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Patricia Puentes

15 Books That Make for the Perfect Beach Read

homework books to read

Summer is in full swing and there’s nothing like heading to the beach — or the park — sitting by the water, contemplating the view, grabbing a good book and just immersing ourselves in it. That’s why we’re throwing out some ideas for the perfect summer novels.

We are adhering to “beach reads” rules though: most of the titles here are either total page-turners or grant some instant gratification — or both. And all of them will transport you to faraway places or the kind of setting you’d enjoy spending a vacation at, either because of when they were written or where they are set.

“The Talented Mr. Ripley” by Patricia Highsmith (1955)

homework books to read

The oldest book on this list is the first one in a series of five psychological thrillers that Patricia Highsmith wrote about her infamous Tom Ripley character. Even if he’s a sociopath with more than murderous tendencies, the reader can’t avoid being on Ripley’s side while reading Highsmith’s engrossing novels.

The whole series is set in Europe with the first book taking its protagonist and the reader to San Remo, Rome, Palermo and Venice. Plus, there’s a constant longing for a trip to Greece.

“Picnic at Hanging Rock” by Joan Lindsay (1967)

homework books to read

This Australian classic is set in 1900 and features a group of boarders from an all-girls school in Victoria as they take a day trip to the nearby geological formation Hanging Rock . There are plenty of descriptions of proper picnic attire, the beauty of the landscape and the relationships that bond this group of teenagers and their teachers.

And while Joan Lindsay’s writing style and the setting for this novel may have you drawing some parallels with other classic coming-of-age novels written by and starring women, the ending of Picnic at Hanging Rock  could only have been written in the 1960s.

“Los mares del Sur” (Southern Seas) by Manuel Vázquez Montalbán (1979)

homework books to read

Allow me the hometown reference with this Spanish novel set in Barcelona in 1979. Written by the Galician-Catalan author Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, Southern Seas  is the most famous of his novels starring the private detective Pepe Carvalho. He’s a gourmet who’s equally obsessed with food, literature and the city of Barcelona.

Besides a methodical description of the city in the late 1970s, the book also includes references to a trip to the Southern Seas that never was.

“Norwegian Wood” by Haruki Murakami (1987)

homework books to read

Written by Japanese author Haruki Murakami, this coming-of-age novel follows the story of Toru Watanabe, a college student who is obsessed with American literature. He’s trying to figure out his life in Tokyo in the 1960s and ends up in relationships with two women who couldn’t be more different: there’s Naoko, the former girlfriend of his best friend, and Midori, one of his classmates.

The story takes the reader from the bustling streets of Tokyo to the peaceful quietness of a rehab center lost in the mountains nearby Kyoto.

“Get Shorty” by Elmore Leonard (1990)

homework books to read

Small-time Miami loan shark Chili Palmer travels to Las Vegas, hoping to get a debt paid, and ends up in Los Angeles, where he learns about the movie-making business and how to become a producer. Set in Hollywood in 1990, this California classic masterfully blends suspense, thrills, humor and even the slightest hint of a Western.

This story is so quintessentially Hollywood that there’s a 1995 movie adaptation starring John Travolta and a 2017 TV show with Chris O’Dowd, but you should definitely start with the Elmore Leonard novel.

“Death at La Fenice” by Donna Leon (1992)

homework books to read

American novelist Donna Leon has been calling Venice home for years. Her first book in the mystery series that stars the Venetian police detective Guido Brunetti follows the investigation of a music conductor’s death after he’s poisoned during the intermission of a Verdi opera at La Felice.

Leon has been steadily publishing one new Commissario Guido Brunetti installment a year for decades . So if you love the Venitian setting, crime stories and the constant descriptions of all the delicious foods (and drinks) that Brunetti ingests on a daily basis, this could definitely be the series for you.

“Call Me by Your Name” by André Aciman (2007)

homework books to read

Chances are we’ll never get to see Luca Guadagnino’s sequel  to his Call Me by Your Name  movie adaptation. And while André Aciman’s follow-up novel, Find Me , may leave hardcore fans of Elio and Oliver a little bit underwhelmed, there’s nothing like going back to the original material.

