The Lost Choice: A Legend of Personal Discovery [NOOK Book]

Overview

This touching, funny, heartwarming and true story will become an instant Christmas Classic. In the late sixties, New York Times bestselling author Andy Andrews thought he was having a very good Christmas. He got the Incredible Edible Machine and the G.I. Joe he asked for. He even got a white belt. He also got socks from his Aunt Jane-a very lousy Christmas gift-no one could argue that. How could he know that those lousy socks would change Christmas and him forever. Includes a CD with the author's performance of ...

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The Lost Choice: A Legend of Personal Discovery

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Overview

This touching, funny, heartwarming and true story will become an instant Christmas Classic. In the late sixties, New York Times bestselling author Andy Andrews thought he was having a very good Christmas. He got the Incredible Edible Machine and the G.I. Joe he asked for. He even got a white belt. He also got socks from his Aunt Jane-a very lousy Christmas gift-no one could argue that. How could he know that those lousy socks would change Christmas and him forever. Includes a CD with the author's performance of Socks.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bestselling author Andrews (The Traveler's Gift) takes a cue from the success of his previous book, built around time travel, motivational ideas and historical figures, and continues in the same vein. When Mark and Dorry Chandler find an odd bronze object in a ditch in their Denver backyard, they begin to investigate its origin. Andrews develops the theme of the importance of making good choices, using the motif of four inscribed ancient bronze objects that together form a cup. Each fragment symbolizes choices that its historic owner made, influenced by the object. Using flashbacks, Andrews offers numerous short vignettes of the different historical figures who possessed each of the fragments, including Oskar Schindler, Alfred Vanderbilt, John Adams and George Washington Carver among others. The flashbacks are simply presented, and they often have the feel of fictional minibiographies for young readers rather than meaty adult fare. There's nothing particularly compelling about the storytelling-the mechanics of fiction are creaky in places-but that's not the point. Rather, the book stands on the positive message that one person by his or her decisions can change the world. As he did in The Traveler's Gift, Andrews should appeal to those readers looking for an uncomplicated motivational read with a dollop of history thrown in for good measure. (June) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher

"The talent of a magical and deeply thoughtful storyteller is abundant in this inspiring story of love, wisdom, and optimism. A parable, this is the story of an object found by a small boy that becomes connected, not only to a range of historical figures, but to principles and guidance that every family needs to teach its children. Andy Andrews is a superb narrator whose tone of anticipation adds suspense to the story. With a conclusion that is unusually satisfying, this mellow listening experience will be especially inspiring for parents who think seriously about their children’s moral development." 
T.W. © AudioFile Portland, Maine
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781418536398
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/24/2004
  • Sold by: THOMAS NELSON
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 120,811
  • File size: 640 KB

Meet the Author

Hailed by a New York
Times
reporter as “someone who has quietly become one of the most influential people in America,” Andy Andrews is a best-selling novelist, speaker, and consultant for the world’s largest corporations and organizations.
He has spoken at the request of four different United States presidents and recently addressed members of Congress and their spouses. Andy is the author of three New York Times bestsellers. He and his wife, Polly, have two sons.

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Read an Excerpt

The Lost Choice

A Legend of Personal Discovery


By Andy Andrews

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2004 Andy Andrews
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4185-3639-8


CHAPTER 1

Denver, Colorado—Present Day


It was Saturday morning, sunny and warm, a perfect June day in Colorado. As Mark Chandler walked into the den, he yawned and looked at his wife who was sitting in the recliner.

Dorry Chandler was the kind of woman people stared at, trying to determine if they thought she was attractive. She was five feet four inches tall if she stood on her tiptoes to be measured, which she was apt to do, and weighed an even one hundred pounds. Her red hair was accented by a sprinkling of freckles on her face. Mark walked over and kissed his wife on the top of her head.

"What time did you get in?"

"Late—eleven-thirty. Plane was delayed out of Dallas."

"Sorry I didn't wait up," Mark said as he sat on the arm of the chair. "Other than the late flight, was the trip okay?"

"Yeah, you know," Dorry shrugged. "Did the interview. In and out. No big deal."

"Do you have to go to the office today?" he asked.

"Nope. Wrote the article flying in and e-mailed it to the office last night while you snored." She messed up his hair and headed for the kitchen. "Coffee?" she asked.

"Sure, thanks," Mark said as he followed her in and sat down at the breakfast table. A Denver police officer in his fourteenth year, Mark was exactly two years older than his thirty-seven-year-old wife. He was average in height and build with dark, curly hair that occasionally grew over his ears. And that was okay. He was a detective sergeant and could get away with it.

