Shelf Awareness for Friday, June 24, 2016

Atlantic Monthly Press: Those Opulent Days: A Mystery by Jacquie Pham

Feiwel & Friends: The Flicker by HE Edgmon

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: The Pumpkin Princess and the Forever Night by Steven Banbury

St. Martin's Griffin: Murdle: The School of Mystery: 50 Seriously Sinister Logic Puzzles by GT Karber

Carolrhoda Lab (R): Here Goes Nothing by Emma K Ohland

Allida: Safiyyah's War by Hiba Noor Khan

Ace Books: Servant of Earth (The Shards of Magic) by Sarah Hawley

Quotation of the Day

E.U. Referendum: 'Keep Calm and Expect Change'

"Publishing's nightmare scenario has come true: at about 4 a.m. this morning the major media outlets confirmed that the U.K. population had voted in favor of taking the U.K. out of the European Union.

"The shock today is palpable, as the Bookseller's surveys have shown the book trade was overwhelmingly against 'Brexit' and pro Europe, as were its heartlands of London, Edinburgh, Oxford and Bath. One author said it was like waking up in a badly written dystopian novel. If only.... As pre-warned, yesterday's out vote has resulted in economic and political turmoil the likes of which few of us living today will ever have seen. Project fear has become project reality.

"This will pass, of course. As of today nothing about the economy has changed, and it is to be hoped that wise heads prevail over the next few weeks and months as the U.K. government works out the best approach to re-negotiation."

--Philip Jones, editor of the Bookseller (More book industry reactions here.)


PM Press: P Is for Palestine: A Palestine Alphabet Book by Golbarg Bashi, Illustrated by Golrokh Nafisi


B&N: Executive Promotions; New Concept Plans; Stats

Jaime Carey

At Barnes & Noble, chief operating officer Jaime Carey has been promoted to president of development & restaurant group, effective immediately, and will be in charge of real estate development and the newly created restaurant group. Carey joined B&N in 2003 as director of newsstand. In 2008, he was promoted to chief merchandising officer and last year he was named COO.

CEO Ron Boire said, "Jaime's promotion underscores the importance of having a leader devoted to our new store concepts with a focus on an enhanced restaurant experience."

The company has said it will open four new concept stores during the current fiscal year, which began May 1. The first will open in Eastchester, N.Y., in October. The others will open in time for the holidays and will be located at the Edina Galleria in Edina, Minn., the Palladio in Folsom, Calif., and One Loudoun in Loudoun, Va. The stores will have table-service restaurants offering beer and wine. B&N has partnered with the Branstetter Group and AvroKO, restaurant consultants, to help design the spaces and menus.

In another B&N executive change, Michael Ladd has been appointed v-p, stores, effective June 27. Ladd has had a 24-year career at Sears, beginning as store manager and most recently senior v-p, head of retail stores. Boire, who came to B&N last year from Sears, called Ladd "an accomplished leader with a proven track record for driving results. We think he is the perfect addition to our management team given his broad range of retail capabilities."


Wall Street reacted well to B&N's fourth quarter report, issued late Wednesday afternoon: yesterday B&N shares rose 7.9%, to $11.26 a share.


In an extensive presentation-conference call (via with analysts yesterday, B&N executives discussed a range of plans and the state of business. Among the many striking parts:

The new concept stores will be about 20%-25% smaller than B&N's typical superstores, but have "lots of chairs, tables, places for people to sit, hang out--together, alone, however they would enjoy the space," as Carey said. The stores will also have more display tables to emphasize book discovery. The company predicts that books will consist of 60% of revenue in the new stores. "Books are the soul of the company and they are what is the core of what differentiates us," Boire said. Carey added: "Books remain the hero."

Where possible, the new concept stores will have outdoor space. Boire noted that the Eastchester store is "beautiful, including outdoor seating, things like a fire pit and bocce court, just a great community space."

The restaurants at new stores will have "a focus on hospitality [that] will further reinforce Barnes & Noble as a destination and a place where people come to spend time and unwind," Boire said. The company plans to introduce some of the new offerings at existing cafés.

In the new stores, a new app will provide a store map and allow customers to check out the store, create a wish list, find books, etc. B&N booksellers will have tablets to use on the sales floor.

