RAINY DAYS…AND FRIDAYS…

Why am I so obsessed with changing up the headers here?  I have probably done so about three or four times in the past month.

I guess this blog has a special place in my heart.  It began in August 2009…yes, many years ago, and I launched it on the Blogger platform.  I moved it to WordPress in 2013, and I am happy that I did make that change.  By then I had several blogs on that platform.

When I started the blog, I was humming that song by the Carpenters…as I was headed on a Monday to a week’s vacation in Napa, Wine Country.  It didn’t take much for me to morph into thinking about Mondays and reading and how books can always cheer me up.  When it’s raining…or when it’s Monday.

While I was there, I occasionally used a laptop in the resort office, as I didn’t have my own back then.  I checked on the blog and added some thoughts…and images.  The image below features one of my favorites from that vacation:  my lunch served on the Wine Train.

Once I returned home, I had lots of thoughts about Mondays, rainy days, and the Carpenters.  I continued with those themes for a while, eventually settling on the tagline for this blog:  Books Chase Away the Blues.

I don’t know how long before that urge to change the blog header strikes again…I can count on that happening, of course.  But right now I feel content with this one, with the rainy days showing through the windows, a stack of books on the left, and that candle and a book on the right.  My avatar Bitmoji image of me is in the center.  My blog button is also derived from that image.

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Do you have special thoughts about your blog(s)?  How do you spotlight your favorite moments?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “I’VE GOT SAND IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES”

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Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What better way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is a collection of stories by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella, I’ve Got Sand in All the Wrong Places.

 

 

 

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Beginning:  (Lisa)

Who doesn’t love summer?

It is our reward for three seasons of going full speed, twenty-four/seven, in a world that is too complex and way too fast.

We all need a break, especially mothers.

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56:  These new friends reminded me that sometimes you have to quit to create who you really are.  Sometimes the parameters someone else sets for you aren’t the ones to build your life upon.  Life’s a gamble; make sure you’re risking it all for the right reward.

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Synopsis:  Lisa and Francesca are back with another collection of warm and witty stories that will strike a chord with every woman. This six book series is among the best reviewed humor books published today and has been compared to the late greats, Erma Bombeck and Nora Ephron. Delia Ephron said of the fifth book in the series, Have a Nice Guilt Trip, “Lisa and Francesca, mother and daughter, bring you the laughter of their lives once again and better than ever. You will identify with these tales of guilt and fall in love with them and fierce (grand) Mother Mary.” This seventh volume will not disappoint as it hits the humorous and poignant note that fans have come to expect from the beloved mother-daughter duo.

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What do you think?  Would you love a good laugh and pick up this book?

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TUESDAY INTROS: “BEACH BLUES”

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Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Books & a Beat.

Today’s featured book is my current read, and a review book from the author, Joanne DeMaio.   Beach Blues takes us back to Stony Point,  bringing you right to a secluded fishing shack and weathered boardwalk, to its wooden rowboat and lantern-lit porches. A novel that welcomes you, as much as it may break your heart.

 

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Intro:  If a little beach cottage could look forlorn, this one does.  Though she’s not sure why.  It’s just a bungalow, really, in need of a fresh coat of white paint.  Still, that’s not it.  Celia considers the cottage before her.  It sits on a small hill, so the sea breezes will reach into its windows.  And those sheer curtain panels on the top of each paned window look like white sails, puffing in the wind.  It all perfectly suits the cottage name:  Summer Winds.

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Teaser: “Can’t believe summer’s here again.”  Kyle Bradford tips his glass of beer to Jason’s.  “Cheers, man.”

“What are we toasting?”

“Life.  Beautiful life.”  Kyle sips his beer.  “You saved mine, been two years now, on a night that started right in this very bar.  And I’m here to tell you, it’s good to be alive, man.” (p. 17).

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Blurb:  New York Times bestselling author Joanne DeMaio invites you to spend the summer by the sea, in a quaint New England beach town where friends and love await just outside the cottage doors.

Celia Gray finds herself house-sitting a silver-shingled cottage at Stony Point. She arrives with her guitar, a few staging jobs … and a bit of summertime sadness. That is, until an unforgettable group of beach friends draws her in like a breath of salt air.

Sal DeLuca heard the words in a dream: Take me to the sea. So after a decade of demanding work, he takes his first vacation in years. Trading in his suit and tie for blue jeans and boat shoes, Sal unexpectedly arrives at his mother’s shabby inn on the Connecticut shore, winding his way into the lives and hearts of the close-knit beach community.

