Lets Talk · Reviews

Let’s Talk | BuzzFeed Picks My Jane Austen Novel

Let's Talk

Hello and welcome to a hybrid of a post where I test BuzzFeeds ability to recommend a book and a mini book review. In May I was really in the mood for a classic and I had no idea what I wanted to read. I narrowed it down to Jane Austen and then had no idea what other book of hers to read, so I did what many of us do, I went to the internet for help. Here we go!


Like I said, I decided to go to the internet to see if I could be recommended a book to read of Jane Austen’s, because if I am being honest I didn’t really know about the plot of any of her novels outside of Pride and Prejudice. I ended up coming across this BuzzFeed Quiz called, “Which Jane Austen Book Do You Belong In?” So, I figured, why not give it a go? Here are my results.

As you can see, based upon my answers I belong in the novel Northanger Abbey. So, I ordered it from book depository and waited for it to arrive and then devoured it. Also, a bit of a side note, a lot of her novels are free from amazon as ebooks, as are a lot of classics. If you want a link to this book, you can find that here: Northanger Abbey (AmazonClassics Edition) , p.s. it’s not an affiliate link.


Description

“Catherine Morland is a young girl with a very active imagination. Her entry into the fashionable scene in Bath results in an invitation to stay with new friends at Northanger Abbey, but Catherine’s naivety and love of sensational novels lead to embarrassing and entertaining consequences”. –goodreads.com


My Thoughts

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. One thing that really stood out to me was the use of novels and story telling throughout this novel and how it impacted the main characters imagination.  I also liked the narrators/authors funny comments about novels as well and how people hide what they are reading if they are embarrassed.

I really liked when our main character Catherine was adventuring through Bath, I felt the character interactions were wonderful and it really set the stage for her actions. Catherine is such a kind person and I really loved her taste in books myself. The second half has a totally different feel to it, which I enjoyed, but was a bit jolting at first because it went from a light and airy bath to a gothic abbey, which I think was the entire point because this novel really just likes to poke fun and exaggerate what the imagination can do to someone.

This was a very good novel and I enjoyed reading it immensely. I decided to keep this novel in my collection so I can reread it again and annotate it. To be honest, I might even like this more than Pride and Prejudice.


What is your favorite novel by Jane Austen?

Did you read Northanger Abbey, what did you think about it?

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Reviews

2020 Shakespeare Challenge | May

Shakespeare

Hello and welcome to the fifth installment of my 2020 Shakespeare Challenge! If you would like some more details about the challenge you can find that in my post called,  Blogmas | Goals | 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. It feels so long since I started this challenge and I have found some I really loved and some I really didn’t enjoy. May was an interesting one fore sure. Before we jump into this review/discussion/rant I just want link to the goodreads group 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. And yes, I said rant this time around.


The Book

This months story The Taming of the Shrew. The title alone had me a bit apprehensive about this book, but my twitter followers picked it so I was going to follow through and read it. According to a quick search this was written around 1950.


My Review

I am going to honest, I am kind of torn on this one. This is really a cruel story in quite a few ways.  A well off man tricking a man into thinking he is a lord just for the fun of it. Taming a woman and making her not herself like she is an animal. Just all around manipulation in this book. I will say it was imaginative and like nothing I have read personally.

This starts off with a noble man of sorts feeling like they have so much power and influence they can just totally mess with someones life with fun. It put a really horrid taste in my mouth. I am really hoping Shakespeare was attempting to ridicule higher ups in society, if that was not the case I might actually hate him. The fact that this privileged person felt they could just do that was irritating and I was so irate while reading this. Everyone just went along with it like it was normal! I don’t understand.

Now the whole title of this play had me worried, like I mentioned earlier. Lexico describes one of the definitions of this word as “A bad-tempered or aggressively assertive woman.” I will also put forward when I hear the word tame, I think of a pet or animal, not a human being. So, I was kind of waiting for someone treating a lady as less than. Well, I was correct. The shrew in this story was treated like a jerk, only married to get her out of the way so others could marry her younger sister. While she was not nice I liked that she was strong willed and knew what she wanted. Well, her “husband” and I put it in quotations for a reason, he just was hired to marry her to get her out of the way treated her like garbage and manipulated her into being brainwashed and subservient. It honestly made me super mad and I hated every moment of this.

The more I write about this story and think about it, honestly the more I dislike it. Now, don’t get me wrong I know this was written around 1590, women had no place in society and her not seen as equals and it is apparent in many of Shakespeares plays where the father and husband have the final say and such, but I felt like this play just took it to a whole new extreme. IN the past plays I have read women were still allowed to be themselves and were not manipulated in the same manner and just seen as a creature that need to be moved out of the way so men could get to eh more desirable sister.

