Collective Book Haul (December – March)

Hey pals,

I’ve been on a partial book buying ban since 2020 ended, mainly because I don’t have much money and I have many books! But I’ve been keeping an eye out on second hand selling sites (mainly on facebook) for books in series I want to read or have started and liked enough I would like to own and continue (as I talk through these in my Book Series I want to Finish in 2021 video! If you want to buy any of the books series I’m reading, check out this list) so those were my main second hand purchases! I also had £40 worth of gift cards I can’t really use online (they are annoying with how they work…) and I don’t need anything I can buy with them or the shops are closed because of Lockdowns. So when I pop into town occasionally, I check out the only shop open right now that also has books and takes these gift cards!

If you would like to buy any of these books listed! I have linked where you can buy them on the bookshop, if you use my affiliate link you will support me and indie bookshops!

I never really know HOW to book haul, but this is the best I got and how I’ve been doing it for a while. Mainly, mention the book and sometimes link it, talk about why I want to read it and some of them I include the synopsis in case anyone doesn’t know what I’m talking about. The four new books I bought with gift cards from Christmas. I still have some money left on them but they are very annoying to use and I have to keep track of what is left on the cards.

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy: I watched the film and really enjoyed it. If you’re new here, I love reading books after I’ve seen the film or show adaptation. A lot of the books on this list fit that brief, honestly! But as part of my Books I Want To Read More Of in 2021, I wanted to read more fat-positive books and this is where I’ll probably be starting. “In a small Texas town, a confident fat girl confronts new challenges to her self-esteem. At age 16, Willowdean—her mother calls her Dumplin’—has a good sense of herself. She’s uninterested in Mom’s raison d’être, the Clover City Miss Teen Blue Bonnet Pageant, which annually takes over the town and Will’s own house.”

PS I Still Love You by Jenny Han: I read the first book of this series in September 2019 when I was starting to get back into reading again after my Creative Writing Degree put me in a chronic slump. Another I read after watching the adaptation, there were quite a few differences between the book and film and I’ve seen the second film which makes me curious what the next book is like and this is a series I wanted to try and continue this year. It also comes under books I want to read more of in 2021.

The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed: “Perfect for fans of The Hate U Give, this unforgettable coming-of-age debut novel explores issues of race, class, and violence through the eyes of a wealthy black teenager whose family gets caught in the vortex of the 1992 Rodney King Riots.

Want to chill out and vibe? Come watch Dawson’s Creek with me!

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black: I don’t really know what this book is about I bought it because my friend liked it a lot and the Prince mentioned is called Cardan which is close to Carden. That’s all. “The Cruel Prince follows Jude, a human girl living among faeries. She wants to fit in, but her stubbornness and determination cause her to stand out among the royal family, where she aspires to become a knight.”

The second hand books I’ve picked up highly discounted since December. This is one of the best ways of recycling your books, either offering them for sale or free on social media (facebook marketplace always has loads of book posts) maybe take them to a charity shop or thrift store that sells books, last resort are donation bins. Or some people use old books for art (like me, check out my ko-fi shop!)

You by Caroline Kepnes: Another series I’ve watched! I think I liked series 2 a bit more but I liked it enough to give reading it a go! “The novel presents a cast of emotionally disturbed people whose interactions with each other can be both hilarious and tragic. Joe is obsessed with Beck when she first walks into his bookstore. He uses her name to research her online and find where she lives.” I really enjoy watching thrillers and crime, I am trying to get into reading it!

For more book series I’m planning on reading, you can buy them here.

The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins: Sadly a couple of them aren’t in the best condition but that’s okay. I’d seen the films in the past but not many times, I decided last year I would finally read the books and give them a shot and honestly I was so shocked at how much I enjoyed the books I decided I definitely wanted to own physical copies and these were such a bargain I couldn’t pass it up.

The Divergent books by Veronica Roth: (1-3) “The novel Divergent features a post-apocalyptic version of Chicago and follows Beatrice “Tris” Prior as she explores her identity within a society that defines its citizens by their social and personality-related affiliation with five factions, which removes the threat of anyone exercising independent will and re-threatening the population’s safety. Underlying the action and dystopian focused main plot is a romantic subplot between Tris and one of her instructors in the Dauntless faction, nicknamed Four.” I read the first book last year too, similar circumstances as The Hunger Games, but I would like to give it another read through the lens of disability and neuro-divergence (hm…) because I feel like this might be one of those books showing a bit of a scary reality of the politics we already live and the experiences of disabled/neuro-divergent people.