When Stony Point’s two wash-ashores, Sal and Celia, meet, some say it’s a match made in beach-heaven. And so begins a sweet seaside summer … forging friendships, adventures and new love. But all is not at ease in the gentle sea breeze as a dark secret turns the tide for the Stony Point crew.

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I have loved every one of these beautiful books that bring the reader to gorgeous settings, reuniting old friends and introducing new ones.  What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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CHASING AWAY THE BLUES WITH “CLOUDS IN MY COFFEE”

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Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by Books & a Beat.

Today’s feature is a book I hope to start reading soon: Clouds in My Coffee, by Julie Mulhern, the third book in the Country Club Murders trilogy.

 

 

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Intro:  (October, 1974, Kansas City, Missouri)

Max, his short grey tail wagging impossibly fast, met me at the door with a did-you-ask-the-butcher-for-a-bone expression on his expressive doggy face.  Of course, I had.

“Let me put the groceries away first.”

He sighed as if I had my priorities backward.

I unpacked the bags, putting the cucumber in the sink to be rinsed, the potatoes in a basket on the counter, and the Tab in the fridge.  Max whined softly, reminding me that he was waiting.

I scratched behind his silken gray ears and gave him his bone.

Brrnng, brrnng.

I answered the phone, stretching the cord toward the sink and the waiting cucumber. “Hello.”

“Ellie.  We have a problem.”  No greeting, no endearment, no inquiry as to my day.  Daddy’s words chilled me.

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Teaser:  The men who’d abandoned their football game watched us as if we were tennis players volleying for the championship.  Their heads swiveled with each question and answer.  Four lawyers, two accountants, one insurance man, six business owners, two trust fund cases, and three ad men.  Not a doctor among them. (46%).

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Synopsis:  When Ellison Russell is nearly killed at a benefactors’ party, she brushes the incident aside as an unhappy accident. But when her house is fire-bombed, she’s shot at, and the person sitting next to her at a gala is poisoned, she must face facts. Someone wants her dead. But why? And can Ellison find the killer before he strikes again?

Add in an estranged sister, a visiting aunt with a shocking secret, and a handsome detective staying in her guesthouse, and Ellison might need more than cream in her coffee.

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?  Have you read the first two books in the series?

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LET’S CHASE AWAY THE BLUES…AND MUSE ABOUT BOOKS….

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Welcome to another Monday of “chasing away the blues,” with our Musing Mondays event, hosted by Jenn, at Books and a Beat.

It is sunny today…so this is not one of my Rainy Day Monday events.  In fact, it’s supposed to hit 90 degrees!

Here are the prompts:

 

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Name your least favorite plot device employed by way too many books that you actually enjoyed, otherwise.

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I hope to start reading Terrible Virtue, once I finish the awesome Book 2 of the Inspector Gamache series, A Fatal Grace.

 

 

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First of all, I love Ellen Feldman’s work…and then, of course, I admire anyone who, like Margaret Sanger, blazes a trail that needs blazing…

In the spirit of The Paris Wife and Loving Frank, the provocative and compelling story of one of the most fascinating and influential figures of the twentieth century: Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood—an indomitable woman who, more than any other, and at great personal cost, shaped the sexual landscape we inhabit today.

The daughter of a hard-drinking, smooth-tongued free thinker and a mother worn down by thirteen children, Margaret Sanger vowed her life would be different. Trained as a nurse, she fought for social justice beside labor organizers, anarchists, socialists, and other progressives, eventually channeling her energy to one singular cause: legalizing contraception. It was a battle that would pit her against puritanical, patriarchal lawmakers, send her to prison again and again, force her to flee to England, and ultimately change the lives of women across the country and around the world.

This complex enigmatic revolutionary was at once vain and charismatic, generous and ruthless, sexually impulsive and coolly calculating—a competitive, self-centered woman who championed all women, a conflicted mother who suffered the worst tragedy a parent can experience. From opening the first illegal birth control clinic in America in 1916 through the founding of Planned Parenthood to the arrival of the Pill in the 1960s, Margaret Sanger sacrificed two husbands, three children, and scores of lovers in her fight for sexual equality and freedom.

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What are you musing about today?  I hope you’ll come on by and chat.

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RAINY DAY READING: SUNSHINE INTERRUPTUS

After a week of perfect spring weather, all sunshine and blooms, I woke up to a rainy day!  But I was planning to stay home and read, anyway, so it works for me.

