Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: romance, inspirational, YA

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Gerard's:
"When you say it is nothing, I know it is something. But maybe something you do not want your husband to know."
Anna stifled a giggle as he lightly nipped her jaw."
From p. 134 of The Endearment by Lavyrle Spencer
(Yes, I got Gerard to read this book!)

Karen's:
Instead of looking for the best, we assume the worst. And we're not in the least surprised when the worst finds us.
From Having a MARY Heart in a MARTHA World by Joanna Weaver

Our plan was that once we got our flocks settled, maybe we'd try to add on, if we could convince Henry's mom to let them get more hens. Me, I had to check with my dad to see if I could get some chickens in the first place.
From p. 59 of Chicken Boy by Frances O'Roark Dowell

Monday, August 30, 2010

"Cat Diaries--Secret Writings of the MEOW Society" by Betsy Byars/Betsy Duffey

The cats have a meeting and different ones read from their diary in Cat Diaries--Secret Writings of the MEOW Society by Betsy Byars and Betsy Duffey.  This is a short, quick-read children's book that gives insight into how cats think and the history of some cats in a clever format.  The black and white drawings are cute. 

I recommend reading one or two stories at a time so it does not become boring reading about one cat after another, and another, and another.  The M.E.O.W. is a cat society which stands for "Memories Expressed in Our Writing." 

Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

Book Club: “The Secret Life Of CeeCee Wilkes” Chapters 21-35


I was happy to see CeeCee finally realize that Tim was just using her and is a liar and a creep.  I am surprised that Tim still is sending her money for Cory—assuming it is Tim.  She does seem to really love Cory and I understand her being so protective of her.  Jack seems like a nice guy and is very good with Cory, except when he sang that funny song about the raccoon which made her afraid of yet something else on her girl scout camping trip.  I thought that was funny!  I loved the fun Cory-Dory bag he brought over when he first got to meet Cory.  These were pretty happy times chapters.  

I had very protective parents too and sometimes, I feel as though my reluctance to travel and to even drive on Interstates is because my dad never liked them and always said he would never, ever go on a plane.  I grew up in a pretty sheltered environment so I do believe a lot of Cory's fears stem from Eve.  Still, I can't blame Eve for be so protective of her and hope Cory will understand that one day.    
Jack and CeeCee got married, he teaches drama at the university and CeeCee got her degree in Psychology and is a counselor.  They bought their own home and now have a child of their own.  Sadly, CeeCee (now Eve) lied about Cory being hers so didn’t want Jack going with her to her doctor appointments because she was afraid someone would say something about this being her first pregnancy.  At least she left out being honest in her wedding vows but I think it was extremely selfish of her to marry someone without letting him know what he’s getting into with all her secrets.    
I still think it is very wrong of her to deny Cory her biological father and not even tell her about him, especially when Cory started asking questions about her father. 
Now on to reading more.  See what others are saying about this at Book Beginnings and Book Shelves.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

"The Testament" by John Grisham

I found The Testament by John Grisham to be interesting because it dealt with a contested will. The man who died was very rich but wanted to make sure his ex-wives and children who weren't nice people didn't get their hands on it. He left it to a missionary in Brazil and the story was about finding her to give her the fortune.
 (Karen's review 10/01)

Please tell us: What categories of literature do you like? What are you reading now? Who are your top five favorite authors? Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

"The Brethren" by John Grisham

The Brethren by John Grisham is a well written, somewhat humorous and fascinating story about judges.  It started out very good but I didn't care of the homosexuality in it and I hated the ending.  It left a very bad taste in my mouth.  
(Karen's review 1/01)

Please tell us: What categories of literature do you like? What are you reading now? Who are your top five favorite authors? Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

"You Can Do It" by Tony Dungy

You Can Do It by Tony Dungy is a children's book about his younger brother, Linden, who was worried about what he wanted to be when he grew up. It shares how Tony prayed for his brother and encouraged him.  It is a book that encourages children to dream and trust God for the future.

Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

"Spunky's Diary" by Janette Oke

I was looking for some light fun reading for my vacation so when I saw this child's book called Spunky's Diary by Janette Oke, I just had to get it because my cat is named Spunky and I like Janette Oke.  This book though is about a puppy named Spunky and is sort of cute because the puppy writes about his adventures at the playground, at a farm, at church, and running loose trying to find the school.  I especially liked the line describing church:  "It seemed like a great place, with lots of men that wanted to play chase."

Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

"Quiet Strength" by Tony Dungy

Quiet Strength is Tony Dungy’s autobiography (Colts head coach). I was very impressed with Tony Dungy's definition of success:
God gives each one of us unique gifts, abilities, and passions. How well we use those qualities to have an impact on the world around us determines how “successful” we really are.
I liked this book because it was about so much more than football, although he did include some coaching techniques and philosophy. 

Two of his teaching/coaching principles that stood out to me were:
1) Treat everyone fairly but not necessarily equal. What motivates one, doesn’t work for everyone.
2) Focus on those behind or who struggle and help them succeed.




Quiet Strength is an inspirational book that I highly recommend.  He shares how he relies on God in his daily life.  If you wonder where the role models are in sports, Tony is definitely one of them.  I enjoyed this book very much but couldn't get Gerard to read it because he just doesn't like the Colts.



(Karen's review 1/08)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

"Raining Cats and Dogs" by Laurien Berenson

Raining Cats and Dogs by Laurien Berenson was a murder mystery with some dog and cat stories tossed in.  The main character has five poodles and a neighbor who has a bunch of cats.  Her private life relating to her neighbor was the humorous part of the book.  She and her poodle went to a dog obedience class which invited her to join them on their visit to the nursing home.  Although they weren't therapy dogs exactly, many of the residents enjoyed seeing the dogs and I was interested in this part of the book because it's something I would like to do with Abby some day.  The murder was committed while they were at the nursing home and the main character is the one who just started her own informal investigation and discovered who did it. 

