75 Books...More or Less! discussion

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Archive (2015 Challenge) > Andrea's - 100 books or bust!

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message 1: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4111 comments Mod
Last year was a total flop for me and this year is not off to a good start. However, we are talking about moving in the next year or so - maybe locally, maybe South. I have at least 600 books that line the shelves in my living room that I have not read. There is no way I would even think about packing them up and moving them. My goal is to lighten the load by at least 100 this year. I'm hoping for way more but given the last two years I have to be realistic :)


message 2: by Karol (new)

Karol Good luck with your goal, Andrea!


message 3: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4111 comments Mod
Thanks! I'm going to need all the luck that I can get...hahah I should have called it Mission Impossible instead.


message 4: by Annie (new)

Annie | 392 comments Andrea, I love your challenge title!


message 5: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4111 comments Mod
Thanks :)


message 6: by Elyse, Moderator (new)

Elyse (winesaboutbooks) | 7661 comments Mod
Andrea wrote: "Thanks! I'm going to need all the luck that I can get...hahah I should have called it Mission Impossible instead."

Just take it one book at a time! :)


message 7: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle | 2729 comments Andrea, when I moved 4 years ago, I packed over 28 boxes of books. :-) It CAN be done! ;-)


message 8: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4111 comments Mod
Dawn Michelle, ther is no way I'm moving my books unless we move local and I can take one box at a time.


message 9: by Dawn Michelle (new)

Dawn Michelle | 2729 comments You are smarter than I. I just couldn't part with any of them and I only had 4 days so I just threw them all in the boxes and then put them in storage. :-)


message 10: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4111 comments Mod
1. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo ****

I have read several organizing books and this one was one of the most interesting! I really enjoyed the in depth story of Marie Kondo and how she came to be a career organizer.

One of the best parts of this book for me was how she was able to help me justify getting rid of things that were still useful in general but not being used by me. I think we are all guilty of keeping an expensive shirt that went out of style years ago. Marie’s theory is that you can be thankful of the joy the shirt gave you when you purchased it or used it. However, if you no longer find that joy you can get rid of it without guilt because it served its purpose already. This is very helpful to me because I hate to waste and this gave me a new perspective.

Some of the things she does I would disagree with, like emptying your purse every night or taking all your toiletries out of your shower after each use. They there are some things that I didn’t think would be meaningful to me because of cultural differences between Japanese and American lifestyles.

The method she suggests for organizing seems very logical. The only thing that has prevented me from actually trying her methods is time to dedicate to the project. I’m excited to try it as soon as I can block a couple of hours. I can’t pull out all of my clothes, bags, shoes, etc. if I can’t put them away the same day.

I had a friend use her method for her clothing organization and she said she happily reduced her “stuff” by 75% My friend thinks she could go back now and do even more. She is thrilled with the outcome and planning on using it in other areas of her house.


message 11: by Elyse, Moderator (new)

Elyse (winesaboutbooks) | 7661 comments Mod
Andrea wrote: "1. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo ****

I have read several organizing books and this one was one of the most interestin..."


Sounds like such a wacky book. lol. I'm pretty good at motivating myself enough every year or so to go through my clothes and dust collectors and donate them. Also, preparing to move helps! :)


message 12: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4111 comments Mod
Elyse, I really liked it, it's just some parts are not realistic for me. :)


message 13: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4111 comments Mod
2. The Island by Elin Hilderbrand ***

Usually I dive into an Elin Hilderbrand book head first and hate to put it down at any point. I had some issues getting into this book but about 1/2 way through it picked up and I enjoyed the ending. It's a nice summer beach or poolside read. I found some parts of this book a little more unrealistic than her other novels.


message 14: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4111 comments Mod
3. Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos ****

I wasn't sure I was going to like this book when I started it. I have read other really good books by this author which is why I kept reading. The story goes back and forth between two female characters, one a young woman and the other a child of 11 years old. Once the stories intertwine the book really moved alonmg and held my attention right through to the end.


