Books Made of Paper

Sloane Crosley: ‘How Did You Get This Number'

Fellow Gigglers, let me be clear: This is not a book review column. I’m not going to seek out the newest hardcovers and tell you whether or not to buy them. Partly because we have our own tastes but mostly because I don’t read many books that are too new to be in paperback. I can support the industry without taking out a mortgage.

While not the Sunday Review, this Sunday blog will explore my brilliant and fascinating thoughts about books. Please use the comments section to share  your own thoughts on this book, or whatever you’re reading.

Book Cover

I just finished Sloane Crosley’s book of essays, How Did You Get This Number. I was planning to read her first book, I Was Told There’d Be Cake, but then I read this HelloGiggles post and picked up her latest pub instead. Sloane seemed cool and real and has a great apartment and I want to know how she got there.

I’m a big fan of creative non-fiction. For those of you who haven’t read a lot of it, creative non-fiction is a work of truth, but written in the same manner as fiction, so the writing is as important (maybe more?) than the subject matter. At least if it’s written well.

Some of you are also writers and maybe some of you are also MFA grads, or getting MFAs or thinking of getting one. As far as I can tell, one of the big differences between being in a writing program and being post-writing program is that you don’t have to read a book and a half a week.

Or maybe you do it anyway ’cause you’re crazy like that. But I come from the school (or genetics?) of Slow Reader. So after leaving grad school, it was a huge relief not to read and annotate six books a month.

But here’s the catch—it’s also a drag! Because now I don’t read nearly as much as I should in order to be inspired and enriched. Whoah. That sounded really nerdy.

Back to the book.

How did you get this number

My favorite essay is called “If You Sprinkle.” Sloane reflects on her adolescent years and I love it for gems like this (does everyone remember the game Girl Talk?):

“Imagine, if you will, the legal repercussions of a game manufactured today in which underage girls are encouraged to call strangers’ homes in the middle of the night. Or to leave the house sporting a ‘silly outfit.’ It’s all fun and games until someone winds up in the back of a cop car, clutching a Cabbage Patch Kid.”

I, too, write a LOT of stories about adolescence, which I have been told is not interesting to readers. But I can’t imagine I’m the only one who was glued to the page during Sloane’s remembrances of the complexities of friendship at age twelve. Right? Anyone?

But what had my attention more than anything was that I became more and more convinced as I read on, despite very little information about Sloane’s actual college experience, that she must have gone to the same college as I did.

My curiosity took me to Wikipedia (where else?) where I found—aha!—in fact, Sloane graduated from Connecticut College the year before I enrolled. We just missed each other. One year closer and we would have gone to college together.

Gone to college together. I spent the next twenty-four hours after uncovering this brilliant piece of information imagining that Sloane and I did go to college together where we inevitably became best friends, and I wound up also becoming a best-selling author. ’Cause that’s how it works in my mind warp.

Sloane Crosley

But I do have to wonder if Sloane, who clearly studied creative writing with the same professor who helped me on the road to pursuing writing, was affected the way I was. Maybe we are long lost friends. More likely, we coincidentally went to the same school and one of us became famous.

Sloane Crosley is a funny lady and her essays are fun to read. And she’s the kind of successful young female writer that makes me think maybe it is possible to be a writer and have a fabulous life.

What are you reading right now?

Images via Indiebound, The Dizzies, Barnes & Noble.

Top image from W Magazine.

  • Sílvia Juncà

    I’m absolutely rading this one! Although I didn’t go to Connecticut College and I won’t be able to fantasize about befriending the author… pity!

    “maybe it is possible to be a writer and have a fabulous life.”, please let it be true! :)

  • Daci Spielberger Platt

    I loved this book too, and, not going to like, kind of want to be her when I grow up. But having read the story “Bastard out of Westchester” in her first book, which is about her annoyances with people’s reaction to her name, I bet she would bang her head against her desk if she read this and saw you spelled her name two different ways! (Us weird-named girls have to stick up for each other).

    • Daci Spielberger Platt

      not going to lie*

  • Yajaira Nuribeth Calderon

    I love this book! I have read it so many times already that I treat it kind of like a music album. I pick it up and just read any essay. The essays “Paris” and “Off the Back of a Truck” are my favorite. Using the music cd metaphor still, those would me my favorite songs of the album, so I ‘read’ them on loop. I dunno if anything I just said made sense to anyone, but it made sense to me. In conclusion, I love Sloane and absolutely love everything she writes. She could publish her post-it notes and grocery lists and I’d be the first in line to buy them. Also, her tweets are always hilarious!

  • Liz Haebe

    I am obsessed with Sloane Crosley! I read both of her books in rapid succession, and kind of fell in friend-love with her! She hits the nail on the head, and in her latest book, even gets really poignant a couple of times! LOVELOVELOVE her!

  • Elisabeth Miller

    I think creative non-fiction about adolescence is fantastic. There is so much material to be mined! The angst! I also tend not to read the newest releases because I’m broke and because the wait list at the library is forever. But there are soooo many books that are fantastic that are not brand new!

    I’m currently reading Hemingway’s Islands in the Stream, which was published posthumously. It’s the first Hemingway I’ve read in probably five years. It’s not his best, but it has his trademark style which has the ability to take my breath away. It’s also a bit more mature than his earlier writings in that it’s about a man with children and not just a man who’s trying to get with a lady.

    I look forward to your posts!

  • Lindsey Silken

    Oy, I’ll get that spelling fixed! Sloane has the coolest name, shame she got bad reactions.

    • Daci Spielberger Platt

      not necessarily bad reactions – just a lot of questions she gets asked over and over again (similar to the girl that posted here recently about being over 6 feet tall!)

      Anyway, you should definitely read the first book! You will LOVE it. So cool that you were probably taught creative writing by the same person!

  • Nicole Seligman

    i am going out to buy both of these books asap. i’m a creative nonfic writer/junkie, and i’m always looking for something/someone new to idolize and wish i were best friends with.

  • Shandra Goldfinger

    I love love love Sloane Crosley! I read I Was Told There’d Be Cake about a month ago and I can’t wait to read How Did You Get This Number! I feel a totally imaginary connection to her because I used to live literally two blocks from her apartment, but by the time I read her book I had moved to a different neighborhood.

  • Sidney Molino Purnell

    I’m reading this book in between classes right now. I want to get my hands on her first one as oon as I’m finished. I love Sloane’s style of writing and it’s inspiring as a writer that people will read (and enjoy) these kinds of stories if they are written well (yes, in Sloane’s case).

  • Fiona Stevenson

    I should be starting to study for finals, but I’m currently reading These Three Remain, which is the final book in a series by Pamela Aidan. It’s about Pride and Prejudice from Darcy’s perspective. Sloane sounds like a writer I’d like, so definitely on my list.

  • Heather A. Klem

    Love her books. I recommend checking out her reading her “So I Was Told There Would be Cake” – her delivery is fantastic.

    • Heather A. Klem

      Her reading it on audio, I just realized I was less than explicit with that recommendation.

Need more Giggles?
Like us on Facebook!

Want more Giggles?
Sign up for our newsletter!