Sheena is joined by Anna to discuss the list that was released on TheLesbianReview.com – TLR’s 55 Most Reread Books. In this episode, Anna talks about her selection of books.
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Second Chances by MJ Duncan
Publisher Indie Author
Charlie Bennett is a rising star in the world of sports journalism, but her personal life is a mess. Still hung up on her college sweetheart, a one-night-stand gone wrong convinces her that she needs to make a change. An offer for a one-year guest lecturer position from a small private university provides her the opportunity she needs to escape, and she jumps at it. All Charlie expected to find when she left Manhattan for rural New Hampshire was a little peace. Instead, she finds Mackayla Thomas. Eight years have passed since Charlie foolishly walked away from Mackayla, and Mackayla is determined to never let anyone hurt her that way again. For Charlie, their serendipitous meeting is a sign that happily ever after might finally be within her reach. First, however, she needs to find a way to convince Mackayla to let the past go, and to give her a second chance.
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Starting From Scratch by Georgia Beers
Publisher Brisk Press
Audio Narrated by Georgia Beers Produced by Dog Ear Publishing
What happens when your life takes an unexpected turn? What happens when you need to protect the one you love from the one you want to love? What happens when you lose something you never knew you wanted? Lambda and Golden Crown Literary Award-winning author Georgia Beers brings to you her long-awaited seventh novel, Starting from Scratch, a story where learning, laughing, loving, and baked goods are just a few of life’s basic ingredients. Starting from Scratch…where life is what you make it.
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Transcript for Today’s Show
Please note this transcript has not been edited and is automatically generated meaning certain words will be incorrect.
welcome you are listening to a special episode of TL ours podcast in the series we are talking to the reviewers who brought you tlrs 55 most reread books each episode breaks down the list into specific favorites for that reviewer you can find more reviews and based of lists on the lesbian review.com be warned that we are talking spoilers in this episode with me today is the amazing and awesome anna who is a sound engineer extraordinaire and reviewer NCLR and i thank you for joining me today thank you I appreciate it today we’re talking about your selection for our 55 most reread books so these are two books that you reread more often than any of the other box rats exactly especially this time of year cuz I start getting into that whole you know family and being in love and being very romantic and these two books actually kind of encompass that a little bit more for me it’s cold we you all over the the Sigma period yes it’s really cold so basically I just sit here and read a lot of the time let’s say you went that sort of heartwarming story about love and being together and you know finding that that’s someone or refined being that someone is one of my books says also true okay so let’s crack right along so your first one is seeking chances by MJ Duncan so this is the refunding yes this is totally the refighting I remember when I picked this up I was still kind of coming learning more about lesbian fiction at the time so I was definitely one of the earliest ones I picked up and I remember reading the synopsis and I was like okay this actually sounds really cool you know it’s like it was like thinking about you know if I had like that college sweetheart that something happened it’s like what would I do and I kind of intrigued me and I was like okay let’s that I didn’t realize that was also her first book when I picked it up but as soon as I read is like for the first line wind it’s like she felt a high-heel get thrown at her head I was like okay this is gonna be interesting already I already know what I’m in for and just going through and reading about Charlie and back and like what they went through when when they are like you know why they broke up and how Charlie’s just like she totally knows that Mack was the one but just timing was off and so she fate has a way of bringing them back together where Charlie’s like I’m gonna go do this you know your long professorship and lo and behold it just happens to be the same college that Mack is that what a coincidence that everything and it’s just funny to watch it’s it’s also very endearing to watch them reconnect like they’re charlie’s wanting to Mack is obviously just like now we’ve done that been there done that don’t wanted to go through that again don’t want to go through the hurt again but then Charlie just starts pulling out all the charm those are my favorite scenes is when she just goes in it’s like she’s trying to be all friendly and flirty and it’s like you just start seeing these little things where she starts letting it slip like she really does want this again and it just slowly starts to wear Mac down and I’m just like oh these those are some of my best scenes it’s like I’ll reread those scenes over and over again where she’s like bringing her food bringing her stuff from her travels and I’m just like this is just so awesome please to read and to be like so into and it’s like and then they get to they get to you know they get together and everything of it just gets so much better you know but one of my favorite things is that they do address the past and it’s like what happened and then they both realize that neither one was completely at fault and neither one was completely innocent