Thursday, January 3, 2019

Books Read in 2018

This year I set my reading goal at 100. I have had a struggle to even reach 100 books in the last few years so I put it down with the knowledge that I was okay if I didn't reach it. Well, I ended up surpassing it! I read a total of 120 books, 64 were fiction and 56 were non-fiction. I am really happy about these numbers as I have been trying to up my non-fiction reading. Of these books 18 were audio books and 5 were read-alouds.

Fiction: (64 books)
  • The 101 Dalmatians - Dodie Smith**
  • The Adventures of Robin Hood - Roger Lancelyn Green**
  • Anne of Avonlea - L.M. Montgomery
  • Anne of the Island - L.M. Montgomery
  • Anne of Windy Poplars - L.M. Montgomery
  • Arabella - Georgette Heyer
  • Aunt's Aren't Gentlemen - P.G. Wodehouse* (listened to twice)
  • The Awakening of Miss Prim - Natalia Fenollera Sanmartin
  • The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes - Bill Watterson
  • Bachelor's Anonymous - P.G. Wodehouse
  • The Bark of the Bog Owl - Jonathan Rogers
  • Call for the Dead - John le Carre*
  • Cloud of Witnesses - Dorothy Sayers*
  • The Code of the Woosters - P.G. Wodehouse
  • A Dangerous Place - Jacqueline Winspear
  • Dear Mrs. Bird - A.J. Pearce
  • The Fall of Marigold - Susan Meissner
  • False Colours - Georgette Heyer
  • The Floating Admiral - Dorothy Sayers and others
  • Frederica - Georgette Heyer*
  • A Gentleman in Moscow - Amor Towles
  • The Glass Menagerie - Tennessee Williams
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shafer
  • Hannah Coulter - Wendell Berry*
  • Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet - Jamie Ford
  • How Right You Are, Jeeves - P.G. Wodehouse*
  • Howard's End - E.M. Forester
  • The Innkeeper of Ivy Hill - Julie Klassen
  • Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit - P.G. Wodehouse*
  • Journey to Munich - Jacqueline Winspear
  • Kate Hardy - D.E. Stevenson
  • King Lear - William Shakespeare
  • Lady of Quality - Georgette Heyer
  • The Ladies of Ivy Cottage - Julie Klassen
  • Leaving Everything Most Loved - Jacqueline Winspear
  • The Luck of the Bodkins - P.G. Wodehouse
  • The Looking Glass Wars - John le Carre
  • The Good Pilot Peter Woodhouse - Alexander McCall Smith
  • A Man of Some Repute - Elizabeth Edmondson
  • Money in the Bank - P.G. Wodehouse*
  • A Murder of Quality - John le Carre
  • My Man Jeeves - P.G. Wodehouse*
  • Out to Canaan - Jan Karon
  • The Penderwicks at Last - Jeanne Birdsall
  • Pistols for Two - Georgette Heyer
  • Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen**
  • A Question of Inheritance - Elizabeth Edmondson
  • Quick Service - P.G. Wodehouse*
  • Owls in the Family - Farley Mowat
  • Rip Van Winkle - Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic - Jennifer Trafton
  • Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims - Rush Limbaugh
  • Silas Marner - George Eliot**
  • The Spy Who Came In From the Cold - John le Carre
  • These High Green Hills by Jan Karon*
  • This Side of Murder - Anna Lee Huber
  • Treacherous Is the Night - Anna Lee Huber
  • True Grit - Charles Portis
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin - Harriet Beecher Stowe**
  • Unnatural Death - Dorothy Sayers*
  • The Vanderbeeker's of 141st Street - Karina Yan Glaser
  • Virgil Wander - Leif Enger
  • Where'd You Go, Bernadette - Maria Semple
  • Whose Body - Dorothy Sayers*

