and also love of the characters. And it’s really sweet because the the main character, her brother, her twin brother, and her parents die. And so she assumes her brother’s identity because she’s all about America and fighting in the war. And so like this happened a lot, where women were disguised as men and fought in Civil War. There’s a lot of books about this, stories, movies, a lot about this. And so it’s really interesting, is a great story, a lot of romance in this in a lot of letters, you know, pretty pretty much when you’re a soldier and I think the soldier even now have communication back and forth with somebody who you care for, you know, Frizz did a really good job of capturing not only just the history of Gettysburg, and I guess the battles of the war. I mean, it’s like it is she spent two years doing research on this. So it is, it is 100% there, you will not find anything wrong or off about this. You know, she got to the point where like, the weather, even the weather on certain days were researched and stuff. So it’s amazing. It was a really good book, if you like historical romances and just history even if you’re a history buff. I love this movie, or this. See I said movie because yeah, that’s how I read things. So like Frizz writes like a movie person to me, but no, so that I read that that was a good one. And that’s that’s that’s all I’ve been doing. You know, since I had vacation. What about you? What are you reading, watching, playing?
So I started playing Stardew Valley. Oh, my Switch
Is this new? This is new, right?
No, it’s a game that came out. I think it was first released in 20. Oh, geez, when was it 16 or 17. And so I’ve played it, I played it on our PS4. And it actually it was amazing and helped me get through like a depressive period that I had at that point. It was, you know, my fancy winter depression. Sometimes it’s fancy winter anxiety. Sometimes it’s fancy, fancy winter depression. Sometimes it’s fancy winter both. I actually think this time, it was fancy winter both. And so I played so much of that game between like January and March of that year. And then I you know, loved it, walked away from it. never really thought about it again. But I got the Switch. And I was reading through. Remember how I put out a call and I said, Hey, if you know of any queer Switch games let me know. And then somebody shared a YouTube video with us. And in that video, it has Stardew Valley. I was like, Oh, yeah. And then I kept hearing more and more people talking about playing it. I was like, I played it before. And then I heard that there was a major expansion, where you can set up a beach farm and I was like, Oh, shit.
So what this is, it’s a farming simulator game. And I actually know a lot more about this now because I’ve been listening to the book, oh also related, what have I been reading? I am listening to the book, Blood, Sweat and Pixels by Jason Schreier, which is excellent. And it really kind of dives behind the scenes of how a bunch of games were developed. And so you know, it has things like Uncharted 4, and other ones that I can’t remember the names of or that I haven’t gotten to yet but I’m in the Stardew Valley chapter right now. And so I learned a lot about how it was all developed by one guy and the idea is that you’re this like burnt out office worker and you go and you go to this like small town and you your your grandfather leaves you a property and you go and you can farm and you make you make friends with the locals you can maybe date and marry one of the locals, there’s caves, where you can do some mining and kill some like weird monsters and shit and nobody seems to question the fact that there’s monsters in the world but that’s okay. Because it has the most peaceful music in the world. Maybe like do little fishing or you can cook. Kris, it’s the most chill game ever.
It’s so chill. And so I’ve been making my beach firm and I love it and it is harder, I will say, it is much harder than standard farm, for a number of reasons. That would be boring to listen to me talk about, but if anybody really cares, you can tweet me and I’ll tell you more about that.
So I made this character, I made a female character, but who looks you know, with a super queer haircut and one of that because like, of course, I’m going to do that, like I made her look real andro, and then I think kind of romancing the geeky girl in town, Abigail. Oh, yeah, this is gonna be this is gonna be good. But then in making friends with this other girl, Emily, I’m like, Oh, no, Emily seems very interested. So I don’t know if my character is going to end up with Abigail or Emily.
So can you not have both?
You can only marry one. Oh, I mean, I could just not commit
And have two girlfriends?
