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Archive for the ‘mmm… she’s a reader’ Category

i haven’t talked about books in awhile, have i? let’s do that.

snuff

snuff – chuck palahniuk. i love me some chuck. he tells these amazing stories about damaged people. this one is about a lady porn star’s attempt to get into the record books by, um, “performing” with 600 men. the narrators are three of the 600 dudes, each with their own reasons for being there. it made me giggle, and it kept me interested. it’s such a strange story, and it’s told really well. also? you’ll get funny looks while reading this in a restraunt. just saying.

crass

the crass menagerie – stephan pastis. i blame moi for this. it’s a pearls before swine collection, and i’m rather hooked. there’s no real cohesive theme or anything. it’s just a comic. but it’s a good comic.

ignorance

ignorance, thy name is bucky – darby conley. again, a collection by one of my all-time favorites. seriously. i’d marry rob wilco. so… yup. total dork.

knocked

knocked out by my nunga-nungas – louise rennison. in general, i don’t think grown-ups should read books targeted to kids. i do make a few exceptions. the confessions of georgia nicolson, of which this book is the third installment, is one such exception. it’s just silly fluff. it’s like reading cotton candy. it helps that the characters are not flat and one-sided, like the young adult-books of my formative years. plus, any set of books that can tear a kid away from the televison or the internet is a good set of books, you know?

beauty

on beauty – zadie smith. this took a long time for me to finish. about a third of the way through, i kinda stopped caring about the characters. which is awful. i like the story, which centers on a scholar who loathes his scolarly subject. it fans out to his family, and their interlocking troubles. but it veered into soap-opera territory, and i just don’t roll that way.

monsters

the monsters of templeton – lauren groff. i went into this thinking i’d hate it. so it was nice to finish the book and feel satisfied that i didn’t just waste a chunk of my life on the story. the center character, willie, returns home to templeton after having an affair with her professor. while she’s home, she searches to find out who her real father is. i know it sounds trite, but it’s very good. the story twists just enough to keep you interested.

beautiful

beautiful children – charles bock. oh, man. this started out with so much promise. the first half of the book is great. the second half tried really hard to keep up, but in my opinion it just fails to deliver. one saturday night, a boy doesn’t return home. do we find out what happened to him? no. do we hear about all the events leading up to that disappearance? yes. are these details well-written? yes. do i recommend it? no.

candy

candy girl – diablo cody. so, i never saw juno. and because of all the hype around it, i hope to never see juno. having said that, i think miz cody is a good writer. she wrote this memoir before juno (i think), and it’s about her time working in strip bars and other adult establishments. it was amusing and interesting. a very good read.

save

this book will save your life – a.m. homes. read this book. it won’t save your life, but it will amuse you greatly. the main character is a stock trader that lives a very insulated life. little by little, he connects with the outside world, with bizarre results. this was the first book i read by this author, and it inspired me to go find more.

things

things you should know – a.m. homes. a collection of short stories that just wasn’t as good as the first book i read. it’s good, don’t get me wrong. a.m. homes’ strength as an author is the dialogue. it’s witty and sharp. to be honest, it takes a special writer to rock the short story. a written speed-sprinter, if you will. while homes is fast, she’s just not winning the race for me. still, a good read.

mothers

in a country of mothers – a.m. homes. clearly, i was on an a.m. homes kick for a while. and with good reason. she’s an amazing writer. and while this is (obviously) not my favorite book of hers, it was well done. a therapist who gave up her child for adoption is now counseling a woman adopted as a child. super-sharp dialogue, and good pacing. it lasted about one-and-a-half plane rides.

alice

the end of alice – a.m. homes. the awkward thing about me is, when i become obsessed with something – like an author – i don’t always take the time to read the synopsis on the back of the book. which is how i came to read a book narrated by a pedophile. it was well-written, and well-thought out. and maybe it’s just as well that i didn’t read the back of the book, you know? if i had, i probably wouldn’t have picked it up.

road

the road – cormac mccarthy. i was once describing the movie resevoir dogs to a friend, and i said, “it’s the kind of movie that slaps you around and makes you its bitch.” the same is true of this book. i finished this in three sitting. so, maybe four hours? such a good book. i’m sure the movie will be the awesome. this is also one of those books that made me want to read everything mccarthy has written. but i got sidetracked by other stuff.

