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A New Cookbook–For You!

Well, I’ve now been writing this blog for 7-1/2 months (that’s 230 days)–I really can’t believe it! Seems like just yesterday I started on my diet and cooking journey, with 40 pounds to lose.  (Oh, wait.  As of yesterday, I still had 40 pounds to lose.  Hmm.  Better keep blogging). 

I know that most people publish some kind of celebratory blog post at the one-year mark, but after completing this recent Total Health cleanse, I’ve decided that life is too short to wait for all the things we really want.  We have to relish each moment! We must grab every opportunity for happiness that comes our way! (Tempeh fugit, and all that–so seize that tempeh!)

And really, what makes people happier than free stuff A CONTEST?

Yes, dear readers, it is finally time I leapt into that most sacred of blogger activities: the contest.  I’ve decided to buy a new cookbook, and I thought, “heck, why shouldn’t one of YOU have a new cookbook, too? ” Really, for no other reason than I like you.

I’ve recently come across a few references to I Can’t Believe It’s Vegan, and thought I’d like to have it.  And then I thought, well, just because I want that book, does it mean YOU want the same book? No, of course not!

So here’s what I’m proposing: 

1. Enter the contest: Leave a comment at the bottom of this post, telling me about your favorite cookbook, and why you love it.  It can be an old book, a new book, a vegan book, an omnivore book, a diet book, an allegen-free book–whatever.  ANYONE CAN ENTER, whatever your diet, as long as the aim is to be healthy. I’m open to any and all of your endorsements!  Leave your comment by midnight, Friday, June 20, 2008. The contest is open to everyone, anywhere (welcome, crew of Battlestar Gallactica!). 

2. I’ll (randomly) choose a winner.  After the 20th, I’ll pick a winner at random from the list of comments (if I can figure out how to use the random number generator, I will; if not, I’ll just put all the numbers in a hat and pick one).

3. You (not so randomly) choose your book. Because not everyone likes the same thing, I’m offering a selection of potential prize books here. Why these books?  Well, they’re all (relatively) recent publications, and they all lean toward healthier, fewer-refined-fewer-processed ingredients. That way, I can feel comfortable giving them out as prizes. These are all books I own or would like to own. 

Here are the possible prizes you can choose:

* Eat, Drink and Be Vegan (Burton)

* ExtraVeganZa (Matthias)

* Fresh: The Ultimate Live-Food Cookbook (Boutenko)

* ReFresh (Tal and Houston)

* The Gluten-Free Vegan (O’Brien)

*  Vegan Bites: Recipes for Singles (Bennett)

* Vegan Express (Atlas)

* You Won’t Believe It’s Vegan  (Sher and Doherty)

4. I Send You Your Prize! Once the winner lets me know which book s/he would like, I’ll mail it to you, wherever you may be.  And then we can both enjoy our new cookbooks!  (I’d love to share recipe notes. . . .). 

Good luck, everyone.  I can’t wait to hear about the cookbooks you already love–so be sure to leave those comments!

“This is my favorite cookbook, Mum.  It’s very soft and cushy.”



No comments yet to A New Cookbook–For You!

  • Jamie

    The first vegan cookbook I bought almost two years ago was “Vegan with a Vengeance”. I thought the recipes were easy and delicious, and I think it’s one of the reasons I have been so happy to stick with the vegan lifestyle. I have since bought several other vegan cookbooks, but this one is still my favorite! Thanks for your great generosity!!!

  • Beauty! A contest! Actually, I don’t usually enter contests (don’t seem to have that winning thing down), but it’s *you* so here goes:
    I own very few cookbooks at all, and chosing a favorite is really difficult. The first cookbook I ever bought was “The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook” which is an excellent vegan cookbook first published in the early 70s. The recipes are basic but there’s something for everyone, but the main reason I love it is it doesn’t call for anything I can’t find in my French village. It is very campy and, well, 70s, but I love it. (I must say that I also love Vegan with a Vengeance and Veganomicon, too, because I do.)
    I think you’re really a SuperVegan for putting this together, because we all- in reading the comments- will discover some new books. 🙂

  • Celine

    sweet! happy 230 days blog-a-versary to you. I might be back to take part in the contest once the fog has lifted from my brain.

