Wrap Up

Middle Mark | September 2020

Hello and welcome to a little reading check in! Every month I do a mid month check in to share what I have finished so far and what I am in the middle of reading. So far, this month is going pretty well, but I entered a bit of a slump, I am hoping it just lasts this week. Fingers crossed! But, on to the books!


Midnight Sun (Twilight, #5)Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I got very bored halfway though. The main selling point of this book is seeing more of the Cullens. That is how this book got 2 stars. The rest, really didn’t really keep me engaged and was not really interesting.

View all my reviews The Financial Diet: A Total Beginner's Guide to Getting Good with MoneyThe Financial Diet: A Total Beginner’s Guide to Getting Good with Money by Chelsea Fagan
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was a VERY basic finance book that seems to be only for women. If you know anything about basic budgeting you can skip this. But, this could be good for someone who just graduated and is just starting out.

View all my reviews Shiver: Selected StoriesShiver: Selected Stories by Junji Ito
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As always Junji Ito has an eerie imagination. This is a bind up if twisted tails with curse, monsters, and some out of this world things. Since it was a bind up, I don’t want to say too much other than all were equally creepy and were very distinct. If you like manga and horror I suggest you give it a go. TW for suicide and murder.

View all my reviews One by OneOne by One by Ruth Ware
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

*Book given via netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Overall, I really enjoyed this thriller. The setting was amazing, the atmosphere was palpable, the characters were interesting as well as their dynamics, and the story fully pulled me in. Once again Ware has proven to be an amazing writer and continues to be one of my auto-buy authors. Even though I received this book for free, I am going to go pick up another on publication day. If you want a good secluded thriller that appears to be a dream come true at first, but turns into a horror, I feel like this is one you should certainly look into.

View all my reviews Tidy the F*ck Up: The American Art of Organizing Your Sh*tTidy the F*ck Up: The American Art of Organizing Your Sh*t by Messie Condo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A hilarious approach to decluttering and getting your space in order. I laughed quite a few times, but it has some great advice as well. It really got me in the right mindset to get cleaning and sorting.

View all my reviews

I am currently reading two tomes, the firs is 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami and I am about 14% through it. From what I have read, I can see why so many people enjoy it and I am actually excited to pick it up again. The reason I have not is because I like sitting for more than an hour with this book. The second book is A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon, I am 36% through this one, I had to stop this one because I was borrowing it from the library. I have it on hold again so as soon as it comes in I will fly through it.


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

How are your reading month coming along? 

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Writing and More

Bullet Journal | September 2020

Hello and welcome to my post where I am sharing my bullet journal spreads for September 2020. I don’t know about you, but September has really snuck up on me this year. I feel like it was the first week fo August and then I turned around and it was the last week already! Anyway, the only good news about time flying is creating some new spreads!


Items Used

  • Alphabet stamps
  • Scotch Adhesive Dot Roller
  • Tombow Brush Pen in color #912
  • Mechanical Pencil
  • Micron 01 in Black
  • Royalty Free Stock Photo: Pixabay
  • A5 Garden Slither Dot Grid Notebook from Olive and Archer
  • Amenti Oracle by Jennifer Sodini

Here is my dashboard for the month, as you can see by the picture on the right I am already feeling fall. I am not a huge fan of summer and the heat so I am one to always rush it out of the way. I really loved the picture of a walkway at a park with tall fall trees overhanging it and the addition of fog. I want to jump into the picture just like they do in Mary Poppins, I can feel the crisp air already! On the left I decided I would add a little script in the name of the month above the monthly calendar. I highlighted this page as well as all the others with a peachy orange color, Tombow Brush Pen in color #912.


On the left, I really wanted to keep the same month ahead spread I used over the past month. I really liked having a list of my TBR ready for me to work through as well as having a list of personal goals. I find it really motivating and allows me to focus my time instead of just wasting it. On the right I really enjoyed my bookshelf spread where I paste the picture of the books I have read throughout the month. Below you will find a picture from my August BUJO.

Here is my books read bookshelf for the month of August, this is not all the books I have read, but you can see I read You Were Born for This, The Secret River, Fever Dream (my favorite of the month), Smoke and Mirrors, The Comedy of Errors, G’morning, G’Night, After the Quake, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, and The Hunger.

On the left you will see my oracle card for the month, this month I picked I spread joy. Which honestly, I love! I will say the image on the card a woman almost in a ballerina post on her toes with a few triangles behind her confuses me, but I am going to explore it more throughout the month. On the right hand side I am going to be doing a self care tracker. I have not really been taking great care of myself so I really want to make sure I leave time to care for myself in a wide range of methods. I put a square for each day of the month and when I do a form of self care I will color it in.

