Shelf Awareness for Tuesday, June 26, 2018

 Kokila: Everything We Never Had by Randy Ribay

Nancy Paulsen Books: Sync by Ellen Hopkins

Running Press Adult: Cat People by Hannah Hillam

Beaming Books: Must-Have Autumn Reads for Your Shelf!

Dial Press: Like Mother, Like Mother by Susan Rieger

Severn House: A Messy Murder (Main) (The Decluttering Mysteries #4) by Simon Brett

Forge: My Three Dogs by Bruce W Cameron


Oakland's Laurel Book Store Closing at End of August

Laurel Book Store, Oakland, Calif., is closing at the end of August, owner Luan Stauss has announced. Since moving downtown four years ago, the store has had financial difficulties because of a poor retail environment in her part of downtown. Last summer, Stauss went public about the store's problems and sought a business partner.

In a letter to customers about the closing, Stauss wrote that customer reaction to her call for help last year was positive: "July and August of 2017 were very busy and we caught up with orders and bills and decided to give it another year. Since then, each month has been ahead of the prior year by a very small amount, but ongoing sales have not been enough to meet expenses comfortably."

At the same time, she wrote that she has "spoken with a number of interested people and am continuing to engage with them. If you have always wanted to own a book store, but doing it on your own is daunting, this might be the opportunity you've been waiting for. The Laurel Book Store has been in business for nearly 17 years. We have strong relationships with partners like libraries and schools, and a strong foundation of presenting author and other events, participating in and supporting our community, and providing offerings through in-store stock, a website with online ordering, e-books, and audiobooks... My hope is that the store continues with some new management, but no matter what happens, it's been a great run."

Stauss told Hoodline that if the store survives, it will have to move. She continues to see a need for the store: "Oakland reads," she said. "Oakland definitely is a reading city. They are very well educated about their books."

G.P. Putnam's Sons: The Restaurant of Lost Recipes (A Kamogawa Food Detectives Novel) by Hisashi Kashiwai, Translated by Jesse Kirkwood

S&S Launches Book Club Favorites Program

Simon & Schuster has launched Book Club Favorites, a direct-to-consumer program that promotes book club titles, primarily paperback fiction, from imprints across the company on a monthly basis. Book Club Favorites will have its own website and Facebook group with discussion questions and exclusive content. Book Club Favorites will also include a newsletter, a monthly sweepstakes with wine partner Bright Cellars, and ongoing targeted marketing to consumers, booksellers, librarians, and book group leaders. At the end of the month, readers will be invited to participate in the Book Club Favorites Facebook Live discussion. The following month's pick will be revealed at that time.

The first Book Club Favorites title, for July, is The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman, which S&S is publishing on June 26.

The program aims to "connect publishers and authors directly with book clubs and draw them into a conversation," the company said, and will feature "bestselling authors that reading groups already love--such as inaugural author Alice Hoffman--and introduce them to new favorites."

"We are thrilled to be showcasing Simon & Schuster titles in this new way, which expands on our existing book club efforts and provides readers with a new way to engage with our books and authors," Wendy Sheanin, v-p and director of marketing at S&S, said.

Harpervia: Only Here, Only Now by Tom Newlands

Amazon to Open First Fulfillment Center in Ala.

Amazon plans to open its first Alabama fulfillment center, in Bessemer. The company currently operates a sortation center in Mobile. The new 855,000-square-foot warehouse will create 1,500 full-time jobs, with employees working alongside Amazon Robotics technology to pick, pack and ship small items such as books, household items and toys.

Mark Stewart, Amazon's v-p of North America customer fulfillment, said, "Alabama has a talented workforce and we look forward to making a positive economic impact in a state where we are committed to providing great job opportunities and an exceptional customer experience."

Governor Kay Ivey said the warehouse "represents good jobs for our citizens and the beginning of a long partnership that I believe will see Amazon expand and grow in Alabama in the future."

Ci6: Launching Pop-Up Shops to Boost Sales

At Children's Institute 6 in New Orleans, La., three booksellers with experience running pop-up bookshops convened to share tips and best practices. Suzanna Hermans, co-owner of Oblong Books & Music in Rhinebeck and Millerton, N.Y., Deborah Cohen, owner of The Story House based in Montgomery County, Md., and Angela Maria Spring, owner of Duende District Bookstore in Washington, D.C., made up the panel, while Amanda Hurley of Tombolo Books in St. Petersburg, Fla., moderated the discussion.