Young readers titles, for ages 8 through 12, are the No. 2 "sales driver" at B&N, second to adult trade fiction.

Sales of graphic novels and manga have grown steadily during the past 10 years, and in the past year, B&N doubled the space allocated to those titles.

Coloring books for adults have been a hot category at B&N for the past year and a half, and the company expects that to continue. But instead of waiting "for the trend to die," as chief merchandising officer Mary Amicucci put it, the company is starting to introduce customers "to new mediums. Because we think it started with coloring, but really it became a form of creative expression."

Music sales are up to almost 2% of total store sales at B&N, a gain that's attributable to the vinyl revival. The company expects significant growth in this area again this year.

Gift sales represent 7% of stores' revenue, up significantly because of sales related to the coloring book craze. This year, B&N is opening For the Artist shops in 200 of its 640 stores, providing a range of artist supplies, including media for coloring, illustration, chalk drawing, painting, cartooning and journaling.

B&N closed eight stores last year, the fewest store closures in 16 years. Carey said that "98% of our stores are cash flow positive on a four-wall basis," and that leases are relatively short, with almost 500 up for renewal in the next four years.

Ron Boire

The six million members of the company's loyalty program are skewing younger, and have relatively high levels of education and higher incomes. Members pay $25 annually, and receive a 40% discount on bestselling hardcovers and 10% of most other items in stores; online members receive free express shipping.

B&N has more than 30 million customers, sells a million unique book titles annually and hosts more than 100,000 events a year. B&N estimates that print books account for about 85% of the U.S. book market and that its share is about 20% of print books and 9% of e-books.

Boire said there is "an emerging trend of returning to physical ownership and physical experience, which I call digital blowback, in which people want to own and touch a physical object, whether it be a beautiful, artistic book cover or a great album jacket and a piece of vinyl."

At times, Boire sounded like an independent bookseller, as when he said, "Our stores are typically where customers' journey begin and are great places for community learning and discovery, which cannot be replicated by an algorithm. As retail faces greater competition from e-commerce and digital alternatives, we will continue to make our stores more experiential and differentiated. Our stores as a destination and centers of the community is at our core."

Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Intermezzo by Sally Rooney

René Kirkpatrick Joins Seattle's University Book Store

René Kirkpatrick

Effective July 5, René Kirkpatrick, who was most recently co-owner of Eagle Harbor Book Co. on Bainbridge Island, Wash., will start her new position as children's buyer/supervisor for University Book Store. Kirkpatrick worked for 16 years at Seattle's All for Kids, four years at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park and, since October 2012, has been at Eagle Harbor Book Co.

"I'm really excited to be working in the children's book world again, and especially at University Book Store," Kirkpatrick told Shelf Awareness at the Children's Institute in Orlando this week.

Caitlin Luce Baker, formerly University Book Store's children's buyer, begins her new position as adult book buyer at University Book Store on July 5.

N.C.'s Books Unlimited Opening Children's Store

Suzanne Harouff, owner of Books Unlimited in Franklin, N.C., is planning a July 1 opening for Unlimited Books for Kids, her new children's store. Bookselling This Week reported that the 300-square-foot space is in the neighboring commercial building located at 70 East Main Street, where Harouff will move "all of the children's books for ages zero to 12 from Books Unlimited's 250-square-foot children's area, which resembles a castle." Although the castle will remain, "the space within Books Unlimited's 3,000 square feet will become a bargain room, and much of the store's new books will be rearranged."

"Probably the main reason I wanted to open a separate children's store is because I absolutely love the children's area that I have now," said Harouff. "The more I thought about the idea of opening my own children's store, the more excited I got.... I'd been trying to figure out how to fix the issues I have with our current children's section. I have a good amount of space [the equivalent of two storefronts] but I have a very hard time monitoring the entire kids' area at all times. Even with a couple of cameras back there, there are still quite a few blind spots. The section is also very full, so there really is no room for story times or any of the extra activities you'd like to be able to do for kids."

Steve Gillis Retiring from Dzanc Books

Steve Gillis

Steve Gillis, co-founder and publisher of Dzanc Books, plans to retire to have more time for his literary career. He's published two short story collections and five novels, and his next book, Liars, will be published by Red Hen Press in 2018.