Last, but not last are my weekly spreads. I have been using these weekly spreads where I only put a mini calendar on the left page and leave room for notes and memory notes. On the right I have a rectangle for every day of the week, apart from the weekend, which I combine. This really works well for me because I have room to add appointments and such, but also lists to check off for the day.


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TBR

To Be Read | September 2020

Hello and welcome to another TBR post! This month I have a large stack of books to get through this month, but I am really excited about finally reading a lot of them. I am so close to getting my owned TBR down to the 10s and I am determined to do that this month, fingers crossed! Anyway, onto the books!


Book Stack of Tidy the F*ck Up by Messie Condo, Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami, The Test by Sylvain Neuvel, Stay with Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀, The Financial Diet by Chelsea Fagan, Shiver by Junji Ito, and The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi.

As you can see, I have quite a book stack for September. I plan on reading 7 books, but I hope for a few more. Also, a huge thank you to those who voted my on poll, it was really helpful!

Tidy the F*ck Up by Messie Condo, so a few years ago I read Marie Konodo’s books and I have been feeling the urge to do the method again, but I wanted to read something different to get the inspiration I need and I came across this parody book and I knew I needed to get it if not for the motivation, but for the laughs as well.

Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami, I saw this floating around online a few months ago and after looking further into it, I wanted to read it. I have really been into short stories as of late so I think this will be perfect!

The Test by Sylvain Neuvel, was picked for me to read this month by Heidi over at This is My Bookshelf Blog. I am really looking forward to this one, I am so happy to finally be able to read it and not stare at it on my shelf. The summary I have read for this short story has me thinking I am going to be reading it in one sitting.

Stay with Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀, now this book I came across by complete chance while browsing my local indie bookstore. The bright cover pulled me in and when I looked at the description my heart broke and I knew I needed to read this story in its entirely.

The Financial Diet by Chelsea Fagan, I picked this up recently because I wanted to learn more about finance and get better with my money. From my understanding, this is more of a starting point and I should in theory already know everything in here, but we shall see.

Shiver by Junji Ito, if you like manga and you like horror, you should look into this author. I read one of his collections and I really liked the creepy vibes, this guy has an imagination that might even put King to shame. I am really in the mood for some good horror so I am finally picking up another one of his works.

The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi, this was my BOTM pick for August and sadly I was not able to get to it in August, but I really want to read it ini September, it really sounds like it is going to be a great story. Please see my post, Book of the Month| August 2020 for more information!


What are you planning on reading this month?

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Hauls

Read 5, Buy 1 | The Happy Failure of July 2020

Read 5, Buy 1

Hello and welcome to my happy failure! I say happy because I added some really awesome authors to my TBR this month. I added 16 books to my TBR to be exact, that is why it is a failure. But, I have to say even with adding 16 books, my owned TBR is still only 26 books.


This first book stack features…

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

The Beauty of Breaking by Michele Harper

Conjure Women by Afia Atakora

American Sherlock by Kate Winkler Dawson

Girl From Widow Hills by Megan Miranda

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

This second stack features…

Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin

G’morning, G’night! by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Johnny Sun

The Secret River by Kate Grenville

Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Himself

Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman

Remarkable Creatures by Tracey Chevalier

After the Quake by Haruki Murakami

Flowers of Mold by Ha Seong-nan

Teen Titians Raven by Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo


I am truly pleased to be able to have these books on my shelf waiting to be read. I am for the most part still on schedule to finish my TBR by October as planned as well. I did not see that still being the case after being able to go into a bookstore and browse the shelves again. That is what lead to me getting all these books, I really missed just walking around the store and finding books I have not heard of before.

How did the Read Rush go for you? What have you read this past week?

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Tags

Let’s Talk | The Prediction Book Tag

Let's Talk

Hello and welcome to a tag I should have done months ago, I am so sorry Whitney, but better late than never. At least I am hoping. I was so happy when Whitney tagged me back in March, this is such fun tag and I am glad I am able to be apart of it. Now on to the rules and prediction prompts!


Rules

  • ping back to the creator of the tag, @bookprincessreviews
  • tag the person who tagged you
  • find an answer to match each prompt
  • have fun!

Each Prompt is a Prediction for My

Next Read

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave

As I said in my post, To Be Read | August 2020, I planned on reading this book in August. I did come across some excerpts I read when I was in school and they were all annotated. I didn’t read the annotations, but I am curious of how my annotating will vary this time as opposed to last time when I am done reading.

