March Wrap-Up | what a year this month has been

So remember in my February wrap-up when I said that nothing had really happened to me all month? Well I think March heard that and decided that Everything was going to happen All At Once.

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This month has been rough, I’m not gonna lie.

It’s strange to think that at the beginning of March, I was getting ready to leave my job, move across the country to New York, and find a new job. Now it feels like everything in the world has changed. Obviously, I didn’t end up moving, and even though I know everyone has had – and will have – to give up a lot as a result of this virus, many of it much bigger than mine, this was my own little heartbreak. It sucks to have to give up on something I’ve been working toward for almost two years, with no clue of when I might finally be able to do it.

Right now, I am without a job – since the bookstore where I work(ed) is closed – and stuck at home for the foreseeable future.

But not everything from this month was bad! I hosted a readathon! I read some great books and watched some great movies! So let’s talk about some of those, shall we?

First thing’s first: in March, I hosted the Women’s History Month Readathon, which was a blast. I was amazed by how many people participated – so much more than last year! It was fun to see what everyone was reading and learn about new and amazing female authors to support. I’ll get more into this later, but a huge thank you to everyone who joined in for this readathon. ❤️

Everything I read in March was by a female author, and even though I didn’t get to everything on my TBR and ended up with a few more rereads/comfort reads than originally planned, I still found some great new books. I read ten books total, four of which were rereads, with an average rating of 4 stars. Now lets talk about these books!

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Books I read

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The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow ⭐️⭐️.5/5

Mini review is here. I was sadly let down by this YA sci-fi. Despite having potential and some good elements, it never seemed to come together.

Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Mini review is here. A middle grade adventure involving Navajo mythology that was fun, but didn’t manage to blow me away.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Mini review is here. I’m very proud of myself for finally (finally!) reading this classic and discovering why it’s so beloved. Despite its outdated bits, I was overall happy with it.

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (ARC) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

A genuinely terrifying gothic horror novel set in 1950s Mexico! This book spooked me quite a bit and I liked it. I’ll have a full review closer to the release date in June!

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The Cruel Prince by Holly Black ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Mini review is here. This popular YA fae fantasy did not disappoint! I already love Jude as a character and can’t wait to see where the rest of the series takes her.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (reread) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5/5 and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games #2) (reread) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

I haven’t read The Hunger Games series since I was in high school, so I figured that right now, during a global rise of authoritarianism and political unrest, would be the perfect time to do it. Fool-proof logic, right? I want to write a full series review once I also reread Mockingjay, so stay tuned!

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My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashon, & Jodi Meadows ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Mini review is here. This historical comedy was a hilarious joy to read and a welcome distraction from the world.

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine (reread) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Me? Reread childhood favorites in a time of stress and personal life upheaval? It’s more likely than you think. Ella Enchanted is one of my favorite books of all time, and this latest reread reminded me why all over again. Ella and Char are the ULTIMATE CUTE.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (reread) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I returned to another favorite this month via audiobook, and oh boy. I thought I had cried all my tears about this book the first time, but I was very much wrong. Many, many tears were shed. This book is just. Incredible. My review from the first time I read it is here.

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Women’s History Month Readathon

Have I mentioned yet that I ran a readathon this month??

Even though I couldn’t put as much time and effort into it as I’d hoped because of Stressful Things Happening In The World, I’m happy that I was able to do this and see so many others participating.

Seven of the books I read this month counted for the readathon. The beginning bingo board looked like this…

whm board

…and my finished board looked like this…

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I also created the Women’s History Book Tag, and I’m delighted that so many others did it as well! Huge shoutout to…

Mary and the Words 📚 Hissing Potatoes 📚 Lauren @ Narrative Paradise 📚 The Comfy Reader 📚 Zezee with Books 📚 Lais @ The Bookish Skies 📚 The Bookish Mutant 📚 Kristin Kraves Books 📚 Bookmark Your Thoughts 📚 Time for tales and tea 📚 Caro @ bookcheshirecat 📚 Whimsically Meghan 📚 Caitlin Althea 📚 Lauren @ Twenty-Seven Letters 📚 Embuhleeliest 📚 Sophie @ Me and Ink 📚 Sweaters & Raindrops 📚 Belle Can Read 📚 Mandy & Sha @ Book Princess Reviews 📚 The Redefined Reader

(I hope that’s everyone who’s done it so far, but if I missed anyone, please let me know!)

