Block of Books
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  • AUGUSTINE : Conversions and Confessions
    AUGUSTINE : Conversions and Confessions
    LANE FOX ROBIN
    ISBN: 9780241950753
    Title: AUGUSTINE : Conversions and Confessions
    Author: LANE FOX ROBIN
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    Augustine is the person from the ancient world about whom we know most. He is the author of an intimate masterpiece, the Confessions, which continues to delight its many admirers. In it he writes about his infancy and his schooling in the classics in late Roman North Africa, his remarkable mother, his sexual sins ('Give me chastity, but not yet,' he famously prayed), his time in an outlawed heretical sect, his worldly career and friendships and his gradual return to God. His account of his own eventual conversion is a classic study of anguish, hesitation and what he believes to be God's intervention. It has inspired philosophers, Christian thinkers and monastic followers, but it still leaves readers wondering why exactly Augustine chose to compose a work like none before it.

    Robin Lane Fox follows Augustine on a brilliantly described journey, combining the latest scholarship with recently found letters and sermons by Augustine himself to give a portrait of his subject which is subtly different from older biographies. Augustine's heretical years as a Manichaean, his relation to non-Christian philosophy, his mystical aspirations and the nature of his conversion are among the aspects of his life which stand out in a sharper light. For the first time Lane Fox compares him with two contemporaries, an older pagan and a younger Christian, each of whom also wrote about themselves and who illumine Augustine's life and writings by their different choices.

    More than a decade passed between Augustine's conversion and his beginning the Confessions. Lane Fox argues that the Confessions and their thinking were the results of a long gestation over these years, not a sudden change of perspective, but that they were then written as a single swift composition and that its final books are a coherent consummation of its scriptural meditation and personal biography. This exceptional study reminds us why we are so excited and so moved by Augustine's story.

    Praise for Pagans and Christians

    'This open-hearted and learned book is one that any scholar of the ancient world and of early Christianity would be proud to have written . . . Lane Fox has opened his pages to let in an entirely new world.' Peter Brown, New York Review of Books

    'A work of generous humanity and recondite erudition . . . of consuming interest to all of us who want to know and understand the consequences of the ancient world.' Henry Chadwick, Financial Times

    Praise for The Unauthorised Version

    'I don't know where one would turn for an account of the Bible so clear, so lively and, in many respects, so just.' Frank Kermode, Guardian

    'Magnificent . . . delivered with authority and verve. Learned but never pedantic, he is an unfailingly incisive, thought-provoking, humane, courteous, and often entertaining guide.'
    Economist



    Imprint: PENGUIN BOOKS
    RRP: $27.99
    Price: $27.99
  • AUGUSTUS : FROM REVOLUTIONARY TO EMPEROR
    AUGUSTUS : FROM REVOLUTIONARY TO EMPEROR
    GOLDSWORTHY ADRIAN
    ISBN: 9780753829158
    Title: AUGUSTUS : FROM REVOLUTIONARY TO EMPEROR
    Author: GOLDSWORTHY ADRIAN
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    The story of how Augustus rose from an obscure teenager to become Rome's first and greatest emperor.

    Caesar Augustus schemed and fought his way to absolute power. He became Rome's first emperor and ruled for forty-four years before dying peacefully in his bed. The system he created would endure for centuries.

    Yet, despite his exceptional success, he is a difficult man to pin down, and far less well-known than his great-uncle, Julius Caesar. His story is not always edifying: he murdered his opponents, exiled his daughter when she failed to conform and freely made and broke alliances as he climbed ever higher. However, the peace and stability he fostered were real, and under his rule the empire prospered. Adrian Goldsworthy examines the ancient sources to understand the man and his times.

