Reindeer Readathon – Week 1 Update

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We’re one week into the Reindeer Readathon. YAY!!!

In the past week I’ve been able to finish 3 of the prompts which I thought was pretty good. But if I compare that with some of the other’s in my team it’s nothing! I thought I’d share some initial thoughts of each book as I finish them even though full reviews will be coming in the new year for most of them.

I’ve read the full books before and even though I was surprised at how much the images of the graphic novel was able to convey. I felt like it was missing something compared to the full novel. So I didn’t really enjoy it.

Maybe graphic novels are best if they’ve been designed specifically to be a graphic novel?

I actually ended up changing my book for this coz it turned out book 3 of the series was about the Muse of Lyrics. Which is music.

Erica’s career is as a song writer and there was a fair bit about their theatre in this one so it felt like it ticked the Dancer prompt quite nicely!

One of the things I liked about this book was that it wasn’t a carbon copy of the style of the previous two. When you’re following a series it’s great to have that variety.

I’ve liked every Jenni Fletcher book I’ve read and this was no exception. It touched on mental health, self worth and a few other issues. Yet did it in a way that felt accurate for the times.

POINTS ACHIEVED FOR TEAM NUTCRACKER: 40 POINTS

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The Ultimate Blog Tag!

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I saw this tag over on Hina’s blog and it sounded so cool I wanted to do it! She initially found it over at Book Craic, so please check out both of them!


1. Do you get sick while reading in the car?

Definitely not! So glad about this coz I think I’d have died of boredom growing up if I got car sick.

2. Which author’s writing style is completely unique to you and why?

I think I’m going to go with Nelson DeMille, I know I’ve read a few other authors that have elements of his style. But none in the same combination as Nelson.

3. Harry Potter or the Twilight Series Saga? Give three points to defend your answers

Ah, Harry Potter of course. Is this even a question? I started this with the first movie when it first came out when I was 11 years old. That Christmas my mum bought the first four books for me on Christmas eve and for the next couple of days we both read all four books. Since then I’ve read every book as it’s been released, seen every movie and we were lucky enough to see the Cursed Child play earlier this year. Does that count as 3 points?

4. Do you carry a book bag? If so, what’s in it (besides books)?

Nope. I just always make sure I have my Kindle or a book or two on me.

5. Do you smell your books?

Hahahah yea… Somehow, I don’t think many book readers will say no to this!

6. Books with or without little illustrations?

Without, unless they are maps. Like Matthew Reilly’s books with all the little maps of where they are brilliant. I love mas with my books.

7. What book did you love while reading but discovered later it wasn’t quality writing?

I feel like the Wind on Fire trilogy meets this criterion… I mean. I loved reading it at the time. But every time I think back on it, I can’t help but wonder what the author was smoking when they wrote it. I also can’t believe how many discrepancies I let slide while I read it.

8. Do you have any funny stories involving books from your childhood?

I have a couple of stories. The main one I remember is more like a book lovers’ nightmare and total horror story, so I’ll share a different one!

Every family trip growing up we took 3 suitcases. Mum’s had her stuff and my clothes; dads had his stuff and my toiletries and beach stuff and mine was filled with books. Specifically, I remember celebrating my 12th birthday and all my friends and family got me books.

As soon as I’d opened them my parents took them all away and I wasn’t allowed to touch them until we got to the airport to fly to Fiji. The suitcase full of books that was meant to last me 2 weeks lasted me like 4-6 days!

9. What is the thinnest book on your bookshelf?

The Black Stallion by Walter Farley. I’ve had this for years and actually picked it up at a country fair. A great 20c investment!

10. What is the thickest book on your shelf?

The last Game of Thrones book, A Dance with Dragons, or maybe Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is thicker? One of those two.

11. Do you write as well as read? Do you see yourself in the future as being an author?

Hahahahaha no I don’t write! I do enough writing for my job (I’m an Instructional Designer so writing learning courses takes all my creative juices) that I’d rather focus on just reading and enjoying myself outside of my job.

