Hi and welcome to the reading world!
It’s time for another installment of most anticipated monthly releases, this time for May!
As usual, I want to start off this post with a disclaimer: there are a ton of incredible sounding upcoming releases, and this list is by no means comprehensive nor will I be able to read every single one of these. I’m just curious about these books coming out soon and want to share a little about them in case one also is of interest to other readers!
These are organized by anticipated publication date as of the writing of this post!
May 3Chef's Kiss by TJ Alexander
Published by Atria/Emily Bestler Books on May 3, 2022
Genres: Fiction / Romance / Contemporary, Fiction / Romance / General, Fiction / Romance / LGBTQ+ / General, Fiction / Romance / Romantic Comedy
When Women Were Dragons by Kelly Barnhill
A high-strung pastry chef’s professional goals are interrupted by an unexpected career transition and the introduction of her wildly attractive nonbinary kitchen manager in this deliciously fresh and witty queer rom-com.
Simone Larkspur is a perfectionist pastry expert with a dream job at The Discerning Chef, a venerable cookbook publisher in New York City. All she wants to do is create the perfect loaf of sourdough and develop recipes, but when The Discerning Chef decides to bring their brand into the 21st century by pivoting to video, Simone is thrust into the spotlight and finds herself failing at something for the first time in her life.
To make matters worse, Simone has to deal with Ray Lyton, the new test kitchen manager, whose obnoxious cheer and outgoing personality are like oil to Simone’s water. When Ray accidentally becomes a viral YouTube sensation with a series of homebrewing videos, their eccentric editor in chief forces Simone to work alongside the chipper upstart or else risk her beloved job. But the more they work together, the more Simone realizes her heart may be softening like butter for Ray.
Things get even more complicated when Ray comes out at work as nonbinary to mixed reactions—and Simone must choose between the career she fought so hard for and the person who just might take the cake (and her heart).
Published by Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group on April 9, 2022
Genres: Fiction / Coming of Age, Fiction / Feminist, Fiction / Literary
Book of Night Sneak Peek by Holly Black
A rollicking feminist tale set in 1950s America where thousands of women have spontaneously transformed into dragons, exploding notions of a woman's place in the world and expanding minds about accepting others for who they really are. - The first adult novel by the Newbery award-winning author of The Girl Who Drank the Moon
Alex Green is a young girl in a world much like ours, except for its most seminal event: the Mass Dragoning of 1955, when hundreds of thousands of ordinary wives and mothers sprouted wings, scales, and talons; left a trail of fiery destruction in their path; and took to the skies. Was it their choice? What will become of those left behind? Why did Alex's beloved aunt Marla transform but her mother did not? Alex doesn't know. It's taboo to speak of.
Forced into silence, Alex nevertheless must face the consequences of this astonishing event: a mother more protective than ever; an absentee father; the upsetting insistence that her aunt never even existed; and
watching her beloved cousin Bea become dangerously obsessed with the forbidden.
In this timely and timeless speculative novel, award-winning author Kelly Barnhill boldly explores rage, memory, and the tyranny of forced limitations. When Women Were Dragons exposes a world that wants to keep women small--their lives and their prospects--and examines what happens when they rise en masse and take up the space they deserve.
Published by Tom Doherty Associates on February 8, 2022
Genres: Fiction / Fantasy / Contemporary, FICTION / Occult & Supernatural, Fiction / Thrillers / Supernatural
Queerly Beloved by Susie Dumond
#1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black makes her stunning adult debut with Book of Night, a modern dark fantasy of shadowy thieves and secret societies in the vein of Ninth House and The Night Circus. Download a FREE sneak peek today!
One of Publishers Weekly's top ten most anticipated books of 2022!
Charlie Hall has never found a lock she couldn’t pick, a book she couldn’t steal, or a bad decision she wouldn’t make. She's spent half her life working for gloamists, magicians who manipulate shadows to peer into locked rooms, strangle people in their beds, or worse. Gloamists guard their secrets greedily, creating an underground economy of grimoires. And to rob their fellow magicians, they need Charlie.
