Also published on this date: Wednesday, February 27, 2013: Maximum Shelf: The House of Special Purpose

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Lion Forge: No Ivy League by Hazel Newlevant

Other Press: Labyrinth by Burhan Sonmez

Little Brown and Company: Kingdomtide by Rye Curtis

Sharjah Book Authority Publishers Conference October 27th-29th --Register Now!

Candlewick Press: Judy Moody, Book Quiz Whiz (Judy Moody #15) by Megan McDonald, illustrated by Peter H Reynolds

Quotation of the Day

Aussie Indie Bookseller: 'Books keep me sane(ish)'

"Books keep me sane (ish), but I have to remind myself that I fell into children's books by chance. My first job as an editorial assistant was just one of many I applied for after uni, and 15 years down the line, it seems outlandish that I could have ended up doing something different. I've worked as an editor, a writer, a reader for a literary agent, and 2012 was my first year as a bookseller. It feels like the missing piece, and Readings has been a place of worship since I left my hometown (London) five years ago."

--Emily Gale in a "Meet the Bookseller" interview on Australia's Readings bookstore blog. The question: "Why do you work in books?"

Amulet Books: In the Hall with the Knife: A Clue Mystery, Book One by Diana Peterfreund


News

Booked for Murder for Sale

Booked for Murder, Madison, Wis., is for sale, the Isthmus reported. Owner Sara Barnes wants to return to her hometown of Aurora, Minn., at the end of March to care for her sick mother.

In a note to customers, she wrote, "It will be a great blessing to be of help to those I love, but oh, I will miss you all, and our little store, so very much."

In the meantime, she plans to open the store Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays "so I can get my house ready to be sold while praying like crazy that I can sell Booked for Murder as a functioning bookstore. There are so few left and, as you know, she's a very sweet and good little shop. Basically, I'd ask that you send all your positive energy out into the Universe where it might reach and inspire some heroic soul to keep Booked's doors open."

Barnes told the Isthmus that she has received "echoes of niblets" of interest and imagines that she may ultimately sell the store to "a consortium of friends who love books." She bought Booked for Murder, which sells new, used and rare mysteries, in 2008. The store was founded in 1988.


Quirk Books: For Your Consideration: Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson by Tres Dean, For Your Consideration: Keanu Reeves by Larissa Zageris and Kitty Curran


New Location for Erie Bookstore

Erie Bookstore, Erie, Pa., will move to a new location at 2609 Peach Street "in an attempt to spark sales," the Times-News reported.

Erie Book Store owner Eric Turowski packing for the move. Photo: Andy Colwell/Erie Times

"We're forced into this move to survive," said owner Eric Turowski, who hopes to reopen during the first week of March. "We can't survive in this particular spot." Several volunteers joined him Friday to move some of the store's to the new location, "painting walls at the new spot, and installing plumbing and sinks for the store's café," the Times-News wrote.

"We're still trying to figure out how quickly we can set up the new place," added Turowski, whose business had dropped 60% since he opened at 915 State Street in October, 2011.

"We had people coming in here every day when we opened. All of a sudden we weren't," he said. "Christmas sales this year were completely flat. Last Christmas was a complete boom." He cited a spike in crime in the area as a contributor to the downward trend.

He is optimistic about the new location: "The community there is more suitable to our personality. More arty and bohemian.... Hopefully, we will do spectacularly. We'll give it our best shot."


AuthorBuzz for the Week of 08.19.19


Redmayne on Pottermore: 'What Digital Publishing Will Become'

Is Pottermore the digital publishing model of the future? In a two-part interview, Pottermore CEO Charlie Redmayne discussed that question, as well as the current state of the company devoted to all things Harry Potter. He also addressed changes that may be in store, including television, and noted the initial challenge when he joined the company in 2011 was "getting it out of beta and actually being able to launch. I think that what we wanted to do was to invest time, money, resources in building something that worked, that the platform could support it, and to have enough great content on it to really mean that television advertising was worthwhile."