    Imprint: WEIDENFELD & NICOLSON
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
  • AUNTS UP THE CROSS - TEXT CLASSICS
    AUNTS UP THE CROSS - TEXT CLASSICS
    DALTON ROBIN
    ISBN: 9781925240641
    Title: AUNTS UP THE CROSS - TEXT CLASSICS
    Author: DALTON ROBIN
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    My great Aunt Juliet was knocked over and killed by a bus when she was eighty-five. The bus was travelling very slowly in the right direction and could hardly have been missed by anyone except Aunt Juliet, who must have been travelling fairly fast in the wrong direction.

    Growing up in the 1930s in a grand old home in Sydney's bohemian Kings Cross, Robin Dalton experienced a childhood of curiosity and wonder. Raised by a bevy of idiosyncratic aunts and a revolving door of unconventional houseguests, Dalton recalls a time when children had real adventures in a world not easy but perhaps less complicated than today's.

    With a gentle warmth and wicked wit, Robin Dalton brings to life all the colour, glamour and charm of Australian society between the wars. Steeped in nostalgia, Aunts Up the Cross is a delightfully funny memoir of family, childhood and an Australia of yesteryear.



    Imprint: TEXT PUBLISHING
    RRP: $12.95
    Price: $12.95
  • AUSTRALIAS SWEETHEART : The Amazing Story of Forgotten Hollywood star Mary Maguire
    AUSTRALIAS SWEETHEART : The Amazing Story of Forgotten Hollywood star Mary Maguire
    ADAMS MICHAEL
    ISBN: 9780733640292
    Title: AUSTRALIAS SWEETHEART : The Amazing Story of Forgotten Hollywood star Mary Maguire
    Author: ADAMS MICHAEL
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    This is the fascinating story of Mary Maguire, a 1930s Australian ingenue who sailed for Hollywood and a fabulous life, only to have her career cut short by scandal and tragedy. Packed with celebrity, history and gossip, AUSTRALIA'S SWEETHEART is perfect for readers of SHEILA and THE RIVIERA SET.

    Mary Maguire was Australia's first teenage movie star and she captivated Hollywood in the mid 1930s. Mary lived on three continents and was celebrated in Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney, Los Angeles and London. Her life was lived in parallel with seminal incidents of the twentieth century: the Spanish Flu; the Great Depression; the Bodyline series; Australia's early radio, talkies and aviation; Hollywood's Golden Era; the British aristocracy's embrace of European fascism; London's Blitz; and post-war American culture and politics. Mary knew everyone, from Douglas Jardine, Don Bradman, Errol Flynn and Ronald Reagan, to William Randolph Hearst, Maureen O'Sullivan and Judy Garland.

    AUSTRALIA'S SWEETHEART in an irresistible never-before-told story that captures the glamour of Hollywood and the turbulent times of the twentieth century, with a young woman at its centre.

    Imprint: HACHETTE
    RRP: $32.99

    Price: $32.99
  • AUTOBIOGRAPHY
    AUTOBIOGRAPHY
    MORRISSEY
    ISBN: 9780141394817
    Title: AUTOBIOGRAPHY
    Author: MORRISSEY
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Steven Patrick Morrissey was born in Manchester on May 22nd 1959. Singer-songwriter and co-founder of the Smiths (1982-1987), Morrissey has been a solo artist for twenty-six years, during which time he has had three number 1 albums in England in three different decades. Achieving eleven Top 10 albums (plus nine with the Smiths), his songs have been recorded by David Bowie, Nancy Sinatra, Marianne Faithfull, Chrissie Hynde, Thelma Houston, My Chemical Romance and Christy Moore, amongst others. An animal protectionist, in 2006 Morrissey was voted the second greatest living British icon by viewers of the BBC, losing out to Sir David Attenborough. In 2007 Morrissey was voted the greatest northern male, past or present, in a nationwide newspaper poll. In 2012, Morrissey was awarded the Keys to the City of Tel-Aviv. It has been said 'Most pop stars have to be dead before they reach the iconic status that Morrissey has reached in his lifetime.'