12. When did you get into reading?

Apparently, I’ve always been a reader. I always asked my dad to read to me as a little kid coz he did all the voices and it was great. I think when I could read by myself I broke into the freedom of being able to read when I wanted to rather than having to rely on when my parents had free time to read to me.

13. What is your favourite classic book?

I’m going to say the Black Stallion coz that’s really the only one I’ve actually read. I’ve started a few, but the style of writing is quite difficult compared to todays writing style.

14. In school what was your best subject?

History. I had a knack for remembering the stories my teachers and textbooks told me, including the dates. Being able to remember where on a page the info I needed was written down and quote it back as if the book was in front of me really helped. I also have a knack for understanding how all the little pieces fit together into the bigger picture. How one action resulted in numerous reactions etc.

15. If you were given a book as a present that you had read before and hated, what would you do?

This has happened to me in the past. I asked for the receipt and exchanged it for another book. Not sure if I’d do the same these days… I tend to get people to give me gift certificates instead so this doesn’t happen.

16. What is a lesser known series that you know of that is similar to Harry Potter or the Hunger Games?

I haven’t got an answer for this…

17. What is a bad habit you always do (besides rambling) while filming?

Not a vlogger. So can’t say I have one.

18. What is your favourite word?

I don’t have a favourite word from my books. But my default one when talking is “alrighty” and “ok then”. I apparently got up to like 100+ of those in 1 hour of training when a colleague counted.

19. Are you a nerd, dork, or dweeb? Or all of the above?

I’m not gonna lie, I had to Google what each of these meant. Based on their definitions I’m going to go with dweeb. I do lead a pretty boring life, I study a lot (both formal and informal training) and I’m pretty sure most people who know me would agree that I’m pretty socially inept.

20. Vampires or fairies? Why?

Vampires. No hesitation there! Fairies are all well and good, but vampires are sexy, morally grey and so relatable. Some of my favourite characters from a range of novels are vampires.

21. Shapeshifters or angels? Why?

Shapeshifters. Again, easy! Like vampires, shapeshifters are morally grey characters. Yet this time, they are often fighting a force within them that they can’t control and are doing everything they can to be good people.

22. Spirits or werewolves? Why?

See above. Spirits just don’t have that morally grey area. They are what they are.

23. Zombies or vampires? Why?

Vampires. Zombies are gross! I mean, the living dead that’s rotting? At least vampires are eternally young and sexy!

24. Love triangle or forbidden love?

Hmmmm… I really like both of these!

Love triangles are interesting because someone has to make a choice. A choice about what’s best for them and seeing them struggle with that choice of what’s best for them now vs in the future is a difficult choice.

Forbidden love on the other hand comes in a few different forms. You have sisters falling in love with their brother’s best friends. Rival families having young people fall in love etc. It has it’s moments, but sometimes I feel like this can wear a little thin, even though I still love it!

25. Full on romance books or action-packed with a few love scenes mixed in?

I actually enjoy both. I love a good romance because I get to really relax and just enjoy a nice read. While having an action-packed book with the romance dotted throughout it gives me a different style with that emotional relief you need from that same drama.


This really didn’t take me as long to write as I thought it might. If you enjoyed this, feel free to give it a go and share your thoughts!

I hope you enjoyed this post!

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Reindeer Readathon 2019

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You may have seen or heard about the new Christmas themed readathon that’s started up this year. It’s called the Reindeer Readathon hosted by Breakeven Books (Leader of Team Mistletoe), Melted Books (Leader of Team Snowflake), Savy Writes Books (Leader of Team Stockings) and Donna Tsundoku (Leader of Team Nutcracker).

I loved the sound of it so I thought I’d sign myself up for my first EVER readathon! And promptly got assigned to the Nutcracker team led by the fun Donna.

