Sloane Crosley


The essayist on reading pleasures long and short.



Sloane Crosley When Sloane Crosley locked herself out of two apartments in one day, that traumatic—and in the retelling, very funny—experience planted the seed that was to grow into an essay for the Village Voice, and would later give rise to the winning essay collection I Was Told There'd Be Cake. Crosley’s droll, deadpan, and effervescent essays about twentysomething life in New York struck a chord and drew comparisons to Dorothy Parker and David Sedaris (see below). Her new book How Did You Get This Number roams further afield, from Portugal to the Alaskan wilderness, in the same wry spirit. The author spoke with the Barnes & Noble Review about three of her favorite books.


Books by Sloane Crosley




Straight Man

By Richard Russo


"Russo's charm-filled novel about an English professor, campus life and a dead goose should most certainly never be read in public. It's hard not to think of it and smile. It reads as if Russo took a syringe to Don DeLillo's White Noise, drew out the funniest bits and applied his own sense of meaning, style and heart to them. It truly is that endearing and lovely of a book."




Me Talk Pretty One Day

By David Sedaris


"This was the first big New York City reading I ever attended - at the B&N flagship in Union Square. Sedaris read 'Picka Pocketoni' (about being mistaken for French by two American tourists on the Paris Metro), which is a sentence-by-sentence hilarious essay. It's not his most layered. I would soon read the rest of his work and watch him draw on amazing wells of beautiful emotion. But if the layer on which this exists had a name, it would be called 'here is what it is to be so brilliantly funny, you should probably put down your drink before it comes out your nose.'"





By James Joyce


"Not a laugh-out-loud riot, especially when one imagines the famous last passage describing snow falling on headstones in 'The Dead.' But I read this book at least once a year and each time I do I unpack some technical trick or subtle wry tone that had previously gone unnoticed. I am a short story fanatic but while I find a lot of modern storytelling - both fiction and non-fiction - takes its cues and rhythms from the brilliant writing of John Cheever, it's Joyce I keep coming back to."


April 24: "[The HST] lifted a curtain from our view of the universe, changing it so profoundly that no human can look at the stars in the same way..."

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.