boy

beautiful boy – david sheff. to be fair, i got this book by sheer accident. it was a two-book set, neither of which i intended to buy (yeah. i have no real excuse).  it’s a memoir by a father who’s son is on drugs. largely meth, but many others make a cameo appearance. it was interesting, and a little stressful. you want the son to kick his habit, but the father – an excellent journalist – points to data and studies that show sobriety is not a bright hope. informative and heart-wrenching all at once. the other book in the set is written by the addicted son. so, that should be interesting.

demon

the outlaw demon wails – kim harrison. this is the, what? sixth book in this series? i like the characters, clearly. i like the writing, obviously. and yet… the whole time i was reading this, i was rolling my eyes. thinking, really? this is the road you’re going to take here? could you be a little more obvious? it’s a witch, she hunts bad guys, there’s a demon after her. lather, rinse, repeat. i’m going to read the next book when it comes out, but still.

middlesex

middlesex – jeffrey eugenides. this was recommended to me by a few people. so, when i saw it on the discount table, i decided it was a sign. first, i read eugenides book the virgin suicides, and i didn’t like it. but, i did read a book called ‘a boy named sue’ forever ago, and that was fascinating and amazing. at least, i’m pretty sure it was called ‘a boy named sue’; i can’t find it anywhere. it was about a boy who was raised as a girl due to a circumcision accident (now, that’ll make the guys wince for sure). s/he was a twin, so researchers were all atwitter to study these two to learn some stuff about gender. what they learned was, you’re born a certain way, usually, and your hormones tend to keep you that certain way. all of this related to middlesex, because the narrator is ultimately a hermaphrodite (i shudder to think about the searches that are going to bring people here after this episode, i tell you. porn stars, pedophiles, strippers, and… cartoons. this can’t be good, y’all). he – the narrator – starts with the story of his grandparents, and his parents. now, i’m only about a third of the way through, but it’s awesome so far. go read it.

this isn’t a comprehensive list. i’m sure i’ve forgotten about a few books. and i’ve left out the ones i’ve re-read for fun (i’m looking at you, mr sedaris. and mr dostoevsky). but, you know, it’s the season now to sit in the yard with a frosty beverage and read a book. so… there’s that. pick up some sunscreen next time you’re at the store.

thanks for stopping by.

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judge away

before i dig into myself, has anyone else read anything by tom holt? i finished you don’t have to be evil to work here, but it helps a while back, and i love love LOVED it. i have snow white and the seven samurai sitting on the bookshelf, just waiting for a spare weekend. and aren’t those just the best titles?

right now, i’m reading the stand by stephen king, which i’ve never read before and i’m rather fascinated by. i’m also reading the brothers karamazov, by dostoevsky, which i have read before but am now reading for sheer fun. considering both of these books are heavy enough to kill a cat, it’s amusing to me that i’m reading them for funzies.

ophelia, however, is not amused by my deviation from the classics.

hairball hacking will continue until your reading material improves!

hairball hacking will continue until your reading material improves!

thanks for stopping by.

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so, yeah. i’ve had plenty of time to get some blogging happening, and i’ve started a fair few posts in my head. but, what it comes down to, people? i’ve been a lazy sack of protoplasm, and i’ve been enjoying it. i’m not the type of person that slacks off, in general. i like getting things done, and ticking them off a list. however, i also like napping and staring out the window, it appears. so, i make my half-hearted promise to get my tushie over to the compy a little more often.

and, by the way? naps are awesome.

oh! i’ve been savoring the new david sedaris book, when you are engulfed in flames. i’m a huge fan of his – and, by the way, if you’ve never read holidays on ice, then your life is a sad little shell, i tell you what – and this book does not disappoint. i’ve read reviews where people say, oh, it’s not as good as his other books, blah blah blah. pay no attention to them. it’s good stuff, and i’ve been limiting myself to one or two essays a day, so the book will last longer.

and i’m kind of excited to read assisted loving, largely because i heard the author on NPR, and he was quite engaging. i’m getting it from the library, unless i manage to tear through all the books at my house in the next week or so (which, i’m telling you, simply is not feasible). it just sounds cute and sweet, and something of a labor of love.

