Tag: Stacking the Shelves


Stacking the Shelves

Posted 16 December, 2017 by Nikki in General / 28 Comments

Hello everyone! It’s been a long week, but it’s better than last week. I have my money back from Paypal, for one… Busy week ahead too; I’ve got an assignment due, and me and my wife are travelling to the UK (from Belgium) to spend Christmas with my parents. So much to do!

Received to review

Cover of No Time to Spare by Ursula K. Le Guin Cover of The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Yay, Ursula Le Guin! I didn’t really expect to be approved for this, so I’m happy. Must read it stat, of course. The other one sounded intriguing from the summary, so we’ll see how that goes…

Books read this week

Cover of Tutankhamen by Christiane Desroches-Noblecourt Cover of The Power of Babel by John McWhorter Cover of Murder in Montparnasse by Kerry Greenwood

Not a very productive week, reading-wise! Oops. All of these get four stars, though!

Books reviewed this week:

Abaddon’s Gate, by James S.A. Corey. If you’re enjoying the series at this point, this is more of the same… with some especially big implications towards the end. 4/5 stars
Swordspoint, by Ellen Kushner. Preferred this on rereading to how I felt about it as a teen — I think I expected more straightforward romance back then. But this time I just found it a delightful melodrama of manners, as advertised. 4/5 stars
The Stars are Legions, by Kameron Hurley. So. Weird. I think I prefer Hurley’s non-fiction, even though I think she’s very inventive and her writing is good. 3/5 stars
What On Earth Evolved… In Brief, by Christopher Lloyd. Interesting to dip into, though not terribly surprising for me. 3/5 stars
The Horns of Ruin, by Tim Akers. There’s some fun stuff going on with the worldbuilding, but it feels like reading an action videogame — it’s all go! 3/5 stars
Strange Practice, by Vivian Shaw. I didn’t see this around much, so I didn’t really know what to expect. I actually found it a lot of fun, and I’m excited for the next book. 4/5 stars
The Godless, by Ben Peek. I found the world really interesting, again, but I didn’t get into the characters or plot, somehow. I’m not sure I’ll bother reading the sequels. 3/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday. The latest on my reading pile.

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 9 December, 2017 by Nikki in General / 4 Comments

Good morning, folks! It hasn’t been the greatest week for me, since a scammer of some sort took over my Ebay account and spent most of my money. But I’ve tried to keep my mood up by finally spending a couple of Amazon vouchers I’d been saving, and reading whatever I felt like instead of sticking to a firm rule.

Books bought:

Cover of Maps to Nowhere by Marie Brennan Cover of The Terracotta Army by John Man Cover of Libraries in the Ancient World by Lionel Cassen

A bit of a random assemblage, I know!

Books read this week:

Cover of Herding Cats by Sarah Andersen Cover of Suspicious Minds by Rob Brotherton Cover of Three Stones Make a Wall by Eric H. Cline Cover of The Statues That Walked by Terry Hunt and Carl Lipo Cover of Dark Sky by Mike Brooks

Four stars: Herding Cats, Suspicious Minds, Three Stones Make A Wall, The Statues that Walked.
Three stars: Dark Sky.

Reviews posted this week:

Camelot’s Sword, by Sarah Zettel. Not my favourite of the series, but still a great trip into the Arthurian world. 4/5 stars
The Essex Serpent, by Sarah Perry. There were aspects of this that were really strong, but sometimes the style of the narration just got on my nerves and was way too dry. 3/5 stars
The Hidden Life of Trees, by Peter Wohlleben. A good casual read, but I felt it was very much pitched at the layperson and that sometimes Wohlleben was a little overenthusiastic about how he interpreted facts. 3/5 stars
The Gracekeepers, by Kirsty Logan. I really just wanted more from this — the world just felt bland and one-dimensional. 3/5 stars
The Dragonbone Chair, by Tad Williams. A reread for me, and one which I found surprising in a few ways — sometimes in how frustrated I was with the characters, sometimes in how the plot went because I really didn’t remember it! Overall, still solid epic fantasy, though. 4/5 stars
Cleopatra’s Heir, by Gillian Bradshaw. A fascinating version of Egypt just after Cleopatra’s death, and an interesting character study of a historical figure we don’t know much about. 4/5 stars
Castles: Their History and Evolution in Medieval Britain, by Marc Morris. Highly enjoyable, and informative without being exhaustive. 5/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday. The latest and greatest on my TBR list this week.

