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SomeGuyinVirginia and the Haunted Hotel: A reading challenge mystery

75 Books Challenge for 2017

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Edited: Jun 5, 1:50pm Top

Books read in 2017

1) The Darkest Secret, by Alex Marwood (14 January)
2) The Glow, by Brooks Stanwood (28 January)
3) Twenty Five Mystery Science Theater 3000 Films That Changed My Life in No Way Whatsoever, by Frank Conniff ( January 30)

4) Speaking From Among the Bones, by Alan Bradley (February 23)
5) Evil Under the Sun, by Agatha Christie (February 28)

6) The Wicked Girls, by Alex Marwood (March 14)
7) Heads in Beds, by Jacob Tomsky (March 22)
8) Straight to Hell, by John LeFevre (March 26)
9) One For the Books, by Joe Queenan (March 26)

10) Dracula's Children, by Richard Lortz (April 9)
11) Edgar Allan Poe: The Fever Called Living, by Paul Collins (April 12)
12) The Thirty-First of June, by J.B. Priestly (April 13)
13) The Big Clock, by Kenneth Fearing (April 23)
14) The Lenient Beast, by Fredric Brown (April 29)
15) Black Butterfly, by Mark Gatiss (April 30)
16) The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories, by various (April 30)

17) A Scent of New-Mown Hay, by John Blackburn (May 5)
18) The Bad Penny, by John Blackburn (May 9)
19) The Box in the Attic & Other Stories, by A.M. Burrage (May 10)
20) Mr. Monster, by Dan Wells (May 14)
21) The Scarecrow, by Michael Connelly (May 20)
22) I Don't Want To Kill You, by Dan Wells (May 20)
23) The Killing Kind, by John Connolly (May 25)
24) The Colorado Kid, by Stephen King (May 27)
25) Deeply Odd, by Dean Koontz (May 28)
26) After Dark, My Sweet, by Jim Thompson (May 29)
27) The Uncommon Reader, by Alan Bennett (May 30)

28) The Bedlam Detective, by Stephen Gallagher (June 3)
29) Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, by Winifred Watson (June 9)
30) Field of Prey, by John Sandford (June 18)
31) Planet of the Apes, by Pierre Boulle (June 21)

32) The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, by Alan Bradley (July 3)
33) The Emperor's Tomb, by Steve Berry (July 15)
34) Think of a Number, by John Verdon (July 21)
35) The Black Death: The World's Most Devastating Plague, by Dorsey Armstrong
36) Mommy, by Max Allan Collins (July 29)

37) Gwendy's Button Box, by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar (August 3)
38) Deadline, by Tim Heald (August 13)
39) The Golden Spiders, by Rex Stout (August 18)
40) Bryant & May and the Burning Man, by Christopher Fowler (August 23)
41) Stories Not for the Nervous, by Alfred Hitchcock, ed. (August 23)
42) The Priest: A Gothic Romance, by Thomas M. Disch (August 26)
43) The Midwich Cuckoos, by John Wyndham (August 31)

44) Dr. Cook's Garden, by Ira Levin (September 3)
45) The Pan Book of Horror Stories, by Herbert van Thal (September 9)
46) The Swap, by Antony Moore (September 27)

47) The Stand, by Stephen King (October 2)
48) Paperbacks From Hell, by Grady Hendrix (October 4)
49) The Devil's Own Work, by Alan Judd (October 6)
50) Little Star, by John Ajvide Lindqvist (October 7)
51) The Dark, by Max Franklin (October 10)
52) Skeleton Crew, by Stephen King (October 18)
53) The Little People, by John Christopher (October 22)
54) Dead Calm, by Charles Williams (October 23)
55) You Play the Red and the Black Comes Up, by Richard Hallas (October 31, 2017 - Halloween)

56) The Innocent, by Evelyn Piper (November 4)
57) Swan Song, by Edmund Crispin (November 9)
58) Psycho House, by Robert Bloch (November 18)
59) The Child, by Sebastian Fitzek (November 22)
60) Money Management Skills, by Professor Michael Finke (November 29)

61) Mary Poppins, by P.L. Travers (December 4)
62) The Happy Man: A tale of horror, by Eric C. Higgs (December 6)
63) Plague Pit, by Mark Ronson (December 9)
64) The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, by Barbara Robinson (December 10)
65) Loose Diamonds: ...and other things I've lost (and found) along the way, by Amy Ephron (December 10)
66) The Little Nugget, by P.G. Wodehouse (December 14)
67) Grifter's Game, by Lawrence Block (December 16)
68) Childgrave, by Ken Greenhall (December 19)
69) A Swell-Looking Babe, by Jim Thompson (December 22)
70) Rest in Agony, by Paul W. Fairman (December 22)
71) Ghost Gleams: Tales of the Uncanny, by W.J. Wintle (December 23)
72) Stories in the Dark, by Barry Pain (December 25)
73) Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll (December 26)
74) More Peers: Verses, by Hilaire Belloc (December 27)
75) Cautionary Tales For Children, by Hilaire Belloc (December 27)
76) The Holy Bible King James version. 'natch. (December 29)
77) Ghastle and Yule, by Josh Malerman (December 29)
78) A Book of Bargains, by Vincent O'Sullivan (December 30)

Although I didn't record it, I also read Final Girls by Riley Sager. So the total for 2017 now stands at 79.

Edited: Jan 15, 2017, 9:09am Top

The Darkest Secret, by Alex Marwood (14 January)

My second Marwood and both have been fun reads. A toddler goes missing during her father's drug-fueled 50th birthday party. The book opens 12 years later with his death, and a daughter of his first wife agreeing to give the eulogy and to take her 15 year old stepsister, the missing child's twin sister, to the funeral. The subject matter is dark indeed, but Marwood is able to give her characters an engaging sense of life and movement.

Edited: Jan 17, 2017, 10:34pm Top

I knew I'd find you eventually! The Darkest Secret sounds good too.

I bought The Wicked Girls and may take it with me to CA. Of course I may take Full Dark House or End of Watch or just say to hell with it and take my Kindle and not bother with the weight.

Jan 18, 2017, 9:32am Top

Oohh, Full Dark House and End of Watch are both fun reads. Take all three!

