Category Archives: Lists

August 27: Top Ten Most Memorable Secondary Characters

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Hello!  Top Ten Tuesdays is a Meme hosted over here by The Broke and The Bookish. Because lists are great!

This week: Top Ten Most Memorable Secondary Characters.

Harry_Potter_and_the_Philosopher's_Stone One for the Money The Princess Bride Artemis Fowl Wild Magic

The Hunger Games Lord of the Rings anne of green gables cover MatildaPride and Prejudice

1. Neville Longbottom – or Luna Lovegood – or Hagrid – or Fred and George Weasley… okay, there are a lot to choose from, but I’ll keep it to those three as my favourites.  (I consider Ron and Hermione MAIN characters just FYI, though Harry obviously is the protagonist). Obviously from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.

2. Grandma Mazer (By The Numbers series by Janet Evanovich) – Stephanie Plum’s grandma is a firey old lady.

3. Indigo Montoya – The Princess Bride by William Goldman.  I love him. (“You killed my father. Prepare to die”).

4. Foley – Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer.  Foley is an awesome, snarky, super smart Centaur. (I also highly appreciate Butler and Julius Root).

5. Cloud – Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce. the darkings are actually awesome too (they show up in book #4: The Realms of the Gods)

6. Cinna the Stylist dude in The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Cinna was brave, and fabulous!

7. Eowyn – She kicks some witch-King butt in Lord of the Rings! (J.R.R. Tolkein)

8. Matthew and Marilla – in Anne of Green Gables (and Davey- who shows up in later books).  Brother and sister, Matthew and Marilla couldn’t be more different in personalities, but I love them both.

9. Mr. Collins – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. He’s not my favourite character, but he’s certainly memorable!!

10. Ms. Trunchbull – Matilda by Roald Dahl.  Oh Ms. Trunchbull – such a mean and nasty person could certainly never be forgotten.


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Top Ten Tuesday – August 20: Top Ten Things That Make Your Life As A Reader/Book Blogger Easier (maybe it’s Goodreads or your library or different resourcers etc. etc.)

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Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish over HERE.  Because they like lists.  I do too!  This week, it’s the Top Ten Things That Make Your Life As A Reader/Book Blogger Easier (maybe it’s Goodreads or your library or different resourcers etc. etc.).  I’m going to get to the top FIVE.

1. Goodreads.  I definitely check most if not all of the books I read for what Goodreads users rate them as, before trying them out myself. 

2. My Public Library.  I definitely get MOST of my books from the library – mostly downloads / e-books and some paper books. (There’s not a super convenient branch, so when I want a paper book I tend to buy it, borrow from a friend, or wait to put a bunch on hold at once). 

3. Other Bloggers / Commenters – it’s nice to get comments / feedback and also see what other people are reading and whether or not I want to pick those books up too!

4. Time to Read. I have a shorter commute (only half an hour!) and I’ve taken a break with some of my after-work activities during the summer, which gives me more time to read.  Unfortunately, I drive to and from work and there is NO time in my busy day to read on a break, but I do occasionally snatch an afternoon or lazy sunday where I get to read all day.

5. My husbandHe’s instrumental in helping me find time for reading or blogging – and catering to my book addiction.  I also sometime bounce things off of him, and have used him as a test subject for books I think I’ll find difficult.

What helps you?

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Top Ten Tuesday: August 13 – Top Ten Favourite books with [an alternate history] Setting

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Top Ten Tuesdays is a meme hosted over at The Broke and The Bookish (see here) because lists are fun! This week is the Top Ten Favorite Books With X Setting (ie: futuristic world, set mostly in schools, during World War II, books set in California  etc. etc. So many possibilities!)

What setting to choose?  There are so many fun ones!!  I have decided to go with Alternate History.  Books that take history and reinterpret it or add a fun twist (like magic):

1. The Leviathan  trilogy (The Leviathan / The Behemoth / The Goliath) by Scott Westerfeld –  A steampunk twist on WWI pitting ‘monster’ (well, genetically engineered animals) against machines. Airships! A love story!  It’s great!

The Leviathan Trilogy

2. Soulless  by Gail Carriger.  And the rest of the Parosol Protectorate series! Also Steampunky! With werewolves and vampires!  (I did a review here).  I would also add Etiquette and Espionage to this entry, as it’s by the same author (see here).

