WWW Wednesday – 09 October 2019

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

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What have you recently finished reading?

I didn’t post last week but this has been a good couple of reading weeks! I can’t believe I’ve already read 5 books in October!

FirstI finished Dead Blondes and Bad Mothers: Monstrosity, Patriarchy, and the Fear of Female Power by Sady Doyle, which examines depictions of women in such things as horror movies and true crime fandom. I thought some of the analysis was reaching a bit to draw the conclusions she wanted to, but overall it was interesting. Haven’t quite worked out if I’ll do a full review of this one yet.

Next, I read Monuments by Will Kostakis, which is a fun YA fantasy. It managed to retain a light-hearted tone even as it deals with some pretty heavy issues… I went to the Canberra launch event on Friday night and have to say, I think it’s one of the best book launches I’ve been to. I then finished the book over the next couple of days. I really enjoyed this one. Here’s my full review.

Next was the audio of Scratchman by Tom Baker and James Goss. I am still a bit confused by some parts of it, and the structure is a bit terrible… but it was fine. I gave it 3 stars.

In the last week I have been participating in The Hocus Pocus Readathon and my first book for this challenge was Evangeline and the Spiritualist by Madeleine D’Este, which filled the prompt “read something with a paranormal or supernatural element”. This is my favourite Evangeline book so far. I only have one more to go.

The next prompt was “read a spooky, atmospheric book”. I figured I couldn’t go wrong with a Gothic-style haunted house story like The Dead of Winter by Chris Priestley. In the end, it was actually neither spooky nor atmospheric but I think that might be because I was too old for it (it was a MG after all, and sometimes I find they just don’t transcend their target age bracket).

After that, I completed the “read a random book on your TBR” prompt by reading Songbird by Ingrid Laguna. This was a totally sweet story about a refugee girl from Iraq trying to fit in at her new school in Sydney. She finally finds a place when she joins a school choir.

Last but not least, I finished the audio book of Vampire Island by Adele Griffin and I have to admit this was weird? I didn’t even know what to rate it because I couldn’t work out what it was trying to do.  Was it making an environmental statement? Was it just trying to be funny? I have no idea, and so I don’t know how I felt about it.

What are you currently reading?

was really excited to start The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg and so far it is living up to expectations! It’s kind of Westworld meets Disneyland. I was reading on my lunch break today and really didn’t want to go back to my desk.

I am also reading Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin, though it’s on hold while The Kingdom takes priority. I hadn’t heard of it until I signed up for the Hocus Pocus Readathon and this was one of the two group reads to choose from. I am 15% in so far and it is quite well-written so I think I’ll enjoy it.

The readathon ends on Saturday and I’m a bit worried I’m not going to quite finish these last two but I’ll do my darnedest!

What do you think you will read next?

Gosh, I don’t even know! Possibly I will read Evangeline and the Mysterious Lights by Madeleine D’Este and thereby finish the Evangeline series. I have actually written myself a list of things to read to finish my Australian Women Writers Challenge for the year, so those will also be at the top of my list.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

 

 

 

WWW Wednesday – 25 September 2019

First of all a quick welcome to everyone who has followed my blog over the last day or so as a result of that Twitter group chat. Hope you enjoy your stay here 🙂 I also have a writing blog where I talk about my own writing if you’re interested in checking that out.

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

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What have you recently finished reading?

Suicide Club by Rachel Heng was the only thing I finished this week. I really enjoyed this! Though I did have a few quibbles about how much a world that is set at least 200 years in the future resembled our current time in a lot of ways. But it was still a good read!

I have no reviews to share because I’m a bit behind on my review writing, but there are some scheduled for the coming week!

What are you currently reading?

I am still reading Dead Blondes and Bad Mothers: Monstrosity, Patriarchy, and the Fear of Female Power by Sady Doyle, which examines depictions of women in such things as horror movies and true crime fandom. I am finding that maybe some of her claims are bit sweeping, but for the most part, I am still enjoying this.