Please check out my ko-fi and consider supporting me with a tip or buying my art!

Recently I have been reading a lot of NetGalley ARCs, check out the reading vlog here, so I’ve been doing a lot of reading for free and experimenting with some new genres. I plan to do a wrap up blog post of all the ARCs I read recently with general opinions. Let me know if this is something you would be interested in reading about (I will include release dates as well for all the books I discuss, some will have come out already some not) I also have another book tour coming up! I was on the Act Your Age Eve Brown book tour this month, and will be on another exciting book tour in May on my Instagram! Check out my Queer Lit Reads Recommendations!

Books have made me feel like I have an escape during COVID and that has been so important to me. How do books make you feel? What books should I read first from this list!? Leave a comment down below!

~ Artie

They/Them

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Books I Predict Will Be Mediocre

Hey pals,

I’ve talked about the books I’m excited to read on my TBR, I’ve talked about the books I find intimidating, so here are the books I don’t think I’m gonna care about that much. You might think, “hey why are you still planning on reading them if you don’t think you’ll be that bothered?” Well, just in case I actually end up really enjoying any of them. I liked some of them once already, so I’m hopeful they will at least be entertaining. My unread bookshelf is busting with books, and here are some of those books.

Check out my Bookshop lists when you’re looking to buy a book! It supports me and indie bookshops.

Moxie: Even though it seems like a book that would be my vibe, I feel like it might be somewhat ‘feminism 101’, which I think would be appropriate for the intended audience but maybe not something I would enjoy as much. When I read books, I do take into consideration who the audience is when reviewing or giving my opinions. So, even if I do decide it wasn’t for me, I will let you know if I think it is suitable for the audience and could provide good content for them.

Maze Runner: I’m actually so sure I won’t be that bothered by this series, that I sold off the two later books of the series. A booktuber I just started getting into put this in a really good way but I’m going to butcher it by trying to explain now, but when it comes to dystopian book series I really enjoy book 1 where all the world is being set up and enjoy the rest of the books less. I enjoyed the first film, but the second one was pretty tragic, though I think the book would be better I think it is pretty telling of what the plot will be like. So, I want to read book one, mainly to experience this writer and this series in a new way, but I don’t have much hope for the later books.

Potion Diaries: This is a book I’ve put off reading and moved about between my TBR shelves and my Unhaul pile. I like the sound of the plot and the character, but I know it is going to be very straight even though there is a perfect sapphic plotline right there.

Marilyn Monroe biog: I think both Biographies of Marilyn I own are written by men, so they might be mainstream factual but they probably won’t wholly encompass the emotion of living life as Marilyn as they are less able to put themselves in her position. I also tend to enjoy the Celebrity History when it’s discussed in more of an open “we don’t know what actually happened, but here are some theories and the evidence to back them up”.

Kurt Cobain biog: Whilst I will say, same as above, I also feel like Kurt’s regularity of wearing dresses will probably never be mentioned and never discussed further like why he chose to wear dresses and make-up: was it a possible gender exploration? or more of just general rebellion as he is the frontman of one of the biggest alternative/grunge bands the world knows? I dunno, and the book probably won’t think about it.

The Body Book Cameron Diaz: It’s probably gonna be boring, I won’t lie. It’s about food and macros and other nutrition shit. Which is something I want to continue developing my understanding of, but it’s not exactly fun reading. She might make it interesting, who knows but I doubt it.

Nausea: I picked this up, not having a clue who Sautre was. Now I’ve heard his name a few times and a vague idea of what his work is like. Probably pretentious and whiney. I want to give reading this book a go, but this is what I’m expecting.

Virginia Woolf book: Besides knowing she was a racist, I dunno if her work is going to be my vibe in general. I’m not a classics book reader really at all. I feel like she is considered a classic writer. Just gonna have to give it a go.

