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How to Be a Woman [Kindle Edition]

Caitlin Moran
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (477 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.99
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Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers

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Book Description

“Caitlin Moran is the profane, witty and wonky best friend I wish I had. She’s the feminist rock star we need right now.”
—Ayelet Waldman, author of Bad Mother

“Caitlin Moran is so fabulous, so funny, so freshly feminist. I don’t want to be like her—I want to be her.”
 —Peggy Orenstein, author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter

Caitlin Moran puts a new face on feminism, cutting to the heart of women’s issues today with her irreverent, transcendent, and hilarious How to Be a Woman. “Half memoir, half polemic, and entirely necessary,” (Elle UK), Moran’s debut was an instant runaway bestseller in England as well as an Amazon UK Top Ten book of the year; still riding high on bestseller lists months after publication, it is a bona fide cultural phenomenon. Now poised to take American womanhood by storm, here is a book that Vanity Fair calls “the U.K. version of Tina Fey’s Bossypants….You will laugh out loud, wince, and—in my case—feel proud to be the same gender as the author.”



Editorial Reviews

Review

“There are lots of things to love about Caitlin Moran’s How to Be a Woman….A glorious, timely stand against sexism so ingrained we barely even notice it. It is, in the dour language [Moran] militates so brilliantly against, a book that needed to be written.” (New York Times )

“It is bracing in this season of losing [Nora] Ephron to discover a younger feminist writer who scrimmages with the patriarchy and drop kicks zingers with comic flair….A must-read for anyone curious to find out just how very funny a self-proclaimed ‘strident feminist’ can be.” (Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air )

“A fresh, funny take on modern feminism that shines a light on issues facing every woman, lovingly boiled down to the basics with insight and humor.” (Today Show )

“Scathingly funny….Moran makes us think about femininity and feminism, and whether you agree or not, she’s fascinating.” (People (3 ½ stars) )

“A hilarious neo-feminist manifesto….Moran reinvigorates women’s lib with her personal and political polemic.” (NPR.org )

“Caitlin Moran taught me more about being a woman than being a woman did. I’m pretty sure I had testicles before I read this book.” (Jenny Lawson, author of Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir )

“There is a good reason for [its success]: it is pretty phenomenal….[Moran] wrote the book in just 5 months….Chances are you’ll read it in far less time than that, turning down the corners of extra-resonating pages to come back to later.” (Jenn Doll, The Atlantic Wire )

“With her drunk-on-gin-with-my-lady-friends honesty and humor, Moran, a Times of London columnist, snips the man out of manifesto, spinning her message of radically sensible female empowerment.” (Vanity Fair.com )

“Bravely and brilliantly weaves personal anecdotes and cutting insight into a book that is at once instructional, confessional, and a call for change….Moran shifts effortlessly between her own hilarious experiences and larger questions about women’s place in the modern world.” (Interview Magazine )

“As funny and careerist as Tina Fey’s Bossypants, as divulging as Ayelet Waldman’s Bad Mother and as earthy as Cheryl Strayed’s Wild.” (Holloway McCandless, Shelf Awareness )

“Ingeniously funny….In her brilliant, original voice, Moran successfully entertains and enlightens her audience with hard-won wisdom and wit….She doesn’t politicize feminism; she humanizes it.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review) )

“Caitlin Moran is so fabulous, so funny, so freshly feminist. I don’t want to be like her—I want to be her. But if I can’t, at least I can relish her book. You will, too.” (Peggy Orenstein, author of Cinderella Ate My Daughter )

“Her arguments are hilarious and spot on….This isn’t a self-help guide, and Moran’s not really telling you how to be a woman. Instead, she’s giving you permission to laugh: at ourselves, at her, and at anyone who think there’s only one way to be a woman.” (Shannon Carlin, Bust Magazine )

“How funny is Caitlin Moran’s neo-feminist manifesto and memoir, How to Be a Woman? Don’t read it with a full bladder….You could spend a whole book group session flagging favorite lines…..There’s some comfort in Moran’s book coming out so soon after Nora Ephron’s death.” (Heller McAlpin, Barnes & Noble Review )

“A spirited memoir/manifesto….With equal amounts snarky brio and righteous anger….That such an important topic is couched in ribald humor makes reading about Moran’s journey hilarious as well as provocative….Rapturously irreverent, this book should kick-start plenty of useful discussions.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review) )

“Caitlin Moran is a feminist heroine for our times. I can’t wait to give this book to my daughters.” (Zoë Heller, author of The Believers )

“Caitlin Moran is the profane, witty and wonky best friend I wish I had. She’s the feminist rock star we need right now; How to Be a Woman is an hilarious delight.” (Ayelet Waldman, author of Bad Mother )

Review

"Ingeniously funny....In her brilliant, original voice, Moran successfully entertains and enlightens her audience with hard-won wisdom and wit....She doesn't politicize feminism; she humanizes it."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Product Details

  • File Size: 1347 KB
  • Print Length: 323 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (July 17, 2012)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0068LYEHA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,386 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
107 of 117 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it now March 31, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I read this book and laughed a lot while doing so.