I am still listening to Scratchman by Tom Baker and James Goss. I saw some reviews that said the pacing is strange and now I’m halfway through it, I definitely agree with that. But I still can’t go past it being narrated by Tom Baker himself.

What do you think you will read next?

I will probably return to Madeleine D’Este’s books and read Evangeline and the Spiritualist next.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

 

 

 

#WWW Wednesday – November 22, 2017

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

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What have you recently finished reading?

This week I finished Nyxia by Scott Reintgen and I really enjoyed it. Some of the world-building annoyed me, but the characters and decent writing made up for it. I think that’s a series I will continue to follow. I posted a review here.

What are you currently reading?

I started reading Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine last night, and I am now at work feeling tired because I stayed up past my bedtime. I’m about a third of the way through it at the moment and I’m really enjoying the themes it’s bringing up about trying to stay on the down-low in the age of social media and how being on the run can affect a family.

I’m also reading Not Your Villain by C. B. Lee but I’m not really into it. A lot of the reviews do say it starts off slow because it covers the events of the previous book from another character’s POV, but that it picks up once it gets into its own story. I want to signal boost this series because of the diversity, but while I read an entire third of Stillhouse Lake last night, it’s taken me a week to read a quarter of this one. :\

What do you think you’ll read next?

 I’m not sure yet. Maybe another thriller? The Game You Played by Anni Taylor is on my until-the-end-of-the-year TBR along with Stillhouse Lake. I haven’t read many books from that list in November, so if I can power through a few easy and/or gripping ones before the end of the month, I’ll be pleased.

What are you reading this week? 

~ Emily

#WWW Wednesday – November 15, 2017

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

What have you recently finished reading?

I followed up a good reading week with a not-so-good one, I’m afraid. It’s mostly my fault; I’ve spent an awful lot of tiee playing escape room apps on my tablet when I could have been reading. It’s been that kind of week. But now I’m annoyed at myself because I was hoping to get to 100 books read this year and it’s unlikely.

Anyway.

To answer the question, I finished Now That You’re Here by Amy K. Nichols.  I did enjoy this quite a lot, though the romance overpowerd the sci-fi a bit too much in the end. But I really liked the themes it raised. I wrote a review over here.

I also finished one of the written-for-audio Doctor Who stories, The Lost Magic by Cavan Scott. It was only an hour long and it occupied me while I went on a long walk on Monday but it was nothing to write home about.

What are you currently reading?

I’m about halfway through Nyxia by Scott Reintgen and really enjoying it. Though I am getting nit-picky about some of the science. Like, if all the characters speak their native languages and the Nyxian masks they wear translate everything, how come all the puns the non-English-speakers make work in English? (It just occured to me this could also be asked of Doctor Who. Oh, dear, now I’m  going to start nit-picking the science behind the TARDIS).

What do you think you’ll read next?

Not sure yet. I have Not Your Villain by C. B. Lee (which reminds me, I still need to  review Not Your Sidekick) and Mullumbimby by Melissa Lucashenko from the library. Or I might start an ebook. I’m thinking about starting something else before finishing Nyxia. Who knows! Not me!

What are you reading this week? 🙂~ Emily

 

Book Review: “Doctor Who: Big Bang Generation” by Gary Russell

Title: Doctor Who: Big Bang Generation
Author: Gary Russell
Genre: Sci-fi
Date Read: 14/11/2016 – 18/11/2016
Rating: ★★

Review:

Yikes. While it’s true that the Doctor Who novels have always been a bit hit or miss for me, I’ve got to say this one was worse than most.

When a pyramid from another world appears in Sydney Harbour on Christmas Day, 2015, the Doctor, along with old friend Bernice Summerfield and her family, have to find an ancient artefact and put it back where it belongs before the pyramid and the people who built it destroy the universe.

