Shelf Awareness for Thursday, January 11, 2018


Sourcebooks Fire: The Similars by Rebecca Hanover

HarperCollins: Turbo Racers: Trailblazer by Austin Aslan

Harper Paperbacks: Don't Wake Up by Liz Lawler

Bookselling Without Borders: Connecting U.S. Booksellers to the World of Books - Click to Support!

DK Publishing: Writers: Their Lives and Works by DK

Page Street Kids: Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer

Touchstone Books: I Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura Philpott

Shadow Mountain: A Monster Like Me by Wendy S. Swore

News

Eight Cousins Update; Fourth Store Has Water Damage

The severe water damage that has closed Eight Cousins bookstore in Falmouth, Mass., indefinitely was apparently "the result of a plumbing malfunction in an upstairs apartment, not a frozen pipe," according to the Falmouth Enterprise. Water from that malfunction caused the store's ceiling to collapse.

The owners have reported the damage to their insurance company and hope to learn more today about the next steps. In the meantime, many have already pitched into help. On Facebook yesterday, Eight Cousins thanked its reps: "They are handling everything, halting shipments, contacting billing departments, and saving us hours of phone calls. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! We value our reps so much and appreciate everything you do to help us do what we do."

As noted before, less severe water damage occurred in the last week at Greenlight Bookstore's Prospect Lefferts Garden location in Brooklyn, N.Y., and at Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, N.C. Bookselling This Week noted yesterday that yet another store suffered water damage in recent days: at Children's Book World, Haverford, Pa., a pipe burst on Tuesday, but the store was relatively unscathed and didn't close.

"It happened in our basement so we got really lucky," manager Heather Hebert told BTW. "Plus our inventory is low right now because it's the end of the season, so it was mostly just a giant clean-up job and soggy boxes and book cases that have to be moved."


G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Editor by Steven Rowley


Schuler Books to Close Lansing, Mich., Location

Schuler Books, which operates stores in Grand Rapids and Okemos, Mich., as well as Nicola's Books in Ann Arbor, will be closing its Eastwood location in Lansing when the lease expires in February. On Facebook, co-owners Bill and Cecile Fehsenfeld noted that the Eastwood Schuler Books "is a beautiful store that has been doing well, but we were unable to reach a new lease agreement. This has been very difficult for us."

In a letter to customers, the Fehsenfeld wrote: "With the end of our lease, the configuration of stores in our wing of the mall is going to change. As a result we would need to occupy a significantly smaller space, without room for a café, at a higher price per square foot. The other economic challenge we face at Eastwood is the real estate tax rate, which increased dramatically early on when the ownership of the mall changed hands. It is much higher than at any of our other stores, quadruple what we pay at our Okemos store in Meridian Township.

"Because we have loved having a store here, and value our terrific staff and wonderful customers, we took a long hard look at whether we could make the store work in this new configuration and cost structure. In the end we concluded there was too much risk that the store would not be economically viable over the new lease term. While this is a very sad step to take, we will continue to look for opportunities to redirect our resources into new growth areas that ensure the future strength of the company as a whole."

Schuler Books expressed appreciation for "the many customers who have supported the Eastwood store over the past 15 years, and all of our bookstores throughout the past 35 years. We are truly thankful for the wonderful, loyal support you have shown for a locally owned family business, built on a passion to create great bookstores.... We assure you that Schuler Books will continue to be a pivotal part of our vibrant communities."


G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted by Robert Hillman


B&N's Maui Store Stays Open, Relocates

Barnes & Noble, which announced last fall it would be closing its store at the Lahaina Gateway Center on Maui, then negotiated a lease extension, will remain on the island, moving its operation to a new temporary Kahului location in March, MauiTime reported.

"Our real estate team has been tirelessly working to find a new home on the island since the lease at our former location expired," said Jim Lampassi, B&N's v-p of real estate development. He also thanked broker Roger Lyons of CBRE in Honolulu "for helping us to identify an appropriate short-term lease until we find a more permanent location. We would also like to thank Petco, the previous occupant of the space who we are licensing it from. The outpouring of support from the community was heartwarming and we can't wait to continue to serve our loyal customers in the area."