  • You are a very kind girl, Ricki! Hugs for you!

    My favourite cookbook, well that’s hard, I have a quite a few favourites. I am going to plump for Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian. My good friend Lisa over at Lisa’s Kitchen sent Graham and I a copy as a gift and it is a fab book. I don’t know why, but I stupidly thought it would be packed with curries, but it does what it says on the can, it is world food and it is a great read. She takes you around different countries and shows you their best vegetarian dishes.

    My pick from your list is Vegan Bites, I like the sound of that!

  • I use a lot of different cookbooks. I also use the Internet a lot and make up quite a few recipes by throwing whatever I have into a pot. However, the book I use most often is Betty Crocker’s New Cookbook. It has some great cookie recipes, even though (because?) they’re not gluten-free.

  • You’re such a sweetheart for doing this!

    My favorite cookbook has to be “Veganomicon”. I don’t own too many, but this one is always there when I need to impress or when I need to do something in a flash. Its variety of recipes from all sorts of cultures really makes it the ultimate cookbook!

  • This is so generous of you, I almost feel guilty entering! However, I actually don’t have many cookbooks since I’m always writing recipes, so it might be nice to have someone else do the thinking for me for once! My current favorite is actually a text book; The Advanced Professional Pastry Chef. Although it isn’t vegan, I find it incredibly inspiring!

  • That is so nice of you! Thank you so much for the opportunity. I would have to say that my favorite cookbook is Cooking with Mickey. My future mother-in-law bought it for me on a family trip to Disney World (I was not family, so no, I didn’t get to go!). Anyway, I loved it before I was vegan and I still love it now. Yes, it has quite a few recipes that I will never be able to make, but, surprisingly, it has several vegetarian recipes that are easily veganized. I love it!

  • You are so right, everyone loves free stuff… I mean contests! YOu are so sweet for doing this!
    Hmmm, it’s tough to pick a favorite, but I think it has to be VCTOTW, becauase living without cupcakes just isn’t fun.

    And my goodness, you’ve done a lot of amazing blogging these 230 days!

  • Ricki:

    How fun! My absolute favorite cookbook is “Passionate Vegetarian” by Crescent Dragonwagon.

    I have a couple of her books, but I absolutely love this one and I use it all the time. I love it because her recipes are so versatile, she gives you so many different things to choose from, and I absolutely love her name! 🙂

    You can never go wrong with this book on your shelf. Her passion definitely does come through and I think of her in her kitchen every time I take that book off the shelf! Great explanations also!

    Jackie V

  • This is awesome!! :0)

    Wow, I have to choose a favorite?? Hmm… I’d say ED&BV, since I’ve cooked/baked from it the most (both sweet AND savory recipes; and for me to make something savory REALLY means that I like the book, haha).

    You know that I’m a 75% raw foodist, so I think that “Fresh” or “ReFresh” would be the coolest to add to my cookbook collection :0)

  • My favorite vegan book is Skinny Bitch. Not only is it funny and silly, but it is incredibly informative and blunt. It exposes you to the reality of what is in our food and how our body processes everything. It also informs us about the toxins that we consume simply by eating inorganic, meat, and cheeses….its almost scary, but its reality. This is the book that helped me choose a vegan lifestyle!

  • I totally agree with Vegan on Stage with the Skinny Bitch. It’s my favourite too! I was already vegan when I read it and it’s the most informative book I’ve read about veganism. I like the way it’s being presented. As for vegan cookbooks themselves, I don’t own any yet. And happy blog-anniversary!

  • Brandy

    Stumbled upon your blog just last week and have been busy ready the archives and catching up!

    I struggle to pick one cookbook because I love them all so much! BUT if forced to pick one I’d have to say my favorite is probably Re:Fresh which I just bought this winter every recipe turns out delish even if I am missing a few ingrediants! I’m also a big fan of A Beautiful Bowl of Soup which is completely vegetarian and has soups for all seasons! I love making soup!

  • Kristin

    My first and favorite cookbook is The Enchanted Broccoli Forest by Mollie Katzen. I bought it right after I went veggie in 1993. Since going vegan, I find that the book uses far too much eggs and cheese. But there are still recipes I love in there. Maybe my love is purely nostalgia.

