I’m sitting in the doctor’s office with my 17 year old son, waiting for his appointment, and of course I’m reading while I wait. It’s what I do, how I find time to read. I’m reading Caitlin Moran’s latest, Moranthology, and I start to laugh. At first it’s a silent giggle. I keep reading, shoulders shaking, aware that Elliot keeps giving me horrified looks. Suddenly, I can’t help it, I snort with laughter. Elliot is mortified. “Mom!” he hisses at me, glancing around at the few other bored occupants of the room. In his mind, they are all staring at me with undisguised contempt, but in real life, no one has noticed. And, given that I’m old now and am immured to disinterested stares, I go back to shaking with laughter and reading my book.

Moranthology is a collection of Moran’s articles, mostly published in the Times of London, on a wide-ranging variety of topics–her interview with Lady Gaga and the evening they spent clubbing together, her midnight conversations with her long-suffering husband, holidays in Aberystwyth with their children, her account of watching Michael Jackson’s funeral. (That was the part that made me snort, although it was partly cumulative, after reading her hilarious account of how she decided to become a writer.)

Caitlin Moran is brilliant. Whether interviewing Keith Richards (who really is a pirate, like you always knew), or writing about growing up poor, describing the Royal Wedding, or talking about her hair and her signature look, she is always amusing, entertaining and a good writer. She’s just really funny while at the same time coming up with ways to express complicated thoughts you’ve had in a concise and articulate way. She’s not always funny of course. She writes about the deaths of Liz Taylor and Amy Winehouse; she writes about poverty and prejudice. I will say that I don’t agree with her on several important topics, but I still think we could have a lot of fun together over a cup of coffee. Moran is opinionated (as well she should be, considering she’s a columnist) and witty.

Moranthology is a great book. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Elizabeth was a columnist for a glorious brief while, when her children were small and she wrote a weekly humour column called “Momsense” about life with 3 toddlers. Learn more at her blog Planet Nomad.


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