Although Pottermore resonates well with HP fans now, Redmayne acknowledged that "quite a lot of people don't spend enough time coming back to the site until we have a new content release." To remedy that situation, he promised "you will see change.... We will continue to evolve the site by adding new content to it for people to enjoy, new content from J.K. Rowling, and to have new stuff for the fans. There will also be other changes that we will start to make, to invite new Harry Potter fans to discover more about the world; people who may have only read a couple of the books or seen a couple of the movies. Pottermore needs to work for that audience too."

Redmayne predicted there will be more businesses like Pottermore in the future: "I think that model is the model for digital publishing in the future, and I think that those people in publishing and in film companies and right holders see what we have done, and that they will follow. There are a lot of brands that can do some things we have done, and some things differently. But I think that you will certainly see this as the digital publishing model of the future."

This year, Pottermore will be rolling out in more territories. "At the moment we're in English, both in the U.S. and U.K., French, Italian, German and Spanish," he said. "The site will be rolling out in Japanese. At the moment only the Shop's in Japanese. We'll also be rolling out in South Korea and Brazil. Those I can guarantee, but we may be rolling out into more countries as well."

In response to critics of Pottermore, Redmayne acknowledged that while "it's not for everybody," he does believe "it is changing the mold of publishing. It is what digital publishing will become, and that it's certainly what people aspire to be now, I think Pottermore is seen as a real leader."


Magination Press: My Singing Nana by Pat Mora, illustrated by Alyssa Bermudez


WI8: David and Goliath and Booksellers

"I am enormously grateful for the work you've done on my behalf," said Malcolm Gladwell, New Yorker staff writer and author of the upcoming David and Goliath (Little, Brown, October), as he opened his address at the Winter Institute with a heartfelt thank-you to booksellers. "I've always been aware of how much of my success is due to your efforts."

The focus of Gladwell's talk, and the underlying theme of his next book, was the notion of underdogs. He began with the story of a girls' basketball team from Menlo Park, Calif., comprised of the offspring of "many generations of nerds," that was able to win games despite being poor dribblers, passers and shooters--traits one would typically associate with winning basketball teams. The team's coach, a software engineer and father of one of the players, chose not to compete through passing and shooting, as he knew that the opposition would almost invariably be better in those areas. Instead, he had his girls play aggressive defense, "like maniacs," a style of play for which their opponents were completely unprepared, and the team reached championships.

The team was forced to innovate out of weakness, not of strength. "If underdogs are in the position to innovate and break rules," wondered Gladwell, "why do we call them underdogs?"

Gladwell further upended these notions of advantage and disadvantage while talking about the biblical, archetypal story of David and Goliath. The tale, he argued, has been misinterpreted for millennia. As a warrior armed with a sling, David has Goliath, an infantryman armed with a sword, at a distinct disadvantage. The point of the story, Gladwell asserted, is not that David won--as a slinger, of course he would--the point is that he tricked Goliath into taking a position of such clear disadvantage.

"If we've been getting that most fundamental story about underdogs and favorites wrong, for 4,000 years," asked Gladwell, "how many other questions of advantage and disadvantage have we also been getting wrong?"

It's not hard to see why such a topic would resonate with an banquet hall full of independent booksellers. Indie bookstores are often imagined as David, while online retailers, and Amazon especially, are Goliath. During the ensuing q&a session, a bookseller asked Gladwell if that depiction was accurate.

"Amazon might be a special case," Gladwell responded. "It's not a business, it's a business-like activity. It seems to exist in its own universe and is given a pass." He joked, "I would love it if the government would give me 20 years to decide if I wanted to pay taxes."

Despite the widespread disruption that Amazon has caused in the book industry, Gladwell suggested that the retail giant's meteoric rise will not last forever, and that it has not been uniformly disastrous for booksellers. "I believe there are very real limits to how far Amazon will get."