I’ll get my big rant out of the way first. I’m Australian. And there were a lot of little things that made me feel Gary Russell didn’t do much research into Australia before he wrote the book, even though it was apparently written while he was spending time in the Blue Mountains. For example, he (through the Doctor’s inner monologue) wonders over the fact that Australia is caught between its British colonial roots and more recent American influences. All right. So far so good. But the example of this is that we spell “harbour” with a “u” and “Labor” without it. Yes, our Labor Party is spelled that way because it was influenced by the American Labor party in the early 20th century. But in any other context, we spell it “labour”, which about two seconds of research could have confirmed. It was little things like that this that made the Australian aspect ring false, and I was disappointed, because I really wanted an Australian-themed Doctor Who story!

I also didn’t like many of the characters. While the Twelfth Doctor is often grumpy and curmudgeonly, I usually find that he’s loveable underneath it all. That didn’t really come out in the dialogue of this book until right at the end. I will admit I am not familiar with Bernice Summerfield, having never listened to the audio adventures she featured in (I thought I had, but it turns out I was confusing her with Evelyn Smythe), but I really didn’t warm to her, either, and the other members of her family all felt like rather 2D characters.

On top of  that, the plot was rather convoluted and confusing. This is technically the second in a trilogy, but as other Doctor Who novels generally stand somewhat alone, I expected the same from this one. Perhaps everything would have made more sense had I read the first book, but I don’t really know. There were a lot of time loops, and characters jumping from one century to another and one planet to another. When a lot of side characters felt much the same, I was never really sure where we were or how it all tied into the larger plot.

Overall, this one was far more “miss” than “hit” for me, but of course, I won’t let that put me off exploring more of the series.


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#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 09 November, 2016

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This is a blog hop hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for today, and just answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

I was so busy last week that blogging completely slipped my mind, so my answers today reflect my last two weeks’ reading.

What have you recently finished reading?

Yikes. Two DNFs this week! At least it means I’m no longer behind on ARCs (#silverlining).

immortalwriterscoverNeither The Ill-Kept Oath by C. C. Aune nor Immortal Writers by Jill Bower managed to hold my interest. The Ill-Kept Oath had far less fantasy than the blurb promised, and the 25% that I read was just the two girls fussing over a few strange occurrences and the men they fancied. Immortal Writers spawned my first ever DNF review, as I felt I had enough to say about the first half of the book to warrant it. Basically, there were a few narrative choices that I didn’t like, and so the book just didn’t work for me.

infinityyoumecoverFortunately, The Infinity of You and Me by J. Q. Coyle proved far more enjoyable. It was one of those books where I read the first couple of paragraphs and was already thinking “Yesssssssss!” My review for that is here. If you like stories about them multiverse, I definitely recommend this one.

Today I finished Artie and the Grime Wave by Richard Roxburgh, which was cute, though nothing spectacular. Even within the realms of MG, it’s not really something I would read and I really only bought it because I like Richard Roxburgh’s acting work and it was an excuse to get his autograph at a signing. Having said that, it was a quick enough read and the characters were quite vibrant. And I probably would have been pretty into it when I was 12.

Oh, and I listened to the audio book of Neil Gaiman’s The Sleeper and the Spindle, which was interesting, though I think I probably lost out with not having the illustrations, even if I did have an atmospheric soundtrack to replace it.

I also reviewed Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (the original book that came out in 2001, not the movie script) since my last WWW post.

What are you currently reading?

bigbanggenerationI started Doctor Who: Big Bang Generation by Gary Russel (Doctor Who in Australia! 😀 ). This is for the challenge item “a book you intended to read last year and didn’t”. It’s set on Christmas Day 2015, and my plan had been to read it on that day, but then I entirely forgot to buy it in time .

No movement on The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer, but it’s due back to the library next week, so really should get a wriggle-on. I was going to go back to it today, but I can’t deal with war and terroism after the election result, even if the book is about people doing awesome things in the face of it.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I am aiming to read Mother of Dreams and Other Short Stories: Portrayals of Women in Modern Japanese Fiction, edited by Makota Ueda. This is another challenge itme, this time for “A book about a culture you are unfamiliar with”. I picked this up by chance recently, so I have no idea what it will be like.

