Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Erin is Scrumtrulescent’s #CBR4 Review #07: How Did You Get This Number by Sloane Crosley

If there is one thing I am a sucker for when it comes to reading, it is biographies and memoirs. While I will occasionally read something in which I might actually learn something, I tend to gravitate towards collections of personal essays from people who have lived through many a screwed up or hilarious situation that I can then vicariously experience. My first taste of this was reading David Sedaris’ Me Talk Pretty One Day, which to this day remains one of those books I practically force on people when I find out they have not read it. It was actually while discussing with a friend our mutual love of David Sedaris (and his sister, Amy, for that matter) that she handed me Sloane Crosley’s How Did You Get This Number and told me I might like it.

To my friend’s credit,  it really does have a lot of the qualities I usually like in memoirs and Crosley is close enough to my age and demographic that we were bound to have enough in common that some of her experiences might even mirror my own. As it turns out, even that could not get me to like this book very much. There is just nothing memorable about this book for me in terms of content. It was the written equivalent of sitting through an awkward lunch with a friend you have not seen in a while with whom you now have nothing it common. It seems to last forever and you know she talked about something but to be honest you forgot it a few seconds after she mentioned it because you do not care enough to put the effort into really listening.  The one thing I do remember about her writing is that a couple times I came away with the impression that she thought whatever she was saying was ever so clever and witty, and I did not much agree with her.

Afterward, I think the thing that left the worst taste in my mouth was not how disappointed I was with the book itself but how much better it could have been. There were definitely some parts of this that I laughed at but it was more the situation and not really her writing. I really think there are two kinds of memoir writers – those who have lots of material, not all of it great, but can write the hell out of it, and those that just have good material. It might just be that I am not a big fan of her style, but for me Crosley definitely falls into the latter category.


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