"Co-founding Dzanc and working as publisher these last 10 years has been a huge part of my life and something I'm truly appreciative to have experienced," Gillis said. "Dan [Wickett] and I were able to build Dzanc from an idea shared over drinks (well, I was drinking at least) to what I believe is now one of the better independent presses in the country. I know I am leaving Dzanc in great hands with Guy Intoci and Michelle Dotter and Michael Seidlinger, and as I move on to future projects I'll be watching as Dzanc continues to stretch her wings and offer great writing to the public."

Dzanc Books will continue under the guidance of editor-in-chief Guy Intoci, who has been with the press since 2013.

Obituary Note: Michael Sullivan

Michael Sullivan

Michael Sullivan, bookseller and longtime National Book Network executive, died on Sunday after an extended illness. He was 69.

Early in his book career, Sullivan was a bookseller at Brentano's in Williamsburg, Va., and assistant manager at the iconic Scribner bookstore on Fifth Avenue in New York City. He joined Scribner's sales team and was an account manager at Macmillan. In 1994, he joined NBN as national accounts manager and retired a year ago as v-p of sales.

Sullivan had a master's degree in creative writing, and wrote and had produced two plays off Broadway in the 1970s.

"All of us who had the good fortune to have known Michael fondly remember his warm, gracious and generous nature," Rowman & Littlefield president and CEO Jed Lyons wrote in an announcement. "Michael was a consummate book person, steeped in literature, widely read, and astonishingly knowledgeable about everything under the sun. He had a mischievous sense of humor, a twinkle in his eye, and a gift for empathy and compassion."


Image of the Day: Literary Llama

Like an episode of Portlandia come to life, Portland, Ore., authors Monica Drake, Margaret Malone, Elissa Wald, Dan Berne, Rene Denfeld, Brian Benson, RV Branham, Joe Kurmaskie and Ellen Urbani gathered with five llamas at the Moreland Farmers Market in Southeast Portland for the first Fresh Local Words event, raising funds and awareness for the Iron Awareness Action Network at farmers' markets throughout Portland this summer. The event was organized by Joe Kurmaskie (Metal Cowboy); Ellen Urbani invited the llama-owning Spring Creek Sproingers 4H Club, and brought her own llama, Viv.
Photo: Laura Stanfill, Forest Avenue Press.

BookBar: 'When Your Parents Come Visit You in Denver'

The Matador Network searched for answers to a quintessential millennials' challenge: "What to do when your parents come visit you in Denver." Among the suggestions offered was to "check out BookBar, which is the perfect spot to drink in front of your parents while also emphasizing your love for literature. The bar itself is made from old book pages, the menus are laid out in chapters, and there's plenty of hardbacks to browse as you down that Red Banshee while waiting on your Steinbeck pizza."

Cool Idea of the Day: Bob's Burgers Cook-Off

The Morris Bookshop's Bob's Burgers cookoff

On June 6, the Morris Book Shop, Lexington, Ky., hosted what it thought would be "a little cooking competition" to celebrate the new Bob's Burgers cookbook, but Natalie Cunningham, the shop's community engagement coordinator, said, "We never imagined it would be the most well attended event our little locally owned and operated bookstore had ever hosted. Via Facebook the event reached 42,000 people, with nearly 2,000 invited.

"Bento Box Entertainment heard about the event and gave us 300 T-shirts to give away, along with a box of Bob's Burgers swag to give to fans. Ten home cooks made pun-tastic burgers of their own design in our tiny parking lot in the back of the store to feed the masses, and our own neighborhood Jimmy Pesto (Puccini's Smiling Teeth Pizza & Pasta) set up shop in-store to supplement. The event raised over $700 for Glean Kentucky--a local non-profit that distributes 'gleaned' food from grocery stores and farms to nonprofits with feeding programs."