What are you reading this week? 🙂

wippetwednesdayThe other blog hop for this week is WIPpet Wednesday. If you’re a writer, you are very welcome to join us in this one by posting an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date. You can click the blue guy on the right of this blog to be taken to the link up.

When I last shared from the new version of Operation Sugarplum that I’m currently working on, Clara was assuring herself that the runes stopping the lock on her bedroom door from being broken were still there, despite the threats from a stranger on the other side. She’s received rather a shock when the runes glow and then disappear, leaving her vulnerable to physical attack. I’ve got 9 sentences for the 9th of November. (btw, Hanna is Clara’s ladies’ maid/companion).

She spun around and grabbed Hanna’s hand, jumping as she heard the sound of something being smashed against the lock to break it. They both ran into Hanna’s room, and Clara signalled for Hanna to hide herself under the bed. She blew out the candle and ran to Hanna’s wardrobe, flinging the doors open and stepping inside. She pulled the doors closed behind her and held her breath.

She knew she was only delaying the inevitable. She had made the mistake of speaking to General Bauer, whoever he was, so even if he hadn’t been certain at first that he had the right room, he knew now. It was impossible to escape; the windows all opened onto a fifty-foot drop. In a few months’ time, and with the proper training, Clara might have been able to buffet herself and Hanna safely to the ground, but her powers weren’t developed enough for that yet. All she was capable of at this point was startling someone with a blast of heat or light at inopportune moments.

Oh yeah… that just reminded me I need to have some sort of training montage further along where she actually does learn how to use her powers… Should probably remember that… 😉

All right, that’s all from me! See you on your blogs.

~ Emily

#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – 10 August, 2016

It’s time for WWW Wednesday! This is a blog hop hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for today, and just answer the three questions.

wwwwednesday

  • What are you currently reading?

therookcoverI have just started The Rook by local author Daniel O’Malley. The tag line is “On her majesty’s supernatural secret service” and it sounds quite fun, and comes highly recommended. IIt’s been described as “supernatural public service” among my public service colleagues and even in the first 30 pages, there have already been a couple of moments where I’ve laughed out loud because the bureaucracy element is too real.

On audio, I’m listening to Tallow by Karen Brooks. This is a fantasy inspired by Italian culture – the main city is basically a fictional, magical version of Renaissance-era Venice. Enjoying it so far!

  • What did you recently finish reading?

amibalckenoughcoverI finished Am I Black Enough for You? by Anita Heiss. I really appreciated the renewed understanding of racial identity that this book gave me.

Reviews of The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina and Paper Daisies by Kim Kelly went up this week.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

bigbanggenerationProbably Doctor Who: Big Bang Generation by Gary Russell. This is a challenge item – “A book you intended to read last year but didn’t”. It is set on Christmas Day 2015 and I had grand intentions of reading it that day, except then I didn’t manage to get a copy in time. I’m actually pretty excited that there’s a DW novel set in Australia. 😀

So I made a list of all the books I own in various forms that I have to read before I’m allowed to buy any more or go to the library again… there are ten on it, and that’s not counting the books that have been on my Kindle for years, for example, just my most recent purchases. Sigh. What’s that quote about dying next to a pile of books I intended to read?

And now for WIPpet Wednesday. This is another blog hop in which writers share excerpts from their current WIP that somehow relate to the date. Clicking the blue guy on the right will take you to the linkup for this one. I’m going a bit backwards from last week’s excerpt, this is when Grace first returns home after leaving her job in Frederick Merrow’s household (which was a maid in this draft, but will be governess in subsequent versions). Claire is one of her younger sisters, aged about elevent. Ten paragraphs for the 10th day of the month.

“I’ve come home, Claire.”

“You lose your job or something?”

“Well, yes. Is mother home?”