Spring said that narrowing one's mission and focus can help quite a bit when it comes to launching pop-ups. By nature, pop-ups have limited space, and she suggested it can be better to do one thing very well rather than try to do a little bit of everything. Spring said she doesn't do consignment, and if a potential partner wants to charge her rent, she will not go over $300, which is the point where the business model becomes unsustainable for her. As for POS systems, she reported having good results with Square and noted that Square can run credit cards even without Internet access. As for planning and hosting author events, Spring said that having a very particular mission helped her find other organizations to work with and, given the size of her pop-up stores, event partnerships were virtually a necessity.

Cohen said she decided to open her store as a mobile pop-up (she bought and renovated an old trolley bus) because rents in her county were so high that a bricks-and-mortar store did not seem sustainable. Cohen has had success with school events in the spring, especially with Montessori preschools, and said she chooses her inventory based on the event she is going to. At a Pride event, for example, she carried all LGBTQ-themed titles, and at a gluten-free expo at the Children's National Medical Center she brought cookbooks with gluten-free recipes and related titles. When it comes to deciding exactly which books to carry, Cohen said she spends a lot of time reading reviews. For schools, requesting lists of titles from teachers and administrators can be extremely helpful. Cohen added that she switched to Square after her previous inventory system kept breaking down in remote locations.

Hermans has a traditional bricks-and-mortar bookstore but operates pop-up shops at some off-site events. Her store has an ongoing partnership with Bard College and sells books, CDs and other concessions at Bard's Performing Arts Center when it puts on performances. Oblong partners with the store Taste N.Y. to sell a small selection of titles by New York authors and about local interests, and Hermans has also sold books at a high-end gardening show in northwest Connecticut. Hermans said she uses a lot of store data to help her make selections for pop-ups, and noted that debut authors tend not to do very well unless she handsells them. For the first gardening pop-up, she recalled, she reached out to her Workman rep for suggestions for high-end gardening books. When it comes to covering her costs for pop-up events, Hermans said she's worked out a formula where she needs to earn $40 per hour of every bookseller's time, meaning that if she had one bookseller working for four hours she would need to make $160. After she hits that threshold, she said, she gives back 20% of sales if she's partnering with a school or non-profit. --Alex Mutter

Bookselling Without Borders: Turin Edition

Anna Thorn, book strategist at Busboys & Poets, Washington, D.C., was a participant in the Bookselling Without Borders program at the recent Turin Book Fair. The program provides American booksellers with travel fellowships to attend international book fairs and is financed by an annual crowd-funding campaign. This year it's supported by Catapult, Europa Editions, Graywolf Press, Other Press, The New Press, Princeton University Press, Rutgers University Press, Frankfurter Buchmesse, Ingram Content Group and Shelf Awareness.

Here Thorn offers a piece about her experience that she calls "How I Spent an Entire Vacation Working and Still Came Away Happy," unofficially brought to you by Martini and Lavazza!

Booksellers Without Borders: (l.-r.) Nick Buzanski, Anna Thorn, Hans Weyandt, Rachel Kaplan

At the end of my week in Turin, I sat at a café in Linate Airport, hunched over a double espresso and staring at a blank page. My suitcase, plumper than when I left thanks to some Italian sartorial and culinary acquisitions, stood at my knee. I was attempting to record my thoughts about the experience I'd just had with Bookselling Without Borders, and I wasn't having much luck. While I'm usually a pretty obsessive journaler, on this trip I had written almost nothing--for the excellent reason that I was utterly engaged in what I was doing. But despite that engagement, I was now staring at a blank page rather than scribbling for two reasons: first, I was delirious from lack of sleep; second, I was intimidated by the magnitude of experiences and ideas that I felt I had to capture. The sheer number of fascinating conversations about everything from innovative publishing models to the role of booksellers associations to effective displays defied the faculty of my tired brain.

By the time I finished the espresso, I had managed a bare-bones outline that did little to capture the full experience. Since getting back home and resting up, I've added more coherent reflections as well as tested the patience of my friends and family with my stories of the trip. I still don't feel that I've been able to fully explain why BWB is such a brilliant and valuable program, why publishers should support it, and booksellers covet it, but I've done my best here to at least convey a bit of what it was like.

