The Mortifying Ordeal of Being Known

#346: Link, Lara, and Marc discuss the particular excitement and anxiety of sharing a beloved piece of media with others.


Link Keller 0:11
Welcome to GT radio on the Geek Therapy network, where we believe that we believe that media is really important and it connects us to each other and how we understand ourselves. And I am one of your hosts, Link Keller, I am joined by Lara Taylor,

Lara Taylor 0:34

Link Keller 0:35
and Marc

Marc Cuiriz 0:37

Link Keller 0:39
My friends. Let’s do this.

Lara Taylor 0:44
yeah what are we talking about Link?

Link Keller 0:46
So we we are coming into this with a very loose topic, I didn’t really know what to pick. And so I, inspired by earlier today, I have decided, okay, wait, how do I let me let me do let me paint you a whole picture here.

Lara Taylor 1:06
Close your eyes and go on a little ride with Link Keller.

Marc Cuiriz 1:10
Unless you’re like me, and you can’t visualize it, in which case just just try to conceptualize this.

Link Keller 1:19
Tik tok showed me a not a sponsored ad, but an advertisement from somebody’s personal site. These very cool transparent post it notes so that you can write on the post it note and put it in a book and you can still see the text underneath. It’s very cool. They also came with strips, so it looks like highlighter strips.

Lara Taylor 1:45
Oh, that’s cool.

Link Keller 1:46
And I was like, that’s so cool. And I realized recently I had been not missing grad school, but missing elements of the school experience, one of which being reading books, and taking notes and marking up pages to you know, pull pieces together and formulate thoughts and all that and I was like, I miss doing that. And so this advertisement was perfect timing. I was like, oh, I want those so bad. And so I ordered them. I spent too much money on post its, to to be frank. But I’m very pleased. I ended up getting three different colors with the intention of starting a book exchange with two of my friends. We’re still sort of sussing out the specifics, but basically one color for each person. And we’re each gonna pick a book and fill it up with notes and then send it to each other. And so the book I picked was Gideon the ninth by Tamsyn Muir, which has the locked tomb series has become one of my favorite series. Recently, I’ve become lowkey obsessed with it. So I went to Portland over the weekend to visit some friends and went to Powell’s. Which you guys Powell’s is amazing. fantastical. I have said this to several people at this point. But I have been into a fair amount of like beautiful churches and synagogues. And I have never felt more spiritual than when I’m in Powell’s. It’s this huge Multi Floor bookstore. They have used books and rare old books and like up it upstairs in their like, fancy old book room. They do lots of events and stuff. There’s a coffee shop inside. It’s it’s great. I, I picked up another copy of because I already owned the locked tomb books that are out. So I picked up another copy of Gideon explicitly for this book exchange thing. And I started reading and marking up pages last night and I’m having a really good time but I am a little nervous slash excited about sharing this book with my two friends. Because what if they don’t like it? Or what if they like it, but they’re just like sort of lukewarm. Like it is like I don’t know if that’s worse or not. I have recommended this book series to several people at this point. Jessica is one of them. She’s working her way through the audio books. Thankfully she is very much enjoying it.

Lara Taylor 4:47
I think Kayla has either read it or

Link Keller 4:50
Kayla has read it. We’ve talked about it before. Yeah, and my one of my housemates asked to borrow the copy that I have and he read the first chapter and he’s like it’s not for me and gave it back to me and I was like, I’m not gonna take this personally, but I’ve taken a tiny little bit personally. And so I thought that that would kind of be a fun topic to discuss as sort of the emotional impact of sharing a piece of media with people that you care about, and the piece of media that you care about, and the sort of emotions that come up from that. Honestly, like a vulnerability of being like this thing is really important to me. I hope you like it. So Have either of you two ever done anything like a book exchange? Or just like a book recommendation, other media too video games, movies, something where you’re like, look, this is really important to me, and I want to share it with you. But I do have like, a tiny bit of nervousness that is like if you don’t like it, it is gonna break part of my heart.

Lara Taylor 5:59
Definitely, definitely. Um, I think the media Okay, Marc, you look really excited. Go ahead, Marc.

Marc Cuiriz 6:07
uh no, um, Here’s here’s some tales about how my heart was shattered into a million pieces.

Lara Taylor 6:13
I’ll bring us back up with some hope you get you break us down?

Marc Cuiriz 6:18
yes, I’m gonna break it down here. Okay. So I don’t know if it might have maybe have been mentioned a couple of times here on this to your podcast, that I am a Percy Jackson’s fan for ever in my life. And so when my when my why, what the words are hard when my wife and I first started living together, I was like, I want to read these books, I want you to kind of see the reason why I like them. And so I started like reading them to her as like my way of like, hey, I want to share this really this thing that I really enjoy. And she would fall asleep to it every single time. So she just like, they’re not her type of books. That’s totally fine. I get it. And I understand that, but it’s just like, my favorite series. And just to kind of keep up the charade of it. I kept reading the books, one for myself and two in hopes that maybe someone could say something that would eventually catch her. I’m on the Heroes of Olympus series. Still nothing. So you know, I think it’s safe to say that that ship has successfully sunk. And then another thing this is this is more video game related. But I remember introducing our friend to Assassin’s Creed. And this is this is where it hurt me the most. They had I set them up to play brotherhood because like, Brotherhood’s the good one, in my opinion, like the best one. They played through it. And I was like, Oh, what do you think of it? Like, tell me all about it? And they’re like, Yeah, I didn’t really I didn’t really like it kind of sucked. Combat was weird, blah, blah, blah. And I was like,

Link Keller 8:13
oh, no,

Marc Cuiriz 8:14
my heart. And after that, it’s just when it comes to Assassin’s Creed, I really have to suss people out before I I drop a suggestion like that. Because I don’t I can’t I can’t stand my heart

Link Keller 8:27
being burned

Marc Cuiriz 8:29
too many burns, man.

