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Romantic Comedy | Curtis Sittenfeld
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My library hold came in early for this book. And I could not stop listening to this book! I was finding tasks to do just to keep reading. I have it in print too, so I can reference back for #camplitsy23

Great pick. Did not realize how much covid was going to play into this book. Won‘t say much more since we won‘t be discussing until August.

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Couplets: A Love Story | Maggie Millner
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I‘m moonlighting from #camplitsy23, to read some of the books from that imposter, CampToB! 🤣

This is a very short book, only 1.5 hours on audio and is a love story told partly in verse and partly in a series of vignettes. Set in Brooklyn, the MC breaks up with her boyfriend to embark upon her first gay relationship.

It‘s funny in places, sexy in places, and sad in places.

Not sure who else is reading Camp ToB books? @BarbaraBB @Cinfhen

Deblovestoread I am. My library hold just came in on Couplets and waiting on Big Swiss to start. 1d
squirrelbrain Hey @Deblovestoread 👋. I just started on Big Swiss about half an hour ago! I decided to listen to Couplets early as I had a pile of ironing to do today. 🙄 I also had time whilst ironing to start on the audio of Lone Women. 1d
Deblovestoread I‘ll be interested to see your review about Lone Woman. I just gave my copy to my daughter to read first. I‘m a bit of a wimp when it comes to anything classified as “horror” so she is my pre reader. I don‘t mind creepy but can‘t stand gore. 1d
squirrelbrain I‘ll let you know how I get on @Deblovestoread - depends on how much driving I need to do as to how far I get as that‘s how I do most of my audio. 1d
BarbaraBB Thanks for the tag! I have Couplets lined up for this week too. Your review is encouraging! Big Swiss I read some weeks ago. I am looking forward to #CampToB! 1d
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My enjoyment of the first 3/4 was marred by expectations. I‘d hoped for something light like Finlay Donovan. This tackles heavy themes and so much of it is bleak. I didn‘t “get” the black humor early on. Nothing felt funny, just sad. I cared about the characters, so their suffering made me angry and sad. Then, in the midst of a terrible situation, the whole tone changed and I laughed so hard, I had tears running down my face. Well done.

Bklover I felt the same way- about halfway through I was very surprised! 1d
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I‘ve started it, but set it aside to read some books for bookclub. I‘ll pick it back up soon! Great review 📚 1d
Megabooks Fantastic review!! 1d
BarbaraBB Lovely review! Happy you felt that way 1d
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Hi campers, we are so happy to kick off #camplitsy23 with all of you. Let‘s discuss the first half of Bandit Queens. We‘ll discuss all of the book next week so please avoid spoiling the ending!
We have three questions today, three next week. Let‘s do this!!

See All 84 Comments
AmyG Geeta has no children and I think that makes her feel apart from the women, different. I also think she sort of regrets not having a child/children. 2d
DGRachel It feels weaponized. I‘m not sure the women who have children particularly like them, but it gives them an opportunity to humble-brag and play the martyr, while ostracizing Geeta for being childless. 2d
CBee @DGRachel completely agree with this! The expectations of women in this culture - well, they‘re outdated and stupid 😂 I admire Geeta so much for doing her own thing, despite struggling with that, despite being lonely. But the way the other women talk about motherhood is sometimes nauseating 😂 Like, just be honest and say it‘s hard! 2d
Susanita Weaponized is a good description. Farah uses both edges of that sword before and after her husband dies. (Poor children. What will become of them if something happens to me? Waah waah waah.) 2d
Megabooks @DGRachel weaponized is an excellent point!! And those humble-brags were infuriating! 2d
TheKidUpstairs @DGRachel weaponized is a good description. The women seem to use their motherhood as a tool to connect, but also to repel. “Mother“ becomes almost another status, another way to organize people, like caste and religion are used.

