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Book a Week 2017 - BW35: Random Prime Number Reading challenge


Robin M
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Happy Sunday and welcome to week 35 in our 2017 adventurous prime reading year. Greetings to all our readers and those following our progress. Mister Linky is available weekly on 52 Books in 52 Weeks  to share a link to your book reviews.

 

It's time for a Random Prime Number Reading challenge.  We are more than halfway through the year and even though this isn't a prime number week, it is the 5th week of the month.  Pick a random prime number, either out of a hat, have a family member choose a number, or use the Random prime number generator.  Find a book with the random number in the title on your shelves, through the library, or support your local indie bookstore and read it.   The number in the title may be in numbers or letters.

 

Using the generator, my pick is 19 which resulted in some interesting finds.

 

21106402_1673087132701998_90289044733122

 

 

 

21077787_1673087126035332_96823814266684

 

21149885_1673087129368665_40751976817160

 

 

21105835_1673087162701995_15249713495746

 

21192342_1673087176035327_90247128869144

 

 

 

 

I've added Department 19 to my stacks and enjoying it so far.

 

 

 

*****************************************************************

 

War and Peace:  Read Volume Three  â€“ Part Two

 

Chat about what stood out for you, thoughts on storyline, setting, characters and motives as well as favorite quotes prior to this week’s reading.

 

 

**************************** 

 

What are you reading this week?

 

 

Link to Week 34

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This week read Illona Andrew's Hidden Legacy trilogy - Burn for me, White Hot, and Wild Fire.   Currently on Department 19, a young adult thriller.   Still working on 12th Grade plans and have added books to our shelves that I think both James and I will enjoy:  A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park, Night by Elie Wiesel, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba, and The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leysen.

Edited by Robin M
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Happy Sunday all!

 

I was very pleased to get my hands on a copy of The Home-Maker by Dorothy Canfield-Fasher, an author who is beloved for her children's novel, Understood Betsy. The Home-maker is now published by Persephone Books in a lovely edition. Even the company's website is lovely!

 

http://www.persephonebooks.co.uk/

 

Vladislavic's The Exploded View could be a quick read but I took a break at the halfway mark for mind candy, a mystery. The stories in The Exploded View have South African Reconciliation in the background. It is not a hard read but a thought provoking one.

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Hmm, I can't find any books with 139 in the title, but I checked my to-read list for Big Bingo for prime numbers in the title and I have the following possibilities: Three Parts Dead, Tram 83, The Thirteenth Tale, One Second After.  So, a few options.

 

 This week I finished listening to The Meyers Way.  She has some good suggestions, and I'm toying with the idea of the drastic elimination diet she suggests for Shannon. But it might be too stressful, given how hard it is for her to eat anyway, to restrict her diet more than is necessary. But boy I would love some quick results! I fear this book overpromises a bit, however.  I also finished reading Bloodchild and other stories by Octavia Butler.

 

Currently I'm mostly reading about Lyme disease, but when I want to turn off my analytical brain I'm dipping into Dinosaur Teeth by Michael Crichton and Lilith's Brood by Octavia Butler. Morgan and I started reading Tom Sawyer aloud, which is always fun.

 

I feel like I'm starting to get a handle on the voluminous and often confusing literature on the relevant chronic illnesses, and to hone in on who I want to help me. So hopefully at some point soon I'll stop reading about that so obsessively and get back to reading that I want to be doing. But you do what you gotta.

 

 

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Finished another book this week. That's two weeks in a row! Finally finished Rogue River Journal by John Daniel which is one of my senior dd's summer reading books. I'll also use it for the local author bingo square. It's nice to read a local author who is also using a (fairly) local setting. In this literary non-fiction book, Daniel spends a winter alone in a cabin on the Rogue River in the coast range in southern Oregon. He intersperses chapters about his experiences there and the surrounding natural world with chapters on his father, a union organizer in the 30's-60's, and some autobiographical material. Interesting, but a fairly slow read for me. I am still reading this dd's second summer reading book, Refuge by Terry Tempest Williams. There are some similarities in structure and style to Rogue River Journal. Williams intersperses chapters on a bird refuge by a flooding Great Salt Lake in the 1980's with chapters on her mother's battle with ovarian cancer and some autobiographical material.

 

Read 40 pages in W&P last night to stay caught up. Not too hard to do once you're out of the war section. And I'm officially past the half-way point which kind of depresses me because there's still so much left. When I finish with all of dds' summer reading I may try to accelerate through W&P a bit faster. But I'm also wanting some fluffier reading after all that summer reading too.

 

Here's a quote I read aloud to my family, asking if it reminded them of any world leader: "It was evident that he had long been convinced that it was impossible for him to make a mistake, and that in his perception whatever he did was right, not because it harmonized with any idea of right and wrong, but because he did it." Tolstoy is writing about Napoleon of course.

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Hmm, I can't find any books with 139 in the title, but I checked my to-read list for Big Bingo for prime numbers in the title and I have the following possibilities: Three Parts Dead, Tram 83, The Thirteenth Tale, One Second After.  So, a few options.

 

One Second After won't count for prime as 1 isn't a prime number. Not sure if that's just by definition or because it is a factor of every number. Smallest (and only even) prime number is 2. Just a little math geekiness for you.

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Howdy all. Life has been super-busy and I haven't read threads for the last couple of weeks. Great Girl has moved out and her sisters, mourning and weeping, have divvied up her remaining stuff and re-done their newly separate rooms. Actually Wee Girl is taking it pretty hard.

 

Books finished in the meantime:

 

Marguerite Yourcenar, Hadrian's Memoirs

Joseph Conrad, The Nigger of the "Narcissus"

Joseph Conrad, Typhoon and Other Stories

Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms

 

Currently reading Stevie Smith, Novel On Yellow Paper. And assorted nonfiction books which are slower going.

