How Did You Get This Number

How Did You Get This Number

by Sloane Crosley

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594485190
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/03/2011
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 214,664
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Sloane Crosley is the author of the new collection Look Alive Out There, the novel The Clasp, and the bestselling essay collections How Did You Get This Number and I Was Told There'd Be Cake, which was a finalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor. Her essays and criticism have appeared in The New York Times, New York Observer, the Village Voice, Playboy, Teen Vogue, Salon, Black Book, Radar, Maxim, and The Believer. She lives in New York City.

What People are Saying About This

David Sedaris

How sure footed and observant Sloane Crosley is. How perfectly, relentlessly funny. If you needed a bib while reading I Was Told There'd Be Cake, you might consider diapers for How Did You Get This Number.

From the Publisher

"Wonderful and entertaining." — USA Today

"Undeniably funny... Crosley's work speaks volumes to her generation." — San Francisco Chronicle

"Charming... Crosley has an original spark... [She] is like a tap dancer, lighthearted and showmanlike... capable of surprising you with the reserves of emotion and keen social observation that motivate the performance." — The New York Times Book Review

"Crosley writes with such buoyancy. But [she]... shows a depth that's every bit as enjoyable as the full-on belly laughs." — Entertainment Weekly

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How Did You Get This Number 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 78 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed 'I was told there'd be cake' and had some high hopes for Crosley's second book, but it seemed like she was trying too hard. Gone were the funny and interesting stories that you wanted to read, replaced instead with ones that had you waiting to the end to catch that humor, but ending on a flat note that makes you think, 'Why did I just read this?' I finished Cake in a matter of days, this one I had to force myself to keep reading. Personally, I wouldn't recommend this to anyone.
kaelirenee on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Sloane Crosley takes her hectic and sarcastic eye around the world for this collection of autobiographical essays. However, there is less of a theme in these stories, less coherence in her story-telling, and fewer belly laughs than she wrote with in I Was Told There'd Be Cake. Still, many of her stories have a common enough theme for the 20-30 something group for her to find a good audience. With a little more cohesion through her stories, she would be a female, younger David Sedaris.
TanyaTomato on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Not everything is funny. Sometimes things are hard. Sloane gets it.
goydaeh on LibraryThing 5 months ago
A witty collection of essays from Sloane Crosley. Often deeply humorous, and quite thought-provoking, Sloane's focus is on New York, although she also covers time spent in Paris, Portugal, and Alaska. Crosley's stories flow beautifully. Highly recommended.
ReadingWithMartinis on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I couldn¿t wait to read this book. I enjoyed Crosley¿s memoir, I Was Told There¿d be Cake, tremendously. However, How Did You Get This Number? did not live up to my expectations. This memoir was not particularly humorous, which was the reason I wanted to read it. I died laughing with Crosley¿s first memoir, but not so much with this book. Some of the essays were actually a little depressing.Overall, this book ended up being a letdown. I wouldn¿t actually recommend it to anyone, but I would recommend Crosley¿s first memoir.
juliahuprich on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Sloane Crosley can do no wrong! Her side-splitting essays are hilarious, unbelievable, and downright fantastic.
Jenners26 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Like her previous book, I Was Told There'd Be Cake, this book is a collection of essays. I'm a sucker for these types of books, and when I find a contemporary writer who specializes in essays with a humorous bent, I will doggedly read that author until their well of experiences run dry. David Sedaris is the master of the art of of the humorous essay and is the gold standard by which I judge all other essayists. Augusten Burroughs started out as a memoirist and then evolved into an essay writer, turning out two or three essay collections that worked quite well before returning to his memoir roots. Anna Quindlen and Jacquelyn Mitchard both began by writing essays before making the leap to novels. Nora Ephron has made a career out of writing witty essays; her book Crazy Salad was one of my first introductions to the genre. Sloane Crosley is one of the few female essayists I've come across in recent years, and it was a pleasure to find her. (And, hey, Chuck Klosterman--I'm coming for you next!)To be honest, I think I'm attracted to essays because if I'm going to be any type of writer, I think I'd be an essayist (before make the inevitable jump to writing the