Then I had to face the acid test. I handed it to my wife - the professional nay-sayer, the woman who thinks that puns are not funny - and told her to open it at random and start reading. I expected to have it back within seconds with a dismissive remark, but instead she started reading it, chuckling occasionally, and when she turned the page she put her fingers under the next page, the quicker to read it. I asked her what the chuckles were for, but she didn't answer and kept on reading. Then she laughed so hard she nearly fell off the floor. She looked at me and said, "She's good."

I said "I've finished it, you can read it," but she insisted that I write my review first. That makes sense, considering that she has a bunch of friends that she passes on books to that she thinks are important (books, that is). So here it is.

And the only thing I can say I said in the review title - Buy it. It's the funniest book I've read this year, and probably the last year as well. Billed as a "feminist" book, by American standards it is not academic enough and way too funny, yet it addresses some of the major issues woman have like what to name your sexual parts, your pubic hair and so on. There's also a great deal of stuff on how women are sucked up into the vortex of buying clothes and high heels, having Brazilian waxes, and plenty more. The book is a vague memoir of life since she was thirteen, living in close-to-poverty, yet she managed to win a national newspaper essay competition and get on the staff of the prestigious Melody Maker Brit-pop rag in just the next three years. She also started her career as a national newspaper columnist (most of which was spent in the London Times) and hosted some TV shows.
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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally! A fun, hopeful, feminist book! July 2, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I AM A STRIDENT FEMINIST! There, I said it, as the author instructed. But it's true, and I have been, for as long as I can remember knowing what that even meant. And I have to say, this is the first "feminist book" that actually made me feel hopeful and happy and glad to be a woman. Others (such as "Crazy Salad Plus Nine" by the wonderful Nora Ephron) just made me angry - because so little has changed for women. We're still - 30+ years after she wrote it - marginalized and "different".

"How to Be a Woman" explains this 'difference' in a no-nonsense and hilarious way. For example, in the chapter titled "I Encounter Some Sexism!", the author says, "We are, physically, the weaker sex. We're not as good at hefting stones, killing mammoths, and rowing boats. In addition, sex often had the added complication of getting us pregnant and leaving us feeling 'too fat' to lead an army into India."

The author honestly and unflinchingly looks at many topics that plaque women:
~what happens when puberty hits (the periods! the hair growth!)
~the 'thin' vs 'fat' issue (and how the term "fat" is used as a curse and a slur)
~sexism (in the workplace and out)
~falling in love, getting married, and having kids (why you should, and why you shouldn't)
~abortion
~the "maintenance" we have to do on ourselves (waxes, etc.)
~and getting older

And it's all presented in an uplifting, positive, honest, and hilarious way. I did NOT want this book to end. And I want to give copies to everyone important in my life.

A few notes - as other reviewers have stated, there is all kinds of crude language as well as mentions of drug and alcohol use, none of which bothered me personally, but... this is, obviously, not for everyone...
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119 of 140 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More For The Younger 20's and 30's Crowd May 17, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
"How to Be a Woman" by Caitlin Moran had its ups and downs for me. It started out as a winner in my mind but seemed to get stuck on certain topics for much to long. Other topics didn't really hold much of an interest for me either.

Now, to be fair, I think I'm older than the target audience. While reading it I often thought of how I would have enjoyed the book more when I was younger. Some of the issues that must be very pressing to young women today just made me shake my head as I began to reminisce about the good old days when shaving our legs and arm pits was good enough for the men in our lives. No wonder so many younger women aren't happier. They are spending all of their free time worrying about body hair and all of their free time getting rid of it.

Marriage, kids, work, inter-office romance....I've seen it all. A case of the middle aged been there done that. But, it's all new to the younger women. They need to know these things and need to think about them.