 

Sure is raining an awful lot, lately.

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Hmm, I can't find any books with 139 in the title ...

 

Here are a few that came up in my search; the great majority are non-fiction ~

 

 

The Secret of Candlelight Inn (Nancy Drew Book 139)

 

Granta 139: Best of Young American Novelists

 

Operation Thunderbolt: Flight 139 and the Raid on Entebbe Airport, the Most Audacious Hostage Rescue Mission in History

 

Viriathus: and the Lusitanian Resistance to Rome 155-139 BC

 

The Pumpkin Cookbook: 139 Recipes Celebrating the Versatility of Pumpkin and Other Winter Squash

 

139 POWERFUL & Scientifically PROVEN Health Tips to Boost Your Health, Shed Pounds & Live Longer!

 

 

 Great Girl has moved out ...

 

Sure is raining an awful lot, lately.

 

May I ask what studies Great Girl is pursuing in graduate school?

 

I guess even the skies are weeping that she is leaving.  I hope that those rains will soon clear up.

 

Regards,

Kareni

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A one day only currently free classic fantasy for Kindle readers ~

 

The Well at the World's End: A Tale by William Morris

 

"The epic fantasy novel that defined the genre, now in one volume

As the youngest son of a king, Ralph of Upmeads is expected to forsake adventure for the safety of home. But the call of the Well at the World’s End is too powerful to resist, and Ralph disobeys his parents in order to seek out his true destiny in its magical waters. The journey is long and arduous as the well lies on the far side of a distant mountain range and the lands beyond Upmeads are full of treacherous characters. With the help of a beautiful maiden and an ancient hermit, Ralph completes his quest and raises the cup of immortality and wisdom to his lips. The question is, what will he do with his newfound powers?
 
Widely recognized as the forerunner to modern fantasy, The Well at the World’s End is a magnificent tale of romance and adventure and a major influence on the works of J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis."

 

Regards,

Kareni

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Finished three books this week.

 

92. My Man Jeeves (audiobook) - This was for the 'Make 'em laugh' square.  It was fun, but yeah, both Bertie and Reggie really are spoiled, pampered nincompoops. 3 stars.

 

93. Let the Great World Spin (ebook)by Colum McCann - Really, really liked this one.  I've read some complaints in reviews that it hops around from viewpoint to viewpoint, but I like short stories and I liked how the different characters lives ended up intertwining.  And I think I just like how this author writes.  I'm using it for my 'Set in a major American City' square, but it could have worked equally well for 'set in 1970's', or it turns out 'author who is same age as you'.  4.5 stars.

 

94. Frauen, die lesen, sind gefährlich/Women Who Read Are Dangerous by Stefan Bollman - Thanks to whoever recommended this one!  I started reading it in English till I realized it had been translated from German, and compulsively felt the need to get a German edition.  I really liked this book, I found the selection of pictures to be very varied and interesting, and I really enjoyed the commentaries.  It was like going to a curated art show in a book. For the 'has pretty pictures in it' square.  4 stars.

 

Currently reading:

 

- El murmullo de las abejas / The Murmur of the Bees by Sofía Segovia - still really enjoying this book as well.  The viewpoint changes from first person to third person fairly randomly from chapter to chapter, but for some reason this isn't bothering me at all.

 

- The Masked City (ebook) by Genevieve Cogman - The Golem and the Jinni ebook refuses to come available in Overdrive (even though I'm first in line), so I started this one.  This is the second book in The Invisible Library series.  I read the first one for the 'Steampunk' square.  I didn't love it, but I needed something for the 'Vampires' square and figured I might as well keep reading this series than find another Vampire containing book.

 

- You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) (audiobook) by Felicia Day - I resurrected this one from my abandoned pile for the 'written by a blogger' square.  I am happy to report that it becomes much less annoying after she stops making fun of her isolated homeschooled childhood (especially since her mom seems to have done and awesome job and did she really think as an atheist who went to college as a math and violin major at 16 that she would have been so fulfilled and happy with a full social life if only she could have gone to public school in Mississippi instead?)  Anyway, it's okay.  Not sure I'd love any book in a 'written by a blogger' category, so this will do.

 

- W&P - caught up! :)  Had to return the book to the library 'cause it became due, but I've re-requested it and it should be here again by midweek at latest.  Since I'm over halfway through now, one more checkout cycle should do it, right?

 

Coming Up:

 

Hm...  Still have Starship Grifters and Wee Free Men checked out, but plan to finish my other hardcopy book first.  Also just requested The Man Who Spoke Snakish.  Next audiobook might be Girl in Hyacinth Blue.  Might that one also count for a Sapphire book for next month's birthstone?  I had another book picked out that actually included sapphires, but I also want to finish as many BigBingo rows as I can by the end of the year, goshdarnit, so I've been trying to double-dip for the birthstone challenges...

 

In other news, dd looked at all the books I attempted to tempt her with, picked out (with some gentle encouragement) the Sci Fi YA one with alien tree cats by David Weber, and has yet to open the first page.  :glare:   Sigh.

 

Yeah, and I'm not going to get to another prime number book this week.  I'll end up with less than half the rows checked off in BigBingo, but I'm wanting to finish as many as possible, so only following rabbit trails that can check boxes...   ;) :gnorsi:

Edited by Matryoshka
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I am almost done with Kathy Reich's new thriller Two Nights https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29915404-two-nights?ac=1&from_search=true and want to get my first post in so I can find our thread easily. Notice Two Nights happens to be a prime which I am pointing out because I doubt I will manage another Prime Number book since thereare none in the virtual stack. ;) My Kindle is a mess. I start losing more books in a couple of hours that I really want to read.

