Moranthology, By Caitlin Moran

More than just being a woman

In 2011's best-selling How To Be a Woman, Caitlin Moran focused on being female. But, if any proof were needed that Moran can discuss more than lady gardens, it is provided by Moranthology. In this, her first collection of published columns, interviews and reviews, she deals with an assortment of topics, including Boris Johnson, internet trolling, Downton Abbey and the eurozone crisis. Oh, and Aberystwyth.

A journalist since the age of 15 (and a columnist for The Times at 18), Moran's career has been anything but boring. In this anthology alone, she has interviewed Paul McCartney, Eddie Izzard and Keith Richards, gotten drunk with Kylie, and visited a sex club with Lady Gaga.

Along the way, Moran has made ingenious observations, discussing the lamentable ineligibility of the potato to be the official English vegetable, given its American origins, and considering whether Sainsbury's decision to rename the fish pollock as "Colin" was part of a "growing campaign to slowly name everything in Britain after an extremely normal man in his late thirties/early forties". Her report on the royal wedding is rib-achingly brilliant.

Though exceptionally funny, Moran does not shy away from serious issues. She addresses drug abuse, library closures and benefit reform, along with the impact this will have on low-income families and people with mental health problems. Her obituaries of Elizabeth Taylor and Amy Winehouse are moving, and her writing is often poignant, thanks to her ability to be simultaneously humorous and bitingly perceptive.

However, Moranthology is not just a compendium of her Times work (which spans the last 20 years). It is the equivalent of a DVD with special extras: Moran commenting on … Moran. At the beginning of each piece she offers comical asides, contextual explanations and amusing one-liners. It feels as if she is palpably present during the reading process, making us laugh between article breaks.

Caitlin Moran is not only hilarious, sharply intelligent and so much more than a "shit Dickens, or Orwell, but with tits"; she is one of the most astute social commentators hitting a keyboard today. This collection of short, inimitable pieces is guaranteed to brighten up anyone's life or commute. Read it now.

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