Now, she’s trying to distance herself from past mistakes, but going straight isn’t easy. Bartending at a dive, she’s still entirely too close to the corrupt underbelly of the Berkshires. Not to mention that her sister Posey is desperate for magic, and that her shadowless and possibly soulless boyfriend has been keeping secrets from her. When a terrible figure from her past returns, Charlie descends back into a maelstrom of murder and lies. Determined to survive, she’s up against a cast of doppelgängers, mercurial billionaires, gloamists, and the people she loves best in the world — all trying to steal a secret that will allow them control of the shadow world and more.
"Dark, strange, thick with mystery and twists—Book of Night is everything delicious and frightening I've come to expect from Holly Black. It's a story so believable in its magic, you'll be keeping one eye on your shadow as you turn the pages." —Leigh Bardugo, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Ninth House
“Black is a master at world-building.”—The New York Times Book Review
“No one writes like Holly Black.”—John Green, #1 New York Times bestselling author
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Published by Random House Publishing Group on May 3, 2022
Genres: Fiction / Romance / LGBTQ+ / Lesbian, Fiction / Romance / Romantic Comedy, Fiction / Women
We Do What We Do in the Dark by Michelle Hart
A people-pleasing bridesmaid-for-hire falls for the crushable new lesbian in town. Will she finally find her happily ever after—and her own voice?
ONE OF BUZZFEED’S MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2022 • “A delightful debut, perfect for any person who’s ever created their own place to belong.”—Casey McQuiston, bestselling author of Red, White & Royal Blue and One Last Stop
Amy, a semicloseted queer baker and bartender in mid-2010s Oklahoma, has spent a lifetime putting other people’s needs before her own. Until, that is, she hits it off with Charley, a brilliant, attractive engineer who’s just moved to Tulsa. Suddenly, Amy’s found something—someone—she actually wants. Her tight-knit group of chosen family is thrilled she’s finally moving on from her ex. Mostly, though, they want Amy to find a way to show up for love—and life—as her authentic self.
But when a one-off gig subbing in for a bridesmaid turns into a full-time business—thanks to Amy’s baking talents, crafting skills, and years watching rom-coms and Say Yes to the Dress—her deep desire to please kicks into overdrive, at her own expense. It’s not until Amy’s precarious balancing act strains her relationships to the breaking point that she must decide what it looks like to be true to herself—and if she has the courage to try.
Published by Headline Publishing Group on May 3, 2022
Book Lovers by Emily Henry
'A beautiful book so filled with sharp longing and perfectly phrased vulnerability that I read it in a reverent hush' Torrey Peters, author of Detransition, BabyMallory sees the woman for the first time at her college gym and is immediately transfixed. As a naturally reserved person who is now reeling from the loss of her mother, Mallory finds herself compelled by the woman's assurance, and longs to know her better. Despite the discovery that she is a professor at the college, Mallory finds herself falling into a complicated love affair with the woman, the stakes of which she never quite understands.In the years that follow, Mallory must come to terms with how the relationship shaped her, for better or worse, and learn to become a part of the world that she sacrificed for the sake of a woman she never truly knew.In this enthralling debut novel, the complexities of influence, obsession, and admiration reveal how desire and its consequences can alter the trajectory of a life.'A gorgeous storyteller, Hart is gifted with a poet's precision, blending image and idea. Sensual and wise, this novel channels the melancholic exhilaration of dangerous love' - Tayari Jones, author of An American Marriage'Guaranteed to wow' Oprah Daily
Published by Penguin Publishing Group on May 3, 2022
Genres: Fiction / Romance / Romantic Comedy
All The Lovers In The Night by Mieko Kawakami
Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2022 by Oprah Daily ∙ Today ∙ Parade ∙ Marie Claire ∙ Bustle ∙ PopSugar ∙ Katie Couric Media ∙ Book Bub ∙ SheReads ∙ Medium ∙ and more!
An insightful, delightful new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read and People We Meet on Vacation.
One summer. Two rivals. A plot twist they didn't see coming...
Nora Stephens' life is books--she's read them all--and she is not that type of heroine. Not the plucky one, not the laidback dream girl, and especially not the sweetheart. In fact, the only people Nora is a heroine for are her clients, for whom she lands enormous deals as a cutthroat literary agent, and her beloved little sister Libby.
