How Did You Get This Number by Sloane Crosley

How Did You Get This Number
by Sloane Crosley
(Riverhead Books)

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Humor essayist Sloane Crosley’s second and newest book, How Did You Get This Number, opens with Crosley on the brink of turning 30 and taking an impromptu trip to Lisbon after deciding to spin a globe and travel to wherever her finger lands. The following hilarious account of Crosley’s adventures in Lisbon sets the tone for the rest of the essays in the book, which include encounters with bears in Alaska and a visit to a potentially haunted New York apartment.

“Oh, life. What a sweet little etch-of-sketch of time you are!” writes Crosley, with her never-failing fresh yet funny outlook on life. Throughout the hodge podge of essays in How Did You Get This Number, Crosley simultaneously mocks and embraces the oddities of her experiences, encouraging her readers to do the same and see the humor in their own lives.

Crosley’s first book, I Was Told There’d Be Cake, portrayed Crosley as a young-adult in the city, struggling with a terrible first job and navigating the ever-complicated world of relationships. Her spunky sense of humor earned her first book on the New York Times bestseller list and had reviewers comparing Crosley to the likes of David Sedaris.

After receiving such high praise for her first book, Crosley’s new book had the potential to disappoint, but How Did You Get This Number avoids the typical second-book pitfalls. Both Crosley and her writing have grown up a bit, but Crosley shows that growing up doesn’t have to mean getting boring. Crosley’s writing is richer, fuller, and even more hilarious than ever.

She addresses even her darker moments with a witty perspective. She writes about the pain of a nasty break-up, saying, “Horribly insensitive friends marked their own birthdays with celebrations, re-signed leases in his neighborhood, used words with vowels he also used.” Crosley uses an intelligent and self-assured sense of humor that is often hard to find in much of today’s comedic writing.

How Did You Get This Number is about the good, the bad, and the ugly in life—the bizarre, the mundane, and the outright crazy. The moral of the story: Yes, life can suck sometimes, but at least it’s funny.

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