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International Women's Day

vee_new
6 years ago

I just received the post below from Abe books. I'm not familiar with all the books, subjects or authors on the list but felt it might inspire us mostly female RP'ers.

Who would you add to the number?



Books by or about women.

Comments (38)

  • merryworld
    6 years ago

    I see Pippi Longstocking is on the list. I have Astrid Lindgren's WWII diaries on my TBR list. She was a mail censor in Sweden and her diaries chronicling her experience are supposed to be a great read. Full disclosure, my dog is named Pippi.


  • sheri_z6
    6 years ago

    That's a great list, and it's remarkably varied. The Paper Bag Princess is one of my favorite books, I was thrilled to find it for my daughter when she was little. I haven't read much about Hildegard von Bingen, but I have several CDs of the music she wrote, and it's beautiful and amazing. I'm also very much a Hermione fan-girl :)

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  • vee_new
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    I notice that Oprah Winfrey gets a mention, as what you might call a facilitator of books/reading.

    We don't get her shows over here, so all I know about her recommendations are second-hand and I get the impression her choices are rather looked down on. Is this fair? All all these books trashy light reads?


    And on a higher note, below is part of a recording of musical work by Hildegard "and all manner of things shall be well . . ."



    Hildergard von Bingen

  • woodnymph2_gw
    6 years ago

    Interesting list. I would add Nancy Drew, Antonia (of Willa Cather), Ann of Green Gables, and Kristin Lavransdatter. I love the music of Hildegard von Bingen and will look for that book.

    Vee, Oprah is an impressive woman, but I am not a fan of her book choices, in general.

  • merryworld
    6 years ago

    I wouldn't characterize Oprah's picks as trashy light reads. She leans more toward the dysfunctional family epic. You can find a list of the original book club picks at the bottom of the Wikipedia page: Oprah's Book Club

  • vee_new
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Thanks for the information, Mary and Merryworld.

    We used to have a similar 'Book Club' run by daytime TV couple Richard and Judy. The show finished a while ago but their club carries on 'on line'. The choice of books are generally middle-of-the-road and certainly a mention from the couple will greatly increase sales.


    UK TV Book Club a few choices

  • carolyn_ky
    6 years ago

    The increased sales happened with Oprah, too. I think that was one of the major criticisms (as in sheep will follow any leader) because anything she recommended sold like hot cakes whether it was particularly good or not.

    Speaking of hot, I had my first Hot Cross Bun of the season yesterday at my favorite coffee shop.

  • vee_new
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Carolyn, Hot Cross Buns are now on sale from after Christmas . . . as are Easter Eggs. ;-(

    Since taking early retirement DH has taken up bread making and we now enjoy the most delicious H C B's on Good Friday, served still slightly warmed either as they come or split with butter added.

    Rolling in the calories at the thought!

  • carolyn_ky
    6 years ago

    Yum!

  • friedag
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    It's been a while since I consciously sought out women writers. Only when the subject of interests particular to women these days come up on book sites do I usually notice the gender of authors. I read the list Vee linked and especially found the letters/journals/memoirs of women interesting. I have gone through several phases of reading about pioneer women. I noticed the section about pioneer women of Australia which I have read only smatterings previously, such as We of the Never-Never by Mrs Aeneas (Jeannie) Gunn. I want to read more about Australian women's experiences.

    Several years ago I made a list of my favorite books when I was a child, adolescent, and in my twenties. It wasn't until I compiled that list I realized that many (and probably most) of the books dearest to me were written by women. It was not that I deliberately chose them for that reason. I have loved many books by men also.

    As for Oprah's book club choices, I am very leery of them because several I've read have been pile-on-the-misery fests. I've found that to be true of a lot of book-club type of books (fiction mostly), however. Why women readers seem to relish this sort of thing is something I don't understand very well.

  • vee_new
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Frieda, re favourite children's/YA adults books by women authors. Here in the UK (and probably elsewhere) book for young people were invariably written by women. I'm talking about the era pre Terry Pratchett, Roald Dahl or Michael Morpurgo. The only male writers that come readily to mind are Arthur Ransome who was writing in the 30's(?) about sailing adventures in the English Lake District and Captain Johns who wrote the 'Biggles' series about a WW1 'Fighter Ace'. I think Kipling comes from an earlier generation. Perhaps male writers felt children's books were sissy or less macho, or paid less well than adult fiction?