Last night I started one of my week’s stack of reads…a book that has been languishing on Pippa since September 2014.  Yes, imagine that!

Dream of the Blue Room, by Michelle Richmond, is one I featured yesterday on my Bookish Fridays post. 

 

 

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I started it last night, and plan to keep reading today.  Lyrical prose that is as dreamy as the title, we are also brought into some very real moments.

I read and loved The Year of Fog by this author…but I read it in my pre-blogging life…(was there life before blogging?), so I don’t have a review of it.  I just remember loving it.

 

 

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A more recent read by this author, Golden State, earned five stars from me. (Click for my review).

 

 

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If I finish my chosen book today, I will probably start reading North of Here, by Laurel Saville, which fascinates me because I know nothing about it…but I love the cover!  LOL  I did read a memoir by the author, though, Unraveling Anne, about her mother.  Haunting story.  Click title for my review.

 

 

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Here’s the blurb for North of HereThe sounds of unexpected tragedies—a roll of thunder, the crash of metal on metal—leave Miranda in shock amid the ruins of her broken family.

As she searches for new meaning in her life, Miranda finds quiet refuge with her family’s handyman, Dix, in his cabin in the dark forests of the Adirondack Mountains. Dix is kind, dependable, and good with an ax—the right man to help the sheltered Miranda heal—but ultimately, her sadness creates a void even Dix can’t fill.

When a man from her distant past turns up, the handsome idealist now known as Darius, he offers Miranda a chance to do meaningful work at The Source, a secluded property filled with his nature worshipers. Miranda feels this charismatic guru is the key to remaking her life, but her grief and desire for love also create an opportunity for his deception. And in her desperate quest to find herself after losing almost everything, Miranda and Dix could pay a higher price than they ever imagined

 

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So…that’s my reading for the day…I think.  I will also be bingeing on Netflix shows and movies.  What do you enjoy on a rainy day?  Or just a weekend?

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WEEKLY UPDATES: HELLO, APRIL!

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Good morning! Today’s post will link up to The Sunday Salon, The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves, for weekly updates.

**Mailbox Monday is hosted at the home site: Mailbox Monday.

And let’s join Kathryn, our leader in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, at Book Date.

The week flew by, and despite the sunshine outside, I curled up on my sofa for most of it.  Still, my numbers this week were not impressive:  three books read and reviewed.  But they were books to savor, and all of them were older purchases.

I found a new Netflix series to watch:  The Ranch.  Eager to see what I will find to love about it.

Visited my daughter at her salon to update my look and enjoy a chat with her.

 

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Here is more from my week:

ON THE BLOGS:

Pulling Into the Finish Line: Success (Bloggiesta)

Monday Sparks:  Ignite Your Monday Mood

Let’s Curl up with “Most Wanted”

Bookish Wednesday: “Sweetbitter”

Hump Day Potpourri:  My Morning World & Other Tidbits

Can She Start Over After a Betrayal? – Excerpted from “Interior Designs”

Bookish Thursday #7: A Potpourri of Events

Bookish Friday: “Domestic Secrets”

Monthly Wrap-Up: March Is Gone!

Sparking Family Moments:  Saturday Snapshots

Review:  If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home Now (e-book), by Claire LaZebnik

Review:  Virgin River (e-book, Book 1), by Robyn Carr

Review:  Garden Spells (e-book), by Sarah Addison Allen

 

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INCOMING BOOKS:  (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

No books in my physical mailbox…but I received one e-ARC from NetGalley…and purchased three e-books.

The Perfect Neighbors (e-book), by Sarah Pekkanen -(NetGalley – 7/5/16 release)

 

 

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Purchases:

Friction (e-book), by Sandra Brown

 

 

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Breakdown (e-book), by Jonathan Kellerman

 

 

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Shelter Mountain (e-book, Book 2), by Robyn Carr

 

 

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WHAT’S NEXT? (Titles/Covers Linked to Amazon)

My list of books to read is long, with old and new ones.  I think I’ll start with this NetGalley review book…and then pick at my whim from some other possibilities.

 

Most Wanted (e-book), by Lisa Scottoline (NetGalley-4/12)

 

 

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Honest Illusions (e-book), by Nora Roberts (Purchased in August 2015)

 

 

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The Nest (e-book), by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

 

 

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That’s all!  What did your week look like?  I hope you’ll come by and share your own links.  Have some coffee…and/or a mimosa.  Enjoy!