We were given 9 prompts and can get awarded bonus points if one of our books happens to be over 500 pages long. None of mine are, but I’ll see if I can get through some other stuff to be able to read Outlander to land that one. You can see the specific details here:

Most of the books I’ve chosen to read for this readathon are ones I have scheduled for reviews in January or February. Since I need to read them in preparation for their scheduled reviews I figured there’s no harm in using them for the readathon.

I don’t believe there’s a rule against that. And I still managed to squeeze in a couple I don’t have reviews scheduled for.

I chose Light of Spirit for this one as most of my books are 300-400 pages and it was on my list to read and review in February.

Dance of the Heart is in the same series as Light of Spirit and is the ONLY book I could find in my TBR that revolves around, or involved the theme of music or dance.

The Convenient Felstone Marriage hasn’t moved around my shelves MUCH. But I got this from Jenni from a competition I won on my birthday earlier this yr.

Since I’ve rearranged my bookshelves a few times since then I figured it works!

From what I can tell of the blurb, Perfect Match has a strong female character. It’s also on my list of books to read and have a review ready for the tour that’s scheduled for January.

I’ll be reading Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley Hall for this one. Based on the blurb I believe it’ll have an impact on me.

It’s also an author request that I’ve got scheduled for a review in January.

Miss Amelia’s Mistletoe Marquees was an obvious choice for this one. I read a lot of romance but it was the only one that didn’t fall into any of the other categories.

And I was also asked to review it by the author so it’s scheduled for a review in January.

Another author request (although this time I think it’s scheduled for February) for this one. Although I chose it more because I don’t have many books that have a pretty cover and I really do like the cover Nicola has had done!

I don’t have much in the way of graphic novels. I’ve also never read one before so I thought this would be a challenge to find one I could read.

Then I remembered I got a copy of the Vampire Academy graphic novel when I bought the series.

Of course this one needs red in the cover. I decided that since one layer of the cake is red it works!

Also. It’s scheduled for a book tour in January.

I hope you’re looking forward to hearing about my progress with this. I’m hoping to do a weekly wrap up so you can track my progress and get a feel for how I found the books. Without spoiling them for their coming reviews of course!

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Wrap Up – November

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November started off pretty stressful and I ended up behind schedule with scheduling my reviews. I still am to be honest!

I have all of my December reviews and posts written. But I haven’t scheduled any of them… You’d think me being so super organised would mean I’d be on top of this right?

Apparently not!

But check out what I managed to get out in my final month of my Diploma (I passed by the way! Yay!)! And let’s just say the next 3 months are going to be crazy! They are already overbooked!

My Fav

I really enjoyed A Christmas Kiss and everything involved in it. Livvie and Zander were so cute and faced some challenges before ultimately getting together.

Even when I predicted some stuff, Eliza still surprised me with how they unfolded. I mean.

How often do you have an author give you what you were expecting. But not in the way you were expecting. Yet in a way that’s probably better than what you were expecting?

My Least Fav

The choice to pick A Forgiven Friend has nothing to do with the writing in this book. And everything to do with it just not being the type of book for me.

Turns out I’m not really a fan of friendship books where the point of view changes between the friends.

The writing was really well done throughout this book even with some very minor discrepancies between the two characters (this naturally happens when there’s two authors) so I honestly think it’ll be a great read for people who like this style.

It’s just not for me.

What’s coming

I have a couple of posts coming and 6 reviews coming in December. I’ll be ending my reviews for the year with one I definitely think you should tune in for (that’ll be happening on Dec 23rd) and will then take some time to reflect on the year and ahead onto the new year.

My 2019 goals

I’ve read way more books than initially intended, you’ll see this final number at the end of the year. Or you can go check out my Goodreads Reading Challenge progress!

I’ve read all my books for my Aussie Author Challenge with the final review coming out on Dec 23rd! That same one I told you to check in for.