    Imprint: PENGUIN MODERN CLASSICS
    RRP: $19.99

    Price: $19.99
  • AUTUMN IN VENICE : Ernest Hemingway and His Last Muse
    AUTUMN IN VENICE : Ernest Hemingway and His Last Muse
    DI ROBILANT ANDREA
    ISBN: 9781782399384
    Title: AUTUMN IN VENICE : Ernest Hemingway and His Last Muse
    Author: DI ROBILANT ANDREA
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    The remarkable story of Hemingway's love affair with both the city of Venice and the muse he found there - a young Italian girl who inspired him to complete his great final work.

    In the autumn of 1948 Hemingway and his fourth wife travelled for the first time to Venice, which Hemingway called 'a goddam wonderful city'. He was a year shy of his fiftieth birthday and hadn't published a novel in nearly a decade. At a duck shoot in the lagoon he met and fell in love with Adriana Ivancich, a striking Venetian girl just out of finishing school. Di Robilant - whose great uncle moved in Hemingway's revolving circle of bon vivants, aristocrats, and artists - recreates with sparkling clarity this surprising, years-long relationship. Hemingway used Adriana as the model for Renata in Across the River and Into the Trees, and continued to visit Venice to see her; the Ivanciches travelled to Cuba, placing Adriana beside him as he wrote The Old Man and the Sea.

    This illuminating story of writer and muse - which also examines the cost to a young woman of her association with a larger-than-life literary celebrity - is an intimate look at the fractured heart and changing art of Hemingway in his fifties.

    Imprint: ATLANTIC BOOKS
    RRP: $35.00

    Price: $35.00
  • BAD BLOOD : A Memoir
    BAD BLOOD : A Memoir
    SAGE LORNA
    ISBN: 9780008329679
    Title: BAD BLOOD : A Memoir
    Author: SAGE LORNA
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: April 2019 New Release

    One of the most critically acclaimed memoirs ever written.One of the ten books – novels, memoirs and one very unusual biography – that make up our Matchbook Classics' series, a stunningly redesigned collection of some of the best loved titles on our backlist. Lorna sage's outstanding childhood and adolescence brings to life her eccentric family and bizarre upbringing in rural Wales.The period is evoked through a wickedly funny and deeply intelligent account: from the 1940s, dominated for Lorna by her dissolute but charismatic vicar grandfather, through the 1950s, where the invention of fish fingers revolutionised the lives of housewives like Lorna's mother, to the brink of the 1960s, where Lorna's pregnancy at 16 outraged those around her, an event her grandmother blamed on ‘the fiendish invention of sex'.Bad Blood vividly and wittily explores a vanished time and place, and illuminate the lives of three generations of women.

    Imprint: HARPER COLLINS
    RRP: $22.99
    Price: $22.99
  • BALCONY OVER JERUSALEM : A Memoir of the Middle East
    BALCONY OVER JERUSALEM : A Memoir of the Middle East
    LYONS JOHN
    ISBN: 9781460752562
    Title: BALCONY OVER JERUSALEM : A Memoir of the Middle East
    Author: LYONS JOHN
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    A gripping memoir of life in Jerusalem from one of Australia's most experienced Middle East correspondents.

    Leading Australian journalist John Lyons will take readers on a fascinating personal journey through the wonders and dangers of the Middle East. From the sheer excitement of arriving in Jerusalem with his wife and eight-year-old son, to the fall of dictators and his gripping account of what it feels like to be taken by Egyptian soldiers, blindfolded and interrogated, this is a memoir of the Middle East like no other.