 

Two Nights is pretty good. I like who new main character and am hoping for more in the series. Temperance Brennan has become tired and I read them to keep up with beloved characters not for the story. This character is a young woman, a traumatised former cop who also served in the military. She functions as a PI and is called in to solve a case which is apparently to close to her real life searching for a young missing girl who may have been kidnapped during an explosion at a Jewish school a year previously. To find the girl she needs to find those responsible. It's a page turner. :)

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I stayed up too late last night & finished The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins. I guess it's mostly fantasy with some horror-ish parts thrown in. I really, really liked it. Definitely recommended if this is your style book, but you do need to be able to withstand a few gory things. It was nice to have a page-turner that pulled me in & made me want to stay up late reading!

 

 

I had read a description of this a while back and wasn't sure if it was up my alley or not, but seeing that both you and Rose really liked it, I think I'll just have to add it to my TR list... :)

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I read: The Man in the Queue - 2 Stars - This started out quite interesting. Once the investigation started however, it became thoroughly boring and dull.

 

and Peter the Great: His Life and World - 3 Stars - When I started reading this 900-page tome, I said to my daughter that I can’t believe I’m reading 900 pages about Peter the Great. She laughed and said that she can. She knows me and my fascination with royalty well. I liked this just fine, but there were parts that dragged on quite a bit, specifically the lengthy and detailed war and battle parts. That sort of stuff bores me to no end. I was more interested in learning about him, his family, and lifestyle.

 

9780684815022.jpg  9780345298065.jpg

 

I’m continuing to share photos of our visit to Monet’s House and Gardens.

Oh my goodness – the gorgeous yellow dining room! Sorry if I go on a bit here, but I love all these fascinating details!

"This large sunny room provided an elegant setting in which Monet and Alice, who were great connoisseurs of food and wine, enjoyed dining with family and friends.

Meals in the Monet household were timed to the minute. Since Monet did much of his painting from life in the open air, every moment of daylight was precious to him, and he had his breakfast soon after dawn, usually alone … He would eat roasted meat, broiled chitterling sausages, some Stilton (the most Gallic of British cheeses), French bread, and Normandy butter with marmalade, accompanied by both china tea and a glass of milk. Lunch followed punctually at 11:30 A.M., and dinner at 7 P.M. A gong was struck twice to summon everybody, and lateness was not tolerated.

Lunch and dinner usually consisted of at least three courses, including a salad, but desserts in the evening tended to be less elaborate affairs than those made for lunch. Paul, the butler, served the dishes in rapid succession since Monet did not like to wait too long between courses.

As an early riser, Monet hated going to bed late and preferred to entertain guests at lunchtime.â€

 

8e5947f6dd20433a9020c52357b2611d.jpg

 

MY RATING SYSTEM

5 Stars

Fantastic, couldn't put it down

4 Stars

Really Good

3 Stars

Enjoyable

2 Stars

Just Okay – nothing to write home about

1 Star

Rubbish – waste of my money and time. Few books make it to this level, since I usually give up on them if they’re that bad.

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Hello everyone! 

 

Finished Death Note:Black Edition volume 1  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6345999-death-note over a week ago. Interesting premise, my 16yo insisted I read it :) I'm enjoying it and have started the second volume. We also watched the new adaptation on Netflix and it was terrible.  The story was Americanized and condensed and was also gruesome and we were so disappointed in it.  There is an anime from the early 2000s that we are watching and I like that much better. 

 

Also, we are watching One Punch Man and it is very silly and outlandish and fun! Thanks, I need to go back and double check on who recommended it- Lori D.!! thank you  :thumbup:

 

I am very behind in War and Peace  - I am on volume 2, part 3.  So far I'm liking Rostov; I do NOT like Dolokhov - I was hoping he wouldn't survive; am irritated with most of the Bolkonski's with how they act sad over Lisa's death because they sure treated her crappy when she was alive (except for Andrei's sister); was surprised at the turn Pierre's life has taken - the Mason stuff was sooo booorrriiinggg so I skimmed that part - it's a shame he is so naive with his money. 

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After I finished Death in a Strange Country I was having trouble finding another fiction book that would hold my interest, other than W&P of course. I always need to have a fluff book in progress so I have something to read when I can't concentrate but really want to read (murder mysteries are my idea of "fluff"). It's been a while since I read a Charles Lenox mystery so I think I might go with A Death in the Small Hours. I was disappointed that the character gave up detecting to take a seat in Parliament even though that makes sense with a wife and new baby. He did some detecting in the last book but he's still not back to actually being a detective. Anyway, I'm hoping to get back into this series.

 

I'm almost finished listening to The Pilgrim of Hate (Brother Cadfael). I do have the next book, An Excellent Mystery, ready to go but will first listen to Dear Committee Members, which someone here recommended quite a while back. I read the sample back then, liked it, and added the book to my library wish list. Yesterday I saw that the library had the audio book available so I downloaded it. 

 

I'm ahead of the BaW schedule in War and Peace. I too like the peace sections better than the war sections. I don't mind the war sections that talk about how someone is feeling or what they're doing (IOW, the ones that make it personal), but the battle strategy parts can get quite boring. Still, I'm really glad I decided to reread this book. 

 

I doubt I'll get to a prime number book but if I do it will be the same number I used for the BaW (not big bingo) square. I read Three Men in a Boat for that square but the Kindle book I bought also contains Three Men in a Bummel. I probably won't get to it but who knows?

 

A few days ago I started reading The Wars of the Roses: The Fall of the Plantagenets and the Rise of the Tudors, by Dan Jones. I read his book about the Plantagenets last year and meant to go right into this one but got sidetracked. I actually started it last year but it's been a long time so I just went back to the beginning.