The highlight of the book for me was the lady who didn't like dogs but tolerated the poodle.  She was really a cat person.  She gave the main character helpful information and the poodle owner brought a surprise visitor for her at the end, a cat!  Her neighbor let her bring one of hers.
(Karen's review 9/09)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

"Tuesdays With Morrie" by Mitch Albom

Thought Tuesdays With Morrie was a bit slow reading, but it was touching and certainly thought provoking. It's a record of conversations between a man and his former college professor who he admired and became friends with when the professor was dying from Lou Gehring's disease. The professor shared his feelings about a variety of subjects, including how he felt about dying and becoming like a baby again, helpless. It was sort of depressing, but yet had enough good philosophical thoughts to keep me reading. The one I liked best is that he said "Love Goes On." When the professor was asked if he worried about being forgotten when he died, his answer was,
I don't think I will be. I've got so many people who have been involved with me in close, intimate ways. And love is how you stay alive, even after you are gone.
I agree with this because the loved ones I've lost are still alive in my thoughts.
(Karen's review 3/09)

 Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Virtual Book Tour: Patricia Rockwell, Author of "Sounds Of Murder"

Today, we are featuring an interview with a new author, Patricia Rockwell, author of Sounds of Murder.

1.  Patricia, your book, Sounds of Murder, is labeled as a "cozy mystery."  What do you mean by that?

Karen, pretty much just what it sounds like.  A cozy mystery is a particular sub-genre of mysteries that features an amateur sleuth who typically solves a crime--usually murder--with intelligence, perseverance, and common sense.  The emphasis is on the detecting, not on graphic violence, gratuitous sex, or manic chase scenes.  The characters are typically well developed and the style is warm and full of humor.  In other words, a cozy mystery is the kind of book you’d like read when you want to relax and enjoy yourself.


2.  I noticed that your book is published by Cozy Cat Press.  What is the significance of the cat?


Cozy Cat Press is the new publishing company started by me and my writing partner Diane Morlan.  We are focusing totally on cozy mysteries.  We selected a cat as our logo because we believe a “cozy cat” is just the perfect image to convey the warm, by the fire, kind of feeling that readers get from cozy mysteries.  We even had a contest to name our company’s mascot.  My blog readers chose Cozette as her name.  We think it fits her perfectly.  By the way, I notice that you feature a cat prominently on your book review blog.  There must be something about cats and books that go together.


3.  There must be.  Does Cozy Cat Press have any other books published besides Sounds of Murder?


Yes, Diane’s book Too Dead to Dance is our second book.  We will have my second book, tentatively titled Radio Murder, coming out next summer.  I have a third novel underway and Diane is working on a second one.  We are actively looking for a third cozy mystery writer to join our ranks, so if any of your readers knows of a cozy writer who is looking for a publisher, please have them contact us.


4.  I’ll do that.  Does your book, Sounds of Murder, have any unusual features about it?


Most cozy mysteries have a gimmick.  Some have heroines (most have heroines not heroes) who are librarians or school teachers, or tea shop or coffee shop owners.  I read one cozy where the main character created crossword puzzles.  In Sounds of Murder, my heroine is a college Psychology professor and expert in acoustics.  I didn’t just pull this out of a hat.  Before I retired, I was a college professor myself and my research area was vocal behavior and I used acoustic technology in a lot of my studies.  

In my book, my main character uses her knowledge of sound to track down a killer.  This happens when one of her colleagues is found murdered in the department’s computer lab.  The police have no idea who killed the teacher and the only clue appears to be a recording of the actual murder that is accidentally made on one of the computer voice recorders.  My heroine takes it upon herself to investigate, using this recording and she tries to match the sounds on the recording to noises and voices of various suspects.  As she gets closer to finding the killer’s identity, the killer becomes worried and attempts to stop her.


5.  That sounds unusual for sure.  And you say you have another mystery written in this same series?


Yes, my heroine will be back again next summer to solve the mystery of a disk jockey who is murdered on air.  Again, the police have no clues to the identity of the killer, but they ask my heroine to help by examining the recording of the murder as it was committed. 


6.  Do you think that such sound detecting will provide the source for a lot of cozy mysteries?


I hope so.  As I said, the second one in this series is ready to go next summer.  The third one is in the planning stages.  I’ve had some critics suggest that there wouldn’t be enough story lines for crimes that could be solved using sound clues, but I beg to differ.  My brain is just teeming with all sorts of sound-related mysteries. 


7.  Well, I look forward to seeing what you come up with, Patricia.  I want to thank you for telling us about Sounds of Murder.  Where can readers purchase it?
It’s available at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, for print versions, and also Amazon.com in the Kindle version, and Smashwords.com for other electronic versions.
You can also check out the Cozy Cat website at:  www.cozycatpress.com and my two blogs:  http://subjectivesoup.blogspot.com  and http://communicationexchange.blogspot.com

Thursday, August 26, 2010

"Pray For Silence" by Linda Castillo

Pray For Silence by Linda Castillo is a thriller set in Amish country, the second in a series of three books. Kate Burkholder is the Chief of police who left the Amish community. When she is confronted with a mass murder of a whole Amish family, the Planks, she not only seeks justice but also revenge when she discovers the torture Mary, one of the teen girls suffered. The low life scum bags in this book are repulsive, hideous, vile and nauseating! Kate feels a real connection with Mary as she reads her journal.


Pray For Silence contains crimes of murder, rape, pornography and has quite a bit of foul language. The crime investigation was fascinating and once Kate realizes there is more than one predator on the loose, suspense builds quickly. If you can hang on through the disgusting crimes, the ending is very good. I enjoyed the subplot of romance between Kate and Special Agent Tomasetti who unofficially helped her with the case. I felt good that I had the murderer pegged fairly early on in this one. 
(Karen's review)

UPDATED 8/28/10:
Gerard loves this series too!  Pray For Silence is as good as Sworn To Silence, her first book about Kate Burkholder, Chief of police in Amish country.  I could not figure out the killer ahead.  This is a real page turner!  You better believe I am going to read the next book she writes!  Super job, Linda!
(Gerard's review)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

"The Appeal" by John Grisham

The Appeal by John Grisham is a very good novel about the corruption of our justice system and how politics influence verdicts. It is certainly thought provoking and forces us to really question if we know for what and for whom we are voting. It was very interesting to see how devious and manipulative powerful people can be and how easily decent people can be duped and used when they focus on money and pride.