I do like Caitlin's definition of what it takes to decide if you are a feminist or not. It made a lot of sense and was so much easier to understand than the speeches we had to listen to and Phil Donahue Shows we had to watch in the 70's. Back when we were first trying to figure out what a feminist was, could we be one, and if we were could we still keep our boyfriends. The younger women will love this book. The post menopausal space age boomers probably won't.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The longest Amazon review I've ever written August 20, 2012
By B. Sze
Format:Paperback
If you put George Carlin, Jon Stewart and Chris Rock into a bag and shook it up, out would come Caitlin Moran. Raunchy, hilarious yet so spot on about being a woman, this book is a must read. I have never read or heard anyone who so clearly got what I was about. I wish that I didn't have to use 3 male comics (albeit hilarious) as examples to start out my review but if life is fair, then Caitlin deserves a spot amongst them as a genius, comedic wit. I'm desperately hoping she ends up writing for movies and TV so that there are things being produced that are bright and funny and that would be clearly empowering to women instead of most of the garbage that's put out year after year.

I also didn't get the people who felt she was writing for people in their 20's and 30's. She is clearly saying that all these things that are important to younger women, the shaving, handbags etc ARE NOT THAT IMPORTANT. I feel like those reviewers should have been nodding their head in agreement with her, like I was (I'm 44). As for the more vulgar bits of language, I don't suppose it says anywhere that she's writing for the New Yorker or the NY Times with their emphasis on "proper" writing. I was slightly befuddled at the English slang but you know what? I consider myself fairly educated and was able to guess at what she meant.

When my daughter reaches her teens, she's getting this book. It would have saved me years of heartache, money and effort if I had read this early on in my life. If one out of every 2 guys read this book, the world would be a better place. But in the meantime, all women should read it for how she stands up for women's rights in such a funny yet poignant manner!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Eh, Not a Fan.
Rating 3/10
***WARNING-MY REVIEWS OFTEN CONTAIN SPOILERS! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!!***

Seriously, I quote the book three times. Read more
Published 6 days ago by R. Tweed
5.0 out of 5 stars Caitlin Moran is brilliant, heartbreaking
Read this and learn about yourself. Caitlin Moran is brilliant, heartbreaking, hilarious, and your new role model.
Published 7 days ago by Marjorie Coyne
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun and real
I hate to just say "the UK's Tina Fey", but that quickly gets us near the mark. Funny, honest and generous with her personal story, I am glad I read this.
Published 8 days ago by Beth
5.0 out of 5 stars Smart, brave and witty thinker
This was a wonderful, intelligent, humorous book. I loved the book and the way she thinks.

She wrote an excellent, honest view of abortion especially in light of the... Read more
Published 10 days ago by milwaukeeuser
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book- can't wait to share with my friends!
This book is a little bit uneven- I found it very funny in the beginning, less so in the middle, and then finished strong. Read more
Published 10 days ago by A. Raines
1.0 out of 5 stars Not much of anything
This book gets rave reviews elsewhere but I just did not enjoy it. It has a 13 year old mentality from a grown woman. Read more
Published 13 days ago by ReadnGin
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely worthwhile reading
Moran has written a book that is part feminist manifesto and part biography - and it is funny. Laugh out loud funny. Accessible, interesting and worth a read. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Debbi
3.0 out of 5 stars I just couldn't believe Caitlin would remember all(! ) ...
I just couldn't believe Caitlin would remember all(!) the intricate details about growing up. Yes, there are hilarious paragraphs (which is why I finished the book) but upon... Read more
Published 19 days ago by Outdoor Girl
3.0 out of 5 stars Funny in places but just kind of odd in others
How to Be a Woman had some very funny parts and I enjoyed Caitlin Moran's point of view, but I felt like it read as a disjointed memoir more than a weighty piece of feminist... Read more
Published 20 days ago by Christal
5.0 out of 5 stars loved this book
loved this book, the wittily told tales of growing up (right up to the present I might add) made me laugh so much, the feminist explorations that really informed me on a few... Read more
Published 22 days ago by Caroline Whoriskey
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More About the Author

Caitlin Moran had literally no friends in 1990, and so had plenty of time to write her first novel, The Chronicles of Narmo, at the age of fifteen. At sixteen she joined music weekly, Melody Maker, and at eighteen hosted the pop show Naked City. Following this precocious start she then put in eighteen solid years as a columnist on the Times--both as a television critic and also in the most-read part of the paper, the satirical celebrity column "Celebrity Watch"--winning the British Press Awards' Columnist of The Year award in 2010 and Critic and Interviewer of the Year in 2011. The eldest of eight children, Caitlin read lots of books about feminism--mainly in an attempt to be able to prove to her brother, Eddie, that she was scientifically better than him. Caitlin isn't really her name. She was christened 'Catherine.' But she saw 'Caitlin' in a Jilly Cooper novel when she was thirteen and thought it looked exciting. That's why she pronounces it incorrectly: 'Catlin.' It causes trouble for everyone.

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