Possibly? I don’t know. We’ll see if the game would let me do that. I don’t know if it would, I don’t know if it would penalize you at all. We’re gonna find out. Okay. It’s so fun. I’ve been playing that game like, it’s my job. And I’ve been doing that on top of my actual job. So I mean, either like I’m working, I am hanging out with my family. I do spend time with my kids. I’m not just neglecting my kids. Oh my god. I sounds like the worst parent. But like I play a lot of this game. And actually the things nice is that my oldest daughter on the other switch also has a farm. So sometimes we’ll both play Stardew Valley at the same time.
Oh, nice. And you can interact.
You can, we don’t we haven’t tried that yet. But you you actually can do you can do co-op play if you want. But mostly she just does her farm and I do my farm. I’m like Animal Crossing where we would Animal Crossing, we would visit each other’s islands.
You should try it. I’d be curious to see what she’s doing. Because maybe she’s got maybe she’s interested in Emily too. I’m just saying. I know.
It’s possible. It’s been kind of interesting seeing it’s just like here and there and conversations with her. I’m seeing like a little bit more queer awareness. Like one of the things my kids said the other day is like, I don’t know if that I don’t know if that person is a woman or a they/them. And I thought what a cute.
Like the cutest way like she, nonbinary isn’t a part of her lexicon. So she talks about nonbinary people as they/them people and I’m like, I love that.
There’s nothing wrong with this. This is adorable.
No in terms of so what I’ve been reading, I finished reading How to Find a Princess by Alyssa Cole. It’s a lot of fun. The premise is basically, it’s a retelling of the Anastasia story. And so it’s like this one woman Makeda. And she, like the first chapter is like the worst day of her life because she’s fired from her job. And then she gets home early and her girlfriends’ packed all her shit and she’s moving out.
And is like Makeda is this person who she gets her joy from taking care of others. But unfortunately, you know, she does it in a kind of way where she thinks of herself as giving but it ends up taking from from other people because it’s too much. And so she goes back to live with her grandmother at her her grandmother’s B&B. And she’s like trying to just What’s she going to do with the next stage of her life. And her grandmother always talks about this summer fling that she had with some Prince. And so they’re supposedly like long lost royalty, whatever, of this fake country somewhere in Africa.
So this other woman Beznaria comes in. She’s like, so I’m an investigator with the World Federation of Monarchs. And I think that’s what it’s called. And I actually think that you’re the heir and they’re searching for the heir. Because they want to build up tourism to the area or something like that. So you need to come back with me and Makeda’s like, absolutely not. And she’s like, No, no, you really, you really need to come back with me. This is just a thing that has to happen because her grandmother had been the guard for the Queen that disappeared. Because the Queen just like disappeared and is gone. And so there were rumors that like, well did her grandmother kill the queen? And she’s like, no, I definitely did not kill the queen. Fucking leave me alone. I didn’t do this. And their family has always operated under the assumption that the Queen ran away and went on to live another life. And so it’s like, Did she go on and have a kid somewhere that like what did she go on and have a son that banged this other character’s grandmother and thus, eventually Makeda was born.
And basically it gets to where Makeda has no choice but to go because she needs the money to pay off like some debts because she signed up for a bad thing with an ex girlfriend that came back to bite her in the ass because she helps people too much in ways that are not only bad for them, but also bad for herself sometimes, and it’s fun. It’s a really, really fun book.
The character arcs are so good and Makeda especially And the way that she learns that like, you can’t actually solve everybody’s problems, you sometimes just have to sit with them, or let them fall on their faces or whatever. But like her character arc is spectacular. Beznaria is so sweet. I, I really like her. She’s, I don’t know that she would like to be called sweet. She’s very, to the point all the time. And she’s always focused on like, what is the thing that I need to get done? There’s a brief mention of the fact that she’s neurodivergent. So I appreciated that in the rep, but like her heart is always in the right place. And her, the way she expresses the fact that she knows her worth, I think is also really interesting and really good and almost rare to read about. So that was something that I really appreciated.
So yeah, it’s a it’s a fun book. If you’re looking for something fun, go and check it out. But definitely, I would say, read the sample. Because I don’t know if it’s a book that’s going to work for everybody, which is why it’s not an official recommendation. So check out the sample, you’ll know within the first two chapters, because you get a chapter from Makeda and a chapter from Bez, and then you’ll have a really good sense of the tone and where it’s going to go from there. And yes, either like it’s your jam, or it’s not your jam. And if to jam, definitely pick it up and check it out. Because it’s a fun book.