 Etiquette and Espionage

3. His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik.  (And Series).  Re-imagining the Napoleonic wars, but with DRAGONS!

His Majesty's Dragon

4. The Gates of Sleep by Mercedes Lackey.  Actually, all of the Elemental Masters series fits here, but this one was perhaps my favourite.  The series touches from early 1900s to sort of WWI-era, with excellent fantasy elements inserted.  Bonus – they are ALSO mostly fairy-tale adaptations!

The Gates of Sleep

5. Sphinx’s Princess / Sphinx’s Queen (see reviews here).  Nefertiti / Ancient Egypt.

Sphinx's princess Sphinx's Queen

6. A Spy in the House (and the rest of The Agency series) by Y.S. Lee.  Takes Victorian-era England and features strong female characters embroiled in espionage!

A Spy in the House

7. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies  by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith.  I do love this adaptation! (and honourable mention to Sense and Sensibility and Seamonsters by Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters – which is somewhat clever but not quite as good.)

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

8.  The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde – This one sort of fits… and I include it because of the alternate “history” of the book Jane Eyre (which is central to the plot).

The Eyre Affair

9. 1984 by George Orwell.  Included because it’s such a literary classic.


10 – In which there is no specific event but there is a hidden or parallel world:

a) Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling.  I couldn’t pass this up – a whole alternative magical world of Wizards, hidden to muggles / regular folk?  Awesome.


b) A Spell for Chameleon – and all the Xanth novels – by Piers Anthony.  A whole different land parallel to Florida?  With PUNS!

A Spell for Chameleon

On the topic, I hear that these are also good (but I haven’t read them myself):

Abraham Lincoln, Vampire hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay



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Top Ten Tuesdays – August 6: Top Ten Books I Wish Could Have Had Sequels

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Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish over here.  Because we all love lists, right?

This week it is the Top Ten Books I Wish Could Have Had Sequels:

1. Entwined by Heather Dixon (see review here).


2. Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination by Helen Fielding. Olivia is such an engaging, interesting character… I feel like there could be so many great sequels to this book.

Olivia Joules

3. The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell.  I’d love to see more by Merrie along these lines. A sequel or another retelling!

The princess Curse

5. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.  (Review coming soon!)

The Scorpio Races

5. Plugged by Eoin Colfer (Reviewed here). I think you could still have fun with Daniel!


Okay, this is where I am stumped.  This topic is problematic for me because most of my favourite books DO have sequels / are part of a series.  So, I’m going to have to interpret this theme to also apply to books that are the last in a series.

6. Mastiff by Tamora Pierce.  I love love love Beka Cooper and although this has a great ending, I would still love to read more about her.


7. Talking to Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede.  I didn’t get my fill of Daystar and Shiara!

Talking to Dragons

8. The Blue Sword / The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley. I think The Blue Sword  was written first and The Hero and the Crown came after, but since the latter is actually a sort of prequel, I’m not sure which to put on this list. I would love to read more about Harry (Blue Sword) or Aerin (Hero). (Or perhaps about the other people that Aerin helps?)

The Blue Sword or the hero and the crown

9. The Will of the Empress by Tamora Pierce.  Another by Tamora Pierce (who is hands down my favourite author btw) – I love the Circle characters.  More please More!!

The will of the empress

10. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling.  This seems obvious – but I am definitely a huge HP fan and would LOVE to read more about either Harry, his kids, or the wizarding world.

What’s on your list?

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Top Ten Tuesday – July 30: Top Ten Favourite Beginnings/Endings In Books

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish over here.  This week: Top Ten Favourite Beginnings/Endings In Books (talk about books that started or ended just perfectly or with a bang OR you could do specific opening lines or last lines — however you want to do it!)

Favourite Beginnings:

1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of good fortune, must be in want of a wife.

2. Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

dealing with dragons

Linderwall was a large kingdom, just east of the Mountains of Morning, where philosophers were highly respected and the number five was fashionable. The climate was unremarkable. The knights kept their armor brightly polished mainly for show – it had been centuries since a dragon had come east. There were the usual periodic problems with royal children and un-invited fairy godmothers, but they were always the sort of thing that could be cleared up by finding the proper prince or princess to marry the unfortunate child a few years later. All in all, Linderwall was a very prosperous and pleasant place.