Set against the backdrop of the Italian Riviera, this coming-of-age story follows the precocious Elio as he falls in love with Oliver, a graduate student and Elio’s parents’ guest for the summer. This iconic summer read perfectly captures the feeling of longing for someone and it features plentiful, engaging conversations, early morning swims, leisurely bike rides, a furtive relationship and a passionate trip to Rome.

“Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2013)

homework books to read

Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie sets this story — that deals with immigration, race and the feeling of belonging — in Lagos, London and New Jersey. Her protagonist is Ifemelu, a young Nigerian woman who moves to the United States to further her studies.

Americanah  makes for a great read not only as an engaging and entertaining novel but also as a study about race in America from the perspective of a non-American Black person. The novel also packs a complex love story between Ifemelu and Obinze, who moves to London and has to live there as an undocumented immigrant.

“Big Little Lies” by Liane Moriarty (2014)

homework books to read

I don’t care if you’ve already seen the star-packed HBO miniseries and know not only who the killer of this story is but also the identity of the person who dies and whose investigation propels the whole plot, Liane Moriarty’s soapy thriller still very much deserves a read.

On the one hand, instead of the rugged coast of Northern California, the novel Big Little Lies  is set in the suburban Northern Beaches of Sydney. On the other hand, the book jams enough humor and sharp banter — especially when it comes to the inclusion of dialogue from the police interrogations among the many parents who take their kids to the same school as our protagonists — that you’ll find enough nuggets of new material to more than justify the read.

“The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” by Taylor Jenkins Reid (2017)

homework books to read

Taylor Jenkins Reid’s historical fiction bestseller is set between the publishing world of present-day New York and the classic Hollywood of the 1950s, 1960s and onward. When the relatively unknown journalist Monique Grant is tasked with writing a profile on the legendary actress Evelyn Hugo, she can’t believe her career-changing luck.

The novel guides the reader through a series of interviews between Monique and Evelyn in which the former star tells her origin story and the reasons behind her many marriages throughout the years.

“Less” by Andrew Sean Greer (2017)

homework books to read

Andrew Sean Greer’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel stars Arthur Less as a novelist with a dwindling career and a broken heart. As if all of that wasn’t enough already, Less is on the brink of turning 50. When his former long-time boyfriend invites Less to his wedding, our hapless protagonist decides to embark on a series of back-to-back international trips with a “ramshackle itinerary” to avoid the much-dreaded event.

Greer’s fun and never-quiet novel takes the reader and its protagonist from the foggy shores of San Francisco to New York City, Mexico City, Turin, Paris, Berlin, Morocco, India and Japan.

“Agent Running in the Field” by John le Carré (2019)

homework books to read

The last published novel of late spymaster John le Carré is a return to some of his career-defining themes in the world of international espionage, which he describes with precision — and without a glimpse of glamour or spectacle.

The novel stars Nat, a reluctant-to-be-out-of-the-field agent in his late forties, who has had a long career developing sources in Russia. Nat’s back in London and somehow can’t avoid getting himself involved in yet another surveillance plot. The book is set in 2018 and there’s constant chatter among its characters regarding Brexit and the Trump administration. Le Carré favors none of those.

Even if you don’t like international thrillers featuring double agents that much — who doesn’t though? — Agent Running in the Field  is still worth a read if only to appreciate Le Carré’s succinct yet masterfully rich and descriptive prose.

“Beach Read” by Emily Henry (2020)

homework books to read

Let’s add Beach Read  to this list of beach reads because Emily Henry’s romance novel truly does its title justice. Set in a small Michigan town, the novel tells the story of bestselling romance author January and acclaimed fiction writer Gus. They end up being neighbors and living side-by-side in lakefront cottages.

One thing leads to another and they end up making a deal: by the end of the summer he’ll be the one to pen a romance book and she’ll write a dark and bleak one. They both need to teach the other everything they need to know to be able to produce something in a genre they’re not used to working in. Of course, besides all the procrastinating and writing, there’s also time for love.