To whet your July 4 weekend appetite, here are the winners:
Round one crowd favorite: Eric Hall's "Nuremburger... It's the Wurst" burger (spice mix, Dusseldorf style mustard, homemade sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, beer (in mustard))
Round two crowd favorite: Craig Stewart's "It Takes Two to Mango" burger (sriracha, soy sauce, garlic powder, Salsa: mango, red pepper, green onion, cilantro, lime juice, honey)
Second place overall: Whitney Fooks's "Jalapeno Business Burger" (bacon, spices, Jalapenos, Jalapeno jam cream cheese, hot sauce)
First place winner: Sarah Arnett's "Wham Jam, Thank you Ma'am" burger (Smoked Gouda, sharp Cheddar cheese, bacon jam, and bun toasted with pickled jalapeno compound butter. Served with apple slaw.)

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Andrew Solomon on CNN's Fareed Zakaria

CNN's Fareed Zakaria: Andrew Solomon, author of Far and Away: Reporting from the Brink of Change (Scribner, $30, 9781476795041).

TV: Prep; The Handmaid's Tale

HBO has acquired the rights to Curtis Sittenfeld's bestselling novel Prep, which will be developed as a comedy series by former 30 Rock writer-producer Colleen McGuinness and Game of Thrones executive producer Carolyn Strauss, Deadline reported. McGuinness is writing the adaptation and executive producing along with Strauss.


Reed Morano (Meadowland) "is in talks" to direct Hulu's adaptation of Margaret Atwood's novel The Handmaid's Tale, starring Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men). Deadline reported that Hulu has given a straight-to-series order for the drama from MGM Television. Atwood will serve as consulting producer for the series, which will premiere in 2017.

Movies: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back; Unreasonable Behaviour

A trailer has been released for Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, based on the 18th book in Lee Child's bestselling series. Deadline reported that the sequel stars Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulder, Danika Yarosh, Austin Hebert, Patrick Heusinger, Aldis Hodge, Robert Knepper and Holt McCallany. Edward Zwick is directing from a script he co-wrote with Richard Wenk and Marshall Herskovitz.


Tom Hardy (The Revenant) will play legendary British war photographer Don McCullin in a film based on his autobiography, Unreasonable Behaviour, Deadline reported. The project, written by Gregory Burke, will be produced by Working Title partners Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, with Hardy and Dean Baker of Hardy, Son & Baker. McCullin and Mark George are exec producing.

Books & Authors

Awards: Desmond Elliott

Lisa McInerney, who recently won the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction for The Glorious Heresies, added the £10,000 (about $14,805) Desmond Elliott Prize for debut novelists to her list of honors. Chair of judges Iain Pears said: "We knew we had found a major literary figure of the next generation when we made our choice last month--it's good to see other prize judges have subsequently agreed with us. Lisa is a genuinely exciting writer--there is electricity running through her prose. This is a complex, unusual, violent book, bleak but with welcome humor, and she manages a huge cast with confidence; there is never any doubt that she is in complete control, right to the unexpected but perfect ending. I know what it is to try and control a complicated text, and spent years learning my trade. She has done it on her first outing, and that is close to astounding."

Book Brahmin: Joshua Kendall

photo: Beowulf Sheehan

Joshua Kendall is a v-p and executive editor at Little, Brown & Co., where he serves as the editorial director of the Mulholland Books imprint. He has published the work of Lauren Beukes, Michael Koryta, J.J. Abrams, Robert Galbraith, Stewart O'Nan and Tana French, among others. He has also edited nonfiction projects like Argo and The Boys in the Boat, and brought back into print the classic works of Jim Thompson and Richard Yates.

On your nightstand now:

Nathan Ward's The Lost Detective: Becoming Dashiell Hammett. (I loved his book on crime on the Brooklyn waterfront; this book is even better.)

Robert Stone's Fun with Problems. (Every year, come springtime, I go mad for short fiction. Greg Jackson's Prodigals led me back to Stone, who may be one of the best contemporary writers obsessed with peril.)

Best American Mystery Stories 2014. (More spring fever: three true winners in the bunch.)

Alexandra Kleeman's You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine. (Finished it last month but keep going back. Imagine feminist Saunders, channeling novelist Didion.)

James Dickey's Deliverance. (Given to me by my first boss, George Witte. Reread many times since. The holy grail of thrillers.)

Peter Guralnick's Sam Phillips.

Favorite books when you were a child:

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle.

Dune by Frank Herbert.