 

 

- You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) (audiobook) by Felicia Day - I resurrected this one from my abandoned pile for the 'written by a blogger' square.  I am happy to report that it becomes much less annoying after she stops making fun of her isolated homeschooled childhood (especially since her mom seems to have done and awesome job and did she really think as an atheist who went to college as a math and violin major at 16 that she would have been so fulfilled and happy with a full social life if only she could have gone to public school in Mississippi instead?)  Anyway, it's okay.  Not sure I'd love any book in a 'written by a blogger' category, so this will do.

 

 

 

I enjoyed the audio book but that's because ds is a big fan of Felicia Day and recommended it to me. I'm usually more generous in my reviews of books that he recommends simply because I'm thrilled he's still reading (though sadly not as much as he once did).

 

I read: The Man in the Queue - 2 Stars - This started out quite interesting. Once the investigation started however, it became thoroughly boring and dull.

 

and Peter the Great: His Life and World - 3 Stars - When I started reading this 900-page tome, I said to my daughter that I can’t believe I’m reading 900 pages about Peter the Great. She laughed and said that she can. She knows me and my fascination with royalty well. I liked this just fine, but there were parts that dragged on quite a bit, specifically the lengthy and detailed war and battle parts. That sort of stuff bores me to no end. I was more interested in learning about him, his family, and lifestyle.

 

 

 

 

I tried to like Josephine Tey but I just can't seem to enjoy her books. It's the same with P.D. James. 

 

re Peter the Great: I read a 600+ page book on Catherine the Great by that same author. I'm also planning to read his (again 600+ pages)  Nicholas and Alexandra but not until October. I'm going to use it for the birthstone challenge (it's my birthstone) - that will count for the A in opal. If I really liked the Catherine the Great book and found the sample of Nicholas and Alexandra interesting enough to add it to my TBR list, do you think I might enjoy Peter the Great? I like history, royalty, and am not concerned with book length, if that makes a difference.

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Math. <shudder>

 

I wish her well.  It's funny when our children go in a totally different direction than we did.  For some reason, my daughter did not decide to pursue Chemistry unlike her parents.  She decided to study Latin. <shudder>

 

Not as much as the Houstonians are hoping that.

 

I hear you.  I lived in Houston in the mid-seventies and remember wading in water up to my knees after a simple storm.  I can't begin to imagine the flooding they have now.

 

Regards,

Kareni

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I have only finished one book in the past two weeks. At least it's because I'm writing a lot and homeschooling and doing family things, and not because I'm scrolling on Facebook or being otherwise useless. Also, I'm in that place where I have enormous TBR stacks sitting around me on my reading couch and have read the beginnings of most of them. Hopefully I will have a week soon where I finish four or five and it looks like all I am doing is sitting around reading! But - sigh - probably not. As M says, I tend to be a rather "promiscuous " reader. I can't begin to tell you how many books on my shelves have bookmarks in them because they aren't abandoned, they're just waiting for me to get around to them again... months or years later.

 

Finished:

 

The Forbidden Rose, by Joanna Bourne (Spymaster series #3)

 

Kareni recommended this series last week, I think? I had been in the mood for an historical romance that was well-written and that didn't have too much adult content, so after reading the reviews on Amazon (which also said to read the series chronologically, not by pub date), I decided this might fit the bill. It had a little more adult content than I would have preferred, being a blushing kind of reader, and some of the situations the hero and heroine got into in order for the novel to be classified as a romance stretched my suspension of disbelief a bit, but mostly I really enjoyed the book. It is set in the French Revolution. The hero is an English spy, and the heroine runs a rescue operation, smuggling people out of France before they can be arrested. Marguerite, the heroine, was lovely. Smart and strong with witty dialogue and a good sense of humor. I went ahead and bought the next book in the series, which is really the first - The Spymaster's Lady. There is a really funny review of that book on GR, mostly focused on the ridiculousness of the cover. So, yeah, glad I'm reading it on my kindle. [emoji5]

 

Anyone have any historical romance suggestions that run more to the PG-13 end of the spectrum? Kareni? I've read the first four Outlander books (not exactly PG-13, but I guess I used to blush less) and I like Susanna Kearsley, but it seems like all her books have the same plot.

 

Other books I have been reading:

 

Too Like the Lightning (put me in the "liking" category for this one, but I'm not far in yet)

 

Mistborn, by Brandon Sanderson - epic fantasy, finally getting around to reading it

 

Left of Boom -- a CIA memoir which is infuriating due to the poor quality of the writing and the fact that the CIA redacted (blacked out) large chunks of the book, making it almost impossible to follow the thread of his story in some places. But I'll probably finish this one, because I'm interested in how he handled his double life as a super-secret operative. (Not well, according to the description of the book.)

 

Clockwork Dynasty -- Russian steampunk. I was really excited to read this and then there were a bunch of "As you know, Steve" infodump moments in the first couple of chapters. I'm planning on persevering, but it was kind of a bummer.

 

And I made progress on War and Peace! I am way behind, but I have to say... I guess I like soap operas. [emoji5] It actually reminds me of epic fantasy, without magic or dragons. Hoping to make more progress this week.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Edited by Angelaboord
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I enjoyed the audio book but that's because ds is a big fan of Felicia Day and recommended it to me. I'm usually more generous in my reviews of books that he recommends simply because I'm thrilled he's still reading (though sadly not as much as he once did).

LOL, I've always really liked Felicia Day too, and that's why I picked it up in the first place. I just wish a bit that her narration weren't so... chirpy. And I apparently am taking her "my mom ruined my childhood by keeping my super-quirky and gifted self from being bullied like crazy and being bored and having my soul crushed by public school' attitude way too personally. :lol:

 

And more recently in the book... chapters and chapters about auditioning for soul-sucking TV commercials and her gaming addiction and then we just reference her meeting Joss Whedon and being on Buffy and Dr. Horrible after it's already happened?! Zero back-story on that? Somehow I kinda expected that story to have a fairly prominent place in her memoir. But nope, she's eating a lot of pancakes and working on her web-series, and suddenly she's attending panels at SciFi conventions with Joss Whedon after doing like three projects with him and zero lead-in???? Felicia, Felicia....