The scheduled opening date for the new store in Maui Marketplace is March 12, pending permits. MauiTimes noted that it is "hard to imagine the bookstore would stay in the Maui Marketplace permanently. It's largely empty now–Sports Authority long ago closed, and Petco and Lowe's moved next door to Target."


Touchstone Books: I Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura Philpott

Bank Street Book Nook Seeking Buyer

Bank Street Book Nook, New Milford, Conn., will close February 11 if a new owner is not found before then. In a post on the bookstore's Facebook page, co-owner Vanessa Gronbach wrote: "My husband and I bought the bookstore in February 2014 after reading an article in the local paper that the store would be closing if a buyer was not found. At that time in my life I had just dissolved my law practice in New York and was transitioning my practice to Connecticut, so I guess you can say it was the perfect time to 'save' the bookstore."

Noting that keeping the store open has been a struggle with her law practice growing and limiting how much time she can contribute to the store, Gronbach said she and her husband are "hopeful that like us four years ago, someone will step forward and experience the amazing journey of being a bookstore owner. However, if we do not find a buyer by then we will sell our inventory, furniture and supplies to anyone interested."

The Gronbachs expressed their gratitude to "our loyal customers who have been kind and supportive, those that would place orders from us because they were invested in us and appreciated the personal service we offered. You have been an amazing group of people and we thank you."

For more information, Gronbach can be contacted at vanessa@bankstreetbooks.net.


G.P. Putnam's Sons: More Than Words by Jill Santopolo


Jason Rekulak Steps Down as Quirk Books Publisher

Jason Rekulak

Jason Rekulak, publisher of Quirk Books, has resigned to pursue his writing career and other creative projects. He has been with the company for 18 years and is best known as the creative mind behind Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and as editor of the Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children series by Ransom Riggs.

Quirk president Brett Cohen will add the role of publisher, and the company will soon begin a search for an editorial director, who will be responsible for acquiring new projects and managing overall development of the list. Although Rekulak's resignation is effective immediately, Quirk will begin a transition period that extends through March and will "explore a new relationship with Rekulak beyond that point."

Cohen said that Rekulak's "relentless pursuit of unique and innovative projects across a wide spectrum of categories has laid a creative blueprint that will allow Quirk to continue to deliver on our mission for years to come. Of all his immense contributions to Quirk, I am most thankful for his leadership and mentorship."

David Borgenicht, owner and CEO of Quirk Productions, parent company of Quirk Books, called Cohen "a seasoned publishing professional who has a deep understanding of our business as well as of our publishing and entertainment vision. Brett knows Quirk inside and out, and he knows how to balance art and commerce to achieve huge commercial (and cultural) impact and success."


Shelf Awareness Giveaway: Andrews McMeel Publishing: How to Be Successful Without Hurting Men's Feelings: Non-Threatening Leadership Strategies for Women by Sarah Cooper


Quarto Consolidating Three Imprints into White Lion

The Quarto Group is launching White Lion Publishing and consolidating the Aurum Press, Frances Lincoln and Quintessence imprints in the new operation.

The new imprint will publish nonfiction, focusing on travel, food & drink, wellness, visual arts, heritage, sport, gift, gardening, smart thinking, London and popular science. The White Lion name will begin being used in September.

White Lion Publishing will be led by Richard Green, who was promoted to group publisher in July 2017. Since 2015, he was publisher for Aurum Press. He had returned to Quarto following seven years at Quercus Publishing as publishing director of illustrated nonfiction books. Earlier he was publisher of Marshall Editions, another Quarto Group imprint.

After six years with Quarto and 17 years with Frances Lincoln, publisher Andrew Dunn is leaving Quarto. He joined Frances Lincoln in 2000 as rights executive, then worked in international sales before becoming adult editorial director in 2008 and then publisher in 2014. The Group is seeking a new associate publisher.