Lara Taylor 8:31
So many burns, because this is a piece of media that is so close to who you know, we talked about like link, you said in the beginning, this is how we learn about ourselves, that we learn about each other. And you’re sharing this piece, you’re taking this piece of your heart, this thing you love, and you hand it over to somebody, and please treat it gently. And they drop it to the ground.

Marc Cuiriz 8:54
They’re like, Oh, wow, Gee, thanks. So then just proceed to just smash it on the floor.

Lara Taylor 8:59
And that’s why here at Geek Therapy. We don’t like to yuck people’s yums we can have criticism of things we can like have reasons we don’t like a thing, but we can be excited for the fact that somebody else likes the thing. Yeah,

Marc Cuiriz 9:13
but yeah, so now as now that everything is kind of like I’ve gotten over the Percy Jackson stuff. My wife and I are now doing this new thing with each other. Where at nighttime, like before we go to bed, we we have a book and like switch off every other night like reading a chapter or a couple of chapters if they’re short chapters to each other. So the first book we read, it was called the defining decade I forget who it’s by but it’s like a nonfiction book about like, the the 20 something years and like the things that people learned, or this person had like written about through their clients like the things they’ve learned as a 20 something year old. And now just last night, we started a new Book. And she was kind of reading it to me a little bit. And I was like, Okay, this actually sounds kind of interesting. And now I’m, like, hooked on it. And I want to just read through it myself, but I have to hold myself. It’s called the midnight library, by Matt Hank? Haig? I think it’s Haig. And I just remember like, the first chapter, it was like talking about like existentialist, like, questions and theories. And just like the idea of like, redoing your life, and I’m like, huh, this is, this is my little philosophical Num Nums. I need this. I like this, this is a way for me to be able to have discussions about this, because this is another thing that like, now we can like, have discussions about the books that we’re choosing to read together. And it’s also a book that we both are finding interesting, rather than one book that I find interesting. Another book, she might find interesting, and we’re just kind of like, not compatible. We’re finding a nice, middle ground. So there’s a little bit of hope there, Lara.

Lara Taylor 11:03
There is there is a little bit of hope there. Um, I think it’s interesting. I think I do get my heart broken, especially with movies. And I’m like, Oh, you’re gonna love this movie. And somebody’s like, it’s not that great. And I’m like, whatever. It, I love the thing. I’m going to share it with you. Yeah, you don’t like it that much. Okay, I can understand that. But also, it still hurts. It still hurts because this means so much to me. Although there are some times I don’t, I don’t worry about that. Because the movies that I’ve been watching lately are giant Marvel movies or whatever. And it’s like, okay, most people I know are gonna like it or appreciate something about it if they don’t like the whole thing. Um, but Kayla, friend of the show, sometimes guest on the show, was doing this like queer book trade thing. Like, she’s obsessed with reading. I think last year, she read 114 or 120 books, she’s already in February at like 120 something not 120, 20 Something books in two months. And so basically, she’ll read a book, and then pass it on to a queer friend and just ask that, then you then pass it on to another queer friend to kind of keep the thing going. And I think that’s a great way of exposing us all to more stories. I think her thing was wanting to only focus on like queer stories and centering queer stories, which I’ve read so many books that I wouldn’t have read, and also some that I would have read because of her suggestions. And so I’m repaying the favor, because there’s a couple of books that Nina and I have read that are on her list that she hasn’t gotten. And so I know she’s going to like them. Which is why I feel safe sharing them because I’m gonna be like, here read this thing. And she’s gonna think it’s the greatest thing ever. There’s another as far as Marc in his like, back and forth reading with his wife, Nina and I were thinking about doing Maia Kobabe’s gender queer a memoir, most banned book in the country, wonderful book. We got a copy of that. And when it first came out, and we’re thinking about, it also goes with the post it notes, we were thinking about having two different color post it notes and putting a sticky next to everything in the book that each of us, I would go through, put a sticky note with everything that I resonated with everything I liked. And Nina was thinking about doing the same, we never ended up doing that. But I think it would be really cool a cool way to learn about each other and have this back and forth. Because we already both know that we love the book and thought it was great. So there’s no heart there. But the vulnerability is in this is someone’s memoir, about gender and about sexuality. And like, I mean, she’s my wife, but being able to like, have those moments of like, this is something that was important to me in this book. And I don’t know if you knew that about me or not, kind of thing. So I may bring that up for something for us to do. So yeah

Link Keller 14:18
I legitimately I don’t think there’s anything more romantic than reading with your significant other. I think I think that that would be a lovely thing to do.

Lara Taylor 14:29

Marc Cuiriz 14:30
it definitely is nice, because I know for me, when I was a kid, I would love reading. I would stay up. You know, most like nowadays kids stay up late playing video games. I was staying up late reading.

Link Keller 14:44

Marc Cuiriz 14:45
I think. I think there was one time my mom came, like Hulk busting into my room at two in the morning was like, What are you still doing up, go to sleep and I was sitting there reading a book and I was like, I’m just reading. I just it was so good. I didn’t want to Put it all down. She’s like no go to bed. I was like, oh, when you

Link Keller 15:03
when you slam the book shut because you’re like I’ve been caught, but you keep your finger in on the page that you’re on, you’re like, I’m not. I’m not done though.

Lara Taylor 15:11
As a camp counselor, I loved having the problem of like waking up and looking around and seeing flashlights reading. Guys, you gotta go to sleep, we got to get up in like four hours, but

Link Keller 15:23
we’ve got an eight mile hike tomorrow, you need sleeves, like, let me finish this chapter though, come on,

Lara Taylor 15:29
and we would have it

Link Keller 15:30
be cool!

Lara Taylor 15:31
We would have like an hour after our lunch that was siesta where everyone was supposed to be quiet, just like hanging out, recharge for the day, take it, take a nap or do some reading or, like work on some art. There was this is how I got introduced to the Twilight series. I had a cabin of 12 year old girls at that time, and they were reading the Twilight book to each other. And they didn’t finish it that week. So I had to pick it up to find out what happened

Link Keller 16:02
can’t leave that on a cliffhanger, I gotta find out.