 

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LET’S CHASE AWAY THE BLUES WITH “CLOUDS IN MY COFFEE”

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Welcome to another Waiting on Wednesday event, hosted by Jill, at Breaking the Spine.

Every week, we gather around the blogosphere and search out the upcoming book releases, sharing our thoughts and blurbs.   Today’s featured book will be released on May 10, 2016, and is the third book in a trilogy that I’m really loving.

Clouds In My Coffee, by Julie Mulhern, is “A sparkling comedy of errors tucked inside a clever mystery….”

 

 

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When Ellison Russell is nearly killed at a benefactors’ party, she brushes the incident aside as an unhappy accident. But when her house is fire-bombed, she’s shot at, and the person sitting next to her at a gala is poisoned, she must face facts. Someone wants her dead. But why? And can Ellison find the killer before he strikes again?

Add in an estranged sister, a visiting aunt with a shocking secret, and a handsome detective staying in her guesthouse, and Ellison might need more than cream in her coffee…

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I am very eager to get my hands on this one, as I loved the first two books in the trilogy:  The Deep End and Guaranteed to Bleed.

What are you eagerly awaiting?  I hope you’ll stop by and chat, leaving a link to your own post.

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A BLUE MONDAYS MUSING….

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Welcome to my Blue Mondays Musings Post.  Check in with Jenn, at A Daily Rhythm to see some options to post about.

 

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Do you read more than one book at once? Why, or why not?

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I can’t wait to get my hands on The Children, a novel by Ann Leary.

 

 

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Blurb:  Charlotte and Sally Maynard grew up in a rambling Connecticut country house that belonged to their stepfather, Whit Whitman. Perry and Spin, Whit’s sons from his unhappy first marriage, were welcomed as weekend guests. All of the children received Whit’s love and attention, but they were also influenced, for better and for worse, by his often misguided ideals and wildly narcissistic personality. When Whit dies, he leaves the estate in the care of his wife, Charlotte and Sally’s mother, with the understanding that the home will revert to Perry and Spin when she passes away. But Joan, a stalwart sixty-something, isn’t going anywhere soon. She’s enjoying the house, which she shares with Charlotte, an agoraphobic mommy blogger, who doesn’t actually have any children. She and her sister have a good relationship, and they’re close, too, with their step brothers. But when Spin, the youngest, brings his beautiful fiancé Laurel Atwood home for the summer, she manages to subtly crack the polite veneer of the family, exposing an array of simmering resentments, old wounds, and troubling family secrets.

Told from the sharp and wryly humorous perspective of the introverted Charlotte, THE CHILDREN examines themes of money, loyalty, trust, and familial love.

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I read and loved another book by this author, The Good House, which is supposedly in production as a movie.  Click the title for my review.

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As for the random question:  I seldom read more than one book at a time, but when I do, they must be very different.  Different genres, for example.

What are your bookish habits?  What books are intriguing you today?

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RAINY DAY READING: MONDAY MUSINGS

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Welcome to another Rainy Day Reading post.  It is raining here again, so I am eager to curl up and burrow into my books.  I am also musing about my reading, along with host Jenn, at A Daily Rhythm.

Here are some of her options to contemplate:

 

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

 

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Do you have any particular “quirks” when it comes to reading? (eg. taking notes while reading, etc)

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First, I want to share my thoughts on What Was Mine, by Helen Klein Ross, my current read.

 

 

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Simply told but deeply affecting, in the bestselling tradition of Alice McDermott and Tom Perrotta, this urgent novel unravels the heartrending yet unsentimental tale of a woman who kidnaps a baby in a superstore—and gets away with it for twenty-one years.

While the idea of feeling anything but horror for such a woman would normally be a predominant one, I found myself empathizing with Lucy, the “kidnapper,” whose almost obsessive desire for a baby leads to such a horrific act.  The author skillfully takes us through her thought processes, breaking them down into manageable moments that slowly turn into something almost palatable…and then, just when we think we can live with what she did, the repercussions start happening.  Life comes undone.

With part of the story in Lucy’s voice, we come to understand her.  But what about all those whose lives were damaged?  We learn more as the story draws to a conclusion.

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My reading habits could be described as “quirks,” since I usually only read one book at a time, and take notes as I go.  Sometimes I pick up another book, too, if it is a different genre than the primary book I’m reading.  I have to write the review immediately after finishing…and I may have a Word doc going as I read, writing preliminary thoughts, so that I can post the review right away.

Then I move on.

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What are your habits?  What are you reading?

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