I LOVED reading everyone’s answers to the questions I made, especially seeing who everyone chose as their inspiring historical figure. I learned about so many interesting women! Thank you all ❤️

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Other things

Movies

Image result for emma 2020 poster Image result for jojo rabbit Image result for portrait of a lady on fire

Being the huge Jane Austen nerd that I am, I was sad when all the theaters closed and I couldn’t see the new adaptation of Emma…. that is, until they released it digitally! I watched it twice in two days and I’m now obsessed. The 2009 BBC miniseries will always be my favorite Emma adaptation, but this one did an incredible job with a story that’s close to my heart. Its aesthetic was bright and unique, and this Knightley was top tier.

I also watched Jojo Rabbit, Taika Waititi’s WWII comedy about a Nazi boy who finds a Jewish girl hiding in his house. It somehow managed to strike the perfect balance between ridiculous and serious, and I really, really enjoyed it.

Finally, I saw Portrait of a Lady on Fire, a French period film that’s just about the most gorgeous thing I’ve ever seen. It’s been weeks since I saw it and I’m still thinking about it constantly.

Not everything that came out of the pandemic was terrible

Yes, it was a month of canceled plans and dreams put on hold, but there were a few bright spots that came out of this month.

  • An unbelievable amount of community support at the small bookstore where I work(ed), including people donating money for kids in need of books.
  • Talking to Marissa Meyer on the phone at work??? I’m still in shock.
  • Driving around to deliver books to people’s houses like book Santa Claus.
  • Realizing that…I’m good at my job?? It was stressful and exhausting the last week that we were open, but I couldn’t have done it if I weren’t good at it. And this showed me that…I am. Huh.

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Posts I loved

In addition to all the Women’s History Book Tag posts, I found a few others around the blogisphere that I enjoyed:

🌼 Kerys @ The Everlasting Library suggested some book-related activities to keep you busy while you’re stuck at home.

🌼 Mandy @ Book Princess Reviews recommended books by and about women, which is very on theme for the month.

🌼 Sophie @ Me and Ink talked about the elusive “perfect female character” and the impossible standards that women are held to, both in fiction and real life.

🌼 Sage @ Sage Shelves recommended adult fantasy books to read if you liked these YA fantasy books.

🌼 Abi @ Scribbles & Stories explained why we need to see more female author names on fantasy books, particularly in the adult section.

🌼 Rae & Jen @ Novels and Notions listed books that they recommend to everyone, including some of my personal favorites.

🌼 Lauren @ Twenty-Seven Letters collaborated with several other bloggers (including yours truly 👀) to talk about our favorite bookish villains. This was such a fun post to be a part of!

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April TBR

This April, I’m once again joining the O.W.L.s Magical Readathon! You can read all about my chosen career and my TBR in this post, but these are the books I hope to read:

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  • The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
  • Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (reread)
  • My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows
  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
  • The Language of Spells by Garret Weyr
  • Bonds of Brass by Emily Skrutskie
  • The Witches Are Coming by Lindy West
  • The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
  • Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli & Aisha Saeed

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What books did you read in March? How are you weathering under the pandemic? What do you plan to read in April?

x Margaret

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40 thoughts on “March Wrap-Up | what a year this month has been

  1. I am so, so sorry you had to push off your move Margaret. To have such big plans ahead come crashing down.. that’s not an easy thing to wrap your head around. Take the time you need to process that, whether or not other people are going through tougher times! We all know pain is never a contest. ❤

    I remember your Women’s Month Read-a-Thon from last year! It was the last read-a-thon I attempted before leaving. Okay, Mexican Gothic looks tempting, and you hyped me up with just that little review snippet, but I KEEP putting off reading Adult novels. Even when they sound good!

    Ella Enchanted!! Ultimate amazing!!

    What..you.what youns dn ads YOU TALKED TO MELISSA MEYER ON THE PHONE?? I’m speechless. How did that go??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww thank you, that really does help to hear that 😭 It can be easy to try to downplay my own disappointment in the face of everything else that’s happening, but you’re absolutely right that pain isn’t a contest ❤️

      Mexican Gothic was so good and soooo spooky! I hope you love it when you get around to it! Ella Enchanted is ultimate amazing 😄

      And I KNOW I’m still amazed! Marissa Meyer was ordering books through us so I got to take her order and send them off to her home 😱 She’s local and friendly with the owners of the bookstore where I work, so I’ve gotten to meet her in person a couple times, but I swear I’ll never get used to it 😵

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I let out the saddest chuckle at the title 😂😢.