either in what happened between them I mean yeah Charlie was was tired of playing being in the closet because of who Mack’s father was in the university and you know that’s an understandable feeling because it can be very suffocating even for the person’s partner and but she never understood and Mac just felt like she could do anything but then Charlie points out we could have gone to another town we could have gone on a trip somewhere and we could have held hands we could have done this we could have done that and maybe that would have helped salvage the relationship but at the same time I think what’s meant to be is meant to happen so that way they can grow and they can learn and that’s what I love about this story and it makes them all the better when they get back together later so it’s just some one of my favorites I wanna actually did pick this up when I when you made this list I was like I’m gonna pick this up again and read my favorite parts picked up a couple of the rereads books that I put on as well and I’ve been you know going through them and it’s actually been just like coming back to an old friend it’s been so wonderful dan can though does really good chemistry she really does I’ve noticed that through all her books I’ve loved seeing as she writes more and gets you know better it’s like even her most recent one that just came out is like I was kind of worried about the chemistry because it is age gap and usually with age gap you always kind of wonder is the chemistry going to be there and it really was I was surprised pleasantly surprised oh I’m always pleasantly surprised when I see really good chemistry between age gaps and it’s just you know it was just one of the that I’ve noticed that as she’s matured as she’s gotten more writing more books under her belt she has gotten a hell of a lot better and I love seeing writers progress like that especially when I have pretty much everything they own they’ve ever written I’m just like yep definitely better yep yep totally going on the up and up okay good when’s the next one she also writes beautifully like the words and the sentences in the way she actually constructs the story is beautiful I love writers you can do that for me because a good story is great and good chemistry is great but not every writer can add that that sort of proves with the actual sentences and the construction and the word use that’s what I loved about second chances was that the right was so natural like the the conversations between Mac and Charlie they have that familiarity between two women who knew each other years ago but they also have that you know awkwardness of do I want to get involved with this person in any way shape or form in the now because of what happened and everything but they show it also does a really good job of showing the progression of that awkwardness into friendship into intimacy so well it’s like I think one of my another one my favorite scenes is when they were walking back after the football game and they just have that easy conversation and it’s like this is after they’ve already cleared the air about you know what happened why they broke up and everything so you can tell Mac is starting to come around to the idea of friendship at least and she starts allowing Charlie to kind of have that conversation those lovely little moments that just show that they do still care about each other and that there is a possibility for a future even if you know they’re not totally able to see that yet so I just love those moments and like I said the whole flirting scenes in the office they’re just still some of my favorites there’s any something magical about good flirting like flirting I think must be one of the more difficult things to rats that and six scenes because you have to have I don’t know magic fingers or something to be able to like really create amazing ones because it’s cool they can fall really flat and just become silly yeah exactly and I think that’s what I mean that’s always a risk I find especially with flirting scenes because it’s like well we already see the chemistry why are we going through this whole you know charade of flirting you know but I think Duncan does a really good job of setting it up you know because she has outside influences for both Mac and Charlie they have these really great friends that they can talk to and I think even Charlie says you know I’m so in love with her but I know she did won’t even give me the time of day when it comes to that and her I’m sorry MJ I’m forgetting a Charlie’s best friend’s name right now and I feel bad about that but it’s still like it’s barely eight o’clock in the morning so that’s that’s my excuse but yeah he just asked her you know flat out it’s like what did you do to win her the first time and he’s she’s like well I did charming little things like I put notes on her door I put I did this I brought her her lunch you know and everything he’s like well you might have to do that again and I think that’s just so such a simple thing but at the same time it’s so complicated because you know that the other you know max probably gonna catch on to it and she’s gonna figure it out and it’s like okay how she gonna respond is she gonna allow her to continue or she’s gonna put like you know a stop sign on it right away saying you know what I know what you’re doing you need to stop and luckily Mac still has feelings for Charlie so she does allow it to continue and that’s what allows it the whole relationship to progress and I love it so much because it is I mean being in love with somebody yes it’s about the big stuff you know the big I love yous the big I this and that but it’s also about the little things the other