Edited: Jan 18, 2017, 9:47am Top

If I can get them all in daughter's high school book bag - a really nice one from LL Bean, but we had it monogrammed with "Snoopy" for her and I've gotten a few quirky looks the last two trips to CA. Although frankly, I'm not sure how much reading I'll get done, except for the plane trips.

"Shelter in place" thingy. Yeesh.

Jan 18, 2017, 9:57am Top


I am part of the group.
I love being part of the group.
I love the friendships bestowed upon my by dint of my membership of this wonderful fellowship.
I love that race and creed and gender and age and sexuality and nationality make absolutely no difference to our being a valued member of the group.

Thank you for also being part of the group.

Edited: Jan 29, 2017, 10:37am Top

The Glow, by Brooks Stanwood (28 January)

Jan 29, 2017, 6:24am Top

My library has got a copy of The Darkest Secret. It goes stright to my library list.

>7 SomeGuyInVirginia: BTW the touchstone leads to another book.

Happy Sunday.

Jan 29, 2017, 3:26pm Top

Blackhawk books just published a Kindle version of Matthew Head's The Accomplice, one of the great golden-age grotesques. $2.99 US; that's a deal!

Jan 30, 2017, 4:11am Top

Hi Larry! I hope you and Parker had a great weekend. Give him a skritch for me!

Edited: Jan 31, 2017, 9:19am Top

Twenty Five Mystery Science Theater 3000 Films That Changed My Life in No Way Whatsoever, by Frank Conniff ( January 30)

TV's Frank! Meta-riffing on the movies that made MST3K one of the greats. And it was a great show, if something of a niche entertainment. Conniff has a wide-ranging pop culture vocabulary and a brilliant mind, and constructs a masterly sarcastic narrative that progresses with the build up and release of a musical score. It's a pleasure to watch the man work. Here he gives us an idea of what the show could have been like if it hadn't been so relentlessly G-rated.

Edited: Feb 14, 2017, 9:46pm Top

Now, as I have done since internet time immemorial, I post my Annual Valentine's Day Screed. Let the healing begin.

I would rather that my lover
hid beneath the stair
than sighing over breakfast cups
ask me if I care.

Or paused to give a thought to what
'Stop, you'll muss my hair!'
does for me when table hopping.
Ask me if I care.

I do not think it cute when she
dons my underwear
then says that I'm her tchotchke and not
ask me if I care.

Feb 14, 2017, 9:16am Top

Hi Larry!

Vivid, in a disturbing way....

Feb 14, 2017, 12:14pm Top

Welcome to my world.

Feb 14, 2017, 3:38pm Top


Feb 26, 2017, 7:19pm Top

4) Speaking From Among the Bones, by Alan Bradley (February 23)

Great fun.

Edited: Feb 27, 2017, 8:36pm Top

You do realize that mentioning Shakespeare on my thread may just get something going? And that you will have to lead it like I had to lead Great Expectations and Bleak House?

Is your baby kitty home yet?

Feb 28, 2017, 9:28am Top

No! Parker's still at Dad's. It's taken a $#$##@$%%@@%^%$# MONTH to replace the windows, and they're still only SCHEDULED to be finished by Friday. I think about it and I want to escape the anger by passing out.

Dad has completely spoiled Parker. As he should. I won't be able to get that cat out of his place with a crowbar. Poor little guy, he's so people oriented that he hates it when I go to work and will attack my shoes as I'm putting them on. Dad is home all day and Parker must be in kitty bliss. God I miss that furball.

You know, I'd lead a Shakespeare read. It will have to be the third week in March because our CEO will be in our office next week and the week after and everyone's running around in a tizzy. Do you want to participate? I think it should start with just a single play, see how it goes?

Feb 28, 2017, 9:42am Top

Lucky Parker to be so spoiled. It's going to be hard on both of you when you bring him home. Give him extra treats and/or toys. I've had my cats bat at me as I pass by on the way to work, but none of them has ever attacked my shoes. One of them, Inara, likes to play with them, but never damages them.

A month. I would hate my house to be so out of control for a month, too.

I would definitely participate. I think it's rather exciting, to tell the truth. One play, don't lay out a schedule for all 38. Everybody would get scared off. Which one might you have in mind?

Mar 6, 2017, 9:22am Top

Mar 6, 2017, 10:55am Top

Yay Agatha Christie! And I'm glad Parker's coming home Sunday.

Mar 6, 2017, 2:48pm Top

Yes, I will be glad to have the little guy back home.

Mar 6, 2017, 6:05pm Top

We'll need a new picture of him, of course.

Mar 7, 2017, 9:56am Top

Of course! I just hope that with the 6 or 7 bushings he's been getting a day, he won't hiss at me when I walk through Dad's front door.

I'm reading Alex Marwood's The Wicked Girls. It's great, and I'm really glad I found her. I'd had an audio version of her The Killer Next Door since it was published, but only bought it because it was on sale, knew nothing about it, and hadn't listened to it.

Mar 7, 2017, 9:59am Top

I bought The Wicked Girls based on your Alex Marwood recommendation, but haven't read it yet. I'll be interested in hearing what you think.

Mar 13, 2017, 8:24am Top

So Da Floof is back home. Has he settled back in nicely or has he been glaring at you for not being your Dad?

Looks like winter is going to smack you again. We had our - oh, let's say .2 inches to be generous - snow storm yesterday. It was all melted by noon.

Mar 13, 2017, 11:28am Top

Da Floof! is back safe and sound. I think he's glad to be back, but he's still sniffing everything to make sure it's all the same stuff he remembers. He was glad to see me yesterday, because he did that roll around on his back thing and started chewing on my fingers. Poor little guy, he was in foster care as a kitten and they had to give him up. I worry that he thinks he's been sent back again.

Yeah, we're going to get a snow event starting tonight, with flurries through Wednesday. Alexandria is supposed to get up to five inches, but the other side of DC could get a foot. That I'll believe when I see it. God I'd love to sit in my chair tomorrow and read.

Mar 13, 2017, 12:50pm Top

I'm glad that P-Bitty is settling back in.

Stay safe in the "snow event".

Mar 14, 2017, 10:09pm Top

The Wicked Girls , by Alex Marwood (March 14)

Human and gripping.

Edited: Mar 17, 2017, 5:29pm Top

Hey Guy! * kicking on front door* Here you are!
I've brought you a re-housewarming gift, and I know you'll be able to use it.

Yep, it's a tiki mug.