Non-Fiction: (56 books)
  • The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers - Meg Meeker
  • The Antelope in the Living Room - Melanie Shankle
  • A Basic History of the United States Volume 3 - Clarence B. Carson*
  • Becoming MomStrong - Heidi St. John
  • Church of the Small Things - Melanie Shankle
  • The DIY Home Planner - KariAnne Wood
  • The Dog Who Wouldn't Be - Farley Mowat
  • The Dyslexia Help Handbook for Parents - Sandra K. Cool
  • Essentialism - Greg McKeown*
  • Eve in Exile - Rebekah Merkle
  • Everybody Writes - Ann Handley
  • For the Children's Sake - Susan Schaeffer Macauley
  • For Women Who Are Called by Woman Who Have Answered - Kim Haney
  • Giddy Up, Eunice - Sophie Hudson
  • The Gift of Dyslexia - Ronald D. Davis
  • God Has a Waiting Room - Kim Haney
  • Happier at Home - Gretchen Rubin
  • Hello Mornings - Kat Lee
  • Here is Where - Andrew Carroll
  • How To Read a Book - Mortimer Adler**
  • I'd Rather Be Reading - Anne Bogel
  • Keep It Shut - Karen Ehman*
  • King Alfred's English - Laurie White
  • Know and Tell the Art of Narration - Karen Glass
  • The Life-Giving Parent - Clay & Sally Clarkson*
  • Lies Women Believe - Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth*
  • A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet - Sophie Hudson
  • Lion by Saroo Brierley
  • Love the Home You Have - Melissa Michaels
  • Made to Crave - Lysa TyrKeurst
  • The Magnolia Story - Chip & Joanna Gaines*
  • Margin - Richard A. Swenson*
  • Mere Motherhood - Cindy Rollins
  • The Ministry of Motherhood - Sally Clarkson
  • A Mother's Heart - Jean Fleming
  • Much Ado About Nothing - William Shakespeare
  • Murder in an English Village - Jessica Ellicott
  • Overcoming Dyslexia - Sally E. Shaywitz*
  • A Path Through Suffering - Elisabeth Elliot
  • The Promise and the Goblin - George MacDonald
  • The Read-Aloud Family - Sarah Mackenzie
  • Sparkly Green Earrings - Melanie Shankle
  • Spiritual Mothering - Susan Hunt
  • So Close to Amazing - KariAnne Wood
  • Teaching from Rest - Sarah Mackenzie*
  • The Tech-Wise Family - Andy Crouch
  • Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child - Anthony Esolen 
  • Tending the Heart of Virtue - Vigen Guroian
  • A Touch of the Infinite - Megan Hoyt
  • Uninvited - Lysa Terkeurst*
  • unNatural Mom - Hettie Brittz
  • Voracious - Cara Nicoletti
  • Wait Till Next Year - Doris Kearns Goodwin*
  • Why I Hate Green Beans - Lincee Ray*
  • Women of the Word - Jen Wilkins
  • Your Best Year Ever - Michael Hyatt

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

What's On Your Nightstand - November & December

What's On Your Nightstand

This is a long post since I'm combining two months into one. I had some very good months for reading despite the holidays. I have had to spend quite a bit of time in doctor's offices so that has given me quality time! In December I dived into quite a bit of P.G. Wodehouse's novels. I think he is such a brilliant writer and my favorite series of his is the Jeeves and Wooster books. I'm not sure what January holds since I have family coming to visit, so the Nightstand will look light and hopefully I can add to it throughout the month.

From October's Nightstand I read:

  • Arabella by Georgette Heyer - This story was slow going for me this time, which I think was due to the story. It eventually hit it's stride and became enjoyable. I have always felt Heyer writes so well when she included kids in her stories. This one focused more on a dog than kids, but she worked her magic very well with it.
  • The Dog Who Wouldn't Be by Farley Mowat - I heard this book recommended on a Schole Sisters podcast. I read it to myself looking for a read aloud for my kids, but ended up choosing something else. I later read Owls in the Family, but I think this books stories about the owls were better than Owls in the Family. If I picked one to be a read aloud it would be this book. 
  • (un)Natural Mom: Why You Are the Perfect Mom for Your Kids by Hettie Brittz - I love a good book about personalities and my mom had heard the author interviewed on a radio program. While I wanted to like this book it ended up not being my cup of tea. I didn't agree with her dividing of the personalities and honestly, just had a hard time relating to much of what she said.
  • Spiritual Mothering: The Titus 2 Model for Women Mentoring Women by Susan Hunt - This was an inspiring book about mentoring, but it really was about the need for it and the encouragement to do it. I would of liked to see some ideas given to help me go in this direction.