Marc Cuiriz 16:06
But I think the fact that we can read to each other now at night is a way for me to kind of slowly start getting back into books. And it’s something where like, audiobooks are nice for me. But I also know that I can get very easily distracted. And while they’re nice to have on the go, I also have the short attention span. So if the person that’s reading, it isn’t doing a great job, then all of a sudden, I’m all checked out. And now it’s lost on me. So this is a nice way for me kind of for me to kind of get reconnected with a physical book. And then her and I together can have a have a discussion about what we’re what our thoughts are on the book, what what do we feel like is going to happen, you know, dilemmas, things like that. So it’s, it’s nice, but I I remember I tried to get into Twilight and way back in the day. I read 100 pages, and then I closed the book and I gave it to my mom and I was like, Here you go. I don’t want to read this anymore.

Lara Taylor 17:06
And that’s okay. And that’s okay. But if I had shared the book with you, I would have cried if you did that.

Marc Cuiriz 17:12
But at least it wasn’t like I read like five pages. I was like, No, this sucks. It’s like I gave it a fair shot

Lara Taylor 17:19
you gave it a good shot, Yeah, no.

Link Keller 17:21
There’s also something kind of nice of being like, it wasn’t for me, but I did pass it on to somebody who would enjoy it.

Lara Taylor 17:28
Correct. Not like I’m throwing this in the recycle.

Link Keller 17:32
Yeah, it’s not I dropped it like behind my desk. And I’m not going to think about or see it until I move at some point in the future.

Marc Cuiriz 17:41
I bought it at the Scholastic Book Fair at school. So that’s why I was like, Well, I spent money on this. I’m not throwing this away. Here you go, mom. You read it.

Lara Taylor 17:50
Yeah, I think about Nina and I haven’t really read a whole lot yet. She doesn’t read much because she falls asleep when she’s reading. So she wants to like be able to enjoy the book. But she found this renewed interest in reading lately, and read legends and lattes. Which is

Link Keller 18:11
I’ve heard about that

Lara Taylor 18:12
it’s it’s so I’m reading it now. It’s so good. And this is the first book in a while that like she has read and I am now reading. So like being able, she’s like, where are you at? What part are you reading right now. And it is such a slow burn and it’s so good so far and just wholesome and cute, and I love it. It’s about an orc and a succubus opening a coffee shop. That that’s it. It’s amazing. I’m sending that one to Kayla and I have another one. How to excavate a heart that I’m sending to Kayla, all women loving women books, and I’m here for that. And it’s that thing that like, I don’t have to worry because Kayla’s gonna like whatever I send her and all my books like I’ve I’ve refound reading over the course of the pandemic, because, oh, I can use my iPad. I didn’t want to use a ereader. But I can use it with my library and get books from the library and not have to only read books on my ereader to justify it. So I’ve been doing that and basically Kayla sends me a recommendation all the time, and I have a list of things to read. And I felt bad. There was one book that I thought was great, but it took me like two or three. I think I had to renew it twice. So it took me like eight weeks to read. And I don’t know why. It was like it was slow in the beginning for me. I think maybe I was on Benadryl for for my hives situation that I had a while back. And I was I read before bed so maybe I was getting too sleepy but Kayla kept asking me Are you done? Are you done with the book yet? Are you done with the book? I’m like, I promise I love the book. I just I’m not able to read through it as fast and I don’t really have an answer for why. But that one was master of jinn. That one was really cool. It’s like an alternate history of of Egypt. steampunky. less colonization. Very nice. Lots of fun. But I don’t know. It takes a lot to share a piece of something that you love with somebody else.

Lara Taylor 19:30
I think I’m definitely more sensitive to book recommendations than I am to games or movies.

Lara Taylor 20:42
Yeah, I think about your excellent horror movie recommendations when you were trying you were being the horror movie sommelier

Link Keller 20:51
I’m putting that on my resume,

Lara Taylor 20:52
do it. fucking do it.

Link Keller 20:55
I mean, that was great. That was That was fun. Because it was sort of participatory, I was able to, like, connect with you guys about what movies you already liked. And use that to sort of

Lara Taylor 21:05
you had an educated guess on what we would like. Yeah.

Link Keller 21:08
And I’ve also I’ve watched so many horror movies that it’s, you know, I won’t take it personal. If you don’t like my specific favorite.

Lara Taylor 21:16
You also

Link Keller 21:17
I’ve got I’ve got like, eight or nine more favorites

Lara Taylor 21:19
You also picked ones we would have a response to? Like

Link Keller 21:23
I did. I did that hehehehee Yeah, yeah, I definitely think books, for me are more, I guess, more emotional, which doesn’t necessarily make sense. I’m trying to I’m trying to suss that out. Because I feel like

Lara Taylor 21:43
they are such a time investment. They’re a time investment

Link Keller 21:47
it is more of a time investment. I mean, granted, there’s definitely books that I’ve read very quickly.

Lara Taylor 21:53
But but also our time and energy and time and energy investment, right? When I’m talking with people about like levels of engagement, like usually TV is the most passive. And then I would say, reading a video games can be a bounce back and forth, like video games puts you immersively in an experience, but like when you’re reading, you’re imagining what you want that world to be like, if you can visualize things. If you’re like Marc and kind of me, you just kind of figure it out.

Link Keller 22:25
I mean, it’s also very dependent on like, what the game is like, what kinds of engagement it is requiring of its players. And books, you know, there are books that are more or less engaging of your imagination or emotions or what have you. But yeah, so it’s something I think it’s probably just because I’ve been a big reader my whole life and so something about it is like if you don’t respond well to it, there’s like, little baby link inside of me. It’s like my feelings are hurt. I, not this past year, but the year before. Me and several of people in my friend group got really into iron widow by Xiran Jay Zhao, I think I think that’s their name.

Lara Taylor 23:28
I love that book.

Link Keller 23:29
Great book. Loved it consumed it so quick. Surprisingly, my housemate that didn’t like Gideon the ninth really loved iron widow and read that in like, eight hours. Damn, but I

Lara Taylor 23:41
that one took me one return of like renewal at the library. So like four weeks.