“The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett (2020)

homework books to read

Last year’s revelatory novel The Vanishing Half  tackles the subject of passing  when it comes to racial identity. The Brit Bennett-penned historical novel, which is already being developed into a limited series by HBO , tells the story of two identical twin sisters from a small town in rural Louisiana where the majority Black population is so light-skinned that one of the sisters passes as a white woman for most of her life after fleeing town.

The action encompasses several decades starting in the 1950s and weaves together the life of the assimilated sister — who’s leading a double life in New Orleans first and then Los Angeles — with that of the other one, who is forced to return home.

“Velvet Was the Night” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (2021)

homework books to read

Let’s close this list with an August release from one of 2020’s bestselling authors. After her Mexican Gothic   was chosen as Best Horror novel last year by the Goodreads users, author Silvia Moreno-Garcia returns with Velvet Was the Night .

The Mexican Canadian author sets the action in 1970s Mexico City and writes about Maite, a secretary obsessed with romance stories and her beautiful neighbor Leonora. When the object of her fixation disappears, Maite starts looking for her — but she isn’t the only one.


homework books to read

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5 Books on Homework (and Helping with Homework!)

Homework for Grownups

The Berenstain Bears and the Homework Hassle

The Berenstain Bears and the Homework Hassle

Paperback $4.99

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Stan Berenstain , Jan Berenstain

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The Berenstain Bears and the Homework Hassle ,  by Stan and Jan Berenstain In this classic Berenstain Bear book, even grizzlies have homework hassles! This is a perfect bedtime read to share after you’ve finished your homework for the day. This book is especially good for anyone who doesn’t want to do their homework like Brother bear (ie all of us at one time or another), and it’s a much needed reminder of why it’s better to take responsibility and get the job done.

Homework for Grown-ups: Everything You Learned at School and Promptly Forgot

Homework for Grown-ups: Everything You Learned at School and Promptly Forgot

Hardcover $19.99

E. Foley , B. Coates

Homework for Grownups: Everything You Learned at School and Promptly Forgot ,  by E. Foley and B. Coates Sometimes I can’t remember where I put my keys, so there’s no way I’m remembering half of what I learned in school. This book is a great resource for any parent who needs a refresher in math, English, science, history, or any other subject you haven’t had to dust off in the last few years. So the next time your child asks you what an isosceles triangle is, you’ll be able to answer with confidence! And with each chapter ending in a quiz, you’ll really feel like you’re back in the classroom!

Peanut Butter and Homework Sandwiches

Peanut Butter and Homework Sandwiches

Hardcover $15.91 $16.99

Lisa Broadie Cook , Jack E. Davis

Peanut Butter and Homework Sandwiches ,  by Lisa Broadie Cook You’ve probably heard the centuries-old excuse, “the dog ate my homework,” knowing that it was just another way of saying “oops I forgot to do my homework!” But in this cute picture book, that actually happened to poor Martin MacGregor! If your kid is having a hard week at school, or feeling unprepared for class, this is a good book to pick up to show how down-and-out Martin manages to turn everything around!

The Parent Backpack for Kindergarten through Grade 5: How to Support Your Child's Education, End Homework Meltdowns, and Build Parent-Teacher Connections

The Parent Backpack for Kindergarten through Grade 5: How to Support Your Child's Education, End Homework Meltdowns, and Build Parent-Teacher Connections

Paperback $15.99

The Parent Backpack for Kindergarten through Grade 5: How to Support Your Child’s Education, End Homework Meltdowns, and Build Parent-Teacher Connections ,  by ML Nichols Learn practical how-to strategies for helping with your child’s homework and put a stop to homework-induced meltdowns in the process. This all-encompassing book goes way beyond just how to handle homework. It’s written by the head of a parent education group, so you’ll also get great tips on everything from emailing your child’s teacher to how to deal with bullying. Basically everything an elementary school parent needs to know!