    Who were the men writing for YA/children in the US 'back then'?

  • friedag
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Vee, several of the Newbery Medal winners in the U.S. (1920s to present day) have been written by men. Those I particularly remember are Armstrong Sperry (Call It Courage), Walter D. Edmonds (The Matchlock Gun), Charles Hawes (The Dark Frigate), Eric P. Kelly (The Trumpeter of Krakow), Scott O'Dell (Island of the Blue Dolphins), and others.

    Many of the great illustrators (as well as authors of the texts) of U.S. children's books have been men: Dr. Seuss and Maurice Sendak (Where the Wild Things Are) come to mind.

    Prior to the 1920s many of the books by men that were read by boys and girls although the books weren't written specifically for children or YAs. I'm thinking of Mark Twain whose books just happened to have children as characters but they are also very much for adults (and always were intended to be by Twain). Booth Tarkington wrote the Penrod books and Seventeen in the 1910s that everyone (boys/men and girls/women) got a kick out of. They were my daddy's great favorites.

    I will eventually think of many, many others because I read a slew of adventure books that appealed to my brothers -- and me, too. I was undiscriminating. It wasn't until I was in college that the hullabaloo began about women writers/illustrators not getting the respect they deserved. Well, it probably started before then, but the individual studies of books by women didn't get into the main curricula (and most of the students were female, at least where I went to college & university).

  • vee_new
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Thanks for the list Frieda. I must admit I have never heard of those male Newbery prize winners; possibly their work never floated over the Pond.

    Of course I am familiar with Mark Twain and the Penrod book, but I think with the latter because we had a copy once owned by my Mother's brother given as a gift by his US grandmother (illustrated with 'stills' taken from a movie of the same name).

    I've never 'studied' Women's Literature' which I think became popular in colleges/Uni's after 'my time' and has probably always been rather more American lead rather than UK.

    Bra-burning never really took off in quite the same way here . . . too cold?

  • friedag
    6 years ago

    Vee, it has been my impression (now probably outdated by decades) that many more books/writers from the UK 'floated' from there to the U.S. than the other way. I was surprised when my English friends told me that they not only were seldom assigned American books in literature classes but the British books American pupils studied were not taught in most UK schools. I was astounded that I had read more, for instance, of Sir Walter Scott, Thomas Hardy, John Galsworthy, and W. Somerset Maugham than my friends had. Perhaps though they had read more Jane Austen, George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell, and other women writers than we did.

    However, in Clive Bloom's survey, Bestsellers: Popular Fiction [in the UK] Since 1900, American 'pulp' writers (men and women) were actually very popular among British readers, with UK women readers edging out men readers in most types of fiction except science fiction and westerns.

    I've had a longtime theory that the reason UK children's books have been far 'prettier' than American ones is all the women writers/artists who created them. Then I thought about A. A. Milne and his Winnie the Pooh books. Those enchanted American readers (perhaps mothers, female relatives, and women teachers more than some American kids, me included). American children's books have gotten prettier since Winnie arrived in the U.S., I think, except maybe the Dr. Seuss books which were always 'ugly' in a charming sort of way. When I began reading to my sons, I was rather appalled at what appealed to them. ;-) My elder son begged me to please not read Where the Wild Things Are for him to look on and follow. The illustrations frightened him, apparently, although I thought the 'beasts' in it were rather cute.

    The first classes I took dedicated to women's studies were exciting and pleasing to me. I thought it was about time to read and hear women's history. As a child, I think I recognized the lack, asking, "Well, what were the girls doing?" But after a while I found the women's stuff stultifying; I think because there was such rancor about women being cheated of their history. I'm not convinced that anger is the best way to express it.


  • annpanagain
    6 years ago

    It seemed like the hot topic here on IWD was changing over the traffic pedestrian symbols to skirted ones as the stick figures were perceived as too male!

    I thought it was a joke at first but no, some women's groups demanded a change and got it! Of course that didn't please everyone either.