message 15: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4111 comments Mod
4. The Same Sweet Girls by Cassandra King ****

I started this book feeling lost as the author flips back and forth with a half dozen main characters. Finally mid-way through the book I feel absorbed in the story and I am enjoying that the remainder of the story seems to take focus on only 3 of these characters. From that point on I enjoyed the book and their friendship. It really was a beautiful story and I appreciated that while it was a story about long lasting friendships, which there are plenty, this one really explored more of the impact of their friendship and a little less of their individual lives. Hopefully that makes sense!


message 16: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4111 comments Mod
5. Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella **

It looks like I'm in the majority when I say this book was not the best Kinsella. Her protaganistic stlye sometimes makes her books a very anxious read for me. I usually enjoy the story so much it does not bother me to the degree this book did at times. The storyline in this one was cute and although the situation was relatable what happened in the book became so silly and stupid that I'm sure it made many readers yell...come on really?!?!?1


message 17: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4111 comments Mod
6. Mermaids in the Basement by Michael Lee West ****

This was a really fast read for me. From the first chapter it held my attention and had me flipping pages quickly. I really liked the main character as well as some of the secondary characters. The transition between chapters was an interesting way to weave the past and present. The one part that I did not like about this book was the father. The author made him out to be a complete jerk and then redeemed him later in the book. To me it felt very wrong without more sufficient effort on the father’s part to make up for his harsh words and actions.

7. Why Do Men Have Nipples? Hundreds of Questions You'd Only Ask a Doctor After Your Third Martini by Mark Leyner ***

I’m not really sure where I picked up this book but someone might have given it to me since I work in a doctor’s office. I have been on the receiving end of some odd questions but none of the one’s covered in this book. I could have helped the authors with some more interesting ones! Overall, it was a funny read and did provide professional answers for some crazy questions.

8. Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner ****


After finishing this book I looked at some of the other comments written by Goodreads reviewers. A lot of them were mixes with comments like “this was my least favorite” Weiner novel. I was surprised because I really liked it. I thought the story was great and the characters were well developed to the point that you missed them when you closed the book. A great part of this book is based on a scandal and how the family handles it. Weiner wrote this book prior to real life similar stories.

9. Speaking from Among the Bones (Flavia de Luce, #5 ) by Alan Bradley ****


Little Flavia is just the cutest sleuth ever! I know I say that in every review but her cuteness tops the charts and blows me away. Bradley has done a spectacular job creating one of my most beloved characters of all time. He has even let her grow as the books progress without changing her too much or too little. There is a twist in this book that had me diving for the next book! I think these books would be excellent movies!!

10. Miracle on the 17th Green A Novel about Life, Love, Family, Miracles ... and Golf by James Patterson ****


This was a fast read for me, finishing the book two sittings that were less than an hour each. If you are a golf enthusiast, you like to watch gold, you have family that golfs, you have been to the mini put-put course, or you just like to see someone’s dreams come true…this book is for you!

11. The Condition by Jennifer Haigh ****

This is the kind of book that keeps me wavering between I like it and I like it a lot. I just could not make up my mind. I finally came to the realization that I really like this author, the writing, the story, the characters, etc. What I didn’t like were the actions of the characters. However, that is just a result of good writing because I believe I felt exactly how the author wanted me to feel. This family and their dysfunction will stick with me for a long time!