Here’s what I got out of that I can actually kidnap somebody, just by simply saying, Hey, I’m part of the World Federation of Monarchs, whatever, Discovery Channel, whatever. Come with me. Like, that’s how I can get women.
It’s also how you could go to jail.
Well, that’s true. That’s also true. Okay, so they just show up and say, Hey, come with me. Okay. So I could just show up and say, Hey, come with me, because I’m a member of this monarch finder, right?
Well, she ended up talking her into it. She didn’t have to, like literally kidnap her. Although she did say something about like, you know, I, I’m not making you do this. If I was doing that, then I would just like literally kidnap, you see, so that was a possibility that came up,
Right. That’s the first thing I thought it was like, Oh, my gosh, anybody could do this to anybody.
Right? don’t do it. Well, I feel like if you did that, now, I’d be like, but there is no World Federation of Monarchs.
Really, like who knows who’s gonna know that? I could go up to anybody and say, Hey, right.
I mean, I don’t think so.
Unless they Google it. Here, let me Google that. Oh, it doesn’t exist. So
that’s right. Now, you could go up to anybody who’s not very well read. Who does not read.
Or who doesn’t have a smartphone.
Or who doesn’t have a smartphone. That’s right. Toddlers mostly. Toddlers!
And that’s a no!
That’s, you’re definitely going to prison for that.
And then also, I’m just gonna give a little plug. So if there’s anybody who’s been saying, Man, I’m going to be going to the beach soon. I’m, uh, I’ve got my second vaccination. I’m super excited. But what am I going to read? Good news. I’ve got a resource for you. I’ve pulled together my first ever list for Lambda Literary. So I have been reviewing at Lambda for about four years. Now. They have a new person who’s editing the Lambda Literary Review, and they said, we’re up for all kinds of ideas. I was like, Okay, how about a bunch of lesbian romances for the summer? And they were like, yes,do that, please. So that’s what I did.
And so there’s books released in June, July and August that are on there, some from big publishers, some from you know, our indie publishers, or even not just like the publishing companies, but even entirely independent authors like Clare Lydon. So I’m gonna put that in the show notes for you. Or you can just go to the Lambda Literary site. It’s one of the more recent posts, and you can check that out and get a book or three that you might enjoy, but Satisfaction Guaranteed, which I talked about in the last episode is definitely on that list. Because how could it not be it was so freakin good. So good. So yes, Kris, this last time? What is your official recommendation this week?
Okay, so my official recommendation this week is a 2016 book written by M Ullrich. called Life in Death. And I think it’s a book that was completely overlooked because it has a lot of triggers for people. And let me go ahead and read the blurb and then we’ll discuss.
Blurb: Memories and scars are the signs of a life well lived, and more often than not our milestones are similar: love, a first home, marriage, and a child. The same goes for Marty and Suzanne Dempsey, but happy memories and years of a life built together weren’t enough to help their relationship survive the terminal diagnosis of their only child, Abigail. Coping in their own ways, Marty and Suzanne drift apart and eventually divorce after one finds comfort in the arms of a stranger. The expected and devastating death of their daughter had seemingly severed any ties that remained between them, but an insightful letter from Abigail gives Marty the one thing that seemed so elusive before: Hope.
Well, here’s the thing. The blurb was honest
100% and here’s what we know. We know this from the blurb. This is what we know a child dies. Yeah, that’s in there. A child dies. Two: there’s infidelity,
Which is like the automatic, you want to tank your sales in lesfic? Put cheating in your book because lesfic readers fuckin hate cheating so much. It’s a real polarizing thing.Some people don’t mind it goes to—
It’s a trigger, I hit your trigger. Right? I hit your trigger. I know, I’m not even done and you’re fighting me.