Great American Novel. HAHA! Or, more realistically, a moderately successful trade paperback.) When it is done right, a humorous essay is like visiting with a really funny friend who tells you about their latest mishaps, vacation or adventure or revisits their childhood to tell you about their crazy relatives. A successful essayist can mine the comedy gold inherent in childhood, vacations, the school years, work, dating, marriage and motherhood and make you laugh while nodding your head in recognition. When done well, it seems effortless. (Though I'm sure it is anything but.) The key, though, is having a perspective that comes at things from a slightly skewed perspective that makes the mundane and ordinary seem fresh and interesting.Well, enough about essays already! How was this book? Although the writing was a little uneven and could have used more focus, I found the book pretty satisfying. Like any collection of essays, you'll always like some more than others. In this book, there were a few essays that could serve as a model of "how to write a humorous essay." Then there were some that just didn't quite find the right rhythm and tone. Considering an essay is only about 20 to 30 pages, if my mind is starting to drift on the third page, things are not going well. Yet in each essay--no matter how much I thought she veered off course or lost her rhythm--Crosley manages to eke out a turn of phrase or make an observation that makes her stuff worth reading.Here is a brief rundown of the nine essays in the book and some excerpts that really delighted me.* Show Me On The Doll--A travel essay about Sloane's impromptu solo trip to Portugal that answers the question: Would you like to see a three a.m. performance of amateur Portuguese circus clowns? The essay is filled with comic moments of trying to get by in a country where you barely speak the language and the stresses and joys of traveling by yourself--especially when you have are severely directionally impaired.Excerpt: "I found myself waiting online for Lisbon's main attraction: an antique freestanding elevator that springs up the city's center and leads to nowhere. When I got to the highest level, I climbed the narrowest staircase to the tippy top. America is lacking in this, I thought. All of our public structures are self-explanatory. When you press the PH button, you're going to the penthouse. Not the stairs that lead to the landing that lead to the lookout above the penthouse. Our basements are conveniently located at the base. No cellars that lead to subfloors that lead to catacombs of ruins."* Lost In Space--An essay about Sloane's temporal-spatial deficit, a learning disability that means you have zero spatial relations skills. After reading this essay, I self-diagnosed myself with the same disorder. It explains so much!!
alana_leigh on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Sloane Crosley's debut novel I Was Told There'd Be Cake earned her a spot on the "writers to watch" list for many people, myself included. Now I can say without a doubt that I will purchase anything Sloane Crosley happens to publish from here on out, I don't care if it's a grocery list. She's a delight, a fantastic wordsmith whose small observations are to be cherished as comic gold. Indeed, it's often the sentences spoken as asides that have me laughing out loud in the presence of strangers. Her command of language means that she always seems to have the perfect phrasing for the most bizarre or whimsical circumstance... and she knows when to let the simple description of a thing speak for itself. She, herself, is credibly droll even in the moment (as opposed to reflectively looking back on the event) with a knack for locating the absurd and mapcap in everyday situations... though her own poor luck (or good luck as far as the reader goes) does tend to stretch these scenarios into the farcical. As a twenty-something New Yorker with thirty looming on the horizon, she strikes an obvious chord with me, but I think that her humor should be accessible to anyone... or at least any reasonably intelligent person who understands that we all have our own flaws and if we can't laugh at them once in a while, then we're in for a long, dull ride. I Was Told There'd Be Cake was so fresh and funny that I worried that there might be too much pressure placed on Crosley for book two, but if anything, I think she's gotten better. As with all delicious things, there is the dangerous tendency to gobble down How Did You Get This Number without any time to breathe. Try to take some time between stories so you can savor the humor... or maybe just re-read it all over again as soon as you finish the first read-through. The stories seem a bit longer, but that's only because she takes her time with each, exploring multiple emotions and ideas that can all be wrapped up in a single experience. She's a little older and a little wiser, so there are fewer foolish events and a greater number of wry observations, though there's still plenty of ridiculous inner turmoil. Part of Crosley's charm for me is the fact that she's very much a New Yorker and the stories in this collection are often set in New York, though she ventures out for various reasons, ultimately always desperate to get