I appreciated Geeta's nuanced relationship to motherhood. While she may feel like she's missed something, she also seems to appreciate the freedom that not being a mother allows her.
AmyG @DGRachel @TheKidUpstairs very good point about weaponization and how motherhood is a certain caste in itself. Elevates one‘s status. (edited) 2d
TheKidUpstairs And I have to say, the repeated refrains of “Oh, but it's a blessing“ after any hint of a complaint about the children made me laugh. The way they were uttered almost by rote, with little feeling behind it, just keeping up appearances. It made me think of insta-Mommy culture and #blessed, it was so relatable. 2d
LaraReads @DGRachel weaponized for sure! They fling it like an insult, all while not fully believing any of the things they say they feel about being a mother/wife. @CBee yes! She‘s truly admirable for being able to go her own way in the world, even though it‘s lonely & everyone seems to despise her for it! 2d
CBee @TheKidUpstairs omg I‘d forgotten about the whole #blessed thing 🤦‍♀️🙄 That‘s part of why I got rid of all social media except Litsy 😂😂 2d
CBee @LaraReads I adore her, she‘s such a great character! 2d
Soubhiville @DGRachel @TheKidUpstairs great points! @AmyG I agree the “Blessings of motherhood” refrain we hear repeatedly came to feel like a verbal eyeroll to me, same sort of barb as Southern America‘s “Bless your heart.” On the surface it seems nice, but it‘s often meant derogatively. 2d
squirrelbrain @AmyG - great point about motherhood being a caste in itself. The book shows us that there are so many different social strata (still) in India. 2d
AmyG @Soubhiville While I am a mother, let me tell you, there are blessings to having kids and to not having kids. 🤣 @squirrelbrain it reminds me of this….when I had a grandson a friend said to me…welcome to the club. (edited) 2d
TheBookHippie OMG. Women and their haughty IMAMOTHER thereby worth more. 😵‍💫🤮 weaponized is exactly it. I have two children if I was of child bearing age again, I wouldn‘t do it. I tell young women allll the time you do not have to have children to have value. (Before I get push back- I love my kids.) insta mommy culture for sure. Gross. 2d
peaknit @TheBookHippie lol! I totally agree, I have two near adult girls and am not sure I‘d make the same choice either, partly based on what I know of the world now. I think you really begin to understand how hard motherhood is when you are in the throes of it. I love my kids too😆 2d
jlhammar I found Shroff's humor and honesty surrounding this issue so refreshing! @TheKidUpstairs Yes! I loved that she poked fun at their constant need to call out the “joys of motherhood“ following any hint of complaint or discontent. I liked that Geeta could recognize that she had her own joys that wouldn't be possible if she were a mother. It did seem to put some space between her and the other women though, at least at the start. 2d
youneverarrived @TheKidUpstairs I thought the exact same 😆 2d
JenReadsAlot I think weaponized is a great description. I've chosen to not have children and I've been told how I'm missing out. Guess what I don't feel that way! I'm loving Geeta so far! 2d
TrishB I think it‘s the only status some of the women have- so yes, they do use as a weapon. Which makes it even sadder. 2d
Deblovestoread Yes, that is what women are good for, after all…you get married, take care of your husband, have kids and take care of them, too. Patriarchy at its finest… 2d
TheBookHippie @peaknit my daughter is mid thirties my son almost 17. 2d
sarahbarnes Agreeing with all the insights shared here! It is crazy how much childbearing is used in the story as a status symbol, both by men and women. from the male perspective it‘s about their own status as a man with a woman who bears him children. For women I agree it‘s a status put upon them by men and they‘ve embraced it in a way that is sad. 2d
dabbe @JenReadsAlot Same here. Not only being told you're missing out but also being told something like this: “I never knew what real love was until I had a child.“ Seriously? When people say that, do they ever think what a person might feel who has never experienced the JOY of having a child? 2d
dabbe I love Geeta and I am starting to like Saloni; she seems to be offering the comic relief so far. I found it poignant, though, when she was out sifting through the trash for her son's book or bag. She said something that made me think that of course her SON couldn't be bothered looking for what he lost, but the WIFE/MOM/WOMAN can go out there and get dirty looking for it. 2d
DebinHawaii @dabbe @JenReadsAlot Agree wholeheartedly—if I had a $1 for every family member, acquaintance or stranger that has told me I missed out or I don‘t understand real love I would be rich! 🤬 @TheKidUpstairs That made me laugh too…every time! 🤣 2d
JamieArc I like the way the author talks about motherhood with its many complexities. How we are supposed to feel about being a mother, how even if we don‘t have kids and are happy with that decision, there may still be lingering complex feelings about it. As one who is semi-trying to have children and have my own complex thoughts about it, I really appreciate this aspect of the book. 2d
JenReadsAlot @DebinHawaii OMG same! So annoying 2d
Hooked_on_books @DGRachel I love how you put this. And it‘s relatable, as it happens in our own culture, particularly on social media. We‘re supposed to revere mothers and look down on women who choose not to have kids (of course further hurting those who can‘t). I say let‘s revere women who make the best choices for themselves, whatever that may be! 2d