Your top five authors:

Like any obsessive, this list is always in flux, but excluding my own authors: Thomas Harris, Elmore Leonard, George Pelecanos, Charles Portis, Graham Greene.

Book you've faked reading:

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara.

Books you're an evangelist for:

Authors Ben Winters (Underground Airlines, The Last Policeman), Laird Hunt (Neverhome) and Ron Carlson.

Books you've bought for the cover:

Repeatedly, novels with covers designed by Keith Hayes, Gregg Kulick, Christopher Brand, Henry Yee, Emily Mahon and John Gall.

Book you hid from your parents:

None--my parents wanted me to read everything and anything.

Book that changed your life:

Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man.

Favorite line from a book:

Right now, it's the last line of the first chapter of Ben Winters's Underground Airlines: "The waitress poked her head out, reminded me that she had the rest of my supper for me, all boxed up, and I could barely hear her, so busy was I composing this face of grief."

Five books you'll never part with:

I would die in the fire, having to choose.

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

Love this question! That would be J.M. Coetzee's Waiting for the Barbarians.

What you love about being an editor:

Novels, and crime novels especially, are enactments of empathy. I still think of myself as a kind of broker or counselor for that experience, and I'm still amazed that I make a living doing it, and that so many brave people endeavor to be a part of that effort, from the bookseller in North Carolina to the writer in Colorado to the customer in Indiana.

Book Review

Review: White Bone

White Bone by Ridley Pearson (Putnam, $27 hardcover, 9780399163753, July 19, 2016)

Ridley Pearson is known for fast-paced, plot-driven series for adults as well as for children. White Bone is the fourth novel in his Risk Agent series (after The Red Room), starring John Knox and Grace Chu, whose relationship undergoes significant change in this installment.

Knox is an importer/exporter of international arts and crafts, a career that provides him good cover for his clandestine work with Rutherford Risk, an international security firm that specializes in hostage extractions. Grace Chu is a forensic accountant and hacker, and a colleague at Rutherford Risk. As White Bone opens, Knox has received a troubling text message from Grace, just before she goes radio silent. Troubled, he follows her into the field.

Grace was sent into Kenya to track a stolen shipment of donated measles vaccines. The case quickly expands to involve the widespread criminal practice of poaching elephants for their tusks and rhinoceroses for their horns, and possibly the funding of terrorism. Corruption is standard operating procedure in Kenya, so Knox must beware of governmental agents and the police as well as the criminals he is tracking. When he arrives in Nairobi, Grace has been missing for days: he fears her cover has been blown.

Pearson's plot is complex, watertight and humming with tension. The finest details are realistic and disturbing, and often require at least a moderately strong stomach, as when Grace, stranded alone in the bush, suppresses her usual hygiene habits in favor of survival practices gleaned from a Maasai guide. While the bulk of the story follows Knox, Grace appears both directly and in others' narratives, posing a character development challenge that Pearson handles deftly. A large cast also includes a disillusioned British journalist, a Somali poacher, a Kenyan vigilante/folk hero, a helpful police officer, an activist lawyer and a resourceful Kenyan boy insistent upon becoming Knox's right-hand man. Knox follows disparate threads and threats; Grace defends herself against jackals, lions and organized criminals; and the novel's pace races as her situation worsens.

White Bone is richly detailed and filled with intrigue that encompasses terrorism, corruption and lingering colonial strains. Its characters are nothing if not passionate, and these passions include the author's obvious concern for the central problem of elephant poaching. Pearson's writing is informative and allows his muscular story to take center stage. Series fans will remain committed, and new readers will be drawn in, with no background knowledge necessary to follow this action-packed novel combining the thriller, adventure and mystery genres. --Julia Jenkins, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia

Shelf Talker: A prolific author of action/suspense novels turns his skills to the distressing problem of elephant poaching in Kenya.