The first day he had seen Dorry, she was arguing with his partner, who, at the time, was trying to give her a speeding ticket, and she was refusing to accept it. Standing at the rear of Dorry's beat-up white Buick LeSabre, Mark had been laughing so hard that his partner finally walked back to him and, fuming, handed him the ticket book. It had taken Mark about five more minutes to calm Dorry down and convince her to sign the ticket, but that was all the time it took for Mark to fall in love.

It had taken Dorry a bit longer to admit she was attracted to a policeman. After all, she was a newspaper reporter and had spent a great portion of her adult life fostering deep reservations about authority. In any case, they were married less than a year later and had their only child, Michael, six years after that.

Now Mark asked his bride of eleven years a familiar question. "How many cups have you already had?"

"Sixty or seventy. But I've only been awake a couple of hours. Don't start."

Mark had a theory about his wife and her personality as it related to coffee consumption. Simply put, he believed that while others might exhibit type A tendencies or be labeled a "driver" or "choleric" or one of the other terms in current use, Dorry was caffeine. Mark teased about her constant liquid companion, but had long since decided he did not really want her to quit. She would be an entirely different person without it, and he was happy with the wife he had.

"Sheesh!" he said, noticing the clock on the stove. "It's ten o'clock already. Why'd you let me sleep so late?"

"I don't know," Dorry answered. "You seemed tired." She sat down across from him and slid his favorite mug over. "Anyway, Michael was up early and wanted to play with Jonathan." Jonathan was seven, the youngest of three children who belonged to their neighbors, Richard and Kendra Harper.

"Where are they now?" Mark asked. "Next door?"

Without moving the coffee cup or taking her eyes off Mark, Dorry smiled and slid her forefinger from the mug handle, pointing it out the big picture window. "In the ditch," she said.

Defining the boundary of the Chandler's backyard was a low area, a wet runoff that Mark proudly referred to as "the creek." Dorry called it a ditch.

Whatever it was, they couldn't keep their son out of it. Michael was a five-year-old with his mother's red hair and green eyes and his dad's personality. Interested in everything, he wanted to know where it came from, how it worked, why it worked, and quite often, what it looked like on the inside! Mark and Dorry had wanted more children, but after years of trying to conceive again, they had finally been told by several doctors that it was "an impossibility."

As Mark looked out the picture window, he saw the bobbing heads of two boys as they knelt, splashed, jumped, and scurried from one area to another. He chuckled and shook his head. "They'd probably roll around in that creek all day if we let 'em."

"Ditch," Dorry corrected. "Probably so." She stood and reached for another cup of coffee. "But we are going to the mall today, remember? Master Michael Chandler needs some summer clothes, and I could use a few things myself."

Mark groaned. "I forgot all about that, but yeah, I guess. We're still cooking out tonight with Richard and Kendra, right?"

"As far as I know. They said they would cook, so I'm not even thinking about it. You know their deal. When we cook, they bring nothing. Nothing! So tonight, guess what I'm bringing?"

"Nothing?" Mark asked innocently, trying not to laugh.

"That's exactly right," Dorry replied. "But I will bring an entire box of nothing."


A little later, after having been called three times by Mark, Dorry whistled once with her hands on her hips and their son tramped through the back door. "Let's go, buddy. Dad's in the shower. We're going to the mall. Are you dirty?"

"No, ma'am."

Dorry stuck her arm in front of him as he tried to squeeze by. "I didn't think you were, but I had to ask," she said. "I just couldn't see through all that mud covering up your cleanliness."

"Oh, Mom," Michael grinned, "don't be sarcasm."

Dorry stopped. With her eyes opened wide, she asked, "Where on earth did you learn that word?"

"Daddy. He said it was supposed to be your name. It's what Grampa wanted to make your name, but Nana wouldn't let him."

"Really?" Dorry stifled a laugh. "Remind me to tell you a story about Daddy later. Right now, we have to hustle. Take off your clothes here in the kitchen and run for the tub."

As the guys were bathing, Dorry poured another cup of coffee and started the washing machine. She turned the water temperature to its highest setting. Forget color. It's all brown anyway, she thought. Gathering up the clothes, Dorry noticed a heaviness to the blue jeans. Not surprised, she began to empty the pockets. It was something she had done for Mark ever since they'd been married, and now Michael was just like him. Mentally, she categorized the items, placing them on the counter by the sink or straight into the garbage can.