Green commented: "Since the summer, we have been conducting a full review of our U.K.-based trade imprints in the context of a challenging market. We're inspired by the bold move of launching a new, single imprint which will feed on our 40 years' experience while breaking down silos and embracing new ways of communicating with our target readers. White Lion Publishing will be a revolution in how we conceive, commission, make, market and sell books at Quarto. We also want to wish a very warm goodbye to Andrew Dunn who has been a valued colleague for many years and will always be a part of our extended Quarto family."


Notes

Image of the Day: Camp Indie

The folks at Penguin Random House are busily assembling 2018 Winter Institute Survival Kits. The theme this year is "Camp Indie" because, according to PRH: "Let's face it, Winter Institute is kind of like a summer camp for indie booksellers." These Penguin bandanas and Magic Tree House water bottles are among the cool things in the mix.


Read It & Eat Owner One of Chicago's 'Influential Food Stars'

Esther Dairiam

Observing that the city "enjoys an embarrassment of riches when it comes to our celebrated culinary scene," Chicago Woman magazine showcased "10 of the city's influential food stars to find out what drives them."

Among the women featured was Esther Dairiam, owner of Read It and Eat bookstore, who said: "Many people read a cookbook cover-to-cover--like a novel.... While people may read cookbooks in the same way, they buy them for different reasons. We have professionals who buy books written by other chefs to learn techniques and gain inspiration. Other people buy cookbooks to add to their entertaining repertoire or who are learning how to cook. Then we have collectors who buy cookbooks simply because it appealed to them when they saw it and they may never cook from it--I've been known to do that sometimes.

"Whatever the reason, the beauty of a cookbook is that--in addition to providing the reader with a collection of recipes--it also opens them up to another culture and insight into a different way of life."


Personnel Changes at Tor/Forge/Tor Teen/Starscape

At Tor/Forge/Tor Teen/Starscape:

Theresa DeLucci has been promoted to associate director of marketing.

Alexis Saarela has been promoted to associate director of publicity.


Pennie Picks We Were the Lucky Ones

Pennie Clark Ianniciello, Costco's book buyer, has chosen We Were the Lucky Ones: A Novel by Georgia Hunter (Penguin Books, $16, 9780399563096) as her pick of the month for January. In Costco Connection, which goes to many of the warehouse club's members, she wrote:

"I'm about as sentimental as they come. It's not just stories about my family that pull at me and have me tearing up faster than you can say 'reunion.' I'm ready to listen to or read about any family saga--fact or fiction. First-time novelist Georgia Hunter delivers just the kind of story I love in this month's book buyer's pick, We Were the Lucky Ones.

"In a novel spanning many years and countries, Hunter tells the story of the Kurc family, which is split apart at the onset of World War II. The rest of the novel follows the family as they fight to reconnect.

"The fact that this book is inspired by her family's story makes it all the more touching."


Media and Movies

This Weekend on Book TV: Peter Edelman on Not a Crime to Be Poor

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 this weekend from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday and focuses on political and historical books as well as the book industry. The following are highlights for this coming weekend. For more information, go to Book TV's website.

Saturday, January 13
4:45 p.m. Neil Gershenfeld, Alan Gershenfeld and Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld, authors of Designing Reality: How to Survive and Thrive in the Third Digital Revolution (Basic Books, $28, 9780465093472). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)

6:30 p.m. Jake Bernstein, author of Secrecy World: Inside the Panama Papers Investigation of Illicit Money Networks and the Global Elite (Holt, $30, 9781250126689).

7:45 p.m. Charles Dorn, author of For the Common Good: A New History of Higher Education in America (Cornell University Press, $35, 9780801452345). (Re-airs Monday at 1 a.m.)

9 p.m. Vanessa Neumann, author of Blood Profits: How American Consumers Unwittingly Fund Terrorists (St. Martin's Press, $26.99, 9781250089359). (Re-airs Sunday at 1 p.m.)

