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Author Topic: 50 books for 2017  (Read 2135 times)

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luisterpaul

  • City Elder
  • Posts: 1,019
Re: 50 books for 2017
« Reply #75 on: August 06, 2017, 08:41:20 PM »

1. Central Station - Lavie Tidhar
2. The Medusa Chronicles - Stephen Baxter & Alastair Reynolds
3. Stories Of Your Life and Others - Ted Chiang
4. Darwinia - Robert Charles Wilson
5. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft - Stephen King
6. The Elements of Style - Strunk & White
7. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life - Anne Lamott
8. Speaker's Meaning - Owen Barfield
9. 1Q84 - Haruki Murakami
10. Revenger - Alastair Reynolds
11. Mars Prime - William C. Dietz
12. Steering the Craft: Exercises and Discussions on Story Writing for the Lone Navigator or the Mutinous Crew - Ursula K. Le Guin
13. Astrophysics: A Very Short Introduction - James Binney
14. Coyote - Allen Steele
15. The Telling - Ursula K. Le Guin
16. Gifts - Ursula K. Le Guin
17. Voices - Ursula K. Le Guin
18. Powers - Ursula K. Le Guin
19. Orlando - Virginia Woolf
20. The Other Wind - Ursula K. Le Guin
21. The Girl in the Road - Monica Byrne
22. Pygmy - Chuck Palahniuk
23. Deep Navigation - Alastair Reynolds
24. Typo Squad - Stephen Lomer
25. Tales From Earthsea - Ursula K. Le Guin
26. Throw Like A Woman - Susan Petrone
27. The Chronoliths - Robert Charles Wilson
28. Beautiful You - Chuck Palahniuk
29. The Elements of Grammar - Margaret Shertzer
30. Prodigal Summer - Barbara Kingsolver

I like most of her books, but this one felt a little teach-y, like she researched coyotes and Appalachian agricultural history and wanted to write a book about it all. Even so, there were still plenty of vivid characters like in her other books, and there was even a storyline involving two elderly people that was utterly charming. Those chapters made the whole thing worthwhile.
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c-lando

  • Bacon Research & Sparkle Development/Cr0ndog Millionaire
  • City Elder
  • Posts: 6,974
Re: 50 books for 2017
« Reply #76 on: August 07, 2017, 02:43:03 PM »

1. "Near Enemy: A Spademan Novel" - Adam Sternbergh
2. "Commonwealth" - Ann Patchett - I could not have loved his more. LOVED TO THE MAX! My first time reading one of her novels and it will not be my last.
3. "Today Will Be Different" - Maria Semple - I totally thought this book was going to solely be about some woman's "first- world problems". But, it started taking all of these twists and turns and was much more than I thought it would be.
4. "A Gentleman in Moscow" - Amor Towles - Some moments were soooooooo slow, while I previously noted that I could live forever in the chapter from Book 2 titled, “1926: Adieu”.
5. "State of Wonder" - Ann Patchett - This author can create the most amazing stories. So rich and emotional.
6. "This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage" - Ann Patchett
7. "Spoiled" - Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan - GFY girls write a YA book. Too Y and not enough A for me, even for a last minute beach read.

Looks like I'm back in the habit of reading bits of books and giving up on them. Hrumpf.

8. "Modern Lovers" - Emma Straub - I thought I liked where the book was going but then it seemed like she just got lazy and gave up by using some newspaper clippings to tie everything up. BOO.
9. "The Hate U Give" - Angie Thomas
10. "The Wrong Side of Goodbye" - Michael Connelly (a Harry Bosch/Lincoln Lawyer book)
11. "The Smell of Other People's Houses" - Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock - Thanks for the recommendation, trixi!
12. "Maine" - J. Courtney Sullivan - This would make a good beach book. Not dumb, but not heavy.
13. "The Asphalt Warrior" - Gary Reilly - I forget how I found this recommendation, but it's a good one. I thought it would be more of a detective or crime novel. But, it's mainly just the thoughts of the cabbie/philosopher/lover of GILLIGAN'S ISLAND protagonist. I didn't mind spending time in Murph's head.
14. "Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It" - Maile Meloy
15. "We Are Never Meeting in Real Life" - Samantha Irby - I cackled and giggled and snorted. YAY.
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PANTS PANTS REVOLUTION!!!

luisterpaul

  • City Elder
  • Posts: 1,019
Re: 50 books for 2017
« Reply #77 on: August 11, 2017, 07:51:28 AM »