hm. i’m still frustrated over the indiana jones movie. look away if you don’t want it spoiled for you. dude, harrison? i’m pretty sure those are the exact same pants from the first three movies. you’re a professor and badass; surely you can pack a second pair of trousers. and… come on, now. aliens? flipping aliens? did someone confuse indiana with han solo? oh, and you’re a grown-ass man, now. button your shirt up a little, hm? not that i’m complaining, because you’ve taken great care of yourself. but, well… the general rule of thumb should be, when you get your AARP card, you have to show less chest.

… and, this has nothing to do with anything, and may possibly give you more information about me than you really need. i was in the gym the other day, and i became aware of how old my bra was, and i made a mental note to go buy a few new boob holders. for reference, i wear a 36C (see? i told you there would be more than you really needed to know about me. but it is relevant, i swear). and when did it become so goddamn hard to get a bra in my, er, ample size that did not have padding? i mean, seriously. and i’m not talking about the molded cups that are great with t-shirts and all. that’s not padding, so much as modesty protection. i’m talking about the bras that make what you’ve got look even bigger. which is retarded when it comes to the bigger sizes. thong bikinis shouldn’t be made in plus sizes, and any bra over a B cup does not need extra padding. i come with my own chest amplification, thanks.

jesus. so annoyed by undergarments.

oh, and i believe i’ve cemented my awkwardness in the minds of my co-workers. see, the other morning, i was supposed to go to this hour-long certification thingy. and about ten minutes before the thingy started, i got a nosebleed. i don’t mean a little trickle, like when you get when you’ve blown your nose too hard. i’m talking a gushing torrent that lasted a little too long for comfort. i’m standing there, talking to this guy i work with, and i think my nose is running. i grab a tissue, and i discover i have a little red river action happening above my lip. i dash over to the employee restroom area, where i fill up three or four tissues while trying to stop the flow. by the way, the best way to stop a nosebleed is not to pinch your nose closed, or lean your head back. you can actually cause yourself to choke on your own blood doing that. what works 99.9% of the time is firm pressure on the bridge of your nose, kind of parallel with your tear ducts, for around a minute. i stood there, pinching the bridge of my nose with a tissue to catch the blood torrent. and while it slowed, it did not stop. my other co-worker, and hopefully a soon-to-be good friend, grabbed a bunch of tissues, told me to ‘be a man about it’, and led me by the elbow to our meeting thingy. where we promptly ran into the not-drunk veteran, and where my nose re-began it’s crazy expulsion. there’s nothing less sexy than trying to make a good impression while blood is coursing down your face. well… okay, there is. but at that moment, i couldn’t think of anything less attractive. also, i had to sit through a meeting – with a bunch of my new superiors who hadn’t met me before then – with a fistful of red tissue clamped to my face.

good impressions. i can make thems. and, ew. and, sorry if you have a sensitive stomach.

and… i’ve finished a mitten! you know, just in time for summer. which… yeah. the other night, the weatherman was talking about the freakin’ snow level. snow. in june. i blame everyone that drives a hummer.

and… i require a coffee refill. because i’m not caffeinated enough.

thanks for stopping by.

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i know i was just all persnickety about the weather being inappropriate for this time of year, but i wasn’t expecting anyone to be, you know, listening. so, we’ve had the sun cranked on high for the last two or so days, and that coupled with a new and exciting way for my body to make a fool outta me (fabulously huge headaches AND the most offenive gas ever, thanks) (sorry if y’all didn’t need to know that, but there it is) have left me feeling like not opening the compy.

if you were at all curious.

so, i’ve been doing random and silly things. as per usual. and… did i mention i went a little insane and decided to grow some stuff? i have plants, and i haven’t killed them. yay! i’ll hold off on talking foliage until i have a few pictures to share. i’m not really a plant person. but, i’ve managed to not kill a few bamboo plants, so i decided to try roses and trees.

oh, and i saw speed racer friday. that will totally give you epilepsy, but it might be worth it. and, naturally, i’ll be seeing indiana jones at some point. mmmm, harrison.

anyway.