Mar 17, 2017, 9:58pm Top

Oh thank God, now I don't have to drink from the bottle. Pull up a Japanese garden stool and lets have a toot.

Mar 17, 2017, 10:04pm Top

Well, rats. My local library does not have any of Alex Marwood's books.

Happy weekend to both you and Parker, Larry :)

Mar 17, 2017, 10:04pm Top

Well, rats. My local library does not have any of Alex Marwood's books.

Happy weekend to both you and Parker, Larry :)

Mar 22, 2017, 9:01pm Top

Thanks alcottacre! We had a good weekend, Da Peep and I. I hope you did, too. And Marwood is worth searching out. Can you request your lie-berry order a copy?

Edited: Mar 23, 2017, 2:49pm Top

Heads in Beds, by Jacob Tomsky (March 22)

Light read, more interesting for what he inadvertently reveals about himself than what he details. Lovely descriptions of New Orleans.

Mar 23, 2017, 11:15am Top

Heads in Beds has been on my WL for a very long time, since it came out, in fact. I guess I haven't been motivated enough to get it so far : D
I hope this weekend finds you with a full tiki mug and some nice weather.

Edited: Mar 26, 2017, 8:01pm Top

Mar 26, 2017, 10:58pm Top

Mar 27, 2017, 3:12pm Top

Hi Larry! Hope you and Parker are doing well. Is Parker all settled back in after his Being Spoiled Adventure?

Mar 27, 2017, 5:28pm Top

Parker, AKA Good Boy Yes-in-deed! I spent almost the entire weekend with Da Floof! and he rewarded me by waking me up at 4am this morning. Because it was going to be a beautiful day.

God I'm tired.

Mar 27, 2017, 6:42pm Top

Awwww, isn't that sweet! He wanted to spend early morning quality time with you and share the 'going to be a beautiful day.'

I bet you're tired. I can sympathize. This morning when it was still dark I could hear rain on the skylight and later, when it was just getting light, Inara Starbuck came in soaking wet. She, unlike most felines, likes to go outside in the rain. She crawled up on the bed and plopped herself down near me.

Edited: May 12, 2017, 1:35pm Top

Apr 10, 2017, 4:31pm Top

Hi Larry! Give Parker a skritch from me.

Apr 10, 2017, 6:05pm Top

Hope your week is starting out well.
Dracula's Children is coming up as Frankenstein, so I can't see your review. I suppose I could go to the search box, but that would take effort. ; )

Apr 12, 2017, 4:52pm Top

Edgar Allan Poe: The Fever Called Living, by Paul Collins (April 12)

Apr 12, 2017, 4:53pm Top

>43 karenmarie: Skritch done!

>44 mstrust: Don't do it, it's a pervy book.

Apr 13, 2017, 11:32am Top

>46 SomeGuyInVirginia: I'm so hoping that's your official review. ; )

Apr 13, 2017, 11:40am Top

Apr 15, 2017, 11:39am Top

Have a Happy Easter!

Apr 15, 2017, 2:06pm Top

Happy Easter, Larry and Parker!

Apr 15, 2017, 8:52pm Top

>49 mstrust:. Thanks kiddo! Is that a not-so-subtle hint that I'm wearing too much makeup?

>50 karenmarie: much thanks, Karen. I'm at Dad's, we had a wonderful seafood dinner and now I'm on the balcony with my feet propped up and a glass of wine, and scratching Notorious Peeb's back.

Happy Easter to both!

Apr 23, 2017, 11:25am Top

Apr 23, 2017, 12:17pm Top

>51 SomeGuyInVirginia: Not at all. I think you wear exactly the right amount.

Apr 24, 2017, 9:33am Top

Thank you. One wants to make an effort without appearing to make an effort.

Apr 29, 2017, 6:39pm Top

Apr 30, 2017, 6:52am Top

Hi Larry! I hope you and Parker D are having a great weekend.

Apr 30, 2017, 1:54pm Top

Heya kid! A very lazy weekend, thanks!

Apr 30, 2017, 1:54pm Top

Apr 30, 2017, 9:15pm Top

May 1, 2017, 1:20pm Top

>58 SomeGuyInVirginia: I didn't know Mark Gatiss was writing novels too! Is there anything he can't do?

May 1, 2017, 4:45pm Top

He's British. They're damnably adept.

May 6, 2017, 11:14am Top

I hope last night's fiesta went well.

May 7, 2017, 2:40am Top

>61 SomeGuyInVirginia: I'll take that, Larry.

Wishing you a great weekend.

May 7, 2017, 9:51am Top

I hope you and Parker are having a very good weekend.

May 8, 2017, 12:32pm Top

>63 mstrust: Gracias!

>64 PaulCranswick: Thanks Paul, good to hear from you.

>65 karenmarie: Parker tried to tackle me this morning when I left, which means he wants me to stay, which means he had a good weekend.

I don't know what it is, but I can hardly keep my eyes open this morning. Going to be an early night, tonight.

May 8, 2017, 12:35pm Top

My sister said the same thing. She was half an hour late to work!

Go Parker!

We had a cat (don't remember which one) when I was growing up who used to hide in the bushes, and when Dad came home from work he/she/it would attack his ankles.

The joys of being owned by a cat.

Edited: May 11, 2017, 12:41pm Top

The Bad Penny, by John Blackburn (May 9)

Not bad, not good, and not his best.

May 9, 2017, 12:40pm Top

Parker must view me as the 'food and scritches chump'. Bless his leetle haid.

May 11, 2017, 12:20pm Top

Well, you have to leave a review for that one, as there's virtually no info on the book or the author. Now where are you finding these very obscure titles? Do you visit a bookstore that only appears to those who are worthy?

May 12, 2017, 9:01am Top

Nothing so cool. I'm finding obscure titles because I'm cheap and don't like to spend more than $6 for a eBook. Fortunately, there are lots of resurrection houses out there who are bring back titles that have been out of print for years, and a lot of these eBooks only cost $2-3.

Burrage wrote a couple of my favorite scary stories (The Waxwork, and Playmates), so when I saw that he'd been re-published I bought a few of the books. Unfortunately, they are so badly formatted that I can only read one; the other has a space between every line and it drives me bananas. I'm going to try and return the other, but it's been a year since I bought them so I dunno.

May 12, 2017, 12:30pm Top

Yay! Amazon accepted the return on Burrage's Warning Whispers, although I bought it two years ago. $8.79? Yes, please!

