Friday, February 7, 2014

Shelf Life [adult]

Moranthology by Caitlin Moran

For those of you who don’t know Caitlin Moran, let me introduce you: Ms Moran is a journalist and recipient of several awards, including the British Press Association’s Columnist of the Year award in 2010. She identifies as a feminist and a socialist, and all of this is making her sound rather dull and strident. She is not. Regular CBC listeners may recognize her from the “Are Men Obsolete” Monk Debates this past year. She was the funny one (not Camille Paglia) on the con side, arguing that men are quite useful and lovely and inherently valuable, even.

Moranthology is her follow-up to 2011’s How to Be a Woman. It is a selection of her work for The Times of London. The material ranges from pop culture, to social issues, to music criticism and gender politics.

Most of the pieces are snort-inducingly funny, especially those on fashion (“This Cape Makes Me Look Like Wizbit”) and culture (“I am a Dwarf Called ‘Scottbaio,’” on World of Warcraft). They ring funnier because Moran is a willing, often enthusiastic participant in the trends she lovingly skewers. She does deal seriously with serious issues, though. One piece on library cutbacks in the UK actually made me cry. (Disclaimer: I am a pregnant librarian, so I have a lot of feels to feel and many cluster in the library area. Still, it was passionately written and well argued. I swear.)

Her frank, bawdy tone, frequent drug references, and willingness to make a good time out of anything will certainly not be for everyone. That said, if you are a woman of Generation X or Y who fancies herself a pop culture geek with a social conscience, you are going to have a great time with this book. Download it. Do it now.

This review appears in the Stratford Gazette on February 6, 2014. Written by Shauna Costache, Librarian.

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