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 2 December, 2017 by Nikki in General / 16 Comments

Good morning, folks! Yesterday I was at Boekenfestijn in Mechelen, which was fun, though a little disappointing in terms of the English language selection (but you know, I didn’t expect tons). So I have one new book and one to review.

New to the shelves

Cover of The Cold Between by Elizabeth Bonesteel Cover by Master Assassins by Robert V. S, Redick

I’ve been meaning to read The Cold Between for ages, so I’m glad I found it at Boekenfestijn. And I’ve been meaning to try Redick’s work, too, so that works out well too!

Read this week

Cover of Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw Cover of The Godless by Ben Peek Cover of Raven Stratagem by Yoon Ha Lee Cover of Wonderful Life by Stephen Jay Gould

Four stars: Strange Practice, Raven Stratagem, Wonderful Life.
Three stars: The Godless.

Reviews posted this week:

Provenance, by Ann Leckie. This is quite different to the Imperial Radch books, though set in the same world, and there’s so much I enjoyed about it that I can’t even begin here. 4/5 stars
The Great Influenza, by John M. Barry. Very much enjoyed this one, and if you think you know influenza, well… read on. 5/5 stars
The Silver Wind, by Nina Allan. An interesting novella, though I didn’t like it as much as I liked Spin. 3/5 stars
Summerlong, by Peter S. Beagle. This was not my thing, partly because I loved the couple at the beginning and just Did Not Want that ending. 3/5 stars
Goldilocks and the Water Bears, by Louisa Preston. Should win all the internets for the title alone, but it turned out to be more general than I’d hoped. 3/5 stars
Futureland, by Walter Mosley. Some powerful stories, but it didn’t seem like my thing overall. 3/5 stars
Pantomime, by Laura Lam. I tore through this and enjoyed it a lot… apart from one little quibble. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday. What I’m currently reading, what I might read next, the usual stuff.

What’re you reading? What have you got your hands on this week? Definitely share your links, and I’ll visit back as soon as I can!

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 25 November, 2017 by Nikki in General / 16 Comments

Good morning, folks! As I write this, I’m about to take the little mister to the vet for what might be a fungal infection, so you get an adorable picture of him with my ereader — which he somehow turned on while I was out of the room…

Photo of Breakfast, a brown bunny, apparently looking at a page of text on an ereader.

“Yes? You are disturbing my reading.”

Update: it is not a fungal infection. He’s just an idiot.

New books

Cover of Jackalope Wives and Other Stories by T. Kingfisher Cover of Clockwork Boys by T. Kingfisher

Got these through being a patron of Ursula Vernon’s on Patreon! Woo.

Read this week

Cover of The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams Cover of The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley Cover of Locust by Jeffrey Lockwood

Cover of Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner Cover of Horns of Ruin by Tim Akers Cover of Imagining Head-Smashed-In by Jack Brink

Four stars: The Dragonbone Chair, Swordspoint.
Three stars: 
The Stars are Legion, Locust, The Horns of Ruin, Imagining Head-Smashed-In.