In November I also read:

  • The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald - This was my youngest daughter's literature read which I read aloud to her. My daughter enjoyed this book though she just knew that Grandmother was an ogre. I think she was a little disappointed that she wasn't in the end.
  • Silas Marner by George Eliot - This was my two older kids' literature read for Term 1. They asked me a couple of years ago for me to read aloud their literature which is always enjoyable. I have been a fan of Silas Marner since I read it in high school. Though not my favorite George Eliot story this is still a very satisfying read.
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe - I started reading this book last school year to my older kids, but then summer happened upon us and I ended up having them finish it on audio. Since I was so close to the end I set it by my bedside to get completed. This is my second reading of Uncle Tom's Cabin and it was just as good of read this time as it was last time.
  • Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple - There were thing about this book that I liked. Her view on the Northwest was one. I thought the beginning of the story was very compelling, but I think the author herself lost her way by the end, plus it had way too much language it which was totally unnecessary IMO. 
  • Virgil Wander by Leif Enger - This is my second Enger book that I have read, but I haven't read the one everyone raves about, Peace Like a River. I find Enger's stories odd, but compelling. I do think he has a way with words, but I do spend a lot of time hashing out the story in my mind. Maybe, that's the point.
  • Everybody Reads: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Hadley - I picked this up due to vamping up my job's Facebook page. I found it an easy read and I found some good little nuggets of wisdom concerning writing.
  • Love the Home You Have by Melissa Michaels - This was an enjoyable read and I am inspired to paint (actually for my husband to paint) my walls white. This is not suggested in the book, but the author talks about her house that had pig-colored walls and while mine aren't quite pig-colored they are a funky tan color.) When I told my husband I wanted to paint our walls white he looked at me like I grew a new head. 
  • A Touch of the Infinite:Studies in Music Appreciation with Charlotte Mason by Megan Hoyt - This was another inspiring read, though I'll need to re-read again to get all the ideas out of it.

In December I read:

  • The 101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith - I have been wanting to get back to reading aloud to my kids and since it was Christmas I picked up 101 Dalmatians. It's not technically a Christmas story, but it has a lovely nod to Christmas. My older kids weren't too happy about reading it, but I think in the end they it received their approval and they enjoyed the creativeness of the author.
  • The Luck of the Bodkins by P.G. Wodehouse - I always enjoy P.G. Wodehouse, though I would have to admit this isn't his finest writing. That's okay because Wodehouse always makes me laugh.
  • Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat - A short little book about the author's time of owning two owls. This is a quick read and I think it would be a great book for a child who is just getting into reading chapter books. I did feel his book The Dog Who Wouldn't Be was a better choice of the two.
  • Quick Service by P.G. Wodehouse - Another Wodehouse. Not his quippiest (Is that a word?) writing, but still enjoyable.
  • Eve in Exile and the Restoration of Femininity by Rebekah Merkle - This was an excellent read. I kept reading portions of it aloud to my husband. Very eye opening about the feminist movement, but she offers hope and it's not in a sappy "let's go back to the old days" kind of way. Highly recommended!
  • Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare - I read this with The Play's the Thing podcast. The reading and the conversation on the podcast was enjoyable. 
  • Becoming MomStrong: How to Fight with All That's In You for Your Family and Faith by Heidi St. John - Another encouraging read. Since Heidi St. John is from the NW I have heard her speak quite a bit which is one reason why I didn't pick up this book for a while. I'm not sure what prompted me to finally do it, but I'm glad I did. For mom's who are raising kids for the Lord and are thick in the trenches of fighting. Highly recommended!
  • I'd Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel - A book about reading and books what more can you ask for? This is a lovely book and anybody that loves to read are going to find themselves smiling and agreeing with the author's stories and observations. Another excellent read! 
  • So Close to Amazing: Stories of a DYI Life Gone Wrong...and Learning to Find the Beauty in Every Imperfection by KariAnne Wood - I wanted to enjoy this book, but found it to be a meh read. I think the title is very misleading. 