Cimorene hated it.

3. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy

The Scarlet Pimpernel

A surging, seething, murmuring crowd, of beings that are human only in name, for to the eye and ear they seem naught but savage creatures, animated by vile passions and by the lust of vengeance and of hate. The hour, some little time before sunset, and the place, the West Barricade, at the very spot where, a decade later, a proud tyrant raised an undying monument to the nation’s glory and his own vanity.

4. Feeling Sorry for Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty

Feeling Sorry for Celia

Dear Ms. Clarry,

It has come to our attention that you are incredibly bad at being a teenager.

5. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein

The Hobbit

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.

6. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling


Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.

7. The Princess Bride by William Goldman

The Princess Bride

This is my favourite book in all the world, although I have never read it.

8. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus

The circus arrives without warning.

Favourite Endings:

9. The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch

The Paper Bag Princess

“Ronald,” said Elizabeth, “your clothes are really pretty and your hair is very neat.  You look like a real prince, but you are a bum.”

They didn’t get married after all.

I love all happy endings, so to finish of the list I thought I would choose a representative quote:

10. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine.

Ella Enchanted

And so, with laughter and love, we lived happily ever after.


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Top Ten Tuesday: July 16: Top Ten Authors Who Deserve More Recognition

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I’m back on the bandwagon!  At least for this week!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish.

This week is the Top Ten Authors Who Deserve More Recognition.

Here we go!  I’ve decided to interpret this by listing not necessarily authors who aren’t well known in some circles but those who I feel like could be better known because they are in fact great. I wish that they were more well-known generally and appreciated by all, not just in their niche genre.  In no particular order (and with links to their websites because I couldn’t be bothered with pictures today):

MastiffThe iron butterflyFeeling Sorry for CeliaGraceling

Ella EnchantedCinderPluggedThe Blue SwordDragon Slippers

  1. Tamora Pierce – YA Fantasy with STRONG female Characters!  I love everything she does!  She just keeps getting better and better, from Alanna to Mastiff.
  2. Chanda Hahn – Author of The Iron Butterfly.  Loved that series!  Can’t wait to read more by her!
  3. Gail Carriger – Soulless, Etiquette and Espionage – need I say more?  Steampunk YA goodness!
  4. Jaclyn Moriarty – Feeling Sorry for Celia, etc., this YA Australian author rocks!
  5. Kristin Cashore – Graceling is definitely one of my new favourites! 
  6. Gail Carson Levine – Adaptations of fairy tales are the best, and Ella Enchanted is one of my favourite!
  7. Marissa Meyer – Cinder and Scarlet are fantastic YA fairy tale twists – with Cyborg and space flavours!
  8. Eoin Colfer – Artemis Fowl is brilliant, and I have thus far really enjoyed all of his other stand-alones, including Airman and Plugged.
  9. Robin McKinley – The Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown remain some of my favourites 🙂
  10. Jessica Day George – I loved the Dragon Slippers books, in particular! Fun (more tween-targeted) author!

Hmm… this looks mightily like a list of some of my favourite authors.  With a few missing, I guess!


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June 4: Top Ten Books Featuring Travel In Some Way (road trips, airplanes, travelogues, anything where there is traveling in the book!)

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

June 4: Top Ten Books Featuring Travel In Some Way (road trips, airplanes, travelogues, anything where there is traveling in the book!)

Hmmm…. I feel Like I might be getting some repeats of books I’ve mentioned in other Top Ten Tuesday Posts, because the first thing that comes to mind is:

1. Bloomability by Sharon Creech.  This book made me want to travel – specifically to Switzerland.  I did end up going there years later, and found it impressive but the mountains were less captivating to me personally than my beloved Rockies here in Canada. Go figure.



2. The Bean Trees  by Barbara Kingsolver.  I really disliked The Poisonwood Bible, but LOVED The Bean Trees, so I’ve never picked up another book by Barbara given that I hated 50% of what I’ve tried.

The Bean Trees

3. Every Boy’s Got One by Meg Cabot.  This one is written via a series of emails, notes, etc., and thus not in a typical continuous narrative.  An enjoyable fluffy romance!