May 12, 2017, 12:44pm Top

Good! Maybe the editor will be more attentive if people want their money back. Hooray for being cheap!

May 14, 2017, 9:18pm Top

Mr. Monster, by Dan Wells (May 14)

Edited: May 20, 2017, 12:40pm Top

May 20, 2017, 8:03pm Top

May 25, 2017, 9:28pm Top

May 27, 2017, 2:33pm Top

May 28, 2017, 6:10pm Top

Deeply Odd, by Dean Koontz (May 28)

May 29, 2017, 8:51pm Top

May 30, 2017, 6:17pm Top

May 30, 2017, 7:41pm Top

And did you enjoy the Thompson?

May 31, 2017, 9:03am Top

I liked it but I enjoy his mean stuff better. This was practically a romance novel for Thompson.

I read 11 books this month! Whoo-hoo! It's been years since I've done that.

May 31, 2017, 1:16pm Top

Wow, that's a lot, so congrats!
I love Thompson's twisted idea of romance. His couples were so "off".

Jun 10, 2017, 2:23pm Top

Hi Larry! Wow! So many books. Congratulations. Some of my favorite authors, too - Connelly, Koontz, King, and Bennett. Did you like The Uncommon Reader? The touchstone doesn't seem to be working.....

Say hi to my third favorite kitty in the world (after Inara and K.W., of course!).

Jun 12, 2017, 9:10pm Top

I loved The Uncommon Reader, but I didn't think the ending was what the Queen would do. This was an audiobook for me, and Alan Bennett was the narrator. He did a perfect job. The Brits have writing and acting NAILED DOWN.

Jun 18, 2017, 7:19pm Top

Field of Prey, by John Sandford (June 18)

I like this series, in part because Sandford keeps the back story to a minimum. It was an audiobook for me, and narrator Richard Ferrone is perfect for the job.

Jun 18, 2017, 10:04pm Top

Do you read them in order and have you read all the ones before #24?

I hope you had a wonderful weekend with your Dad, notwithstanding the Bird Talk from your brother. What a hoot (yikes - owl reference!)

Jun 19, 2017, 9:25am Top

Not in order and I've probably only read about half of the series. I liked the first few best, and the Virgil Flowers spin-off is OK. I've only listened to audio versions of his books, so I'm not sure if I'd like them as much without the added dimension of an actor doing his or her thing.

Have you read anything by Mo Hayder? Did we already talk about her? She has a series that I loved, that really got bogged down and almost unreadable in back story, but the last one ('Wolf' something) got back to straight story-telling. Still, Birdman, The Devil of Nanking, and (especially) Pig Island are fun reads, if pretty gross. Pig Island is also a stand-alone work and not part of any series.

Jun 19, 2017, 9:32am Top

Hi Larry!

I have read Gone by Mo Hayder and gave it 4.5 stars. I loved it but wasn't paying attention, obviously, and didn't follow up on the series. I didn't realize that she'd written so many books. Just added Birdman to my wishlist.

Jun 22, 2017, 1:28am Top

Jun 23, 2017, 1:47pm Top

I didn't even know Planet of the Apes had been a book. But then I didn't know The Poseidon Adventure had been either until I read it recently.

Jun 23, 2017, 2:27pm Top

It's a world of wonders, I tell you!

It's rightfully a classic although the book is very different from the movie, the book is not political at all.

Jun 23, 2017, 2:30pm Top

Next I'll find out that Jaws was a book. Ha, like that would ever happen!

Jul 4, 2017, 7:19am Top

Hi Larry! Happy 4th of July to you and Da Floof.

Jul 4, 2017, 9:35am Top

Thanks Karen, you too.

Edited: Jul 4, 2017, 11:53am Top

Happy Fourth!

Jul 17, 2017, 9:31am Top

The Emperor's Tomb, by Steve Berry (July 15)

>101 mstrust: Sorry, I just saw that, I was on the road that holiday. Thanks!

Jul 17, 2017, 11:57am Top

I'm going to imagine you were on a mission from God. Glad you made it back.

Jul 21, 2017, 9:04am Top

Jul 22, 2017, 1:32pm Top

This user has been removed as spam.

Jul 29, 2017, 7:54pm Top

Mommy, by Max Allan Collins (July 29)

Jul 29, 2017, 9:27pm Top

Hi Larry! Happy Saturday evening to you and Parker D. Cat!

Jul 30, 2017, 11:41am Top

Heya kiddo, ultra lazy Saturday for me and Da Floof! I needed the rest, but today is beautius and I'm going on a long road trip.

Aug 3, 2017, 6:13pm Top

The Black Death: The World's Most Devastating Plague, by Dorsey Armstrong

This was a lecture series from the Great Courses. Doesn't break any new ground but it is informative and Armstong is a compelling lecturer.

Edited: Aug 4, 2017, 9:09am Top

Aug 4, 2017, 9:33am Top

Hi Larry and Happy Friday to you and Parker!

Black Death, eh? I've read several books about it and it's endlessly fascinating.

Aug 4, 2017, 9:49am Top

Thanks Karen! P-Bitty and I are heading to Dad's this weekend. They have a mutual admiration society thing going on, and I'll get a nice dinner out of it Saturday night.

Aug 4, 2017, 12:11pm Top

Have a fun weekend!
>110 SomeGuyInVirginia: What did you think? I haven't picked this one up yet.

Aug 4, 2017, 1:14pm Top

It's a super quick read but not really satisfying. It's also a Castle Rock story, and I'm glad because I tend to like his books set there and thought he'd stopped writing about it. Worth a read.

Aug 4, 2017, 4:48pm Top

Jeannie Too's maiden voyage? Have fun, y'all, and I want a detailed report on the 'nice dinner'.

Aug 13, 2017, 9:39pm Top

Hey! Anybody home?

Aug 14, 2017, 9:07am Top

Love the nails! Very Fu Manchu meets Dallas!

Sorry, I've been on the road for about a week. I did manage to finish Deadline, by Tim Heald. You may like his stuff, the mystery isn't really at the fore and the strong point is his character development. Very British, and available on Kindle for either $1.99 or $7.99, depending on the publisher.

Aug 14, 2017, 10:55am Top

I thought it more lady-like than kicking on the door.
Glad you're home and I'm sure kitty is happy to have you back. Tim Heald is a new name to me, thanks.