Six days before that espresso at Linate and my writer's block, I had arrived in Turin early for some sightseeing. I visited the amazingly extensive Egyptian Museum, several independent bookstores and stalls (they are thick on the ground), and some charming parks. These places were all delightful, although, because I hadn't slept on the red-eye over (so it began), I was only vaguely aware of my delight. That first day, it was a pleasure and a relief to get to my Airbnb in the old town and climb into bed with a book. I made it through one and a half pages of Calvino before falling asleep so deeply that I woke up 11 hours later with the book still in my hand, open to the same page. Bless that sleep. It lasted me the rest of the trip.

I left my Airbnb the next morning, after making myself an amateur espresso that would have horrified the Italians and walked to the Hotel Roma Cavour. I was refreshed and excited. The sun was shining, two old Italian gentlemen wished me "buon giorno!", fountains jetted to life as I walked by. Basically, it was like being at the point in a rom-com where the protagonists realize they're in love.

We all met for the first time at a restaurant near the hotel called Stars and Roses. "We" being: Michael Reynolds, editor-in-chief at Europa, founder of BWB, and international publishing celebrity; Steve Kroeter of Archetypes Associates and Designers and Books and shoo-in for nicest man ever; Rachel Kaplan, the events coordinator at Avid Bookshop in Athens, Ga.; Nick Buzanski, the manager at Book Culture in New York City; and Hans Weyandt, manager at Milkweed Books in Minneapolis, Minn.. (Terrie Akers, marketing director for Other Press, joined us later that day.) Immediately, we began talking about what we did in our respective stores, while Michael rattled off our order to the waiter. I caught the word "pizze" several times, which boded well. The wining and dining had begun.

Our second day began at il Circolo dei Lettori, an organization that hosts literary workshops and events and provides space for writers and scholars to work in their absurdly beautiful old palazzo (complete with café). We chatted with the organizers about their impressive schedule of events, the organization's structure, their marketing strategies, their audience (while each of us thought about how we could make the model work in our respective cities). Then we got a full tour and admired the plastered-and-painted ceilings, creaky wood floors, and stunning art. (If I ever disappear from my daily life, I will be found some months later reclining in the velvet chaise lounge in the blue-and-black-damasked back room of the Circolo dei Lettori, an espresso and a book in hand.)

After the tour, Michael, Hans, and I took the subway to the Turin Book Festival (il Salone Internazionale del Libro di Torino). It was huge, vibrant, varied, and bustling with a mix of readers and publishers. There were big crowds and tall stacks of books everywhere. Think BookExpo++. Hans and I spoke at a panel that morning to a packed room of booksellers, mostly from the bookseller school that the Italian booksellers association (ALI) runs. They were full of excellent questions (and audibly gasped when I mentioned the quick turnaround time for U.S. orders). The next morning, Nick and Rachel spoke on a panel on distribution, and we learned how great the variation is in efficiency between German, French, American, and Italian systems. There was much grumbling from the audience. The discussions about different distribution structures were eye-opening to me, making me realize that something I took for granted was not a given and may not even be the best way of doing things.

While at the Festival, we had frequent meetings with diverse publishers (Black Coffee Edizione, Corraini Edizione, Edizioni E/O and others); the head of the Italian booksellers association (discussing how he sees his role, its strategies for dealing with Amazon, its advocacy efforts); and booksellers from Rome at the Otherwise stand. Outside of the Festival, the meetings with bookstore managers continued. My fellow booksellers and I asked questions and inspected every store (I loved that Italian publishers have strong personalities and, in stores, titles are traditionally shelved together by publisher, rather than by genre). We made international publisher connections, stole display ideas, schemed ways to market and source international books, and then at the end of each day refueled with pasta and wine.

The conversation was constant and engaging throughout the whole week because, even when we weren't meeting with a host of different book industry people, I was always talking with the BWB hosts and my fellow booksellers. After a packed day of meetings, all I wanted to do was to keep chatting late into the night (booksellers really are that insatiable in their desire to discuss the minutiae of books and bookstores). Our idea exchanges were especially creative and profitable since we spent each day questioning our assumptions about bookselling--ways of organizing and displaying, our stock and vendor choices, even bookstores' place in the book ecosystem.