There are many different characters, but really only the main ones were well developed. I really liked the plaintiff's attorneys, Wes and Mary Grace Peyton from start to finish. I also liked Judge Sheila McCarthy from the start and felt sorry for her when the political campaign by her opponents could portray her as something she wasn't. It was enlightening to see how much money played a role in the election of the candidates. Again, if this is true, and I'm afraid it is, our country is in serious trouble!

Ron Fisk, although he was presented in a good light, I didn't like him because he went along with a plan he suspected was shady, even after seeking Godly wisdom and guidance. I was astounded at the way he voted once he became an Appellate Judge.

The only thing I really did not like about this book is that Christians are portrayed as being gullible, stupid and easily manipulated. Again, I hope this is fiction, but unfortunately, I'm afraid it's more truth than fiction. Great book!


Please tell us: What categories of literature do you like? What are you reading now? Who are your top five favorite authors? Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

One Lovely Blog Award

I got this fine award from Books and Bliss.  Thank you!

This is how the award works:

1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.
2. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you've newly discovered.
3. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Pass this award to:
Anyone on my blog roll!  
I know, I'm not following the rules here, but hey, it just takes too much time.

Whatcha Reading Wednesday?

 This week's Whatcha Reading Wednesday Teaser works like this:
Type in the FIFTH sentence of the SECOND chapter.

Remember to alert any Spoilers

You can participate by leaving your WRW teaser in a comment below, or you can make a post on your own blog and link back to Busy Moms Who Love to Read.
 
Gerards:  From Innocent by Scott Turow:
People said he was dramatically altered, joking all the time about where he hid the genie and the magic lamp.
Karen's:  From Pray For Silence by Linda Castillo:
  Skid says there's been a shooting out at the Plank farm.

"The Summons" by John Grisham

In The Summons by John Grisham, a son found a lot of money in cabinet behind father’s couch that wasn’t mentioned in his will or included in his estate. The son didn’t want to share with brother and didn’t want to include it in the estate and have to pay half in taxes. This is a very interesting book with the theme of greed.  I liked it but don't want to say too much and spoil it for you.  It was a page turner for me and had my interest all the way through.

Please tell us: What categories of literature do you like? What are you reading now? Who are your top five favorite authors? Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"One Dog at a Time--Saving the Strays of Afghanistan" by Pen Farthing

One Dog At A Time by Pen Farthing is about a true hero.  This is an outstanding true story of Pen Farthing, a royal marine serving in Afghanistan.  One day he came upon a stray dog and just knew he had to do something to help that dog.  I really enjoyed this book A LOT.  This is a page turner that I did not want to put down.  I got into it quick and stayed to the end.  


Mr. Farthing, I thank you for your service and God bless you and your wife for the great things you are doing for these dogs.  Thanks for sharing your wonderful story with us--you are a true hero!

From the back flap about the author, Pen Farthing:


He and his wife, Lisa, share their home in the English west country with five dogs, walking them in two shifts!  They also manage the Nowzad Dogs charity, which was set up to help relieve the suffering of animals in war-torn Afghanistan.  For more information, please visit www.nowzaddogs.com.

Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

"Breakfast At Sally's" by Richard LeMieux

Breakfast At Sally's is an excellent book about being homeless, written by a homeless person.  He was once a very successful, wealthy business man who even had traveled abroad but when his business failed, he lost everything.  His wife left him and his grown children didn't want anything to do with him.  All he had was his van, some clothes, an old typewriter and his dog, Willow. 

It's an inside look into the homeless way of life and their community.  I will never look at the homeless in the same way again after reading this book because it showed how it could happen to anyone and how much a little help from someone can make a difference.  Richard also suffered from depression and fortunately got some help.  What stood out to me was the willingness of the homeless people to help out one another.  Richard said the other homeless people became like a family to him.

It's a very interesting book about the 18 months this man spent living in his van which he was fortunate to have.  Reading this certainly made me thankful for the things I have. The day I missed my bus one rainy, cold morning and had to wait an extra 20 minutes, I thought about the poor homeless people who slept outside the whole night and who would be outside today, looking for a place they could hang out for awhile just to warm up.

(Karen's review 11/08)

Please tell us: What categories of literature do you like? What are you reading now? Who are your top five favorite authors? Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

Teaser Tuesday: Aug. 24--Two Books

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Here are ours (click the links to see our reviews):

Gerard's--from pg. 66 of One Dog at a Time--Saving the Strays of Afghanistan by Pen Farthing (non-fiction)
For the next half hour or so we sat quietly in he dark waiting to make sure the Taliban we had fired upon were indeed dead.  I desperately wanted to check on Nowzad, but I couldn't risk the Taliban kicking off again while I wasn't where I should be.
 Karen's--from pg. 4 of Pray For Silence by Linda Castille
Zimmerman pointed toward the farmhouse, his hand shaking like a flag in a gale.  "Amos Plank.  The children.  There is blood.  They are dead!"
Our reviews will be up in a couple days.

Monday, August 23, 2010

"Playing For Pizza" by John Grisham

I guess I've been spoiled by Grisham.  "Playing For Pizza" by John Grisham disappointed me.  The football parts were okay, but the rest was not.  The only character I really cared about was the main one.  The other characters are not really brought out much.  I cannot recommend this book.
(Gerard's review)

Here is a little fun quiz that goes along with pizza so I thought I'd toss it in here just to break things up a little.