Deeper Understanding

Robert Gray: Independent Bookshop Week in U.K. & Ireland

When the world feels senseless, idiotic and unreasonable... the only answer is to go to a bookshop. --Lauren Laverne

Although they may be nursing a Brexit Vote hangover today, along with some uncertainty regarding how the referendum vote to leave the E.U. will affect business, nearly 400 booksellers in the U.K. and Ireland have been celebrating the 10th annual Independent Bookshop Week (June 18-25). The Booksellers Association noted that IBW2016 is being held at a time of "increased optimism and a more buoyant market for independent bookshops.... [Bookshops] are creating incredible social and cultural spaces on their high streets--offering events, literary lunches, children's storytelling, schools outreach, reading groups, festivals and meeting spaces." Here are a few highlights from #IBW2016:

Favorite bookshop stories: In a video, Jen Campbell, author of The Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops and The Bookshop Book, shared anecdotes from her life in bookselling.

Inevitable Brexit vote reference: "Take a break from #EUref and join @TwoRoadsBooks on our #IBW2016 tour." Hodder & Stoughton imprint Two Roads Books is chronicling its Indie Bookshop Tour, "celebrating independent bookshops and their booksellers."

Mr. B's Emporium of Reading Delights, Bath: "It's indie bookshop week #IBW2016. Us bookshops have huge independent spirit, but we love being members of the same wider tribe. Just saying."

The Bookshop Kibworth: "Here's one of our @BookshopWindows combining @UEFAEURO, @KibBookFest AND #IBW2016! @booksaremybag @BAbooksellers."

The Gifts of Reading: Robert Macfarlane's specially commissioned essay is being sold by indies, with proceeds going to his nominated charity. He told the Bookseller: "Our bookshops--like our libraries--are simply vital to the reading life of this country. I know from my own meetings up and down the country, and over the years, what passion, knowledge and expertise gets shown and shared in independent bookshops. To write an essay in praise of the book-as-gift, to have the essay published by Penguin and sold in all indie bookshops, and to have all profits going to the Migrant Offshore Aid Station is just a huge privilege and pleasure."

Bookshop Crawl: @booksaremybag: "Saturday 27th June, the annual IndieBound UK Independent Bookshop Week #‎bookshopcrawl. Put it in your diary!"

Making #IBW2016 lists:

Anne Enright: Ireland's fiction laureate and Independent Bookshop Week Award winner for The Green Road said, "It was such an honor to be selected for this award by my favorite people--booksellers. Long may they remain. Four or five years ago, we were all in a panic that the internet would eat booksellers and paper. But they've battled on and they're starting to flourish."

Booksellers as movie action heroes: London Review Bookshop tweeted: "To celebrate #IndependentBookshopWeek, here's our bookselling team matched against Independence Day characters."

Oxford University: "It's #IndependentBookshopWeek! Oxford is bookshop heaven, we especially love @albionbeatnik."

Emily MacKenzie: winner of the IBW Award for children's picture book: "I love visiting independents because each shopping experience feels unique. Cozy and welcoming, I love that independent bookshops give you a glimpse into the personality and passions of the booksellers behind them. I always leave an independent bookshop with an unexpected find, feeling recharged and inspired, which is a wonderful thing."

Chicken & Frog Bookshop, Brentwood, Essex: "Rocking our #IBW2016 t-shirts today! @BAbooksellers."

Shore to Shore Poetry Tour Diary: "Embarking on a nationwide poetry tour, Carol Ann Duffy and her fellow poets Gillian Clarke, Imtiaz Dharker, Jackie Kay and John Sampson document what they see as they travel and share poetry around the U.K."

Authors' fave indies: @simonschusterUK: "This week we're asking our authors about their fave independent bookshops. We'd love to know yours, too! #IBW2016."

Finding the perfect book: Canongate: "Looking for your next reading material? Let us find your perfect book, using this simple matchmaking tool. #IBW2016"

A Love Letter to Bookshops: in an IBW essay, Veronica Henry wrote that the title of her latest novel, How to Find Love in a Bookshop, "is not just about finding romantic love. It's about the love of books: something that can sustain you throughout your life, and provide escape, entertainment, education, comfort, wonder. And it's a love you can share. There is nothing more satisfying than recommending something you have read to someone else, knowing they will love it as much as you do.... But if we are to keep bookshops alive, we need to use them, and to encourage the next generation to make them part of their life and view bookshops as a treat, a pleasure, an adventure, a gateway. So they become a necessity. Something we can't live without."

And... words to live by for readers worldwide. --Robert Gray, contributing editor (Column archives available at Fresh Eyes Now)

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