Favorite Factor: February 2016

Feb 29, 2016

Cassie and I are sharing four books with you: two recent favorites (and the factors that made us love them) and two upcoming reads (and the factors interest us). We hope you'll find the perfect book for you!
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

Release Date: March 2013
Genre: Literary/Historical
Factor I Loved: Writing + Plot

Reason You Should Read:
Back in 2013, I kept hearing a ton of buzz for Life After Life. It seemed like everywhere I turned, people were talking about this book! The premise intrigued me, so I decided to put it on my Christmas wishlist. I was gifted a copy that year, but the book languished on my shelves ever since. It wasn't until I was working on my 2015 End of the Year Survey that I realized it was the one book on my shelves that I wanted to be absolutely sure to read in 2016. It ended up being one of my first reads of the year, and I'm so glad I finally picked it up! Part of the appeal of Life After Life is the concept: Ursula Todd is born on a cold and snowy night in 1910, but as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a number of ways. There is a pattern to the unpredictability of life - for every time she is reborn, her life turns out a little differently. When I first started reading the book, I'll admit that I was super confused. But the longer I read, the more immersed and engaged I became in the heroine and in her life. Atkinson manages to avoid making the book feel repetitive. Instead, I thought the plot and the writing were incredibly imaginative and wonderfully gripping! I read the entire 500-page book in day, despite the sometimes weighty and complex subject matter. I'm already planning to read the companion novel, A God in Ruins, at some point this year. Although it's not an easy read, I'm so obsessed with it!

Voyager by Diana Gabaldon

Release Date: December 1993
Genre: Historical
Factor I Loved: Characters + Relationships

Reason You Should Read:
I think it's time to admit that I've fallen under the Outlander spell. I read the first book back in 2014 and loved it (in spite of some major reservations about certain aspects of it). I noted in my review that I was unsure of whether or not I wanted to continue the series. But when I found Dragonfly in Amber at the used bookstore for $3 a few months later, I couldn't resist. I quite enjoyed it, even though I'll probably always find aspects of these books slightly ridiculous. And yet... I keep coming back for more. When I finally finished watching the first season of the TV show earlier this year, I found myself craving more of these characters. So, I picked up Voyager and prepared for an epic and entertaining journey. I was hooked from the very first page! I don't know if it was the timing, my mood or simply that this story worked better for me, but I absolutely loved reading this book. In some ways, it might be my favorite of the series so far! At the end of Dragonfly in Amber, Claire learns some shocking news. Much of the beginning part of Voyager deals with the repercussions of what Claire has learned, as well as what's happening in the past that she left behind. She's forced to make a seemingly impossible decision, and I loved seeing her weigh her options, finally make her choice and then follow her as she saw it through. There were a few parts (particularly toward the end) that I found really odd, but it was a huge win for me overall. I so loved it - the romance, adventure and shifting setting - and I can't wait to see where Gabaldon takes these characters next! I'll definitely be picking up Drums in Autumn soon.
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

Release Date: July 2011
Genre: Historical
Factor of Interest: Setting

Reasons I Want to Read:
I've had Rules of Civility sitting on my shelves since Christmas 2011. If you read my thoughts on Life After Life above, you're probably noticing my terrible pattern of letting the books I receive for Christmas sit on my shelves for far too long. I remember asking for this book because I heard great things about the writing, and the setting appealed to me because I'm typically a fan of this time period in books. Unfortunately, I let it fall off my mental radar... However, it was mentioned recently on my favorite podcast, which reminded me that I've really got to read it soon. Everything that was said about it made it sound right up my alley!

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

Release Date: April 2016
Genre: Contemporary
Factor of Interest: Plot

Reasons I Want to Read:
I'm a huge fan of Pride and Prejudice retellings, even though they're very hit or miss. I usually spend too much time comparing them to the original, and yet I can't stop coming back to them! I'm a little more nervous than usual with Eligible because I tried to read something by Sittenfeld previously and hated it, but the reviews for this one seem mostly positive so far and that has me intrigued! And I'm a sucker for this cover - I love that it's still eye-catching in its simplicity. I look forward to seeing how Sittenfeld updates Austen's beloved story for modern times - and whether or not she's able to retain the charm of the original. I hope she pulls it off!

Want more? Check out Cassie's post!

The Story in a Song

Feb 16, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Every week they post a new topic and invite everyone to share their answers. I'm so obsessed with lists - so I obviously love this feature!