At breakfast on the final day, we debriefed and struggled to think of any criticisms of the program, but instead talked about the ideas that we were excited to bring back to our stores. Each of us got something a little different from BWB. The reasons my experience was valuable may not be the reasons that an events coordinator or newer bookseller find it valuable--the program adapts beautifully to different roles, and there is something there for everyone who is really engaged with the book industry. Later, we made our farewells confident that we would see each other again. (We have since, and I would happily host any of my fellow BWB booksellers anytime.)

Bookselling Without Borders accomplished what I had anticipated, namely a ton of useful conversations with book industry folks, but also much more. Spending time with the publishing world, as represented by Michael and Terrie, but also by the many Italian publishers we met, I understand the book ecosystem in a new way. They gave me new insight into how the publishing world works (or doesn't) and how our spheres fit together. Like a good novel, it showed me a different perspective on things that I thought I knew backwards and forwards. It's also a bit of a rarity to be given the red-carpet treatment as a bookseller (walking through an Italian book festival or party with Michael Reynolds is a good way to get rock star treatment), and having a week of like-minded, smart people shower us with compliments, respect and free food left me very motivated.

BWB gave me both a big-picture perspective and a myriad of little ideas, new connections and great memories. And the fact that we spent the entire time talking about work, and it still ranks as one of my most enjoyable vacations is pretty damn impressive. Though it is possible that I was simply deliriously tired and wine-tipsy the whole trip.


Image of the Day: Implosion at Left Bank Books

Last Friday, Left Bank Books, Belfast, Maine, hosted the launch of Elizabeth Garber's Implosion: A Memoir of an Architect's Daughter (She Writes Press), an event that drew nearly 230 people. From left: store publicist Nancy Hauswald; co-owner Barb Klausmeyer; Elizabeth Garber; and co-owner Lindsay McGuire. Photo: Julia Clapp

Mabel Murple's Book Shoppe & Dreamery: 'A Magical Place'

"Down a sunny dirt road, deep in rural Nova Scotia, is a magical place," the Canadian Press wrote in profiling Mabel Murple's Book Shoppe & Dreamery in River John. Author, storyteller and owner Sheree Fitch described her location on an old farm as a “barn full of books and a pasture full of poop." The seasonal bookshop opens for its second summer July 2, hosting Read by the Sea's WordPlay Children's Book Festival, with readings by authors Paulette Bourgeois, Wesley King and Justin Gregg.

"I wanted to open a space where people can come, sit down with a book, bring their bug spray, sunscreen, a clothes pin for the nose, and they can dream in this space," Fitch said. "We didn't have a lot of money but I thought, 'What if it's not just about bottom-line dollar. We've got a beautiful property, let's open it up.' "

Last year, her husband, Gilles Plante, "converted an old grainery into a rustic bookstore with handmade shelves painted light green and purple," the Canadian Press noted. "They ordered a few boxes of books--enough inventory to last the season, they thought--and made three parking spots. They expected a smattering of supportive locals and a few come-by-chance tourists. They ended up with three pastures full of cars and sold-out shelves on opening day."

"They got out of their cars and stepped into a world away from the screens," said Fitch. "They could sit and have an egg salad sandwich and lemonade and read a book.... We want this to be part of an old-fashioned summer vacation. There's something nostalgic about getting off the iPad, the iPhones, and just enjoying some good old-fashioned books, storytelling and picnics. I really believe eyeball-to-eyeball and face-to-face communication is what human beings need the most. It's called human interaction and it's essential to people's well-being and health."

Bookshop Chalkboard of the Day: Bards Alley

"Summer is never boring when you've got a book." Bards Alley, Vienna, Va., featured a canine-themed bookshop chalkboard post on its Facebook page, noting: "Maggie recommends A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron. Do you have a favorite dog-centric book? The Art of Racing in the Rain? Shiloh? We have all three on our shelves!"

Hachette to Distribute Kyle Books

Effective September 1, Hachette Book Group will handle North American distribution and U.S. sales services for Kyle Books.