1. Central Station - Lavie Tidhar
2. The Medusa Chronicles - Stephen Baxter & Alastair Reynolds
3. Stories Of Your Life and Others - Ted Chiang
4. Darwinia - Robert Charles Wilson
5. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft - Stephen King
6. The Elements of Style - Strunk & White
7. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life - Anne Lamott
8. Speaker's Meaning - Owen Barfield
9. 1Q84 - Haruki Murakami
10. Revenger - Alastair Reynolds
11. Mars Prime - William C. Dietz
12. Steering the Craft: Exercises and Discussions on Story Writing for the Lone Navigator or the Mutinous Crew - Ursula K. Le Guin
13. Astrophysics: A Very Short Introduction - James Binney
14. Coyote - Allen Steele
15. The Telling - Ursula K. Le Guin
16. Gifts - Ursula K. Le Guin
17. Voices - Ursula K. Le Guin
18. Powers - Ursula K. Le Guin
19. Orlando - Virginia Woolf
20. The Other Wind - Ursula K. Le Guin
21. The Girl in the Road - Monica Byrne
22. Pygmy - Chuck Palahniuk
23. Deep Navigation - Alastair Reynolds
24. Typo Squad - Stephen Lomer
25. Tales From Earthsea - Ursula K. Le Guin
26. Throw Like A Woman - Susan Petrone
27. The Chronoliths - Robert Charles Wilson
28. Beautiful You - Chuck Palahniuk
29. The Elements of Grammar - Margaret Shertzer
30. Prodigal Summer - Barbara Kingsolver
31. Aurora - Kim Stanley Robinson

As clever and imaginative a writer as Robinson is, he can also spend far too much time describing things that aren't always relevant to the story. 2312 is riddled with this weakness, where the characters spend more time exploring the solar system than pursuing the plot.

Aurora, thankfully, is much more focused. This is largely due to Robinson's use of an AI to narrate most of the novel. It's a fantastic device for exploring the evolution of AI while simultaneously driving the story forward.
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MissKitty

  • Hooray Beer!
  • City Elder
  • Posts: 8,325
Re: 50 books for 2017
« Reply #78 on: August 22, 2017, 01:04:49 PM »

1. The People's House - David Pepper
2. Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking - Anya Von Bremzen
3-4. Among the Living and the Dead: A Tale of Exile and Homecoming on the War Roads of Europe - Inara Verzemnieks
5. Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning - Timothy Snyder
6. Swing Time - Zadie Smith
7. The Auschwitz Volunteer: Beyond Bravery - Capt. Witold Pilecki [Auschwitz Prisoner #4859], translated to English by Jarek Garlinski.
8. Black-Eyed Susans - Julia Heaberlin
9. Playing Dead - Julia Heaberlin
10. On Tyranny: 20 Lessons from the 20th Century - Timothy Snyder
11. Lilac Girls - Martha Hall Kelly
12. Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuk
13. Snuff - Chuck Palahniuk
14. Commonwealth - Ann Patchett
15. The Art Forger - B.A. Shapiro

16. Oasis: What's the Story? - Ian Robertson

Oh man.

So a friend was having a moving party recently and was giving away free anything he didn't feel like packing, including quite a few books. I picked up a couple, this among them.

What. A. Stinker.

The author is a former British military dude who found himself doing security detail for pop and rock bands (Duran Duran, Spandau, etc) after he left the service. Along the way he made a lot of connections and eventually found himself Oasis' security guy and then tour manager. He also fancies himself a beat writer, apparently.

What could have been a decent first-person account of life within the inner circle and on the road is a mish-mash of arty-farty musings and attempts to be clever with song lyrics and entire pages filled with nonsense like wordsruntogetheroverandover and stuff like this bit about tour dates:

ClevelandOHHOdnalevelC
DetroitMIIMtiorteD
ChicagoILLIogacihC

You get the picture.

Thankfully it was a short book, but damn.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2017, 02:19:00 PM by MissKitty »
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c-lando

  • Bacon Research & Sparkle Development/Cr0ndog Millionaire
  • City Elder
  • Posts: 6,974
Re: 50 books for 2017
« Reply #79 on: August 23, 2017, 12:45:30 PM »

1. "Near Enemy: A Spademan Novel" - Adam Sternbergh
2. "Commonwealth" - Ann Patchett - I could not have loved his more. LOVED TO THE MAX! My first time reading one of her novels and it will not be my last.
3. "Today Will Be Different" - Maria Semple - I totally thought this book was going to solely be about some woman's "first- world problems". But, it started taking all of these twists and turns and was much more than I thought it would be.
4. "A Gentleman in Moscow" - Amor Towles - Some moments were soooooooo slow, while I previously noted that I could live forever in the chapter from Book 2 titled, “1926: Adieu”.
5. "State of Wonder" - Ann Patchett - This author can create the most amazing stories. So rich and emotional.
6. "This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage" - Ann Patchett
7. "Spoiled" - Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan - GFY girls write a YA book. Too Y and not enough A for me, even for a last minute beach read.