I’m not fighting you. I’m agreeing with you. And that wasn’t even that that one. I don’t know. I can take or leave it. It sort of depends. Like sometimes I think cheating is fine in books, and sometimes I don’t. But I’ve come across some readers that are like, nope, absolutely not. And it’s like, they just, you can just see almost like the shutters going down in front of their face. They just like close right off.
So here’s the deal. I mean, and there’s also divorce. So we know that there’s child that dies, infidelity and divorce. So those those things happen in life. And people are like, Oh, I get it, but you know, blah, blah, blah. But here’s the deal. Like you. There are several books out there, that the character, where the character’s mother dies of cancer or their love anything. I mean, there’s, I mean, there’s just so much out there, that people you know, I mean, it’s a, they love it, though, you know, it’s sad, it’s horrible. And people die. And I feel like a lot of children, you know, in real life, they die. They do. You know, I know. You’re looking at me, all sad and it’s true. And it’s sad.
But I’ll tell you what, and it’s not even the it’s not even the storyline. It’s how M tells the story. It’s the actual storytelling that makes this book so amazing. It’s brilliant. And there are just so many emotions when you read this book, you know, it’s you have so much and Yeah, I agree with the blurb where it says hope. The very last thing is hope, you have hope. Handmaid’s Tale, I hope. Yeah, hope is a strong emotion. For me. I have so much hope in my life. This is Life in Death is told in present past. Like some of the chapters are present. Some of them are past. From the—
Yeah, two timelines.
Yeah. Right. Thank you. And it flutters between the two and it’s not that’s not stretching, you follow it completely. It’s not overwhelming or anything like that. I described this once as little circles, like circles are outside. And then they’re moving closer and smaller and smaller until it becomes one circle. And then the story ends. And it’s just, she does it in such a such a incredible way. Like when I read the book, I told her, I said, This is amazing. This is one of the best books I’ve read.
For me, it’s one of the best books that I never finished.
So tell us why. I’m curious as to why.
So I bailed and bailed hard. Well, I think there are two things. So the one was definitely the child death aspect. I had a really hard time with that. Because also, it’s not just a child, like it’s a little girl. And I’m reading about this as I have two little girls, and I was like, I can’t do it.
Also, I think I read it at the wrong time because I was reading it while I was also trying to read the second book in Harper Bliss’s Pink Bean romance series, which is about alcoholism. Definitely a romance there. But like, okay, there’s just one book where there’s like a kid dies and infidelity and divorce and that, but that’s a second chance romance. And then there’s this one with like, alcoholism, and it’s ruining the relationship. And I was like Jesus, no, and I just bailed on both books. I was like, I can’t do it.
But the thing that I found brilliant about Life in Death, and why I actually still recommend it to people. I didn’t finish it, but I still recommend it. Because I agree with you that the construction is so brilliant. Because with those two timelines, you’re actually flipping back and forth, and you’re kind of seeing the rise and fall of the first phase of their relationship. And then the second chance as they come back together. And it’s beautifully done.
Yeah, and it’s like when they’re, they don’t know what to do when when their child gets sick. And it’s not graphic and it doesn’t go into great detail about her illness. It’s just, you know, it’s a very simple line of, of when it happens. And you know, people struggle differently with death, especially these two characters. You know, the story is about relationship. It’s not really about death. I mean, it is, but it’s more about the relationship. You know, like you said there are two different kinds of stories like their rise and fall of their relationship and then the rise of the second chance. And you know, it’s just, it’s it’s just a love story, and there’s a solid, happy ending to this. It is a love story.
I did skip to the end. Because I am that monster.
No! How are we friends?
Well, you said want to do a podcast? And I did not tell you that I skipped it at that point is, it’s too late. What are you gonna do?
You know, I know, you know. So now you know, but it’s really truly it’s like, I really appreciate books that are written differently and make me think differently because we all know the romantic arc, you know, we all have an arc to follow as a writer, and we understand it as reader as readers. And this was something different. It’s kind of like A Beautiful Place by Harper Bliss. How that was completely different too.
Which one was that?
This was the I’m going to commit suicide story.
Oh, I have, A Breathless Place.
Oh, A Breathless Place. What did I say? A Beautiful Place?