Please Help Me With My Homework - English

Please Help Me With My Homework - English

Paperback $10.97

Susan Gingras Fitzell M.Ed

Please Help Me With My Homework: Strategies for Parents and Caregivers ,  by Susan Fitzell Doing homework can actually be fun?! Well Susan Fitzell thinks so, and she wrote a book to prove it! What parent or caregiver couldn’t use a few more strategies for helping with homework? This uber-informative book provides great strategies as well as a ton of other tools and exercises to discover exactly how your child tackles homework best. What books about homework and helping with homework do you recommend?

homework books to read


Homework Book – Level One

homework books to read

$ 28.00

The Level One Homework Book for the ReadBright Leveled Phonics Program ensures a sufficient review of the critical reading skills that have been acquired in the classroom. The skills covered in this booklet include: CVC words, digraphs and blends. The Homework Booklet includes: Reading Pages, Fluency Cards, and Homework Activity Sheets that provide practice for both the targeted phonics skills and sight words taught in Level One of the ReadBright Program. For optimal results from the ReadBright program, practice at home is strongly recommended. Homework gives students the opportunity to maintain and practice the skills learned in school, and it allows you, as a parent, to monitor your child’s progress. Moreover, these colorful, cumulative and entertaining homework pages will make homework time fun!


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Homework Book: Homework Book for Planning after school study and learning Paperback – July 29, 2019

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homework books to read

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I Read Popular Books for Homework: A True Story

I’m one year away from graduating with my master’s degree in Library & Information Science, and last year, I took 2 readers’ advisory classes: Young Adult Literature & Resources, and Adult Popular Literature. I’ve been doing readers’ advisory at work for several years now, but this was the first truly formal readers’ advisory education I’d ever had, with graded assignments, lectures, and readings. Now, for avid readers, taking classes like these must seem like a dream come true. Reading bestsellers and popular books for homework?!

I thought so too. And don’t get me wrong – if I had to choose between reading popular fiction and reading a dusty article on the history of cataloging, I would choose popular fiction every single time, hands down. I think most people would. But reading for homework is actually more work than I realized. Here’s what I learned:

I don’t know if I’ll read as many books in a year as I did in 2016 (103), but I’m glad I was able to flex my reading muscles like this. And maybe this year I’ll get my intensive reading practice in with my first read-athon, if I can just plan ahead enough.

And in case you’re interested, here are five of my favorite books that I discovered from both of my classes, in no particular order:

homework books to read

Gabe is a high school DJ who was born as Elizabeth until just a few months ago when he began actively transitioning to life as a man. His parents think he’s crazy and refuse to call him anything but Elizabeth, most of his classmates are unaware of his life as Gabe, and in the middle of all this, Gabe is trying to navigate the typical high school world of dating, relationships, and trying to figure out who he is. The book is written by a cisgender author, but the story is beautiful, inspiring, heartbreaking, and written with a lot of sensitivity.

homework books to read

Nora Lopez is 17 during the infamous New York City Summer of 1977. This is the summer of arson, electrical failure across the city, and the Son of Sam, a serial killer who shoots young people on the streets, seemingly at random. But Nora has her own problems on top of this as well, including an out-of-control brother, a distant father, rent problems, and a cute guy who works with her at the deli. But is dating even worth the risk when the Son of Sam enjoys picking off teenagers late at night? Technically, I read this book after my young adult class ended, but I came to it after reading Meg Medina’s other mega-popular YA novel for class, Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass .  I liked Yaqui Delgado , but I LOVED Burn Baby Burn – compelling, suspenseful, and a great coming of age story.

homework books to read

HeLa cells have factored into almost every significant scientific breakthrough since the 1960’s, including the polio vaccine, cancer research, in-vitro fertilization, and cloning. But the cells were taken without consent from a poor black farmer named Henrietta Lacks, who died from cervical cancer and was buried in an unmarked grave. This is the story of Henrietta, her family’s struggles to have her name recognized for her unknowing contributions to science, and the history of ethical science. The history was fascinating enough on its own, but what I really loved about this book was that Rebecca Skloot gives the story such a compassionate, human quality through her interviews and experiences with Henrietta’s surviving family members.