    I prefer the countdown lights but as long as they are showing green when I want to cross the road, I don't care!

  • vee_new
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    I remember someone here at RP, some time ago, asked about the American Literature taught as part of UK universities English degree courses. I believe then (and maybe still) only Eng Lit is taught. American Literature was/is a separate course.

    Frieda, going back to the books studied all those years ago when I was at school, we 'did' endless Austen, Eliot, Bronté . . . Hardy was probably the only male author studied. This may have been because I attended an all girls school (very common then) plus classes got to use the text books available from the 'store cupboard', some of them very dog-earred copies dating back years. It wasn't until we took public exams (ages 15-16 17-18) that we were expected to buy our own copies of 'set texts'.

    I must admit I have never read anything by Sir Walter Scott, only a few of Galsworthy and some Hardy and have only recently taken up the occasional work by Dickens . . . all part of my puny attempt to be more of an 'all round reader' ;-)

  • vee_new
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Annpan, doesn't it seem a certain generation of women are insecure in their skins?

    Remember when Germaine Greer was the strident voice of Women's Lib? She is now being side-lined by what are being called 'snowflake' students who want her banned from University debates etc because she expresses views which some girls are unhappy with.

    I'm so old and mean I just feel like saying "Get over it"

    Another interesting eg has just happened over here. A woman judge, giving what might be her 'retirement speech' remarked that young women going out on a Saturday night, scantily dressed, drinking to excess and becoming blind drunk (which they have every 'right' to do) must be aware they are at greater risk of being assaulted or raped and that there are always some men on the look-out for such 'victims'.

    She does in no-way condone this male behaviour but just points out this is the case.

    The furor from the Press/media has been mind-blowing. And there's Me thinking I could well have given the same advice to my daughter . . .

  • annpanagain
    6 years ago

    There is a suggestion here in Australia that the curriculum is to go back to basics, studying Shakespeare and Austen to which I would not agree!

    I studied Macbeth and Northanger Abbey at school as a 16yo for the General Certificate of Education English Literature exam and was bored stiff! It wasn't until I did 17thC playwrights in drama school that I got to understand better the earlier Elizabethan language and a mature woman to enjoy Austen!

    The thinking is that our children, who are behind Asian children of a similar age, will improve and I don't think this 'back to the 19thC ' type of education will help at all.

    I would prefer that young children need to be interested and engaged in what they are taught in class. Perhaps crossword puzzles would improve their spelling abilities!

    I know that some RP'ers are educators now or have been, so what do you think would be the path to take?

    vee_new thanked annpanagain
  • annpanagain
    6 years ago

    Vee, I agree with you. Sadly there are always people who think there is a "blame the victim" syndrome when in fact the girl has behaved stupidly.

    Only In a perfect world can a lamb lie with lions.

    vee_new thanked annpanagain
  • vee_new
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Tracey Ullamn does Germaine Greer. US people might find some of the words rather rude.

    At the Bus Stop

  • vee_new
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    annpan, I studied 'Emma' and 'King Lear' for A level English . . . along with medieval mystery plays, Gerard Manly Hopkins, Robert Browning, Chaucer and probably some stuff I can't remember and the Shakespeare was far too difficult for an 18 year old to appreciate.

    It would seem a pity if no works of Shakespeare were taught, along with some of the 'classic' poets or great works of literature. How to make it interesting is rather more difficult.

    My husband who taught science for many years, thinks that the purpose of 'teaching' is not to entertain children but to provide them with knowledge/information and if they enjoy it so much the better. Of course he also felt it was not the job of a teacher to be 'friends' with his pupils . . . as now we are told parents should be 'friends' with their own children . . .

  • annpanagain
    6 years ago

    Vee, I left school aged 16 for financial reasons so didn't study as far as the A level. However I went to evening classes at a drama school some years later and was able to appreciate the Shakespeare and Moliere we performed. We were lucky to have a top class teacher who had worked with a well-known Shakespearean director at Stratford and she was very inspiring.

    I have no idea how to make the classics more interesting to young people and suspect that they would prefer to study modern writers with language they can relate to.