10 p.m. Peter Edelman, author of Not a Crime to Be Poor: The Criminalization of Poverty in America (The New Press, $26.95, 9781620971635). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

Sunday, January 14
12:10 a.m. David Miliband, author of Rescue: Refugees and the Political Crisis of Our Time (Simon & Schuster/TED, $16.99, 9781501154393). (Re-airs Sunday at 2 p.m.)

1:15 a.m. Ed Asner, co-author of The Grouchy Historian: An Old-Time Lefty Defends Our Constitution Against Right-Wing Hypocrites and Nutjobs (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781501166020), at Powell's Books in Portland, Ore. (Re-airs Sunday at 4:15 p.m.)

7:30 p.m. Paul Halpern, author of The Quantum Labyrinth: How Richard Feynman and John Wheeler Revolutionized Time and Reality (Basic Books, $30, 9780465097586).



Books & Authors

Awards: National Jewish Book; Golden Kite

The winners of the Jewish Book Council's 2017 National Jewish Book Awards have been announced. The Everett Family Foundation Jewish Book of the Year Award was given to Francine Klagsbrun for Lioness: Golda Meir and the Nation of Israel (Schocken).

David E. Fishman won the inaugural Holocaust Award, in memory of Ernest W. Michel, for The Book Smugglers: Partisans, Poets, and the Race to Save Jewish Treasurebs from the Nazis  (ForeEdge). David Grossman took the J.J. Greenberg Fiction Award for A Horse Walks into a Bar by (Knopf), while Rachel Kadish's The Weight of Ink (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) received the Miller Family Book Club Award; and Barren Island by Carol Zoref (New Issues Poetry & Prose/Western Michigan University) won the Goldberg Prize for Debut Fiction.

Other winners and finalists in several categories can be seen here. The winners will be honored on March 6 in New York City.

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Winners of the 2017 Golden Kite Awards, presented to children's book authors and artists by their peers and sponsored by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, are:

Golden Kite Award Winners:
Middle Grade Fiction: See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng (Dial Books)

Non-Fiction for Older Readers: Vincent and Theo by Debora Heiligman (Godwin Books/Holt)
 
Non-Fiction for Younger Readers: Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library by Carole Boston Weatherford (Candlewick Press)
 
Picture Book Illustration: Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter by Kenard Pak (Holt)

Picture Book Text: There Might Be Lobsters by Carolyn Crimi (Candlewick Press)

Young Adult Fiction: What Girls Are Made Of by Elana K. Arnold (Carolrhoda Lab)

Sid Fleischman Award Winner: The Magnificent Mya Tibbs: The Wall of Fame Game by Crystal Allen (Balzer & Bray)

Golden Kite Honor Books:
Middle Grade Fiction:
The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (Dial Books)
One Good Thing About America by Ruth Freeman (Holiday House)
 
Picture Book Text: The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet by Carmen Agra Deedy (Scholastic Press)

Picture Book Illustration: Fallingwater by LeUyen Pham (Roaring Brook)
 
Young Adult Fiction:
Dress Codes for Small Towns by Courtney Stevens (Harper Teen)
Calling My Name by Liara Tamani (Greenwillow Books)

The awards will be presented on February 2 during SCBWI's winter conference in New York.


Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, January 16:

Iron Gold by Pierce Brown (Del Rey, $28, 9780425285916) is book four in the YA sci-fi Red Rising series.

The Voice Inside by Brian Freeman (Thomas & Mercer, $24.95, 9781542049047) is the second mystery with San Francisco homicide inspector Frost Easton.

It Occurs to Me That I Am America: New Stories and Art edited by Jonathan Santlofer (Touchstone, $30, 9781501179600) collects more than 30 short stories from authors such as Alice Walker, Richard Russo, Walter Mosley and Joyce Carol Oates.

It's Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America by David Cay Johnston (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781501174162) indicts what he calls the Trump team's corruption, incompetence and plutocratic aspirations.

How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt (Crown, $26, 9781524762933) explores historical and modern threats to liberal democracy.