12. Waking Kate by Sarah Addison Allen ****

I have been a fan of Sarah Addison Allen for a while now and I highly recommend her books. In my mind they fall somewhere between chick-lit and contemporary fiction with a touch (and I mean a small touch) of magical elements. I always feel guilty counting a short story or novella as a book but I guess it makes up for the big fat reads! This book introduces readers to the Lost Lake series and leaves us sitting on the edge of our chairs. I can’t wait to read Lost Lake now because I’m already churning through my mind what is going to happen next.


message 18: by Elyse, Moderator (new)

Elyse (winesaboutbooks) | 7661 comments Mod
You had a good weekend, Andrea!


message 19: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4111 comments Mod
It was my BEST readathon ever!! Even though I got called into work Sunday, I read over 1400 pages and listened to an hour of an audio book. I don't think I could ever top this total...hahahah


message 20: by Joy (new)

Joy | 1116 comments Did you even stop to eat sleep or pee?! Dang girl!! Was there smoke coming from the pages you were reading so fast?! Lol Awesome!


message 21: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4111 comments Mod
Joy you are too funny! I think I just lucked out and had all the right books to blow through them.


message 22: by Rachel Joy (new)

Rachel Joy OMGGM! That is a very impressive amount of reading!
Congratulations, Andrea!


message 23: by Andrea, Moderator (last edited Nov 09, 2015 03:18PM) (new)

Andrea | 4111 comments Mod
Wow, I didn't realize I had been MIA for so long or I had so many reviews to catch up on!

13. The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian ****
Before reading this book I had very limited knowledge of the Armenian genocide. This book pulls you in very quickly as Bohjalian expertly weaves history and present day. I greatly enjoyed learning about Armenian history and culture. It was at times difficult to comprehend the slaughter of millions, crime, constant danger, and deplorable conditions endured by the Armenian people. The story was beautiful though and it is one that will stick with me for years to come.

14. Hush Hush (Tess Monaghan, #12) by Laura Lippman ****
I listened to this book via audio and several times I was just sitting in my driveway because I couldn’t stop listening. Then I would get to the end of the CD and realize my neighbors were probably thinking I was crazy! This is the Tess Monaghan book I have read and they have all been great! I love how Lippman lets us get to know Tess while also telling a completely different story. Very good suspense story overall!

15. The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches (Flavia de Luce, #6) by Alan Bradley ****
I have been on a roll with some really great 4 star reads. I knew Flavia would not ruin that trend! Seriously these books just keep getting better. With the exception of one in the middle that seemed a little bit repetitive in formula this series is excellent and very original.

16. Where There's Smoke by Jodi Picoult ***
This novella was quick to grab my attention by left me wanting more. I honestly forgot about it until I went to write the review. I’ll have to look into getting the book that the novella is based on. Jodi Picoult is a go to author for me so I enjoyed this short piece! I know others comment that her switching point of views in her writing bothers them but for me in enhances the experience of reading her books.

17. The Tailgate by Elin Hilderbrand ***
My whole family loves Elin and her wonderful books. As soon as a new book comes out one of us has to buy it so we can pass it around. My mother is easily one of her biggest fans. She went nuts when she won a contest and got a free book. I was so excited to read this novella prior to reading the Matchmaker. It was good and the story is unique enough to catch my interest.

18. As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust (Flavia de Luce, #7) by Alan Bradley *****

This Flavia was one of my absolute favorites! I loved some of the new characters. I found myself walking the halls of the school with her because Bradley’s wonderful descriptions. I want to dive right into the next book but I try to space them out so I don’t have to wait a long time between books.

19. I'll Have What She's Having My Adventures in Celebrity Dieting by Rebecca Harrington ***
I thought this book was informative and pretty funny at times. I loved the concept and thought it was a pretty original spin on the topic of fad diets. I noticed a lot of people gave it a low rating, many commented on the style of the writing versus the content. As we discussed in a Goodreads group, this is a book that is best read one section at a time, not straight through. I think if people read it more as separate stories they would find it enjoyable. Like other suggested it would be a good monthly feature in a magazine!

20. The Next Always (Inn BoonsBoro, #1) by Nora Roberts ****
Every now and then a girl just needs a cup of really good coffee and a steamy Nora Roberts book. This book was just the escape I needed after a difficult week at work. I loved all of the characters and the story was sweet and romantic. One part of the plot was predictable but it still made for good reading. I’m so happy that there are 2 more books in this series!