He continued: "It has had a wonderfully clarifying effect on the book industry. It's made you rethink what you do and truly understand why it's important. In a certain sense, Amazon has made you stronger."

And somewhat like David with his sling, independent booksellers have their own particular advantages. "The intimacy of the space matters," Gladwell said. "When I go to a bookstore, I like the sense that some kind of thought has gone into what is in the store. Someone has decided what is worthy of being on the shelf and what is not.

"It doesn't hold that as a store gets larger and larger and larger, it gets better and better and better," said Gladwell. "There are a whole series of variables that are apart from resources."

Although he acknowledged that the book industry will likely continue to go through significant changes, Gladwell remains optimistic.

"When I think about bookstores, nothing cheers me more about their future than other parts of our lives moving online," said Gladwell. As such as buying insurance and managing finances move to the Internet, people will be able to reserve time and space in their lives for relationships that truly matter. "In my mind, bookstores create that kind of relationship. It's intimate, a deep and powerful pleasure.

"It will never be the case that every book in this country is ordered online," declared Gladwell. "I say that with absolute confidence." --Alex Mutter


University of Pittsburgh Press: The Firebird: The Elusive Fate of Russian Democracy (First Edition, Pitt Russian and Eastern European Studies Series)


Notes

Image of the Day: Publisher and Booksellers Focus

A new addition to the Winter Institute was publisher/bookseller focus groups. Jason Wells and Erica Warshal ran Abrams's session, which Wells called "terrific." Here (from l.) the participants: Charlie Leonard, the Bookcase, Wayzata, Minn.; Ed Conklin, Chaucer's, Santa Barbara, Calif.; Mary Adams, the Annapolis Bookshop, Annapolis, Md.; Richard Deupree, Katy Budget Books, Houston, Texas; Gloria Noriega, Books & Books, Coral Gables, Fla.; Slade Lewis, Square Books, Oxford, Miss.; Wendy Manning, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, Wash.; Jan Hall, Partners Village Bookstore, Westport, Mass.; Erica Warshal, Abrams; Susannah Long, DIESEL, Santa Monica, Calif.; Wendy Hudson, Nantucket Bookworks, Nantucket, Mass.; and Mary Beth Nebel, I Know You Like a Book, Peoria Heights, Ill.


H1: Ignited: Triggered by Mark Waid and Kwanza Osajyefo, illustrated by Phil Briones


'Testimony' on Triangle Bookstores

Olson

The Duke Chronicle surveys Triangle booksellers and indies in general, beginning with the 28th anniversary celebration for Quail Ridge Books and Music, Raleigh, N.C., where writers including Allan Gurganus and Jill McCorkle came to "testify" for owner Nancy Olson and the store, which they called "democratic space," a "sanctuary" and "the heartbeat of the community."

Concerning bookselling in general, Land Arnold of Flyleaf, Chapel Hill, said, "All the independents are trying to figure out what they can do, focus more on events, focus more on what makes them a community space." And Tom Campbell of the Regulator Bookshop, Durham, commented: "I think we're going to be very competitive in selling e-books, and people can get out of the Amazon jail."


Rizzoli: 'Your Fantasy Bookstore'

"If you were to dream up the ultimate bookstore, what would it have?" asks Raphael Pallais, chef concierge at Manhattan's Plaza Hotel and guide for a GloboMaestro video tour of Rizzoli Bookstore in New York City. His answer: "Well, dream no more, because Rizzoli is your fantasy bookstore."


Michele Martin Joining Gallery Books Group

Effective March 4, Michele Martin is joining Gallery Books Group as v-p and associate publisher. She most recently founded and ran MDM Management, which will now be assumed by CSG Literary Partners, and earlier was an executive v-p at Avalon, Langenscheidt and Doubleday, where she created and oversaw the Main Street Books imprint. This marks a return of sorts for Martin: from 1994 to 1999, she was v-p, associate publisher of the Simon & Schuster imprint.