Nino and Me: My Unusual Friendship with Justice Antonin Scalia by Bryan A. Garner (Threshold Editions, $28, 9781501181498) is a legal scholar's account of his friendship with late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Androma Saga, Book 1: Zenith by Sasha Alsberg and Lindsay Cummings (Harlequin Teen, $19.99, 9780373212590) follows an all-girl team of space pirates chased across the universe by a sadistic bounty hunter.

Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Shetterly, illustrated by‎ Laura Freeman (HarperCollins, $17.99, 9780062742469) is a picture book based on the bestselling book for adults.

Movies:
12 Strong, based on the book Horse Soldiers by Doug Stanton, opens January 19. Chris Hemsworth stars as a Green Beret during the invasion of Afghanistan. A movie tie-in edition (Pocket, $9.99, 9781501179952) is available.

The Leisure Seeker, based on the novel by Michael Zadoorian, opens January 19. Donald Sutherland and Helen Mirren star as an elderly couple on a final RV trip. A movie tie-in (Morrow, $15.99, 9780062696861) is available.


IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:

Hardcover
Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant (Orbit, $26, 9780316379403). "In Into the Drowning Deep, Mira Grant has conjured up scary mermaids living in the depths of the Pacific Ocean. An expedition sets out to learn if mermaids truly exist and to uncover the fate of a previous expedition. The new crew is being recorded for a documentary, with the hope it will prove mermaids are real and clear the network of wrongdoing. Both Tory, whose sister was killed on the first expedition, and Jillian, who has been teaching about mermaids for years, are going out on the state-of-the-art ship; however, that ship has one major flaw. You will not look at The Little Mermaid the same way again!" --Jason Kennedy, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, Wis.

The Story of Arthur Truluv: A Novel by Elizabeth Berg (Random House, $26, 9781400069903). "If ever there were a perfect ointment to soothe the increasing incivility of today's world, Elizabeth Berg's The Story of Arthur Truluv could provide that salve. A warm story about elderly neighbors Arthur and Lucille and a teenage outsider, Maddy, this book demonstrates that all love and kindness have not disappeared, that there are pockets of caring living in certain people. Complete with cemeteries, warm cranberry-nut bars, a bully boyfriend, loneliness, and a baseball bat, Arthur Truluv is the right book at the right time. Let your heart soar!" --Nancy Simpson-Brice, Book Vault, Oskaloosa, Iowa

Paperback
I Will Send Rain: A Novel by Rae Meadows (St. Martin's Griffin, $15.99, 9781250145932). "As I read I Will Send Rain, I was transported to the West of the 1930s as the Dust Bowl storms began. Annie Bell is struggling to keep her home, body, and family free of the layers of dust that reappear as fast as they are wiped clean. Her husband has constant dreams of rain; her teenage daughter is blinded by love; her young son suffers from dust pneumonia; and now an admirer is forcing Annie to question her own ethics and being. I was moved by the characters, the historical background, the heartache, and the simultaneous longing and complacency that make this a beautiful and powerful story." --Lori Fazio, R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, Conn.

For Ages 4 to 8
This Is Not a Valentine by Carter Higgins, illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins (Chronicle, $14.99, 9781452153742). "This Is Not a Valentine is a love letter to what's really important: friends. A child gives a friend small gifts of appreciation, but NOT valentines (that would be gross). This sweet, funny book is perfect for elementary classrooms. The loose illustrations are gestural and accessible and perfectly capture the awkward charm of the characters." --Marika McCoola, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, Mass.

For Ages 9 to 12
Lily's Mountain by Hannah Moderow (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $16.99, 9780544978003). "When her dad doesn't come home from climbing Denali, 12-year-old Lily hopes to find him by retracing his route. Lily's sister reluctantly accompanies her, but even she doesn't believe their dad is still alive. But their plans quickly go awry as they encounter treacherous rivers and dangerous wildlife. Set in the Alaskan wilderness, this novel is part adventure and part coming-of-age. Beautifully written with a stunning setting and complex, relatable characters, Lily's Mountain is a middle-grade adventure novel with a lot of heart." --Erin Barker, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, N.C.