  • Kath
    6 years ago

    We studied Shakespeare (Merchant of Venice) in our third of five years of high school. In fourth year it was Macbeth, and in Matric we did King Lear. I loved them all. I also had two years of Thomas Bloody Hardy (Tess and another I can't remember no matter how often I look at his collection of works). Our theme in Matric English was war and we also studied Catch-22 by Heller, Mother Courage and her Children by Brecht and the poetry of Wilfred Owen. There was also one of the Canterbury Tales at some point.

    vee_new thanked Kath
  • friedag
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Vee, there has been a spate lately at U.S. universities of protesters shutting down speakers who had been invited to present other points of view than those currently favored in higher education.

    The three I recall best (some of the most recent) were aimed at: 1) Charles Murray, the libertarian political scientist who wrote two infamous books: Losing Ground, about the welfare system in the U.S., and The Bell Curve, in which he claimed that his research and that of other researchers indicate that innate intelligence rather than 'nurturance' and 'learned responses' is a better indicator of success in college/university and later in the workplace. He was attacked for being racist, ethnocentric, and misogynist. A set of his graphs illustrated the 'differences' in male and female intelligence. Female intelligence, in this particular survey, made a classic Bell curve, with most women clustering at the top of the Bell, right in the middle of the graph. There were fewer women geniuses but there were also fewer women of 'low' intelligence. Men's intelligence, on the other hand (in this particular survey), hardly made a "Bell' at all, with the points pretty evenly distributed along the straight line of the graph with barely a bump in the middle. There seem to be more male geniuses than female geniuses, but there are also more males of low intelligence than females. Well, it seems that those most angry with Murray are upset that he seemed to be saying that most women are of 'average' intelligence compared to men. I wonder if they really know how to read graphs.

    2) Milo Yiannopoulos. the gay man who was born in Athens, Greece and brought up and educated in the UK. Yiannopoulos is an admitted provocateur, but that doesn't seem to bother the protesters against him as much as the fact that he is gay but doesn't fit their definition of 'gayness' -- and gay men cannot possibly be anything but liberal.

    3) Ayaan Hirsi Ali -- At first glance this woman should be welcomed as a speaker at most American universities. Points in her favor: She's a woman; she was born in Somalia; brought up a Muslim; became an atheist, and has been an activist speaking out against traditional mutilation of female genitalia and other abuses to females. She was educated at Leiden University and became a Dutch politician before she came to the U.S.

    But the fact that she is openly hostile to Islam makes too many students, educators and administrators uncomfortable.

    I don't know if Germaine Greer has been invited to speak in the U.S., but reactions to her would probably be similar to those in the UK, after a lot of scurrying to find out who she was and what she has done.

    vee_new thanked friedag
  • friedag
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    My husband who taught science for many years, thinks that the purpose of 'teaching' is not to entertain children but to provide them with knowledge/information and if they enjoy it so much the better.

    Vee, my brother who taught for more than forty years and now is a substitute teacher concurs with your DH. So does my husband who still teaches, albeit to an older group.

    The group 'Nirvana' sang profound ;-) lyrics in Smells Like Teen Spirit in the early 1990s: "Here we are -- now, entertain us." Brother and my DH say they are still confronted by students with that attitude who want and expect to be entertained and teachers should have to work their buns off to not bore them, ever.

    Students also only want to learn what is relevant to the present day in their own lives. My brother tells how his students when he began teaching didn't want to be presented with anything that happened before 1970, then it became nothing before 1980, 1990, and probably anything before 2000 now seems irrelevant to them. And they are obsessed with how sensibilities have changed, and uncomprehending that people in former times (writers and filmmakers especially) didn't anticipate what sensibilities would be in the 21st century.

    I suppose we were the same way at the same age: we wanted to be entertained, not bored. But I don't think we expected only entertainment day-in and day-out. Maturity usually sorts out the sensibility aspect, so I'm optimistic that youth will outgrow its self-centeredness. :-)

  • vee_new
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Interesting. I think as school pupils, way back then, we expected to be bored by most of our lessons. I do remember an eg of a feared Maths teacher having to oversee our class due to the absence of the usual member of staff. We all groaned expecting 'double Maths' rather than "get on with something quietly" so were much entertained when she gave us a basic but interesting and informative lesson in astronomy. As she left the room she said in surprise "You quite enjoyed that, didn't you?" We agreed!