Edited by Matryoshka
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I wish her well. It's funny when our children go in a totally different direction than we did. For some reason, my daughter did not decide to pursue Chemistry unlike her parents. She decided to study Latin. <shudder>

 

 

I hear you. I lived in Houston in the mid-seventies and remember wading in water up to my knees after a simple storm. I can't begin to imagine the flooding they have now.

 

Regards,

Kareni

They're likely to have more; the hurricane is going southeast again, and may move back into the Gulf, pick up, and go north onto Houston again.

 

It was very prescient of me to read Conrad's Typhoon last week.

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 I went ahead and bought the next book in the series, which is really the first - The Spymaster's Lady. ...

 

Anyone have any historical romance suggestions that run more to the PG-13 end of the spectrum? Kareni?

 

I'll be interested in hearing your thoughts on The Spymaster's Lady.  The author carries off something that leaves me in awe each time. 

 

For a more PG-13 historical romance, I'll recommend Carla Kelly.  She writes both American and English/European set historical romances and many of her characters are not of the aristocracy.    Some of her romances are inspirational romances as well.  Here's a link to her site.

 

Regards,

Kareni

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It feels if I have hardly read last week, but I still finished some books:

 

- a passage to India

I considered it pretty boring, which I did not expect, so maybe it was just the wrong time for this book.

- Ther Heiress of Winterwood

A fluff book dd asked me to read as she was very touched by the book.

- women in white

I could not sleep this night so finished the book.

 

Dd likes reading Radium Girls, so thanks for you advice as she says I should not read this book ;)

 

I lost W&P out of my reading rythm so I'll have to read a little more this week ;)

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I tried to like Josephine Tey but I just can't seem to enjoy her books. It's the same with P.D. James. 

 

re Peter the Great: I read a 600+ page book on Catherine the Great by that same author. I'm also planning to read his (again 600+ pages)  Nicholas and Alexandra but not until October. I'm going to use it for the birthstone challenge (it's my birthstone) - that will count for the A in opal. If I really liked the Catherine the Great book and found the sample of Nicholas and Alexandra interesting enough to add it to my TBR list, do you think I might enjoy Peter the Great? I like history, royalty, and am not concerned with book length, if that makes a difference.

I also tried to  like P.D. James, but I didn't care for it either. 

 

I've heard that "Peter the Great" is not his best book, so you may be disappointed. I'm not sure.  You could always give it a go and skip the boring war parts, if that's what bores you of course. Even though I gave this book 3 stars, I do plan on reading his other books, since again, I've heard that they're better. 

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Hey!  I cleared the 52-book hurdle with my two this week.  Matryoshka had asked about perhaps moving one's Reading Challenge goal posts once one sees she will clear her count early for this year, and most of us said nope, leave it where it is.  I am leaving mine at 61. 

 

Both books were challenging in different ways...but I can tie two themes together with them.  One is how most middle-class people, no matter where they live, really think that nothing bad is ever going to happen to them.  It's like some secret handshake, some world-wide cultural amnesia that says "we have money enough so we should have no worries."  The other is bombs of various types.  Literal bombs and figurative ones (apologies made to family members once a cancer patient learns her disease is of the life-shortening type: a bomb, ticking, in her chest).

 

The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan, 2016, set in Delhi, current day, about the aftereffects of one detonated market-stall bomb and its effects on two families.  Most novels set in India are usually as sprawling and as bustling as its setting; this one hewed fairly closely to a small group yet still went quite deep in playing out the characters' motivations, fears and aspirations.  I found parts of it stretched...but otherwise it was a good read.  Not a happy book at all (thus, a book for me).  It made me think the equivalency here in our country is our propensity toward mass shootings, and how quickly we forget them afterward. 

 

The Bright Hour:  A Memoir of Living and Dying, by Nina Riggs, autobiography, 2017.  Riggs was a poet and the great-x3 granddaughter of Emerson, a fair bit of quoting from him and family favorite Montaigne pepper this book.  She died this February at age 39, leaving two sons and a rather awesome-sounding husband behind.  This is, well, a bit of a tearjerker as you can imagine, but maudlin it was not and neither was it saccharine.  I liked her, and it was not just class or education or age that makes me say that.  I got (fortuitously) both audio and e-book versions and switched from e-book to audio because it is a book-from-blog-posts, which normally drives me bats in written form but played well (in my ears at least) as something to be listened to...it broke up nicely, in bits.  I recommend this book.

 

And I abandoned another death-related book because, especially by contrast with The Bright Hour, it was maudlin and sappy:  The Light of the World, by Elizabeth Alexander.  Another poet, another loss...this time of her husband, suddenly, and the wake behind it.  Too special, even the quotidian had a ring of  'aren't we awesome' which I could not get beyond.  Perhaps it would redeem itself after the 22% I had kindle-read, but I just couldn't go there. 

 

Ah, death!  Memento mori, one whispers in your ear

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I hardly read at all last week, what with ds3 trying to navigate college technology, ds4 starting his 8th grade work, and.....our surprise adopted 6 week old kitten.

 

My neighbor was walking her dogs and found the kitten by a nearby government building. It was on its own and crying. She thought maybe a feral mother cat was moving its kittens. But when they came by again later it was still there and came up to them when they called it.* She called me to see if I was interested in taking it in. So after a dropping a couple hundred at the vet for the extended "kitty care package," we appear to have a cat. He is in very good health. We have only had older cats before, so the constant supervision Oscar needs is a little exhausting, but everyone in the family has bonded with him.

 

*Our rural county gets a lot of abandoned animals, so that's probably how Oscar got there.

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.....our surprise adopted 6 week old kitten.

 

*Our rural county gets a lot of abandoned animals, so that's probably how Oscar got there.