Which is why she agrees to go to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina for the month of August when Libby begs her for a sisters' trip away--with visions of a small town transformation for Nora, who she's convinced needs to become the heroine in her own story. But instead of picnics in meadows, or run-ins with a handsome country doctor or bulging-forearmed bartender, Nora keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor from back in the city. It would be a meet-cute if not for the fact that they've met many times and it's never been cute.
If Nora knows she's not an ideal heroine, Charlie knows he's nobody's hero, but as they are thrown together again and again--in a series of coincidences no editor worth their salt would allow--what they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they've written about themselves.
"Emily Henry never fails to deliver ... this may just be her best yet."--Taylor Jenkins Reid
Published by Pan Macmillan on May 12, 2022
Genres: Fiction / City Life, Fiction / Feminist, Fiction / Friendship, Fiction / General, Fiction / Literary, Fiction / Romance / Contemporary, Fiction / Romance / General, Fiction / Women, Fiction / World Literature / Japan
Elektra by Jennifer Saint
'Mieko Kawakami is a genius' - Naoise Dolan, author of Exciting Times
From international literary sensation Mieko Kawakami comes ALL THE LOVERS IN THE NIGHT, an extraordinary, deeply moving and insightful story set in contemporary Tokyo.
Fuyuko Irie is a freelance proofreader in her thirties. Living alone, and unable to form meaningful relationships, she has little contact with anyone other than Hijiri, someone she works with. When she sees her reflection, she’s confronted with a tired and spiritless woman who has failed to take control of her own life. Her one source of solace: light. Every Christmas Eve, Fuyuko heads out to catch a glimpse of the lights that fill the Tokyo night. But it is a chance encounter with a man named Mitsutsuka that awakens something new in her. And so her life begins to change.
As Fuyuko starts to see the world in a different light, painful memories from her past begin to resurface. Fuyuko needs to be loved, to be heard, and to be seen. But living in a small world of her own making, will she find the strength to bring down the walls that surround her? All The Lovers In The Night is acute and insightful, entertaining and captivating, pulsing and poetic, modern and shocking. It’s another unforgettable novel from Japan’s most exciting writer.
Translated from the Japanese by Sam Bett and David Boyd.
Published by Headline Publishing Group on January 19, 2023
Bad Girls by Camila Sosa Villada
on May 10, 2022
Genres: Fiction / Coming of Age, Fiction / LGBTQ+ / Transgender, Fiction / Magical Realism
Gritty and unflinching, yet also tender, fantastical, and funny, a trans woman’s tale about finding a community on the margins.
In Sarmiento Park, the green heart of Córdoba, a group of trans sex workers make their nightly rounds. When a cry comes from the dark, their leader, the 178-year-old Auntie Encarna, wades into the brambles to investigate and discovers a baby half dead from the cold. She quickly rallies the pack to save him, and they adopt the child into their fascinating surrogate family as they have so many other outcasts, including Camila.
Sheltered in Auntie Encarna’s fabled pink house, they find a partial escape from the everyday threats of disease and violence, at the hands of clients, cops, and boyfriends. Telling their stories—of a mute young woman who transforms into a bird, of a Headless Man who fled his country’s wars—as well as her own journey from a toxic home in a small, poor town, Camila traces the life of this vibrant community throughout the 90s.
Imbuing reality with the magic of a dark fairy tale, Bad Girls offers an intimate, nuanced portrait of trans coming-of-age that captures a universal sense of the strangeness of our bodies. It grips and entertains us while also challenging ideas about love, sexuality, gender, and identity.
May 10The Bitter Orange Tree by Jokha Alharthi
Published by Scribner on June 9, 2022
The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas
The Bitter Orange Tree tells the story of Omani student Zuhur at a British university as she reflects on her relationship with her grandmother, who passed away just after Zuhur left the country. Bint Amir is not, we learn, related to Zuhur by blood - but by an emotional bond far stronger; as the historical narrative of the grandmother's challenged circumstances unfurls, so too does the story of Zuhur's lonely and unfulfilled present, one narrative segueing into another as social status, wealth, desire and female agency are explored in a literary tour de force.