i’ve been reading at a rapid rate lately. i have my theories as to why this is, but really… i like to read. and i like even more to recommend the good ones:

how to be lost – there’s no real way to describe the plot without giving something away. but i rather love the author, amanda eyre ward. i’m not sure how i feel about her middle name.

i was told there’d be cake – the reviews i read of this essay collection suggest that the author is a female version of david sedaris. she’s not. i enjoyed the book immensely, found it funny, but i don’t think she’s any sedaris. anyway, it’s good. it’ll make you snicker.

the ghost map – i’m not sure why i bought this, and i’m less sure of why i read it. it’s a book about a cholera outbreak in england in the way-back times. so, it’s about old sewage and water problems. but, reading it on mass transit almost guarantees you a seat to yourself.

dishwasher – pete aspires to wash dishes in all 50 states. i’m smitten with such a hard-working slacker. and the book, the chronicle of his dish adventures, is amusing and interesting. and he’s kinda in love with portland.

red meat gold – i love comic-type books. i also have a sick sense of humor. so, max cannon’s books are right up my alley. he’s so… not right.

every which way but dead – moi got me hooked on kim harrison, and i really enjoy this series. the main character is a witch, her god friend and co-worker is a vampire, and they also have a pixy roommate. but it’s not at all silly. i’m currently reading the next one, fistful of charms, and it doesn’t disappoint.

i think that’s all i got for now. the sun’s still out, this place has the air conditioning pumping (i’m really cold, and that’s just not right), and i have plants to tend to.

thanks for stopping by. don’t breathe through your nose.

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so, while i haven’t been doing a whole hell of lot besides sleeping and working (with some hygiene time thrown in for fun), i have been reading. and i have a few books to share with y’all. of course, there’s still a stack o’ books at home, and slowly but surely i’m working my way through them.

Best American Nonrequired Reading #2007: The Best American Nonrequired Reading Cover

nonrequired reading, 2007– i am a ginormous fan of dave eggers. i’ve loved pretty much everything he’s put his hands on (his novels and short stories, his involvement in mcsweeney’s, and now this). if nothing else gets you in this collection, the graduation speech conan o’brein gave to a high school in new york will. and if that doesn’t butter your bagel… well, you may be dead inside. a little.

A Novel of Fame, Honor, and Really Bad Weather Cover

winner of the national book award– yes, that’s really the title. the narrator is a librarian named dorcas (i love that name), and the story revolves around a book written about/ by her twin sister, abigail. while i laughed and giggled my way through the first two-thirds of the book, the last third was a bit uncomfortable and awkward for me. i still insist that people read it. because it’s still well-written. and i still want to hang out with dorcas. and the author has a collection of short stories out that i’m all atwitter to read.

Stories Cover

a thousand years of good prayers – a collection of short stories that really did win an award. i think. anyway, the stories are long short stories. you know what i mean? i tend to think of a short story as being shorter than 15 pages. anyway. these read a little bit like fables, or maybe fairy tales. but it’s another good book.

Venus Drive Cover

venus drive– to be honest, i bought this because i read somewhere that our chuck thinks this author, sam lipstyle, is funny. and he writes hysterical dialogue. but… well. this is another collection, and all the stories seem to be the same story. maybe it’s just me. so, not sure that i recommend this one.

And Other Stories Cover

i am legend/ hell house – so, i may have mentioned that i went back and read the story the movie i am legendis/ was based on? and the two things have next to nothing in common? i mean, i rather like the author richard matheson. he’s written some good stuff. ever seen the movie somewhere in time? that’s a matheson story. my point is, both the book and the movie were okay. just not in the same ways. the book i have has these two longer stories (i am legend and hell house)that bookend a collection of shorter stories. i’m seeing a theme of short stories in my reading of late. i just don’t have enough time all at once to give a longer work my full attention. if you’re looking for offbeat, horror-esque stories, try this collection. otherwise, walk away from it.

The Golden Compass Cover

the golden compass– this was an audiobook i got at the library, and i have the next one coming. it’s weird to listen to an audiobook that’s directed like a radio play, in that there is more than one voice. i’m sure this is directed at children, and the different actors are there to help keep the characters straight, and to keep a child’s interest. whatever. it was good, i liked it, and i didn’t know it was part of a series. sneaky bugger. and i rather like the idea of armored bears. i don’t know why.