Media and Movies

On Stage: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

In a video featured on the Guardian's website, director Marianne Elliott (War Horse) and actor Luke Treadaway discuss the National Theatre's adaptation of Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. The play transfers to the Apollo Theatre in London's West End in March.


Media Heat: The Vatican Diaries on Fresh Air

This morning on Imus in the Morning: Clive Davis, author of The Soundtrack of My Life (Simon & Schuster, $30, 9781476714783).

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Today on NPR's Fresh Air: John Thavis, author of The Vatican Diaries: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Power, Personalities and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church (Viking, $27.95, 9780670026715).

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Today on NPR's Talk of the Nation: Michael Moss, author of Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us (Random House, $28, 9781400069804).

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Tomorrow on KCRW's Bookworm: part one of a two-part interview with Luis Alberto Urrea, author of Queen of America (Back Bay Books, $14.99, 9780316154871). As the show put it: "Luis Alberto Urrea's new novel, Queen of America, completes the two-volume saga that began with The Hummingbird's Daughter. Together, both novels follow the journey of Teresita Urrea, a Mexican curandera who finds herself in America at the technologically miraculous turn of the 20th century. Urrea talks about the mystical and political border crossings the books required of Teresita--and him."

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Tomorrow on MSNBC's the Cycle: Sam Parnia, co-author of Erasing Death: The Science That Is Rewriting the Boundaries Between Life and Death (HarperOne, $25.99, 9780062080608). He will also appear on the View.

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Tomorrow night on the Daily Show: Rachel Maddow, author of Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power (Broadway, $15, 9780307460998).

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Tomorrow night on Jimmy Kimmel Live: Gavin Newsom, author of Citizenville: How to Take the Town Square Digital and Reinvent Government (Penguin Press, $25.95, 9781594204722).


Books & Authors

Awards: Ulfers; Bram Stoker; Red House; Sunday Times Short Story

Carol Brown Janeway has won the inaugural Friedrich Ulfers Prize, which recognizes "a leading publisher, writer, critic, translator or scholar who has championed the advancement of German-language literature in the United States." The prize is awarded by Deutsches Haus at New York University, endowed by Professor Friedrich Ulfers and has an award of $5,000. The winner also receives a trophy sponsored by Swarovski Gems. Janeway was awarded the prize at the beginning of the Festival Neue Literatur, New York City's German-language literary festival.

Deutsches Haus director Martin Rauchbauer said: "Carol Brown Janeway's legendary translations and publications of writers such as Bernhard Schlink, Daniel Kehlmann, and Thomas Bernhard show how a single person can shape the perception of contemporary German-language literature in an entire country. Thousands of American readers and fans of these writers have been introduced by her to an exciting literary world."

German Book Office director Riky Stock called Janeway "a true advocate for German-language literature. Her work as an editor and translator has introduced countless Americans to prolific German-language authors. We are proud to celebrate Ms. Janeway for her dedication to German-language literature. She represents the very fundamentals of the prize."

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Finalists in 11 categories of the 2012 Bram Stoker Awards have been announced by the Horror Writers Association. Winners will be celebrated on June 15 during the World Horror Convention in New Orleans.

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Spooky Spooky House by Andrew Weale, illustrated by Lee Wildish, won the Red House Children's Book Award, the Bookseller reported. The prize, run by the Federation of Children's Book Groups, is voted for by young readers from a shortlist drawn up by children's book groups across the U.K. This year more than 53,000 votes were cast.  

Weale's book garnered the overall prize after being chosen the best work in the "younger children" category. Other category winners were Gangsta Granny by David Walliams, illustrated by Tony Ross (younger readers) and The Medusa Project: Hit Squad by Sophie McKenzie (older readers).

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Finalists have been named for the lucrative £30,000 (US$45,434) Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award. The winner will be announced March 22 at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival on March. The shortlist includes "Miss Lora" by Junot Díaz, "The Gun" by Mark Haddon, "Evie" by Sarah Hall, "The Dig" by Cynan Jones, "Call It 'The Bug' Because I Have No Time to Think of a Better Title" by Toby Litt and "The Beholder" by Ali Smith.