“Yeah, she’s here. Mum! Grace’s home! She’s been fired!”

Grace cringed. She would have preferred to deliver a gentler blow to her mother. She heard her mother’s footsteps approaching the door a few moments later, and found herself looking down at the ground under her mother’s hard stare.

“Hello, mother,” she said quietly.

“Is that true? Fired?”

“Yes.” Grace’s voice was nearly a whisper.

“What the bloody hell did you do?”

Grace cringed again, this time at her mother’s language. It shouldn’t have been a surprise, she grew up with it, but after six months living among people who spoke properly, it grated on her ears.

Even though I’m still sharing from Lessons Learned, I’ve actually been revising Operation: Sugarplum over the last couple of weeks. Most of the stuff I’ve bene working on is really similar to stuff I’ve shared before, though, so for the moment, I think I’ll continue with Lessons Learned. I might switch it up when you least expect it, though! Who knows! 😛

All right, better finish this up! See you all later!

~ Emily


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#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday – October 07, 2015

Wednesday has somehow already rolled around again, and I have to apologise for visiting very few of your blogs last week. First up this week, I’m doing WWW Wednesday, a weekly book meme in which we answer three questions starting with W. This meme is hosted by Sam over at A World of Words and you can join in by leaving a link to your own post on today’s post.
wwwwednesday

  • What are you currently reading?

I’m still going on The Gone Away World by Nick Harkaway. I’m nearly at page 100! Of 531! It’s a very slow read, this one, but I do like it. It’s a lot denser than anything I usually read, though.

No movement on Evensong by Krista Walsh so far this week.

I started Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth. It’s a historical adaptation of Rapunzel, and was recommended to me by a colleague. I’m only about 20 pages in so far. It was one of the two picked for me on the Pick for Me community on LiveJournal (a community where you are paired up with a buddy who chooses two books from your TBR for you to read during the month).

I’ve also started listening to the audio of Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. The audio is quite long, though; I’m wondering if it might be quicker to grab a copy of the physical book.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

I listened to the audio of Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay, which is a bit of an Australian classic. I thought it was interesting, and it definitely had some beautiful descriptions of the Australian landscape, but overall, I wasn’t that fussed. Probably partially because I’m not really the type who enjoys things labelled “classic”.

I also finished to The Crawling Terror, a Doctor Who novel read by Neve McIntosh, who plays Madame Vastra in the show. It may have had the 12th Doctor and Clara, but it felt like a Third Doctor adventure. Giant insects from outer space and top secret Nazi technology. Fun stuff.

And then there was another Doctor Who story, The Day of the Cockroach, which was read by Arthur Darvill, who played Rory. He had Amy and the 11th Doctor’s voices down perfectly. It was awesome. Also, it had nuclear bombs and giant cockroaches. Also awesome. Other cool thing about Doctor Who audios is that they put sound effects and stuff through them as well. When the Doctor uses the sonic screwdriver, you get the sound effect underneath the narration. Ditto the TARDIS. There was a scene in this one where they were all banging on the walls with pots and pans and those sounds were used, too.

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

I still haven’t started Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, and I also picked up The Golem and the Djinni by Helene Wecker up from the library (it’s the second of the two Pick for Me books), so probably one of those.

Lol, this post has already taken up a whole page in the Word document I’m typing it in. Sorry guys. I do go on sometimes.

wednesdaybannerNext up is WIPpet Wednesday, in which writers share exerpts from their WIP that somehow relate to the date. You can join in on this one, too; our linky is over here. Many thanks to K. L. Schwengel for being an awesome host.

Scrivener is currently downloading updates, so I can’t access my typed up Operation Sugarplum file. In the meantime, I give you ten lines from my notebook for the 10th of the month. It’s handwritten, so it is quite short. Clara has been taken hostage in her own house by the Creelan King and his minions.

“Max will come for me. And he will beat you.” Clara was pleased to note she sounded far more confident than she felt.