I really don’t want to say much more because I feel like this is already a rant. I really am hoping deep down that Shakespeare wrote the play with these two very troubling plot lines where two people are just totally manipulated as social commentary and didn’t just write it because it would be “fun” and “enjoyable”.


Next months pick is Twelfth Night, a huge thanks to those who voted in the poll!


Have you ever read The Taming of the Shrew? If so, what were your thoughts?

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Reviews

2020 Shakespeare Challenge | April

Shakespeare

Hello and welcome to the April edition of the 2020 Shakespeare Challenge, you can find my original post with an explanation here: Blogmas | Goals | 2020 Shakespeare Challenge.This has been the best month for Shakespeare so far here in 2020. I will warn you, this month might just be a gush fest, which I never thought would have happened when I dreamed up this challenge for myself last year. Before we jump into this review/discussion I just want link to the goodreads group 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. Now, on to Macbeth!


The Book

This months story Macbeth in my eyes is one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays. It is referred too so often, even by those who have never even heard the play because it has continued to be a part of pop culture. This play is thought to be first preformed around 1606, so it is quite old.


My Review

So like I said, this review is going to be a huge gush fest and I am not sorry. I honestly never thought I would be gushing about a Shakespeare play, but here we are. I annotated this book up and down and I think it is one of my most written in books that I own.

What I really liked about this book was all of the subtle references to various gods/demons that you may not normally know unless you know their symbols and such. There is an obvious mention of Hecate and Beelzebub, but there is also hints to The Morrigan. But, with both of these if you are not familiar with their stories a lot can be lost. Hecate is the goddess of witchcraft, moon, and ghosts. Which, in this play are very common themes that were very interesting and engaging.

Two things t really stood out to me, is the use of use of three and the paradoxes used in this play. The three witches, saying things three time for effect such as the Second Apparition and Macbeth in Act 4, Scene 1, Doctor and Lady Macbeth  in Act 5, Scene 1, and Macbeth in Act 5, Scene 5 just to name some outside of the witches themselves. Now, the paradox’s in this play are throughout, but a few of the examples I can easily find are Macbeth and his wife being great and wonderful hosts and then murder someone, Porter in Act 2 Scene 3 and Lady Macbeth in Act 2, scene 2. These writing methods really pull the story together and give it a particular feel.

There is one more thing that really stood out to me and it was the witches say with words. They were very playful with their words and what they said was borad, yet specific. One of the instances that stand out to me is their clue at who would kill Macbeth. They said that Macbeth cannot be killed by someone born by a woman, which you would think is impossible at first, but it is very possible. C-sections now a days happen all the time, but in the past babies were also removed from their mothers. It really shows that you must pay attention, very close attention to the words in the play. I feel like I would get even more out of it if I were to read it a second time. I also saw a parallel between the way you interpret these witches and fae in popular books. They can never lie, but that doesn’t mean they cannot be tricky.


Next months pick is The Taming of the Shrew. I know absolutely nothing about this play so I am a tiny bit worried, but I have high hopes as well because of the success of Macbeth in my book. Thanks to those who voted in the twitter poll!


Have you ever read Macbeth? If so, did you enjoy it?

Which play do you think I should look into for June?

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Wrap Up

Middle Mark |April | #OWLsReathaon2020

Middle Mark

Hello and welcome to my Middle Mark post for the OWLs Reeadathon! First I am going to be doing what I normally do in these posts, I am going to share my mini reviews of each of the books I read. Following that I will go through the OWLs that I have made progress on. Then, I will share what books I am in the middle of as of writing this post. I hope you enjoy the mini reviews and looking at my OWLs Reathon progress. I am actually quite proud of my progress.


Read 2

Full ThrottleFull Throttle by Joe Hill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Joe Hill continues to impress me with his writing. But, like any story collection there were some I loved, some I liked, some that were okay and one I ended up skipping.

Overall, this was a really good collection of creepy and disturbing stories. If you enjoy his other works you should enjoy this as well.

View all my reviews


The Girls of GettysburgThe Girls of Gettysburg by Bobbi Miller

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a really well created fictional novel that interwoven the tales of three different girls that all end up at Gettysburg. I really liked how the author told the experiences of many within these three characters. The writing was donee very well and it was an enjoyable read. I recommend to anyone who wants to know more about the subject.

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They Will Drown in Their Mothers' TearsThey Will Drown in Their Mothers’ Tears by Johannes Anyuru

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I am not really sure how to rate or review this book. I feel like something might have gotten lost in translation. But, from what I did read it was very intense sense and the beginning. Plus, reading it was a bit disorienting, but I think that was the point.