CBee @TheBookHippie thank you for saying this. I feel the same (despite having shame for feeling it because we are TAUGHT to feel that), though I love my kids. I‘ve started writing a bit about it, especially since I have an autistic kiddo and it‘s effing HARD. It‘s not all blessing and rainbows and glitter 😂😳🤦‍♀️ 2d
TrishB @Hooked_on_books 👏🏻 exactly! Choice is the key always. 2d
TrishB @CBee it‘s very rarely blessings,rainbows and glitter and I love my kids too ♥️ Though I have a gay son so it can be rainbows and glitter occasionally!! It is very hard and for different reasons at different times. 2d
AmyG @TheBookHippie I just had this conversation again with my daughter. People need to accept that women have a choice over their bodies. Being a mother doesn‘t make a woman worthy. 2d
DGRachel @Hooked_on_books Yes! More women supporting women, please, instead of allowing patriarchal constructs to pit us against each other. 2d
CBee @TrishB 💚💚💚 Honestly, glitter can be irritating and it gets everywhere so maybe I should use a different word 😂😂 2d
Larkken @JamieArc yes, she‘s being very nuanced, even touching (if briefly) on miscarriages and how hard they can be. I agree too about complex feelings and how trying can only compound those feelings. I‘m dealing with this myself - so I hear you & know how easy it is to feel like a failure based on factors outside one‘s own control. 💙 2d
Larkken I found this aspect of the book to remind me a bit of my coworkers, who are all wonderful mothers but who also delight (as one does) in complaining about imp parts of their lives 😆 I think it‘s useful for them to be able to vent and I wouldn‘t want to take that from them, but the author captures exactly how exclusionary people can be without even trying 2d
Christine So much brilliance here! Thanks to all for sharing these spot-on thoughts. I found some unexpected connections between the wives/moms in this book and the docuseries I binged over the past 24 hours - “Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets.“ 😳
@TheKidUpstairs - love that parallel to moms on social media.
@Hooked_on_books - “I say let‘s revere women who make the best choices for themselves, whatever that may be!“ YES! Makes me think of
TrishB @CBee we can use the word if not the substance 😁 bad for the environment too! 2d
CatLass007 I just wanted to pop in and say hi. I finished the first half of the book yesterday and have been looking forward to today‘s discussion. Unfortunately, my headache is telling me nope. I know there are no rules that say I can‘t wait until tomorrow, but I‘m very tired of migraines. I‘m loving the book! 2d
JamieArc @Larkken ❤️❤️ Thanks for the comment. 2d
CBee @TrishB let‘s do that, sounds good 😘 Pretend glitter for everyone ✨ 2d
Bklover I‘m late here, but I‘m with @TheBookHippie on this to parent or not to parent thing. I have three adult kids, (36,34,22) and none of them have/want kids. I know my oldest daughter has been questioned multiple times on her choice. After watching the other moms in the village I don‘t think Geeta really wants kids. I do think she‘s lonely though. 2d
LaraReads @JamieArc yes! All of this that you said! As much as I loved the dark humor of the book, I enjoyed these complexities even more! There are some very deep feelings to be had about motherhood (whether being one or choosing/not having a choice to not). This book is one to stay with me for some time! @Larkken I agree how exclusionary groups can be, even if they aren‘t bragging (just complaining) it can still give one that left out feeling 😔 2d
julieclair What a great discussion. So much wisdom here. I agree that there are so many ways women can cut each other down and exclude each other. Why don't we all just support each other? Truly, I just don't understand it. 2d
batsy I agree with @DGRachel it does seem weaponised. It felt very relatable to me, amidst the South Asian diaspora that this is still a thing that's done (even in 2023) And perhaps across other communities, as well? My mother watches a lot of South Indian TV serials and the valorisation of motherhood and being a Good Wife is still very potent messaging even though they live in a super modern milieu—the book felt familiar, in that sense but 2d
batsy I like the way Shroff uses humour to undercut the prevailing norms, as @TheKidUpstairs says. It felt like she was pointing out how much of these norms are built on stale scripts that people have to parrot (whether they truly feel it or not) in order to be seen as acceptable. 2d
AmyG @batsy One of the things I love best is the humor. 2d
batsy @AmyG Me too. I'm just halfway through but it feels very natural and not overdone. 2d
Megabooks @Christine where did you watch that documentary?? Sounds very bingeable! @batsy I definitely feel excluded at times in my large southern town. It is rare in my circles to be both unmarried and childless, so there are things I don‘t get invited because I don‘t have a partner or kid. It‘s one of the reasons I didn‘t want to come back. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 2d
Christine @Megabooks It‘s on Prime. I only heard of it via posts of various scholars who study religion. It‘s as much about a big fundamentalist org with which the Duggars are affiliated and includes lots of interesting commentary and big picture stuff. Themes of male authority, abuse, and idealized wife/mother roles run strong in it (as in this book!). 2d
Megabooks @Christine thanks! I follow a writer on Instagram that talks a lot about that. It‘s very interesting to me, especially since my experience with Christianity is so different. (Women as elders, deacons, and full pastors; divorced people can be pastors and serve the church; no Christian nationalism from the pulpit; respect other faiths, etc.) (edited) 2d
Hooked_on_books @Christine Hey, I‘ll take any comparison to Beyoncé I can get! ? 2d