Link Keller 23:48
I read I read it originally on my friends like Google Library account, like on my phone. But at Powell’s I got my own copy. So now it’s on my bookshelf. But I that that year 2021. I bought a copy for each of my siblings and sent it to them and my sister loved it was like I love this. This is fantastic. I’m totally into it. And my brother was like, it wasn’t really for me. I only read you know 20 or so pages and put it down I couldn’t get into it and I was just like, I guess you just you don’t have good taste, bro. Because he’s my little brother. I love to rib on him that way but I was I was a little disappointed. I was like, Oh, I missed I missed it. I thought I thought that this was gonna be a direct hit for you but it wasn’t so this past year, I had a much harder time deciding what to send them both for their birthday their birthdays in October. And so it’s a little more difficult but yeah, I I Iron widow is really good. Highly recommend. There’s a sequel coming out. Maybe this year, maybe early next year. Um, I’m not sure which there but I’m very excited for that sequel.

Lara Taylor 25:05
If you go read it and you don’t like it don’t tell Link.

Link Keller 25:10
I mean, I can take it I can, it’s fine. i Okay, so certainly back to locked tomb, Nona the ninth is the most recent one. That’s the third one. The locked tomb series was originally supposed to be a trilogy, and the author was like, Oops, extra books squeezed in here. And so the last book is, it was supposed to come out later this year, but I think it got pushed to 2024. But anyways, Nona, the third one came out. And it took me a while to get around to reading it. But I did. great. Loved it. And my friend, Remy, who I, when we, when I moved up here to Seattle area, we listened to Gideon, the ninth audiobook on the drive up in the big U haul truck, which was really fun. He enjoyed it. I loved it. We both read the second one later on. And then the third one, and I was reading it, and I’m totally enjoying it. And I’m having a great time. And I’m like, Hey, Remy, you should like, you should read nona the ninth like is it’s time. And he was like, Well, I just finished the book I was reading so okay, I’ll check it out. And he listens to audiobooks. That’s his preference.

Lara Taylor 26:26
Yes, some people do that

Link Keller 26:26
that’s the way his brain works, yeah. It’s not my preferred way of engaging with books, I have listened to audio books that I really loved. The, you know, the narrator can make or break an audio book, but I feel like I’m more likely to get distracted, and like, zone out and imagine things and think out stuff. And then when I’m reading a book, like my eyes, stop

Lara Taylor 26:51
your eyes have to focus,

Link Keller 26:52
and I’m just having that fun time in my head, and then I go, back to reading

Lara Taylor 26:56
and the story stops,

Link Keller 26:57
but the audio books just keeps going. And I’m like, What the fuck is happening? Oh, no, I gotta rewind. But he was listening to Nona, and was going through it. And he was like, Okay, well, I finished it today. Can Can I talk to you about it? And I was like, yes. And he’s like, Okay, but how?

Lara Taylor 27:15
How, can I talk about it?

Link Keller 27:17
and I really appreciate that. He, he checked in about this. But he was basically like, how, like, how can I talk about this with you, and I was like, you are allowed to be critical. But you have to do a compliment sandwich.

Lara Taylor 27:31
Even though compliment sandwiches are bullshit, but like, you need a compliment in there somewhere.

Link Keller 27:36
I was like, I didn’t actually do compliments. I was like, if you are allowed to be critical, but I want there to be equal amounts of like, things that you enjoyed and liked and resonated with to the things that you didn’t like and annoyed you. And so we had a really like, nice conversation about that. I think he was he was worried about like, hurting my feelings. Because he’s like, Oh, I don’t know. But he got to the end. And he’s like, you know, I just, I want you to know, like, if I I’m being critical of this book, because I liked it. If I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t have anything to say. And I’m like, No, I understand that about you. And I think that that’s also a very important in when you are recommending things to other people is like understanding the audience. What kind of things that they are more likely to resonate with? What styles of things that they enjoy versus bounce off of. Which goes back to the horror movie recommendations is like I was able to like pinpoint it, because we talked about other stuff that you liked.

Lara Taylor 28:40
Yeah. I definitely I worked with a client who had like friends suggesting books, and just was not resonating with the types of books that they were suggesting. And we talked about the fact that like, it’s really hard. If your friends like do understand you as a person, but just don’t understand what you like in your media consumption. Like they think that what you watch is exactly what you’re gonna like in your reading. And they said they were having a hard time finding books that they wanted to read because they had a few here or there and just didn’t know what they wanted to read. And in talking with them, I’m like, reflected on like my experience with Kayla’s list of books that she’s read. And I’m like, Kayla and I are not the same person, but we’re pretty damn close to being just like me and Josué

Link Keller 29:37
it’s uh a lot of overlap in that Venn diagram

Lara Taylor 29:40
exactly, even more overlap than with me and Josué with our media consumption, especially wanting more and more like queer women’s stories centered stories, and so she could send anything my way and I’d at least give it a try and probably find a lot of things I like in it. And she hasn’t hit off the mark yet. Like, it’s all been good. I’m waiting for the thing I’m not gonna like but like, I mean, there’s was a novella she sent me that was like, I felt like I wanted more. It was too short. Right. But that’s a novella. It’s very short. But yeah, having someone who gets like when you find your like book partner like that is that’s Golden.

Link Keller 30:29
Book buddies.

Lara Taylor 30:31
book buddies!