        That sounds super tough to have your plans halted with all that’s going on. Everyone has their share of problems, but that doesn’t take away from how crummy what happened to you is 😕💕. It’s great that you were able to do things that brought you some joy this month! In particular, your Women’s History Month tag was so cool! The graphics and all the thought you put into it really showed 🙂. Also, I still have to read, ahem, all of the books you mentioned in this post HAHA. BUT LIKE ALSO you talked to Marissa Meyer on the phone?!?! ?? 😂 Stay safe and well, Margaret 💛.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hah yep it’s so real 😅 March lasted forever.

        It definitely does suck, but having some fun things during the month did help 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoyed the Women’s History Tag!! I loved making it and I’m so happy to see others enjoying it too 😀

        And YES I know I’m still shook about talking to Marissa Meyer! Haha thanks, I hope you’re staying safe too! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      3. This is a time when we need to take stock of how we’re feeling and know that it’s all valid. I’m glad my words helped, Margaret ❤️

        I couldn’t think of actual words to describe my love for Ella, haha, so yes, we get ultimate amazing.

        OMG what an opportunity! Who *could* get used to something like that? Honestly, this is the type of “celebrity encounter” I dream about, haha.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so sorry to hear about the disruption to your plans and that you now have to wait. My heart definitely goes out to you and I’m sending you lots of positive thoughts and best wishes!!!
    You’ve read so many books and I’m glad you enjoyed them!! I’ve never read The Hunger Games but the audio books are available at my library so I have been tempted to try them out at one point!! Ahh.. I love Evelyn Hugo, it is just so good!! I’m so glad you liked Mexican Gothic, I look forward to reading that one. I’m absolutely loved participating in your readathon and you did so well so high five!!
    I’m so glad you enjoyed Portrait of a Lady on Fire, I watched the trailer and thought it looked good.
    It definitely sounds like a hectic time at work but I bet you are really good at your job so you need to give yourself a treat I think!! 😊 and wow talking on the phone with Marissa Meyer that is incredible!! 😍😱 and delivering books like Santa does sound amazing!!
    Thank you so much for sharing my posts, I’m glad you liked them and I really loved seeing everyone doing your tag as well, it was an amazing tag!!
    I wish you a wonderful April and happy reading!!! 💛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thank you, Sophie ❤️ It definitely sucks, but I’ll certainly get through it 😊

      The Hunger Games keep pleasantly surprising me! If you get the chance, I recommend the audiobooks narrated by Tatiana Maslany, because she does such a good job with them.

      I’m so glad to hear you had a good time with the readathon! 💃 And you should absolutely watch Portrait of a Lady on Fire when you get the chance. Haha work certainly was hectic, but it was great to have those highlights like delivering books and talking to Marissa Meyer (lol it still doesn’t feel real even saying that 😂)

      You’re welcome, and thanks again for doing the tag! I hope you have an amazing April as well ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think it’s important to take time to grieve your losses, too, even if they seem minor in the face of everything else. If we just shove them aside because worse things are happening, eventually they all get pent up and spill out when we’re least expecting them. This month has been rough, and it’s okay to be upset about the things that didn’t happen for you! That’s such a bummer that you didn’t get to move. I’m keeping my fingers & toes crossed that it works out sooner rather than later for you.

    Also, OH MY GOSH EXCITED about Emma being good. I’m having a virtual movie date with my friend this weekend to watch it! We were also supposed to see it in theaters, so we’re super stoked to be able to somehow see it together, haha. Emma is my favorite Austen (so far), and I’ve been so amped about this adaptation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a great way of looking at it, and I’ve been lucky enough to have some time to actually process some of the big changes in my life. Thanks so much! ❤️ All my fingers and toes are crossed too 😊

      Yesss Emma was wonderful!! It’s great that we’re still able to watch it even though we can’t go to theaters. I hope you and your friend love it too 😄

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh I agree with the sentiment of this post’s title so much. March was just never-ending, and in the worst kind of way.
    I’m so sorry to hear that all your plans have had to change. That must be so difficult to deal with – especially knowing that there is no definite time you can fulfil them. But, the time will come eventually!
    I’m glad you at least had a few good things happen this month – especially having an average rating of 4 stars and being the book Santa 🙂
    I was really looking forward to The Sound of Stars, but I haven’t seen many good reviews, unfortunately. Sad to see that you were also let down by it. Still, I am glad you enjoyed The Cruel Prince – I really enjoyed that trilogy.
    I am super looking forward to seeing Emma, so I am glad you loved it!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. March was the LONGEST month 😭 Thank goodness we finally made it through!