21. The Last Boyfriend (Inn BoonsBoro, #2) by Nora Roberts ****

I enjoyed the first book in this series so much that I jumped right to the next one! It was so nice to pick up with these beloved characters and explore their lives a little more. I can’t wait to get my hands on the last book in the series. Like many other reviewers I’m looking forward to hearing about Hope and Ryder!

22. The Matchmaker by Elin Hilderbrand ****
This book was great! I wasn’t sure if I was going to “love it” after reading the novella The Tailgate. However, I feel right into the middle of this story and couldn’t stop listening! Dabney’s story is one that will make most readers feel a rainbow of emotions towards her.

23. Funny Girl by Nick Hornby ***
I listened to this audio book over the course of a couple of weeks. At first I was going to just return it and then one day I was stuck in traffic and I got into it enough that I wanted to listen to the end. I can’t say that it was super funny, but it did have some funny parts that made me laugh out loud. I would be leery to recommend this to others but I’m glad I kept with it.

24. First Frost (Waverley Family, #2) by Sarah Addison Allen ***
I’m a huge fan of Sarah Addison Allen. Since I read her first book right when it came out I have been following her closely. This book was good but not my favorite. Everything about the book was good, but it was just missing that little something extra that her fans adore her for.

25. Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner ***
I love Jennifer Weiner! She is one of my favorite go to authors when I am in a reading slump. So when I was packing my bag for vacation I plucked this book off my shelf and threw it into my suitcase. When you are limited on how many books you can bring on vacation you want to make sure the ones you pick will be really good. This book was good and moved along nicely but it didn’t wow me. I liked all of the characters but so far I’m not missing them or wondering how they are….lol


message 24: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4111 comments Mod
26. Larger Than Life by Jodi Picoult ****

Larger than Life is a very enjoyable little novella. When I was reading it I would forget that it was a Jodi Picoult book and then a section would remind that it was her style. I really enjoyed that overall you get to see a different style from her in this piece. The story was really great and it made me excited to read the novel that follows this story.


message 25: by Elyse, Moderator (new)

Elyse (winesaboutbooks) | 7661 comments Mod
Nice update, Andrea! Glad you popped in! I need to go through another Jodi Picoult phase soon. Love her in small batches.


message 26: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4111 comments Mod
Thanks Elyse!

I go through Jodi Picoult phases where I read a couple of her books in a row and then I'm done for a while.


message 27: by Elyse, Moderator (new)

Elyse (winesaboutbooks) | 7661 comments Mod
Yes, I'm the same. Her books are so heavy, I can only do a couple at a time.


message 28: by Andrea, Moderator (last edited Nov 11, 2015 02:42PM) (new)

Andrea | 4111 comments Mod
27. Magic Hour by Kristin Hannah ****

The originality of this book made it highly enjoyable for me. I did struggle through the fist 30-40 pages and then I couldn’t put it down. Everything was from the characters to the setting made for a great story. There were a few predictable events but you almost wanted them to happen so it made it okay…hahaha Hannah is always good for a great story in my opinion and I enjoy her books overall.


message 29: by Karol (new)

Karol Great to see all your updates, Andrea! The Eight To Go challenge should help you stay motivated until the end of the year.

By the way, I'm thinking of also getting a Thanksgiving Holiday Read-a-thon going this month, too.


message 30: by Elyse, Moderator (new)

Elyse (winesaboutbooks) | 7661 comments Mod
Karol wrote: "Great to see all your updates, Andrea! The Eight To Go challenge should help you stay motivated until the end of the year.

By the way, I'm thinking of also getting a Thanksgiving Holiday Read-a-th..."