jenniferw88 Agree with everything here. With my medical history it's unlikely I'll be able to have children, and I think my parents are happy with that. We have family & friends who live for their children/grandkids and as a family, we just don't get it? It's like, 'yes, it's a baby, what's so special about it?' Don't get me wrong, I'm close to some of my cousins but we don't go out of our way to worship them or their Mums, like they seem to do in the book. 2d
jenniferw88 Also, looking after a pet is kind of equivalent to looking after children, so I think Geeta is looked on more favourably after she gets Bandit. 2d
batsy @Megabooks That's tough and I'm sorry you have to go through that. It is pretty much the same here & Malaysia is small enough that I can pretty much generalise about the prevalent conservatism. But I live in the capital so there's all kinds of diversity centred here—just a matter of staying away from certain types of people (and relatives) and finding your own kind, so to speak! 2d
Christine @Hooked_on_books If the stiletto fits! 😁 2d
Christine @Megabooks Ooh, which writer? And yes, isn‘t the range of Christian experience fascinating? I grew up in a form of Lutheranism quite similar to what was shown in the doc, whereas I went to a college where Lutheranism was much like your church. 2d
willaful I also found the incessant “blessings“ funny, but also a little sad. They definitely did weaponize motherhood, but to me it also said “we're not allowed to sometimes hate being mothers.“ 2d
TrishB @Bklover and I bet you‘re asked all the time about grandkids! Mine are 21 and 27 and people are already saying that. It‘s a never ending obsession with some people. 2d
squirrelbrain @christine -that documentary sounds fascinating, I shall have a look to see if I can get it over here (UK). And you‘re so right about the wonderful discussions and insights that everyone is contributing towards; I love this community! 2d
squirrelbrain @CatLass007 - sorry you‘re feeling rough but glad you‘re enjoying the book. Hopefully you‘ll be able to contribute soon, but if not there‘s some more great questions next week! 2d
Bookwormjillk I‘ll admit I was distracted when I listened to the first half of the book, but this discussion is fascinating and I‘m now really looking forward to the second half. 2d
Chelsea.Poole Traveling yesterday and didn‘t get to chime in for this discussion. I enjoyed reading all the insightful comments! Could it be possible that some of the women who “humble bragged” about their children being such blessings maybe resented being mothers themselves? They probably didn‘t have much choice in becoming mothers in their circumstances. 2d
CatLass007 @squirrelbrain Thank you. I‘m hoping today will be better. 😊 2d
MicheleinPhilly @Chelsea.Poole That is definitely the impression that I got. As someone who is childless by choice and oh so glad that I am now at an age when people have stopped asking me about it, I‘ve always been very attuned to women who sound like they‘re trying to convince themselves that everything is sunshine and rainbows. And in this environment, where status/caste is everything, it‘s definitely a status symbol. 2d
CBee @Chelsea.Poole I think they do resent it. But they can‘t say that they do because they have to uphold “expectations.” 🤦‍♀️ 2d
BarbaraBB Hi everyone, sorry for missing the discussion. A crisis came up with my mother, I had to go there and take care of her, so I had no time to participate in the discussion. Lousy camp leader 🤦🏻‍♀️. Things seem under control now so I will have time soon to read all discussions. A special apology to my dear camp co-hosts @Megabooks and @squirrelbrain 🤍 2d
squirrelbrain Hey Barbara, @BarbaraBB hope your Mum is OK. 😘 Your fabulous questions, and our insightful Litten friends, meant that the discussions hardly needed any camp counsellors at all! 2d
Chelsea.Poole @BarbaraBB glad to hear everything is under control now! 2d
Christine @BarbaraBB Thanks for sharing that - sending good wishes to your mom.
@squirrelbrain I hope you can access the doc! A tough watch in many ways, but quite well done.
@Chelsea.Poole Yes! I feel like they were sometimes saying it through gritted teeth...
(edited) 1d
BarbaraBB @squirrelbrain you are right. Such great and insightful conversations! What a great community this is 🧡 1d
Megabooks @BarbaraBB yes, glad you are okay and were able to attend to the crisis!! (And I‘m sorry it happened. 💜💜) Just got to Nashville. I‘ll email you and @squirrelbrain soon. 😘 I know you‘ll enjoy going back through these insightful comments!! 1d
jhod I'm catching up now too on the train home - I thought it a bit depressing that so many of these women only have their kids and husbands in their lives, made me feel lucky! Thought the microloans storyline was interesting, especially the varied successes of them and the scant non-monetary support and advice available for their fledgling businesses 1d
jhod Thanks for the questions @BarbaraBB hope you're all OK 1d
BarbaraBB @jhod @Megabooks @Christine Thanks for your concern 💕 and yes @jhod the microloans was a very interesting addition to the story, I agree! 1d
Megabooks @Christine hey! So I don‘t get on Instagram everyday, but I was looking at it and a post by the writer about shiny happy people came up. Her handle is tialevingswriter. 1d
Christine @megabooks Oh, nice! She is excellent in the doc and I def plan to read her upcoming memoir. 1d
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Yellowface | R F Kuang
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Out for book shopping and lunch today. This was my purchase. I‘ve started it this evening and it‘s immediately engaging. I see good things about this one on Litsy 💛