Jacqueline Wilson books: As I can confirm after reading Girls In Love, I feel like I’m going to be semi-underwhelmed by the other books I have by her. The only good thing she had going for her stories was that she often depicted a range of family dynamics and gave kids in the less mainstream family situation something to see themselves in. But, they are all still straight and white and cis and I don’t remember any disabled family members or main characters so… this is why I think I’ll be underwhelmed.

Kisses by an angel: A lot of the YA supernatural romances for women I’ve gone back to always leave a sour taste in my mouth, whether it’s because of very outdated views (which, yes, somehow still sneak into the plots of SUPERNATURAL books) or the main characters have way less charm than I remember. I’m not sure I liked this one much as it was back in 2010.

There were more on this list, but I didn’t really know what to say for them all. So, I guess you’ll just have to wait and see if I talk about any of them. I have decided I want to do semi regular reading Wrap up videos this year, just to keep more detailed up to date log of what I read in 2021 and then at the end of the year do more themed videos like my favourite books or the worst books, etc. Don’t forget to follow my channel for videos on books, I recently put out a video of Book Recs with Bi Main Characters, and also a Gender Discussion triggered by OHSHC during my Manga Reading challenge.

Please check out my Ko-fi and consider donating or sharing it out. I’ve been struggling with money since my benefits were stopped and I really want to save up to get a medical assessment done to finally get a diagnosis I’ve been thinking about for the better part of 2020. Also my Facebook for art you can buy from me. Or my Depop for secondhand items. Check out my Bookshop lists if you’re looking to buy a book as you will support me and indie bookshops when you buy that way! This list are books I am really excited to get to reading in case you want some help!

Leave a like and a comment, I’ll see you next week for Rare Diseases day!

~ Artie

They/them

February TBR for LGBTQ+ History Month

Hey pals,

February in the UK is LGBTQ+ History Month (In the U.S it’s Black History month so I’ve also added a couple of books for that theme too) I rarely stick to TBRs but I felt like it might be a good idea to talk about some of the LGBTQ+ books I own and still have to read, and direct you to other posts I’ve made here and on my channel about LGBTQ+ books I have already read. Check out my most Recent video, my January Reading Wrap Up!

If you would like to support me and indie bookshops, please use my affiliate links to purchase any books I have mentioned through the Bookshop.

Check out my Bi Main Character book Rec List!

My TBR February 2021

Queer: A Graphic History: Activist-academic Meg-John Barker and cartoonist Julia Scheele illuminate the histories of queer thought and LGBTQ+ action in this groundbreaking nonfiction graphic novel. From identity politics and gender roles to privilege and exclusion, Queer explores how we came to view sex, gender and sexuality in the ways that we do; how these ideas get tangled up with our culture and our understanding of biology, psychology and sexology; and how these views have been disputed and challenged. Along the way we look at key landmarks which shift our perspective of what’s ‘normal’ – Alfred Kinsey’s view of sexuality as a spectrum, Judith Butler’s view of gendered behaviour as a performance, the play Wicked, or moments in Casino Royale when we’re invited to view James Bond with the kind of desiring gaze usually directed at female bodies in mainstream media. Presented in a brilliantly engaging and witty style, this is a unique portrait of the universe of queer thinking.

Sub Rosa: In this stunning, Lambda Literary Award-winning debut novel, Amber Dawn subverts the classic hero’s quest adventure to create a dark post-feminist vision. Sub Rosa‘s reluctant heroine is a teenaged runaway named “Little”; she stumbles upon an underground society of ghosts and magicians, missing girls and would-be johns: a place called Sub Rosa. Not long after she is initiated into this family of magical prostitutes, Little is called upon to lead them through a maze of feral darkness: a calling burdened with grotesque enemies, strange allies, and memories from a foggy past. Sub Rosa is a beautiful, gutsy, fantastical allegory of our times.