Aug 19, 2017, 8:56am Top

Edited: Aug 19, 2017, 9:13am Top

Hi Larry!

I love Nero Wolf and Archie, Theodore and Fritz.

I hope you're hanging in there with Da Floof keeping your dad company.

Aug 20, 2017, 5:40pm Top

Da Floof! It's strange how much I miss that cat.

Aug 23, 2017, 10:37pm Top

Aug 25, 2017, 12:28pm Top

Well look who is reading the Hitchcock books too. I have four more on my TBR pile.

Aug 25, 2017, 2:44pm Top

I know! I really like those collections. They tend to have a pretty good hit/dud ratio. This one also had Sorry, Wrong Number, which was pretty groovy.

Aug 27, 2017, 12:31pm Top

>126 SomeGuyInVirginia: Kinda felt awkward carrying on a sidebar on Karen's thread (I'm not well-versed yet on the etiquette here), so I thought I'd continue on yours.

I started re-reading The M.D. after Disch came up, and am enjoying it all over again. I didn't realize until checking on Amazon that there were four "Supernatural Minnesota" novels - the last was The Sub: A Study in Witchcraft. I figured I might put that on my Kindle for airplane reading this weekend. Do you know it?

Aug 27, 2017, 8:27pm Top

Hey maj, good to hear from you. Karen's a great friend and fine with sidebars, but I understand not wanting to highjack someone's thread.

I read and reviewed The Sub, and thought it was very dark. I was expecting a cross between the movie The Substitute and Death Wish, with a little whimsey thrown in but I guess not. Disch's style would be perfect for plane reading; agreeable, plain, and fast. Ditto Stephen King and Nora Ephron.

Aug 27, 2017, 10:37pm Top

Thanks, man. I'll put The Sub on the Kindle. I've already got some good non-fiction on there, but my flight out is a red eye so I'll need something potent.

Stephen King, huh? I've just started dipping back into him. I began following him about when he published his 3rd or 4th novel, and followed for many years, but he wore me out (exact same thing happened with Joyce Carol Oates, another one-time love). Tried his Kennedy assassination novel when it came out, but it didn't sustain my interest. A coupla months ago, though, End of Watch caught my eye, so I picked up Mr. Mercedes and really enjoyed it, so sooner or later I'll get Finders, Keepers and End of Watch.

Aug 28, 2017, 5:23pm Top

Ugh, the red eye. Did you lose a bet?

Potent fiction that is entirely agreeable and highly seasoned is 'a thing'. A thing I tell you! I've even created a couple of lists devoted to the very idea- Exceptional thirllers that deserve a wider audience, and Cheesy pleasures and odd lots.

Aug 28, 2017, 8:22pm Top

Great lists. I've read about a dozen of the Cheesy pleasures - but that period of my life was so long ago (lates 60s to mid 70s mostly) that I'm not entirely certain. Conjure Wife, for instance: I know the title, and know that I read a lot of Lieber, but that one?

I've cast my mind over the past (but that's a lot of books under the bridge) and my current shelves to see if I have anything to add to the second list. Do you know The Moon Lamp by Mark Smith? Maybe the best ghost story I ever read. And two things on my shelf that I loved when they came out (1995 and 1997): All the Bells on Earth by James P. Blaylock, and Zod Wallop by William Browning Spencer. Don't recall much, though, except that they were creepy and compelling (but both 100 or so pages longer that you like on Cheesy).

Aug 29, 2017, 5:09pm Top

I never thought about it, but most of those books were published a while ago. I do try and read older books, but that might be because the years have separated the wheat from the cream and what's good is widely known and easily identifiable.

I tried to read The Moon Lamp but wound up giving up on it. I'll try the other two, they look interesting.

Aug 29, 2017, 8:30pm Top

I think I need to go through your "cheesy pleasures" list with a highlighter to mark all the books with really weird titles that I want to find.

Aug 31, 2017, 1:55pm Top

Aug 31, 2017, 9:05pm Top

Hi Larry!

>134 SomeGuyInVirginia: I knew that name was familiar - I never read the book but saw and was terrified by the movie version The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham.

Sep 3, 2017, 11:38pm Top

Dr. Cook's Garden, by Ira Levin (September 3)

Edited: Sep 30, 2017, 1:07am Top

The Swap, by Antony Moore (September 27)

Oct 2, 2017, 5:50pm Top

The Stand, by Stephen King

Yes, that 'The Stand'. The is the second time around for me, and I don't know why, either. I started listening to the audiobook version and just kept on listening.

Oct 2, 2017, 6:16pm Top

I know why - it's a damned fine book. I've read it twice - the 'cut' version and then 'uncut' version. Very good stuff!

Oct 2, 2017, 6:57pm Top

I have to say, though, that I'm glad Sir Steve had an editor. The uncut version was good, but man it needed paring down! 😀

Oct 3, 2017, 12:09am Top

>138 SomeGuyInVirginia: I read The Swap years ago when it first came out. Gave it three stars. What'd you think?

Oct 3, 2017, 1:11pm Top

I liked it, too, and three stars is a solid response. I collected comics as a kid, so was drawn to this. The ending was a little muddy for me, but it was a quick, fun read.

Oct 3, 2017, 1:19pm Top

Hello SomeGuyInVirginia! I hope all is well with you.

>139 SomeGuyInVirginia: I read the cut version many years ago and loved it. I imagine that if I ever revisited it, it would be on audio. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Oct 3, 2017, 5:26pm Top

>144 brodiew2: Thanks man. I don't think I could have read it again,either, but listening to the audio version is smoooth.

Oct 4, 2017, 10:00pm Top

Oct 5, 2017, 4:23pm Top

>145 SomeGuyInVirginia: A narrator named Frank Muller read quite of few of King's works, including Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption. I really enjoyed that one as well.

Edited: Oct 6, 2017, 3:16pm Top

The Devil's Own Work, by Alan Judd (October 6)

An astonishing book, written with great technical virtuosity and having Hidden Depths. A promising young writer makes a Faustian bargain, whereby he is able to write astonishing books of great technical virtuosity, but that lack any sort of depth nor portray the world in any real way. Bad things happen to him. A mordant look at English letters.

Oct 6, 2017, 9:41am Top

I recognize the name Frank Muller, he must be good to stand out. Thanks Brodie!