homework books to read

Cora and her younger sister Mimi are sent to live with their eccentric Aunt Ida in the tiny British village of Byers Guerdon, who gives them a less than warm welcome. The house is isolated, the surrounding woods are creepy and forbidding, and there’s something their Aunt Ida isn’t telling them. As Cora puts together the mystery of the house, she learns that she and Mimi are entwined in a terrifying history that has held the village in its grasp for centuries. If you think YA horror can’t be as scary as horror written for adults, you need to read this book. It chilled me to the bone, and on more than one occasion, I started to freak out about turning the lights off in my apartment.

homework books to read

I can’t begin to describe the plot of this mega-awesome graphic novel, so I’ll just say it’s Girl Scouts meets girl power with mythology and supernatural creatures and hipster yetis and I loved it to pieces. It was the most joyously bizarre, unapologetically girl-centric story I’ve read in a long time, and I’ve been recommending it to just about everyone at work for the last six months.

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25 Inspiring Books Every Student Must Read Before They Graduate

“As if you were on fire from within.

The moon lives in the lining of your skin .”

------- Pablo Neruda

Books For Every College Student

Almost every college student has the desire to be tagged as an intellectual. If you too have this fascination, then get that spark in you. Knowledge can only help you keep that fire burning within you. “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go” (said by Dr. Seuss). Take a look at the books that you must read before you graduate. Whether inspirational, informative, or witty, we have something for all types of grads.

1. This Side Of Paradise - F. Scott Fitzgerald

A Princeton student who becomes completely disillusioned with life after graduating from college is the main protagonist of this classic novel. He discovers that world behind the walls of his college is totally different. This “quest novel” chronicles how he looks for his own self again. Being a college student, you must read this novel so that you can prepare yourself to face all the ups and downs.

2. Looking For Alaska - John Green

This novel encompasses love, redemption, loss, friendship and guilt. The story revolves around the life of a high school junior, Miles. He falls in love with a girl named Alaska. The author beautifully draws a realistic picture of the lives of these teenagers. This plot seems familiar to almost every college student. Isn’t it?

3. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

This is a satirical novel. Aldous Huxley visualizes a utopian future where human beings do not fit into the system. He implicitly warns the readers about the impending threats posed by technology. Is it okay to accept the things as they always have been? Or is it necessary to fight against all the wrongs? To explore the answers to these questions, read this book before you graduate.

4. Freedom - Jonathan Franzen

With a narrative impulse, this novel tells a story about love triangle and relationship. Protagonists of this modern classic first met in college. What will they choose:  friendship or love? How will they overcome such difficult situations? You should read this novel to understand all the complexities of life.

5. One Hundred Years Of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

This is one of the most famous contemporary novels. This chronicles the history of the family, the Buendias and an isolated town of Macondo. One Hundred Year Of Solitude teaches us about the value and importance of family and friends. This is a must-read book for all college students.

6. Norwegian Wood - Haruki Murakami

This novel presents the ugly truth of life. This is a nostalgic story of friendship and true love. Toru Watanabe, the main protagonist, looks back on his college days. First person narrative technique has been adopted by the author. Read this novel to become aware of the harsh reality, which you cannot escape from.

7. To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee

The key theme of this masterpiece is racism. Harper Lee brilliantly deals with serious issues such as racial inequality and rape under the veil of humor. If you are a literature student, you must have already read this book. If you haven’t yet, then it should be included in your reading list as a priority.

8. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

This novel tells a story about a Russian student Raskolnikov. He kills an old pawnbroker and tries to justify his deed. The author beautifully narrates Raskolnikov’s attempts to understand who he is and find his own place in the society.  This book can make you rethink your views regarding moral laws and your place in this society.

9. The Grapes Of Wrath - John Steinbeck

This is a moving tale of an Oklahoma farmer and his family. They were driven from their home. The story recounts their journey to California amidst the Great Depression. The Grapes Of Wrath teaches about friendship, love, courage and resilience.

10. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald

You should read this book to understand the disappointment that almost every American felt during jazz age. You can learn how to assess your capabilities by reading this masterpiece. Another great lesson this book teaches is it is better to let the past go as it cannot be returned.