      Yeah, it’s definitely been a month of disappointments…but hopefully I won’t have to put off my plans for too long 😊 Thank you!! Haha being a book Santa definitely was lots of fun!

      It really was too bad that The Sound of Stars didn’t live up to my expectations. But The Cruel Prince was great! 😄 And Emma was WONDERFUL – I hope you enjoy it too!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so sorry you had to put off your move and March wasn’t great for you 😦 This month was completely awful for me too and I feel you on knowing this is so much bigger than just me and lots of people have it so much worse… but I want to just cry over my own heartbreak. misery loves company right? bUT Marissa Meyer you spoke to the queen herself????? shook (and super jealous) wowowowowowwo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww I’m sorry that this month was hard for you too 😞 I think it’s good to remember that it’s okay to be as sad as we need to be about what we’ve had to give up. It’s a sucky situation overall! I hope your April is better ❤

      And yes, I'm still shook about talking to Marissa Meyer 😱

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Ah, I’m so sorry that some not great things happened to you in March! I hope things look up soon :(( and thank you so much for creating the Women’s History Book Tag and Women’s History Month Readathon! The amount of women’s rights awareness you did in the month of March is just… wow 🤍🤍 I had so much fun doing the book tag, and I’ll forever be thankful that you created it! And I watched Jojo Rabbit this month too, and I totally agree that the humor was perfectly balance with the seriousness 🥺 i’ve never cared much for WWII movies, but this one was so fun!
    I hope you have an amazing April ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! ❤ And ahhh I'm so happy that you liked all the Women's History stuff from this month 😀 I enjoyed doing all of it, and I was so happy to see so many people join in!

      Yesss wasn't Jojo Rabbit wonderful? It took me completely by surprise! Thank you so much, and I hope your April is also amazing ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It has definitely been a strange month. Everything seems to have gone to pots. I’m lucky that I’m still able to work remotely and concentrate on the digital side of my job, but it’s strange to see the world turn into a ghost town.

    You’ve had a very productive month from the looks of it. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been to juggle the readathon with your work duties.

    Take care and have a lovely April.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It certainly has been strange…
      That’s great that you’re still working! I’m sure it’s still a big change, but at least you’ve got that bit of familiarity, right? 😊
      Thanks so much, and I hope your April is lovely as well!

      Like

  8. OMGGG Ella Enchanted was MY childhood book lol!!! totally forgot how much I loved that one! I think I read it first when I was in like the 5th grade haha! Also SUPER glad you enjoyed The Cruel Prince! I think I loved the second book even more (as if thats even possible lol) and hope u get the chance to pick it up soon! Also i now really want to read the Mexican Gothic…. Great wrap up 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. March definitely seemed to last forever and so much happened, it was unreal 😅 I’m sorry to hear that your plans are on hold and that everything is a bit of a mess, but I hope that there are some good things in the future 💕 I’m happy to have participated in the WHM Readathon and doing your Tag, it was definitely one of the best things that have happened in March 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. March felt like it lasted FOREVER! Ahhh thank you, it definitely is a mess 😅 Hopefully it won’t last too long!
      And thanks once again for participating in the WHM Readathon! It was one of my favorite aspects of March as well, and I’m glad it was fun for you too ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Aw Margaret, I’m sorry to hear your plans to move to New York have been postponed 😦 It truly is rough times and I hope you find the resolve to continue to pursue a move here! It really is worth it to be surrounded by people who are passionate, hard working, and talented. I’m sure it will work out in the end 🙂 As for March, it was a successful reading month for me and I’m glad to see it was for you! I’m happy to see your National Women’s Month readathon worked out so well and I’m sad I hadn’t participated. Hopefully you host it again next year! I hope you have a lovely April 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I certainly hope so too 😅 Fingers crossed that I’ll be able to move sooner rather than later!
      And March definitely was a successful reading month for me – glad to hear it was the same for you 😀 I’m definitely planning to host the WHM Readathon next year too, so I hope you’re able to join in then! Thank you, and I hope your April is lovely as well ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Great wrap up. I’m so sorry you had to postpone your move and you have every right to feel disappointed about that.