Oct 6, 2017, 12:37pm Top

>146 SomeGuyInVirginia: So can I take credit for hitting you with a book bullet for a book I haven't even read yet? ;-D

Oct 6, 2017, 3:20pm Top

>150 mstrust: 10 points to Gryffindor!

Oct 7, 2017, 10:03pm Top

Oct 7, 2017, 10:42pm Top

Hi Larry! I hope you and Parker D. Cat are having a good weekend!

Oct 8, 2017, 12:21pm Top

Thanks Karen. It's really nice to lay about and catch up on sleeping and reading.

Edited: Oct 11, 2017, 9:34am Top

The Dark, by Max Franklin (October 10)

Pppbbxt! Last time I rely on glowing blog reviews.

Oct 18, 2017, 9:21am Top

Skeleton Crew, by Stephen King (October 18)

Oct 22, 2017, 9:18pm Top

Oct 23, 2017, 8:41am Top

Hi Larry! Long time no talk. I hope you and Parker D. are having a good October so far. Are you a Halloween fan or a Halloween avoider?

Oct 23, 2017, 10:21am Top

Fan! Hooge fan! Although this year I'm not dressing up. I can remember when it didn't matter if Halloween was on a Tuesday, I'd be out there in the thick of it. Halloween's a big deal in DC.

Oct 23, 2017, 10:26am Top

And do you get trick-or-treaters or just eat all the candy yourself? *smile*

Oct 23, 2017, 3:37pm Top

No trick-or-treaters allowed in my building. Of COURSE I eat all the candy myself! I can't let that go to waste!

We get some really high end chocolate here because of our Belgian office and it is that much better than most of what I buy locally. But it's not that much better than Ghiradelli. Or, at least, I'm not enough of a gourmand to notice the difference. Plus, PLUS, our VP is out of the country for two weeks, so it's guilt-free snack time! Whoo-hoo! Imma go to Costco and buy a beeg bag!

Oct 23, 2017, 4:52pm Top

No trick 'r' treaters allowed? I admit that I'd be a bit content knowing that it was all for me, but that sucks for the kids.
I like Belgian and Swiss chocolates too (any really), but around Halloween those little Hershey bars taste extra good.

Oct 23, 2017, 8:00pm Top

I think I am the only human alive who doesn't care if he ever has a piece of chocolate again.

Oct 23, 2017, 9:21pm Top

Of course you have to eat the chocolate, Larry! So far we've avoided Halloween candy.....

The best chocolate, IMO, is See's Dark Chocolate - Dark Chocolate California Toffee, Dark Chocolate Raspberry Creams, Dark Chocolate Scotchmallows, Dark Chocolate Nougat, or Dark Chocolate Molasses Chips. Not to say I won't eat a Butterfinger when given the opportunity, but See's is pretty damned fine chocolate.

Oct 24, 2017, 12:16pm Top

>162 mstrust: They used to throw a Halloween party for kids but stopped that. I remember one Halloween standing on the balcony and seeing a dad with a little tyke dressed like a bumblebee. There really aren't a lot of kids where I live. Way, WAY more dogs than kids.

>163 richardderus: I hear you. Really, the only time I look for chocolate is around Christmas, and then there's candy all over the freakin' house.

>164 karenmarie: See's is THE BOMB! My parents get a box every year and it's awesome. I'm partial to the Lindt truffles, even though Ghirardelli's is better chocolate. I like their peppermint Christmas candy.

Edited: Oct 24, 2017, 12:24pm Top

Dead Calm, by Charles Williams (October 23)

More gothic than noir. Ends by a large body of water, as all good gothics must. Williams has a knack for giving his characters strong, individualized voices that help to firmly etch them in the reader's imagination. Strong beginning.

Edited: Oct 31, 2017, 12:45pm Top

You Play the Red and the Black Comes Up, by Richard Hallas (October 31, 2017 - Halloween)

One of the great noir novels, it's the Grapes of Wrath of pulp and a keen indictment of California. There is everything to love about this book.

Oct 31, 2017, 4:11pm Top

Oooh, such high praise! That's going on my list.

Oct 31, 2017, 4:15pm Top

>167 SomeGuyInVirginia: Who knew that Lassie's book-daddy had noir in him?

Nov 3, 2017, 11:20pm Top

You're very quiet. It's a little unnerving.

Nov 6, 2017, 9:40am Top

Snort! I just got back from watching you sleep.

Nov 6, 2017, 9:50am Top

>171 SomeGuyInVirginia: ...so THAT was the stifled scream of terror last night...

Edited: Nov 13, 2017, 6:00am Top

The Innocent, by Evelyn Piper (November 4)

Piper is a master at edge-of-your-seat thrillers. This must have been a salacious shocker when it was published in 1949, and some images are still really appalling.

Edited: Nov 9, 2017, 11:58pm Top

Swan Song, by Edmund Crispin (November 9)

Sheer, unadulterated joy.

Nov 12, 2017, 12:33pm Top

>174 SomeGuyInVirginia: Really! Gervase Fen is unadulterated joy! I wouldn't've guessed.

Nov 13, 2017, 6:03am Top

Crispin is my favorite.

I've taken Dad to New York to catch some shows and we're flying back this morning. Mom loved this town and I've always liked New York, but I'm exhausted.

Nov 13, 2017, 7:29am Top

Safe trip, Larry. Sorry about the exhaustion, but so glad you and your Dad could do this.

Nov 13, 2017, 1:11pm Top

^^^What she said.

Nov 20, 2017, 9:23am Top

Psycho House, by Robert Bloch (November 18)

Ugh. No.

Nov 20, 2017, 10:45am Top

Amazing how little Bloch had to say and how far he went to say it, hmm?

Nov 22, 2017, 10:51pm Top

The Child, by Sebastian Fitzek (November 22)

I'm glad I found out about this German thriller writer, I'll look for more of his work. Glenister, the narrator, made the story sing.

Nov 23, 2017, 1:04pm Top

This is a time of year when I as a non-American ponder over what I am thankful for.

I am thankful for this group and its ability to keep me sane during topsy-turvy times.

I am thankful that you are part of this group.

I am thankful for this opportunity to say thank you.

Nov 24, 2017, 12:37pm Top

>179 SomeGuyInVirginia: Uh-oh, I didn't know that Bloch could hit a sour note.
I hope your Thanksgiving was special, Larry!