Trans Britain: Over the last five years, transgender people have seemed to burst into the public eye: Time declared 2014 a ‘trans tipping point’, while American Vogue named 2015 ‘the year of trans visibility’. From our television screens to the ballot box, transgender people have suddenly become part of the zeitgeist. This apparently overnight emergence, though, is just the latest stage in a long and varied history. The renown of Paris Lees and Hari Nef has its roots in the efforts of those who struggled for equality before them, but were met with indifference – and often outright hostility – from mainstream society. Trans Britain chronicles this journey in the words of those who were there to witness a marginalised community grow into the visible phenomenon we recognise today: activists, film-makers, broadcasters, parents, an actress, a rock musician and a priest, among many others. Here is everything you always wanted to know about the background of the trans community, but never knew how to ask

Human Enough: When Noah Lau joined the Vampire Hunters Association, seeking justice for his parents’ deaths, he didn’t anticipate ending up imprisoned in the house of the vampire he was supposed to kill—and he definitely didn’t anticipate falling for that vampire’s lover. Six months later, Noah’s life has gotten significantly more complicated. On top of being autistic in a world that doesn’t try to understand him, he still hunts vampires for a living…while dating a vampire himself. Awkward. Yet Jordan Cross is sweet and kind, and after braving their inner demons and Jordan’s vicious partner together, Noah wouldn’t trade him for the world. But when one of Jordan’s vampire friends goes missing and Noah’s new boss at the VHA becomes suspicious about some of his recent cases, what starts off as a routine paperwork check soon leads Noah to a sinister conspiracy. As he investigates, he and Jordan get sucked into a deadly web of intrigue that will test the limits of their relationship—and possibly break them. After all, in a world where vampires feed on humans and humans fear vampires, can a vampire and a vampire hunter truly find a happy ending together? 

The Picture of Dorian Grey: Written in his distinctively dazzling manner, Oscar Wilde’s story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is the author’s most popular work. The tale of Dorian Gray’s moral disintegration caused a scandal when it first appeared in 1890, but though Wilde was attacked for the novel’s corrupting influence, he responded that there is, in fact, “a terrible moral in Dorian Gray.” Just a few years later, the book and the aesthetic/moral dilemma it presented became issues in the trials occasioned by Wilde’s homosexual liaisons, which resulted in his imprisonment. Of Dorian Gray’s relationship to autobiography, Wilde noted in a letter, “Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry what the world thinks me: Dorian what I would like to be—in other ages, perhaps.”

The Great Gatsby: The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s third book, stands as the supreme achievement of his career. This exemplary novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story is of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his new love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,” it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.

The Black Kids: This coming-of-age debut novel explores issues of race, class, and violence through the eyes of a wealthy black teenager whose family gets caught in the vortex of the 1992 Rodney King Riots. Ashley Bennett and her friends are living the charmed life. It’s the end of senior year. Everything changes one afternoon in April, when four LAPD officers are acquitted after beating a black man named Rodney King half to death. Suddenly, Ashley’s not just one of the girls. She’s one of the black kids. As violent protests engulf LA and the city burns, Ashley tries to continue on as if life were normal. With her world splintering around her, Ashley, along with the rest of LA, is left to question who is the us? And who is the them?

Who Do You Serve? Who Do You Protect?: What is the reality of policing in the United States? Do the police keep anyone safe and secure other than the very wealthy? How do recent police killings of young black people in the United States fit into the historical and global context of anti-blackness? This collection of reports and essays (the first collaboration between Truthout and Haymarket Books) explores police violence against black, brown, indigenous and other marginalized communities, miscarriages of justice, and failures of token accountability and reform measures. It also makes a compelling and provocative argument against calling the police. Contributions cover a broad range of issues including the killing by police of black men and women, police violence against Latino and indigenous communities, law enforcement’s treatment of pregnant people and those with mental illness, and the impact of racist police violence on parenting, as well as specific stories such as a Detroit police conspiracy to slap murder convictions on young black men using police informant and the failure of Chicago’s much-touted Independent Police Review Authority, the body supposedly responsible for investigating police misconduct. The title Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect?is no mere provocation: the book also explores alternatives for keeping communities safe.

Check out my video on a Manga triggering my Dysphoria

For other LGBTQ+ Recommendations, I posted this video during Pride Month last year. I will also be posting a video next week all about books featuring Bisexual Characters, if you’d like to check that out, give my channel a sub. I also wrote this list of Sapphic books I’d like to read sometime last year, and recently books I would like to read more of this year.