    Drawing on a 20-year interest in the Middle East, Lyons has had extraordinary access - he's interviewed everyone from Israel's former Prime Ministers Shimon Peres and Ehud Olmert to key figures from Hezbollah and Hamas. He's witnessed the brutal Iranian Revolutionary Guard up close and was one of the last foreign journalists in Iran during the violent crackdown against the 'Green Revolution'. He's confronted Hamas officials about why they fire rockets into Israel and Israeli soldiers about why they fire tear gas at Palestinian school children. By telling the story of his family travelling through the region, this book is extremely readable and entertaining, full of humour, colour. It is sometimes dazzling in its detail, sometimes tragic. Lyons says he has written it in a way that readers can feel they are there with him - so they can smell the wonderful markets of the Middle East and feel the fear of what it is like to be blindfolded and have your hands bound with electrical cord. Lyons also looks at 50 years of Israeli occupation of the West Bank - the mechanics of how this works and the effect it now has on both Israelis and Palestinians.

    Lyons explains the Middle East through every day life and experiences - his son's school, his wife's friends and his own dealings with a range of people over six years. If you only read one book on the Middle East, this is it.

    Imprint: HARPER COLLINS
    RRP: $34.99

    Price: $34.99
  • BANJO
    BANJO
    KIEZA GRANTLEE
    ISBN: 9780733335891
    Title: BANJO
    Author: KIEZA GRANTLEE
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Balladeer, bushman, soldier, foreign correspondent - the remarkable life of Australia's greatest storyteller

    In Grantlee Kieza's landmark biography, we discover the real Andrew Barton 'Banjo' Paterson. Australia's most celebrated poet and storyteller helped define our national traits of loyalty, mateship and laconic humour, but he did and was so much more. A soldier in the Boer War and WWI, the balladeer bushman was also a solicitor, newspaper editor, columnist, war and foreign correspondent and ABC broadcaster.

    Close friends with many luminaries of his time, including Rudyard Kipling, Winston Churchill, Field Marshal Haig, Breaker Morant and Henry Lawson, the tennis ace, notorious ladies man, brilliant jockey and celebrated polo player was eye witness to many of the great moments in Australian 20th century history.

    Extensively researched and written with Kieza's trademark verve, Banjo is a rich and captivating portrait of our most celebrated poet and a truly great Australian.

    Imprint: ABC PUBLICATIONS
    RRP: $39.99

    Price: $39.99
  • BARBARIAN DAYS : A SURFING LIFE - Pulitzer Prize for Biography 2016
    BARBARIAN DAYS : A SURFING LIFE - Pulitzer Prize for Biography 2016
    FINNEGAN WILLIAM
    ISBN: 9781472151414
    Title: BARBARIAN DAYS : A SURFING LIFE - Pulitzer Prize for Biography 2016
    Author: FINNEGAN WILLIAM
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR BIOGRAPHY 2016

    Surfing only looks like a sport. To devotees, it is something else entirely: a beautiful addiction, a mental and physical study, a passionate way of life. William Finnegan first started surfing as a young boy in California and Hawaii.

    Barbarian Days is his immersive memoir of a life spent travelling the world chasing waves through the South Pacific, Australia, Asia, Africa, Peru and beyond. Finnegan describes the edgy yet enduring brotherhood forged among the swell of the surf; and recalling his own apprenticeship to the world's most famous and challenging waves, he considers the intense relationship formed between man, board and water.

    BARBARIAN DAYS is an old-school adventure story, a social history, an extraordinary exploration of one man's gradual mastering of an exacting and little-understood art. It is a memoir of dangerous obsession and enchantment.

    Imprint: CORSAIR
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • BATTARBEE AND NAMATJIRA
    BATTARBEE AND NAMATJIRA
    EDMOND MARTIN
    ISBN: 9781922146687
    Title: BATTARBEE AND NAMATJIRA
    Author: EDMOND MARTIN
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    Battarbee and Namatjira is the biography of two artists Rex Battarbee and Albert Namatjira, one white Australian from Warrnambool in Victoria, the other Aboriginal, of the Arrernte people, from the Hermannsburg Mission south of Alice Springs.