Marc Cuiriz 30:31
Still looking for that? I think when it comes to me, books, and I have a, it’s a iffy relationship just because I’m particular with the kind of books that I read. I, I’m more of a fan of books that can grab my attention right out of the right out of right out of the gate, you know, they didn’t come out swinging. And that’s when I’m like, All right, you got my attention, you got me interested, let’s keep going. And then usually I can power through a book from there books that are more of a slow burn, I have a really tough time kind of getting into. There was only ever one book that was a slow burn for me. And that was the Maze Runner. And I only power through it because I had to for school because I picked it. For like an English class. I picked it up because I’m like, Well, I gave this a try. Let me let me see what it’s about. And I can remember this specifically, where I was reading through it, it was like the first like 110 pages. It was just it was world building. And as a person who cannot visualize that sucks, because I was like, Alright, I’m reading it. Let’s just get to the story already. And then as I like, I remember flipping the page from 110 to 111. And then all of a sudden, it was just like, go go go. And I was like, Yes, this is what I need. And then I was able to, and then it kind of carried throughout for the rest of the trilogy. So when it comes to two books for me, like I want to get back into reading, but I I don’t know necessarily what I’m into anymore. Because like, I want to say it’s young adult novels. But also I want to try and branch that out. But I also have no idea where to go. I have no idea what to try. so

Lara Taylor 32:27
young adult novels are a good plague people talk down about young adult novels. They have the most complex emotional stories, they have the easiest reading. Like it’s so like, plain and like not playing but like everything is laid out for you. In an easy way to read visually, the words are not as compressed. Usually. I love young adult novels. I think there’s different kinds of slow burns too marc like, there’s this little burn I’m talking about and legends and lattes is like the story is interesting and intriguing. But it’s one it’s a Will they won’t they romance book

Link Keller 33:09
I was gonna say slow burn has several meanings in this conversation

Lara Taylor 33:14
And it’s also like, this chapter is about getting this thing done to start the shop. And this chapter is about another thing. And this chapter is about another thing, so it’s all building up. Then there’s the slow burn that was for me the Lord of the Rings.

Link Keller 33:27
Oh no,

Lara Taylor 33:27
I gave it I read. I read 10 pages in thinking I was gonna love it because I’ve loved this is I think I started watching it after fellowship, or reading it after Fellowship of the Ring count, but not two towers. I don’t think that had come out yet. So I’m like, I’m gonna love this. I love the movie. I love the cartoons. Like, I’m gonna love this. And I read 10 pages and I’m like, fuck this book. I can’t read it. And I put it down, I put it down. And then I think two or three years later, I picked it back up again and read the whole series, the whole trilogy straight through. I don’t know what changed in that time. But I think I just had to get over how fucking wordy Tolkien is.

Link Keller 34:17
Yeah, I was literally just talking about my my Lord of the Rings reading story. When I was a child. Again, voracious reader. I very much had this stick up my butt about like, if you start a book, you have to finish it. Which I think partly was like, I was going to the library all the time. And so it was like I can’t return this book without finishing it or like maybe the book will think that I didn’t like it or like I have to finish

Lara Taylor 34:52
as an adult I would rather if I paid money for it. I’m going to finish it or give it to someone who will like it. If I it’s a library book. I can just return it whenever the hell I want.

Link Keller 35:00
I’m definitely a lot more flexible about it now than I was back then. But at the time, it was very much like, if I started a book, I have to finish it. And I was just, you know, getting into like, oh, I can. I can read adult books. I read adult books now. And so I made a beeline to our bookshelf at home to my parents collection of fantasy stuff, because I inherited my love of fantasy. Absolutely. And I came across this very large book called the mists of Avalon.

Lara Taylor 35:32
I love that book dammit,

Link Keller 35:35
well I was reading it

Lara Taylor 35:37
well no, I love the movie. I love the movie with Julianna Margulies in it. And I think I also had a slow burn on this book.

Link Keller 35:45
I was probably like, nine or 10 when I was reading it, and I got to the spoiler alert, incest scene. And I was like, Nope! I’m actually not ready for adult books. This was a terrible mistake, I have to leave the country. Um, and so that was the first book where I was like, I’m not I’m not finishing this. And so that was like the break in that internal rule I had for myself.

Lara Taylor 36:11
And then when Link was older link, link read. Game of Thrones.

Link Keller 36:17
I circled back to the incest stuff, I guess. It’s not so bad now. uh no, but it’s like I had loved I had read The Hobbit, like a couple of times, at that point, loved it. The Fellowship of the Ring movie came out obsessed, loved that. And I was like, I’m gonna read Lord of the Rings. And so I started reading them. And I got to the scene where they are having the meeting in Rivendale about the ring. And it just kept going. It’s like a six minute scene in the movie. It’s like 80 pages in the book. And I was like, oh my god, this is so boring. I can’t, I can’t hang. And so I sort of like, put it aside and started reading some other things. And about six months later, I was like, Okay, I love Lord of the Rings. I’m gonna give this another go. And so I started it again, because it had been six months. And like, I want to start at the beginning again. So I read through all of Lord of the Rings, finished that started two towers, and I got halfway through that one. And the same thing where it’s just like, I’m so bored. I’m so bored. I want to read something fun. And so I put it to the side and read other stuff. And about a year later, I was like, Okay, this is it. I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna I’m gonna do it. And so this time I listened to the audiobooks hoping that that would help me out. And so I got through all Lord rings, and all Twin Towers, two towers. And halfway through Return of the king and just stopped it. So I’ve never finished the series. I and I’ve gone back and I’ve read The Hobbit a couple more times since like, I love the Hobbit. Somebody gifted me The Silmarillion and I was just like, I’m never gonna read this

Lara Taylor 36:25
No, which is great.

Link Keller 36:58
I can’t get through Lord of the Rings I’m never gonna read this.

Lara Taylor 38:12
It’s great. You could watch Rings of Power and not be worried about whether it’s true to the book or not. It’s great.

Link Keller 38:17
Yeah, Free Free Free my mind from that

Lara Taylor 38:20
freedom freedom.

Link Keller 38:21
But yeah, that was definitely mists of Avalon was the breaking point of that internal rule of finish finishing a book Lord of the Rings was like cementing that of like, if you’re not jamming with something, it is a okay to like, bounce out and that is fine. Like, but yeah, it’s really funny that you brought that up because I was literally last night talking about that exact story of my my Lord of the Rings experience.

Lara Taylor 38:47
I love that your adult book, Introduction to adult books was mists of Avalon, which I do remember I have the book. I’ve never finished it. I liked the movie, the TV thing. That was a long time ago, though, like I watched that. I was in high school. And I was just

Link Keller 39:06
it was probably 2000 When I was reading that.