    I think much of this 'here is a child entertain it' can be laid at the door of modern parenting gurus. Children must never be bored, they must be fussed over, taken out, given endless 'experiences' with theme park trips, coaching in anything from short tennis to banjo lessons, rewarded with food-related treats and so on. Whatever happened to benign neglect when kids made their own amusements, played with their siblings and friends, rode their bikes, kicked balls, quarelled, made-up, all without the ever-present 'helicopter' parents hovering above?

    Is a paedophile really hiding behind every bush waiting to jump on them?

  • vee_new
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Re sensibilities so many people here get up-tight with most of what happened in the 'bad' old days trying to put a modern twist on to them. And of course really horrible 'things' took place which we now cannot change even if we apologise for them.

    The recent case of a young man from South Africa the winner of a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University who got an enormous following 'on line' when be claimed the statue to Cecil Rhodes outside his College should be removed because Rhodes had been a 'Imperialist' and made his fortune by exploiting native populations; yet he was happy to take this 'tainted' money.

    Or more local (to me) eg's in the nearby city of Bristol, in the past part of the 'triangle' of the slave trade. No-one would ever condone that evil business, but should the merchant Edward Colston's statue, or even the buildings erected through his charity provisions be removed? Is it better to expunge these people from history?


    Bristol and Edward Colston

  • carolyn_ky
    6 years ago

    Louisville had a statue of Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederacy, and a fellow Kentuckian along with the young Abraham Lincoln. It was in the street confluence outside the University of Louisville until student protest caused it to be moved to another county last year. Our county has a Confederate cemetery on the outskirts; I sincerely hope no one decided those soldiers should be dug up and moved south. I am not in favor of rewriting history.

    vee_new thanked carolyn_ky
  • vee_new
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Carolyn, I wonder if this 'attitude' could ever reach a totally illogical conclusion with for eg the pyramids being removed because they were built with slave labour . . . perhaps aping the attitude displayed by so-called ISIL in destroying the world-famous ancient sites in the Middle East because they don't fit in with their lop-sided beliefs?

  • annpanagain
    6 years ago

    Vee, get out of my head! I was thinking the same thing although is it certain they were built with slave labour and not as a willing offer to their gods?

    We should also have to look at churches and chapels built by penitent rulers to atone for misdeeds in the hope of divine forgiveness "etc etc and so forth"!

  • woodnymph2_gw
    6 years ago

    I am not in favor of rewriting history, either. Too reminiscent of English and French Protestants destroying exquisite statuary and stained glass in ancient Catholic churches that we art historians love to study.

    Richmond, VA has a wonderful street, Monument Avenue, with statues of VA heroes of battle, and Confederate Generals. Years ago there was a move afoot to take down all these statues and remove them -- to where? I hope this never occurred.

    I grew up in GA and time was when every small town had a square in front of its courthouse that featured a statue of a Confederate soldier as a monument to the Lost Cause. I would hate to see these removed but I feel certain many have been because they offend a certain portion of the American population.

    And now everyone knows the story of the Confederate flag on top of the SC capitol building that was taken down by a person of color, after the murder of 9 innocents at Mother Emanual church here in Charleston as they knelt in prayer. While I was in favor of the removal of the flag as a toxic symbol in this one instance, I am not in favor of revising or sanitizing history.



  • friedag
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I had to rub my eyes and pull my ears to open my ear canals to make sure I was reading and hearing this correctly: The most fanatical expression, I think, of wanting to deny history of the U.S. is that of those who would like to 'demote' Thomas Jefferson from his position as a "Founding Father" of the U.S.A. and as founder of the University of Virginia, among other accomplishments. Some have said they would be willing even to scrap! The Declaration of Independence in order to reverse or expunge his influence -- all because Jefferson was a slave owner and he might have fathered at least one child (perhaps more) with his slave Sally Hemings (who also happened to be his deceased wife's half-sister).