Looks like I'm back in the habit of reading bits of books and giving up on them. Hrumpf.

8. "Modern Lovers" - Emma Straub - I thought I liked where the book was going but then it seemed like she just got lazy and gave up by using some newspaper clippings to tie everything up. BOO.
9. "The Hate U Give" - Angie Thomas
10. "The Wrong Side of Goodbye" - Michael Connelly (a Harry Bosch/Lincoln Lawyer book)
11. "The Smell of Other People's Houses" - Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock - Thanks for the recommendation, trixi!
12. "Maine" - J. Courtney Sullivan - This would make a good beach book. Not dumb, but not heavy.
13. "The Asphalt Warrior" - Gary Reilly - I forget how I found this recommendation, but it's a good one. I thought it would be more of a detective or crime novel. But, it's mainly just the thoughts of the cabbie/philosopher/lover of GILLIGAN'S ISLAND protagonist. I didn't mind spending time in Murph's head.
14. "Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It" - Maile Meloy
15. "We Are Never Meeting in Real Life" - Samantha Irby - I cackled and giggled and snorted. YAY.
16. "The Vinyl Detective: The Run-out Groove" - Andrew Cartmel - I didn't really care for the mystery but I liked spending more time with the core group of main characters, including the kitty cats.
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Once the bacon's done, all pants are off.  
PANTS PANTS REVOLUTION!!!

luisterpaul

  • City Elder
  • Posts: 1,019
Re: 50 books for 2017
« Reply #80 on: August 31, 2017, 08:49:12 AM »

1. Central Station - Lavie Tidhar
2. The Medusa Chronicles - Stephen Baxter & Alastair Reynolds
3. Stories Of Your Life and Others - Ted Chiang
4. Darwinia - Robert Charles Wilson
5. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft - Stephen King
6. The Elements of Style - Strunk & White
7. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life - Anne Lamott
8. Speaker's Meaning - Owen Barfield
9. 1Q84 - Haruki Murakami
10. Revenger - Alastair Reynolds
11. Mars Prime - William C. Dietz
12. Steering the Craft: Exercises and Discussions on Story Writing for the Lone Navigator or the Mutinous Crew - Ursula K. Le Guin
13. Astrophysics: A Very Short Introduction - James Binney
14. Coyote - Allen Steele
15. The Telling - Ursula K. Le Guin
16. Gifts - Ursula K. Le Guin
17. Voices - Ursula K. Le Guin
18. Powers - Ursula K. Le Guin
19. Orlando - Virginia Woolf
20. The Other Wind - Ursula K. Le Guin
21. The Girl in the Road - Monica Byrne
22. Pygmy - Chuck Palahniuk
23. Deep Navigation - Alastair Reynolds
24. Typo Squad - Stephen Lomer
25. Tales From Earthsea - Ursula K. Le Guin
26. Throw Like A Woman - Susan Petrone
27. The Chronoliths - Robert Charles Wilson
28. Beautiful You - Chuck Palahniuk
29. The Elements of Grammar - Margaret Shertzer
30. Prodigal Summer - Barbara Kingsolver
31. Aurora - Kim Stanley Robinson
32. The Way of Kings, Part One - Brandon Sanderson

I have little interest in epic fantasy anymore -- everything reads like pale reflections of The Lord of the Rings to me -- but the sci-fi-like setting for this world has my interest.
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c-lando

  • Bacon Research & Sparkle Development/Cr0ndog Millionaire
  • City Elder
  • Posts: 6,974
Re: 50 books for 2017
« Reply #81 on: September 01, 2017, 08:19:20 AM »

1. "Near Enemy: A Spademan Novel" - Adam Sternbergh
2. "Commonwealth" - Ann Patchett - I could not have loved his more. LOVED TO THE MAX! My first time reading one of her novels and it will not be my last.
3. "Today Will Be Different" - Maria Semple - I totally thought this book was going to solely be about some woman's "first- world problems". But, it started taking all of these twists and turns and was much more than I thought it would be.
4. "A Gentleman in Moscow" - Amor Towles - Some moments were soooooooo slow, while I previously noted that I could live forever in the chapter from Book 2 titled, “1926: Adieu”.
5. "State of Wonder" - Ann Patchett - This author can create the most amazing stories. So rich and emotional.
6. "This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage" - Ann Patchett
7. "Spoiled" - Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan - GFY girls write a YA book. Too Y and not enough A for me, even for a last minute beach read.