I listened to:

  • How Right You Are, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse - #12 in the Jeeves and Wooster series. While I liked this book I think the previous book in the series (see below) stood head and shoulder above this one. 
  • Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit by P.G. Wodehouse - #11 in the Jeeves and Wooster series. This book is Wodehouse at his finest! I rate it right up there with Aunts Aren't Gentleman which I read earlier this year and sang it's praises. Jonathan Cecil is does an excellent Bertie and Jeeves.
  • Keep It Shut:What to Say, How to Say It, and When to Say Nothing at All by Karen Ehmen - I had a lady in my church ask me if I had read this and while I did own it I hadn't read it yet. I found it available to check out from Overdrive so I downloaded it and gave it a listen. Boy, did I ever need to hear this. I have worked hard through the years to "keep it shut" but I do fail quite often (especially with family members). This was a great reminder to watch what I say or how I say it. I definitely want to re-read this and will probably read the hard copy that time.
  • Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst - This was another book that came highly recommended. Again, I found it available to check out through Overdrive. I have read other books by Lysa TerKeurst, but I just had a hard time relating with the topic. Even though I did finish the book, I was very turned off by some of her biblical examples and felt she was really twisting and even adding to them to fit her topic rather than just letting the Bible speak for itself. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

What's On Your Nightstand - October

What's On Your Nightstand

I fell down a Georgette Heyer hole this month. I haven't really found any fiction that interests me so when that happens I rely on Georgette Heyer or P.G. Wodehouse (I just brought home three of his books tonight.) to help me get out of my fiction reading slump. We shall see how that works!

November's Nightstand:

  • The Bark of the Bog Owl by Jonathan Rogers - I have heard a lot of rave reviews about this series so I decided to check it out. I found this an enjoyable read, though it took me awhile to get into it. I'm not sure if I'll read the rest of the books in the series, but we'll see. 
  • Giddy Up Eunice: Because Women Need Each Other by Sophie Hudson - I love to listen to the Big Book Podcast and Sophie Hudson is one of the co-host. There were a few gems to take from this book, but overall just an okay read.

I also read:

Monday, September 24, 2018

What's On Your Nightstand - September

What's On Your Nightstand

This month has been a rough reading month even though I do have a nice pile of books stacked up for September. I think most of my reading happened at the beginning of the month and then a few were finished in the last week. I'm sure most of this I can attribute to getting our school year kicked off in the midst of my son hurting his knee and needing surgery. That was not on my radar at all! Thankfully, he is recovering and we are finding our groove for school, so maybe there is some reading renewal on the horizon!

For October's Nightstand:

From September's Nightstand I read:
  • The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers:Reclaiming Our Passion, Purpose, and Sanity by Meg Meeker - I heard this book recommended on a podcast and decided to check it out. There were some chapters that I really enjoyed and thought they were spot on and others were just okay. Still I felt a worthwhile read.
  • Dear Mrs. Bird by AJ Pearce - Wow! What a story!! This will definitely be going down as one of my favorite reads for 2018. The first few chapters are a little slow, but when the story picks up you can't put the book down. I found this book recommended since I had liked The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and it did not disappoint. It is a very different story compared to Guernsey but not one to be missed!
  • King Lear (No Fear Shakespeare) by William Shakespeare - The Circe Institute has a new podcast called The Play's the Thing and the first play they read was King Lear so I dived right in. I have never read King Lear and I really enjoyed it--at least as much as you can enjoy a tragedy.
I also read:
  • The Adventures of Robin Hood by Roger Lancelyn Green - This was a read-aloud book with my 10 year old. We finished it off before diving into this year's school work. In some ways it's sad since I have read it aloud to all four of my kids. I guess it goes on the shelf for a while waiting for a new generation to enjoy it.
  • The Floating Admiral by Agatha Christie, The Detection Club - I came across this book and was instantly intrigued. Every chapter is written by a different mystery author. I enjoyed the book though there was one chapter that really needed some major editing and it lost its momentum at that point. It still was a neat idea.
  • Kate Hardy by D.E. Stevenson  - This was one of Stevenson's so-so stories. It was a quick easy read and since I've been in a reading rut it at least made me feel accomplished!
  • Murder in an English Village by Jessica Ellicott - Again another so-so read. I kept telling myself to just return it to the library and then lo and behold the action picked and I made it to the end. There is a sequel but I'm not going to bother with it.
I listened to:

Monday, August 27, 2018

What's On Your Nightstand - August

What's On Your Nightstand

August has come and almost gone, my oldest son was married, my husband and I celebrated 26 years of marriage, and I sent my two middle children to church camp where my youngest son promptly hurt his knee and had to come home. Needless to say I didn't read very much this month and that is okay. We had a lot of fun with family and friends and now it's time to face the fact that summer is coming to an end, which for me means that it is time to start our new homeschool year. This is easier said than done since I haven't planned a thing. My nightstand for September is not very big since I'm sure I'll have my nose in school books for the next two weeks. Of course, I could get a lot of reading time sitting in the doctor's office.

Here is the happy bride & groom!

Image may contain: Hannah Beth Starr and Caleb Starr, people smiling, flower

For September:

From August's Nightstand I read:

  • Journey to Munich by Jacqueline Winspear - I always enjoy a Maisie Dobbs read.
  • Here is Where: Discovering America's Great Forgotten History by Andrew Carroll - I really enjoyed this book though it took me awhile to read through it. If you like odd history stories this is a great read.
  • The Tech-Wise Family by Andy Crouch - Technology and families--something that I think haunts every parent. I really did appreciate the author's honesty when he admits sometimes his family aren't always the best at keeping their limits they have placed on technology. My favorite chapter was the one on singing. You may wonder what that has to do with technology. If so, you'll have to read the book and find out!
  • Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overload Lives by Richard Swenson - This was a great read, actually it was an audio book, but great nonetheless. Very timely information and some good food for thought.

I also read:

  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer - This has been on my list to re-read for a while, but when I saw that Netflix had turned it into a movie it received a violent shift to the top of my pile. Honestly, I enjoyed this just as much as the first time I read it.  In fact, I haven't had the heart to watch the film. 
  • This Side of Murder by Anna Lee Huber - An okay mystery that got me through the wedding.

Monday, July 30, 2018

What's On Your Nightstand - July

What's On Your Nightstand

I had a great reading month in July which ending up being the month for audio books. I had a hard time finding a physical book that held my interest and obviously had the time to listen to more books than normal. August is a big month for my family. My oldest son will be getting married in a couple of weeks and we will have some family visiting for a little bit. Most of the books I put on my Nightstand for August are ones I am currently reading and I'm going to leave it at that. I may not get too many read and that is okay!

For August:

From June's Nightstand I read:
I also read:
I listened to:
  • Frederica by Georgette Heyer - I've read/listened to this one many times. I think this is my favorite Georgette Heyer!
  • Money in the Bank by P.G. Wodehouse - This was a re-read, but the first time I did it on audio. I think I preferred reading this to listening. It seemed harder to follow the plot while listening to it.
  • Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving - A short story I listened to after I realized I had never read it. This is full of a great descriptive writing.
  • A Basic History of the United States, Volume 3: The Sections and The Civil War 1826-1877 by Clarence B. Carson - My kids had finished up their American History course which had a decided bias when it came to the Civil War. I listened to this to get another view point. Though Carson can be kind of dry at times I have enjoyed his view on history.
  • Lies Women Believe: And the Truth That Sets Them Free by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth - This is a re-read and I was excited to learn that it was updated. Excellent, excellent read!!
  • The Magnolia Story by Chip & Joanna Gaines - When my Mom came to visit she just raved about this book. (Neither of us have a TV so we don't watch their show.) Anyways, I found it available to download from the library and decided to check it out myself. I had to concur--it was a great read! Everything that should be in a memoir. The audio was a lot of fun with a mix of both Chip and Joanna Gaines doing the readings. Excellent!
  • Why I Hate Green Beans: And Other Confessions about Relationships, Reality TV, and How We See Ourselves by Lincee Ray - After reading the previous book I was on the lookout for another fun memoir. Though it wasn't quite as good I loved the transparency of the author which came through while she was reading the book.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