I'm down for the Readathon!


message 31: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4111 comments Mod
Sound like a great idea! We have company Thursday, shopping Friday, working Saturday but I'm sure I could carve out some reading time!


message 32: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4111 comments Mod
28# Evenings at Five by Gail Goodwin ***

I enjoyed this little book overall. The message of listening to people when they are alive has meaning for me. In my busy life I strive to make time for not only the people I love my even strangers. In this day and age we have lost the art of listening. We spend so much of our time plugged into electronic devices or multitasking that we rarely just enjoy the pleasure of a good conversation. I would have rated this book high but there was a part at the end that lost me.


message 33: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4111 comments Mod
29. Leaving Home Short Pieces by Jodi Picoult

This three story novella was a big hit with me. I enjoyed the common theme of the stories and the various emotions that each one made me experience.


message 34: by Andrea, Moderator (last edited Nov 20, 2015 02:55PM) (new)

Andrea | 4111 comments Mod
30. Grey (Fifty Shades, #4) by E.L. James ***

I was really excited to read this and at first it was an enjoyable refresher. Suddenly it felt more like Ground Hog Day. It was okay overall but I was expecting to get to know Christian better and that part was a let down. Although, we got to hear a little more about the childhood that shaped him I was truly left wanted more. I think James could have taken this up a notch by introducing some of his Flynn sessions.


message 35: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4111 comments Mod
31. Beautiful Broken Rules (Broken #1) by Kimberly Lauren ***

This is like the college version of a vanilla 50 shades of grey. It is romance with a lot of sex. That is not my usual type of book but it was free with Kindle Limited so I got all 3 books in the series. It was likable enough that I will probably continue to listen to the next two books. It's easy enough that I can keep up with it while doing something else at the same time like scrapbooking or paying bills....haha


message 36: by Andrea, Moderator (last edited Nov 23, 2015 11:41AM) (new)

Andrea | 4111 comments Mod
32. Beautiful Broken Mess (Broken Series Book 2) by Kimberly Lauren ***

I can see that this serious would be very loved by YA females. It's your basic college love store including the handsome jacked up guys, drama, some parties, etc. It's good though overall and a fun book to listen too.


message 37: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4111 comments Mod
33. The Daylight Marriage by Heidi Pitlor ***

This book reminder me of Gone Girl. I really liked how the author wrote the book flipping back and forth between what the family was experiencing and the other main character. I also likes this book because the story took place in Boston. I knew a lot of the landmarks that were referenced in the book.


message 38: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4111 comments Mod
34. X-Dames A Lucy Ripken Mystery by J.J. Henderson ***

I read this book because I needed a title that began with X for the ABC Challenge! I found it on Kindle for 99 cents so I was not expecting a whole lot. It was actually a cute little mystery with some romance and a couple of solid side stories.


message 39: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4111 comments Mod
35. Maya's Notebook by Isabel Allende *****

I have been a fan of Isabel Allende since I read Daughter of Fortune in 2001. She is what I would consider a master story teller who weaves a complex story that wakens every sense and emotion. You truly go on a journey when you read one of her books. I often feel tired after reading one of her books because it's an investment to concentrate on all of the beautiful words. This story will live on in my head for a long time to come. I could go on and on about this book!


message 40: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4111 comments Mod
36. Beautiful Broken Promises (Broken Series Book 3) by Kimberly Lauren ***

This was the third book in the Broken Series. I'll say it again this is not my usual genre of books but I also think I'm starting to enjoy these lighter books! Out of the three books this one had one of the best stories. It was really interesting and I enjoyed these characters a lot. The only issue I found with these books is that it was highly unbelievable that the characters were not more damaged after all they had endured.


message 41: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4111 comments Mod
37. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins ***

I was so torn on what to rate this book. While reading it I went up and down from as low as a 2 to as high as a 5. I finally settled on a 3 because I liked it overall. The hype surrounding this book had me so excited but it went really slow to start and the characters made your skin crawl. I did not solve the mystery until late in the book so that helped me find the book a little more likeable but I did not find enjoyment in reading this book. It felt like a chore to finish.


message 42: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4111 comments Mod
38. Finding Emma (Finding Emma, #1) by Steena Holmes ***