Next 5-Star Read

After the Quake by Haruki Mauakami

After the Quake

I am not quite sure this counts as cheating, but I am about 50% done with this book already and I am really enjoying it. As long as nothing unforeseen happens, I am probably going to be giving his book 5 stars. It is a great collections of short stories with a unifying thread. It is whimsical, magical, and thought provoking.

Next 1-Star Read

Color Therapy Plain Simple: The Only Book You’ll Ever Need by Nina Ashby

Color Therapy Plain  Simple: The Only Book You'll Ever Need

I am going to be honest with this one. I don’t really think it is going to be a 1 star read, but I think it is going to be the lowest rated out of my current TBR. The reason being it has a 2.4 rating on goodreads… that is the lowest one I have. I do have hope though that maybe I will like it better than others.

Next Love Interest

Jo & Laurie by Margaret Stohl and  Melissa de la Cruz

Jo & Laurie

This is the only book on my owned TBR that has a hint of romance to it. It is a historical fiction/retelling/continuation of sorts of he lives of Jo and Laurie from Little Women. Which, if you did not know is my all time favorite book and series. Yes, there are more Little Women books!

Next Book You’ll Be Buying

Confessions on the 7:45: A Novel by Lisa Unger

Confessions on the 7:45: A Novel

I think the next book I will be buying will actually be a pre-order of this book. It does not come out until October 6th, 2020. I went to a digital author book talk and the author recommended quite a few books, many I read, but this one stood out to me!

Next Book That Will Leave you With a Book Hangover

A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon 

A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Outlander, #6)

While I do enjoy this series I always have a book hangover of sorts when I finish ones of its tomes. I tend to read two per year because that is all I can handle. I am planning on reading this one at the end of August or in September. I still cannot believe I have made it to book 6 of this series.


I Tag

Erica

Ash

Celina

Jessica


What book do you think will your next 5 star read be?

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Writing and More

Bullet Journal | August 2020

Bullet Journal

Hello and welcome to my bullet journal post. This month I am really in love with my spread. I think it is because I really made this month simple and removed a lot of fluff. I feel like this is going to lead to me having a really focused month! I also really feel like this months “theme” if you can call it that is warm and cozy, which is something I really crave right now. Even though it is the middle of the summer I have been crocheting a lot and it has reminded me about cuddling up with the blanket I am almost done with, a coffee and a good book. Anyway, on to my spreads for the month!


Items Used

  • Sharpie Pen size fine
  • Tombow Brush Pen color #992
  • Royalty Free Stock Photo Site: Pixabay
  • A5 Garden Slither Neapolitan Dot Grid Notebook from Olive and Archer
  • Amenti Oracle by Jennifer Sodini

Inspired By


My Bullet Journal Spreads

The above image shows my dashboard for the month. On the left hand side I decided to use a flowing script to write the name of the month and year and then highlighted it with my color of the month, Tombow #992, which is a warm light tan color. It almost looks faded, which I really like. On the right hand side I printed out a picture of a Scottish castle that was a similar tan color. The angle focuses on a rounded tower, it gives me fairytale vibes. As soon as I saw it I knew I needed to use it this month.

The next two pages are practical spreads, the first one on the left is my budget planner of sorts. I wanted a place where I could note my income, my account totals at the start and end of the month, a checklist to keep track of the bills I paid and then my current amount owed on my loans. I really wanted the headings to pop in this spread since there will be a lot of information as the month progresses I decided to put a line above and below each title as well as highlighted using the color of the month. On the right side I put my TBR and Goal spread I have used the last few months. Both are vertical lists each taking up half of the page as if folded lengthwise. At this point I have not decided which books are on my TBR or what goals I have for myself, but they will be added soon! I also decided to decorate the headings the same as the previous page to tie everything together.

The next two spreads will also fill out more as the month passes. On the lefthand side I have my monthly oracle card. This month I picked I Relate in Peace, the image that does along with this saying is an interesting one. It is a blue circle with blue hands reaching towards quite a few symbols such as a snake and an eye. I will be honest I am unsure of the other symbols at this time and will be looking into the guide book so I can figure out what they are. On the right hand side I added my Books Read spread where I doodled a few lines to represent shelves. I will be adding picture of the book covers I have read as the month progresses.

My weekly spread is the same as it has been for the past few months. On the left hand side I leave blank apart from a very small august calendar. I leave this area open to write what I am grateful for that happened that week. On the right, I have my rectangles where I write my appointments, to do lists, and notes for each day. I have them in a 3 by 2 grid, I really like how compact and organized this layout is. I never used to like combining the weekend into one list, but I am starting to really like it. I wanted to tie these pages into the read of the month so I highlighted the day/number by using the color of the month.