  1. What are you like?
  2. Your ideal pizza has:
  3. If you won a trip to an American city, you'd choose:
  4. When you eat pizza, how many slices do you eat?
  5. The best pizza places are:

  I Am Tomatoes




You are kind hearted and open minded. You're always up for something new. You like to experiment.

You are easy going, and you pride yourself on not being judgmental. You can see the good in almost every situation.

You prefer to keep things light and fun. You don't like heavy topics or pessimistic people.

You believe that there's so much to celebrate. You're happy to just celebrate being alive!



Click the link below to take the quiz:



Please tell us: What categories of literature do you like? What are you reading now? Who are your top five favorite authors? Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

Book Club: "The Secret Life Of CeeCee Wilkes" Chapters 11-20

Okay, I felt sorry for CeeCee when Genevieve went into labor and died but more sorry for Genevieve and her husband.  

I was glad CeeCee at least did not kill the baby and wanted to return it to the Governor, its father.  However, I do not understand why she didn't go through with her plan and leave it in the police car outside of the mansion.  After all, the car door was open when the alarm sounded so she could easily have just left the baby in the back seat before running away as easily as carrying it with her.  Apparently, when it came down to it, she wanted to keep the baby as her own.  This was her biggest mistake in my opinion.
Once CeeCee realized she really made a huge mistake, she should have gone right up to the front door of the mansion, asked to speak privately to the governor and told him the whole truth and let the pieces fall where they may.  That is what I would have done.  But then, the book would not have been near as good!

I really feel sorry for Governor Russell, more than for CeeCee.  His wife was kidnapped, died in childbirth without him there for her and he doesn't even know it.  His child was born and is with a 16-yr. old girl on the run with a fake birth certificate!  How awful!  

I like CeeCee but she is very stupid.  I wish she would start making better decisions and forget about Tim.  Since he has not come back, she should realize that the Governor did not give in to his demands.  Even Genevieve warned her that Tim was a womanizer because she had him in one of her classes and knew him.

This book is so good, a real page-turner! 
If you would like to get in on this online book club, you could easily catch up.  The chapters are short and the book is hard to put down. Stop over at Book Beginnings and Bookends to see what others think.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

"The Politician" by Andrew Young

The Politician by Andrew Young reveals the scandal that took John Edwards out of the race for President. Andrew Young writes a great book here by not holding back anything. It reads like a novel but it is sad it is true. This is an eye opening account!

(Gerard's review 4/17/10)


Please tell us: What categories of literature do you like? What are you reading now? Who are your top five favorite authors? Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

"I thought You Were Dead" by Pete Nelson

I Thought You Were Dead by Pete Nelson is a novel about Paul Gustavson who can’t seem to handle any situation just right.  He has a dog named Stella who seems to be a big help to Paul in handling his life experiences.  I enjoyed reading Paul’s ups and downs and just loved Stella.  It has a real good ending too.  I got into it right off the start.
(Gerard's review 5/22/10)

Please tell us: What categories of literature do you like? What are you reading now? Who are your top five favorite authors? Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

Friday, August 20, 2010

"Can't Get There From Here" by Todd Strasser

Can't Get There From Here by Todd Strasser was good book about a homeless teen girl who lost her street family one by one and finally chooses to get off the streets. I feel for bad for homeless people and this book made me think about even more problems the homeless have.  This book really opened my eyes to what some youth go through and I was pulling for the girl to finally trust someone who could help her.  Although his is fiction, there are many kids who are in this situation and face these problems every day.  I highly recommend this book. 

(Karen's review 6/04)




Charities I support monthly that deal with helping teens get off the streets:
Covenant House, Boys Town (they take girls in too now) 

Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

"The 13th Hour" by Richard Doetsch

The 13th Hour by Richard Doetsch is a fiction book.  Nick is being held for the murder of his wife, but in a letter he gets 12 hours to reverse this.  It becomes a race against time and Nick discovers some things are better left alone.  This book goes fast.  I had fun reading it and enjoyed it very much!
(Gerard's review 4/27/10)

Please tell us: What categories of literature do you like? What are you reading now? Who are your top five favorite authors? Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

"Theodore Boone--Kid Lawyer" by John Grisham

Theodore Boone--Kid Lawyer by John Grisham is about a Theo, a 13-yr. old likable boy who wants to be either a lawyer or a judge one day.  It was a nice change of pace to read about a good kid from a stable family who makes good decisions and cares about other people.  Both Theo’s parents are attorneys who support their son.  Theo is fascinated with the courthouse and is excited when there is a murder trial.  He finds himself in a tough situation and actually turns to his parents for help.  This is not packed with suspense like Grisham’s other books. 
 
I would recommend this book for boys and anyone who likes reading about trials or is interested in court procedure.
Please tell us: What categories of literature do you like? What are you reading now? Who are your top five favorite authors? Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

"The Ha-Ha" by Dave King


Don’t let the title fool you, this book is good.  The Ha-Ha by Dave King is a fiction book about Howie, a Vietnam vet who can’t speak or hear.  His girlfriend, Sylvia, asked him to look after her son, Ryan, while she is in drug rehab.  The book is based on how Ryan and Howie form a relationship.  You’re going to care about Ryan and Howie.  I enjoyed this book, give it a shot.
(Gerard's review 5/2/10)


Please tell us: What categories of literature do you like? What are you reading now? Who are your top five favorite authors? Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"The Sherrif's Surrender" by Susan Page Davis

A Western with Ladies as the Heroins

The Sheriff's Surrender is a western about an old mining town whose sheriff is killed and replaced by one of the ranchers.  A serial killer continues to strike and the women decide to learn to shoot from Gert, an expert shooter and form a Ladies’ Shooting Club which helps out the sheriff.  I enjoyed this book even though it seemed far-fetched.  It was an entertaining read with a bit of romance and Christianity tossed in. 


I liked the subplot of how the women became closer and helped each other as they got to know one another better through the shooting club.  It has a good theme--that friends are good to have and we should get to know all kinds of people.