“We expect him to come, Clara. That’s the entire point.” The other creatures sniggered. The King continued, “In the meantime, you will do everything I say, to the letter, or I will kill you on the spot and let him come to us with revenge in mind instead. Is that understood?”

For once I have managed to get my Wednesday blog post out of the way well before my evening sport match (soccer tonight, bleergh), so I really feel like I should also go and write my book review for this week before I have to leave. On that note, I will leave you, and see you on your own blogs soon!

~ Emily

 

 

A great start to #ROW80 and some Doctor Who #mirthmusicmon

row80I’ve got to say, I’ve made a really good start to this ROW80 round, and I’ve had a really productive week overall. It’s now Sunday night and I’m feeling pretty proud of myself, actually. Let’s hope it lasts! Ruth Nestvold was talking on her goals post about how they say it takes 21 days to make a habit. That’s what I’m aiming for with this round. Even when I sometimes wanted to just read on my lunch break instead of make sure I did some writing, I did the writing anyway, and I always felt really pleased with the words I was getting down. The only thing I didn’t manage was to visit very many people’s blogs. I’ll try and do better at that this week. Here’s a break down of my goals:

  • Write one page in my notebook every day

I did this! I so did this. I think there was only one day when I only wrote one page, the rest were multiple. And I have actually figured out the ending of the story. Which is a relief, because this is the story that has emerged from my 2014 NaNoWriMo and for the past nine months I’ve had no clue how it was going to end. I also wrote some fairly important scenes. And there’s more to come. This coming week will be good, too.

  • Type up stuff in notebook on Sunday afternoons

Done!

  • Read for half an hour every day. Keep on track for 52 books in the year.

Pretty much. There were a couple of days where I didn’t manage it, but I probably read for more than half an hour on the other days, so it’s even. I’m only just on track for 52 books in the year, though. Someone pass me some graphic novels!

  • Write one book review per week, and queue them up so I don’t miss another post.

I wrote the review for Splintered that went up on Friday.

  • Spend Tuesday and Thursday nights, and Saturday afternoons working on assignments.

I spent Sunday at the library. I’m going to get into the uni work a bit more in earnest starting this week. I’ve completed about 20% of my coursework so far.

  • Ride bike to work/walk from work into the city after work at least three days a week.

Yeaaaah. See, my bike has a flat tyre which I need to get fixed, and I was finishing work quite late, and it was usually dark by the time I got out, so I skipped the walking, too. I did do a zumba session at home on Thursday morning, though. That counts for something, right?

  • Devise fortnightly meal plans in the couple of nights before pay day.

music_mirthThis Wednesday is the first pay day since the round started, so I’ll be doing this over the next couple of days. It’s also time for Mirth and Music Monday. Today’s is rather Doctor Who-themed, because I came across the classic clip of David Tennant in drag, so I apologise to those who don’t understand a word of it. Mirth first, then music.

Our Mirth and Music Monday linky is here. Please come and join the fun! To learn more about ROW80 (“the writing challenge that knows you have a life”), visit the blog. I’m heading off now, I’ll see you soon! ~ Emily

#MirthMusicMon – Still Not Ginger

Hello! I have an apology to make at the beginning of today’s post. If you’re not a Doctor Who fan, then the song I’m posting will make little sense to you, but Series 8 started yesterday and it’s been a long time since there was a full series of Doctor Who on my TV, so I’m celebrating. We have a new Doctor, so I’m sharing a song about the last time we were getting to know a new doctor, by Time Lord Rock band, Chameleon Circuit.

Also, I ate fish fingers and custard once for a competition on LiveJournal (and then once again a few months later at a Doctor Who-themed board games night; it’s surprisingly moreish). Here’s that video for your amusement. Look at me all nineteen years old and long-haired and different-glasses-ed. Actually, I don’t have any glasses in my WordPress avatar, as I was wearing contacts. But anyway. Here it is.

That’s all from me for this week. Join us in Mirth and Music Monday by linking up here. Catch you Wednesday!

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