    From their first encounters in the early 1930s, when Battarbee introduced Namatjira to the techniques of water-colour painting, through the period of Namatjiras popularity as a painter, to the tragic circumstances leading to his death in 1959, their close relationship was to have a decisive impact on Australian art. This biography, illustrated with photographs, makes extensive use of Battarbees diaries for the first time, to throw new light on Namatjiras life, and to bring Battarbee, who has been largely ignored by biographers, back into focus. Some of its findings will be controversial.

    By moving between the artists and their backgrounds, and looking closely at the nature of their friendship, Edmond is able to portray the personal and social complexities the two men faced, while at the same time illuminating larger cultural themes the treatment of the Arrernte and Indigenous people generally, the influence of the Lutheran church, the development of anthropology, and the evolution of Australian art.

    Imprint: GIRAMONDO
    RRP: $29.99

    Price: $29.99
  • BE LIKE THE FOX : Machiavelli's Lifelong Quest for Freedom
    BE LIKE THE FOX : Machiavelli's Lifelong Quest for Freedom
    BENNER ERICA
    ISBN: 9780141974859
    Title: BE LIKE THE FOX : Machiavelli's Lifelong Quest for Freedom
    Author: BENNER ERICA
    Format: PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: JUNE 2018 NEW RELEASE

    A fascinating new biography of Machiavelli, which explores his true character and contradictions as never before.

    One needs to be a fox to recognize snares, and a lion to frighten the wolves.

    Niccolò Machiavelli lived in a fiercely competitive world, one where brute wealth, brazen liars and ruthless self-promoters seemed to carry off all the prizes; where the wealthy elite grew richer at the expense of their fellow citizens. In times like these, many looked to crusading religion to solve their problems, or they turned to a new breed of leaders - super-rich dynasties like the Medici or military strongmen like Cesare Borgia; upstarts from outside the old ruling classes. In the republic of Florence, Machiavelli and his contemporaries faced a choice: should they capitulate to these new princes, or fight to save the city's democratic freedoms?

    Be Like the Fox follows Machiavelli's dramatic quest for political and human freedom through his own eyes. Masterfully interweaving his words with those of his friends and enemies, Erica Benner breathes life into his penetrating, comical, often surprising comments on events. Far from the cynical henchman people think he was, Machiavelli emerges as his era's staunchest champion of liberty, a profound ethical thinker who refused to compromise his ideals to fit corrupt times. But he did sometimes have to mask his true convictions, becoming a great artist of fox-like dissimulation: a master of disguise in dangerous times.

    Imprint: PENGUIN BOOKS
    RRP: $22.99

    Price: $22.99
  • BEATLES '66 : The Revolutionary Year
    BEATLES '66 : The Revolutionary Year
    TURNER STEVE
    ISBN: 9780062475589
    Title: BEATLES '66 : The Revolutionary Year
    Author: TURNER STEVE
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK

    A riveting look at the transformative year in the lives and careers of the legendary group whose groundbreaking legacy would forever change music and popular culture.

    They started off as hysteria-inducing pop stars playing to audiences of screaming teenage fans and ended up as musical sages considered responsible for ushering in a new era.

    The year that changed everything for the Beatles was 1966-the year of their last concert and their first album, Revolver, that was created to be listened to rather than performed. This was the year the Beatles risked their popularity by retiring from live performances, recording songs that explored alternative states of consciousness, experimenting with avant-garde ideas, and speaking their minds on issues of politics, war, and religion. It was the year their records were burned in America after John's explosive claim that the group was "more popular than Jesus," the year they were hounded out of the Philippines for "snubbing" its First Lady, the year John met Yoko Ono, and the year Paul conceived the idea for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

    On the fiftieth anniversary of this seminal year, music journalist and Beatles expert Steve Turner slows down the action to investigate in detail the enormous changes that took place in the Beatles' lives and work during 1966. He looks at the historical events that had an impact on the group, the music they made that in turn profoundly affected the culture around them, and the vision that allowed four young men from Liverpool to transform popular music and serve as pioneers for artists from Coldplay to David Bowie, Jay-Z to U2.