Please tell us: What categories of literature do you like? What are you reading now? Who are your top five favorite authors? Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

Whatcha Reading Wednesday-Aug. 18


This week's Whatcha Reading Wednesday Teaser works like this:
Type in the last sentence of the eighth chapter.

Remember to alert any Spoilers

You can participate by leaving your WRW teaser in a comment below, or you can make a post on your own blog and link back to this post in the linky below. Feel free to use the WRW graphic, just please be sure to link back to Busy Moms Who Love to Read. 
 
Karen's quote from Theodore Boone Kid Lawyer by John Grisham:
Omar Cheepe was sitting directly behind him, and Julio did not know he was being observed.
 Gerard's quote from The Passage by Justin Cronin:
Neither of them noticed the man--the off-duty Oklahoma state trooper who, two hours before, had seen the wire report on a girl kidnapped by two Caucasian males at the Memphis Zoo, before clocking out and heading off to the high school to meet his wife and watch his kids ride the bumper cars--following them with his eyes. 

"Broken" by Karin Slaughter

Wow!  Broken by Karin Slaughter was a real page turner!  A young girl college student is killed and found in a lake.  A young man confesses to the crime and then kills himself in jail, but leaves a note saying he did not kill her.  Then who did?  There are lots of twists and turns in this book to be sure.  I give this book 6 stars--the ending pushed it up over a 5--unbelievable! 

Have you answered our survey at the right?  Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"Just Take My Heart" by Mary Higgins Clark

WOW! Just Take My Heart by Mary Higgins Clark is full of suspense and true-to-life characters. It’s a murder mystery because although the husband, Greg Aldrich, is on trial for killing his wife, Natalie, he claims he didn’t do it. It is a high profile case that is discussed every evening on the show, “Courtside” which is hosted by Greg’s best friend.


Emily, the prosecuting attorney, goes after a conviction even though she has some doubt about the defendant’s guilt. She has a soft spot for him when she sees his mother-in-law and his daughter and discovers there may be some tampering of the evidence in her case. As if that’s not enough, Emily is in danger herself when a serial killer moves in next door to her and stalks her. Emily’s husband was killed in Iraq and she never remarried so lives alone with her dog, Bess. I found parts even humorous when the serial killer loved to watch the show, “Fugitive Hunt” to see if he was featured.


I loved how Emily discovers the truth and the surprise twist at the end, although the ending seemed very abrupt. There is so much more I’d like to say, but don’t want to ruin it for you. Most of the book focuses on the trial and is not gory. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes suspense and murder mysteries.

Did you answer our opinion poll on the right sidebar?

Teaser Tuesdays--3 Books We Are Reading

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along, so I thought I would play for fun! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser. 
Click the links below for our reviews.
Karen's:
The loss of her only child, Natalie Raines, had left her more bewildered than bitter.  How could he do that to her? was the question she asked herself over and over again during the day, and haunted her at night.
From pg. 21 of Just Take My Heart by Mary Higgins Clark

She ate tuna from the can for supper, barely tasting it. There were no shades at the windows, and she felt exposed to whatever or whoever might be lurking in the woods.
From pg. 102 of The Secret Life CeeCee Wilkes (click link to read my Book Club post) Here's my review of the whole book

Here's Gerard's:
The death of Tommy Braham was the only thing that still weighed on her. She needed to talk to a lawyer about how to handle things with the county, but she wasn't going to fight them.
From pg. 288 of Broken by Karin Slaughter

Monday, August 16, 2010

Willie Mays--The Life The Legend by James S. Hirsch

I wanted a baseball book to get me into the 2010 season coming up.  This did it!  I found out lots of interesting facts about Willie Mays that I didn’t know before.  Always a plus for me.  Willie Mays--The Life The Legend had good movement, never got tired of reading it!
(Gerard's review 3/2/10)

Please tell us: What categories of literature do you like? What are you reading now? Who are your top five favorite authors? Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

Book Club Read: "The Secret Life Of CeeCee Wilkes" Chapters 1-10

As part of the book club over at Book Beginnings and Bookends here are my thoughts on the first 10 chapters of The Secret Life Of CeeCee Wilkes.

I think I have the relationship of the people figured out.  CeeCee is the mother of Corinne, a teacher with phobias, who is engaged to the news reporter, CeeCee's mother died but wrote letters to her daughter with advice and encouraging words to open at different dates so it would be like she was still around for her daughter.  I liked that idea a lot!  So many times I wish my mom were still alive so I could talk to her about things.  


CeeCee got herself into a very bad situation already.  I think Tim is just using her and will be surprised if he bothers getting back with her at all.  I think the waitress who warned her that Tim was "dangerous" knew what she was talking about and CeeCee should have been more careful about going with him.  The fact that he's also so much older should have been a red flag for her not to get involved with this guy.  


I like this books so far because it goes quick and I am anxious to see what will happen next and what other bad decisions CeeCee will make.  I hope she comes to her senses and can get out of the mess she is in, but I have a feeling it will take the whole book for her to do that.  She is not very bright.  Too bad she took her mom's advice about making decisions with her heart and jumping right in without weighing the pros and cons, but did not follow her mother's advice about not trusting boys and not having sex at 16. 

Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

"The Pact" by Jodi Picoult

In The Pact by Jodi Picoult, Chris & Emily grew up together and then became lovers (although Emily really didn’t want to marry Chris ). She became pregnant but didn’t tell anyone. Went for an abortion but changed her mind. The jail time and trial was very interesting and I liked the parents perspective—seeing their kids as perfect.  I liked the attorney very much too.  Great book about young love.
(Karen's review 9/06)

The Pact was the first book either of us read by Jodi Picoult and we loved it!  She is an amazing writer who can really hold your attention and keep you interested right from the start.  Her books go quick because they are so good, you can't put them down!  This one keeps you wondering if Chris is really guilty or not.  
(Gerard's review 9/06)

Please tell us: What categories of literature do you like? What are you reading now? Who are your top five favorite authors? Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

"Salem Falls" by Jodi Picoult

"Salem Falls" by Jodi Picoult is a good book right from page one about a girls nice soccer coach who was falsely accused of rape twice. First time he took a plea bargain and served 8 months in jail. Second time, Jordan McAfee, got a "Not Guilty" verdict so he was set free, but most town people didn't want him around and were still afraid of him. He was a master at Jeopardy and fell in love with Addie, the diner owner who he washed dishes for when he first came to town after getting out of jail the first time. I could hardly put it down. 