Book Brahmin: Evie Manieri

photo: James J. Kriegsmann Jr.

Evie Manieri grew up in the Philadelphia suburb of Drexel Hill and is the product of a golden age of public education where arts programs were varied and plentiful. She graduated from Wesleyan University with a degree in Medieval History and Theater, disciplines that continue to influence her work. Her debut novel, Blood's Pride (Tor, February 19, 2013), is the first in the Shattered Kingdoms fantasy trilogy. Manieri lives with her family in New York City.

On your nightstand now:

I've been making a point to read outside my comfort zone lately, and right now I've got The City's Son by Tom Pollock and The Rook by Daniel O'Malley. They're both off to a great start, but sadly I'm not that far into either of them yet. I'm in the last hot, sweaty throes of getting my latest ms. ready to submit, and not much else is happening right now.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Too close to call between Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, and A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for pure magic and wish fulfillment. (I was allergic to chocolate when I was a kid.) A Little Princess had a more profound impact: it was the first book that spoke to me in a serious way about adults--like the terrifying Miss Minchin--who are incapable of empathy for children, and that it is possible to hold on to oneself in the face of their arbitrary cruelty, even when circumstances give them authority over you. It's a message I still find heartening.

Your top five authors:

Dorothy L. Sayers, W. Somerset Maugham, Thomas Hardy, Sinclair Lewis, Susan Cooper.

Book you've faked reading:

Well, leaving aside every self–help book anyone's either given or recommended to me... then it would be The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. I've tried to read it at least four times, and I'm sure I've faked my way through dozens of conversations where it came up. That was in my younger days, though, when I was more easily embarrassed by my ignorance.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham. Everyone seems to have heard of it, but so few people I encounter have actually read it. Some people are at least familiar with the soul-wilting relationship between Philip and Mildred from the movie adaptations, but there's so very much more to the book. The bleak, unromantic depiction of the Paris art student scene is riveting, and Philip's decision to chuck it when he decides he doesn't have the stuff of greatness still affects me with its courage and self–awareness.

Book you've bought for the cover:

Dragonsinger by Anne McCaffrey. It was a paperback and the first book I ever bought with my own money. It had a wonderful illustration of the fire lizards on the cover. For those of you who don't know, fire lizards are basically miniature pet dragons. I was nine. I couldn't give them my money fast enough.

Book that changed your life:

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle. It was a reading assignment given by my fifth grade teacher, and a whole new universe big-banged into my head when I read it. That book made me want to be a writer, and it's why Blood's Pride is dedicated to that same fifth grade teacher.

Favorite line from a book:

Writer Harriet Vane goes to visit her old college of Shrewsbury in Oxford, and when asked why someone of her caliber is writing popular fiction, she points out that she needs to earn a living. She follows up by saying, "I know what you're thinking--that anybody with proper sensitive feelings would rather scrub floors for a living. But I should scrub floors very badly, and I write detective stories rather well. I don't see why proper feelings should prevent me from doing my proper job." From Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers.

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

The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper. I want to get lost in it again like I did the first time. It felt so much more real and so much more intriguing than the world around me. I re-read it often, but I'll never get back that magic of the first time.


IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

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

Hardcovers
Three Graves Full: A Novel by Jamie Mason (Gallery, $24.99, 9781451685039). "Three Graves Full gives us a fresh, entertaining twist on the murder mystery genre. A coward can snap if pushed too far, which is why Jason Getty has a body buried in his backyard. This is stressing him out so much that he has to hire a landscaping crew to deal with his lawn--and they are the ones who find a different body in his flowerbed, not the one he buried. The police investigation turns up a third body, and from there on this tightly plotted, suspense-filled tale twists and turns like the country roads of its setting. A great read!" --Carol Schneck Varner, Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, Mich.