TrishB Enjoy 👍🏻 3d
Cathythoughts @TrishB Thanks Trish 💛 3d
BarbaraBB Enjoy! And do join the #camplitsy23 discussion the first half of July - if you want to of course 💛 3d
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LeahBergen What a fun day. ❤️ 3d
Tamra Lovely! 👏🏾 I‘m curious about this one, so I‘m anxious to see what you think of it. (edited) 3d
Cathythoughts @BarbaraBB Thanks Barbara X 3d
Cathythoughts @LeahBergen it was a fun day and I think the first real summer day ♥️ 3d
Cathythoughts @Tamra So far it‘s an addictive read 😁 3d
batsy That sounds like the perfect day 😁 Looking forward to this one, as well. 3d
Cathythoughts @batsy I‘m enjoying reading it today. I think you‘ll enjoy this one too 👍🏻💛 3d
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June | Lori Copeland
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I‘ve added a bit of pressure to myself for June with #camplitsy23, #bookspin, and #titlesandtunes on top of some library books and a June release from NetGalley. We‘ll see how it goes. I have a feeling a library book or two may get returned unread. 🤷🏻‍♀️ #JuneTBR


Well, will wonders never cease? I got my Social Security check today after all. And the first thing I did was buy my Audible copy of the tagged book for #CampLitsy23. I believe I‘m enjoying it and will have all my chapters listened to in time for the discussion this Saturday. Oh, and after all the hand-wringing and finagling by the politicians, the legislation cleared the House and goes to the Senate. I think I pretty much despise all politicians.