I liked this book a lot except for the witchcraft in it, but even through that I learned more about it.  I found myself despising the girl who cried rape and ruined the coach's life. I highly recommend this.  It's one of my favorite Picout books!
(Karen' review 12/07)

Please tell us: What categories of literature do you like? What are you reading now? Who are your top five favorite authors? Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

"Handle With Care" by Jodi Picoult

Can't Put It Down--Jodi Classic (100 stars!) First off, for anyone who has Osteogenesis imperfecta (O.I.) and their families and friends, my prayers and thoughts are with you.  As for Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult, I loved it!!  This is a hard-to-put-down book.  I went back and forth with how I felt about the people in this book.  So many twists and turns and story lines everywhere.  It's just awesome!!!!  It left me wanting more, and then, if that's not enough, the last 50 or so pages were even better!!  I finished it three days sooner than I expected I would.  Nineteen Minutes is the standard I judge Jodi's books by because I really liked it a lot! That was one awesome book and this matches it.  I cried at the end, hated the ending!!!  Read this book, you will never forget it!
(Gerard's review 5/09)

Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult is about a family who has a baby girl, Willow, born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) and each member has a different way of protecting the girl.  OI is a rare bone disease where the slightest bump can cause factures.  In an effort to get more money to pay for her care and special needs, the mother sues her best friend who also the mother’s ob-gyn.  This book is very thought provoking and shows how far a mother will go to help her daughter.  It gives insight into how this disease can affect the entire family and really all who know the person.  The book deals with the issue of is that life worth living or would it have been better if the girl was never born.  It ended very differently from what I expected and held my attention, but not one of my favorite Picoult books.
(Karen's review 5/09)

Please tell us: What categories of literature do you like? What are you reading now? Who are your top five favorite authors? Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

"Nineteen Minutes" by Jodi Picoult

I found "Nineteen Minutes" by Jodi Picoult almost impossible to put down. There are a lot of similarities between Peter, who was the main character and got picked on all through school, and myself who was picked on throughout my school years except I didn't shoot anybody like he did. He went on a shooting spree at his high school. I found all the characters to be very real and true to life. It had a good ending. I highly recommend it to everyone.  
(Gerard's Review 5/2007)


Much can be learned from this book about how to treat people.  I loved it!  It kept my interest all through and liked how all the characters were developed.  I think any teen would really get into it. 
(Karen's review 5/2007)

Please tell us: What categories of literature do you like? What are you reading now? Who are your top five favorite authors? Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

Want to Join A Blogger Book Club?

Over at Book Beginnings and Bookends, they are just starting a "book club" for bloggers to participate in online.  I thought this sounded like it might be fun so went ahead and got the first book they'll be discussing from the library, The Secret Life of Cee Cee Wilkes.  The idea is to read ten chapters a week and then on Monday discuss them in a post and hook up with Mr. Linky on their blog.  How many are participating?  Well, I was the 194th person to "sign up."

Here is the schedule that they came come up with for the book. Each week is about 100 pages.

Aug 16: Chapters 1-10
Aug 23: Chapters 11-20
Aug 30: Chapters 21-35
Sep 6: Chapters 36-50
Sep 13: Chapters 50-71


That means I have to switch from reading the book I just started and read 10 chapters of this one TODAY!  YIKES!  Well, I'll try.  Have you read this book?  If so, what did you think of it?

Please tell us: What categories of literature do you like? What are you reading now? Who are your top five favorite authors? Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

"One Simple Act" by Debbie Macomber

If you want to be inspired to become more focused on others, read One Simple Act—Discovering the Power of Generosity by Debbie Macomber.  It inspired me from a Christian perspective to not only be more generous with money, but with so much more such as kindness, time, encouragement, forgiving, hospitality, gift giving and simply listening.  Debbie has written many Christian fiction books but wanted to share what she has learned about being “extravagantly generous.”  One Simple Act is loaded with scripture and practical examples of putting each principle into practice as well as some scientific research that lists physical and emotional benefits to those who practice an attitude of gratitude.  It is very well organized and a pleasure to read! 
 
This is the second book I have read in two weeks that has inspired me to be more focused on others.  I think God is telling me something here!  Generosity basically comes from thankfulness for all God has given us and compassion comes from empathy.  I am now going to look for ways each day to do a good deed, brighten someone’s day, show a little kindness and spend more time with people—yes, that means less time on the computer and less time with my nose in a book!  (The first was Season of Life--A Football Star, a Boy, a Journey to Manhood by Jeffrey Marx.)  I don’t own many books, but this is one I would like to have.  I highly recommend it!

Please tell us: What categories of literature do you like? What are you reading now? Who are your top five favorite authors? Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

"The Forever Dog" by Bill Cochran

The Forever Dog by Bill Cochran is an illustrated children's story about friendship between a boy and his dog, Corky. Mike makes up a plan with Corky to be friends forever, a wonderful plan!  But one day, the plan ends, or so Mike thinks.  For your first book, Mr. Cochran, you did real well.  Best of success in your future books.  I liked it.
(Gerard's review)


I thought this book was too sad for kids to enjoy, unless you get it for your child who lost a dog to help them cope with losing their pet.  The idea, of course, is that our pets will forever be in our hearts with us no matter what.  Still, I did not care for this one.
(Karen's review)

Please tell us: What categories of literature do you like? What are you reading now? Who are your top five favorite authors? Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Book Blogger Hop Aug. 13-16: How Many Books On Your TBR List?