Overall, I didn’t hate this book, but I didn’t really enjoy reading it either.

View all my reviews


Macbeth Macbeth by William Shakespeare

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review to come shortly! I am saving this review for when I do my Shakespeare challenge post later this month, keep an eye out!

View all my review


Norse MythologyNorse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a great collection of Norse Myths. Neil Gaiman is a talented writer and his style and strong voice is present in this collection. It mainly focuses on Thor, Loki and Oden with other Gods thrown in. The selection that Gaiman choose were a good introduction to Norse Myths, but also a good recap as well. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys mythology.

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The Magician King (The Magicians, #2)The Magician King by Lev Grossman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This series continues to be vey interesting and engaging. It truly is a great second book to a series. In my eyes a great book in a series continues to demonstrate which I enjoyed about the first one and doesn’t seem like just a filler to get from book one to book three. This book continued to grow the world(s) of this series and maintained its appeal. I don’t want to say much, because it is the second book in a series, but the story has become more complicated and intense.

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Heart-Shaped BoxHeart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have had this book sitting on my shelf for almost a year and I am mad that it took my this long to get to it. This is a true ghost story, but the worst kind of one. It is brutal, but is perfect for a horror read. It has a monster, gore, and an interesting plot that kept me reading.

View all my reviews


Magical Readathon Update

Seer Profession

Ancient Runes – Heart rune: heart on the cover or in the title

Astronomy – Night classes: read majority of this book when it’s dark outside

Divination – Third eye: assign numbers to your TBR and use random number generator

Animagus Training 

Arithmancy – Magical qualities of number 2: read something outside your favorite genre

Potions – Shrinking Solution: book under 150 pages

Transfigurations – Animagus lecture: book/series that includes shape shifting

Magical Shop Management 

Arithmancy – Magical qualities of number 2: read something outside your favorite genre

Bonus OWLs

History of Magic – Book that features witches/wizards 

  • The Magicians King by Lev Grossman

Graphics created by @ladette_M on Twitter!

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Currently Reading 2

I am currerntly 74% through Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. I am liking this book a lot more than I originally thought I would. I have not been into this type of book for some time and I really only picked it up because I am buddy reading it, but I am so glad that that pushed me into reading it. I only have about a forth of the book to go, so we shall see what my feelings are later on. I am hoping they are good.


What was the last book you read, did you like it?

How are your OWLs coming along? 

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Hauls

Read 5, Buy 1 | March 2020 Haul

Read 5, Buy 1

Hello and welcome to another check in for my Read 5, Buy 1 challenge. I don’t know about you, but I have really had the itch to buy as of late and I will admit it, I went a bit above my Buy 1, but thankfully not by much! The ones I did go and buy that were not covered by my Read 5, Buy 1 were all Shakespeare plays for my Blogmas | Goals | 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. So, they were books I would have had to buy anyway. Anyway, here are the books I read and the books I bought in March!


The Breakdown

Alexande Hamolton by Ron Chernow

Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Gwendy’s Magic Feather by Richard Chizmar

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepety

Bought: The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silvere

A Knife in the Fog by Bradley HarpA Knife in the Fog by Bradley Harper

Queen’s Gambit by Bradley Harper

Journey to Jo’burg by Beverley Naidoo

Angel Mage by Garth Nix

Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson

Bought: The Time of Contempt by Andrzej Sapkowski

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Full Thottle by Joe Hill

The Girls of Gettysburg by Bobbi Miller

Bought: House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas


Extra Books – Shakespeare 2020 Challenge

King Lear by William Shakespeare

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare

Macbeth by William Shakespeare

The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare


Overall, I don’t think I did too badly with this challenge. I read 15 books, but I only added 9 books so my Owned TBR as a whole has gone down this month. A win in my book! I am hoping with the OWLs in April I will be doing even more reading, but so far I have done a bit of ebook buying this month. So, we shall see how this social distancing affects my book buying and my TBR.


Are any of these books on your TBR?

What is the last book you added to your TBR?

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Reviews

2020 Shakespeare Challenge | March

Shakespeare

Hello and welcome to the third installment of the 2020 Shakespeare Challenge, you can find my original post with an explanation here: Blogmas | Goals | 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. I have been really enjoying this challenge more than I thought I would have, but here we are, three months into the challenge and I was looking forward to giving Hamlet a try, something I really didn’t think was going to ever happen. Also, if you want to see what reads are coming up and what books I have read to can check it out in the goodreads group 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. Now, on to Hamlet!