Top Ten Songs I Wish Were Books

1. Who Are We Fooling by Brooke Fraser feat. Aqualung
Better or worse 
But what else can we do? 
For better or worse 
I am tethered to you 
If it's not either of us 
Tell me who are we fooling?

2. Eavesdrop by The Civil Wars
Oh, don't say that it's over 
Oh, no, say it ain't so 
Let's let the stars watch, let them stare 
Let the wind eavesdrop, I don't care 
For all that we've got, don't let it go 
Just hold me

3. The Country by The Dirty Guv'nahs feat. Jill Andrews
Met her halfway to Birmingham 
Leaving middle Tennessee 
Made a speech to say inside my head 
Swore that I’d say everything 
 “I’ve been giving you my life, and I’m always on time 
Four years are enough to decide, whether I’m you’re kind.”

4. Near to You by A Fine Frenzy
You and I have something different 
And I'm enjoying it cautiously 
I'm battle scarred, I am working oh so hard 
To get back to who I used to be

5. Incomplete by James Bay
I breathe in slow to compose myself 
But the bleeding heart I left on the shelf 
Started speeding round, beating half to death 
Cause you're here and you're all mine

6. Get Up, Get Out by Jill Andrews
Cover up the war inside 
The most beautiful part of ourselves is the part we hide 
So get up, get up, get up and go on 
Just a little belief to shake off the doubt

7. Falling for Me by Johnnyswim
I'm a diamond in the rough and wild 
You're a heart that's just too wild and free 
I'ma looking for a hand to hold me 
You're just looking for a chance to bring me to my knees

8. Welcome Home by Joy Williams
Come inside from the cold and rest your weary soul 
You belong, you are loved, you are wanted 
You're not alone 
I've missed you so 
 Welcome home

9. Mama's Broken Heart by Miranda Lambert
I cut my bangs with some rusty kitchen scissors 
I screamed his name ‘til the neighbors called the cops 
I numbed the pain at the expense of my liver 
Don’t know what I did next, all I know I couldn’t stop

10. Make You Miss Me by Sam Hunt
The only reason that you're good at goodbye is 
Every boy you ever met was too easy to forget 
Well, I ain't going out like that...
Make you wish that you were sleeping in my shirt 
Lie about my jacket and tell everyone it's yours 
When your phone rings after midnight and you're thinking maybe it's me 
I'm gonna make you miss me

The Many Faces of Monstrous Things

Feb 12, 2016

Release Date: September 2012
Publisher: Macmillan; Farrar, Straus and Giroux BFYR
Pages: 352 pages
Source & Format: Gifted; Paperback

Summary (from Goodreads)
Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences. 

Almost one hundred forty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger named Ezra and feels overwhelmingly, inexplicably drawn to him. For generations, love has resulted in death for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect . . . or a curse? With Ezra’s help, Hester investigates her family’s strange, sad history. The answers she seeks are waiting in the graveyard, the crypt, and at the bottom of the ocean—but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of so long ago. 

Thoughts on Monstrous Beauty
When Alexa and I hosted our Fall into Fantasy event, I mentioned that a mermaid was the magical creature I'd most like to be - and that I didn't think I'd ever read any mermaid books! Well, the lovely Elizabeth Fama commented that she'd love for Monstrous Beauty to be my first mermaid book and would even send a copy my way. I was thrilled! I'd long admired the gorgeous cover and had read many wonderful reviews for it, so I couldn't pass up on the opportunity to read it.  Monstrous Beauty successfully blends several genres - weaving together a contemporary heroine, a supernatural mystery and a historical backstory. The heroine, Hester, discovers a startling trend of early death in the women in her family and embarks on a search for answers. There was so much about this book that wasn't what I expected, but in the very best way. Fama's writing is lyrical and haunting, perfectly establishing the tone for the story she's telling. I liked that the story was darker and more intense than I would have expected, and I thought Fama made the setting, characters and folklore come alive in these pages. While I wasn't always a fan of the main character or the romance, it didn't diminish my overall enjoyment of the book. I'm so glad that it was my first experiences with mermaids!

So Quotable
“She wanted a smile that was meant only for her.”

Release Date: September 2015
Publisher: Lerner Books; Carolrhoda Lab
Pages: 408 pages
Source & Format: Bought; Hardcover

Summary (from Goodreads)
"This is East Texas, and there's lines. Lines you cross, lines you don't cross. That clear?" 

New London, Texas. 1937. Naomi Vargas and Wash Fuller know about the lines in East Texas as well as anyone. They know the signs that mark them. They know the people who enforce them. But sometimes the attraction between two people is so powerful it breaks through even the most entrenched color lines. And the consequences can be explosive. 