 This blog hop is sponsored by Crazy For Books where you can link up and visit LOTS of other book bloggers, over 300 participate!

This week's question is:  How many books do you have on your 'to be read shelf’?
Our answers:    
Karen = 2 (I like to browse in the library for books)

Gerard = 15

Thursday, August 12, 2010

"Catching Fire" by Suzanne Collins

This is the sequel to The Hunger Games which both Gerard and I loved.   Catching Fire picks up right where "The Hunger Games" left off and has a turn of event that I did not expect.  Katniss and Peeta both join Haymitch in Victor's Village but because the Capitol is displeased with her berry stunt her interview after the games, security in District 12 has been increased and rules are now enforced by new peacekeepers.  Her relationship with Gale and Peeta continues to develop; however, she realizes her life is really not her own.  She has some very difficult decisions to make and is confused.  I do not want to give any spoilers but will tell you that if you liked The Hunger Games, then Catching Fire is a must read.  I even dislike the Capitol more after reading this book!  I did not like how it ended because it left me wanting more.  Can't wait to read the next in this series:  Mockingjay.
(Karen's Review)

What a story!  I got into this book from page 1!  Lots of subplots, new characters and twists and turns to be sure.  It is a real page-turner!  Also learned more about Haymitch, Peeta and Katniss.  Poor Gale!  Loving this series--can't wait for book 3!
(Gerard's review)
 
Reviews by other bloggers:
Best review of The Hunger Games and Catching Fire I saw is at For What It's Worth.
Blogging''bout Books: Do Yourself A Favor, Don't Read Catching Fire

At The Book Scoop I learned that there are shirts available related to the book, The Hunger Games at Zazzle (Team Peeta, Team Gale, Girl on Fire, District 12, etc.)

"Cat People" by Michael and Margaret Korda

Cat People by Michael and Margaret Korda is a ho-hum book about 18 cats this couple knew over the years.  Initially, Margaret was the cat lover and Michael just tolerated them in the house, objecting as each new one came in until he became attached to Mumsie, a all white mother cat and her two kittens.  I think any cat lover would enjoy the drawings and meeting the cats because it describes all the different personalities.  It gives a good picture of what cat ownership is like and I agree that you really don’t know what you’ll get when you bring stray cats into your home.   I felt like I got to know these cats and it's hard to pick a favorite. 


I felt very sad that Ms. Bumble, the attack cat, didn’t work out and ached along with Margaret and Michael when Mumsie got hit by a truck.  I thought it was meant they put Ms. Bumble down just because she bit the wife unexpectedly.  I also thought it very odd that they didn't keep the cat who had feline Aids separated from the others.  I found the cat map of the bedroom hilarious showing the different territories the cats claimed.  The bottom line is that “cats are very entertaining and make you laugh, but eventually will make you cry as well--it's part of the deal.”  (paraphrased) 


The way they brought in strays reminded me of my dad and his cats that I wrote about in “My Funny Dad, Harry.”  All the strays used to go to his house too.  I liked other cat books better such as Hiss and Tell which shows people willing to learn how to change bad cat behavior, Homer's OdysseyThe Ultimate Cat Lover that is well-written full of cool cat stories owned by different people and full of advice for cat owners.   about a blind cat that was well loved and amazing,


Take a look at this video about a no-kill sanctuary to see some real cat people who used their retirement fund to buy a whole house to use as a homey atmosphere for unwanted cats:


Please tell us: What categories of literature do you like? What are you reading now? Who are your top five favorite authors? Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

"When The Game Was Ours" by Jackie MacMullan

This is a slam dunk winner!  (500 stars)
When The Game Was Ours by Jackie MacMullan follows the lives and basketball careers of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.  I did not expect this book to be this good.  It's awesome!  There is lots of inside stuff about Bird and Magic that I did not know and lots and lots of opinions from Bird and Magic and the players and coaches with whom they had contact!  Very interesting!  I really encourage you to read this book if you like basketball.  It's one of the best sports books I've ever read!
(Gerard's review 11/14/09)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"Out Of My Mind" by Sharon M. Draper

Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper is a novel about an 11-yr.-old girl named Melody.  Melody can’t talk or walk and has to go to a special needs class.  One thing she is though is smart.  One day she gets a talking machine so she can finally share her thoughts with others.  This is classified as a kid’s book but I really, really enjoyed it.  I think anybody would.  It’s a good story and has a great ending!  You will love Melody too!
(Gerard's review 5/11/10

Please tell us: What categories of literature do you like? What are you reading now? Who are your top five favorite authors? Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

Whatcha Reading Wednesdays--Aug. 11?

This is how "Whatcha Reading Wednesdays" works this week...

Type in the first two sentences of the second chapter of the book you are currently reading. 

If it is a spoiler at all be sure to put **Spoiler Alert** at the top of your comment (like if the selection announces the death of an integral character or something).


Here are ours for this week: 
 Gerard's:  In my mind, President Snow should be viewed in front of marble pillars hung with oversized flags.  It's jarring to see him surrounded by the ordinary objects in the room. --Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
 Karen's:  "I saw Irving in a pet store window on Columbus Avenue," remember Margaret.  "There were several other kittens but he sat to one side on his own. --Cat People by Michael & Margaret Korda

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud" by Ben Sherwood

WOW!  This is really, really good!  What a great read The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud by Ben Sherwood is!  It is about Charlie and Sam who have a bond as brothers that not even death can break apart.  You will have to read the book to understand that.  Then, there is Tess, who becomes a love interest for Charlie with her own story to tell.  I thought I had this book pegged before I read it, but I was wrong.  It is so much better than I expected.  Read and enjoy!
(Gerard's review)

Please tell us: What categories of literature do you like? What are you reading now? Who are your top five favorite authors? Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