For Teen Readers
Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu (Random House, $18.99, 9780399549786). "Before he was crusading around Gotham as Batman, Bruce Wayne was just a young billionaire who wanted to help keep his city safe from the violence plaguing it. Unable to stay out of any injustices he sees, Bruce ends up doing community service in Arkham Asylum, where he meets a mysterious young prisoner who is part of a murderous group responsible for a crime wave striking the elite of Gotham. With himself a potential next target, Bruce is determined to find and stop the other members of the group still out there. Marie Lu does a great job of portraying a young Bruce Wayne while paying homage to the decades of Batman comic lore. Nightwalker is the start of Bruce becoming the caped vigilante he will be known as someday." --Miranda McGowan, An Unlikely Story, Plainville, Mass.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]


Book Review

Review: Asymmetry

Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday (Simon & Schuster, $26 hardcover, 288p., 9781501166761, February 6, 2018)

From the get-go, Whiting Award-winner Lisa Halliday signals that the world of her first novel, Asymmetry, will be more like that found behind Lewis Carroll's looking glass than the more prosaic one in front of it. Young editor Alice Dodge is sitting on a New York City park bench trying to read a dense book of "long paragraphs, and no quotation marks whatsoever" and (echoing Carroll's Alice) wondering "what is the point of a book... that does not have any quotation marks?"

When a famous novelist 50 years her senior sits beside her, she is drawn by his fame and conversational flair. The two discover a mutual fascination with old movies, books, music and the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, and subsequently fall into a love affair. Asymmetry takes off into the quotation mark-filled banter of two literary sorts navigating the shifting terrain of geriatric sex positions and unscheduled trips to hospitals and pharmacies.

Then, as if slipping through that looking glass, the novel shifts to the story of Amar Jaafari, the son of California immigrants from Iraq. He is trapped in customs detention at Heathrow trying to prove he is neither a threat nor a deadbeat. In question mark-free long paragraphs recounting an ambivalent relationship with his family, faith and Iraqi origins, his story dips into the miasma of Iraq's post-Saddam politics and upheaval. Over several trips to visit extended family in Baghdad, he leans toward the opinion that "maybe East and West really are eternally irreconcilable--like a curve and its asymptote, geometrically fated never to intersect." In their asymmetrical divergence, Halliday's two tales straddle our off-plumb world in the first decade of the 21st century.

Halliday includes excerpts from Huck Finn, Camus and Joyce's crude pornographic letters. Her marvelous scenes of Alice and Ezra watching Big Papi long balls and Jeter double-plays have a press box play-by-play cadence. She rattles off the many instructions on Ezra's cornucopia of meds as if they were a pharmaceutical Ten Commandments.

With deadpan indifference, she runs through the inane questions of jury voir dire or those of immigration officers, the latter leaving Amar feeling like he's in a "game of Tic-Tac-Toe in which the other person gets to go first." His ruminations on the fate of Iraq dip into its long history of war, politics, religion, dislocation and migration. Sweetening the mix, Halliday has a poet's eye for metaphor--comparing, for example, a steady snowfall to "an army of parachuting invaders" or likening an array of fresh fish behind sneeze-proof glass to "newborns in a maternity ward."
Despite its very disparate pair of stories, Asymmetry adeptly concludes in a short coda interview with Ezra after he finally wins a Nobel Prize. Reflecting on his favorite music (Schubert's Im Abendrot) and book (Joyce's Ulysses), he opines on the role of literature--thoughts that could also be said of Halliday's gifted debut: "It is human nature to try to impose order and form on even the most defiantly chaotic and amorphous stuff of life.... Some of us wage war. Others write books." --Bruce Jacobs, founding partner, Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, Kan.

Shelf Talker: Deftly combining two stories that are distinctive in style and content, Whiting Award-winner Lisa Halliday's Asymmetry is a stellar piece of writing and a bold debut.


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