11. 1984 - George Orwell

This is a dystopian novel. Winston Smith who lives in Airstrip One is the main protagonist. This political fiction throws light on the issues like civil conflict, revolution and war. The author portrays a world that is divided between three totalitarian states. You must add this book to your reading list.

12. Lord Of The Files - William Golding

This novel was published in the year of 1954. It depicts the story of a group of young British boys who are stranded on an island and their attempts for governing themselves. It is a morality tale about a broken society. Golding parodies the society in this political allegory. You can get to learn several things from this novel.

13. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

This is a story about forbidden love between a young nymphet and a man. It is full of intrigue and humor. Though it remains controversial today, it can teach us a valuable lesson about sacrifice, understanding, forgiveness and other traits which are very important.

14. Let The Great World Spin - Colum McCann

Lives of an artist, a prostitute, a judge, an Irish immigrant, and a mourning mother are beautifully weaved together by the author. Though their hardships differ, they all have witnessed the Twin Tower Tight-roper. “Let The Great World Spin” conveys the message that everything and everyone connects in the end.

15. A Farewell To Arms - Ernest Hemingway

This novel has World War I at its backdrop. The author portrays the lives of young and naïve boys who became poor infantry. This is a story about a lieutenant, Fredric Henry. You can get to know about the consequences of a war from this classics masterpiece.

16. The Divine Comedy - Dante

There is hardly anyone who has never heard of Dante. He throws light on the nine circles of inferno in the Divine Comedy which is a long narrative poem. It teaches us that we all have to pay for our own sins. Being a college student, you must read this for understanding the view of afterlife.

17. A River Out Of Eden - Richard Dawkins

You should read this book before you graduate. It is an account on the birth of world and its development. You can learn the process of evolution in an interesting way. Most importantly, you will not find this book boring.

18. Paradise Lost - John Milton

We all are aware of the Biblical story about Adam and Eve. Eve was tempted by Lucifer (Satan) and it caused the fall of man. John Milton’s Paradise Lost, an epic poem is concerned with this story. This masterpiece throws light on the different sides of good and bad. You must read this to know who what is right.

19. A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess

The author mocks the modern totalitarian society in this novel. This is a wicked satire. Anthony Burgess conveys the message that the young generation tends to turn into “clockwork oranges” (obedient to their leaders). For the antagonist, Alex, violence is the high art of life. At the end, he becomes the victim of violence. This is a must-read book for all college students.

20. Hamlet - William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, one of the most famous plays, revolves around the question - “To be or not to be”. Hamlet, the protagonist, kills his uncle to take revenge for his father’s death. This play teaches us that we should accept the responsibility for our own deeds and decisions.

21. Civilization and Its Discontents - Sigmund Freud

You should read this book before you graduate. This book records Sigmund Freud’s ideas and views regarding human civilization and culture. If you often wonder, “What is the point of living in this society”, then you will get the answer from this masterpiece.

22. Faust - Johann Von Goethe

This play depicts the supernatural journey of Faust, a classic German legend. He offers his soul to devil for wisdom. The lesson this masterpiece teaches is you should understand the difference between evil and good. You can also get to learn about several myths of ancient history.

23. The Art Of Happiness - Dalai Lama

This book records Dalai Lama’s views and ideas. This is an inspirational book. You should add this to your reading list. You can learn how to be happy in life and how to achieve fulfillment.

24. Charlotte’s Web - E.B. White

Though it falls under the category of children literature, it can teach us a valuable lesson. Charlotte’s Web reminds us that every living creature should be treated generously.

25. The Running Man - Stephen King

This is a science fiction. Stephen King visualizes a dystopian America during the year 2025. The story revolves around Ben Richards who lives in Co-Op city. He does not find any work due to the economic collapse. He takes part in a game show. This novel is perfect reading for every college student.

No matter how much busy you are with your studies, you should find some time to read these books, as “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body”.

Read these 25 books to take a break from your hectic schedule and leave your assignments to us!

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