I am trying some new authors thanks to my Kindle Unlimited Membership. Finding Emma had a good storyline but it was predictable. I wish that the author had dug deeper with all of the characters. That is when prevented me from rating it higher. It won't however keep me from reading the next book in the series! What we do know of the characters is very likable.


message 43: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4111 comments Mod
39. The Good Neighbor by A.J. Banner ***

I got this book through my Kindle Unlimited account. It was part love story, part suspense. It might remind readers of a very early Sandra Brown novel. It felt brief and rushed to me otherwise I would have probably rated it a little higher.


message 44: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4111 comments Mod
40. Sweet Memories (Decadent Events #1) by Steena Holmes **

This was an okay novella that I got through Kindle Unlimited. I was surprised how many other readers raved about it, many giving it 5 stars. I was honestly a little frustrated by the main characters lack of ability to forgive and forget so easily. If your husband took off and reappeared after a period of time I would think you would have more questions and NEED a better understanding of what happened. Not to mention some reassurance for the future and how he would handle issues better. This is why I have issues with romance books, the lack of reality takes away from the story – it is too simplified for me.


message 45: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4111 comments Mod
41. Julie and Romeo Get Lucky by Jeanne Ray ***

I read the original book about Julie and Romeo in 2004. I think if I read this closer I would have enjoyed it more but it was still very likable. Overall it was refreshing to read this funny and sweet book about a big family and their shenanigans. The characters are well developed for such a short book. Even though they have faults the author still makes you see that they are good people.


message 46: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4111 comments Mod
42. Organize Your Day The 12 Golden Steps To Avoid Stress, Procrastination and Achieve Success And Productivity (Organize your Life, Manage Your Day, Stress-Free, Time Management) by Liu Alexander *

I hate writing a bad review for anything but sometimes you can’t avoid it. This book was not good. I have read magazine articles that had more content then this book. I would not recommend it. After reading the book I was interested in the author’s credentials but was unable to find any information.


message 47: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4111 comments Mod
43. Emma's Secret (Finding Emma, #2) by Steena Holmes ***

This is a good series that I am reading through Kindle Unlimited. The more I read about this main family and the connecting characters the more I enjoy the different stories. While the topics are pretty heavy the author’s focus is really on the characters. As a reader you connect to these people and really feel for them.


message 48: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4111 comments Mod
44. Candice Olson on Design Inspiration and Ideas for Your Home by Candice Olson ***

I have had this book for about 10 years! I have always enjoyed watching Candice Olson’s shows and I was not disappointed in the book. My only issue was that some of the designs are a little dated because it took me so long to read the book. I liked the tips though and her “homey and inviting” style.


message 49: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4111 comments Mod
45. Home Rules Transform the Place You Live into a Place You'll Love by Nate Berkus ****




I'm cleaning up my book collection and trying to get rid of books that I've been hanging onto (unread) for years. I read 4 decorating books in a short span. I immediately put two in the donate bin. This one I put aside to potentially keep. The difference is Nate's style from 2005 still works today. The other books were filled with trendy decorating styles that went out shortly after the books were published.

In addition to the timeless style in most of his designs I also love the simplicity. That combined with really good advice on how to "build" a design from a realistic approach. He talks about everything from budget to what you can do in a day, weekend, or longer projects.

I know Nate is self taught and some people do not respect that in the design community. However, I think it makes him easily relatable to the average person reading a design how to book.


message 50: by Andrea, Moderator (new)

Andrea | 4111 comments Mod
46. Christopher Lowell's If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It! Dream Decor on a Budget by Christopher Lowell ***

I got this book about 13 years ago when I was redecorating my bedroom. I was in my late 20's and I was going for a theme of elegant and classy with some drama. I had a lot of purples and grey. I loved the way it came out and Christopher Lowell was definitely an inspiration.

Now I find a lot of his designs from this book to be too trendy and dated. I do like the way he thinks though about how to "create" an environment by asking yourself questions about what you like from sounds to textures, places, etc.

I don't think I would use this book again so I'm going to donate it.


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