Some books draw me in with an amazing story, some with beautiful characters or others with fantastic writing. Then, there are the books that make me say, “I want to write like that!”
This isn’t a common feeling, but one that—when it comes—comes with shocking strength. A strength that, I am willing to bet, influences my blog-writing style to a staggeringly high degree. Those posts after reading A Homemade Life again? Oh my gosh, I want to write like Molly Wizenberg.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect with Sloane Crosley’s I Was Told There’d Be Cake. Much of my ‘to read’ list comes from rummaging through the tables of books on the ground floor of Barnes and Nobles at Union Square. Sometimes they are filled with great suggestions and other times those tables—especially the fiction tables—seem like an homage to sadness. Call me crazy, but I prefer to read books with happy endings as opposed to yet another pointless ramble that will only lead me to tears.
I was going to buy the book and upload it to my kindle—my favorite way to read nowadays; however the inundation of mediocre reviews on amazon.com threw me, thwarting my plans. Did I really want to spend money on a book I may not love? Especially when I was going home so soon and could get it cheaply?
So, I got it on paper back swap and found the parcel waiting on my desk when I arrived home in a jet lagged stupor. A few days into proper summer vacation and it was time to begin reading.
It was love from first word.
While the book is a collection of essays, each piece focuses on a different aspect to Crosley’s life. This gives the book a lovely structure and creates a quasi-story line. You read because you want to find out what else will happen. You read because you like her. You read because the writing draws you in.
I could see how, if you like David Sedaris and read the cover quote, this book might let you down. Surely, though, you would prepare yourself for some differences? I haven’t read David Sedaris and was not expecting something to make me laugh out loud. As we all know that rarely happens to me except when I’m reading a particularly funny passage of Bill Bryson on the train.
The stories vary in length and topic, but mostly relate to the struggles that Crosley faces being a young in New York. I imagine they are highly relateable, even if you don’t fall into that, admittedly broad, category. They discuss us as humans, they discuss what we want and, most importantly, all the things we don’t want but happen to us anyway. Her unique writing style makes the book a delightful, quick read.
I loved every word. I would have been more than happy to spend my money on it. And I certainly will do with her second essay collection.
What’s your favorite way to get books to read? Buy them? Borrow them from a library? A friend? Cheap-o on amazon?