back. She starts off with "Show Me on the Doll," describing an impromptu solo journey to Lisbon that gives us all ample justification for not taking more impromptu solo journeys the way our ten-year-old selves might have thought we would when the definition of adulthood encompassed doing whatever we wanted. "Le Paris!" discusses two different trips to Paris, one of which involves a contender for "most awkward conversation" in Crosley's life as she finds herself in confession at Notre Dame, despite the fact that she's Jewish and the priest only speaks French and Japanese. In "Lost In Space," Crosley describes her mother's dreams of a genius child quickly thwarted after discovering that Sloane has a learning disability resulting in terrible spatial relation skills. You might not think this is funny, but wait until you read about Crosley's method for cheating at the SATs which involves padding her bra with post-its. "Take a Stab at It" and "It's Always Home You Miss" are both very New York tales of apartment woe and cab smells, respectively, while "Light Pollution" sees Crosley head to Alaska for a friend's wedding (where "bear bells" are part of the wedding favors). "If You Sprinkle" is a story that any girl can relate to, describing the horror of middle school and then "An Abbreviated Gift of Tongues" is for everyone with a catalog of family pets buried in the backyard, though the Crosley family pets are all interred in duct-tape sealed tupperware. The final story, "Off the Back of a Truck," is perhaps the most poignant of all as a shady arrange
jlparent on LibraryThing 5 months ago
A solid collection that entertained but did not wow. I did not laugh out loud nearly as much as I did with Crosley's "I Was Told There'd Be Cake", but I often found it more introspective (not a bad thing) than light-hearted. The essays here are definitely longer (for the most part) than the prior collection and therefore, can afford to go deeper. I enjoyed nearly all of them, I was just never 'wowed' so I would still recommend this for those times when you want a bit of heft with your amusements.
alanna1122 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I recently read Sloane Crosley's first collection of essays "I Was Told There Would Be Cake" and really enjoyed it - so I had high expectations for this book.I was not disappointed. I loved this collection of essays as much as her first. It is a fairly unusual thing for me to laugh (or snicker) out loud - but this book had me going - again and again. Some of the essays are much better than others. But all were worth reading. Even when Crosley has her introspective moments - the essays remain interesting and somehow she avoids that sickly self indulgent effect that plaques other essay writers. It is smart, funny and a quick read that I thoroughly enjoyed. Looking forward to her next collection!
figre on LibraryThing 5 months ago
This is a nice collection which contains no real clinkers, but neither does it contain any home runs. In other words, some interesting reads that, in a few instances, are engrossing, are generally entertaining, but just don¿t knock my socks off the way the great collections do. Crosley has a slight quirk to her writing (I really can¿t put my finger on what it is) that takes a bit of getting used to. However, once the reader gets a handle on the flow of her style, the essays then come much easier. The best of this collection is actually the last ¿Off the Back of a Truck¿. It takes Crosley¿s experience with a man getting her back door deals from a company where only the rich can normally afford to shop and intertwines it with falling in love/getting into a relationship. This best piece also may indicate why this collection just does not make my must-read/must-have/must-get-more-of list. The intertwining of the stories made sense (in fact, so much sense that the wrap-up is expected), but still felt forced; as if it was working too hard to be profound.But my reserve about this collection should not be taken as dislike, or a recommendation to ignore. The collection (as already indicated) is nice, and you are more than likely to enjoy the reading of it. It¿s just that, just as some of the stories are still with me, so is the aftertaste that reminds me of a meal that just wasn¿t quite as good as I¿d hoped it would be.
fourgirls2014 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Crosley is supposedly the best new thing to happen to humor non-fiction since sliced bread. I picked this up off the "new books" shelf of the library. At times, she is very funny, but rarely ever does she manage to elicit a vocalized laugh from me. Mostly, her humor is of the "small smirk to yourself" variety...or not at all.
agirlandherbooks on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Sloane Crosley is allegedly funny -- her first book, I Was Told There'd Be Cake, was nominated for the Thurber Prize for American Humor -- but there's no sign of it in this collection of essays. What does emerge is a bitchy, entitled chick who complains about trips to Paris, Portugal and Alaska, shady boyfriends, buying stolen high-end home goods, and a variety of bad apartments & roommates. What's passed off as sarcasm is just thinly veiled bitterness for whatever Sloane Crosley finds lacking in her Manhattan existence.