Whatever the heavy thing was, Dorry had to work the pocket inside out. Her hand barely fit into Michael's undersized pockets anyway and this last item, certain to be the biggest rock yet, seemed truly stuck. Gradually, she was able to reverse the wet cotton fabric and remove ... something.

It wasn't a rock, Dorry didn't think. But then again, maybe it was. She turned it over. It was metal. A bit smaller than her hand, crumpled into a vague rectangular shape, with some kind of small indentions all over it. Old looking, but not rusted. Definitely metal, she decided. Unless it's a rock.


It was almost a week later when dorry remembered the "rock." She had put it in an empty flowerpot on the windowsill above the sink, intending to inspect it more closely when she wasn't in such a hurry.

Mark found it the following Thursday evening. They always enjoyed the extra hour or so of daylight that summer provided and, most days, spent the time after work outdoors with Michael. From the patio where he and Michael were watching Dorry transplant clumps of daisies, Mark went inside to retrieve the pot.

A moment later, Mark unlocked and opened the window from the kitchen. "Is this the one you want?" he called, holding up the flowerpot.

Dorry glanced up. "Uh-huh. The yellow one."

Mark stepped through the door. "Do you want whatever this is in the pot?" he asked as he walked over. He shook the pot and made it rattle.

"What?" Dorry looked up.

"This thing." Mark reached into the pot and brought out the object. "Is this a throwaway?"

Recognition showed in Dorry's face as she straightened her back and removed her gardening gloves. "I forgot all about that," she said. "It was in Michael's pocket last week. I actually meant to show it to you."

"So don't throw it away?"

"Not yet. I want to look at it again. And we're ready to come in. The mosquitoes are killing us."


Later that evening, the family gathered in the den. "What do we want to talk about tonight?" Mark began. The television sat, rarely used, in the corner. Several years earlier Mark and Dorry had agreed that their jobs kept them current on as much news as they could stand, and neither wanted Michael to grow up with the television blaring constantly. So, unlike other families they knew, the Chandlers had developed a habit of talking.

"Hey, get that thing," Dorry said. "That thingie from the flowerpot. Where'd you put it?"

"Oh, yeah," Mark said as he got out of his recliner and headed for the kitchen. "Hang on." Seconds later, he returned with the object in his hand and a perplexed frown on his face.

"Come here and hold it where we can all see it," Dorry said as she made room on the couch. "Michael, you sit in Mama's lap."

Mark sat down and held the object at an angle to catch the light from the floor lamp. Reaching up to adjust the lampshade, he said, "Where did you say this came from?"

"From Monkey Boy's pocket," she answered and gave the child a quick tickle across the ribs. Michael giggled.

Mark looked at his son. "So where did you get it, Monkey Boy?"

"At the creek," Michael said.

"At the creek? Or in the creek?"

Michael looked thoughtful. There would come a time in his life, particularly as a teenager, when he would notice that the answers his parents required were to be delivered in excruciating detail. This was not Michael's fault—just a natural byproduct of having a journalist for a mother and a detective for a father. But for now, he was only too happy to reply.

"It was kinda on the side of the creek."

Mark turned it over. "It's not a rock. It's too heavy. Kind of reddish brownish. It's hard. I can't nick it with my fingernail."

"Let me see it," Dorry said. Mark handed it to her. She held the edges up to the light. "See the cuts?" she said, pointing them out to her husband and son. "Sort of ... indentions or something. It's like they have a pattern, but not really. It looks old, doesn't it?"

"Yep," Mark said as he stood up. "Old like me. And it's time to go to bed."

"Daddy, will you read me a story?"

Mark reached down and grabbed Michael, swinging him up into his arms. "Yes, I will, Monkey Boy!"

"Hang on a minute. I'm serious," Dorry said. "Don't you think this is old? I mean, really old?"

"Yeah, probably," Mark said as he turned the chortling five-year-old upside down.

"Yeah, probably?" Dorry imitated Mark's voice. "Yeah, probably? Do you not have any curiosity about this at all?"

Mark was tempted to answer her with a "yeah, probably," but instead said simply, "Look, Dorry, you have enough curiosity in you for all five of us, and there are only three in our family!"

"Well, I just would have thought ..."

"Hey, if you really want to know, give it to Dylan and see what he can find out."

She scrunched up her face. "Who?"

"Dylan. Kendra's brother. You met him last Saturday night. He just moved here."

"Okay," she said as the recognition dawned on her face. "I remember. He's one of the new 'big dogs' at the museum, right?"

"In one department or another. Anyway, give it to him and see what he thinks."