Looks like I'm back in the habit of reading bits of books and giving up on them. Hrumpf.

8. "Modern Lovers" - Emma Straub - I thought I liked where the book was going but then it seemed like she just got lazy and gave up by using some newspaper clippings to tie everything up. BOO.
9. "The Hate U Give" - Angie Thomas
10. "The Wrong Side of Goodbye" - Michael Connelly (a Harry Bosch/Lincoln Lawyer book)
11. "The Smell of Other People's Houses" - Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock - Thanks for the recommendation, trixi!
12. "Maine" - J. Courtney Sullivan - This would make a good beach book. Not dumb, but not heavy.
13. "The Asphalt Warrior" - Gary Reilly - I forget how I found this recommendation, but it's a good one. I thought it would be more of a detective or crime novel. But, it's mainly just the thoughts of the cabbie/philosopher/lover of GILLIGAN'S ISLAND protagonist. I didn't mind spending time in Murph's head.
14. "Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It" - Maile Meloy
15. "We Are Never Meeting in Real Life" - Samantha Irby - I cackled and giggled and snorted. YAY.
16. "The Vinyl Detective: The Run-out Groove" - Andrew Cartmel - I didn't really care for the mystery but I liked spending more time with the core group of main characters, including the kitty cats.
17. "American Street" - Ibi Zoboi
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Once the bacon's done, all pants are off.  
PANTS PANTS REVOLUTION!!!

luisterpaul

  • City Elder
  • Posts: 1,019
Re: 50 books for 2017
« Reply #82 on: September 07, 2017, 08:27:58 AM »

1. Central Station - Lavie Tidhar
2. The Medusa Chronicles - Stephen Baxter & Alastair Reynolds
3. Stories Of Your Life and Others - Ted Chiang
4. Darwinia - Robert Charles Wilson
5. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft - Stephen King
6. The Elements of Style - Strunk & White
7. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life - Anne Lamott
8. Speaker's Meaning - Owen Barfield
9. 1Q84 - Haruki Murakami
10. Revenger - Alastair Reynolds
11. Mars Prime - William C. Dietz
12. Steering the Craft: Exercises and Discussions on Story Writing for the Lone Navigator or the Mutinous Crew - Ursula K. Le Guin
13. Astrophysics: A Very Short Introduction - James Binney
14. Coyote - Allen Steele
15. The Telling - Ursula K. Le Guin
16. Gifts - Ursula K. Le Guin
17. Voices - Ursula K. Le Guin
18. Powers - Ursula K. Le Guin
19. Orlando - Virginia Woolf
20. The Other Wind - Ursula K. Le Guin
21. The Girl in the Road - Monica Byrne
22. Pygmy - Chuck Palahniuk
23. Deep Navigation - Alastair Reynolds
24. Typo Squad - Stephen Lomer
25. Tales From Earthsea - Ursula K. Le Guin
26. Throw Like A Woman - Susan Petrone
27. The Chronoliths - Robert Charles Wilson
28. Beautiful You - Chuck Palahniuk
29. The Elements of Grammar - Margaret Shertzer
30. Prodigal Summer - Barbara Kingsolver
31. Aurora - Kim Stanley Robinson
32. The Way of Kings, Part One - Brandon Sanderson
33. A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter M. Miller, Jr.

At turns hilarious and deeply depressing, I can see why this won the Hugo Award. What a ride.

34. A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Stories in Our Genes - Adam Rutherford

Very accessible peek into genomics. While I didn't absorb everything he had to say, I certainly have a better understanding of how DNA works than I did before.
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daytime drinking

  • City Elder
  • Posts: 1,262
Re: 50 books for 2017
« Reply #83 on: September 07, 2017, 03:42:44 PM »


1- the devil in the white city- erik lawson. 
2- the wisdom of insecurity- alan watts
3- the gulag archipelago- aleksandr solzhenitsyn
4- the mill creek: an unnatural history of an urban stream- stanley hedeen
5- honey for the bears- anthony burgess
6- the hero with a thousand faces- joseph campbell
7- iceland; land of the sagas- david roberts and jon krakauer
8- magister ludi: the glass bead game- hermann hesse

