How Did You Get This Number?

Posted June 21, 2012 by Tara in Review /// 1 Comment

An ugly cover, but there is a bear in this story.

How Did You Get This Number? 
by Sloane Crosley
Penguin Audio
Downloaded from Overdrive via Public Library
[#45 in my 75 book challenge]

I could sum up this review in one word:


Alright, guys, thanks for reading! I’ll see you here next week. Or tomorrow. Or whenever you feel like coming back (thank you, my lovely readers, for always coming back!).

Oh. Maybe you want to know why I gave it a meh. Okay. I think I can do that. First you have to know what this bear-covered book even is. It’s a collection of auto-biographical humor essays written by a middle-class twenty-something living in New York. You probably know I love my funny ladies and their humorous non-fiction (Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling, Laurie Notaro, and even Chelsea Handler), but this wasn’t quite as good as it could get.

How Did You Get This Number was like a cross between Laurie Notaro and David Sedaris, but not in a good way. It lacked the outrageous, laugh-out-loud funny moments of Laurie’s older books, and the subtle charm of Sedaris’s work. She could go either way, but she gets stuck in the middle. Dullsville. Many of the essay wandered around a lot, lost their way, and had me wondering if I had spaced out and missed entire sections. I hadn’t. Most of what I listened to has completely left my brain, so I can’t even tell you what the essays were about or why I didn’t care for them. It was just…unmemorable.

I picked this one up from the public library’s Overdrive service because it was immediately available for me to download and burn to disc for a long drive, so it served its purpose. So many of the Overdrive books can’t be burned to disc and/or aren’t Mac compatible, so my pickins’ were slim. I think I should have waited to listen to Crosley’s other similar book,g I Was Told There’d Be Cake, which I’ve heard is much better. If you happen to end up in a situation with this book, go ahead and read it…it’s better than nothing, but like I said, it’s “meh.”

Final Grade:  D  I started this review thinking I’d give the book a C, but upon writing my actual criticisms, I realize I can’t group it with the other books I gave a C to. It was just mediocre, not terrible, but I didn’t enjoy it. There were a few fun moments, and maybe one or two good essays, that kept me entertained in the car. But mostly I found it to be no different from listening to NPR in terms of overall entertainment value. I love NPR, but I’m not 100% fixated on what I’m listening to much of the time and I’m not scrambling to listen to most of the content more than once.


Tara is a PhD student studying education. Her dissertation will be on digital book communities as public pedagogy (ask her about it!), though she often takes a break from all of that to read books about oppressive governments and sassy teenagers. In a former life, she was a middle school teacher and middle school librarian. In her future life, she's a professor of YA lit. In her free time, she drinks a lot of coffee while planning her next grand adventure (there's always something).

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