Ok. So I failed at getting this properly up and going. But I’ve put it on my schedule for next yr. Hopefully then I’ll be back on track!

And instead of losing weight I’ve put weight on. But I’ve increased how much I’m working out from twice a week at the gym to three times a week and I’m just taking up running. I’ve got the C25K (Couch to 5km) app so I can slowly get up to running 5km. Fingers crossed I see some progress before heading to Perth in the new year!

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Wrap Up – October

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October has been a very stressful month for me. Not only have I spent a lot of it sick with that damned cough that won’t leave me alone (I’ve been on anti-biotics for 2 weeks), I’ve also been busy trying to finish off my Diploma.

I have 3 more assessments to write and submit, although I have 2 that haven’t been signed off yet as complete. But fingers crossed by November 22 I’ll be 100% signed off and complete with a new qualification!

I purposely took a quiet month to focus on my Diploma. And November is much of the same because I won’t be 100% done until December.

My Fav

As much as I love Christmas (to the point that my partner jumps between me and Christmas decorations to stop me buying any more) I feel like Zapata takes the cake this month.

As a debut author, I was expecting Harper’s novel to be average. I’m not saying the story would be bad. But from my experience, debut author’s writing and editing needs some improvements.

Instead I was knocked out of the park.

I’m even wanting to buy a physical copy so my partner can read this as well because I think it might just be what he needs to tip from YA to Adult novels. I’m not saying that YA books are bad. But he’s 38 and hasn’t read Adult books yet when I know there are so many he’d like!

My Least Fav

Without a doubt Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is my least favourite this month. I actually read this in January/February but saved it until I needed to fill in a week in case I fell behind my reading schedule.

I mentioned it in the review. But I honestly don’t understand how this won so many awards!

It was a great book in terms of highlighting the importance of recognising and not victimising mental health victims. But it missed the mark since they never tell you what she’s suffering from which just makes it worst.

I’ve seen so many assumptions of what she’s suffering from. From schizophrenia to Asperger’s. Problem is.

It’s just caused more arguments and leaves people frustrated and divided when this book should have united us.

What’s coming

Not a whole lot this coming month.

Literally.

I have a few reviews and I managed to squeeze in a couple extra. But I won’t be doing anything extra. I need to focus on my Diploma and pass.

I really don’t wanna have to redo either of these last two units next yr!

My 2019 Goals

Now that we’re 10 month’s in here’s how I’m doing with my goals!

  1. I’ve surpassed my initial and edited reading goals. I honestly didn’t think I’d read this much this yr!
  2. I’ve finished 2 out of 3 books for the Aussie Author Challenge and figured out I have a few different male Aussie authors in my TBR pile. So some time before the end of the yr I’m going to read and review one of them! And it’s not going to be a Matthew Rielly book even though I have more than 10 of his books on my bookshelf. Confession. They are my partners and I’m not in the mood for one of his books. They are a bit too YA for my normal tastes.
  3. I kinda got a start on my series review. And since I’ve been studying these haven’t done so well but I’ve scheduled to pick this up again with a bunch of already written reviews for series next yr. I’ll update you on this at the start of 2020.
  4. Well I guess in a way I’ve made progress. Being off sick for like 2 months isn’t really helping. I’m hoping that two weeks of antibiotics will let me get back into exercise coz I REALLY miss it! Fingers crossed I get there by Christmas!
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Wrap Up – September

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After having a great time off in Vietnam last month, I spent a good chunk of this month off work sick. And I don’t meant the sick where I could relax and read. I mean I type where I was stuck on the couch barely able to put two words together. So I watched A LOT of TV!

I also had my birthday this month. My family kindly bought me the Outlander series so I can read those and compare the books to the show.

I’m not sure if you can tell, but I took the plunge and got my grey hair situation fixed. By dying it greyer!

Hehehehe

Let’s just say my partner wasn’t impressed. He wanted me to hide them. I quite like it though, what do you think? Can you even tell in the photo?