  • Ooo how nice of you! 🙂 How is that Simple Treats book? I bought it for a friend but I’m not sure if she’s made anything from it. Hm my favourite cookbook is the Rebar Modern Food Cookbook (a mostly vegetarian cookbook and many recipes have vegan modifications). Rebar is a restaurant in Victoria, BC that I visited once and knew I had to have the cookbook. The recipes in it are mostly at least somewhat time consuming and might not be things to make on a week night but they’re SO yummy and combine flavours that you might not put together yourself (or at least I’m not that creative). It has soups, appetizers, desserts, entrees, pastas, salads, etc. I could go on about this cookbook for a while but I should stop haha.

  • Vegan with a Vengeance has proven itself time and time again to me. Standing up on the shelf beside a handful of different vegan cookbooks it is that one that I can rely on to give me a recipe that is sure to please.

    I recently bought 5 new vegan cookbooks and am slowly reading through them (I read cookbooks front to back, like a book) and some of them have great promise–so who knows what the future will entail.

    Congratulations on hitting the… 7.5 month mark? Haha, I’ll wish you congratulations again on the actual date, but pre-congrats to the one year. I hope you keep it up–your blog is great!

  • Brett

    A hard choice – I have so many indispensible cookbooks! But if forced to choose one desert island book, it’d be Madhur Jaffrey’s Eastern Vegetarian Cooking. First published in 1983, my version is on cheap paper, with daggy line drawings, and now splattered with remains of various foodstuffs, looking not at all like the trendy coffee-table cookbooks in vogue today. (It’s an older and probably cheaper tome than Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian Cookbook mentioned above.) But, oh, the recipes! From simple basics like dhal to more complex fare, this book ranges across various Asian and Middle Eastern vegetarian foods, with a heavy emphasis on Indian cuisine. The book was recommended to me by another fan, who particularly pointed out the “Aloo Achaar” to me, a Nepalese potato salad full of roasted sesame seeds, green chili and lemon juice. By far the best potato salad I’ve ever eaten. My only criticism is that some of the recipes are a bit too oily – but it’s easy to just use less oil.

  • Yay, a contest! I think my favorite book would have to be French Women Don’t Get Fat. Though it’s not vegan or vegetarian, it gave me some great insight into how we should be eating – for pleasure, slowly, and not too much!

    Congrats on the 7.5 month anniversary 🙂

  • veganhomemade

    Fun! I’m always up for trying to win something. I have to second or third Vegan with a Vengeance, if I had to choose only one to keep that would probably be it. It jibes with my style of cooking and I’ve had a lot of successes from it. Runners up (those with the most bookmarks) would be Vegan Vittles and La Dolce Vegan.

  • Yvonne

    What a great idea! My favorite cookbook is probably ExtraVeganZa because cooking from it makes me feel like I’m living on a farm, just like the cookery writer is.

  • I use a lot of recipes and inspiration I find on blogs such as yours, but for cookbooks I love Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.” The thing is huge, and heavy, and like a textbook. What I appreciate most about it is the wealth of information. Want to know about the humble radish and a number of good ways to cook it? Just look it up under vegetables. How about a basic pizza dough with many variations? No problem, that’s in there too. Need to make a vegetarian Worcestershire sauce? Sure thing! Its a very good, basic, and yet not simplistic, cooking book. I only wish it had real pictures, but that would probably make it twice as big as it already is.

  • the last cookbook i got was the new hungry Girl one… I would love to try an easy Vegan one though.. I love cook books and for years a friend of mine worked for the parent company of Cooking Light and would give me the Yearly Cooking light cook book every holiday season…

  • I really like gluten free vegan by Susan O’ brien. Actually both of her books are great. Healthy, vegan, not too much sugar, and tasty, too.

    I also really enjoy Leslie Cerier’s Going wild in the kitchen, because she uses such a great variety of whole grains.

    thanks for hosting the contest, my fingers are crossed!

  • theresa

    Hmmm..Fav cookbook, that’s a toughie. Mine is really my mom, she’s like a human cookbook! She cooks and bakes everything amazingly! But since she doesn’t count I’m going with Tosca Reno’s Clean Eating cookbook, because everything I have made from it has not only been tasty, but makes me appear to know everything my mom knows about cooking!