The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War by Daniel Stashower (Minotaur, $26.99, 9780312600228). "This engaging book by Edgar Award-winning author Stashower is filled with anecdotes, quotes from contemporary sources, and excellent backstories that interweave four strands of little-known American history: the rise of Allan Pinkerton, America's original 'private eye'; the critical period between Lincoln's election and his inauguration, when the country teetered on the precipice; how Lincoln dealt with the crisis before he had the power of office; and the plot to assassinate him before he took office on March 4, 1861. Highly recommended for anyone fascinated by American history." --Jim McFarlane, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, S.C.

Paperback
The Affair by Colette Freedman (Kensington, $15, 9780758281005). "Playwright-turned-novelist Freedman presents this well-crafted novel about three people caught in an affair: the wife, the husband, and the mistress. Told from each person's perspective in turn, we see the same scenes played out, but each time the story is retold we discover something more about each character. We see the lies they tell each other, and, just as important, the lies they tell themselves. The story plays out like a three-act drama and includes an unexpected denouement in the final scene." --Dominica Plummer, Norwich Bookstore, Norwich, Vt.

For Ages 4 to 8
Look! Another Book! by Bob Staake (Little, Brown Young Readers, $16.99, 9780316204590). "Finally! A follow up to Look! A Book! Staake has created a series of zany illustrations with tons of objects for readers to search and find. From an art museum, to recess, to outer space, each scene is bursting with funny characters and hidden objects. Also, be on the lookout for the funniest book dedication I've ever seen." --Marika McCoola, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, Mass.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]


Book Review

Children's Review: The Runaway King

The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen (Scholastic Press, $17.99 hardcover, 352p., ages 10-14, 9780545284158, March 1, 2013)

This second entry in Jennifer A. Nielsen's Ascendance trilogy begins immediately following the events of The False Prince, and proceeds at the same breakneck pace.

The newly installed King Jaron, tired of all the politicking going on in the guise of honoring his family at their funeral, steps into the courtyard and climbs a tree. He spies a suspicious character, waits until the fellow is directly below, then jumps onto his back. It turns out to be Roden, one of four orphans who vied for the throne (in The False Prince)--as Jaron describes him, "Once my friend. Then my enemy. Now my assassin." Roden is not only armed but has back-up: he has joined the Avenian pirates that were commissioned to kill Jaron four years ago, and delivers this message: Jaron must surrender to Roden and the pirates in 10 days. If he does, the pirates will leave Carthya "untouched." But if Jaron refuses, the pirates will destroy Carthya to get to him. Jaron suspects that Avenia's King Vargan is also part of the nefarious plot--since the pirates could not destroy Carthya without the aid of the Avenian Army.

Gregor, Carthya's captain of the guard, wants to avoid war and place Jaron in hiding. Jaron believes that if he follows that strategy, his regents will betray him and Carthya. After all, Bevin Conner was once a regent of Carthya, and he was the one who killed the royal family and conscripted the four orphans in order to install one as the prince of Carthya. So Jaron takes matters into his own hands. Fans of the series will be pleased to see that Tobias, one of the other competing contestants for the throne, now resides in the castle with Jaron, as do Mott and Imogen, both former servants to Conner who befriended Jaron. All three play a role in Jaron's plan--sometimes unbeknownst to the narrator hero.

Nielsen ups the ante, as Jaron sees no other way to convince his kingdom he's fit to reign than to come face to face with the pirate king who'd planned to kill him four years ago. The author's skill for plotting and characterization lives up to the high standards she set with The False Prince. She also continues to develop Jaron's depth and compassion as he travels through Carthya and discovers his father's negligence to his people. Readers will want to start this on a weekend, when they can read straight through with no interruption. --Jennifer M. Brown

Shelf Talker: Nielsen builds on the excitement and suspense she set in motion with The False Prince, as the newly installed King Jaron comes face to face with the pirate king who tried to kill him four years before.


AuthorBuzz: Revell: The Words Between Us by Erin Bartels
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