    I can’t wait to read your review of Mexican Gothic is it sounds amazing and Emma was such a good movie 💜😀

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m really sorry that you’ve been impacted so negatively during this tough time. Lots of hugs! ❤

    I loved reading everyone's responses to your tag and readathon – I am hoping to participate next year 🙂

    Best luck for your OWL's and I hope this month treats you as well as possible 🙂
    – Emma xx

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m so sorry you had to push off your move and that things have been hard on you, on that side. I really hope that this will end soon and everything will end up being alright for you. I’m sending you lots of love! ❤
    Oh I'm sad you didn't love the sound of stars, I've been soooo curious about this book! i'm glad you got to re-read some amazing books though this month, ahh evelyn hugo, I love that one so very much ❤ ❤
    I hope April will be kind to you, take care! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, I certainly hope so too! ❤ Fingers crossed that it won't be too much longer…
      I was definitely let down by The Sound of Stars, though I know plenty of others have enjoyed it 🤷‍♀️ And rereading some great books was a wonderful choice 😀 Thank you, and I hope April treats you well too ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Happy April, Margaret!

    I’m still so sorry about New York. But, it will happen, and that city certainly won’t know to do when you’re there shaking and moving and positively impacting anything and everything there! You’re a wonderful person, and I’m excited for this pandemic to end (for numerous reasons) so you can rock this world right off its orbit.

    I’m so glad to hear that your Women’s History Month Readathon went well! I 100% am participating next year, especially because I loved your tag so much. Plus, what’s better than spending a whole month reading books only by women? I’ll sign up for that any day.

    Believe it or not, I’ve actually only ever read one book that you read this past month! Th Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo will always have a place in my heart. And, fun fact for you, I attempted to read The Hunger Games right when it was in its prime, and I never got past chapter 8. Despite being a reader now and the fact that I’ve seen the movies, maybe I should give it another chance? Me attempting to read books that you’ve read this past month must be a pattern because I also attempted to read Little Women at one point? I have the most vivid memory of my middle school vice principle seeing me with the book and he said, “huh, that’s pretty big for you isn’t it?” How rude. Maybe I should read it out of spite.

    I really, really want to see Jojo Rabbit. Maybe it’s because of all of the buzz it got around awards season, but I’ve only ever heard good things! Also, STILL CANNOT BELIEVE YOU CHATTED WITH MARISSA MEYER AND YOU WERE SANTA CLAUSE. So, so wonderful.

    Thank you so, so much for mentioning my villain post, and for being such a fantastic element in the post.

    I hope you love all of your April reads (tell me everything about Yes No Maybe So!), and I hope this month is much, much better for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. (Somehow this commented ended up in spam??? Sorry for taking so long to reply!)

      Ahhh thank you so much, Lauren! 😭❤️ You’re too kind. I really hope this pandemic ends soon too, for so many reasons, but definitely one of which is that I just can’t wait to move to New York.

      HOORAY, I can’t wait for the Women’s History Month Readathon next year if you’re planning to join! 😀 I definitely agree that I can’t think of much better than spending a month reading women authors.

      Wow, how did I not know that you’d never read The Hunger Games?? I mean, I’m definitely a little biased by nostalgia, but I was surprised how much I still enjoyed the series, and I think it’s always worth a read 🙂 And omg that vice principle was so rude!! I never read Little Women as a kid because everyone kept telling me too, and I guess my rebellious side came out ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ But hey, reading things out of spite is a pretty good motivation, imo.

      OH MAN I KNOW it’s been like a month and I STILL can’t believe that I talked to Marissa Meyer 😱 WILD.

      Thank you thank you thank you, I hope your April is just as wonderful 😀 I’ll definitely keep you updated on Yes No Maybe So!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. NO WORRIES! Weirdly enough, I actually had a lot of problems posting it? Lots of error messages for some reason, so we can consider it a miracle that it made it through anyway.

        Yes, it needs to end soon so you can rule New York! And I definitely will join next year; I’m already looking forward to it!!

        RIGHT?! Between Harry Potter and The Hunger Games, I really feel like I missed reading a lot of the stories that formed a lot of readers. At least I can now say that I’ve read all the Harry Potters and have (almost) seen all of the movies. If it counts for anything, I have seen all of the Hunger Games movies though purely because of my love for Sam Claflin. And I know! Like sir, please don’t harp on a child for wanting to read a large book. I think you should be doing the exact opposite, seeing as you’re in the education field, LOL.

        Also, sorry I’m the worst at replying to comments in a timely manner!

        Like

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