"I think I will," Dorry answered and kissed Michael goodnight. "I'm sure we'll get along. I saw what he brought to his sister's cookout."

Mark paused, then chuckled as he caught the reference. "Nothing?"

"Yes," she smirked. "An entire box."

CHAPTER 2

Poland—April 1943


The group of men stood in the factory courtyard shortly after midday. Their guide was the owner of Duetch Emailwaren Fabrik, a producer of enameled goods. Oberführer Eberhard Steinhauser was enjoying a tour of the grounds with his second, Unterscharfuhrer Herman Bosche, several other officers, and an adjutant who had been assigned to the men for the morning.

Steinhauser and Bosche were resplendent in their uniforms. Black-on-black with ornamental silver and an occasional trace of red, the sharply tailored clothing had been created specially for officers of the Staatspolizei. On each shoulder of the jacket were the letters 55 laid over a lightning bolt. Medals and ribbons for loyalty and bravery stood in contrast over the left breast, but the uniform's focal point was the cap—steeply arched in the front and centered with a silver skull and crossbones.

Their tour guide was also dressed expensively, but in a business suit. Navy blue, it was one of many double-breasted suits owned by the direktor of the company. A tall, thirty-four-year-old man, he wore his dark hair combed straight back, and though he smoked incessantly, he somehow managed to appear stately. The starched white shirt he wore provided an adequate background for the red and grey tie, but one's eye ran immediately to the lapel, not to the tie. There hung a large ornamental gold-on-black Hakenkreuz, a swastika, the symbol of a member in good standing of the Nazi Party.

Steinhauser spoke. "A pity we must leave, Herr Direktor. Your hospitality has been greatly appreciated, and I assure you, duly noted. You will not forget my poor mother?"

"No, no! Of course not," the direktor replied as he placed his hand on the oberführer's shoulder and gently started him moving toward the exit. "Should I deliver it to her personally, or would you have me direct it through her loving son?"

The small group laughed. "Just have it sent to my office. Five complete sets of your finest, mind you. I will take care of Mama." The group laughed again.

The direktor had lost count of how many mothers of officers had "lost their enamelware in bombings." It wasn't remotely true, of course. The entire charade was merely an unspoken business transaction. All parties knew that the enamelware would quickly find its way onto the black market, lining the pockets of the officers. It was a bribe, pure and simple.

Not a stupid man, the direktor was about to arrange several sets to be delivered to Bosche as well when Steinhauser spoke again. "You there!" he barked. The group turned, looking for the object of his attention.

A small man, a factory worker, was crossing the court yard. He wore threadbare clothes, a blue and white armband with the Star of David around his sleeve. Practically dragging himself along, it was obvious even from a distance that he was sobbing; tears fell from his unshaven face.

"You!" The man stopped and looked up. "Come!" Steinhauser commanded.

The man fearfully shuffled over and stopped about ten feet away.

"What is your name?" Steinhauser asked.

The man stared blankly, unresponsive.

"Animals," Bosche muttered under his breath as he shook his head. "They are just—"

Steinhauser held up his hand. "Herman, please," he said. "We must show a degree of sensitivity in these situations." Taking a step closer to the man cowering in front of him, he enunciated, "I asked your name."

"Lamus," he answered.

"Lamus, my friend, why are you so upset? See here, you are crying like a child."

As Steinhauser paused, Lamus interrupted, his words bursting forth in agony. "My wife, Rena, and our two-year-old boy, Samuel, were killed in the evacuation of the ghetto last week." Now, weeping uncontrollably and practically screaming, he said, "My only child was swung by his heels into a wall in front of his mother before she died!"

Steinhauser's eyebrows lifted. "Lamus, I am deeply touched. And fortunately for you, I am a man with the power to act upon my compassion." Turning to the adjutant, he said, "Shoot the Jew so that he may be reunited with his family in heaven."


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Lost Choice by Andy Andrews. Copyright © 2004 Andy Andrews. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 34 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 1, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A hidden gem well worth reading

    I love the works of Andy Andrews, and this was the last of his major works that I had yet to read. It is more obscure than many of his other works like The Traveler's Gift and The Butterfly Effect, but by no means of less quality. Andrews weaves in lessons of personal growth and development into a fictional account of comtemporary persons learning about remarkable people in history. If you are looking for a fun but meaningful read, pick up The Lost Choice by Andy Andrews.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 11, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The Lost Choice provokes thought and entertains with a touch of historical accounts of great individuals.

