Here's what I expected before I started reading How To Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran - that it would be honest and opinionated and funny.
What I didn't expect was to learn quite so much about Moran, particularly regarding her masturbatory habits and her menstrual cycle, and definitely not within the first couple of chapters.
Still, once I got the shock out of the way (as Moran probably intended) I began to enjoy the book.
Part feminist manifesto, part guide on being yourself, part memoir, How To Be a Woman is fully hilarious, whether Moran is talking about her (mostly) disaster of a wedding, her fashion choices or her treatment of colleagues at her first job.
That's not to say How To Be a Woman is not a serious or touching book. Moran's chapters on children and abortion feature some particularly heartrending moments, and her treatise on plastic surgery had me nodding most of the way through.
I don't agree with everything Moran says in How To Be a Woman, but I do agree with the push behind it all - that the way to be a woman is just to be who you are, and to be a human being first, and everything else second.
I think Moran is probably too honest for some, but I loved it. And if nothing else, I will take Moran's fashion rules away with me and treasure them, especially the one about how 'you can get away with nearly anything if you wear the thing with black opaque tights and boots'. So true.
•How To Be a Woman is the sixth book in my challenge to ready 12 non-fiction books in 2013. I'm failing miserably.