Reviews posted this week

The Hanging Tree, by Ben Aaronovitch. A worthy and exciting entry to the series, but oh man, I want the Faceless Man plot to wrap up. It’s not that it isn’t awesome, but I’m worried about it getting stretched too thin. 4/5 stars
Trouble and Her Friends, by Melissa Scott. Classic cyberpunk with a lot of queer people. It’s slow-paced, but that works for it. 4/5 stars
Spin, by Nina Allan. A fresh, if not surprising, retelling of a certain myth I enjoyed a lot. 4/5 stars
The Rabbit Back Literature Society, by Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen. Male-gazey and unfocused. 2/5 stars
The Other Log of Phileas Fogg, by Philip Jose Farmer. An interesting reworking of the original story, perhaps best enjoyed if you’re familiar with Verne’s work. 3/5 stars
The Uses of Enchantment, by Bruno Bettelheim. Decidedly outdated and based on somewhat ridiculous Freudian concepts, but surprisingly enjoyable to read. 2/5 stars
Friday’s Child, by Georgette Heyer. A fun romance, as you’d expect, and I got rather caught up in what would happen even though really, you know the happy ending is inevitable. 4/5 stars

Other posts

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’m Thankful For. What it says on the tin.
WWW Wednesday. The latest and greatest on my currently-reading pile.

How’s everyone doing? Leave me a comment and don’t forget to link your STS post or weekend wrapup; I always visit back as soon as I can!

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 18 November, 2017 by Nikki in General / 41 Comments

Good morning, folks! It’s been a busy week around here with assignments and such, but I managed to get very good marks in my Infectious Diseases class, so I’m super pleased.

News

You may have noticed, if you’re a follower of this blog, that I now have Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links — general ones in my sidebar, and specific ones on each book. If you’re not in the US or the UK, my affiliate links should redirect to the same book on your local site if you’re in Germany, France, Italy, Spain or Canada. At this point I’m not planning on enabling ads or anything like that, and there’ll be nothing more intrusive or obvious than the affiliate links I’ve just implemented.

I 100% understand anyone who doesn’t want to use Amazon and Amazon-owned companies to buy books, but if you do and you use my affiliate links, I get a 5% commission on whatever you order. I plan to put any money I earn back into this blog, either through buying books to review or just by using it to keep my URL and pay for WordPress plug-ins or whatever. If it doesn’t work out, well, never mind! If it does, I get a little back for the amount of time I put into this blog.

Bunnies

If you sat through that, you deserve a treat, so here’s a bunny picture even though I’m with them at the moment!

A photo of Hulk (a grey and white bunny) lying stretched out in a blue tunnel, thinking she's hidden.

Whaddya mean you can see me?

New books

Cover of Prime Meridian by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia Cover of Blood Binds the Pack by Alex Wells

Looking forward to reading more of Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s work! And I couldn’t resist the cover of Blood Binds the Pack, though I still need to read the first book…

Books read this week

Cover of Castles by Marc Morris Cover of Pantomime by Laura Lam Cover of The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry Cover of Abaddon's Gate by James S. A. Corey

Cover of Camelot's Sword, by Sarah Zettel Cover of Cleopatra's Heir by Gillian Bradshaw Cover of The Viral Storm

Five stars: Castles.
Four stars: Pantomime, Abaddon’s Gate, Cleopatra’s Heir and Camelot’s Sword.
Three stars: The Viral Storm, The Essex Serpent.

Reviews posted this week:

Bog Bodies Uncovered, by Miranda Aldhouse-Green. If you find bog bodies fascinating, this is definitely a great book for you. 4/5 stars
Connection Error, by Annabeth Albert. A sweet romance which builds slowly and features an injured Navy SEAL and an ADHD video game developer. 4/5 stars
The Chocolatier’s Wife, by Cindy Lynn Speer. A cosy mystery in a fantasy setting, with a bit of romance. I enjoyed it a lot. 4/5 stars
Bring Back the King, by Helen Pilcher. If you’ve read other books on de-extinction, you might want to avoid this, but it’s a fun enough read. 3/5 stars
Sea, Swallow Me, and Other Stories, by Craig Laurence Gidney. Powerful stories, some of which I found really disturbing. 3/5 stars
The Five Daughters of the Moon, by Leena Likitalo. A fascinating fantasy retelling of the fall of the Romanovs, only marred by the fact that it isn’t a complete story in one volume. 4/5 stars
Ebola, by David Quammen. Avoid it and just get the full book, Spillover3/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday. An update on what I’m reading.
The Book Depository Bookmarks Disaster. So I collect Book Depository bookmarks, right? And I have bunnies, right? … A plea for help rebuilding my collection.