greeneyed_ives on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Sloane Crosley is a hipster. The kind of hipster who knows she is cool but will desperately try to appear nonchalant about it. The kind of person who makes a point of mentioning the latest cool party she's been to, but in the same breath dismisses it out of hand. How Did You Get This Number is essentially a hipster's insight into the life of a 20 something New Yorker. While both amusing and at times thought provoking, Crosley's essay come accross as a female version of David Sedaris but with less widespread appeal. Her commentary on everyday events, like that of a breakup, are well written but because they are written with the pretenious attitude of a 20 something hipster, the collection is bound to alienate certain readers. Hence I give it three and half stars, an essay collection I would enthuiastically recommend but with note of caution.
ellynv on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Sloane Crosley¿s How Did You Get This Number is a fun ticket for travel adventure. I¿ve spent my long week-end in Portugal, Alaska and especially New York City without leaving the comfort of my bedroom. She gave me a lot to laugh about (and the vicarious experience of being a young writer in New York City) The poignant and painful are often the well from which the funniest is drawn. Because I come from a family with a variety of neurological and learning problems, I found the chapter ¿Lost in Space¿ cutting very close to home. And therefore the talk of right-left brain discrepancy and ¿having the village idiot camped out in half your brain¿ established a print cameraderie that kept me from putting this book down. How could I not fall in love with someone who confesses near the beginning of the book that she¿s never met a clock that works properly and has resorted to going to Canada to avoid the trauma of a week-end bus trip to her sister¿s house?)This book is very funny, in that subtle, laugh to yourself and underline portions so that you can read them to your friends way.
goodinthestacks on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Got this through the early reviewers and I am glad I did. Only read about 1/4 so far and I have found myself laughing many times. Great read so far and I look forward to the reast.
GRgenius on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Okay, I admit it...at first I was ready to throw in the towel on this one, but the stories redeemed themselves (to me) upon reaching the half-way mark through the final pages, leaving me with a more favorable impression, and a few good laughs. Final verdict: not as funny as some I've read, but DEFINITELY has it's moments worth reading. Happy reading!
lesliecp on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I loved Sloane Crosley's first book, I Was Told There'd Be Cake, but this collection of essays was just OK for me. A few of the stories seemed forced and wordy. My favorite story was Lost in Space which explains Ms. Crosley's struggles with a temporal-spatial deficit. As someone who struggles with the same disability, I could relate to the difficulty telling time and having to hide the fact that you are counting on your fingers. This book was a fun, light summer read. Based on my love of her first book, I will continue to seek out Sloane Crosley's writing for quite some time to come.
Kasthu on LibraryThing 5 months ago
How Did You Get This Number (apparently, no question mark in that title) is a collection of nine essays, ranging in topic. In the opening essay, Crosley takes an impromptu, off-season jaunt to Portugal for no apparent reason, and meets a troupe of clown college students; later, she discusses the relative merits and demerits of Alaska, when she attends a friend¿s wedding in ¿Light Pollution;¿ and later still she discusses getting thrown out of Paris (¿I do not think you should come to this place again¿), and having a dealer of furniture who will get you things ¿Off the Back of a Truck.¿These essays are always witty and sometimes funny. There¿s no real connection between any of them, but Crosley has a way with words that is often poignant and rings true. Sometimes her ramblings don¿t make total sense, but I found myself laughing out loud numerous times while reading these essays. Crosley always manages to remain pragmatic about her experiences, even as she dates a guy who turns out to be no good, or accidentally breaks into a stranger¿s courtyard in Paris, or shopping for roommates on Craigslist (been there, done that!). Embarrassing experiences like these are prime fodder for Crosley¿s self-deprecating style, and she can even be philosophical about childhood games like Girl Talk (a game from my own adolescence I remember very well...). What I like about Crosley¿s essays is that her experiences are so relatable.There are some weak essays in the book (the two subjects of the last one in particular don¿t seem to go together, and I didn¿t quite ¿get¿ the one about taxis. In all, however, this is a very strong collection of essays, and a great follow-up to I Was Told There¿d Be Cake. Definitely worth reading if you¿re looking for a humorous memoir where the author doesn¿t take herself too seriously.