Published by Penguin on May 3, 2022
Genres: Fiction / Gothic, Fiction / Horror, Fiction / Thrillers / Supernatural
I Want to Be a Wall, Vol. 1 by Honami Shirono
Mexican Gothic meets Rebecca in this debut supernatural suspense novel, set in the aftermath of the Mexican War of Independence, about a remote house, a sinister haunting, and the woman pulled into their clutches...
During the overthrow of the Mexican government, Beatriz’s father was executed and her home destroyed. When handsome Don Rodolfo Solórzano proposes, Beatriz ignores the rumors surrounding his first wife’s sudden demise, choosing instead to seize the security that his estate in the countryside provides. She will have her own home again, no matter the cost.
But Hacienda San Isidro is not the sanctuary she imagined.
When Rodolfo returns to work in the capital, visions and voices invade Beatriz’s sleep. The weight of invisible eyes follows her every move. Rodolfo’s sister, Juana, scoffs at Beatriz’s fears—but why does she refuse to enter the house at night? Why does the cook burn copal incense at the edge of the kitchen and mark the doorway with strange symbols? What really happened to the first Doña Solórzano?
Beatriz only knows two things for certain: Something is wrong with the hacienda. And no one there will save her.
Desperate for help, she clings to the young priest, Padre Andrés, as an ally. No ordinary priest, Andrés will have to rely on his skills as a witch to fight off the malevolent presence haunting the hacienda and protect the woman for whom he feels a powerful, forbidden attraction. But even he might not be enough to battle the darkness.
Far from a refuge, San Isidro may be Beatriz’s doom.
Published by Yen Press LLC on April 1, 2022
Siren Queen by Nghi Vo
Yuriko, an asexual woman, agrees to take a husband to satisfy her parents-which is how she finds herself tying the knot with Gakurouta, a gay man in love with his childhood friend with his own family circumstances. And so begins the tale of their marriage of convenience.
Published by Tom Doherty Associates on May 10, 2022
Genres: Fiction / Asian American, Fiction / Coming of Age, Fiction / Fantasy / Historical, Fiction / Magical Realism
From award-winning author Nghi Vo comes a dazzling new novel where immortality is just a casting call away
It was magic. In every world, it was a kind of magic.
“No maids, no funny talking, no fainting flowers.” Luli Wei is beautiful, talented, and desperate to be a star. Coming of age in pre-Code Hollywood, she knows how dangerous the movie business is and how limited the roles are for a Chinese American girl from Hungarian Hill—but she doesn't care. She’d rather play a monster than a maid.
But in Luli's world, the worst monsters in Hollywood are not the ones on screen. The studios want to own everything from her face to her name to the women she loves, and they run on a system of bargains made in blood and ancient magic, powered by the endless sacrifice of unlucky starlets like her. For those who do survive to earn their fame, success comes with a steep price. Luli is willing to do whatever it takes—even if that means becoming the monster herself.
Siren Queen offers up an enthralling exploration of an outsider achieving stardom on her own terms, in a fantastical Hollywood where the monsters are real and the magic of the silver screen illuminates every page.
May 17The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah
on May 19, 2022
Something Wilder by Christina Lauren
Published by Simon and Schuster on May 17, 2022
Genres: Fiction / Humorous / General, Fiction / Romance / Romantic Comedy, Fiction / Women
The Lesbiana's Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes
The “reigning romance queens” (PopSugar) and New York Times bestselling authors of The Soulmate Equation and The Unhoneymooners present a charming and laugh-out-loud funny novel filled with adventure, treasure, and, of course, love.
Growing up the daughter of notorious treasure hunter and absentee father Duke Wilder left Lily without much patience for the profession…or much money in the bank. But Lily is nothing if not resourceful, and now uses Duke’s coveted hand-drawn maps to guide tourists on fake treasure hunts through the red rock canyons of Utah. It pays the bills but doesn’t leave enough to fulfill her dream of buying back the beloved ranch her father sold years ago, and definitely not enough to deal with the sight of the man she once loved walking back into her life with a motley crew of friends ready to hit the trails. Frankly, Lily would like to take him out into the wilderness—and leave him there.