Lara Taylor 39:10

Link Keller 39:11
100 years ago

Lara Taylor 39:12
Thank you 100 years ago, and I was I like, I don’t know, I think it was a point of being excited that there was another like, King Arthur Merlin thing. And it was from a different character’s perspective. I’d never seen anything with for morgaine’s perspective. So yeah.

Marc Cuiriz 39:34
Do you guys want to know what my introduction to adult literature was?

Link Keller 39:37
Yes, absolutely.

Lara Taylor 39:38
Please. please

Marc Cuiriz 39:40
Okay, so I was, I think I was a sophomore in high school. And for my birthday, my friend gifts me The Divine Comedy.

Lara Taylor 39:53
oh god

Marc Cuiriz 39:54
Like the end in its entirety. It’s i It’s this big book With You know, it’s got nice lovely a gold finish along the pages and everything. And it wasn’t worth

Link Keller 40:09
the epitome of a grownup

Marc Cuiriz 40:11

Link Keller 40:11
gilded pages. Ooh,

Marc Cuiriz 40:13
I know. I was like, Oh, this book is so fancy. And then I actually attempted to read The Divine Comedy. I made it 20 pages in and I was like, What on earth am I reading? I have closed that book. And I have not I have not bothered trying to read it since maybe one day, I will have attempt to read the entirety of the Divine Comedy. But that was my introduction. And also that was one of the first books where I also like I started it did not finish it.

Lara Taylor 40:50
I’m trying to figure out what my first adult book was. That it’s been so long. I’m so damn old. Like, I don’t know what or when. I think I think it was when I was 13. It was not I think it was a Ed Greenwood book wasn’t spell fire. It was the other one. Spell fire got done later, I think. But it pulled me into fantasy and d&d and all of that. And a friend of mine suggested the book. I do remember Okay, so that I read that. And then his older sister gave me the Anita Blake novel to read.

Link Keller 41:37
Okay, wait, hold on. I need to ask, is it one of the first five Anita Blake books?

Lara Taylor 41:43
It was? burnt offerings. It was

Link Keller 41:47
so yeah, okay. Yeah. Yeah. For our listeners, the sex stuff really picks up in the in the fifth book.

Lara Taylor 41:54
I think there was some, and there was she left this little note for me in the beginning of it. It was it’s not it’s not the beginning of the series, but I hope you like it. And I have all of them up to a certain point. I don’t know which was the last one I read. But it’s a signed copy of something. Yeah, I like I actually, I do love Laurell K. I did not read any of what’s her other one. The

Link Keller 42:24
Merry Gentry ones.

Lara Taylor 42:25
I didn’t read any of those. But now she has a new series that I started because I was like, Anita Blake is getting so long, like big that I can’t I can’t keep up. There’s so many. And same thing with the Merry Gentry stuff. i The new one is based on its angels that are in the world. And people can talk to angels and like there’s a whole other experience there.

Link Keller 42:51
Are they sexy?

Lara Taylor 42:52
There There’s some sexy angels. And if you have sex with the angels, that’s a no no. And, like, it’s not just angels like a lot. The Anita Blake series has a lot of Catholicism and it because Anita Blake is Catholic. In this one, the main character was I think Catholic, but has a belief in God because of the angels but there’s room for everybody’s gods, and people. There’s witches and and I can’t think of the other people that were in this book, but there were so many different groups, and being able to have that and like see how their religions when everything in the religion is real, interact like angels and demons are real. But they’re also interacting with like, pagan gods and goddesses and things like that. It’s really cool. And that was

Link Keller 43:48
always one of the things I really liked about the setup of the Anita Blake world is that Catholicism using crosses to fight vampires is very much like it’s not just crosses it is symbols of faith. If you have faith, then your your symbol works, which is also in the Harry Dresden books. I liked that.

Marc Cuiriz 44:12

Link Keller 44:13
I have I have all but I think I’m missing two or three of the Anita Blake’s. I’ve been collecting them for many years. deeply love them.

Marc Cuiriz 44:25
Where did I stray from the path here in terms of good literature? Because, one I mentioned the Divine Comedy two, The other book I read as a sophomore was the Communist Manifesto.

Link Keller 44:42
A really exciting sophomore year.

Marc Cuiriz 44:45
Like, and I actually read the entirety of the communist Communist Manifesto, and I enjoyed reading it so I don’t know what that says about me.

Link Keller 44:56
You’re a cool guy that’s what it says.

Marc Cuiriz 44:58
I’m just I’m just I’m just a hipster.

Link Keller 45:00
You’re a comrade.

Marc Cuiriz 45:02
Yeah. But like, you

Lara Taylor 45:05
you know, your whole world could be awakened by reading Laurell K Hamilton books.

Link Keller 45:11
I don’t recommend reading that one to your wife. Well, I don’t know. Maybe it could be fun. It could be really fun. I don’t know.

Lara Taylor 45:23
Just start with the first book. And in the work where it’ll work its way up to the crazier stuff.

Marc Cuiriz 45:29
Just ease her into it. Yeah. Okay. Okay, I’m picking up what you’re throwing down.

Link Keller 45:34
I love reading fantasy novels with my wife. I love reading fantasy erotica with my wife. It’s fun. It’s a fun thing. umm,

Lara Taylor 45:43
the new series. The first book is called a terrible fall of angels. And there was actually it’s much like the Anita Blake series where there was like, no actual sexy time in it, but like, you know that people are interested in each other, and we’re gonna, and she definitely added queer characters from the beginning in this one, which is very nice.

Link Keller 46:04
yaay, That is actually one of the things I do enjoy about having been following this, like 30 book series, over the years is seeing how the author’s beliefs and attitudes towards things have changed over time. It’s, it’s very cool.

Lara Taylor 46:20
Those beliefs and attitudes, and also how society has allowed those books to be written differently as well over the

Link Keller 46:27
over well, yeah, and also, it’s like, I’ve already got, like 40 bucks published, like, are you really gonna say no, to me, people are gonna buy it just seeing my name.