Yeah. Is it A Breathless Place? Okay, that’s one of the few books by her that I have not read yet. But that did intrigue me.
Yeah. And so I like books that that kind of go outside the realm of what is expected, but still still tells the story.
Okay, well, then you need to check out. The best, in my opinion is the best. I mean, I haven’t read A Breathless Place. So maybe that was the best, I don’t know. But to me, the best Harper Bliss book is called In the Distance There is Light. And it is about a woman whose partner dies, he I think he was like riding a bicycle. He was like riding his bike, and he got hit by a car or something like that. And she ends up bonding with his stepmother. And then as they bond, they end up in a romantic relationship
See? But somebody dies. How is that okay?
Well, I mean, to lesfic readers, I feel like a lot of them are okay with it, because it’s the dude that dies. Is that too real? Oh, I hope I don’t get hate mail now
It’s truthful. Oh, yeah. And I know children are, you know, they’re untouchable. And you shouldn’t, you know
I gotta say, when I, when I saw the premise or when I was reading it, I was like, How the hell did she get Bold Strokes to agree to publish this book? They must have known.
Yeah. And it happens. I mean, unfortunately, it is. It is. It is an unfortunate thing that we do have children who are sick, and they end up they do die. And I actually have an upcoming book, I have a child who is sick.
Do they get better.
They, not better, just not dead. How do I say that without giving it away? Did I just give it away? I gave it away
Well, listen, that means that people will actually read it. So, good news.
So the good news is she doesn’t die.
Yeah, if you tell people that you have a kid that’s gonna die in your future book there and be like, I’m not reading that book.
But I mean, it’s just and it’s just, it’s so sad that it does happen. But I mean, it’s done so well. And so tastefully. It really is. And, you know, I can I read? Can I read this? This one line that I want to read so badly? And it’s a 2016 book. I’m not giving anything away.
I love how you say it. Like I’m gonna say no to you.
Like I’m getting permission. Can I do this please?
No, no, Kris, we’re not. No, no quotes.
It goes on where she, Abigail’s at the hospital, and she’s there for treatment, and her fever spikes. And she kind of slips into a coma. And there’s like, no way. The doctor says there’s no way of knowing if Abigail will regain consciousness. And it goes on and on and on. And the very last sentence, is a sentence all by itself, and it just says, Abigail never woke up. And that’s, you know, that, that tells you everything, you know, and it’s just, you know, I think it’s I think it’s, I think it’s a big girl story, I think, you know, I think it’s worthy enough to read, it’s like, think about how many movies make it to mainstream that are fucking sad. And yet, you know, they’re made into movies. And this is a sad thing. But it also has a very hopeful ending. So I do recommend this book. And and this has been the one book out of all the books I’ve read. As a reader, I think this is a I think this is a good enough. How do I want to say this? This is one book that I will always recommend to people. Yes. Just it’s one of those things where it’s not going to play. It has great reviews, the people who do actually read it are like, Oh my gosh, I’m so glad I read this book, because it’s so well written.
It’s an important book, like I think in addition to being a good book, it’s an important book. It’s a noteworthy book. Yes. And it’s worth reading, like if you I mean, I think people have to be kind of themselves and there’s like right now may not be the best time if you are still in kind of a dark place with pandemic and whatever I know I, I tried listening to The Bluest Eye recently by Toni Morrison, because it’s one that I’ve always meant to read. And very, very, very early on, like, within the first five minutes, it talks about a girl in the neighborhood who’s pregnant with her father’s child. And I was like, I gotta go. Right. I was like, Nope, I do not have the emotional energy. So I think it’s one of those like, you kind of have to, like, look within. And, and just be honest with yourself, because if you are having a hard time with pandemic life, this might not be the time for Life in Death. But right, make a note. Yeah, and come back to it when you do feel more ready, because it’s absolutely worth time and intention. Right.