Leo Grady knew mirages were a thing in the desert, but they’d barely left civilization when the silhouette of his greatest regret comes into focus in the flickering light of the campfire. Ready to leave the past behind him, Leo wants nothing more than to reconnect with his first and only love. Unfortunately, Lily Wilder is all business, drawing a clear line in the sand: it’s never going to happen.
But when the trip goes horribly and hilariously wrong, the group wonders if maybe the legend of the hidden treasure wasn’t a gimmick after all. There’s a chance to right the wrongs—of Duke’s past and their own—but only if Leo and Lily can confront their history and work together. Alone under the stars in the isolated and dangerous mazes of the Canyonlands, Leo and Lily must decide whether they’ll risk their lives and hearts on the adventure of a lifetime.
From the author of the “heartfelt and funny” (Publishers Weekly) sensation The Unhoneymooners, this page-turning adventure full of second chances, complicated relationships, and the breathtaking beauty of the American Southwest will take fans on one wild ride.
Published by HarperCollins Publishers on April 9, 2022
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Coming of Age, Young Adult Fiction / LGBTQ, Young Adult Fiction / People & Places / United States / Hispanic & Latino
A sharply funny and moving debut novel about a queer Mexican American girl navigating Catholic school, while falling in love and learning to celebrate her true self. Perfect for fans of Erika L. Sánchez, Leah Johnson, and Gabby Rivera.
Sixteen-year-old Yamilet Flores prefers to be known for her killer eyeliner, not for being one of the only Mexican kids at her new, mostly white, very rich Catholic school. But at least here no one knows she's gay, and Yami intends to keep it that way.
After being outed by her crush and ex-best friend before transferring to Slayton Catholic, Yami has new priorities: keep her brother out of trouble, make her mom proud, and, most importantly, don't fall in love. Granted, she's never been great at any of those things, but that's a problem for Future Yami.
The thing is, it's hard to fake being straight when Bo, the only openly queer girl at school, is so annoyingly perfect. And smart. And talented. And cute. So cute. Either way, Yami isn't going to make the same mistake again. If word got back to her mom, she could face a lot worse than rejection. So she'll have to start asking, WWSGD: What would a straight girl do?
Told in a captivating voice that is by turns hilarious, vulnerable, and searingly honest, The Lesbiana's Guide to Catholic School explores the joys and heartaches of living your full truth out loud.
May 24You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi
Published by Atria Books on May 24, 2022
Genres: Fiction / Romance / African American & Black, Fiction / Romance / Contemporary, Fiction / Romance / LGBTQ+ / General
Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2022 by The Washington Post, Oprah Daily, Vulture, Harper’s Bazaar, Thrillist, Essence, Good Housekeeping, Glamour, Marie Claire, Parade, Bustle, BuzzFeed, Refinery29, Business Insider, The Guardian, Financial Times, PopSugar, Book Riot, LitHub, Bookish, LGBTQ Reads, and more!
“A deeply heartfelt romance novel.” —Marie Claire
“A riveting and emotional exploration of grief and taking a second chance on love.” —Book Riot
A New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and “one of our greatest living writers” (Shondaland) reimagines the love story in this fresh and seductive novel about a young woman seeking joy while healing from loss.
Feyi Adekola wants to learn how to be alive again.
It’s been five years since the accident that killed the love of her life and she’s almost a new person now—an artist with her own studio and sharing a brownstone apartment with her ride-or-die best friend, Joy, who insists it’s time for Feyi to ease back into the dating scene. Feyi isn’t ready for anything serious, but a steamy encounter at a rooftop party cascades into a whirlwind summer she could have never imagined: a luxury trip to a tropical island, decadent meals in the glamorous home of a celebrity chef, and a major curator who wants to launch her art career.
She’s even started dating the perfect guy, but their new relationship might be sabotaged before it has a chance by the overwhelming desire Feyi feels every time she locks eyes with the one person in the house who is most definitely off-limits—his father.
This new life she asked for just got a lot more complicated, and Feyi must begin her search for real answers. Who is she ready to become? Can she release her past and honor her grief while still embracing her future? And, of course, there’s the biggest question of all—how far is she willing to go for a second chance at love? Akwaeke Emezi’s vivid and passionate writing takes us deep into a world of possibility and healing, and the constant bravery of choosing love against all odds.
