Thursday, July 8, 2010
Sloane Crosley's Cake
I've seen I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley in bookstores for a couple of years. It's always on one of those tables near the shop's entrance, with a sign stating "Favorites" or "Now in Paperback." I didn't know what it was about but I knew it wasn't something I wanted to read. Maybe it was the cover, which is just the title of the book with the image of a flowery, textured bedspread behind it. Or maybe it's the title itself--without reading the summary, I thought it was a chick lit novel with a Cathy comic-esque main character who only wants to eat dessert and complains about her weight. I have never been so happy to be wrong.
This essay collection is hysterical. It only took me a few days to read and I enjoyed every minute. Crosley's style is so clear and matter-of-fact that it's almost like she was sitting right next to me telling about the day she moved into her new apartment or about the unbelievable number of times she has lost her wallet and had it returned to her. The stories are true and are really only funny because of the way Crosley tells them. She's very entertaining and the best part is that she is honest, even if it is unflattering to her.
Another reason I think that I loved this collection so much is because Crosley's life is quite similar to my own. We are roughly the same age, both grew up in the tri-state area (her in Westchester, New York, me in Southern Connecticut) and she has some of the same interests as I do, mainly writing, baking and working in publishing (which is something she already does and at which she is quite successful, and something that I aspire to do). Everything she writes about is interesting to me for some reason or another. I too have been in the wedding party for a friend with whom I wasn't extremely close; I spent hours of valuable time playing Oregon Trail when I was in elementary school. And even though I've never had a friend myseteriously defecate on my bathroom floor, she writes about this incident in such an incredulous tone that it's hard not to laugh aloud (which I definitely did several times).
Sloane Crosley's new book, How Did You Get This Number, just came out and I'm planning to pick a copy soon and add it to my summer reading list. Hopefully, it's as funny as the first.