 

You can now join the select crowd who have an Oscar.  Enjoy!

 

 

Hey!  I cleared the 52-book hurdle with my two this week.  ...

 

And congratulations on meeting that marker, fastweedpuller.

 

Regards,

Kareni

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A one day only currently free classic for Kindle readers ~

 

A Thief in the Night (A. J. Raffles, the Gentleman Thief Book 3) by E. W. Hornung

 

About the Author

Ernest William Hornung (7 June 1866 – 22 March 1921) was an English author and poet known for writing the A. J. Raffles series of stories about a gentleman thief in late 19th-century London. Hornung was educated at Uppingham School; as a result of poor health he left the school in December 1883 to travel to Sydney, where he stayed for two years. He drew on his Australian experiences as a background when he began writing, initially short stories and later novels. In 1898 he wrote "In the Chains of Crime", which introduced Raffles and his sidekick, Bunny Manders; the characters were based partly on his friends Oscar Wilde and his lover, Lord Alfred Douglas, and also on Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. The series of Raffles short stories were collected for sale in book form in 1899, and two further books of Raffles short stories followed, as well as a poorly received novel. Aside from his Raffles stories, Hornung was a prodigious writer of fiction, publishing numerous books from 1890, with A Bride from the Bush to his 1914 novel The Crime Doctor. The First World War brought an end to Hornung's fictional output. His son, Oscar, was killed at the Second Battle of Ypres in July 1915. Hornung joined the YMCA, initially in England, then in France, where he helped run a canteen and library. He published two collections of poetry during the war, and then, afterwards, one further volume of verse and an account of his time spent in France, Notes of a Camp-Follower on the Western Front. Hornung's fragile constitution was further weakened by the stress of his war work. To aid his recuperation, he and his wife visited the south of France in 1921. He fell ill from influenza on the journey, and died on 22 March 1921, aged 54. Although much of Hornung's work has fallen into obscurity, his Raffles stories continued to be popular, and have formed numerous film and television adaptations. Hornung's stories dealt with a wider range of themes than crime: he examined scientific and medical developments, guilt, class and the unequal role played by women in society. Two threads that run through a sizeable proportion of his books are Australia and cricket; the latter was also a lifelong passion.

 

 

 

"The third installment in the irresistible adventures of A. J. Raffles, the thief who gives crime a good name

For weeks, Bunny Manders has scoured the sporting papers, looking for word of his vanished friend—the cricketer, playboy, and gentleman thief A. J. Raffles. A mysterious message lures Bunny to a darkened side street, where he finds Raffles in filthy clothes, with an unkempt beard. The amateur cracksman has been lying low in the empty townhouse of a vacationing colonel—what better place to take a Rest Cure? He invites Bunny to stay with him, but when the colonel returns unexpectedly, the public school duo is forced to contemplate a crime beyond reason: murder.
 
Pushed to the very brink of disaster, the quick-footed Raffles recovers in style. In these classic stories, England’s most honorable thief and his loyal companion elude criminologists, cops, and ruthless professional villains, stealing whatever they want—and doing it with flair."

 

Regards,

Kareni

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Finished another book this week. That's two weeks in a row! 

 

Me too!!  I was worried I'd lost my reading mojo.

 

Last week's read was Dead Lagoon, an Aurelio Zen mystery by Michael Dibden.  It is a richly atmospheric, almost noir mystery set in Venice, and I absolutely loved it. This isn't as tidy a mystery as a classic British police procedural, but it works as Italy -- and Venice -- is messier politically and culturally, and believably so in the book. Even the ending of the book isn't tidy, I realized while reading it that I must have read one other Aurelio Zen book, and finally found it listed in my books from 2015. That one was Cosi Fan Tutti, in which each chapter was related to a scene in the opera.  I was mighty sad to learn that the author passed away 10 years ago at too a young age. There are, though, still 9 other Aurelio Zen titles to find and read, and several stand alone titles as well.

 

Made a bit of progress in War and Peace.  War, war and more war with some exceptionally riveting scenes surrounded by long essays illustrating strategy and motivation. And what is it about military battles that causes authors to write grand, epic similes? I haven't read so many ponderous but creative similes since The Illiad!!  

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I finished The Pilgrim of Hate (audio) earlier today and started listening to Dear Committee Members. I really liked the sample I downloaded to my Kindle but when I started listening the narrator was making me sleepy. I think he was trying to sound like and academic bore. However, I stuck it out and now I'm okay with his narrating style. He's become the character and while he still sometimes sounds like he's droning, I'm able to pay attention more, now that I've made his voice the voice of the character. 

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...for prime numbers in the title and I have the following possibilities: Three Parts Dead, Tram 83, The Thirteenth Tale, One Second After.

 

Oh, I LOVED The Thirteenth Tale! Beautiful writing, dark, slow and subtle building and uncovering of character.  (WTM board member Vida Winters got her board name from the mysterious character of that book!)

 

It reminds me very much of a modern-day Bronte novel! (Although, as I recall, Rose, you loved Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre (Charlotte) and disliked Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights -- and The Thirteenth Tale is closer to Emily than Charlotte...)

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I read: The Man in the Queue - 2 Stars - This started out quite interesting. Once the investigation started however, it became thoroughly boring and dull.

 

Nooooo!!  :eek:

 

Josephine Tey is amazing! Her books are NOT just detectives solving mysteries, but are about British culture and mores of the time, and delve into social class topics. Her writing is so yummy -- rich, subtle, dense -- like a very dark chocolate torte! -- so you savor each bite slowly. Don't read these expecting a light airplane read! Try her again (go for Daughter of Time!) another time when you are prepared for an experience that is more like an hours-long languorous dessert and coffee with a cultured conversation partner.  :laugh:

Edited by Lori D.
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Finished Death Note:Black Edition volume 1  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6345999-death-note over a week ago. Interesting premise, my 16yo insisted I read it :) I'm enjoying it and have started the second volume. We also watched the new adaptation on Netflix and it was terrible.  The story was Americanized and condensed and was also gruesome and we were so disappointed in it.  There is an anime from the early 2000s that we are watching and I like that much better. 