9- independent people- halldor laxness.  they say it's a book about sheep.  i'd say coffee and sheep.  they also say whenever they mention this book, they have to include that the author was a nobel prize winner.  it's very easy to see why.  you could taste the soil of iceland with the turn of each tragic page.  a quixotic sheep farmer of the icelandic moors battling the very real demons in a saga all his own.  chock full of good laughs and hearty rural conversation.  the narrative technique was a treat.  clusters of dialogue were packed neatly together in run on sentences.   required reading for cold winter nights when you're snug in bed and away from that bitter cold

a cross between gabriel garcia marquez's magical realism and bohumil hrabel's flowery prose and all the dirt in between
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 03:45:01 PM by daytime drinking »
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MissKitty

  • Hooray Beer!
  • City Elder
  • Posts: 8,325
Re: 50 books for 2017
« Reply #84 on: September 11, 2017, 10:38:27 AM »

1. The People's House - David Pepper
2. Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking - Anya Von Bremzen
3-4. Among the Living and the Dead: A Tale of Exile and Homecoming on the War Roads of Europe - Inara Verzemnieks
5. Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning - Timothy Snyder
6. Swing Time - Zadie Smith
7. The Auschwitz Volunteer: Beyond Bravery - Capt. Witold Pilecki [Auschwitz Prisoner #4859], translated to English by Jarek Garlinski.
8. Black-Eyed Susans - Julia Heaberlin
9. Playing Dead - Julia Heaberlin
10. On Tyranny: 20 Lessons from the 20th Century - Timothy Snyder
11. Lilac Girls - Martha Hall Kelly
12. Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuk
13. Snuff - Chuck Palahniuk
14. Commonwealth - Ann Patchett
15. The Art Forger - B.A. Shapiro
16. Oasis: What's the Story? - Ian Robertson

17. Eligible - Curtis Sittenfeld

The only positive thing I can say about this modern retelling of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice is that it is set in Cincinnati and written by councilman PG Sittenfeld's sister. But I suppose I should preface my review by admitting that ALL Jane Austen works leave me cold. As far as I'm concerned they are nothing more than the soap operas of their time, and I am SO NOT a soap opera person.

So anyway, I think Sittenfeld was very brave to attempt Pride in a modern day setting and I'm also sure she has had her share of backlash from doing so, so I'm not going to add fuel to the fire there. The Cincinnati setting kept me reading. Otherwise, I would have hated the book even more than I did the first time around.

I would have never picked this book up had it not been our September book club choice, and I know CR got really tired of hearing me bitch and moan about trying to slog my way through it. But whatever. I managed to make it to the end, which is more than I can say about Ann Pachett's Commonwealth.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2017, 10:41:03 AM by MissKitty »
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Kwyjibo

  • Bringing Grumpy Back
  • City Elder
  • Posts: 10,437
Re: 50 books for 2017
« Reply #85 on: September 11, 2017, 11:54:35 AM »


17. Eligible - Curtis Sittenfeld

...set in Cincinnati and written by councilman PG Sittenfeld's sister.

Curtis is a damn weird name for a woman.  Not the strangest thing I've ever heard, I guess (my dad had a male cousin named Meredith), but pretty odd.
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MissKitty

  • Hooray Beer!
  • City Elder
  • Posts: 8,325
Re: 50 books for 2017
« Reply #86 on: September 11, 2017, 08:34:08 PM »


17. Eligible - Curtis Sittenfeld

...set in Cincinnati and written by councilman PG Sittenfeld's sister.

Curtis is a damn weird name for a woman.  Not the strangest thing I've ever heard, I guess (my dad had a male cousin named Meredith), but pretty odd.

Ha! Yeah. My favorite football player's first name is Marian.
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Dan

  • Tetris Master
  • City Elder
  • Posts: 13,119
Re: 50 books for 2017
« Reply #87 on: September 12, 2017, 01:20:02 PM »

I've always enjoyed girls with guys names. (I distinctly remember a Conner I once knew who was very very beautiful and wanted to date her.) So guys with girls names can't be that weird to me.

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Paco

  • Summer Resident
  • Posts: 23
Re: 50 books for 2017
« Reply #88 on: September 12, 2017, 02:15:00 PM »


17. Eligible - Curtis Sittenfeld

...set in Cincinnati and written by councilman PG Sittenfeld's sister.

Curtis is a damn weird name for a woman.  Not the strangest thing I've ever heard, I guess (my dad had a male cousin named Meredith), but pretty odd.

Ha! Yeah. My favorite football player's first name is Marian.



Is okay with this.
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daytime drinking

  • City Elder
  • Posts: 1,262
Re: 50 books for 2017
« Reply #89 on: September 13, 2017, 09:35:47 AM »

I've always enjoyed girls with guys names. (I distinctly remember a Conner I once knew who was very very beautiful and wanted to date her.) So guys with girls names can't be that weird to me.

same here.  we named our daughter charlotte but call her charlie
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