Ashley Hope Pérez takes the facts of the 1937 New London school explosion—the worst school disaster in American history—as a backdrop for a riveting novel about segregation, love, family, and the forces that destroy people. 

Thoughts on Out of Darkness
Prior to BEA last year, I was researching books that were already getting some buzz. I wasn't attending the conference, but I wanted to know what I'd likely see everyone reading and reviewing in the weeks and months to come! While this wasn't one of the "hyped" books, I came across a lovely review of it that made me curious. I put it on my mental radar and went on my way. Months later, I was browsing in Barnes and Noble with my husband and came across this book. I'll admit - I was surprised! I hadn't heard of the publisher before and never saw many reviews for the book. It's not often that I find lesser-known books in a major bookstore, especially in the Young Adult section. I read the first few pages and found that I couldn't put it down. There was something about Pérez's writing that drew me in, so I decided to buy it. I couldn't write my review for it immediately after I finished it because I felt a little conflicted. Let me try to explain. 

There are aspects of Out of Darkness that absolutely blew me away. It's a historical fiction book set in Texas and uses the events of the New London school explosion as "a backdrop for a riveting novel about segregation, love, family, and the forces that destroy people" (because the blurb says it best). And honestly, that's all true. The writing in this book was stunning. I can't praise Pérez enough for the character development, the way she formatted this story, and how she truly immersed me in this world. And yet... Out of Darkness explores some very heavy themes. They're handled thoughtfully, but they made for such difficult reading. I'd have a hard time putting this book in someone's hands and urging them to read it. Is it worth it? Yes, I think so. But I felt so uncomfortable and heartbroken while reading it that I can't say that I liked the experience. I'm glad I picked it up and truly believe it's deserving of the accolades it has received (2016 Printz Honor for Excellence in Young Adult Literature), but the brutality and bleakness was tough. The things that made this book so compelling were the same things that made me want to put it down. And how do you rate it and recommend a book like that?

So Quotable
"Wash never got tired of the woods. There was the beauty of the place and also the pleasure of finding things. The woods had a way of grabbing bits out of pockets and scattering them for other people to come across."

Release Date: October 2015
Publisher: Scholastic; Arthur A. Levine Books
Pages: 246 pages
Source & Format: Bought; Hardcover

Summary (from Goodreads)
Harry Potter has never been the star of a Quidditch team, scoring points while riding a broom far above the ground. He knows no spells, has never helped to hatch a dragon, and has never worn a cloak of invisibility. 

All he knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley--a great big swollen spoiled bully. Harry's room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn't had a birthday party in eleven years. 

But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to an incredible place that Harry -- and anyone who reads about him -- will find unforgettable. 

Thoughts on Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
I didn't grow up reading the Harry Potter books. It wasn't until I was out of college and married that I first picked up the series - and that was after I'd already seen all the movies! (I know, you're judging me a little.) Of course, once I started the first book, I couldn't put them down. I could see exactly why these characters had become so beloved! When I found out about the release of the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, I was so excited... and that only increased the more sneak peeks I saw of the inside. I pre-ordered a copy (of course) and finally sat down to re-read it (for the first time!) earlier this year. Thankfully, it was a fantastic experience. Jim Kay's illustrations are absolutely gorgeous and bring this book to life in a way I never could have imagined. The amount of detail that went into every single page is just astounding! I read through the book more slowly than normal just so that I could savor Kay's artwork. It made me even more excited for the release of the illustrated editions of the rest of this series, and I know it will become something I look forward to every year. As for the book itself, I loved it just as much the second time around. I have no doubt this was the first of many re-reads to come!

So Quotable
“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”

'You must allow me to tell you...'

Feb 9, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Every week they post a new topic and invite everyone to share their answers. I'm so obsessed with lists - so I obviously love this feature!

Top Twenty Declarations of Love

“I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look or the words, which laid the foundation.
It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.”
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

“You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope.
Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever.
I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it,
eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman,
that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you.”
Persuasion by Jane Austen

“It was always you, Ladybird," you say softly. "Don't you know?”
All the Truth That's In Me by Julie Berry

“I am in love with you, and I cannot imagine being in love with anyone else. 
It would be like becoming someone else. Your name was the first word for love I ever knew.”
Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan

“There are six billion people in in this world, and granted,
a lot of them are babies and women and men who don't speak English
and people I haven't met, but that's not the point, is it? It's you. That's the point.”
The Opposite of Love by Julie Buxbaum

“I love you the way a drowning man loves air.
And it would destroy me to have you just a little.”
The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson

“I thought you hated me.”
“I did hate you. In that way you hate people you're in love with.”
Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center

So after, when he whispers, “You love me. Real or not real?
I tell him, “Real.”
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

“But I do love you  surely in a better way than he does. Yes  really in a better way. 
I want you to think your own thoughts even when I hold you in my arms.”
A Room with a View by E.M. Forster

“I will find you," he whispered in my ear. “I promise. 
If I must endure two hundred years of purgatory, two hundred years without you  
then that is my punishment, which I have earned for my crimes. 
For I have lied, and killed, and stolen; betrayed and broken trust. 
But there is the one thing that shall lie in the balance. 
When I shall stand before God, I shall have one thing to say, to weigh against the rest.” 
 His voice dropped, nearly to a whisper, and his arms tightened around me. 
 “Lord, ye gave me a rare woman, and God! I loved her well.”
Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

“I spent centuries wandering the world, from empires to kingdoms to wastelands, 
never settling, never stopping – not for one moment. I was always looking toward the horizon, 
always wondering what waited across the next ocean, over the next mountain. 
But I think … I think that whole time, all those centuries, I was just looking for you.”
Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

“Our bodies aren't strangers,” he said, his voice ragged.
“Our spirits aren't strangers.” He held her face in his hands.
“Tell me what part of me is stranger to you and I'll destroy that part of me.”
Quintana of Charyn by Melina Marchetta

“You are the blood in my veins, and the beating of my heart.
You are my first waking thought, and my last sigh before sleeping.
You are  you are bone of my bone, and breath of my breath.”
Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

“All those times laughing at people who told me when The One turned up,
I'd just know, then there you were, and I did.”
It's Not Me, It's You by Mhairi McFarlane

“But I'll have to ask you to wait a long time, Anne,” said Gilbert sadly. 
“It will be three years before I'll finish my medical course. 
And even then there will be no diamond sunbursts and marble halls.”
 Anne laughed. “I don't want sunbursts and marble halls. I just want YOU. ”
Anne of the Island by L.M. Montgomery

“Love you! Girl, you're in the very core of my heart. I hold you there like a jewel. 
Didn't I promise you I'd never tell you a lie? Love you! 
I love you with all there is of me to love. Heart, soul, brain. 
Every fibre of body and spirit thrilling to the sweetness of you. 
There's nobody in the world for me but you, Valancy.”
The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery

“You Marpled me too, love.”
Girl Before a Mirror by Liza Palmer

“I’d know you in the dark,” he said. “From a thousand miles away. 
There’s nothing you could become that I haven’t already fallen in love with.”
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

 I say, “I will not be your weakness, Sean Kendrick.” 
Now he looks at me. He says, very softly, “It's late for that, Puck.” 
 The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

“Your soul sings to mine. My soul is yours, and it always will be, in any world.
No matter what happens – ” His voice cracked, and he took a breath.
“I need you to remember that I love you.”
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Before There Was Blackbeard

Feb 8, 2016

Blackhearts by Nicole Castroman

Release Date: February 9, 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Simon Pulse
Pages: 384 pages
Source & Format: Publisher; e-ARC
Add on Goodreads

Summary (from Goodreads)
Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything. 

Edward "Teach" Drummond, son of one of Bristol's richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There's just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.

Following her parents' deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to Curaçao—where her mother was born—when she's stuck in England?

Thoughts on Blackhearts
When I first read the summary for Blackhearts, I was intrigued. I love historical fiction, so I knew I couldn't pass up on this Blackbeard origin story. It sounded epic, romantic and adventurous - three things I definitely enjoy in books! Having now read the book, I'll admit that I find the cover just a bit misleading (despite being very eye-catching). Blackhearts is, ultimately, about the romance between Teach and Anne... set entirely in England. There's not much adventure and absolutely no time spent on the seas in this book. That was disappointing, but I have only my expectations and preconceived notions to blame there!

On the whole, I liked certain things about Blackhearts but found myself wanting more from it. I never felt like I got to know Anne or Teach very well, and I wasn't invested in the two of them together. Their relationship starts with some animosity, but I felt like it moved too quickly to something more and lacked an emotional connection or depth. I wouldn't categorize it as insta-love necessarily, but it definitely skirted that territory for me. I wanted there to be more to the plot than the developing relationship between two characters and the obstacles that stand in their way, but that might be due to my expectations and assumptions about the book. There wasn't enough driving the story forward, though I was interested enough to read until the end.