Nov 25, 2017, 4:37pm Top

Thanks Jennifer, and you too! It was special, and Dad rallied because he could play with Parker, who both he and I know is his only grandchild. Parker! AKA The Peeb! AKA Da Floof! AKA Notorious Peeb! AKA P Bitty! AKA Big Tiny!

What did you guys do? Did you cook for a lot of people, or job your selves out with promises of dessert and booze?

Nov 25, 2017, 6:37pm Top

I'm so glad your dad was feeling well. And that Parker sounds like he got a lot of attention. I cooked the Thanksgiving meal for three of us and two frantic dogs. Mike's mom rolled in a little suitcase that had a big bowl of mac and cheese for Mike and gluten free stuffing and I don't know what else for herself. She kept those things next to her. She's been on a diet for the twenty-five years I've known her, and she's gotten Mike sick with her cooking, so I steer clear of her stuff. : D
Because we'd just gotten back from our trip, we missed out on the big family Thanksgiving in Vegas.

Edited: Dec 6, 2017, 9:21pm Top

Dec 7, 2017, 7:58am Top

Hi Larry!

I've always wanted to read Mary Poppins, have it on my shelves, even started it at one point, but put it down. Is it worth reading?

Dec 7, 2017, 10:22am Top

Worth reading, yes, and it's pretty short. In the book, Mary Poppins comes across as a martinet. Maybe it was different back in the 30s. The book's charm comes from the descriptions of the characters she and the children meet on their adventures. This was an audiobook for me, and narrator Sophie Thompson probably increased my enjoyment of it three fold.

Edited: Dec 10, 2017, 10:02am Top

Plague Pit, by Mark Ronson (December 9)

Why is it that so much apocalyptic fiction involves a scary escape through a long, dark, tunnel and the terrible things found therein? The Stand, 28 Days Later, Plague Pit.

Plague Pit is a boy's thrilling adventure padded with facts meted out in an authoritative, brisk style. More a medical thriller than a horror book. Nice read for a snowy, wet day and night. This and his horror books are available on Kindle under the name Marc Alexander. They all relate an ancient evil lying dormant until inadvertently disturbed.

Dec 10, 2017, 10:49pm Top

Busy reading day!

Dec 11, 2017, 7:29am Top

Hi Larry!

What Richard said. Good for you. Give Da Floof some skritches from me.

Did you get any/much snow? So many people have mentioned snow that I'm not sure if you were one of them!

Dec 11, 2017, 9:31am Top

Hey y'all! Yes, we had snow on Saturday, I'd guestimate around 2 inches. Not bad during the day but night driving was risky. I had to take P-Bitty to the groomer's in the am so they could shave his butt and clip his nails. They call it a sani-shave and pedicure and I think that's why it cost $75.

The alarm went off this morning and I had no idea what that terrible sound was but I knew I had to make it stop so that I could get back to sleep for four or five hours. Psych!

Dec 11, 2017, 9:45am Top

Poor P-Bitty! The indignity of it all! And yeesh. $75. The things we do for our fur kids.

2 inches of snow sounds like fun. We got a trace and it melted right away.

Alarms are evil. Did you throw it across the room?

Dec 11, 2017, 9:58am Top

Hey Lunatic, hope those extra hours of rest induce some clarity into your thinking process and you reconsider the "ambition" to deaccession a thousand or so books. This still haunts me. It is so, so, ungrateful of you to reject the abundance that Kleio has gifted you with! I worry for your eventual fate at Her Hands!

Dec 11, 2017, 1:07pm Top

>196 karenmarie: I wish! I'm still out of it. I couldn't sleep last night so around 11pm I took Nyquil and it has really left me groggy. Gah!

>197 richardderus: I am but the humble servant of Atropos.

Dec 11, 2017, 10:00pm Top

Back up and serve Lacheisis!

Edited: Dec 12, 2017, 3:19pm Top

T'was she decreed it- this far and no more!

It's got to be done. Not only that, but I'm going to take a swipe at the storage unit, as well. Kind of heart breaking.

Dec 12, 2017, 9:38am Top

>200 SomeGuyInVirginia: ...or a great opportunity to make other people happier...

Dec 14, 2017, 8:11pm Top

Dec 15, 2017, 6:41pm Top

Hallo Larry! Give Da Floof some skritches from me. My kitties have both been Very Needy lately and sashay back and forth between me and the keyboard incessantly. What's a kitty mom to do except grab their furry little bodies and cuddle for a while? Cuts into the reading, though.

Dec 16, 2017, 7:45am Top

You are a great Mom! Parker does that, too. Can't stand for me to look at any screen. Meows like he hasn't eaten in a week. Whatta ham!

Consider skritches done.

Dec 16, 2017, 7:47am Top

LOL, Larry. Yay for Parker D.

Be safe and well this weekend.

Dec 16, 2017, 6:37pm Top

Grifter's Game, by Lawrence Block (December 16)

Dec 17, 2017, 3:13pm Top

Hey, have you been rifling through my NYC purchases? I just got that one last month and haven't even gotten a chance at it. I knew it had been moved.

Dec 17, 2017, 7:52pm Top

Doh! I knew I screwed up when I forgot which shelf it had been on!

This was an audiobook for me and the narrator nailed it. Somebody Sklar. Yuuugly entertaining.

Dec 19, 2017, 3:22am Top

Those Hard Case covers are excellent, aren't they?

Dec 19, 2017, 9:25am Top

I like everything about Hard Case, from concept to finished product it's perfect.

In other news, my brother trotted out his self righteous gag yesterday and I ripped him a new asshole, which felt as good as a shot and a smoke. God I hate that little shit.

Dec 19, 2017, 11:16am Top

>210 SomeGuyInVirginia: My siblings are ten and nine years older than I am. One's a born-again lesbian and the other a christian homemaker. Each annoys me in her own special way and I annoy them in mine. We don't speak, hang out, or do anything to spend any time together whether F2F or online.

Life's beautiful when I don't have to think about them.

Dec 19, 2017, 11:20am Top

>210 SomeGuyInVirginia:

I've brought you A Serious Cocktail. Seems like it's the right thing. It's got Scotch and rum and vodka and battery acid.
Now, grab those oranges and put 'em in a tube sock, then call your brother into the room.

Dec 20, 2017, 6:08am Top

Sorry to hear that your brother is being such a shit, glad that you ripped him a new one.