The Book

This month was the very popular play of Hamlet, I feel like this is one of the more popular and referenced plays from my own personal experience. It is also a tragedy, up until this point I have been reading his comedies so, this could be interesting. Anyway, Hamlet was written around 1599.


My Review

While I have read Shakespeare before, I have never read so many so quickly before. I am beginning to notice a few things I am not too keen on. Why is it that Shakespeare always wants to punish a woman for loving? I get it, it is the time period, but isn’t there something else you can try to write about? I know that love and loss are always great plot lines when it comes to plays, but his ideas are becoming a bit too repetitive for my personal liking.

This is a very dramatic play with quite a few deep feelings that many can relate too. The thing with this play is that they are very amplified. There is quite a bit of passion in this story. We have loss, revenge, anger, dishonor and quite a bit more. This truly is a sad play. You watch a young man in grief become more and more erratic and many around him begin to question if he is truly alright.

This is murder and death, accidental and planned. There are plots within plots. This play really has a lot going on. I just wish some of these characters just talked to one another and weren’t so impulsive, a lot could have been avoided. While I know that wouldn’t make such a tragic play, but I think it would have made a better story personally.

Also, without really spoiling anyone I had to reread a few times how the ghost says he dies… that is the most interesting cause of death I have ever heard.

Overall, I don’t regret reading this play. Did I love it? No. Was it my favorite? No. Did I absolutely hate it? No again. I did enjoy the creepiness and the exploration  such deep feelings, even if they were exaggerated for the sake of the play. This was very average in my book.


Next months pick is Macbeth, which I kinda of think will have about the same rating as Hamlet. I don’t know what the outcome will be, but I am very much willing to give this a shot. I just need to keep an open mind and hope that Hamlet doesn’t put a damper on future plays.


What did you think of this play?

Which play should I add to the monthly polls?

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TBR

To Be Read | March 2020

To Be Read

Hello and welcome to another TBR post! This month I am keeping my TBR nice and small so I can have some random picks as the month goes on and also not put too much pressure on myself because as many of you know I am starting to study a new language. But, I still want to keep reading and I am really excited about the books on my list!

The Magicians by Lev Grossman, I am buddy reading this with reading this with Reg and Jenna this month. This has to be a series I have been interested in this series for what feels like years. I am expecting to love this book so much I actually bought the series bundle.

Girl Woman Other by Bernardine Evaristo, I have been reading this book on and off since January. The main reason I have been reading this book for so long is because I thought I lost this book, turns out it was in my trunk. When I was reading it, I was really enjoying it so I am happy to have found it.

Hamlet by William Shakespeare, this is my March Shakespeare of the month for my Shakespeare challenge, if you want to know more about this, check out my most recent installment, 2020 Shakespeare Challenge | February. I am a bit worried about this one, I feel like the tragedy were my most disliked. plays when I read them in high school, but this is one of the most popular one of them all. So, I am hoping that this one wont be as bad as I think it is, fingers crossed.



What books are you planning on reading this month?

What book are starting the month with?

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Reviews

2020 Shakespeare Challenge | February

Shakespeare

Hello and welcome to the second month of 2020 Shakespeare Challenge, you can find my original post with an explanation here: Blogmas | Goals | 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. The first month went so well, I ended up really loving I also have a goodreads group going if you want to join in on the challenge, 2020 Shakespeare Challenge.


The Book

This months book was Othello, chosen via a poll on my twitter account. This play is thought to be written around 1603. I will say, this is one of the play I am more nervous about this book because I have read this before and I did not enjoy it very much. Going into this I was really hoping that my view on it has changed.


My Review

So, coming into this month I felt both better and a bit worried about reading Othello. I felt a bit more at ease because I really enjoyed a Midsummer Night’s Dream, but I remember reading Othello and really disliking it. So, I really saw things going either way.

I have to say, the start of this book kind of made me feel like The Count of Monte Cristo. It starts off with a man feeling wronged by not being promoted and is newly married. Very much sounded very familiar, which for Othello is a good thing because I loved The Count of Monte Cristo. Another work I made a connection to is A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The father in A Midsummer Night’s Dream was so upset and would not accept his daughter marrying for love and was so dramatic about it. The same happened in this story pretty much, which was kind of annoying. Only two books into this challenge and already recycling characters in a way.

But, with that aside I will say I did enjoy this one more so than I remembered the first time I read it years ago. What I did like about this was how it was organized and how it created such a villain. Even at only about 40 pages in I already hated a character and I wanted him to get lost at sea or something. The fact that I felt so much in that way saved this play in my eyes. If I didn’t dislike that person so much I would have rated it a lot lower honestly. Also, the ending is just so tragic and I felt so horrible for the jerks wife, she knew she was doing wrong, but not as wrong as she actually did. She most likely felt sole responsible for what occurred.