Well, that is my bullet journal for the month, I hope you like what I did! I am really loving the vibe that is given by the picture of the castle and the faded brown color. I feel that it is warm, welcoming, and cozy.

What is your favorite color? If you use a bullet journal, what is your theme? 

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TBR

To Be Read | August 2020

To Be Read

Hello and welcome to my TBR for August. My TBR is a bit larger than it normally is due to the fact I am taking part in a few challenges this month. One of the major ones is hitting 0 books on my owned TBR by October 6th, 2020. At the time of typing this I am on track to meet this goal, so I am excited about that. But, to keep this up I had to keep my reading pace high, but also enjoyable. To meet this goal and others I added all of these books onto my pile for August. I am really confident in reading these books and maybe even a few others, who knows? 


Book Stack Photo


The Books

The Secret River by Kate Grenville, I am reading this as part of my reading a book from every continent. This takes place in Australia being used to send convicts away from Europe as well as discussing those settlers forcibly taking land from local indigenous inhabitants . It is a historical fiction, but I think it will discuss a really important events that not only took place in one part of the world, but all over. From the reviews I am confident in the author giving such a topic the attention is deserves. 

After the Quake by Haruki Mauakami, I picked this up recently on my first visit to my local bookstore. It was the first time. I was able to actually go brows the shop in MONTHS so you will see a few more books on this list from that day. But, that being said I really was intrigued by the description of this book and I look forward to reading it. 

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Himself, I am ashamed to say that I never read this and I am rectifying that this month. I will say, I did read the first few pages at the end of July, but I did not want to rush through this mans words. 

You Were Born For This by Chani Nicholas, I picked this book up as a group read and I kinda forgot about that..oops. But, I am still intrigued so I still pan on reading this. 

The Hunger by Alma Katsu, I picked this book up because I was recommended it from mytbr.co. It sounded really interesting so I have to say first impressions with this service are pretty spot on. Will report when I have read all three books they recommened me. 

American Sherlock by Kate Winkler Dawson, I was really in the mood for some non-fiction last month and I came across this on my stroll around the bookstore so I picked it up. I am interesting in learning about the history of Forensics in the USA.

Fever Dream by Samantha Schweblin, This is another book I picked up for my reading a book from each continent. This books takes place in Argentina. I will be honest, I don’t know much about this book. I saw that it took place in Argentina and that it had the phrase “nightmare come to life” in the description. 

Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman, I have been slowly reading more and more books by this author and I have enjoyed most of them. I read the description of this novel while walking around my local bookstore and I had to pick it up. I mean how can I turn down a book that is described that can “transform a mundane world into a place of terrible wonders”. 

G’Morning, G’Night! By Lin-Manuel Miranda, I will flat out admit I bought this because I watched Hamilton on Disney+ in July and I wanted to checkout what else he was capable of. I have a feeling I am going to be slowly reading this throughout the month, but we shall see. It seems like a really uplifting book, which I feel like can only help. 


What are you planning to reading this month?

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TBR

TBR | The Reading Rush July 20th – July 26th

To Be Read

Hello and welcome to my TBR post for The Reading Rush. This readathon has been one I have taken part in for the past few years and I am excited to do it again. This round is running from July 20th-July 26th. If you want more information you can visit their website here: https://thereadingrush.com/. In this post I am going to go over the challenges and the books I plan on reading to meet them. Now on to the books!


The Challenges

1 – Read a book with a cover that matches the color of your birth stone.

2 – Read a book that starts with the word “The”.

3 – Read a book that inspired by a movie you’ve already seen.

4 – Read the first book you touch.

5 – Read a book completely outside of your house. Challenge Update Post for Safety

6 – Read a book in a genre that you’ve always wanted to read more of.

7 – Read a book that takes place on a different continent than where you live.


My TBR

Books as follows; Firestarter Stephen King, Don’t Touch my Hair by Emma Dabiri, The Night Country by Melissa Albert and Celtic Mythology byPhilip Freeman.

1, 5, 7 – Celtic Mythology by Philip Freeman

2 & 4 – The Night Country by Melissa Albert

3 – Fire Starter by Stephen King

6 – Don’t Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri


As you can see I am not going for 7 books in 7 days. I am doubling up and tripling up on some of these challenges so I can be strategic. I will however try to read these four books and then if I still have time somehow I plan on reading other books that will also meet the challenges I grouped together. I am really excited to read these books and to have two non-fiction reads for a readathon. I have very much been enjoying non-fiction lately, I even started off July by reading two non-fictions back to back. Anyway, here is my TBR!