    This is another great book by Andy Andrews. He brings to life historical accounts of great people by intertwing them into his story presenting his case that all can make a diffence in the world. A boy finds a relic and his parents and another couple are amazed as they find the inspiration that the physical object has provided to a number of great people. This is great reading and would be great for book clubs or and readers that wish to hear a great story about "action" as opposed to "inaction." JRH

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2004

    We can make a difference

    I loved this book. I read the review in 'Publisher's Weekly' and wonder what makes them so cynical. This is a hugely encouraging story that tells me that what I do, or don't do, really matters. I tend to forget that in the confusion of real life. Andy makes a powerful message without being preachy or teachy. The book is fun and hard to put down. Great stuff!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Very highly recommended!

    My favorite of all the great Andy Andrews' books. Love the blend of fiction with real people.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 4, 2010

    The Lost Choice

    The Lost Choice is a great read for all. The message that unfolds is amazing. As soon as you read it you will want to pass it on to someone you love. I wish I had paid more attention in history class. The historical side of this book makes me want to learn more. The real lesson, however, is how important each person's life can be.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2005

    one of the best...

    ...simply put, one of the best books that ever made a 'sudden' impact. Great for all ages, should be a requirement in history/english classes! Kept me enthralled! I thank Andy and all that were involved in writting all his books. Anticipating the next book!!!! Loved it bigtime!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2004

    tools for life

    This book not only inspires but gives people real tools to improve their lives today and all their tomorrows.Read it and change your life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2004

    Easy read, simple theme, powerful impact.

    If I had read books such as 'The Lost Choice' when I was in high school I might have understood sooner than 52 years old that, as David Hume (1711-1776) said, 'History is the discovering of the constant and universal principles of human nature.' Or as Jawaharlai Nehru described, 'History is a record of human progress, a record of the struggle of the advancement of the human mind, of the human spirit, toward some known or unknown objective.' As in 'The Traveler's Gift', Andy Andrews has in his latest work, 'The Lost Choice', connected me with real people in history who have played a significant role in the advancement of the human mind and spirit. The characters that Andrews picked to highlight in the 'The Lost Choice' are real life figures who chose to do the right thing no matter the cost. We all need to read such stories in these days and times. We are blessed to live in the United States of American and to be able to read such books as 'The Lost Choice'. As Voltaire said in a letter to Frederick the Great in May, 1773, 'History can be well written only in a free country.' Foncie Bullard, Mobile, Alabama.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2004

    Better even than The Traveler's Gift

    I loved Andy's first novel, The Traveler's Gift, but The Lost Choice is even better. Get one for yourself and several for gifts. It is so inspiring that you will want to share that inspiration.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2004

    The Best Choice

    People are always recommending this book or that. But your BEST choice is The Lost Choice. It is really capitivating, entertaining and inspiring. (Don't be fooled, some so-called 'inspirational' books are dry and sleep aids. Here you are inspired WHILE being entertained.) I bought it on one afternoon and finished it at 7 am the next morning. I could not put it down, even while taking care of 3 children! By reading this book you will remember your significance in this world, even when you are apt to forget. This book was a much needed boost in my life. Now, I am telling everyone about it - and giving them away as gifts. I want all my friends and family to be blessed by the message in this book, too. Andy Andrews does a fantastic job of story telling that catapults you into different lives and times of the characters so that you feel as though YOU are living out the story! You will read faster and faster, anxiously looking for the next big adventure. Do yourself and the ones you love a big favor and get this book today - and read it before anything else! Thanks, Andy, for ANOTHER life changing experience.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2004

    Lost Choice

    It is hard to enjoy learning in the summer, but this book is an enjoyment. And you learn a little history in the process! This is such an inspiring story, giving everyone hope for the future by our own decisions. So read this instead of some tacky trashy novella!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2004

    Lost Choice

    I started reading this book one afternoon and did not put it down until nearly 8 hours later! The first few pages read like a history mystery and the story continues--so I kept reading to find out what happened. Only after I had finished the book did I think of it as a self-help type book. The story is fantastic; one you can read to your children or grandparents. It also makes you think of how our world can and should be changed by our own actions.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2004

    Andy Andrews does i t again

    The Lost Choice takes me into a place and time I have never been. Andy Andrews has the God given ability to share thoughts and experiences that are life changing. He is an exceptional 'story teller'. Don't miss the opportunity to experience The Lost Choice. You will want to share this book with people you care about.

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    Posted September 24, 2010

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    Posted July 11, 2011

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    Posted April 21, 2011

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    Posted October 22, 2012

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    Posted February 4, 2012

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    Posted July 18, 2011

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