Lara Taylor 46:35
It’s also interesting thinking about, my dad is the other person who I will if he suggested it to me, I’ll read it. He grew up he doesn’t suggest that much sci fi to me, but he grew up reading Heinlein and dune and all of that stuff, books and book boxes of these older sci fi books, and it’s great. The book series like he knows my love of procedurals. And so he sent he suggested a especially when I was an undergrad in studying psychology, the Alex Delaware novels by Jonathan Kellerman, which is like he’s a psychologist. He’s a child psychologist, who ends up working with his best friend who happens to be a gay cop who gets treated like shit when these books started in the 80s all the way till now because he’s gay and he’s in the LAPD so I don’t know I think that he got me my murder mystery love my true crime love and psychology but I wouldn’t necessarily suggest those books to anybody because that’s i That’s not who I’m friends with. So don’t go read those things I’m not suggesting that I’m suggesting Anita Blake

Link Keller 48:02
I don’t know that I’m suggesting Anita Blake I dunno if I’m cosigning on that.

Lara Taylor 48:06
I’m actually suggesting the new Angel series. I think it’s actually pretty good.

Link Keller 48:11
I will probably check that out

Marc Cuiriz 48:12
I will say I guess I do want to ask since you guys have have been enveloped in literature Have there ever been times when you’re like, Man, I want to write a book and then I going through and me having all the details that’s goes beyond fanfiction like I have an idea for like a legitimate novel because boy howdy do I have ideas?

Lara Taylor 48:42
Absolutely. I am going to my plan is to novelize our kids on brooms game it’s it’s fanfiction. But also not, like I don’t wanna

Link Keller 48:56
it doesn’t count as fanfiction because you’re in the original copy.

Lara Taylor 49:01
It’s my OC, right?

Link Keller 49:03
Like yeah, it’s just a continuation of the fiction.

Lara Taylor 49:07
It is but like I can start over and play with things and like get to parts of the story that like we don’t have time to play in the stream or in the game that because Kayla and I don’t want to take up a whole lot of space doing like back and forth flirty conversations and all of that. So I can add that into the story. I can and Kayla’s way into this she is writing journal entries as her character so that I can then take that to use as motivation for writing. Yeah, I’m that’s the thing when I was a kid, I used to buy notebooks and be like, I’m going to sit down and write a book. That was when I was like in high school and I would get through like two pages and then it would not happen. But I definitely with this I am a lot more motivated to get this written.

Link Keller 50:07
I definitely wrote fanfiction in high school. And then in community college, I took creative writing courses. And so I started working on a novel I probably got halfway through it, I did NaNoWriMo. One year, that’s a National Novel Writing Month, where you write 50,000 words in a month, it’s like 1800 words a day about, which is quite a challenge. And it’s in November, which is like the beginning of the month, you’re like, I’m doing great. And then the holidays start happening, and it becomes much harder to meet your goals. But that was a fun challenge. And I’m glad that I did participate in that. I think technically, I participated in that twice. But I have not written anything like that for fun. Since since community college, I got, I got into doing research papers instead.

Lara Taylor 51:10
Very different kind of writing.

Marc Cuiriz 51:11
Yeah, much less fun writing, at least to me. You know, I remember when I was in, when I was in middle school, I decided that I wanted to write a memoir slash autobiography, like that was depicting my life because it when I went to middle school, that was such a transitional period, because I had to move from a nice single family home, comfortable middle class, and then, you know, things happened between my parents, and then I had to shift everything. And then we became more so like, lower lower class, like a working class, like it was, it was a big struggle. So I wanted to document how my life had changed, and what were my experiences going through it and I wanted it to go all the way up through high school. And I remember writing like six chapters worth, like 40 pages, and then it just stopped. And I have, I’m pretty sure that wherever the stuff is, it’s lost a time. in some old hard drive of some computer that’s probably decrepit, now. but I think I remember a couple years ago, I actually had an idea for a another book. And then I hyper fixated on it for like three days. Like, I just could not stop thinking about this, I was like, this is such a great idea. And then it turned into a full blown trilogy. And I, I have like, the core shell of how I want the story to each of the books to go. And I was like, Man, I’m serious about this. At some point, I’m actually going to sit down and write this because I feel like it’s going to be it’s going to touch on like a lot of the themes. It’s gonna like, deal with like, self doubt, deal with depression deal with all these things. But it’s going to be like a medieval kind of, like, fantasy kind of setting with magic and all this other stuff. Will it come to fruition? I have no idea.

Link Keller 53:20
I think a more fun question is if you do get that book together, who would you recommend it to? Because that’s gonna be 100 times more emotionally fraught, to recommend not just a book that you care about, but a book that you produce, like I’m that I can’t imagine being an author and being like, Hey, do you want to read this thing that I wrote without like, spending years building up a thick enough skin to be able to handle people being like, I didn’t like that. Like, like, No, my baby. Like, please tell me my baby’s ugly to my face. I have the most beautiful baby of all.

Lara Taylor 54:00
So when I was like, six and seven years old, my grandmother made me sit down with her. And we wrote, I wrote poetry like she was my books of poetry mostly about my family. And she went out and had these bound and like, I have, I found a copy. There are two volumes, very, very short volumes. And I have not shared them with anyone outside of my family until it got a box of stuff got delivered to our house from storage. And I shared it with Nina and that was I was sweating bullets because it was really embarrassing. But she thought it was the sweetest thing.

Link Keller 54:47
That is. I mean one child poetry

Lara Taylor 54:51
there’s like

Link Keller 54:51
That’s adorable but also like how much your grandmother loved you and supported your creative endeavors like that is so sweet.