What's On Your Nightstand - June

Here I am on the cusp of July. June has flown by and was filled with a lot of baseball and a visit from my parents. While they were here they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. The celebration was low key but we did spend the day together taking a small day trip and then celebrating with some nice big beautiful pieces of cake! I am hoping July will be a good month for reading, but I won't hold by breath on it. My summers are always busy and the closer we get to August the busier I will get especially since my son's wedding is fast approaching! How did I get old enough to have a son getting married? Oh, well, I'm not going to dwell on that and just focus on reading.

For July:
From May's Nightstand I read:
  • Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin - The first book I read by Gretchen Rubin was The Happiness Project which I hated. I then read Better Than Before which I really liked. I decided to Happier at Home and I have to admit it won't be my favorite, but I didn't hate it as much as The Happiness Project. There are parts which I think she just tries too hard and then there are some insightful lessons that she learns which I found applicable. One thing I have noticed is she has a pattern to how she writes her books which made this one easier for me to understand. Maybe one day I can go back to The Happiness Project and get more out of it now that I see the pattern in her writing.
  • Made to Crave Book & Devotional by Lysa TerKeurst - This is a re-read from 2011 though I didn't read the devotional at that time. I felt I was in need of re-reading since I had gained some weight and was really feeling unmotivated about losing it. Honestly, if I had to do it over I would just read the devotional book. I think it has just as much if not more to offer than the book. Though she is mainly talking about food many of her ideas are applicable to other things that can trip us up. (About my weight--I started the book and went back to Weight Watchers at the same time. It's working. Making myself pay to lose weight was probably more motivating than the book.)
  • Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry - The was a Close Reads podcast book that I listened to by audio. Again, this is a re-read. I will admit that the first time I read this I really disliked the book. I think the Close Reads Podcast has helped me come to better terms with many of the ideas in this book though I don't think Wendell Berry will every be a favorite author. I find his books incredibly sad.
  • Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims by Rush Limbaugh - I really wanted to like this book. To start with it is a beautiful book. The pages are heavy and are beautifully decorated. There is original artwork interspersed throughout the story with a list at the end of the book telling what each piece is, whose it is, and where it can be found. There is a lot of history included along with important ideas that helped shape our nation. My biggest problem was with the story--very cheesy. I think this may be a great read for kids who only feed their minds on twaddly books and TV, but if your kids know any history I don't think it will be very appealing at all.
I also read:
  • The Awakening of Miss Prim by Natalia Sanmartin Fenollera - Another re-read. I really liked this book the first time I read it but I found the ending lacking. This time through I didn't dwell too much on the ending and found the book just as enjoyable and since I already knew how it ended it didn't disappoint!
  • The Dyslexia Help Handbook for Parents by Sandra K. Cook - I'm still researching dyslexia. Out of all the dyslexia books I've read so far this one is the most encouraging. The author gets the frustration that parents feel. She also encourages the parents that they can help their child and don't have to rely on specialist. Of course, she gives that as an option too, but she is very affirming and reassuring to parents.
I listened to:
  • The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams - Another Close Reads listen. I didn't care for this play in any way, shape, or form--even with the discussion.
  • Leaving Everything Most Loved by Jacqueline Winspear - I haven't listened to a Maise Dobbs in quite a while. I really enjoy these mysteries. Even though I don't agree with the author's worldview she writes very compelling stories.
  • The Lifegiving Parent by Clay and Sally Clarkson - This book is such a breath of fresh air when it comes to parenting books. I think this is a great read to help parents in making a long-term goal of how they want their family to live. Excellent read!


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