Founded in 1989, Kyle Books publishes in the areas of food, health, gardening and lifestyle. Its backlist includes 50 Great Curries of India by Camellia Panjabi, which has sold more than a million copies worldwide, Hugo Arnold's The Wagamama Cookbook, and many titles from Darina Allen, Clodagh McKenna and Ming Tsai. Recent publications include Ching-He Huang's Stir Crazy and Robyn Youkilis's Thin from Within. Kyle Books was named Cookbook Publisher of the Year 2018 by the World Gourmand Awards.

In 2017, Kyle Books was acquired by Hachette UK and is now part of the Octopus Publishing Group.

Andrew Welham, deputy CEO of the Octopus Group, commented: "I would like to thank both the National Book Network and Baker & Taylor Publisher Services for their excellent work in selling the Kyle list in the U.S. and Canada for many years. I am now very much looking forward to bringing Kyle Books USA under the Octopus USA umbrella and developing the brand and a strong and exciting publishing program with our U.S. colleagues at Hachette Book Group and the Manda Group in Canada, who do such a great job in selling the Octopus list in North America."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Alissa Quart on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Alissa Quart, author of Squeezed: Why Our Families Can't Afford America (Ecco, $27.99, 9780062412256).

The View: Amber Tamblyn, author of Any Man: A Novel (Harper Perennial, $15.99, 9780062688927).

Ellen repeat: Bob Roth, author of Strength in Stillness: The Power of Transcendental Meditation (Simon & Schuster, $24, 9781501161216).

Movies: The Hate U Give

20th Century Fox has released a trailer for The Hate U Give, an adaptation of Angie Thomas's novel directed by George Tillman Jr. (Soul Food), IndieWire reported. The film, adapted by Audrey Wells, stars Amandla Stenberg (The Hunger Games, Everything, Everything), Regina Hall, K.J. Apa, Sabrina Carpenter, Common, Anthony Mackie and Issa Rae. The Hate U Give arrives in theaters October 19.

Megan Abbott: 'Hollywood's Next Big Novelist'

Megan Abbott

Noting that bestselling author Megan Abbott "has been a successful crime fiction writer for more than a decade," Entertainment Weekly reported that "it seems Hollywood is finally catching up" now that her two most recent novels "have near-simultaneously been optioned for adaptation."

You Will Know Me was optioned directly by AMC, while the upcoming Give Me Your Hand is going to Skydance Media and TV-megaproducer Marti Noxon (Dietland, Sharp Objects), bringing the the number of Abbott projects in the works up to three: A pilot based on Dare Me, directed by Steph Green (The Americans) is currently in production at USA.

"I couldn't be more thrilled than to have these novels in such masterful hands," Abbott said. "As a fan and ardent admirer of Marti Noxon's work since her Buffy days and through UnREAL and Dietland, and as an avid AMC viewer--and Mad Men and Breaking Bad obsessive--I'm over the moon."

EW noted that Abbott's "sudden break into Hollywood arguably began last fall, when she was hired as part of The Wire mastermind David Simon's writing staff for his new HBO drama The Deuce: Abbott's first on-screen credit."

"David Simon has a real ideology; he wants to tell these stories because of his fervently held political beliefs," she said. "The thing I took away most from him, in trying to figure out what I'd do this for my own pilot, is how passionately he fights for the storytelling he believes in. I'm not sure I can get there, but it was certainly something to see in action."

Books & Authors

Awards: Pritzker, Orwell, CLiPPA Winners

Military historian and author Dennis Showalter has won the $100,000 2018 Pritzker Military Museum & Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing.

Showalter is the author of more than 16 books, including Tannenberg: Clash of Empires, Patton and Rommel: Men of War in the 20th Century, Armor and Blood: Kursk, 1943, Frederick the Great: A Military History, The Wars of German Unification and Instrument of War: The German Army 1914-18. His latest book, coming in September, written with Joseph P. Robinson and Janet A. Robinson, is The German Failure in Belgium, August 1914.

Showalter is professor emeritus at Colorado College and a former president, vice president, and trustee of the Society for Military History. He has served as editor or editor in chief for a variety of military history journals and book series, including Oxford Bibliographies: Military History. He has also won the Samuel Eliot Morrison Achievement Award from the Society for Military History and the American Historical Association Paul Birdsall Prize.