I feel the same way about my BiL - God I hate that little shit.

Edited: Dec 21, 2017, 11:12am Top

>211 richardderus: My brother is 16 months younger than I am. He's a snake in the grass. I'd just beat him to death but it would be a waste of my 'get out of jail free' card. After Dad is gone I'll never have to be in the same room as he.

>212 mstrust: Thanks Jennifer, I've moved it to the head of the line.

>213 karenmarie: Every family has one, I guess. I'm glad you don't have to deal much with BiL. Here's to freedom!

Dec 21, 2017, 11:32am Top

Childgrave, by Ken Greenhall (December 19)

Similar to The Lottery. Not convincing but a very agreeable read.

Dec 21, 2017, 2:31pm Top

>214 SomeGuyInVirginia: My sisters are 10 and 9 years older than I am. I don't bother with them, they don't bother with me; or each other, as far as I know. Our parents did a *sterling* job of family-building.

Dec 21, 2017, 4:08pm Top

>214 SomeGuyInVirginia: I have been avoiding my sister for nearly 15 years and never regretted it. The first few years she kept on trying to contact me, but that stopped after some time *sigh*. Now she is making my dad feel miserable :-(
I probably skip my parents funerals just to avoid her. She is 4 years older and I have similair feelings as you towards your brother.

>216 richardderus: Our parents did a *sterling* job of family-building
Somehow that sounds familiar...

Dec 22, 2017, 12:20am Top

Dec 22, 2017, 3:55am Top

'Morning, Larry!

*smooches* to you, Da Floof, and your dad. Insomnia has reared its ugly head again and I'm going back and forth between a BB from our dear RD and trying to catch up on threads here on LT. We 75ers seem to have become especially verbose this week. I'm way behind.

Dec 22, 2017, 12:21pm Top

>218 SomeGuyInVirginia: Thompson! And that was a really good one.

Here's wishing you a very Merry Christmas, Larry! However it goes...

Dec 23, 2017, 8:56am Top

> 217 I'm sorry your going through that with your sister. Sometimes the family you make is better than the family you were born into.

>220 mstrust: Snort! She's overcome with the Christmas spirit.

Dec 23, 2017, 8:58am Top

Rest in Agony, by Paul W. Fairman (December 22)

Garbage. And a very quick read if you're trying to make up year-end numbers.

Dec 23, 2017, 9:09am Top

Hi Larry!

I'm reading short ones to get my numbers too. :)

Dec 23, 2017, 9:58pm Top

I know, it's a mad dash for the finish line!

Dec 24, 2017, 8:03am Top

Hi Larry!

Stopping by to wish you, Parker D. Cat, and your dad all good things this holiday season.

Dec 24, 2017, 8:21am Top

Thanks Karen, and you! Dad is much improved and Da Floof! continues wonderful.

Dec 24, 2017, 9:38am Top

The title,Ghost Gleams, sounds promising. How was it?

Dec 24, 2017, 10:01pm Top

It is that time of year again, between Solstice and Christmas, just after Hanukkah, when our thoughts turn to wishing each other well in whatever language or image is meaningful to the recipient. So, whether I wish you Happy Solstice or Merry Christmas, know that what I really wish you, and for you, is this:

Dec 25, 2017, 12:49am Top

>228 drneutron: Heya doc! Agreeable and lambent, and very much of an age. Perfect for Christmas.

>229 ronincats: Thanks, Merry Christmas to you, too!

Dec 25, 2017, 12:52am Top

Dec 25, 2017, 4:10am Top

Wishing you all good things this holiday season and beyond.

Dec 27, 2017, 7:57am Top

Reader's burnout be damned! Only 2 to go! Short books count. You can do it!

Dec 27, 2017, 8:28am Top

Full steam ahead!

Dec 27, 2017, 9:21am Top

Four more days, two more books. It can be done. I have faith in your stamina.

Dec 27, 2017, 9:59pm Top

More Peers: Verses, by Hilaire Belloc (December 27)

Cautionary Tales For Children, by Hilaire Belloc (December 27)

YES! 75! Ta-ra-ra BOOM de-ay!

Dec 27, 2017, 10:03pm Top

>234 karenmarie: >236 richardderus: Thanks guys, it's been fun to ruin with you both.

Dec 27, 2017, 10:10pm Top


Dec 27, 2017, 10:39pm Top

Larry! Congratulations! The Big Seventy-Five!

Pats on the back, smooches for Da Floof for putting up with being ignored, fireworks and the popping of champagne corks.

You da bomb.

Dec 27, 2017, 10:58pm Top

Thank you, thank you. I credit my humble origins and a high-fiber diet for my success.

Dec 28, 2017, 7:38am Top

There's a lot to be said for both, especially the high-fiber diet.....

Dec 28, 2017, 10:53am Top

Awesome job!

Dec 28, 2017, 12:08pm Top

Laurels for your brow, Noble One, in honor of your achievement.

Dec 28, 2017, 5:52pm Top

Congratulations on reaching 75, Larry!

Dec 29, 2017, 2:03pm Top

The Holy Bible (December 29)

Dec 29, 2017, 2:09pm Top

Jeepers creepers, another whole-Bible reader.

Even *I* think it would be tasteless to crown your efforts with a real crown of thorns.

Dec 29, 2017, 4:10pm Top

>246 SomeGuyInVirginia: wha... how... was I supposed to know that you were reading the Bible this year too? I don't think you ever posted on the group read (Bible as Literature)....


Congratulations. On top of hitting the Big 75, you did The Big One.

Edited: Dec 29, 2017, 9:55pm Top

Tasteless, but funny. I read the King James version because, according to the movies, everybody except God and Moses spoke with English accents before Rome fell.

>243 mstrust: >245 FAMeulstee: Thanks guys, I was sweating it out there at the end!

Dec 30, 2017, 12:04pm Top

Dec 30, 2017, 12:10pm Top

A Book of Bargains, by Vincent O'Sullivan (December 30)

Published in 1896, the language is direct and muscular and modern. There's at least one really filthy double entendre, and the final story is more Grand Guignol than Victorian ghost story.

Dec 31, 2017, 3:49pm Top

Hi Larry!

Peace, Health, and Happiness in 2018

Dec 31, 2017, 6:04pm Top

Happy New Year, Larry!

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2017

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