 

Also, we are watching One Punch Man and it is very silly and outlandish and fun! Thanks, I need to go back and double check on who recommended it- Lori D.!! thank you  :thumbup:

 

So glad you're enjoying the original anime of Death Note -- and One Punch Man! A new season for our bald superhero is in production... :laugh:

 

You might also try The Devil is a Part-Timer -- very fun, turning expectations on their heads repeatedly. The premise alone makes me laugh every time I think about it.

Edited by Lori D.
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I've recently finished a few books ~

 
The Fall (Tales of Tolari Space Book 3)  by Christie Meierz

 

I enjoyed this final book in a science fiction romance trilogy, but I recommend starting with the first book in the series, The Marann.  You could  also begin with the free stories, Into Tolari Space (Tales of Tolari Space).  I'm looking forward to starting the author's newer series which features some of the same characters.

**

 

This week read Illona Andrew's Hidden Legacy trilogy - Burn for me, White Hot, and Wild Fire.  

 

I'd previously read the first Burn for Me and White Hot.  Yesterday I finished Wildfire: A Hidden Legacy Novel by Ilona Andrews; I enjoyed it.  It does leave a significant question unanswered which I'm curious to see if the author will address in future books.  You should definitely read this series in order.

**

 

I also read The Sumage Solution: San Andreas Shifters #1  by G. L. Carriger.  This is the same author who wrote the Parasol Protectorate (which I've never read), but here she is writing a series featuring male/male romances which has significant adult content.  The book struck me as fairly silly initially, so I put it aside for a week.  I ended up enjoying it, but it did leave me with some questions. 

 

"Can a gentle werewolf heal the heart of a smart-mouthed mage?

NYT bestseller Gail Carriger, writing as G. L. Carriger, presents an offbeat gay romance in which a sexy werewolf with a white knight complex meets a bad boy mage with an attitude problem. Sparks (and other things) fly.

Max fails everything - magic, relationships, life. So he works for DURPS (the DMV for supernatural creatures) as a sumage, cleaning up other mages’ messes. The job sucks and he’s in no mood to cope with redneck biker werewolves. Unfortunately, there’s something oddly appealing about the huge, muscled Beta visiting his office for processing.

Bryan AKA Biff (yeah, he knows) is gay but he’s not out. There’s a good chance Max might be reason enough to leave the closet, if he can only get the man to go on a date. Everyone knows werewolves hate mages, but Bryan is determined to prove everyone wrong, even the mage in question.

Delicate Sensibilities?
This story contains M/M sexitimes and horrible puns. If you get offended easily, then you probably will. The San Andreas Shifter stories contain blue language, dirty deeds, and outright admiration for the San Francisco Bay Area. Not for the faint of heart..."

 

Regards,

Kareni

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I finished Kula Keiki Ali'i by Rosemary I. Patterson.  I was pre-reading it for Cameron.  I loved the story.  It was kind of historical fiction and kind of sci-fi (it involved time travel with two stories happening, though the story from the past was more just seeing bits and pieces).  It's mostly about the kids who were sent to the Chief's Children's School in Hawaii back in the 1800s in order to be "civilized" by the Christian missionaries.  But it is so badly in need of an editor.  It almost ruined the whole book.

 

I also finished a kid's book (I don't count kid's book toward my annual goal) Chinese Fairy Tales by Frederick H. Martens.  I was pre-reading it for Fritz.  It's a collection of short fairy tales from China obviously.  It's interesting that there are western parallels to several of them.

 

In light of so many on here reading War and Peace, I was highly amused to get my Grammarly weekly report and see that this week I unlocked the Tolstoy-Like achievement.

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So glad you're enjoying the original anime of Death Note -- and One Punch Man! A new season for our bald superhero is in production... :laugh:

 

You might also try The Devil is a Part-Timer -- very fun, turning expectations on their heads repeatedly. The premise alone makes me laugh every time I think about it.

 

I'll put it on our list - thanks!

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I have more questions, than answers and feel like I should go back and read the last few chapters to see if if will help clarify.

 

 

Thanks. Yes I also was left with more questions than answers. It does need a re-read for me but I somehow found the second book very aggravating to read, which I think may have been intentional. It definitely gives the ready the feeling of being completely lost and while tied up in an opaque and political bureaucracy. I did enjoy the first book much more, and the third was a relief because it explained some of the things from the second. All in all a confounding piece of work. Thank you very much for the goodreads link; there's some good stuff to think about in there! Do you think you'll read any more by him?

Edited by idnib
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I read The Sound of Gravel earlier this year and oh boy! I couldn't put it down- I read it in a day and a half. I think you'll like it, Negin!

That's great to hear! Thanks so  much, Laura. It's always nice to have a good book to look forward to. 

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Nooooo!!  :eek:

 

Josephine Tey is amazing! Her books are NOT just detectives solving mysteries, but are about British culture and mores of the time, and delve into social class topics. Her writing is so yummy -- rich, subtle, dense -- like a very dark chocolate torte! -- so you savor each bite slowly. Don't read these expecting a light airplane read! Try her again (go for Daughter of Time!) another time when you are prepared for an experience that is more like an hours-long languorous dessert and coffee with a cultured conversation partner.  :laugh:

Lori, I'm open to trying her again :D. I thought that it would be best to read her books in order, because that's the type of crazy person I am  :lol:. Do you have a list of favorites? Should I just start with "Daughter of Time"? When I'm not sure of an order, I often look at those with the highest ratings on Good Reads and go from there. 