(Please excuse the shitty jumper and trackies, it’s still cold and since I’ve been studying so much I’ve been staying comfortable.)

I’ve had the quietest month in some time review wise. I’ve been pretty busy with study and I didn’t want to stress myself out so I put myself on a ban for new tours the involve reviews. I just couldn’t sign up for more and stay sane while trying to get back to healthy.

My Fav

OMG this is a hard one! My two 5 star ratings are so very different… I guess I go with the one I could see there being more of? And could imagine what the sequel would be like?

Which is A Different Time by Michael K. Hill brought to me by The Write Reads Ultimate Book Tour.

I loved reading this was literally finished it in one night. I was also immediately fan girling with David and a few others over how it ended.

Clue, you’ll need tissues ready!

I really do think you should read this if you’re even remotely a fan of romance.

But I really also want to give a shout out to Rewrite the Stars which I had the publisher reach out to ask if I wanted to read it. It totally doesn’t do anything that I expected and I think it broke a few tropes. So I hope you hop on over and check that out too!

My Least Fav

I need to preface this with the fact that Babe Driven isn’t actually that bad. There’s just less depth, thought and overall brain engagement compared to the others.

If I was voting on which was my least favourite easy read, this definitely wouldn’t be the one sitting here right now.

But it really was just that, I great easy read that fed you little bits of info at a time without it being overly complex.

What’s Coming

OK. So October. I’ve got a few reviews scheduled. And that’s about it…

I’m going to have a crazy month trying to finish off 5 assessments for two units and starting the last unit for my Diploma. (OMG I’m getting so close!) As I’m writing this I’m taking a break from preparing a webinar presentation using software I’ve never used before. Lets just say it has been trying experience and I’m super nervous for how the trial will go on Monday.

Also, I’m stressing coz my footy team is in the Grand Final and I dunno if they are going to win… I’ll add a bonus pic at the end IF we win… Fingers crossed!

My 2019 Goals

I’ll start with the positive. I’m only 11 books away from my increased reading goal of 85 books this year. So I feel like I’m on track to smash that out of the park as well. And I’ve realised I have a few Aussie male author’s books on my Kindle that I haven’t read yet. So I’ve got some options to be able to finish the Aussie Author Challenge.

The series reviews don’t like they will get finished this yr… I’ll see how I go for next yr lol!

And let’s just say that I’m back to the start for my weight goal… I mean… I haven’t weighed myself recently. Coz why would you when you’ve spent the last month sick and unable to exercise, then it’s your birthday so there’s lots of food and alcohol involved?

I’ll just try and pick this back up next month…

MY BOYS DID IT!!! 2019 AFL PREMIERS!!! GO TIGES!
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The Worst Couple in the World – Holly Tierney-Bedord

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I couldn’t fit a review into my schedule what with my study and everything. But I wanted to make sure you know about Holly’s latest book (RELEASED TODAY!) to give it a chance.

No longer content to just be Snappigram sensations, folk hop singers Zeke and Angelique are ready to move up from coffee house performances to the big stage. With songs like “Uh Huh, Future Baby Mama” and “Don’t Worry About the Bills, Little Missus” there’s pretty much no way they can fail.

But if their musical career takes off, will it leave their love behind?

This satirical novella about an over-the-top fame hungry duo is for fans of David Sedaris and Don DeLillo.

BUY IT NOW!

US
UK
AU

Author Bio

Holly Tierney-Bedord is the author of over twenty books ranging from serious women’s fiction to romantic comedies, domestic thrillers, humor, and cozy mysteries. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

You can check out Holly on her various social media channels including Pintrest, BookBub and LinkedIn.

Giveaway – Win a $5 Starbucks Gift Card (open internationally)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –US entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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Brooklyn – book to movie comparison

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Welcome back, today’s thoughts are on a different topic to Monday’s review of A Different Time, and I hope you enjoy them.