I felt the book relied too heavily on certain tropes: the misunderstood hero who wants to be free from family obligations and pursue his true passion, the beautiful servant girl who catches his eye, the wealthy woman that society says he's supposed to marry, the villainous person keeping them apart... I could go on. It wouldn't have bothered me so much if those tropes had been fleshed out into something memorable or were used in a surprising or unexpected way. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case.

Further, I didn't quite believe that Teach would grow to become the infamous Blackbeard because I couldn't see the connection between the two. There was nothing in Teach that made me say, "Ah! There's the hint of what's to come..." And that's likely part of the reason I wanted more from the ending. The book stopped right when I was most intrigued by what would happen next! I can see how the ending could propel the characters in a certain direction, but that is closer to the story I wish this book had told. I would assume that there's hope for a sequel, but I don't see myself continuing to read on.

If you're expecting a swashbuckling pirate story, you're out of luck. But if you're looking for a 17th century romance, you could certainly give Blackhearts a try.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review.

January 2016: Recap + On My Shelves

Feb 3, 2016

The end of January snuck up on me... I feel like I was just wrapping up 2015 and kicking off the new year. It was a slow month for me, despite the fact that I feel like it flew by, but I thoroughly enjoyed it!

1. Georgia's Tiny Snowfall - There were cities across the East Coast that were blanketed in snow due to Winter Storm Jonas, but we just got a light dusting here in Georgia. It was lovely to see a bit of winter weather but know that it would melt away the next day. But I still spent a day snuggled up at home!

2. Saying Goodbye to #OTSPSecretSister - January marked the end of #OTSPSecret Sister, and I finally learned the identity of the generous and lovely person who has been spoiling me month after month - Kate from Ex Libris! I'm so glad I participated in this project, and I'm thankful for the cheer in brought me the past six months.

3. Folio Books from Nick - Nick bought me my first Folio Society books for my birthday last year, and he continued the tradition this year. My obsession continues, and my collection grows! I'm in love with these editions of Jane Austen's Letters edited by Deirdre LeFaye and Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell.

4. Family Birthday Celebration - My birthday is February 1, but I celebrated a little early with my family! I spent a Saturday afternoon shopping with my mom and sister, which was absolutely delightful. Then, I had a delicious home-cooked meal with my family followed by my favorite - red velvet cake!

Read 8 Books | Favorites:
Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio
“It's our choices that matter in the end. Not wishes, not words, not promises.”
Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

 “What if we had a chance to do it again and again, until we finally did get it right?
Wouldn't that be wonderful?”
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

 “Most people muddled through events and only in retrospect realized their significance.”
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
Review: These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly
Discussion/Feature: The Picky Pledge: 2015 Review
1. If You're a Stressed Book Blogger, Why are You Doing It? by Ashley from Nose Graze - I can't tell you how many times I've thought some of the things Ashley says in her post! This was a great reminder that blogging isn't meant to be stressful and that you can always just stop doing certain things. Why blog if it's not fun?

2. The Dish: Learning to Simplify by Cassie from The Casserole - I can't resist a good post about simplifying your life! I like that it's one of Cassie's goals for 2016 since it's something I'd like to do, too (though in other ways). It was fun to see Cassie's new rules and how she's applying them to different areas of her life!

3. The books you categorically don't read. by Anne from Modern Mrs. Darcy - There are definitely genres and topics that I avoid in books, so I appreciated reading Anne's thoughts on the subject. Plus, the comments on this post were fantastic! I loved finding out what other people prefer NOT to read. 

4. A lot of baby-related posts - Almost all of the posts I read and bookmarked in January fall into this category. I've got so many pinned on a private Pinterest board! It started because I was researching essential baby products and spiraled from there... packing your hospital bag, building a baby library, etc.

On Audio: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen narrated by Rosamund Pike
I haven't finished this audiobook yet, but I'm absolutely in love with Pike's narration!
I haven't wanted to listen to music in the car because this re-read has been calling my name.

Downton Abbey, The Final Season - I was sad when I found out that the sixth season would be the last for Downton Abbey, even though I wasn't totally surprised. It was probably time to say goodbye! I bought this season on DVD as soon as it came out and binged it immediately. I thought the first half of the season was a bit uneven (as is the show overall), but I loved how it all wrapped up in the end!

From My BFF for My Kindle: The Selection, The EliteThe One and The Heir by Kiera Cass and Grounded by Megan Morrison

From Secret Sis: The Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes (in What I Loved)

From Nick: Jane Austen's Letters edited by Deirdre LeFaye and Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell (in What I Loved)

Bought with Gift Card: Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon (not pictured)
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