Sleep Toward Heaven Cover

sleep toward heaven– i’m reading this now. there are three narratives, and they intertwine at ood junctions. i’m just at the point where i can see how these people interconnect, and it’s getting interesting. i’ll try to keep you posted.

it seems like i’ve read more than that in the last two months, but i can’t think of the other titles. which means i maybe didn’t love them.

and that’s all i have the energy for. thanks for stopping by.

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author! author!

i was just thinking about sock zombies. do they eat, like, actual brains? or would they prefer handmade socks to munch on? i do actually own a sock zombie. i believe his name is horace. sadly, i don’t have a picture of him available.

but i do have some two-bit reviews of books i’ve read this year. mind you, it’s not an all-encompassing list. i know i’ve read more than this. but i’ll be dammed if i can remember the titles. huh. maybe the sock zombie did eat my brain…

anyway. and in no particular order. and not including textbooks, because i don’t think y’all need to check some of those out.

life and times of the thunderbolt kid – one of my favorite things about bill bryson is that he’s often able to tell a bawdy or obscene story with very little profanity. he’s just an amazing storyteller. this particular book is about bryson’s childhood, and his alter ego, the thunderbolt kid. i giggled quite a lot.

a round-heeled woman – i liked this book; it’s so unusual. a woman in her 60’s places a personals-type ad in the new york review of books, and write a book about her subsequent adventures. the titles is an old-school phrase that means something like ‘an easy woman’. while the author is up-front about what she wants, i don’t think she’s easy.

unaccompanied women – this is the follow-up to ’round heeled woman’. to be brutally honest, it really didn’t need to be written. i mean, i read it and didn’t feel like i wasted time on it, to be sure. but whatever i was looking for with this second book, i didn’t find it. would i recommend it? yes. would a guy like it? hm. probably not.

haunted – oh chuck, how i do love thee. i love how the cover of haunted glows in the dark. i love how the book is meant to have the ‘voice’ of several different authors. i love the sheer weirdness of the plotlines. i love that little bit about how saint gut-free got his name. and also, i love the story i heard about the reading somewhere in england where, with the aid of air fresheners that smelled of bacon, an entire audience was nauseated. i am a little weirded out by it, sure. but i love love love it all.

a long way gone – it doesn’t matter what kind of life you’ve had, or how rough your childhood was. in a game of ‘who had it worse’, ishmael here would win. having been a boy soldier and all. i don’t think it should be read all in one sitting. but i think everyone should read this memoir.

the five people that died during sex – i love lists. i also love random pieces of information. it makes me a good person to have on your team during trivia games. unless, of course, they involve television shows. then i’m worthless. but anyway! wanna know who died on the toilet? sure you do. need to know which political figures may have had three testicles? if you want to be an informed voter, you ought to. it’s just a factoid kind of book. i plan to be buried with my copy.

dead witch walking – the author was recommended to me by moi. and she writes a good story. i’m not sure i would have picked this up on my own. of course, for her i recommended anything by poppy z brite. and she read lost souls while eating. and it kind of made her ill. whoops. anyway, a story told in the time when witches, vampires and the like are in the majority.

the vampire lestat – okay. technically, i didn’t read this, i rented it as an audiobook. and since i had to give it back before i was done, i’m not sure how it ends. and further, i really loathe anne rice. having said all that, i plan to re-rent the audio book, because i rather like it and i’m curious what happens next. which is the whole point of a good book, yes?

don’t know much about history – i can’t say i like any of the other books in this series, but i think that’s mostly because i rented a few as audiobooks (hey, it gets quite around here at three in the damn morning), and the readers were so monotonous, i nearly fell asleep. this one, however, was interesting. i kind of never got into history as a kid, and i’ve carried this weird history-phobia with me for awhile. but i’m trying to atone. hence the history book.

drunk, divorced and covered in cat hair – oh, laurie, how we love you. i can’t say i loved this book, because it makes me feel bad. i mean, she gets divorced in the first chapter: how can i love that? laurie is a great writer, and she tells her story with the greatest air of humor. in that first chapter, she talks about how her skirt has done something bad, and she is forced to repair the damage with a stapler. in the bathroom. i couldn’t even begin to do it justice. and yes, i love and recommend the book. but i still feel bad doing it.

