Best Memoir / Biography / Autobiography

NOTE: This list is for non-fiction only.
101

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3.91 avg rating — 25,799 ratings
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102

by
4.05 avg rating — 250,243 ratings
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103

by
3.68 avg rating — 421 ratings
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104

by
3.97 avg rating — 533 ratings
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105

by
4.08 avg rating — 515,509 ratings
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106

by
4.41 avg rating — 484,622 ratings
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107

by
4.34 avg rating — 80 ratings
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108

by
4.10 avg rating — 37,851 ratings
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109

by
4.15 avg rating — 62,878 ratings
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110

by
4.13 avg rating — 13,565 ratings
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111

by
4.29 avg rating — 58,524 ratings
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112

by
3.74 avg rating — 344 ratings
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113

by
4.19 avg rating — 112,187 ratings
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114

by
3.73 avg rating — 25,406 ratings
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115

by
3.59 avg rating — 403 ratings
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116

by
4.25 avg rating — 63 ratings
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117

by
4.05 avg rating — 23,496 ratings
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118

by
4.16 avg rating — 65,733 ratings
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119

by
4.23 avg rating — 41,571 ratings
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120

by
3.96 avg rating — 45,676 ratings
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121

by
3.77 avg rating — 8,842 ratings
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122

by
4.06 avg rating — 18,263 ratings
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123

by
4.14 avg rating — 46,895 ratings
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124

by
3.46 avg rating — 6,676 ratings
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125

by
4.08 avg rating — 196,910 ratings
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126

by
4.04 avg rating — 11,918 ratings
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127

by
4.17 avg rating — 49,782 ratings
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128

by
3.89 avg rating — 123,460 ratings
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129

by
3.99 avg rating — 69 ratings
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130

by
4.26 avg rating — 50,664 ratings
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131

by
3.87 avg rating — 10,446 ratings
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132

by
3.99 avg rating — 16,479 ratings
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133

by
3.86 avg rating — 382 ratings
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134

by
3.78 avg rating — 87,091 ratings
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135

by
4.08 avg rating — 230,741 ratings
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136

by
4.11 avg rating — 110 ratings
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137

by
3.99 avg rating — 116 ratings
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138

by
3.93 avg rating — 24,645 ratings
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139

by
4.16 avg rating — 28,850 ratings
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140

by
3.93 avg rating — 44,955 ratings
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141

by
4.08 avg rating — 15,496 ratings
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142

by
4.06 avg rating — 49,177 ratings
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142

by
4.05 avg rating — 92 ratings
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144

by
3.79 avg rating — 13,386 ratings
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145

by
4.38 avg rating — 15,831 ratings
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146

by
4.21 avg rating — 55,095 ratings
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147

by
4.03 avg rating — 18,128 ratings
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148

by
4.30 avg rating — 45,893 ratings
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149

by
3.69 avg rating — 154 ratings
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150

by
4.46 avg rating — 251 ratings
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151

by
3.94 avg rating — 5,995 ratings
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152

by
3.94 avg rating — 40,494 ratings
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153

by
4.19 avg rating — 27,709 ratings
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154

by
3.71 avg rating — 6,998 ratings
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154

by
4.22 avg rating — 539 ratings
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156

by
3.69 avg rating — 9,273 ratings
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157

by
4.04 avg rating — 152,367 ratings
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158

by
3.70 avg rating — 2,368 ratings
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159

by
4.08 avg rating — 2,326 ratings
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160

by
3.57 avg rating — 45,053 ratings
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161

by
4.05 avg rating — 197,391 ratings
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162

by
4.07 avg rating — 22,475 ratings
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163

by
3.99 avg rating — 11,862 ratings
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164

by
4.38 avg rating — 21,615 ratings
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165

by
3.75 avg rating — 106 ratings
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166

by
4.07 avg rating — 10,388 ratings
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167

by
3.89 avg rating — 20,940 ratings
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168

by
3.99 avg rating — 36,191 ratings
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169

by
4.25 avg rating — 127 ratings
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170

by
4.62 avg rating — 1,009 ratings
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171

by
4.01 avg rating — 240,282 ratings
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172

by
4.07 avg rating — 30,386 ratings
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173

by
3.88 avg rating — 77,669 ratings
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174

by
3.75 avg rating — 4,333 ratings
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175

by
4.03 avg rating — 22,970 ratings
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176

by
3.84 avg rating — 10,211 ratings
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177

by
4.05 avg rating — 311 ratings
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178

by
4.09 avg rating — 41,453 ratings
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179

by
3.72 avg rating — 18,474 ratings
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180

by
3.63 avg rating — 7,512 ratings
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181

by
3.98 avg rating — 20,059 ratings
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182

by
4.08 avg rating — 12,017 ratings
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183

by
4.04 avg rating — 250 ratings
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184

by
4.23 avg rating — 40,861 ratings
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185

by
4.31 avg rating — 18,420 ratings
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186

by
4.26 avg rating — 35,917 ratings
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187

by
3.84 avg rating — 41,736 ratings
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188

by
3.83 avg rating — 6,858 ratings
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189

by
4.08 avg rating — 16,180 ratings
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190

by
4.34 avg rating — 6,250 ratings
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190

by
4.17 avg rating — 8,968 ratings
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192

by
4.12 avg rating — 16,346 ratings
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193

by
4.09 avg rating — 44,825 ratings
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194