If you are looking to learn more about LGBTQ+ issues, I have many posts you can check out. I had a talk about androgyny on my channel, the importance of same gender dance couples, I also discussed the first two Harry Potter books with an analytical point of view, I also posted about being in LGBTQ+ productions and why it is really important to pay marginalised actors for their labour, and I read Heartstopper for the first time. On my blog, I wrote about Elliot Page coming out and the reporting of trans news, how to be a better trans ally, reviewed Cemetery Boys which was the first Own Voices Trans book I read, wrote about the historic LGBTQ+ sites around the world, and made numerous lists about Queer content available online (specifically Netflix) for you to check out at your leisure.

I would also like to ask that you consider making donations or sending money to LGBTQ+ and BIPOC people this month. There are many people (including myself) struggling with money and fundraising for life saving things, from shelter to medications and surgeries. Directly donating to an individual makes more of a direct impact than donating to a charity. You can tip me on Ko-Fi and find many crowdfunding pages on twitter and a few on the comments of my blog post on Trans Allyship. Also, there are millions of posts tweeted daily, I often RT them so check out my Twitter page for more.

Check out my Queer Lit Reads Recommendations video and my The Ghosts We Keep Reading Vlog!

~ Artie

they/them

54 Books I Haven’t Read in 10 Years

Hey pals,

This is a very specific blog post list, but it’s something I wanted to share and discuss! I did mention these books in my All The Books I Own and Still Haven’t Read video. But I didn’t go into a lot of detail, because the video had roughly 150 books mentioned. I did recently go through the book series I want to try to complete this year, if that’s more your thing. So, I shall go into them more now. I’m going to try to give a summary based on my memory alone, I think it would be interesting to come back to this post after reading them again and see how much I remembered and if I was correct.

YA/Kid Lit

Contemporary : I did a video reading a mixture of Contemporary YA I have never read before, but also some re-reads. Feel free to go check out that video, I do mention the Georgia Nicolson series in it and why I am less excited to re-read that right now.

Georgia Nicolson Series: Georgia is a knobbly-kneed, big chested teenager with a lot of sass and goes to an all girls school. All the boys find her funny, all the girls find her funny. But none of the boys she’s interested in are interested in her (sort of).

Withering Tights, The Taming of the Tights, A Midsummer Tights Dream: Georgia’s cousin, who I think is a lanky theatre gal with long black hair, goes… to Yorkshire? Somewhere up in England, where the Moores are. It’s a modern day Wuthering Heights (which I have never read, she just names a bunch of people after the characters and compares things to the book, I don’t know) Doing a performing arts course away from home, again with a bunch of girls, it’s like there are no co-ed schools in this universe… I don’t think the series ever got an end as the author died. I think this series is a “read one more time, unhaul” kind of thing.

Midnight: Mmm lets see, another girl with long dark hair, gothic vibe, but kid version. I think she’s called Violet. Something about fairies? Errr yeah I really don’t know.

Diamond Girls: Honestly no idea. I think it’s a family of a lot of sisters and a young kind of unstable mum. The girls have to take care of each other.

Clean Break: Parents break up, I think the mum moves her and the kid(s?) away and the kids wonder why their dad doesn’t call/care… something like this?

Supernatural

Kissed by an Angel: This is a fat book like 400 pages or more. I don’t know how they filled so many pages. The main character moves to a new town after her boyfriend died in a car crash which she was also in so she is depressed, doesn’t feel like she deserves to be happy again let alone fall in love. Her dead boyfriend is an angel just chillin’ hanging out and following her around. She low key starts falling in love with a new boy and dead boy is like ‘nah fam you’re gonna die so we can be together forever’ he changes his mind and lets he live and fall for new boy the end.

Generation Dead/Kiss of Life: There’s a virus that only affects teenagers, where they died and become undead. Only the ones that die become undead, to clarify. I did start this reread end of 2020 but put it down and didn’t get back to it. Basically main character Phoebe, goth chick with long black hair falls for a zombie jock, her best friend Adam who is also a jock is also in love with her and has a shitty home life. Their group also had a friend that became a zombie who they don’t talk to anymore. It’s kind of a story of learning to accept zombie people and a vague commentary on the PC culture with language. I find it’s very relevant to the disabled community in the ways that zombie bodies act and look different in a selection of ways (this can be read as Neuro Diversity, Mental Illness, Physical Disabilities, etc.) and the adaptations made for them but also the language used, like I don’t think they can say zombie I think it’s like the living impaired or someshit which sounds SO SIMILAR to handi-capped and differently-abled and special needs, etc. SO I definitely want to re-read this series to be able to use this as a comparative between real life as a disabled person and what’s written in this book.