And I feel like it was so, it’s so real. It was such a real book, like, this is what happens when people drift apart. Other people come into their lives that give them life again, so to speak. And so a lot of affairs happen. I mean, what is it 50, at least 50% of marriages end. And I’m sure that more than 50% have had affairs, you know, this is a thing and it’s like, and it’s done in a way that you understand it. It’s not just like somebody going out just you know, having sex and like, this is my life. I’m you know, that’s that’s who I am. It’s not like that at all. It’s just kind of like it’s a, this happened because of the situation. And it was just done very tastefully and very brilliantly. So my recommendation.
Very good. Good Choice.
Thank you. What about what about your What about you? What is your big recommendation.
So I’m actually going with a non fiction book this week. And it’s something that I recently listened to in audio, I actually started reading it on my Kindle, right when the book came out, I suppose like six months ago or so. And I am the worst at reading nonfiction with my eyeballs. I am no good at it, I am much better at listening to books like that. And then I decide what I want to kind of take action in my life and when I don’t, but in this particular book, I’m really glad that I put a hold on it in the library, because I feel like it came through at the perfect time.
And it is because I don’t know about anybody else. But I definitely, you know, this year has been a struggle at times, especially feeling burned out. And that’s, you know, a combination that we’ve been living in a pandemic for more than a year. And then also, we just the way we approach work in North America is hard. And it basically expects people to give everything of themselves and to not really have a life. And so this book is called Laziness Does Not Exist by Devon Price. And I first heard about it because Sarah Wendell, Smart Bitches, Trashy Books sent me a message. And she’s like, ma’am, this book, I believe is within your interest. And I was like, Yes, thank you very much.
And so this book is all about what the author calls the laziness lie. And the idea behind that is that if we’re not constantly working, if you’re not like at your job, or doing a side hustle or volunteering, basically, if you’re not giving something of yourself all the time, then you’re being lazy. And that that’s actually a problem. And that drives so many of us to not only burn out, but to actual, like illness and injury that you can push your body so hard that you get sick.
And so with this book, you know, it really encourages the idea of rest, and sharing that you know you can, you can actually do better work when you are rested. Like especially if you do the kind of work that requires like a lot of your brain, you’re not going to get like if you’re working 12-14 hour day, you’re not going to do good work for most of that day. But if you take time, and if you rest, you can actually do better work in a shorter amount of time. And also that it’s okay to just want rest and to want to have a life for its own sake, which doesn’t sound like it should be revolutionary. But I mean, I’ve been working in tech for 20 years, and I’m sure you know other folks especially that work in tech feel that or maybe they don’t maybe they work in nonprofit, nonprofit life is also brutal, like all kinds of industries are brutal expecting you to give everything of yourself.
And so I love that the central message is really that like you are worth so much more than your productivity, that you, it’s not only okay to claim some of your life back, like just take some of that back. But like you should do it. You deserve more, you deserve better health, you deserve better mental health. I mean, of course some of the message. It just requires a certain amount of privilege to be able to do it. Because some of the examples, talk about people who have walked away from highly lucrative careers and like not everybody can just afford to walk away from a well paying job. Right? I mean, that certainly, I fall within that I’m not going to just like walk away from. No, but you can at least try to put boundaries in place about your time like there are things in there about like maybe you just start saying no to certain things. Maybe there Other ways that you can have boundaries so that you can reclaim more about it.
And the reason why I’m specifically recommending it on Queerly Recommended, like is this actually queer? It is absolutely queer. It is such, I was so pleased. So the author is nonbinary. And so many the examples come from trans, nonbinary, gay, lesbian, like, it’s so many examples come from queer people. It’s to me, it was actually almost a startling number of the examples came from queer people, because I’m not really I’m not used to listening to a book like this, and just having queer identity front and center. And I think there is also something to the idea that like, often as queer people, we feel like we have to hustle harder, because we’re still proving ourselves in other ways. And that can get even worse, depending on how many different parts of your identity, like if you are a black trans person, your hustle is going to be so much harder than say, my hustle as a white person. And that gets addressed in there. And so I really, I really enjoyed and appreciated that.