new pathways for sock knitters – yes, this counts as a book i’ve read. sure, it’s a book about sock knitting. and yeah, there are patterns. but dudes… it’s a great reference book on how to build a better sock. and some of those pictures make me wanna knit nothing but socks. there are chapters on socks from the toe-up, and socks from the top-down. and while i’m strictly a toe-up girl, i’m going to have to try a few of those top-down beauties. pictures, of course, to follow.

man, i know i’ve read more than this. but that’s all my wittle brain can think of at the moment. that, and soup.

mmmm, soup. thanks for stopping by.

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bone to pick

i’m so agitated. and i can blame it all on john sellers. because i probably woulda never wrote this post if it wasn’t for his book.

e25445d93ce5463cc6eddd718d506b97.jpgperfect from now on – so, i’m about 2/3 of the way through this, and i love it. mr sellers is a geeky fanboy of music, and i mean that in the most flattering way possible. be forewarned – homes has a woody for joy division and guided by voices. great bands, don’t get me wrong. but be prepared to be thwacked over the head with it a few times. although, i’m glad he pointed out that new order is just joy division sans ian curtis. seriously, i wouldn’t have noticed. sometimes i don’t pay attention to lineups. there, i said it. shoot me.

i totally love the footnotes, which are huge. leviathan-esque, if i may be so bold. and they’re really funny. the open letter to that guy from my bloody valentine is priceless.

i’m not the kind of person that normally reads the back of the book. you know, on hardcovers? where all these random yahoos praise the book? like you’re really supposed to care what they think? but the other morning, i had put the book on my bedside table facedown. so, i was sitting there, talking on the phone, and casually glancing at the back. long-ish quote from someone that knows the author (kinda funny, nice donkey kong analogy). and then, two little lines from that rancid cock, chuck klosterman.

jesus, i hate chuck.

1b5b2bb0e83d362e9eb0c987186a81df.jpgi’m totally justified, i think. he’s written a few books. my favorite is sex, drugs and cocoa puffs, a series of essay he wrote in the wee hours when he couldn’t sleep. but the book that made me hate him is killing yourself to live. theoretically, a good book. in actuality, a piece of crap. so, he rents a car and drives cross-country, ostensibly to tour sites where rock stars have died. and gravesites of rock stars. kind of like assasination vacation, by sarah vowell, but with musicians instead of historical figures. i loved assasination vacation. i love love love sarah vowell, and i’m ashamed that i’ve never reviewed one of her books here. read all her books.

back to chuck. so, this road trip. i seem to recall exactly one death site. maybe two. yeah, two, because he goes to kurt cobain’s house. the rest of the book is him talking about himself. if this were a memoir, it would be okay. but it’s not. it just pissed me off that the book is only partially about music. i mean, it’s music kinda. it’s more about these women scattered across the country whom he’s either had relations or would like to have relations. which is fine. but that’s not what i signed up for, you know?

the reason i bring all this up is because killing yourself has some similarities to john sellers’ book. both are about music. both talk about music through the eyes and ears of the author. one proclaims to be a book about music as he perceives it, the other a book about musicians and their deaths, and the line of reasoning associated with those things. one delivers, one does not. we love john. chuck should just stick to…uh… whatever it is he does.

d653bbab5821e14ce237a165190d5d14.jpgand sarah. oh, man. sarah vowell rocks. all her books, as i said, are awesome. my favorite is assasination vacation, because i didn’t technically read it. i rented it as an audiobook, and i was totally thrilled that she read it herself. she did the voice of violet on ‘the incredibles’, and she had a few guest voices as various political figures. anyway, she tours death sites and gravesites of political and historical figures, and while we hear a bit about her life, we hear more about what she’s doing. do you hear me, chuck? she does what she says she’s gonna do!

argh. i may be bitter. it may be too cold in here. i mean, there’s a snow advisory and all (here? in november? wow, that’s early), and we still have the a/c coming on.

my point is – john and sarah, good. chuck, bad.

thanks for stopping by.

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