Next months play is going to be Hamlet as voted on by my wonderful twitter followers! If you want to join in with me please do by jumping into the conversation here or over on the goodreads group 2020 Shakespeare Challenge.


What did you think of this play?

What play do you think I should add to the poll for April? 

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TBR

To Be Read | February 2020

To Be Read

Hello and welcome to my February TBR! This year is leap year, which means we get an additional day in February to read. So, this month I am thinking about taking on some of my larger books, with one in particular being a goal.


Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann is my Man Booker short list book of the month. As I am writing this I have not finished Girl, Woman, Other, but I am putting the next one on the list on my TBR. This one is truly a hefty book, I could probably use it as protection against a bad person. It is a bit intimidating, but the description sounds really interesting and I am excited to jump in.

Little Children by Tom Perrotta, is on my list this month due Reg picking it out for me to read for my relaunched Someone Picks My Books series. In January I read a book recommended by my aunt, Where the Crawdads Sing and it was a total win, I think this one is going to be as well. If you want to check that out, you can do that here: Someone Picks My Books | Aunt Edition & Series Return!

Othello by William Shakespeare, this is another book I am reading for a series this year. Othello is going to be my Shakespeare play of the month. I have decided this year to read a Shakespeare play a month and really determine if I hate his works because I was forced to read them, or they truly are not for me. Last month I read A Midsummers Night’s Dream, you can see my thought on it here: 2020 Shakespeare Challenge | January

The Langoliers by Stephen King, last but not least is a horror I picked up in January and I am very excited to read it this month. Something about the setting being an eerie train just pulled me in. It also just feels like the classic scary monster vibe I have been missing as of late.

While I have only picked four books for my TBR this month, I am planning on reading more, but these are my priority. After I get through these my mood reading can really take off!


Bonus Books

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo, this was a leftover from last month, I started it and still have to finish it, but so far so good! 

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern, I was meant to read this last month, but I ran out of time sadly so I want to get to it this month.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman, I am buddy reading with Jenna and Reg, which I am super excited about. I have been wanting to read it for a long time now and I finally get the chance to read it with two awesome people. 

 


What books are you planning on reading this month?

What book are you currently reading?

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Reviews

2020 Shakespeare Challenge | January

Shakespeare

Hello and welcome to my first month of 2020 Shakespeare Challenge, you can find my original post with an explanation here: Blogmas | Goals | 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. As for a quick explanation, I am reading a Shakespeare play a month to see if I truly do not like Shakespeare, or I hated it because I was forced to in school. I also have a goodreads group going if you want to join in on the challenge, 2020 Shakespeare Challenge.


The Book

This first months book was A Midsummer Night’s Dream, chosen via a poll on my twitter account. This play was written in 1595 and is one of the rare ones I remember kinda enjoying, but I didn’t remember much about it.


My Review

I have to start this off by saying I am really happy to have started this year long challenge with this play in particular, the main reason being I actually enjoyed it. Yes, I am surprised to say that, but so grateful. I really was worried going into this thinking I was going to dislike everyone of his works, but that was not the case. A Midsummer Night’s Dream was actually really enjoyable and has made me more excited about this entire process.

I really liked the drama that was in this play, while it was series it was also kind of comical. It seemed very outlandish and it really dated itself with its treatment of women as property, but I expected that. I really liked the fact that there were some supernatural entities playing games on humans, for better or for worse. It was a very classic example of fae and their involvement with humans, but a bit less dark. I always enjoyed a supernatural spin on this, if you couldn’t tell of my love of paranormal reads and Stephen King.

As for the characters themselves, they were larger than life, but that is pretty typical of a play. I was not a huge fan of Helena if I am honest or Demetrius. Demetrius was very cruel and Helena just acted like an annoying child. On the other hand I really adored Hermia and Lysander, I was rooting for them the entire time. Throughout the story I was writing notes in the margins and a lot of the time I was writing “NO!”. “Are you serious right now?!”, I felt like I was reading a soup opera in a good way.

Overall, I thought this was a very good start, I really enjoyed this play and I am less apprehensive about this entire experiment of sorts. The one main gripe I have with this is what is done to  Demetrius at the end. While I did not like him, I thought of what happened to him was a bit unethical.


Next months play is going to be Othello as voted on by my wonderful twitter followers! If you want to join in with me please do by jumping into the conversation here or over on the goodreads group 2020 Shakespeare Challenge.


What did you think of this play?

What play do you think I should add to the poll for March? 

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