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Lori, I'm open to trying her again :D. I thought that it would be best to read her books in order, because that's the type of crazy person I am :lol:. Do you have a list of favorites? Should I just start with "Daughter of Time"? When I'm not sure of an order, I often look at those with the highest ratings on Good Reads and go from there.

I loved Daughter of Time which is the first Tey I read. Not sure how I ended up out of order because that is not my usual. But I loved DoT, it might even go on my top ten mysteries list. The Man in the Queue sort of ended my enthusiasm for Josephine Tey. It wasn't great so I totally get your lack of enthusiasm. Simply an OK cozy mystery that was nowhere close to Daughter of Time imo. Perhaps if I had reversed the order I might have liked Man in the Queue better. My expectations were high! :lol: I haven't continued the series beyond those two but someday plan to.

 

I did read Brat Farrar on someone's recommendation (Jane or Eliana I think) and enjoyed it. It's a stand alone I believe.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/243397.Brat_Farrar

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94. Frauen, die lesen, sind gefährlich/Women Who Read Are Dangerous by Stefan Bollman - Thanks to whoever recommended this one!  I started reading it in English till I realized it had been translated from German, and compulsively felt the need to get a German edition.  I really liked this book, I found the selection of pictures to be very varied and interesting, and I really enjoyed the commentaries.  It was like going to a curated art show in a book. For the 'has pretty pictures in it' square.  4 stars.

 

 

 

That was me. I haven't finished it yet. Set it aside when I went on vacation and haven't gotten back to it. Didn't realize it was originally German. Shoot. Oh well. It's the same pretty pictures.

 

 

 

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Good morning to all the BAW boardies! We had a family reunion this past weekend to celebrate my grandmother's 90th birthday. She's still extremely sharp and knew almost all her great grandchildren's and great-great grandchildren's names. The party was held at her assisted living home, probably so she could show off all her descendants. There were so many of us, we were kicked out of the bingo room and ended up taking over the cafeteria. It was lovely to see her and all my relations, but I was delayed because of Harvey. I don't live in Houston, but the storm threw off tornadoes and shut down my home airport for a few hours. Many in my family are spending the week away from Houston since there's limited ways to return home. If you could spare good thoughts and prayers for the people of Southeast Texas, I'd appreciate it. The scale of the flooding is unprecedented.

 

Books read last week:

  • Midnight Blue Light Special (InCryptid #2) by Seanan McGuire. Urban Fantasy. A cryptozoologist fights to save New York City's fairy tale creatures from human extermination. A fun read.
  • At the Mouth of the River of Bees by Kij Johnson. Fantasy-Short Stories. A collection of fanciful and bizarre short stories. Most of the stories were well-done, but it includes the most disturbing, gross short story I've ever read. In an interview, Johnson herself has said that it is gross, but she was moved to write it.
  • Rosemary and Rue (October Daye #1) by Seanan McGuire. Urban Fantasy. A half-elf, half-human private investigator searches for the murderer of a fairy queen. This was a shift away from her InCryptid series, with a more poignant protagonist who is afflicted with a Rip Van Winkle-type curse and loses years with her child as a result. When McGuire is in top-form, she writes such lovely, moving prose. This will likely be my next fantasy series to work through while I'm finishing up Pratchett.

I don't know if we've discussed Edelweiss before, but I found the website last week and spent way too much time looking at upcoming book releases. For some books, you can even get advanced reader copies in electronic form.

 

I'm still behind on War and Peace so I'm hoping to spend some time reading it this week. I have McGuire's book two in her Wayward Children series on hold at the library, plus a physical and digital TBR library book stack. I'm halfway through Women Who Run With the Wolves which analyzes various folktales and fairy tales about wild women. It's a little much for me - sometimes a wolf is just a wolf - but there are interesting cultural tidbits.

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I loved Daughter of Time which is the first Tey I read. Not sure how I ended up out of order because that is not my usual. But I loved DoT, it might even go on my top ten mysteries list. The Man in the Queue sort of ended my enthusiasm for Josephine Tey. It wasn't great so I totally get your lack of enthusiasm. Simply an OK cozy mystery that was nowhere close to Daughter of Time imo. Perhaps if I had reversed the order I might have liked Man in the Queue better. My expectations were high! :lol: I haven't continued the series beyond those two but someday plan to.

 

I did read Brat Farrar on someone's recommendation (Jane or Eliana I think) and enjoyed it. It's a stand alone I believe.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/243397.Brat_Farrar

 

Brat Farrar is the one I read and didn't care for. I keep hearing I should try DoT but I've read so much recent stuff on Richard III, both non-fiction and historical fiction, and I don't know if I'd react well to older stuff. :)

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Hot as Hades. Shhh, don't tell anyone. It's for the Man Hunk on Cover square. 

 

My lips are sealed.

 

 We had a family reunion this past weekend to celebrate my grandmother's 90th birthday. ...

 

That sounds wonderful.  I'm glad you could be there albeit a little late.

 

 

 If you could spare good thoughts and prayers for the people of Southeast Texas, I'd appreciate it. The scale of the flooding is unprecedented.

 

Sending good thoughts.  The pictures I've seen are shocking.

 

 

Rosemary and Rue (October Daye #1) by Seanan McGuire. Urban Fantasy. A half-elf, half-human private investigator searches for the murderer of a fairy queen. This was a shift away from her InCryptid series, with a more poignant protagonist who is afflicted with a Rip Van Winkle-type curse and loses years with her child as a result. When McGuire is in top-form, she writes such lovely, moving prose. This will likely be my next fantasy series to work through while I'm finishing up Pratchett.

 

I read the first few books in this series several years ago.  I may have to return to the series ... though that will likely entail starting again from the beginning.  I can certainly understand those who wait for series to be finished before beginning them.

 

Regards,

Kareni

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