Every Boy's Got One


4. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.  As much as LOTR is great, I’ve always loved the Hobbit better.  I guess, given that it’s more of a children’s adventure tale, that is unsurprising given my other reading preferences!

The Hobbit


5. The Chase (Isaac Bell #1) by Clive Cussler.  I do love a good action book now and again, and I really enjoyed the historical fiction aspect to this one.  Fast-paced and exciting, with a fresh new character (as opposed to some of his other series which are getting old).

The Chase

6. Heidi by Johanna Spyri.  This is one of my childhood favourites!


7. Journey to the Centre Of the Earth by Jules Verne.   A classic.  You could probably say any of his books would fit the travel theme well!

Journey to the centre of the Earth


8. Blood Red Road by Moria Young.  (See my post on it here.  As much as I was disappointed in the sequel, I did still like the first).

Blood Red Road


9. Life of Pi by Yann Martel.  Its been a while since I read this, but I really enjoyed it.

Life of Pi

10. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld.  Steampunky, on the fringes of WWI, with a giant floating whale/airship? It’s great!



I realized making this list, that a great many of the books I read have travel in them, but not necessarily via modern conveniences like cars or planes.  Travel on foot, by horseback, or by other unconventional means (giant floating whale?) still counts! Most of the books that come to mind have Travel as a necessary component of  Adventure … I guess that’s telling that I like fantasy/adventure/action type books!



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Top Ten Books Dealing With Tough Subjects

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Another Tuesday!  Top Ten Tuesdays is a meme courtesy of The Broke and The Bookish.  This week’s theme is the Top Ten Books Dealing with Tough Subjects (abuse, suicide, grief, etc or something personally hard for you).  It’s a theme that is personally hard for ME because I tend to avoid tough subjects entirely when reading books.  But, I though I would give it a shot anyway.

In no particular order …

1. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.  I found this book TERRIBLE to read (abuse, guilt)- I don’t know how I got through it.  The subject matter was very difficult for me, although I acknowledge that it is an excellently written novel.

the Kite runner

2. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebol.  Though tough (child abuse, murder) this is an excellent book.  It was written in such a matter of fact way that I could stomach it and appreciate the novel for itself.

The Lovely Bones

3. Still Alice by Lisa Genova.  This deals with early onset Alzheimer’s disease.   My Nana passed away from Alzheimer’s so it was a little tough for me personally to read this, but it is an EXCELLENT book.  (I would also recommend Left Neglected by Lisa Genova which deals with a lady with Left Hemisphere Neglect, a fascinating brain injury).

Still Alice

4. Lord of the Flies by William Golding.  A classic, but a tough read (for me at least).

Lord of the Flies

5. Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.  The French Revolution, love and sacrifice.  Maybe it doesn’t quite qualify, but it’s not a happy book.  It is my favourite of (what I’ve read of) Dickens’.

A Tale of Two Cities

6. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.  Although I didn’t personally enjoy this novel, it is a classic.

The Handmaid's tale

7. Fire by Kristin Cashore.  I loved this book, though it does deal with abuse and complicated parent-child relationships.  Bitterblue, the next book in this series, also touches on some tough subjects (abuse, rape) and is also excellent. 


8. A Million Little Pieces by James Frey.  I enjoyed this tale of a recovering drug addict.

A Million Little Pieces

9. Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella.  I couldn’t even finish this book it bothered me so much.  Reading about Becky’s wanton spending made me nauseous.  Hated it.

Confessions of a Shopaholic

10. Deerskin by Robin McKinley.  This is one of my favourite books, but it does have a dark middle (abuse, rape).  I value the main character’s recovery from adversity.


I have been told that My Sister’s Keeper (Jodi Picoult), The Glass Castle (Jeannette Walls) and Room (Emma Donahue) are excellent.  I have borrowed Room and intend on trying it out, but am not sure if I’ll work up the courage to submit myself to the anticipated emotional upheaval of the other two.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books When You Need Something Light & Fun

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Tuesday again!  How time flies!  This week it is the Top Ten Books When You Need Something Light & Fun.  Top Ten Tuesday’s are a meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

I feel like I have many fun, light reads, but here are some that I return to:

1.  Ella Enchanted  by Gail Carson Levine.  If you haven’t read this one yet, pick it up!!!  (My favourite adaptation of Cinderella!)