Monday, August 9, 2010

"The Last Stand" by Nathaniel Philbrick

I always enjoy reading books on history that I'm not well versed on and The Last Stand by Nathaniel Philbrick is no exception.  It tells the story of Custer, Sitting Bull and the battle of the Little Big Horn.  The writing is superb.  You really get the sense of what went on and what led up to the battle.  This book will easily make my top ten books of the year!  It's a great read!
(Gerard's review 5/28/10)

Comments moved here from our other blog:
I can't remember where I saw this book before, but I thought about it while watching an episode of the History's Channel's The States, in which Montana was featured. This of course is the state in which Custer's last stand took place. At any rate, after I left the show mid-way through, I downloaded the sample. I've been approached to do biographies before, but I really haven't taken up any of the offers for a myriad of reasons, the least of which: I can't figure how so much narrative context and texture can be laid on so heavy about these projects. There isn't anything in the footnotes about things like "in the heat of," or whenever something's stated to be "typical" for the time, of a character, etc.
By rolodexter on June 12, 2010 11:14

Read more: http://karen.pnn.com/6632-what-we-ve-just-read#ixzz0vIAzUZd2

Please tell us: What categories of literature do you like? What are you reading now? Who are your top five favorite authors? Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

"Caught" by Harlan Coben

Caught by Harlan Coben keeps you guessing.  It is about three people:  Haley McWaid, a teen girl who turns up missing; Wendy Tynis, a news reporter who sets up Dan Mercer, who she thinks is a sexual predator.  This is a very good book with the usual twists and turns and an ending that I did not see coming!  I recommend it as a quick and enjoyable read.
--Gerard's review 6/7/10

Please tell us: What categories of literature do you like? What are you reading now? Who are your top five favorite authors? Have you read this one? What did you think of it?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Thank You For The Versatile Blogger Award

I've been given The Versatile Blogger Award by Laurel-Rain Snow's Reflections.  This is the first award I've received on this blog and I am supposed to pass it along to 15 newly discovered blogs.  Well, if you are on my blog roll here, you are a newly discovered blog so feel free to take this award and run with it on your blog.


The award comes with some rules, which include these:


1)  Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them when creating the award post.
2)  Share seven things about yourself.
3)  Pass the award on to 15 recently discovered blogs.
4)  Contact the bloggers to let them know about the award.


Here are my 7 little known things about us:


1.  We go to the library every Saturday.

2.  We go to church every Sunday.

3.  Neither of us drinks coffee or alcohol.

4.  We have a huge collection of stuffed animals, some in every room!

5.  We are both on the puppet team at church.

6.  Our favorite show right now is "Army Wives."

7.  We both used to be AWANA club workers at church.


I pass this on to anyone who wants in that is on our blog roll here. 

Where Men Win Glory by Jon Krakauer

Where Men Win Glory by Jon Krakauer tells the story of Pat Tillman, the NFL player who gave it all up to join the fight in Afghanistan.  The two best parts of this book to me were the early years of his life, which I knew nothing about, and when he got to Afghanistan.  The author really gives great insight into Pat.  His thoughts especially make for very fascinating reading.
(Gerard's review 11/7/09)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Do You Listen To Music While You Read?


This is part of the Book Blogger Hop at Crazy-For-Books.com.

The Question this week is:
Do you listen to music while you read? 
If so, what are your favorite reading tunes?

Sometimes we do.  If Gerard has music on and I want to read, it really doesn't both me but I don't put it on purposely while I read.  More often that reading while listening to music, I'll read while watching TV.  I can get a lot of reading done on commercials or during ballgames.  My mom always used to read while watching baseball games on TV.  What about you?

"Season of Life--A Football Star, A Boy, A Journey To Manhood" by Jeffrey Marx

Season of Life by Jeffrey Marx is about Joe Ehrmann, an ex-football player who became a minister and a high school football coach.  The author was a ball boy for the football team when he met Joe.  They lost contact but then got back in touch when the author, who grew up to be a journalist, decided to track down the former players and write about what they were doing.  Jeffrey Marx followed Joe's high school team for a year and found out that winning and losing is not the only things that Joe teaches them.  He taught them life lessons on how to be a man by being focused on others and not themselves.  With High School football coming up soon, this is a good book to read.  I enjoyed it a lot!
 (Gerard's review)

Season Of Life by Jeffrey Marx is a inspirational book that I highly recommend to any man, teen boy, parent, coach or teacher. It does not read like a text book at all.  I really enjoyed following the High School Football team through the eyes of the author.  Joe Erhmann is an example of a Godly man putting God’s Word into practice.   Season of Life is all about teaching boys to become men.  The author learns to improve his relationship with his father through watching Joe Erhmann model the basic strategic masculinity principles he learned from God’s Word as he teaches them to the high school football team he coaches. 

Jeffrey Marx looked up to Joe as a football player when Jeffrey was just a kid and connected with him again as a man.  Joe had a father who was always telling him to “be a man” and would punch him and tell him to be tough, that real men don’t cry.  He was into the “false masculinity” mindset of athletic ability, sexual conquest and economic success until his brother died.  While waiting at the hospital during his brother’s illness, he came across a poem that impacted his life by Edwin Markhm:

There is a destiny that makes us brothers;
None goes his way alone:
All that we send into the lives of others
Comes back into our own.

Then he searched for some real meaning to life and through talking to the team’s unofficial Chaplain and studying the Bible God transformed him into a devout Christian.  Joe became a minister and a high school football coach whose program included “building men for others.” 

He came to the realization that masculinity is all about relationships, being focused on others, and a code of conduct that includes accepting responsibility, leading courageously, enacting justice on behalf of others and empathy.  From here on he not only models these principles but also teaches them to the boys on his football team. 

The book that Joe gave to Jeffrey Marx that helped him get to actually know his father better is Questions For My Father—Finding The Man Behind Your Dad.  It’s just a collection of questions to ask to get communication flowing on a deeper level.  This may be helpful to someone so just thought I’d mention it.

(Karen's review)

Please tell us: What categories of literature do you like? What are you reading now? Who are your top five favorite authors? Have you read this one? What did you think of it?
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