So how’s everyone else doing? Feel free to leave links to your weekend posts here; I always comment back as soon as I can!

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 11 November, 2017 by Nikki in General / 12 Comments

I have all of one book to feature this week, and it’s not even one I bought! Yep, I passed through London and did not buy a book ‘for the road’ (for the Eurostar), and now I’m back in Belgium where the chocolate is good and the books are expensive.

Received to review: 

Cover of The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

I quite enjoyed The Darkest Part of the Forest, as I recall, so I’m interested to follow Holly Black’s new foray into Faerie.

Read this week:

Cover of Goldilocks and the Water Bears by Louisa Preston Cover of The Earth After Us Cover of ZIka Cover of Summerlong by Peter S. Beagle Cover of Futureland by Walter Mosley

Four stars: Zika: The Emerging Epidemic.
Three stars: Goldilocks and the Water Bears, The Earth After Us, Summerlong and Futureland.

Reviews posted this week:

The Brain, by David Eagleman. A bit basic for me, but probably great if you haven’t taken every free course on neurology you could find! 2/5 stars
Away with the Fairies, by Kerry Greenwood. Phryne is terribly daring, there’s a blatant homage to Sayers, and everything ends well for the good guys. It’s your standard Miss Fisher mystery, and none the worse for that. 4/5 stars
A Sting in the Tale, by David Goulson. A nice non-fic book that makes bees seem rather charming. 4/5 stars
Close Encounters with Humankind, by Sang-Hee Lee. Some interesting topics tackling humans from the point of view of a palaeoanthropologist. 3/5 stars
Adventures in Human Being, by Gavin Francis. A readable set of facts illustrated by anecdotes about the human body. 3/5 stars
The Twilight Pariah, by Jeffrey Ford. Kind of fun, but not really very memorable in the end. Bit goofy at times. 2/5 stars
I Hate Everyone But You, by Gaby Dunn and Allison Rankin. I was not a fan. 1/5 stars

Other posts: 

WWW Wednesday: The latest from my climb of Mount TBR.

So how’s everyone doing?

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Unstacking the Shelves

Posted 4 November, 2017 by Nikki in General / 20 Comments

Absolutely no new books this week, which means this is officially an UNstacking the Shelves week! For those who haven’t been around for that before, it’s a week where I showcase the books I’ve cleared from my shelves — I’ve just read ’em all, so please don’t tell me to enjoy them or I’ll know you haven’t read my post at all, and I’ll be sad!

First, this is my last weekend away from the bunnies for a while, so have two photos to celebrate!

Cuddle time!

Reading the paper over dinner

Books read this week:

Cover of The Other Log of Phileas Fogg by Philip Jose Farmer Cover of The Rabbit Back Literature Society  Cover of What On Earth Evolved?

Cover of The Silver Wind by Nina Allan Cover of Provenance by Ann Leckie Cover of Friday's Child by Georgette Heyer Cover of The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan

Four stars to: Provenance, Friday’s Child and The Gracekeepers.
Three stars to: What On Earth Evolved? … In Brief? and The Silver Wind.
Two stars to: The Other Log of Phileas Fogg and The Rabbit Back Literature Society.

Reviews posted this week:

Caliban’s War, by James S.A. Corey. I enjoyed several of the new characters for this installment, while also getting a bit frustrated with the main character of the series and his crew. I’m still intrigued. 4/5 stars
Snowdrift and Other Stories, by Georgette Heyer. Probably not where I’d start with Heyer, but an enjoyable set of stories with her usual comic touches. 4/5 stars
Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, by Carlo Rovelli. Rovelli’s really good at getting across big ideas in simple language and a short space, though of course he doesn’t go into depth. 3/5 stars
Kitty and the Midnight Hour, by Carrie Vaughn. There was some stuff I wanted to enjoy about this, but it was overshadowed by the character interactions. Probably a personal reaction, though. 2/5 stars
The Bonobo and the Atheist, by Frans de Waal. Fascinating stuff about the species most closely related to humans. 4/5 stars
A is for Arsenic, by Kathryn Harkup. Fascinating stuff about the chemistry of poisons as well as how Agatha Christie used poison in her mysteries. 4/5 stars
The Servants, by Michael Marshall Smith. It felt like this didn’t quite know what it wanted to be. I didn’t love it and I don’t know who I’d recommend it to, even though I found it interesting enough to read all the way through. 2/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday: What’s on my currently-reading stack, and what’s coming up next.

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 28 October, 2017 by Nikki in General / 24 Comments

Hey all! It’s been a fairly quiet week, seeing my family, playing video games, reading… Hurrah for exactly that kind of week. And here’s Breakfast relaxing to go with it…

Received to review:

Cover of The Sisters of the Crescent Empress

Just last week I read the first one and complained I didn’t have the sequel right away. Hurrah, now I do!

Bought: 

Cover of How to Survive A Plague by David France

I probably love reading about diseases a little too much.

I also got a whole suitcase full of books from Bastian’s Book Reviews, but while they’re all awesome, I’m not adding them to my cataloguing right now.

Read this week:

Cover of The Hanging Tree by Ben Aaronovitch Cover of Trouble and Her Friends by Melissa Scott Cover of The Hidden Life of Trees Cover of The Great Influenza by John M. Barry Cover of Spin by Nina Allan

Reviews posted this week:

The Naming of the Shrew, by John Wright. Amusing at first, but starts to drag because it becomes too much of a list. 2/5 stars
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, by Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Pretty much just a taster, so it genuinely is for people who aren’t fans of astrophysics already. 3/5 stars
The Language of Thorns, by Leigh Bardugo. Interesting invented fairytales, some of them retellings, and it doesn’t matter if you already know Bardugo’s Grisha world. 4/5 stars
The Tiger’s Daughter, by K. Arsenault Rivera. I wanted to love this for the queerness and the elegant writing, but I was turned off by the depiction of the cultures borrowed from here. 2/5 stars
The Gods of Olympus, by Barbara Graziosi. Not much of a surprise for me, but a good survey of the Olympian gods and what people have believed about them over the centuries. 3/5 stars
Damn Fine Story, by Chuck Wendig. Good advice on how to tell stories, though there’s quite a lot of filler padding it out. 3/5 stars
Under the Pendulum Sun, by Jeannette Ng. It’s hard to know what to say about this one — it’s fascinating and twisted, playing with stories about the Fae and bringing Victorian realism to it. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday. What’s hot and what’s not on my reading pile.

So how is everyone? Let me know and I’ll try and swing by and comment back ASAP, though I’m quite busy today!

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 21 October, 2017 by Nikki in General / 31 Comments

Good morning, folks! Here is my haul of books about diseases, for background reading for my course. I’ve already torn through four of them, actually, and it is very helpful to have this perspective.

It hasn’t been a great week in some other respects, so hey, at least I have books. And bunny pictures.

Bought:

Cover of Ebola by David Quammen Cover of Virus X by Frank Ryan Cover of No Time To Lose by Peter Piot Cover of Rabid by Bill Wasik

Cover of Angel of Death by Gareth Williams Cover of Paralysed with Fear by Gareth Williams Cover of Level 4: Virus Hunters of the CDC

Can you tell what I’m studying this semester? Heh.