bragan on LibraryThing 5 months ago
A collection of humorous personal essays about the author's life in New York City and her travels to other parts of the world, including a genuine spin-the-globe-and-go-where-you-land vacation. (She ended up in Portugal.) Some of Crosley's observations or turns of phrase are rather odd... "Quirky" doesn't quite describe it, really. The best I can do is "idiosyncratic." It was sometimes hard to know exactly what to make of her, especially as we seem to have very different life experiences. But overall, I found the book quite enjoyable. Multiple times I found myself laughing out loud, and there are some genuinely insightful moments. The first essay, in particular -- the random global vacation one -- provoked the strong feeling that, yes, she had managed to capture exactly what it's like to be an adult.I have not read her previous book, I Was Told There'd Be Cake, but I'm definitely interested in doing so now.
madhatter22 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I was surprised when this Early Reviewer copy of How Did You Get This Number came in the mail because I don't remember requesting it!With her first first book, "I Was Told There'd Be Cake", Sloane Crosley was constantly compared to Chelsea Handler, and since I'd hated, hated, HATED Handler's "My Horizontal Life" (I finished it only because I was on a plane and had nothing else), I had zero interest in Crosley. I decided my ER request must have been a mis-click.Fortunately, Crosley's essays are much better than Handler's.I didn't find them as hysterically funny as they are generally touted as being, but I did laugh. Crosely is witty, although sometimes she tries too hard and gets too cutesy. ("When Ben returned home, dumplings in hand, Lauren confronted him. Dim, and then some, he denied the whole thing.")The essays are generally well-written, though sometimes her thoughts would meander, and I'd find myself reading the same sentence two or three times trying to figure out what she was going on about. Overall I thought this book was interesting, thoughtful, honest and fun to read. I wouldn't rave about it, but I enjoyed it enough to want to pick up Crosley's first book some time, and if her next book is offered for Early Reviewers I'll click on it on purpose.
skinglist on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Eh, I wasn't as impressed as I thought I might be with all the hype about her previous book and then this one. We grew up not far from each other and I could relate to some of her experiences - but in others she came off as a strange alien. I know she's meant to be very humorous, but perhaps we have different sense of humor.There were some pieces I liked for sure - the throwbacks to our childhoods with Girl Talk, YM and Trapper Keepers, and whatever happened/didn't happen with Sang was amusing - but I didn't find these essays to be very cohesive or well edited. Many dragged on far too long. That said, it was a very quick read once I sat down to read it and finished it with some skimming in a gym session.I was the most eager for her travel tales as I am a traveler myself, but I was left underwhelmed. She came across, instead of someone seeking experience, as someone who was never going to be happy. Why did she bother?I'll still keep an eye out for the first to see if I enjoy it any better.
Milda-TX on LibraryThing 5 months ago
Loved this book of essays almost as much as the first, "I Was Told There'd Be Cake". Made me laugh out loud in places but was thought-provoking in others; found myself tempted to show sentences, paragraphs, or pages to whomever was near me in the bleachers at my daughter's vball tourneys...
Tmyers526 on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I got this book through Early Reviewers.I really enjoyed this book. It is very funny, and it made me feel like I was just talking to a friend. My favorite part was about the taxi cabs in New York. I would recommend it, and definitely her previous book, to anyone looking for a good read.
taletreader on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I don't understand if I just share the author's sense of humor or if the other people who reviewed this book don't have a sense of humor at all, but I was absolutely entranced by Sloane Crosley. It's been a while since I've read a funny book, and her short essays about things which happen to us all are poignantly hilarious because we can relate. We understand. And we laugh along with her as she makes mistakes. Like we all do. Except for the part where we cry about the baby bear. With stories about the humiliating game "Girl Talk" and holding hands under bathroom stalls, Sloane incorporates movie references and song lyrics which fit all too well in her puzzle of Mad Hatter madness called life. "I was a good girl--but I did not love horses or Jesus and I'd burn America to the ground in exchange for a sliver of my former happiness." This book has given me faith that you CAN write a witty book and still focus on the abstract. You can have your cake and eat it too. You can confess in Notre Dame to a father who only speaks French or Japanese. And you can laugh about it. Which is what we all really need, wouldn't you say?