  • Lisa C.

    These days, I’m really enjoying The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. And so are my friends and co-workers! I especially appreciate the “replacement” tips – eggs, butter. I’m not vegan yet, but this gets me a couple of steps closer.

  • Courtney

    Congrats on 7 1/2 months of blogging! WE should be celebrating 7 1/2 months of wonderful posts and recipes and honoring YOU with a contest–thank you for all that you do with this blog! I love it and your witty posts, delicious recipes, and lovely photos.

    Favorite cookbook? That is really hard! I love so many! I guess it would be a tie between two–my first vegetarian cookbook, “Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking” (by Linda McCartney, obviously), and one of my more (relatively) recent cookbooks–“Vegan with a Vengeance,” by Isa. Linda’s because I have such fond memories of my first vegetarian experiments in the kitchen, and VwaV because I have made so many yummy things from it!

    I *never* win anything, but what a great idea to get everyone to tell their favorite cookbooks! I will be very tempted to add to my collection after reading everyones replies…


  • Oooh . . . that’s a good question. I’m not sure I can choose one and only favorite! I think my favorite cookbook to read has to be “The Enchanted Broccoli Forest” by Mollie Katzen — her drawings and scribbles are so whimsical and fun! Plus, her bread recipes are to die for!

  • Hi Everyone,

    I just had to poke my nose in here to say I’m thrilled that so many of you left comments today (contest or no contest, I just like hearing from y’all!). And I LOVE hearing about all these great cookbooks! There are a few that are new to me and lots that sound fantastic. I guess I’ll be buying some new books for me, too. 🙂

  • Allison

    You’re so generous! Congrats on blogging for 230 days! 🙂
    I’ve recently made the transformation into the yummy vegan world, and I would have to say that “My Sweet Vegan” has helped me along the way! I have SUCH a sweet tooth, so this book has been perfect. My favorite part of the book is the *Canine Cake* recipe (and of course I had to bake it for my dog’s first birthday)!

  • Wow, its hard to choose a favorite. I really like most of the cookbooks that I have. My recent favorite is Refresh by Ruth Tal and Jennifer Houston. My husband and I had the chance to visit Toronto and went to Fresh on Bloor St. We ate 3 out of our 5 meals there. I have liked every recipe that I have tried. The atmosphere of the restaurant was great too, full of energy. Happy Blogaversary

  • Thanks for doing this contest! It is very much appreciated.

    My favourite cookbook is definitely Veganomicon. There are so many different dishes, different ingredients to experiment with, and best of all, my mom who has been an omni for years, loves the recipes. She is ever closer to becoming veg and this book certainly helps her.

    Thank You!

  • Wow, you are so so so kind …. tehee! I love your girl is so adorable!!

    My favorite cookbook will have to be “Vegan With A Vengeance” coz it’s the only cookbook that I own so far :0)

  • Today my favorite cookbook is “The World in a Bowl of Tea” by Bettina Vitell. In the summer I find myself very attracted to Japanese cusinie. I also love “More-with-Less Cookbook” by Doris Janzen Longacre, more because of philosophy than actual recipes.

    It is really interesting to read about your favorite cookbooks and your Total Health Cleanse. Happy Blogging!

  • Eva

    “The Unforgettable Taste of Chinese Cakes”… I love baking, and baking Chinese style bakery items is so much fun! The taste is so different from Western bakery items!

  • My favourite cookbook is Extraveganza!! It’s not only because I stayed at Laura’s Bed and Breakfast simply out of an interest in her organic farm and then had the pleasure of realizing a vegan breakfast was not only my special request, but her specialty!!! The book is full of beautiful reasons that are all celebrations of whole foods and gorgeous taste combinations and ingredients. Don’t get me wrong, I am as big a fan as anyone of Isa Moskowitz, Yellow Rose Recipes, Robin Robertson’s books, Bryanna Clark Grogan etc etc….but Extraveganza just touches me. The deserts as well are to DIE for! Each recipe is full of love (cheesy but true) and real ingredients. Thanks for your lovely contest! Good luck with it all. I’d also recommend seeking out Bryanna Clark Grogan’s The Almost No-Fat Cookbook (which is vegan).