Now, the only thing is that I found walking away from it, I found that it made me feel incredibly validated. And it helped me have a better perspective on Oh, yeah, it is okay for me to prioritize better sleep, more rest, more of those activities that fill me up rather than take energy away. But I didn’t feel like it had a lot of practical advice. So for people that also want some of that more practical advice, I have two other recommendations for you. Because at the same time now, these ones are not specifically queer, but I still think they’re going to be tremendously helpful, which is why it’s worth including.
Plus, I just think the titles alone. I’m there for the titles, right.
So the first I’m gonna say is a book that I am still reading, but I’m already getting so much out of and it is a book called Fuck No, by Sarah Knight. Who can’t get behind that title? So good. So Sarah Knight has a series. This is the fifth in the series of what she calls her No Fucks Given Guides, which all began with a book called The Life Changing Magic of not Giving a Fuck. Which I have to say when I listened to that one. No, I read that one. I actually used my eyeballs for that one. It was life changing. And so that book is a play off of the Marie Kondo book, of course, what is it? The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up or something like that?
And so the way she looks at it is basically like, we give a fuck about too many things all the time. What if you started giving things fewer fucks? So she has this exercise that she wants you to do, where like, you sit on the floor, and you write down all the things you give a fuck about. And then you move them around in different ways. And it’s supposed to be about setting your fuck budget. And I gotta be honest with you, I did not do that. Because guess what, I did not give a fuck about? Sitting on the floor. Yeah, exactly. But what was great for me was being able to, because I mean, I’m a reforming people pleaser. And so being able to, like, step back in those moments, when somebody says something that, you know, before I would have engaged and gotten all freaked out about, I’m able to pause now and say, do I actually give a fuck about what this person has to say about anything? And usually, the answer is no. Yes. And then I can go on with my life.
And so Fuck No, is actually basically it helps you go through. And you can assess why, if you’re a person who’s bad at saying no, why are you bad at saying no, there are like four profiles for that kind of like, you’re this kind of person or this kind of whatever. And there is often overlap between them. I ended up being the person that’s the overlap of all four. That was real great, but then it gives you strategies for how to say no, in different circumstances to different people. And so I, The reason I think this pairs so well with the Laziness, Laziness Does Not Exist, is that you can’t have good boundaries, if you don’t know how to say no. Right? And so if you’re bad at saying no, pick up Fuck No, it’s so amazing.
And then the other book I’d actually recommend with it, and I would recommend this anyway, and I have been for like more than a year is called Burnout by Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski. So they’re sisters. Emily wrote the book Come as You Are, which is about like sexuality. And I guess there’s the one chapter in there around. Well, I’ve never read it, but I think it talks about like burnout and how to complete the stress cycle to like, basically, so you can be more mentally healthy, because you can identify and cut stressors out of your life, but if you have experienced stress, you need to get it out of your body by completing the stress cycle. And so a lot of people wrote to her about that and I guess she was like, Oh shit, I gotta write a whole other book she wrote it with her sister, and it is fabulous. It has really excellent tips for how to gets stress out of the body. I also learned a gratitude journaling practice out of there that goes beyond listing like the three to five things you’re grateful for. And I actually found it really helpful for like changing the way my brain thinks about certain things. And so if you kind of feel like you’re constantly in that cycle of burnout, get that book, it’s so good. That one for me was absolutely life changing. And I think the three together form a really excellent package, so you can have a new perspective with strategies so that you can actually change what’s going on in your life based on this new perspective.
So you can come out of the pandemic, a different person stronger, maybe,
Yeah, do some gardening, then you’ll get more muscles to grow
Mentally stronger, and also if you do gardening, physically stronger.
That’s right. All of it, all the above.
That is all for this episode. Thank you so much to everybody who has listened all the way to the end of this. If you’ve enjoyed our show, please subscribe wherever you listen to your podcast, maybe tell a friend or perhaps like we said earlier consider leaving a review on Apple Podcasts.
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—was Backcast and so the premise is that there is this woman who— I cannot stop rubbing my eye. It’s so freakin itchy. Okay. Let’s start that sentence over.
Your plants were attacking
Fricking gardening. This is the thistle getting back at me for digging them all out. They’re like, fuck you lady. So the premise of Backcast is that there is a woman who gets…
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