When I had a sick day off work, I took the time to give my body a rest from the stresses of study and blogging and watched like 3 movies and slept a whole heap. As part of my Netflix random scrolling until something caught my eye, I saw Brooklyn.

You may remember that I didn’t really enjoy this book towards the end so you’re probably wondering “why would you watch the movie of a book you didn’t really like?” Well as it turns out, in this case I think the movie is better than the book.

I know! I’m a book lover, I’m meant to say the book is ALWAYS better!

But in this case, I can’t say that. All the stuff I didn’t really like didn’t really come across in the movie. She didn’t feel like she was cheating on her husband. Just enjoying a trip back to her home country.

However, there were a few times in the movie where thing’s didn’t make sense. That was because they’d cut scenes out from the book as they always do. But that meant when she got pulled off the floor of work, why she got enrolled in a bookkeeping course, why her boyfriend kissed her on the doorstep and a few other things left me going “wait what? O that’s right! This happened in the book!”

For those people who haven’t read the book I bet they were pretty confused. Because it did feel like some gaping holes had been left open that probably should have been filled a bit better.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed what I think is my second TV/Movie to book comparison. I promise more will be coming! On Monday I’ll be doing a bit of a promo for a book that’s being re-released under a different name with some changes. You’ll need to come back to find out what it is!

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Wrap Up – August

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I spent the first two weeks of this month over in Vietnam, pretty much not reading. I’d planned on reading 3 books while I was away and succeeded in reading only 1/4 of one book. I’d normally say that constitutes a slump but I was having too much fun at the beach, out sight seeing etc and hanging out with my partner and friends to care.

I mean why would you want to read when you could be doing this? (Yes I did need to share because I had such a good time!)

But that has left me a little stressed going into September since I’m now behind schedule. Luckily the authors I’m working with were ok with me pushing reviews for their books to October so I won’t be rushing and forcing reviews.

I still had quite a few reviews go live this month, luckily I tend to work 3-4 weeks in advance so there was no issue with these ones being ready to go. Even while I was away.

See? I still managed 9 reviews!

My Fav

When You Were Mine was the only book this month to get a 5 star rating. So that made picking my fav easy!

I just loved how Lisa pushed the boundaries of what a family can look like. I loved that it shows there’s no one way a family should be together.

It also showed the effects of drugs, alcohol and fame. Not just the impact to those directly involved in that. But also to those around them and those that are related to them.

There really is so much to love about this book. And the writing just executes it perfectly!

My Least Fav

Although Give me a Dream was a good story. Overall, it just had more things I didn’t like compared to the other books this month.

It was the little things that irked me and made it feel a little more stilted than it needed to be. Even though it was still a good story, it just wasn’t quite on the same level when it came to ease of reading compared to the others.

What’s coming

September is going to be a lot quieter. I’ve already mentioned that I’ve pushed out two reviews to October. Over the month I’m now scheduled to do 5 reviews, 1 discussion and 1 promo post.

At the time I’m writing this for you I’ve still got 3 of the 5 books to review to read 😐

It’s going to be a mad dash by looks of it to get those read and ready before they need to go live…. Not to mention get a start on Octobers books…

My 2019 goals

You’d think going on holiday’s would make you put on weight wouldn’t you? I mean, you’re drinking (do you know how much carbs and sugar are in alcohol?!), eating whenever and whatever you want and typically exercising less.

Yet in Vietnam the food is so fresh, you’re drinking giant ice blocks in the beer and doing so much walking I actually lost 500g! It’s not much but given I wasn’t actively trying I’m pretty impressed! I doubt I’ve kept it off though since I got sick on my second last day there and have spent most of my first week back either wishing I was in bed, or in bed sick.

I’ve also mentioned I’ve made like no progress in the way of reading books. I really do mean that… I’m now getting less far ahead due to not reading hahahaha but hopefully September will be better.

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