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."


July 28: Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin eloped on this day in 1814.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Paradise and Elsewhere

Canadian short story marvel Kathy Page emerges as the Alice Munro of the supernatural from these heartfelt tales of shapeshifting swimmers, mild-mannered cannibals, and personality-shifting viruses transmitted through kisses.


When a persuasive pastor arrives in a sleepy farm town, his sage influence has otherworldly results (talking sheep, a mayor who walks on water). But can he pull off the miracle of finding kindly local Liz Denny the love of her life?  Small wonder looms large in this charmer from Andre Alexis.

The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).