person is willing to do for you and I think Charlie shows that very well absolutely those small moments that make it real yeah and then I’ve actually shows that the relationship will last that that person is willing to do those little things for you early on and vice versa if they’re willing to do those little things for each other I think thank you for being an awesome listen and supporting tools the channel that brings you all the podcasts you want to hear Erin listening to talks find more podcasts on the lesbian talk show com which brings me to your second choice which is truly a classic and I think three reviewers actually mark this as a reread for themselves so so it’s a very popular one and I can see why I can see why so it’s starting from scratch by Georgia beers always a good one I mean whenever anybody and this is the things like we do on Twitter it’s like hey anybody have any recommendations or stuff like that I that’s the first one I always say is like you need to read this totally I just I remember when I it wasn’t the first Georgia beers book I read is actually I read a little bit of spice was the first time I read and I was like okay I like the author’s writing so I went back to her through her backlog and I was just like okay what else you know is it and this honestly the synopsis is totally stood out with me because it was like this is kind of like a romantically awkward woman who has a total crush on you know somebody in her daily life you know but she has she would never in a million years go up to her and say hey let’s go out and I’m like that is totally me I need to read this book I totally read they would read this book and I was I was surprised to see was in first person so I think that was the first first person book I ever read but it didn’t throw me um and I really just enjoyed you know it’s like okay you know totally me socially awkward you know when it comes to like being romantically involved and I really just enjoyed like she was very charming she’s very you know the lead characters very charming she’s very charismatic and she has a lot of wit to her and I think it just kind of helps you know hide that and I just the situation kind of presented itself where she gets you know asked by her best friend to help hey I need an assistant coach on my t-ball team and that’s how she ends up meeting the woman of her dreams and it’s like oh crap oh yeah and her dog Steve you know seed kind of you know put it out there too and everything but gotta love Steve gotta love a good dog honestly and it’s just fun to watch it you know like you know she kind of has this like the way she broke up with her last girlfriend isn’t the greatest you know she kind of told a little lie and unfortunately that light comes and bites her in the butt you know at some point and everything but those are the kind of conflicts I like where it’s like it’s not some grand you know overly like really this would happen in real life it was just kind of like I said something stupid to get out of a relationship and she explains this which I love even better she explains this too like her love interest and it’s like and she’s like I said something stupid to get out of a relationship it wasn’t what I technically meant at the time but at the time she hadn’t had a lot of you know experience with kids either but getting to know max getting to you know know the kids on the t-ball team she realized kids are actually something she could see herself doing and it’s like it just goes to show I also show that you know opinions change over time so what you may say to somebody – in a really stupid situation I still I will always call it a stupid thing to say to somebody period it’s like I don’t want to have kids because I don’t want to be with you anymore basically can really just you know your mind can change as you get put in those situations that allow you to have those and I again I love the relationship with her grandmother I thought that was great I cried when the grandmother died I’ll put that out there sorry spoiler alert it kind of has to happen because it does set up for a great conversation a great interaction with bringing her love interest back and to like have those moments again yeah it’s it’s definitely one of those I mean honestly be it’s like yes I read sex scenes I’ll admit it but for this book I’d go to that last little bit where it’s like she’s being consoled after her grandmother dies and then she asks the very important questions like why are you still here you know it’s like yeah my grandmother died I appreciate all you’re doing for me you know helping me you know get the funeral arrangements helping me clean up this helped me do that but why are you still here and she’s like well I was until by my ex that I was being an idiot and I was like yes somebody said it thank you cuz I can understand her reaction to be like he says he didn’t want kids and yet here I have with my child and everything but she didn’t allow her to explain so yeah it’s like okay sometimes you need a source or so if anything that was the only reason I didn’t want first-person because I wanted to see that conversation with her ex her ex just flat out telling her you’re being an idiot right now and I would tell it’s like if this ever got made into a movie we’re gonna have that scene period that’s what we’re gonna do I wish listeners could see your face right now when you’re talking about these books because usually light up I love them so much they are just so great you know like I said that’s the reason I reread them all the time it’s like I may not always have the time to sit down and read them all again cuz you know my book list is still I I think I have like 50 books I