Are you participating in the reading rush this year?

What book are you most excited to read?

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Hauls

Read 5, Buy 1 | June 2020

Read 5, Buy 1

Hello and welcome to my Read 5, Buy 1 post, If I am being honest with myself I should be calling this a book haul because wow, did I totally ignore this in June. I am not sure why, but I really had the buying itch in June. I figured since I have done so well and my TBR was under 20 at the time, why not have some fun. So, here is my break down of the books I read since the last check in, but also the books I bought this past month.


The Breakdown

  • Middlegame by Seanan McGuire
  • The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  • I’m Judging You by Luvvie Ajayi
  • The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
    • Bought Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
  • Quichotte by Salman Rushdie
  • A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
  • Untamed by Glennon Doyle
  • Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
  • Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz
    • Bought Jo & Laurie by Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz
  • Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

Books Added To My TBR

I added, Home Before Dark by Riley Sager, The Incarnations by Susan Barker, Jo & Laurie by Margaret Stohl and Melissa de la Cruz, The Changeling by Victor LaValle, Before the Coffee Gets Coldby Toshikazu Kawaguchi, Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams, The Hungerby Alma Katsu, Don’t Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri, and LGBTQ Stats: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer People by the Numbers by Bennett Singer and David Deschamps to my TBR.


As you can see, I bought quite a few extra books this month. I am thinking it might have to do with that fact that I was not really in the reading mood in May and maybe it was because I didn’t really want to read any of the books I owned. I am a total mood reader. Regardless of the reason, I added an extra 7 books. Oops! Good thing I have been in a reading mood!
Over all, my TBR is now sitting at a total of 26 books, so my owned TBRhe  stayed about the same, but thankfully it decided to not go up with all the buying I did.

What does your TBR look like?

What books did you recently haul from the library or bookstore?

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Writing and More

Bullet Journal | July 2020

Bullet Journal

Hello and welcome to my July bullet journal post. This month I changed a few things, but mainly kept things the same. But, I really enjoy the vibe I created for the month by adding a few pictures from a stock photo site and marker colors. I have really started to enjoy photographs in my spreads to set a mood as of late instead of doodles. Anyway, here is what I put together for July!


Items Used

Archer & Olive A5 Garden Sliter Dot Grid notebook

Tombow Dual Brush Pens 312

Tombow Dual Brush Pens 946

Sakura Pigma Micron Pens 01 and 05


On the left I placed my monthly calendar, I really loved highlighting the color green and orange in the picture of the cafe on the right hand page. I feel like it really pulled these two pages together. I picked the cafe because it looked so calming and relaxing with the color scheme of the various shades of green and pop of orange and tan. I also added The Reading Rush to my bujo because I am planning on taking part this year. I am so excited about the challenges this year, they are so fun in my opinion.

The next two pages house four different things. On the left I have my TBR for the month of July listed and a space to write my monthly goals. I also added a mini calendar for reference for the page on the right. On the right I have a vertical calendar were I will mark the days I read and on the right I am going to be adding my blog posts. I carried over the orange and green color by highlighting the titles and lines on the page.

These next two pages are a bit more plain. On the left I picked my oracle card for the month and I left the area around it blank so I have room to reelect upon it. This months card says “I Line in Truth”. On the accompanying page I added a picture of a brown doorway with a ton of plants because it goes well with the oracle card and the cafe picture I previously mentioned. Due to the fact that orange and brown are used a lot I decided to just add highlights with the green marker.

Now, this page on the left is my Books Read that I started using last month. In this spread I doodled a few bookshelves where I will then glue in the covers of the books I finish reading. I will share a picture of it competed below. On the right I added a picture of a window in a greenhouse while it is raining. It matches the green and orange theme perfectly and it is relaxing and a place I would love to read. I love plants and I would love to have a green house at some times in the future and I would love to sit inside during a rain storm and read.

Here is a picture from my bullet journal from last month (June 2020). On the left is a completed Books Read spread where I pasted pictures of the book covers. I really loved this so much more than the lists I was doing in the future. I ended up reading I’m Judging You, The Glass Hotel, Quichotte, Untamed, Prodigal Son, Full Dark No Stars, Twelfth Night, Anansi Boys, and A Darker Shade of Magic at the time of taking this picture.

Here is a picture f my weekly spread I started using last month and it worked so well. On the left I kept is mostly blank so I can add all the good things that happened that week, the only thing I added was a mini calendar and I highlighted the current week the spread is for. On the right I have six boxes each week day has its own and the weekend shares one. I decided to highlight the day of the week and date with the green I have used throughout this month.


What theme are you using this month?

What do you have planned for June?

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