    In some minds it is settled: recent DNA testings of Sally Hemings's male descendants indicate someone in the line of Peter Jefferson (father of Thomas) fathered at least one of Sally's sons. It is very possible it was Thomas, but it's also possible that it was Thomas's brother or either of two nephews who were known to be in the vicinity. So the evidence is not conclusive. Is that reason enough to negate everything else Thomas Jefferson did?

    These same fanatics would like to see all monuments and memorials to Thomas Jefferson changed, including Mount Rushmore. They have floated the notion that the heads of Jefferson and George Washington, another slave owner, should be re-carved to represent more worthy presidents. The four with the most mentions are Franklin Roosevelt, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Barack Obama.

    I doubt that anything will come of it -- the hoopla has since died down a bit from about five years ago when I first got wind of it. I would say that nothing ever will be done that drastic, but now I'm not sure that redress seekers for grievances will ever completely let it go.

  • vee_new
    Original Author
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Some interesting ideas there Frieda.

    A real hot-potato ( and probably more-so in the US where so much is/becomes politics driven) is all this trans-gender business.

    A BBC presenter has recently got into hot water for claiming that 'men' that are now 'women' after surgery/hormone treatment cannot truly be women because it is about more than clothes and makeup.

    There is also 'talk' about how soon/when a child should be allowed to choose when he has 'gender reassignment'. ie should a four/five year old be put on hormones to help him 'trans' to the other sex.

    I don't know if any US RP'er will be able to reply or if the PC'ers would consider this a comment too far.

    BBC Presenter Speaks Out

  • friedag
    6 years ago

    Vee, in the U.S. the whole subject is radioactive and must be handled very delicately. The conversations about it here seem very similar to those in the UK. (I have come to dislike that word, conversation, which has been ruined by the media in my opinion.)

  • friedag
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Vee, I hope you can help me identify a British guest commentator on a U.S. news program today (22 March). I came in on the middle of her remarks and didn't recognize her, but she had some interesting things to say that I would like to follow up. She was speaking about the terrorist attack on Westminster Bridge.

    She called herself a "Brexiteer" [my spelling] and told how she has been criticized for her patriotism. She thinks multiculturalism is a failure in the UK and says the cities especially have become a collection of ghettos where the immigrant residents have no intentions of assimilating into British culture. She describes examples of the enclaves in London with the Afghanis in the west and the Eritreans in the east not speaking to each other and neither of them will have anything to do with the Syrians -- much less other cultural groups.

    She mentioned that she wrote a piece for _____? (It might have been The Daily Mail.)

    The American host of the program asked this woman why she thought she was routinely excoriated in the UK for her views. I didn't catch her reply! But I take it that she is well known there and just might get to be better known in the U.S.

    Do you know or have any ideas who she is, Vee? If it helps, she looks to be in her late forties or fifties (certainly younger than me) and has blondish hair.

  • vee_new
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Frieda, I'm not a Mail reader, although it is one of the most popular middle of the road/online papers. A paper, as you will know, hated by the left-leaning intelligentsia. I have seen a post by someone at Hot Topics berating a fellow American for reading it instead of the 'Guardian'!

    I wonder if the journalist was Katie Hopkins? A clever woman, who as far as I can tell writes to cause controversy and make waves.

    Of course, much of what she says is true. Her sin is saying it out too loud and she has had to pay substantial damages for 'comments' she has made in the past . . .

    Katie Hopkins Daily Mail

  • friedag
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Thank you, Vee! The photo of Katie Hopkins in the article you linked looks just like the woman I saw. I notice too that the same phraseology was used in the spoken and written comments. You have named the 'mystery' commentator for me.

    I realize now that I have read some of her writing before, but I don't recall ever seeing her until yesterday. What she has written hasn't seemed completely outrageous to me, but I can understand how she could make certain people's blood boil. She pinpointed this (paraphrased):

    "Opinions aren't just opinions any longer. There are only right opinions and wrong opinions -- with self-appointed invigilators (usually of the politically correct persuasion) keeping as many of the opinions on the 'correct' path as they can." There will be an exam to take! ;-)

    That's a very good description of some of the Hot Topics participants who like to restrict discussions to what validates their own opinions (such as reading material); hence the berating of other posters for reading the 'wrong' things. Apparently they don't value reading opinions from a wide variety of sources.