  • octaviel

    Ricki, what a clever and thoughtful blogger you are, you are, you are…(a wee literary reference for you there!) My very favourite cookbook at the moment is The Cranks Bible by Nadine Abensur – a feast of veggie, Middle-Eastern-inspired gorgeousness that might have too much dairy in for your liking, but has so many tastes, flavours, colours and beautiful pictures that it’s hard to get my nose out of the book and into the kitchen! The roasted tofu is to die for. Well, I’ll keep my fingers crossed, although like someone above me, I’m never the sort who gets the winning ticket, but you know what they say, it’s not the winning, it’s the taking part (and in this case, they’re damn right!)

  • What a generous way to celebrate! I can’t resist this challenge but one book is a hard request. So many wonderful cookbooks out there – no sooner do I settle on one then my eye rests on another. But I thought I would add an old favourite that I have used quite a lot lately and is Australian.

    My favourite cookbook (today) is Vikki Leng (1994) Vegetarian Feasts: over 750 simple and delicious recipes for everyday meals and special occasions.

    It has lots of interesting and light recipes. When I want a salad dressing without lots of oil I turn to Vikki! It is the source of great pumpkin recipes and a pastry that one of my housemates used to make that I keep meaning to make. The photos are appealing and it has lots of good store cupboard ideas. Now I must check out her bread recipes again now winter is here.

  • My all-time favorite cookbook is Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. The recipes are so wonderfully delicious, simple to prepare and rely on wholesome, natural ingredients. My poor copy fell apart after years of uninterrupted use.

  • Gosh, I have to pick ONE?!

    Well, if you insist… I guess I’ll choose “Moosewood New Classics” since it was my first-ever vegetarian cookbook, and so it holds sentimental value for me.

  • Woohoo! What a neat idea Ricki! So, my most favorite cookbook is Baking Classics by Annalise Roberts. The book was introduced to me by my future mother-in-law when she heard I had to start eating gluten-free. Annalise has converted your typical baked goods into gluten-free baked goods; it truly changed my attitude towards gluten-free baking.

    I have a feeling someday that “Ricki and the Girls” are going to have a cookbook that will be a favorite of mine… 🙂

  • Robin

    I’m also going for Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian. It’s so comprehensive, half the time I say, well, I’ve got cauliflower. What can I make? And look up cauliflower in the index and find about 20 recipies. I love it.

  • Thanks Ricki, here is to the next 230 days, and the 230 days after that and so on ….

    I am going to buck the vegan trend here and recommend the Ottolenghi cookbook (Yotam Ottolenghi writes for the UK Guardian and has 4 deli cafes in central Lodnon). The book is not vegan, but has plenty of recipes that are vegan or can be veganised. The book is full of flavour, the recipes are so well written that you can almost smell and taste them wafting from the pages, there is beautiful photography throughout. The recipes are heavily influenced by the Middle Eastern Mediterranean (the authors grew up geographically close, but culturally far in Jewish and Arab quarters of Jerusalem). Most of the recipes are exceedingly simple, combining every day ingredients to create vibrant dishes, salads abound; making it the perfect new book for summer,. Garlic and lemon abound in the savoury dishes, and the combinations of ingredients sing together. I know I am going to cook most recipes from here, sample recipes include Sauté of chickpea, butternut squash and chard, French beans with Dijon vinaigrette, capers and garden cress and cakes glore!

    This book arrived the same day as my lon awaited v’con that has not had a look in yet!

  • Kathleen

    I don’t really have a favourite cookbook; I love perusing the internet for recipes and generally pick my recipes from a wide variety of sources. That said, my family has ‘The sugarless cookbook’ and my mom made countless desserts (sweetened with fruit juices) from it while I was growing up. While it is not vegan, I love the idea and think it is great for basing vegan recipes off of.

  • Lindsey

    Hi! I just found your blog the other day and am thoroughly enjoying it so far. I love your sweet dog you have pictured here. He reminds me a lot of my dog – similar markings.
    I would have to say that my favorite cookbook is Veganomicon. Every recipe I’ve tried has just been so mind-blowingly awesome. I would elaborate more, but I’m fairly new to the vegan scene, so I haven’t had the chance to work my way through a large chunk of a cookbook yet.
    Thanks for holding the contest! 🙂

  • I watch BSG too! I would have to say, umm wait for my cookbook 😉

    but that’s cheating… however, if you want to test, lemme know.