The awards organizers said that Showalter "has gained recognition for his research demonstrating the interrelationship between the military and civil society." Chair of the selection committee John Rowe also praised Showalter's "long and brilliant record of writing, especially about World Wars I and II."

Museum & Library founder and chair Jennifer N. Pritzker, a retired colonel in the Illinois National Guard, will present Showalter with the award at the organization's annual Liberty Gala on November 3 in Chicago.


Poverty Safari by Darren McGarvey has won the 2018 Orwell Book Prize, which honors a book that "comes closest to George Orwell's ambition 'to make political writing into an art.' "


Karl Nova won this year's £1,000 (about $1,325) Center for Literacy in Primary Education Children's Poetry Award (CLiPPA) for his debut poetry collection, Rhythm and Poetry. The prize is administered by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education, which sends 350 free copies of the shortlisted books to teachers across the country.

Grace Nichols, a poet and judge of this year's award, said: "This book really stood out for me with its refreshing use of the rap genre, its musicality, its immediacy and thoughtful reflections on the creative process. Karl Nova's poems ring true with a sincere charm that children and young people can relate to and that may inspire their own writing."

Rising Stars, an anthology of poems by Ruth Awolola, Victoria Adukwei Bulley, Abigail Cook, Jay Hulme and Amina Jama, was highly commended.

Book Review

Review: Orchid & the Wasp

Orchid and the Wasp by Caoilinn Hughes (Hogarth, $26 hardcover, 352p., 9781524761103, July 10, 2018)

With Orchid & the Wasp, Irish poet Caoilinn Hughes (Gathering Evidence) ventures into fiction for the first time. The novel's protagonist is an intelligent, complex young woman making a daring entry into adulthood amid the economic certainty of the 21st century's first decade, and the novel showcases Hughes's talent as both a shrewd student of character and an astute observer of contemporary life.

Beginning in 2002, the story follows Gael Foess, then age 11 and living in Dublin, over nearly a decade, as her life takes her first to London and then New York City. Her parents are Jarleth, an icy investment banker whose work might be implicated in the financial manipulation that led to the Great Recession, and Sive, principal conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra. Gael shares her childhood home with a younger brother, Guthrie, a talented artist who suffers from somatic delusional disorder, which manifests itself in epileptic seizures that seem frighteningly real, but aren't.

Gael is ingenious, if not always wise, and resourceful even in the direst circumstances. All of those qualities coalesce when she hatches a scheme to market some of Guthrie's artwork without his knowledge in a Chelsea gallery. She does this after her father abandons the family and departs for London, in the process triggering her mother's personal and professional collapse. Moreover, Guthrie finds himself the accidental father of twins and needs the money for their support.

Whether it's Gael's improbable, hilariously dismissive admission interview at London Business School, her caustic take on three young Master of the Universe types during an evening of partying or her frightening experience at the Occupy Wall Street encampment in Zuccotti Park in 2011, Hughes persuasively portrays some of the obstacles facing a modern young woman who decides to take on the world armed with little more than her wits and noble intentions. For all the frustration readers may feel when Gael seems to make an imprudent decision, among the character traits that make her such an appealing protagonist is her refusal to look at the world with anything less than an unblinkered eye. "I don't bank on luck," she tells Art, the man who slips into Sive's life after Jarleth leaves her. "I don't bank on skill either. Neither gets you a fair return."

Hughes chooses not to bring Gael's story to a neat end. Perhaps that's because she's one of those literary characters whose life is so vividly depicted it's easy to imagine it continuing beyond the last page of this refreshingly honest novel. --Harvey Freedenberg, freelance reviewer

Shelf Talker: In Caoilinn Hughes's debut novel, a young Irish woman faces the challenge of making her way alone in the modern world.

The Bestsellers

Top-Selling Self-Published Titles

The bestselling self-published books last week as compiled by

1. Jinn's Dominion (Desert Cursed Series Book 3) by Shannon Mayer
2. Desperate Play by Barbara Freethy
3. Unconscious Hearts by Harper Sloan
4. Protected by a Hero by Various
5. Edge of Anarchy by David Archer
6. Mister Tonight by Kendall Ryan
7. Survival of the Richest by Skye Warren
8. Empires of Shadow and Ash by Various
9. For the Blood of a Crow by T.S. Joyce
10. Fake It for Me by Kira Blakely

[Many thanks to!]

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