Ella Enchanted

2. Anything by Janet Evanovich, particularly her romance stories.  I enjoyed Smitten but she’s got a million.  All very light, fluffy, quick reads.  They do tend to follow a formula (thirty-something quirky female lead, hot guy, some sort of barrier to them getting together, crazy antics, and usually a firey little old lady / comic relief character).


3. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones.

Howl's Moving Castle

4. Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George (see review here) 

Tuesdays at the Castle

5. Matilda by Roald Dahl (or really any of his classics – The BFG, The Witches, James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, or maybe The Twits).  Matilda was my childhood favourite.


6. A Spell for Chameleon by Piers Anthony.  I feel like the Xanth books, particularly the first ten or so, are all pretty fun and light and full of puns.

A Spell for Chameleon

7. Bloomability by Sharon Creech.  This was a go-to light / fun read for me for a while.


8. Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse #1) by Charlaine Harris.  I’m not normally into Vampires, and I haven’t seen the True Blood TV series (which is, as I understand, derived from and not always true to the Sookie Stackhouse books).  I did, however, really enjoy this series – I think I read the first box set and then sort of fell off the bandwagon as I didn’t have them readily available after that. Sookie is a tough, funny heroine!  (Not Young Adult). 

Dead Until Dark

9. The Borrowers by Mary Norton.  Still love this one – such a fun idea!

The Borrowers

10. Nerd in Shining Armor by Vicki Lewis Thompson.  This is a romance novel – silly but fun.  (Not Young Adult – there are some R-rates scenes).

Nerd in Shining Armor

Any recommendations for fun/light books?  Feel free to comment!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Words/Topics That Instantly Make Me Buy/Pick Up A Book

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Welcome again to another installment of Top Ten Tuesdays, meme courtesy of the lovely Ladies over at The Broke and The Bookish.  This week’s theme is the Top Ten Words/Topics That Instantly Make Me Buy/Pick Up A Book (thanks to Karin at My Life In Books for this topic & graciously letting us use it).

1. Books that are Fairy Tale Adaptations – I am a sucker for fairy tales.  I love adaptations of familiar stories – how will they dress it up this time?  What will be tweaked to make it fit?  What will be kept?  Love them.  My favourites are Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, Donkey Skin, Snow White, and anything that sounds like it has fairy godmothers or classic storylines.

2. I also like to read historical fiction – I probably most appreciate old-timey England (from probably the 1700s to Victorian-era, times circa WWI, and the French Revolution days.  But I often am intrigued by a book that promises new insights into times gone by.  This does come with a caveat, because I do NOT like all historical fiction and so it really depends on the book.

3. Strong Female Characters are obviously a big draw – and a theme I like to return to.

4. Magic is also a theme that pulls me in on a consistent basis.  I like witchcraft, ambient magic, fairy godmothers and that sort of thing.  Special powers.

5. Dragons do too.

6. I am newly into dystopian fiction – it’s not a sure bet, but it’s definitely enough to make me seriously consider picking it up.

7. The promise of a love story – though I generally don’t love pure romance books, if it sounds like it will be witty, interesting, and turn out happy in the end, I am apt to pick it up.

8. Steampunk, like dystopian fiction, is also a buzzword that I’ve caught onto these days.

9. I am also a fan of a little adventure now and again – I like the fast-paced, pure action book (read: Clive Cussler, Dan Brown style books) and although I don’t always dive in, I’m certain to at least pick it up and consider it.  (These I do tend to stick to tried-and-true authors, and have a harder time branching out into the unknown as you never really are guaranteed of a good ending). 

10. A spark of a mystery to be solved, with a witty female lead who will sort through the muddle and make sure the bad guys get their comeuppance.   I like the lighter mysteries, where they don’t border on thriller territory and they don’t dwell on terrible deeds and gory scenes.  The quirky, unexpected or somewhat un-offical investigator is the best kind.

Bonus – Words/themes that turn me OFF of a book include:  vampires/werewolves, themes of dying/tragedy/sadness, and books that hint of a passive or insipid or pathetic main female character.  I’m also not big on non-fiction.

What kinds of key words or themes do you look for in a book?

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