still need to read and I still add more you know but it’s like on those nights when I’m just like you know what I think I’m gonna revisit this scene between either Mac and Charlie or this one over here where she’s baking after her grandmother dies and it’s like max comes over sweetest kid I’ve ever read in a book I get top notch and everything he is the sweetest kid and he just he does the best thing anybody can do in that situation where he just keeps her company while she’s bacon and then when he finds out what happened he just hugs her around the waist like all I want to reread that again you know that’s what I do he is adorable dog oh yeah gotta love the devil and the baking and the way a B is incorporated the food into the narrative was genius yes she didn’t make it as like you know the whole oh she just likes baking you know she actually had it as a connection to her grandmother’s like this is what we did you know when I was feeling down or when we were feeling happy and we just wanted to put our hands to good use this is what we did and I love that connection more than anything else and it it even shows in her grieving process that’s what she does she just she just kept baking and kept baking and it’s like that’s when max like are you having a party you know I think she’s like no my grandmother died and it’s like you just you can tell the kid it’s just like I don’t know what to do entirely but he just does the only thing he can do which is hug her and I just love the description as she puts about what’s like going through her mind and everything it’s like that’s exactly what she needed right then and there and of course like a few minutes later you know after she sends max home it’s like his mom shows up and then she just cropped she just crumbles right then and there and that’s when it all starts coming back together again she stops teaching max to bake though doesn’t she at some point yeah she does she he comes over because of the dog of course is she just says you know yeah this is what we’re doing this is what I’m doing is she she used him hasn’t like like a sous chef basically and he really gets into it and so that way when we get like to the epilogue you can see that it’s totally still with him you know I don’t think she actually I don’t remember right off the bat if she actually has a scene where they’re baking together in the epilogue but for the way she talks about max like cuz she’s sitting there pregnant and everything and he’s like turned into a really good young man you can tell that the baking is still kind of with them that it’s still their thing which I totally was like yes thank you for letting them keep that I feel that you know it just really just shows that they still have that bond and I love that and what she got from her grandmother she’s passing on which I just thought was beautiful oh yeah totally and yeah the fact that in the epilogue she’s pregnant you know they’re gonna have a child together that shows definitely that she’s gotten over her anxiety about having kids and everything and I think again it was one of those things where it’s like she she did want it she just didn’t want with that specific person so she told a stupid lie again but again you know sometimes the things we say come back and bite us and that introduced the conflict that they needed to make what to kind of show that the we’ve been able to resolve and be able to move past it so yeah absolutely if people have not read either of these books which should they start with and which would they do second oh my god if I had to choose if I’m going based off now I would choose second chances just because if there is some holiday stuff in there so if anybody’s looking for like a decent holiday read this of second chances would be the one outside of that oh man I honestly don’t think I could choose because they’re so well written both of them are both of them have really good like stories that I love to read again reread over and over again and both of them are just so easy like I think I read starting from scratch in two days I think I read second chances in four and that was only because I had to work but I guarantee I would have just sat there and kept turning page after page out of page because it’s just so great you know but yeah I honestly can’t put I can’t I’m sorry I mean like like I said holiday season go with MJ totally go with in J that’s the best one cuz they’re like I said there’s holiday stuff but outside of that nah I’m not going to choose feel like baking a gorgeous kid a puppy that you will never forget it go with starting from scratch yes as sweets getting back together charming lots of flirting romance go with the MJ that yes that those are good qualities that’s how you separate it yes right there and I thank you so much for joining me today thank you for having me I appreciate it okay so wait can people find you online if they want to connect with you I can find me on Twitter at a Gramlich 78 I’m also on Facebook I have a professional Facebook page called anagram sound if anybody needs any sound services give me a look up there otherwise it’s anagram like that’s my personal page I will add links to the show notes so anybody wants to connect and up you go to hit she’s great that’s just everyone’s oh thanks oh thank you thank you for tuning into the special TLR podcast series where we have been chatting about our favorite rereads to support the work TLR and tilt ado please make sure to use our by links for amazon or become a patron using our by links gives us a small commission on purchases you make on amazon within 24 hours of clicking the link becoming a patron means you get exclusive content go to patreon.com/scishow