May 31Rainbow Rainbow by Lydia Conklin
Published by Catapult on May 31, 2022
Genres: Fiction / Coming of Age, Fiction / LGBTQ+ / General, Fiction / Short Stories (single author)
Gender Queer: A Memoir Deluxe Edition by Maia Kobabe
A fearless collection of stories that celebrate the humor, darkness, and depth of emotion of the queer and trans experience that's not typically represented: liminal or uncertain identities, queer conception, and queer joy
In this exuberant, prize-winning collection, queer, trans, and gender-nonconforming characters seek love and connection in hilarious and heartrending stories that reflect the complexity of our current moment.
A nonbinary writer on the eve of top surgery enters into a risky affair during the height of COVID. A lesbian couple enlists a close friend as a sperm donor, plying him with a potent rainbow-colored cocktail. A lonely office worker struggling with their gender identity chaperones their nephew to a trans YouTube convention. And in the depths of a Midwestern winter, a sex-addicted librarian relies on her pet ferrets to help resist a relapse at a wild college fair.
Capturing both the dark and lovable sides of the human experience, Rainbow Rainbow establishes debut author Lydia Conklin as a fearless new voice for their generation.
Published by Oni Press on May 31, 2022
Genres: Biography & Autobiography / LGBTQ, Comics & Graphic Novels / LGBTQ, Comics & Graphic Novels / Nonfiction / Biography & Memoir
Yerba Buena by Nina LaCour
2020 ALA Alex Award Winner
2020 Stonewall — Israel Fishman Non-fiction Award Honor Book
In 2014, Maia Kobabe, who uses e/em/eir pronouns, thought that a comic of reading statistics would be the last autobiographical comic e would ever write. At the time, it was the only thing e felt comfortable with strangers knowing about em. Then e created Gender Queer. Maia’s intensely cathartic autobiography charts eir journey of self-identity, which includes the mortification and confusion of adolescent crushes, grappling with how to come out to family and society, bonding with friends over erotic gay fan fiction, and facing the trauma and fundamental violation of pap smears. Started as a way to explain to eir family what it means to be nonbinary and asexual, Gender Queer is more than a personal story: It is a useful and touching guide on gender identity—what it means and how to think about it—for advocates, friends, and humans everywhere.
This special deluxe hardcover edition of Gender Queer features a brand-new cover, exclusive art and sketches, a foreword from ND Stevenson, Lumberjanes writer and creator of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, and an afterword from Maia Kobabe.
Published by Flatiron Books on May 31, 2022
Genres: Fiction / LGBTQ+ / Lesbian, Fiction / Literary
A Most Anticipated Book (Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, The Washington Post, Vulture, NBC News, Good Housekeeping, Electric Lit, BookRiot, Bustle, Goodreads, LGBTQ Reads, Autostraddle, and more)
“A love story for our time.” —Tara Conklin, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Romantics
"This book is a precious thing." —Casey McQuiston, New York Times bestselling author of One Last Stop
The debut adult novel by the bestselling and award-winning YA author Nina LaCour, following two women on a star-crossed journey toward each other
When Sara Foster runs away from home at sixteen, she leaves behind the girl she once was, capable of trust and intimacy. Years later, in Los Angeles, she is a sought-after bartender, renowned as much for her brilliant cocktails as for the mystery that clings to her. Across the city, Emilie Dubois is in a holding pattern, yearning for the beauty and community her Creole grandparents cultivated but unable to commit. On a whim, she takes a job arranging flowers at the glamorous restaurant Yerba Buena and embarks on an affair with the married owner.
The morning Emilie and Sara first meet at Yerba Buena, their connection is immediate. But the damage both women carry, and the choices they have made, pulls them apart again and again. When Sara's old life catches up to her, upending everything she thought she wanted just as Emilie has finally gained her own sense of purpose, they must decide if their love is more powerful than their pasts.
At once exquisite and expansive, astonishing in its humanity and heart, Yerba Buena is a love story for our time and a propulsive journey through the lives of two women trying to find somewhere, or someone, to call home.
What are some new releases you’re looking forward to in May?
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