Lara Taylor 54:59
My grandmother and I did not get along in the later years, but like, and there were questionable decisions on like, things she had said to me when I was younger too. But like, she always supported my creativity and took me to the opera and took me to the theater and like, having these books, like, there’s one about my sister that now after that was before my mom died, and now that my sister has been like, she was a caregiver and like a mom, to me, I want to like, rewrite, like, redo the poem and, like, print it out and frame it and stuff for her. My grandmother, like, went out and made sure that she copyrighted put a copyright on the bottom of the page and that it was written by me and edited and published by her it was

Link Keller 55:47
that is so cute

Lara Taylor 55:47
it was all typed on her old ass Mac, like, like Apple

Link Keller 55:47
i love that

Lara Taylor 55:50
like Apple two, or even before the apple two like, yeah, it’s ridiculous, and also really adorable. And you’ll never see any of my poetry. it’s very much rhymey like A B A B A B like, but I mean, I was like six. So it’s cute.

Marc Cuiriz 56:21
Man, I want to now I want to start working on my book again.

Link Keller 56:24
Do it dude, i still have

Lara Taylor 56:26
share it with everybody and tell us how your heart gets ripped out?

Link Keller 56:29

Marc Cuiriz 56:31
No. no

Lara Taylor 56:32
People bolster you up with the like, This is amazing.

Marc Cuiriz 56:36
I have squishy skin. Please don’t please tell me you like it.

Link Keller 56:40
I still have a bunch of the work I did from that the creative writing class I took. So it was it was a single single course. And you were allowed to take it three times. And I took it three times. Along with a good percentage of the other people in the class. It was honestly pretty funny. Because there’s like cliques of people where it’s like, this is our third semester doing this class, we know what’s up. It’s like, oh my gosh, you’re such good writers. There’s the person who’s like, this is my first time here. And I sort of took this class as a joke. And you guys are really intense. like, haha, yes, yes, we are. So creative writing course, that’s what you’re getting in. But I still have like the printouts of it in some of them. Like some of the friends I made in that class. We did like an outside of class writing group. And we would share work with each other and you know, write notes and stuff. And so I have some of that saved, which is honestly probably more emotionally meaningful to me, then the stories themselves that I was writing is like getting to see how people were reacting to it and taking time out of their busy adult lives to like, sit down and engage with stuff just for fun. Like creative works for fun. It’s like that’s, that’s really special. Yeah,

Marc Cuiriz 58:04
ooh, no, I’m actually just remembering. I created I made a WordPress site for some of the work that I did write for an English class. One of them like for this English class, I remember he, for our four projects, he wanted us to do just four different types of writing. And he’s like, I don’t care, what you do is I just want it to be four different things. So like my first project was a short story. And I had it based off some random dream I had that I somehow was able to remember. And I just made it into a nice little short, a short story, kind of. the second one, I made it in the form of a letter, but that also told the story. The third one was more of like a auto like a memoir kind of thing. And it was more of like an it was real stuff that I took from my life. And I kind of explained it. And then the fourth thing, this is where I got to do a little bit of acting, and I made it like an audio journal. But this is when I was like trying to really flex and I was using Audacity and I was like trying to make it so it was like a like a recorder of like, like I put like the filter on it to make it sound like I was on really good using a recorder. But I also made that very depressing. So like,

Link Keller 59:18
that tracks

Marc Cuiriz 59:19
yeah, like I I made a very depressing and I had, I remember like I had to even put like a trigger warning on it just so just so everyone was clear. But I remember getting like the external validation from my professors say like, this is all really well written. Like you do a really good job of visualizing things. And then this is when I was like, you know, maybe I could write a book, I can create a visualization, even though I myself cannot visualize it. Maybe somebody can can make a painting out of the words I’m spewing. Because sometimes sometimes I just I’m a gold mine. Other times it’s just [puff] dust

Link Keller 1:00:06
Well, this was a this was a fun conversation.

Marc Cuiriz 1:00:10
It was

Lara Taylor 1:00:12
we went from sharing literature you love to other things you love to like pieces of yourself in your own writing. Yeah, it’s good stuff. Didn’t think didn’t know where this was gonna go when we started.

Marc Cuiriz 1:00:29

Link Keller 1:00:30
it’s jazz baby. Well, to our listeners, thank you so much for listening and please join in the discussion in our forums or discord. Our socials are in the shownotes. We will be back next week. And remember to geek out and do good

Marc Cuiriz 1:00:57

Josué Cardona 1:00:59
Geek Therapy is a 501 C three nonprofit organization dedicated to making the world a better place through geek culture. To learn more about our mission and become a supporter, visit geek therapy.org

Transcribed by https://otter.ai and Link Keller

Characters / Media
  • Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir (The Locked Tomb Series)
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan
  • Assassin’s Creed (video game series)
  • The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter by Meg Jay
  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
  • Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe
  • The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer
  • Legends and Lattes by Travis Baldree
  • How to Excavate a Heart by Jake Maia Arlow
  • Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark
  • Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao
  • The Maze Runner series by James Dashner
  • The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • The Lord of the Rings (film series)
  • The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • The Rings of Power (tv series)
  • The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
  • Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton
  • Merry Gentry series by Laurell K. Hamilton
  • A Terrible fall of Angels by Laurell K. Hamilton
  • Harry Dresden series by Jim Butcher
  • The Communist Manifesto by Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx
  • Dune by Frank Herbert
  • Alex Delaware series by Jonathan Kellerman
Themes / Topics

Conversation Topics:

* Change
* Consequences
* Cultural representation
* Difficult emotions
* Family
* Fear
* Feeling alone
* Finding Oneself/Identity Development
* LGBT Issues
* Love
* Resilience

Relatable Experience:

* Acceptance
* Clarity/Understanding
* Coming of age/Getting older
* Fear/Anxiety
* Loss (other than death)
* New Life Event (New Rules)
* Sharing yourself

Questions? Comments? Discuss this episode on the GT Forum.

Links / Social Media

Check out the GT Network: network.geektherapy.com

GT Forum: forum.geektherapy.org

GT Discord: geektherapy.com/discord

GT Facebook Group: facebook.com/groups/geektherapy

Find us at www.GeekTherapy.org | @GeekTherapy | Lara: @GeekTherapist | Link: @CHICKENDINOSAUR | Josué: @JosueACardona

Ask us anything through the Question Queue and we’ll answer on the show: geektherapy.org/qq

Join the Conversation!

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