Read this week:

Cover of Ebola by David Quammen Cover of I Hate Everyone But You Cover of Paralysed with Fear by Gareth Williams Cover of Rabid by Bill Wasik Cover of Connection Error by Annabeth Albert

Cover of Angel of Death by Gareth Williams Cover of The Uses of Enchantment by Bruno Bettelheim Cover of Sea, Swallow Me   Cover of The Five Daughters of the Moon by Leena Likitalo Cover of The Chocolatier's Wife by Cindy Lynn Speer

Reviews posted this week:

Jhereg, by Steven Brust. A reread to get back to the series. It remains fun, though there were no surprises (obviously), and I think some of the fun does come from working things out. 4/5 stars
Just One Damned Thing After Another, by Jodi Taylor. I don’t know why I’m the odd one out, but to me the title summarised how this book felt. It had a natural end and then — kept going. I can’t say I loved the characters, either, or the fact that the plot was advanced by sexual assaults. 2/5 stars
Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong, by Angela Saini. Takes a look at — and skewers — supposed science about in-built differences between genders. 3/5 stars
A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle. I didn’t get the enduring charm that’s made this a classic, I’m afraid. 2/5 stars
First Grave on the Right, by Darynda Jones. Holy rape culture, Batman. 1/5 stars
Taste of Marrow, by Sarah Gailey. This had less of the team feel than the previous book, and basically I’m 10,000% here for the lot of them settling down, making a found family and having capers (together) forever. 4/5 stars
The Beautiful Ones, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. I didn’t love Signal to Noise, but this worked much better for me. It’s very Heyer-esque. 4/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW Wednesday: The weekly update on my currently reading stack, and what I might read next!

How’re you all doing? I’ll always visit back if you leave a comment here, so feel free to drop in a link directly to your STS post.

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Stacking the Shelves

Posted 14 October, 2017 by Nikki in General / 34 Comments

Good morning, folks! I’m finally better from my cough… at least mostly, though if you look at me wrong I might go off into a little coughing fit, alas. I’ve just ordered a bunch of background reading for my course, but it hasn’t all arrived yet, so I only have a small stack of books to share this week: a couple of ARCs and a novella.

Oh, and here’s the obligatory away-from-buns bunny picture:

Photo of my bunnies sat together.

Double Trouble.

Received to review:

Cover of Close Encounters with Humankind by Sang-Hee Lee Cover of Valiant Dust by Richard Baker

I’ve already read Close Encounters with Humankind, which is pretty fascinating; I can’t remember the summary of Valiant Dust, so that one’s going to be a surprise…

Bought:

Cover of The Twilight Pariah by Jeffrey Ford

I’ve been curious about this since N.K. Jemisin mentioned it in her column, so I picked it up with what was left of an Amazon voucher after buying stuff related to my classes.

Read this week:

Cover of Away With the Fairies by Kerry Greenwood Cover of A is for Arsenic by Kathryn Harkup Cover of Close Encounters with Humankind by Sang-Hee Lee Cover of A Sting in the Tale by Dave Goulson Cover of The Twilight Pariah by Jeffrey Ford

A bit better week for reading, this week! Here’s hoping I get back into top form soon…

Reviews posted this week:

The Hammer and the Cross, by Robert Ferguson. A little dry and very detailed; a very good read for someone who’s really interested, though. 4/5 stars
A Very British Murder, by Lucy Worsley. A fun book covering the evolution of crime fiction in the UK, and people’s love of it. 4/5 stars
Machiavelli: A Man Misunderstood, by Michael White. Another good biography from White. 4/5 stars
The Man Who Fell to Earth, by Walter Tevis. I didn’t love this, but the way it ended was perfect — it made so much sense with what we see in reality. Hence, 4/5 stars
The Bear and the Nightingale, by Katherine Arden. This didn’t quite work for me, and I’m not sure why. I guess it felt rather predictable/typical in some ways. 3/5 stars
How We Got To Now: Six Innovations that Made the Modern World, by Steven Johnson. Good points and a pretty entertaining read, but nothing earth-shatteringly surprising. 3/5 stars
The Lost City of Z, by David Grann. Really, I want the book about the archaeology being done now, rather than about Victorian explorers, but it’s reasonably entertaining all the same. 3/5 stars

Other posts:

WWW WednesdayThe weekly update on what I’m reading.

How’re you doing? Comment here to let me know, and don’t forget to provide a link so I can visit you in return!

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