    By talking to those close to the group and by drawing on his past interviews with key figures such as George Martin, Timothy Leary, and Ravi Shankar-and the Beatles themselves-Turner gives us the compelling, definitive account of the twelve months that contained everything the Beatles had been and anticipated everything they would still become.

    Imprint: ECCO
    RRP: $29.99

    Price: $29.99
  • BECOMING
    BECOMING
    OBAMA MICHELLE
    ISBN: 9780241334140
    Title: BECOMING
    Author: OBAMA MICHELLE
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era.

    As First Lady of the United States of America-the first African-American to serve in that role-she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.

    In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her-from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world's most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it-in her own words and on her own terms.
    Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations-and whose story inspires us to do the same.

    Imprint: VIKING
    RRP: $49.99

    Price: $39.99
  • BEEKEEPER OF SINJAR
    BEEKEEPER OF SINJAR
    MIKHAIL DUNYA
    ISBN: 9781788161268
    Title: BEEKEEPER OF SINJAR
    Author: MIKHAIL DUNYA
    Format: HARD COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Either we die here, or we escape together. A deeply moving story of courage in the face of unimaginable adversity.


    In The Beekeeper of Sinjar, the acclaimed poet and journalist Dunya Mikhail tells the harrowing stories of women from across Iraq who have managed to escape the clutches of ISIS. Since 2014, ISIS has been persecuting the Yazidi people, killing or enslaving those who won't convert to Islam. These women have lost their families and loved ones, along with everything they've ever known. Dunya Mikhail weaves together the women's tales of endurance and near-impossible escape with the story of her own exile and her dreams for the future of Iraq.

    In the midst of ISIS's reign of terror and hatred, an unlikely hero has emerged: the Beekeeper. Once a trader selling his mountain honey across the region, when ISIS came to Sinjar he turned his knowledge of the local terrain to another, more dangerous use. Along with a secret network of transporters, helpers, and former bootleggers, Abdullah Shrem smuggles brutalised Yazidi women to safety through the war-torn landscapes of Iraq, Syria, and Western Turkey.

    This powerful work of literary nonfiction offers a counterpoint to ISIS's genocidal extremism: hope, as ordinary people risk torture and death to save the lives of others.

    Imprint: PROFILE BOOKS
    RRP: $24.99

    Price: $24.99
  • BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING : The Year I Lost My Mind and Found Myself
    BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING : The Year I Lost My Mind and Found Myself
    BUCHANAN ANDREA
    ISBN: 9781760640682
    Title: BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING : The Year I Lost My Mind and Found Myself
    Author: BUCHANAN ANDREA
    Format: TRADE PAPER COVER
    Publishing status: ACTIVE TITLE

    Andrea Buchanan lost her mind while crossing the street one day. Suffering from a horrible cough, she inhaled the cold March air, and choked. She was choking on a lot that day. A sick son. A pending divorce. The guilt of failing, as a partner, as a mother. Relieved when the coughing abated, she thought it was over. She could not have been more wrong.


    When Andrea coughed that day, a small tear was ripped in her dura mater, the membrane that covers the brain and spinal cord. But she didn't know that yet. Instead, she went on with her day, unaware that her cerebrospinal fluid was already beginning to leak out of that tiny tear.


    What followed was nine months of pain and confusion as her brain–no longer cushioned by a healthy waterbed of fluid–sank to the bottom of her skull. There was brain fog and cognitive impairment to the point where she could not even make sense of the most basic concepts. At a time when she needed to be as clear-thinking as possible, she was trapped by her brain.


    The mind-brain connection is one of the greatest mysteries of the human condition. In some folklore, the fluid around the brain is where consciousness begins. Here, in the pages of The Beginning of Everything, Andrea seeks to understand: Where was “I” when I wasn't there?

    Imprint: NERO BOOKS
    RRP: $32.99

    Price: $32.99
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