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 32,382 ratings
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195

by
4.15 avg rating — 36,474 ratings
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196

by
4.24 avg rating — 19,050 ratings
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197

by
4.62 avg rating — 34 ratings
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198

by
4.02 avg rating — 37,356 ratings
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199

by
4.02 avg rating — 9,718 ratings
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200

by
4.32 avg rating — 8,472 ratings
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3,634 books · 4,108 voters · list created July 13th, 2008 by Heather (votes) .
504 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Heather 948 books
142 friends
Kate 2955 books
1260 friends
Nikhil P. 7323 books
183 friends
Russellino 360 books
2 friends
Chriss 248 books
410 friends
Jennifer 723 books
10 friends
Tracy 370 books
33 friends
Asli 285 books
19 friends

More voters…


Comments (showing 1-50 of 54) (54 new)


message 1: by Raelle (new)

Raelle Koota PATRON SAINT OF USED CARS AND SECOND CHANCES
by MARK MILLHONE

Beautiful, honest memoir that appeals to both men and women which is so rare. It is very funny, but have your kleenex near by and the phone numbers of family members handy to tell them you love them and value them


message 2: by Ryann (last edited Oct 02, 2009 01:06PM) (new)

Ryann FYI: "What is the What" is not a memoir. Nor is "Sarah's Key." Both are great books, but they're fiction.


message 3: by Fiona (new)

Fiona Ryann wrote: "FYI: "What is the What" is not a memoir. Nor is "Sarah's Key." Both are great books, but they're fiction. "

Neither is memoirs of a geisha!!! Come on people, figure it out...


message 4: by Julie (new)

Julie add:Time To Be In Earnest: A Fragment Of Autobiography|3831], P. D. James

This is fabulous. six stars


message 5: by Pia (new)

Pia Never forget Anne Frank.


message 6: by Jaliyah (new)

Jaliyah this was a good book..going to read more like this !


message 7: by Kelsey (new)

Kelsey The Lovely Bones isn't a memoir or biography.


message 8: by Xenophon (new)

Xenophon Hendrix Hannibal by Thomas Harris and Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller are both fiction, and I removed them.


message 9: by Sue T (new)

Sue T Wow, I'm seeing a lot of fiction on this list.


message 10: by Linda (new)

Linda Sue T wrote: "Wow, I'm seeing a lot of fiction on this list."

Can we get them removed? One of the reasons I came to look at this list was to find good biographies to add to my TBR list, so I want to be sure I'm not reading a book I think is a biography then discover it was fiction.


message 11: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Linda wrote: "Sue T wrote: "Wow, I'm seeing a lot of fiction on this list."

Can we get them removed? One of the reasons I came to look at this list was to find good biographies to add to my TBR list, so I want ..."


Please don't remove them - even those are fiction-biography books, this list is still gorgeous.


message 12: by Elle (new)


message 13: by Darbi (new)

Darbi Simmons Thank you so much for creating this list Heather! I have been looking for 'Oh the Glory of it all." for years but I couldn't remember the name, thought I knew I would recognize the cover. I found it on your list and now I can read it again! Your awesome!


message 14: by Janet (new)

Janet "Good Grief" is fiction.


message 15: by Janet (new)

Janet "The Friday Night Knitting Club" is fiction. Why do people put fiction titles on non-fiction lists??


message 16: by Guy (new)

Guy Here's a real fun wild and crazy memoir about the movie biz and about finding true love...please vote for this cover - Kiss Me Quick Before I Shoot :)


message 17: by John (new)

John Scott Khaled Hosseini's Books (Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns) are Fiction.


message 18: by Sadi (new)

Sadi Without moving from the first page there are at least three fiction novels on this.


message 19: by Missy J (new)

Missy J "Eat, Pray, Love" ranks higher up than "First they killed my father"?

The world is ending...


message 20: by Atticus (new)

Atticus No one even mentioned A Playboy Virgin's Manifesto by Atticus Rockefellar. Oh, the humanity!

http://www.amazon.com/Playboy-Virgins...


message 21: by Ben (last edited Sep 14, 2012 12:25PM) (new)

Ben The following are fiction:

#113 A Thousand Splendid Suns
#128 Memoirs of a Geisha

Shall I delete? Any others that need to go?


message 22: by Ben (new)

Ben I added a list description:

NOTE: This list is for non-fiction only.

