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How Did You Get This Number– A book that has my number!

September 23, 2010

How Did You Get This Number
Sloane Crosley
Riverhead Books July 2010

I’m absolutely sheepish about how long it’s taken me to read and review this. I got a copy from a very nice publicist, Katie Grinch, who also sent me Crosley’s first book. And then my plan was to read the second… with a few books in between. Surely, by mid-August?

And double oops… because the second essay in this collection was so resonantly right on target, I wanted to hug the book. “Lost in Space” felt like something I could have written. Having miserable trouble keeping the SAT answer sheets straight with those bubble answers and the booklet. Getting off at the wrong side of a familiar looking subway entrance every single time. Utter helplessness with maps and schedule grids. Yes. Me too, Sloane. Me! TOO! Though I haven’t found a funny way to write about it, or the courage. Yet?

“Whatever natural inability I had to orient myself, I had doused with a self-made need to cover it up. People get lost and invert numbers. They make plans for Tuesday the 16th when the 16th is a Wednesday. Most people would claim that they are ‘terrible with’ something. Names, dates, places. Even make-believe characters on TV had these problems. But did they feel the need to lie about them afterward?”

Beyond my wanting to scan “Lost in Space” into my computer and send it to just about everyone in my family, and a few friends, too… the rest of the essay collection is good, solid writing. Crosley’s at her best, her funniest, writing about New York. I should do a bit of Googling to read reviewers who don’t share a city with the author. It would be interesting to see how her rants about apartment hunting, or even the oddities of teen girlhood and movies, play out to a reader who can’t smile and laugh knowingly. Sometimes it’s awkward, mostly it’s funny. An excellent book to read and pass to friends you love for a shared sense of humor.

“Lost in Place,” though… that made the book for me.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 23, 2010 9:40 pm

    OK, my problem that rules my life is that I ave a horrendous time with faces. I just can’t really recognize people I know, or movie stars, and so on.

    This sounds like a fun book, and I’ll keep an eye on it!


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