“As a cultural icon, [Lady Gaga] does and incredible service for women: after all, it will be hard to oppress a generation who’ve been brought up on pop-stars with fire coming out of their tits.”
Following her 2010 book How To Be A Woman, Moranthology is a collection of essays and columns by the very funny British journalist Caitlin Moran. Whereas How To Be A Woman focused on—you guessed it—being a woman, Moranthology gives Moran free range, and range she does, from Michael Jackson’s memorial service, to meeting Lady Gaga (a reprise from How To Be A Woman), to the importance of libraries and what it’s like to live on welfare. Each column in introduced by Moran, with the reflections proving most humourous on her earliest pieces.
Like, I suspect, most librarians, my favourite piece in Moranthology was one of the more serious ones. Moran effortlessly proves that you can be serious and hilarious at the same time—which of course you already knew if you’ve read How To Be A Woman. Raised on welfare and homeschooled, in “Libraries: Cathedrals of Our Souls” Moran mounts an impassioned defence against library closures, lamenting the fact that “libraries that stayed open during the Blitz will be closed by budgets. A trillion small doors closing.” Even if you’re going to skip Moranthology, stop by the Huffington Post and read “Libraries: Cathedrals of Our Souls.”
Much of Moran’s humour is directed at pop culture, which dates very quickly. Since most of the essays in this book are reprints of Moran’s previous articles, many of the references are already quite dated less than a year after publication. Fans who read her work regularly will not find much new material here, so much as a nostalgic romp through the Best Of –. Of course, I can’t castigate her for being out of date too much; I had to skip all of the chapters containing her reviews of Sherlock, which I—shamefully—still have not watched. When introducing friends and family to Moran—as I will certainly continue to do—I’ll likely be pointing them in the direction of How To Be A Woman rather than Moranthology, at least for starters. However, there is plenty of fun to be had in revisiting The Royal Wedding, etc., and seeing them from Moran’s bitingly humourous perspective.