  • Like many others, my favorite book is Vegan with a Vengeance. This was the first vegan book I bought and I still find it so useful. I haven’t cooked everything in it yet, but I’ve made her tofu scramble and coconut cupcakes loads of times, among others.

    I love your blog! Thanks!

  • Zoe

    Fucshia Dunlop’s “Sichuan Cookery” is my indispensible one – her writing is beautiful, everything is made from fresh ingredients, you can use very little or no meat and the flavours are really clear and intensely delicious. I am in fact slightly obsessed!

  • Michelle

    My favorite cookbook is not vegan. It is my used copy of ‘The Silver Palate Cookbook’. My mom made tons of recipes from this when I was a kid, everything from christmas cookies to family dinners, and so it reminds me of home and family and good times.

    My copy was given to me last summer as a gift from my Grandmother about one month before she died from breast cancer. I sent her an e-mail two weeks before she died telling her what a wonderful gift it was and how much I loved it.

    So the book reminds me of family and the people I love and is therefore my favorite cookbook.

  • Such a wonderful, generous idea – thank you so much, Ricki, for offering us both a great resource of cookbooks to try, and an incredible gift!
    My “current favorite” cookbook changes as my cookbook shelves grow (and grow, and grow, and grow…), but my all-time favorite remains: The Passionate Vegetarian by Crescent Dragonwagon. Every single recipe is divinely inspired, and it’s very vegan friendly – nearly every recipe is either vegan or footnoted with directions for vegan adaptation. For a while, I even had two copies – one up in the office for inspirational browsing, and one in the kitchen! (then I gave the second copy to my mother, which was a much better use of the book, because now we can just page reference our favorite recipes when we’re “recipe reviewing” together!)

  • My favourite cookbooks are the “Cook’s Enclyclopedia of . . . ” series. The first 100 pages are about the history of the region, how the recipes developed, traditional ingredients, basic methods, etc. Most of the stuff isn’t vegan (the Italian one has a very extenisve cheese section) but I love them anyway.

  • Veronica

    Wow; you’re amazing. As is free stuff, erm, contests.

    230 days is quite a feat. Congratulations!

    My favorite cookbook would probably still be “Vegan With a Vengeance.” It was the first cookbook that I bought, and The Post-Punk Kitchen is what turned me on to veganism n the first place. If I’d never seen it, lord knows how long it would have taken me (or if I’d ever gotten there). The recipes are fantastic in any case.

  • Well, since I’m a newer vegan, my favorite is Veganomicon because it was my first. I just remember how excited I was to call myself a vegan and actually be able to cook vegan food. I just love it! But Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan is in a close second place!
    Thanks for having this contest. You’re so sweet!

  • Lately, my fav book is I am Grateful which is a raw cookbook… my boss brought it in and I’ve been reading it like a book… I can’t wait to make some of the desserts!

  • Hallie

    My favorite cookbook is Joy of Cooking…it’s not particularly healthy, but it is a great reference for about a million different things…for example, I when I had to hard-boil 20 eggs for a Passover seder and since I don’t eat eggs I had NO idea how to do it! Or when I wanted to make almond butter because I had a 3-lb bag of almonds I was never going to finish before they go bad. PS. Don’t buy nuts from Costco if you don’t eat them that often.

  • Angela

    For an actual cookbook I would have to say the new Better Homes and Gardens cookbook–I’m not very versed in cookbooks. Although it isn’t really vegetarian/vegan friendly, its one of the few that have moderately healthy recipes that I regularly have access to. The internet is a great source, but is much nicer having a book to hold!

  • My absolute favorite cookbook is The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook – all recipes I’ve tried so far (which are at least 1/3 of the book, and I’ve only had it for half a year) have been amazing, easy and generally quick. It may not be vegan, but it’s pretty much NAG otherwise – great emphasis on simple, fresh ingredients, whole grains, vegetables of all sorts, and fruit. My boyfriend loves the pot pie and the spicy lentils with wild rice, and I love the black bean burgers, stewed flageolets, the soups, and pretty much everything else… Oh, and it has pretty colorful pictures that make everything look appetizing as well!