Lord Loss: I’m not actually sure I read this book the whole way through in the first place so I don’t really remember much but I do remember it being very creepy and people disappearing and gore. I think it is a short book and part of a series but I just want to check it out to finally decide if I think it’s a good series or not?

Vampyr Legion: I think this is a ‘I’ve been sucked into a video game and can’t leave until I complete it’ book, like the Jumanji film remake but with Vampires and maybe Werewolves? Anything else? Couldn’t tell you but I remember being able to read it as a stand alone even though it is the second in a series.

haruhi fujioka OHSHC
Haruhi from OHSHC

Manga

I will be doing a manga marathon video if you want to be updated on what I think of these. I did also read a series last year, Chibi Vampire, you can check that video out first to see if that is something you’d want to watch again.

Ouran High-School Host Club 1-6: A Poor student Haruhi gains a scholarship to a very expensive private school, accidentally smashes a ridiculously expensive vase and is instantly recruited into the Host Club (low-key kinda a pimp club where the boys of the school romance the girls…) Haruhi is actually a girl. But now leads life a a boy at school and kinda likes it! Also I’m pretty sure several of the host club boys fall in love with her. Tamaki is always trying to make her wear femme clothes which always bothered me, but otherwise I liked him quite a lot.

Arata: The Legend 1: I don’t remember reading this but I remember reading the plot. A Princess? Doesn’t want to be a princess and somehow swaps places with a boy who looks exactly like her and has the same name.

Blue Exorcist 1-5: Rin? I think is the main character or is the twin of the main character. Main character! Is the son of satan? I guess… or a demon… their ‘father’ is Father something, a pastor who is also an exorcist. Main character joins exorcist school which he didn’t know about for his whole life because he is part demon and I don’t know they were trying to let him lead a normal life. His twin has already mastered and become an exorcist and a teacher. There’s a very clear hetero girl love interest for the main character but BUT it is manga and there is always homosexual tension. Either the pink haired dude, or the angry one he fights with a lot. Considering I owned the DVD I don’t remember a lot.

Mega Tokyo 1-5: This is a manga made by a non-native of Japan. I think it is a couple of white guys (Americans?) who moved to Tokyo and live there and have adventures. I don’t know if they actually live in Japan or if that was just the comic but the characters are based off the creator and his friends. It’s pretty straight so I think it’ll be another read again and sell/donate.

Full Metal Alchemist 1-15: Ed and his brother Al try to bring their mum back to life after their dad is a dick and pisses off. Al becomes soul in large tin suit and Ed will forever wear gloves. They have adventures to learn Alchemy, what they did wrong, to find and defeat their dad??? And try to get Al his or a body to return to. Probably one of the few times I have a straight ship I actually really Like Ed and Winny? I dunno, I said I was doing this without refreshing my memory and that’s what I’m doing. But there is a guy later on who creates homosexual tensions with Ed but I don’t know how old either of them are or if it is appropriate.

Non-Fic

Hungry by Crystal Renn: this book I mentioned in my Non-Fic Recs video too, I talk about it there so I’ll save myself the embarrassment from trying to remember what I said.

If you’re curious about what books I wouldn’t read, then check out this video My Anti-TBR. I’m thinking of bringing back my Read With Me live streams but to my Twitch, let me know if you think I should and give me a follow I’m halfway to 50 follows! I do have a lot of book related content planned still, as Lockdown in the UK doesn’t appear to be ending and even if it did I don’t know if I would feel safe doing things outside. I have a couple non-bookish things I want to try and create but it’s mainly books over here right now! Follow the blog! Follow my Twitter and Instagram. I have some blackout poetry art available for sale on my Facebook so please check it out and get in contact if you want to buy!

~ Artie

they/them

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