Hopefully, this will stop the tide of fiction.


message 23: by Jean (new)

Jean Perry The Agony and the Ecstacy is fiction.


message 24: by Julie (new)

Julie Too bad one can only have 100 books on a list. I've read so many more great ones than are on my list.


message 25: by Julie (new)

Julie Not really sure if I'd classify Torey Hayden's books as memoirs but they all are great.


message 26: by William (new)

William Pfefferkorn how can i print out a list of just the title and author


message 27: by I-love-reading (new)

I-love-reading A million little pieces was later proved to be fiction


message 28: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy A number of the books on the list are fiction, for example, Winds of War


message 29: by Morgan (new)

Morgan a thousand splendid suns is fiction...


message 30: by Xenophon (new)

Xenophon Hendrix Morgan wrote: "a thousand splendid suns is fiction..." Deleted.


message 31: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy Memory Keeper's daughter is fiction


message 32: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy Also Brick Lane and Pope Joan are novels as well. Laura Ingallss Wilder's books are generally classified as fiction


message 33: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy one more. A tree grows in Brookly is fiction as well.


message 34: by Cherie (new)

Cherie Magnus How can we search for specific titles on this list?


message 35: by John (last edited May 21, 2014 11:30AM) (new)

John Scott I call "stupid" or "a--hole" on every single one of the people putting fiction on this list.


message 36: by Lesley (new)

Lesley Three cups of tea is fiction.


message 37: by Xenophon (new)

Xenophon Hendrix Lesley wrote: "Three cups of tea is fiction."

It's marketed as a memoir.


message 38: by Lesley (new)

Lesley Amazon has added: 'From Viking Press
In regards to the 60 Minutes episode that aired April 17, 2011: "Greg Mortenson’s work as a humanitarian in Afghanistan and Pakistan has provided tens of thousands of children with an education. 60 Minutes is a serious news organization and in the wake of their report, Viking plans to carefully review the materials with the author."'


message 39: by Xenophon (new)

Xenophon Hendrix If we start judging memoirs and biographies on their truthfulness, it will open a huge can of worms, and so far as I know, librarians haven't been given any guidance on the issue.


message 40: by Mitchell (new)

Mitchell this list could use a minimum number of ratings - like 1000 - to avoid author spam.


message 41: by Sue (new)

Sue "The Shack" is NOT memoir


message 42: by Devorah (new)


message 43: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy Winds of War and the Bell Jar are both fiction


message 44: by Dorothy (new)

Dorothy She's Come Undone, Great Expectations and Uncle Tom's Cabin are all fiction.


message 45: by Keston (new)

Keston Ott-Dahl Saving Delaney

Laugh, Cry and be INSPIRED by this amazing little warrior!


message 46: by Donna (last edited Jun 13, 2016 11:39AM) (new)

Donna Davis Removed for being children's fiction: Little House on the Prairie

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7...

NONE of the "Little House" series is autobiography. When confronted by a journalist about the scene in one of the books in which a family member is chased by ravenous wolves, which of course is not something wolves do to humans, LIW replied with great dignity that she had not intended to write history; she intended to write stories for children.

This author does have an actual memoir, but it doesn't, at least in my opinion, hold the charm and interest level that her children's series commands.

Oh wow...I'm going to find that whole series here, aren't I? Removed from #124, see above, Farmer Boy:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8...

..and less than 1 minute later, I find the entire series in one boxed set; I wasn't so clairvoyant as to see it coming, but expected to find it one title at a time...and likely I still will. Anyway, gone from #194:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...

From #466 On the Banks of Plum Creek:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7...
Also from page 5, The Long Winter:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7...

P.6 Little Town on the Prairie
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7...

Also from p6 Those Happy Golden Years

and The First Four Years
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7...

p. 10, By the Shores of Silver Lake:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...

#744, removed for being fictional, Great Expectations:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...


message 47: by Donna (last edited Jul 01, 2016 07:56PM) (new)

Donna Davis #221, removed for being fictional, Sherman Alexie's Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6...

Travel book removed from #209:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1...

Removed:
The Winds of War, fiction:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...

and Good Grief, also fiction:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...


message 48: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl The ones by McCullough on Truman and John Adams are not memoirs. They are extremely well researched biographies. A memoir is a non -fiction book written from personal experience. Or a written account of one's memory of certain events or people. One could write a memoir of a person to whom one is or was very close as a spouse, or child. I agree - a lot of fiction on this list as well!


message 49: by Donna (last edited Aug 16, 2016 03:46PM) (new)

Donna Davis Cheryl wrote: "The ones by McCullough on Truman and John Adams are not memoirs. They are extremely well researched biographies. A memoir is a non -fiction book written from personal experience. Or a written accou..."

Take another look at the title of the listopia. Memoir, biography, autobiography. McCullough is dull as dirt, imho, but his books are clearly within the parameters of the listmaker.

If you see fiction and want me to pull it, give me titles and tell me what page each is on, and I'll be happy to do it. I have a little time right now and will check the list to see what jumps out at me.


message 50: by Donna (new)

Donna Davis Humorous guinea pig book is not a memoir:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...

Removed from #319.


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