BarbaraBB I‘m so glad you did get it! 5d
CatLass007 @BarbaraBB Thank you! I generally consider myself a Progressive, but I can‘t think of a single politician (except maybe Bernie) who gives a rat‘s ass about the people they‘re supposed to be representing. It‘s all about getting and keeping power. 5d
BarbaraBB I agree, your democrats are still very right-wing compared to our progressives. Power is a bitch. 5d
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CatLass007 @BarbaraBB It‘s a bitch to the ones who have no power. It‘s an aphrodisiac to people who have even a little bit, and they always want more. 5d
SamAnne Pardon my coarse language, but our U.S. government is a shitshow. 5d
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The best memoirs open a door into a different world, teaching the reader about a different kind of life while showing a shared humanity and relatability. That‘s what this book does. It‘s absolutely phenomenal. I‘m so glad it was chosen for #camplitsy23, as I‘m not sure I would have read it otherwise, and I‘m better for having done so.

Soubhiville Wasn‘t this great? I really enjoyed it. 5d
TrishB Looking forward to this one and I don‘t usually read memoirs! 5d
Megabooks This was excellent! I can‘t wait to discuss. 5d
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Hooked_on_books @Soubhiville I love how much I learned about Islam and how she related her own life to the Quran stories, something that never occurred to me. The stories are so similar to the Christian stories. I wish more people were open to understanding that. 5d
Hooked_on_books @TrishB I‘m a little plus/minus on memoirs, but this one‘s really worth it! 5d
ErikasMindfulShelf Loved it! 5d
BarbaraBB Great review. Looking forward to it 5d
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Yellowface | Rebecca F. Kuang
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#MayMontage Day 31: An ironic #NatlSmileDay with the missing mouth in this fascinating cover of RF Kuang‘s book. Bound to be my 5th Kuang novel for this year. Thrilled to finally get my hands on this one.

Eggs Perfect 👍🏼 5d
BarbaraBB Will you be joining us for the #CampLitsy23 discussion of the book in the first half of July? Let me know when you like to, we will tag you! 5d
TracyReadsBooks Such a good book! 5d
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GatheringBooks @BarbaraBB yesss! Would definitely love to join! 💕thank youuu! 🌷📚📚📚🌷 5d
BarbaraBB That is so nice Myra! @Megabooks will lead the discussion on 8 and 15 July. We will tag you! 5d
GatheringBooks @BarbaraBB would also love to know what #CampLitsy23 entails - what are the other books in the camp? Maybe i can join the others too. 💕 5d
BarbaraBB Perfect! I am going to tag you in some earlier posts! Have you read the tagged book? We‘ll discuss that Saturday! 5d
GatheringBooks @BarbaraBB yay! Will most likely read the eleanor catton one. I doubt i would find the bandit queens here in the uae. 🥲 5d
GatheringBooks @BarbaraBB oooh. I spoke too soon. It‘s actually available via amazon. Nice. But i doubt i can read it on time though. 😅 5d
BarbaraBB Birnam Wood is better 😉. 4d
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