Close cookie details

This site uses cookies. Learn more about cookies.

OverDrive would like to use cookies to store information on your computer to improve your user experience at our Website. One of the cookies we use is critical for certain aspects of the site to operate and has already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but this could affect certain features or services of the site. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, click here to see our Privacy Policy.

If you do not wish to continue, please click here to exit this site.

Hide notification

  Main Nav
I Was Told There'd Be Cake
Cover of I Was Told There'd Be Cake
I Was Told There'd Be Cake
Borrow Borrow Borrow
From the author of the novel, The Clasp, hailed by Michael Chabon, Heidi Julavits, and J. Courtney Sullivan.
Wry, hilarious, and profoundly genuine, this debut collection of literary essays from Sloane Crosley is a celebration of fallibility and haplessness in all their glory.

From despoiling an exhibit at the Natural History Museum to provoking the ire of her first boss to siccing the cops on her mysterious neighbor, Crosley can do no right despite the best of intentions — or perhaps because of them. Together, these essays create a startlingly funny and revealing portrait of a complex and utterly recognizable character who aims for the stars but hits the ceiling, and the inimitable city that has helped shape who she is. I Was Told There'd Be Cake introduces a strikingly original voice, chronicling the struggles and unexpected beauty of modern urban life.
Sloane Crosley is also the author of How Did You Get This Number.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
From the author of the novel, The Clasp, hailed by Michael Chabon, Heidi Julavits, and J. Courtney Sullivan.
Wry, hilarious, and profoundly genuine, this debut collection of literary essays from Sloane Crosley is a celebration of fallibility and haplessness in all their glory.

From despoiling an exhibit at the Natural History Museum to provoking the ire of her first boss to siccing the cops on her mysterious neighbor, Crosley can do no right despite the best of intentions — or perhaps because of them. Together, these essays create a startlingly funny and revealing portrait of a complex and utterly recognizable character who aims for the stars but hits the ceiling, and the inimitable city that has helped shape who she is. I Was Told There'd Be Cake introduces a strikingly original voice, chronicling the struggles and unexpected beauty of modern urban life.
Sloane Crosley is also the author of How Did You Get This Number.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Available formats-
  • Kindle Book
  • OverDrive Read
  • EPUB eBook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    20
  • Library copies:
    20
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:

Recommended for you

Excerpts-
  • From the book The Pony Problem

    As most New Yorkers have done, I have given serious and generous thought to the state of my apartment should I get killed during the day. Say someone pushes me onto the subway tracks. Or I get accidentally blown up. Or a woman with a headset and a baby carriage wheels over my big toe, backing me into some scaffolding which shakes loose a lead pipe which lands on my skull. What then? After the ambulance, the hospital, the funeral, the trays of cheese cubes on foil toothpicks...
    Back in the apartment I never should have left, the bed has gone unmade and the dishes unwashed. The day I get shot in a bodega (buying cigarettes, naturally) will in all likelihood be the day before laundry Sunday and the day after I decided to clean out my closet, got bored halfway through, and opted to watch sitcoms in my prom dress instead. I have pictured my loved ones coming to my apartment to collect my things and I have hoped that it would only be "lived-in" messy—bras drying on the shower curtain rod, muddy sneakers by the door. But that is never going to happen. My dust balls have a manifest destiny that drives them far beyond the ruffle of the same name.

    I like to think that these hypothetical loved ones would persist in their devotion to dead me no matter what. They would literally be blinded by grief, too upset putting sweaters in boxes to notice that I hadn't dry-cleaned them in a year. That is, until one of them made his or her way to the kitchen.

    "Where are you going?" my father would ask.

    "Packing up her bedroom's much too painful," my mother would tell him, choking back the tears. "I'm going to start on the kitchen."

    This is the part I dread. This is the part where my mother would open the drawer beneath my sink only to discover my stash of plastic toy ponies. There are about seven of them in there. Correction: one's a Pegasus, blue with ice skates. The rest vary in size, texture, and realism. Some are covered in brown felt, some have rhinestone eyes. Some come with their own grooming brushes; others with the price sticker still on their haunches. If they arrived in plastic and cardboard packaging, they remain unopened as if they will appreciate like Star Wars figurines. Perhaps they are not the dirtiest of dirty secrets, but they're about as high as one can get on the oddity scale without a ringer like toenail clippings.

    I'm not exactly sure how the ponies happened. Though I have an inkling: "Can I get you anything?" I'll say, getting up from a dinner table, "Coffee, tea, a pony?" People rarely laugh at this, especially if they've heard it before. "This party's supposed to be fun." a friend will say. "Really?" I'll respond, "Will there be pony rides?" It's a nervous tic and a cheap joke, cheapened further by the frequency with which I use it. For that same reason, it's hard to weed out of my speech—most of the time I don't even realize I'm saying it. There are little elements in a person's life, minor fibers that become unintentionally tangled with our personality. Sometimes it's a patent phrase, sometimes it's a perfume, sometimes it's a wristwatch. For me, it is the constant referencing of ponies.

    I don't even like ponies. If I made one of my throwaway equine requests and someone produced an actual pony, Juan Valdez-style, I would run very fast in the other direction. During a few summers at camp, I rode a chronically dehydrated pony named Brandy who would jolt down without notice to lick the grass outside the corral and I would careen forward, my helmet tipping to cover my eyes. I do, however, like ponies in the abstract. Who doesn't? It's like those movies with animated insects. Sure...
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from November 26, 2007
    This debut essay collection is full of sardonic wit and charm, and Crosley effortlessly transforms what could have been stereotypical tales of mid-20s life into a breezy series of vignettes with uproariously unpredictable outcomes. From the opening “The Pony Problem” to the hilarious “Bring-Your-Machete-to-Work Day” (which will ring true for any child of the early 1990s who played the first Oregon Trail computer game), Crosley is equal parts self-deprecating and endearing as she recounts her secret obsession with plastic ponies and the joys of exacting revenge via a pixilated wagon ride. In less capable hands, the subjects tackled—from unpleasant weddings of long-forgotten friends to horrendous first jobs—could have been a litany of complaints from yet another rich girl from the suburbs. But Crosley, who grew up in Westchester and currently lives in Manhattan, makes the experiences her own with a plethora of amusing twists: a volunteer job at the American Museum of Natural History leads to a moral quandary, and a simple Upper West Side move becomes anything but. Fans of Sarah Vowell’s razor-sharp tongue will love this original new voice.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from September 29, 2008
    Crosley's dry, ironic narration is the perfect match for her collection of essays about her struggles and misadventures as a 20-something gal in New York. Her reading brings a personal touch to her reminiscences. She never hams it up or overdoes it, telling her stories in an understated but arch tone (the aural equivalent of a raised eyebrow), and her timing and delivery are unerringly on-target, making humorous lines even funnier. She's especially effective in her self-deprecating moments, as when ruefully recounting the time she managed to lock herself out of her apartment twice in one day—one can hear the horrified realization in her voice as the door closes and the lock ominously clicks, and the disbelief and frustration in knowing she's made the same careless mistake, again. Her tone and voice bring out all the humor and personality of her writing, making this collection even more enjoyable on audio than in print. A Riverhead paperback (Reviews, Nov. 26).

  • Library Journal

    February 15, 2008
    This first book by Crosley, a publicist at Vintage/Anchor, is a comical collection of autobiographical essays covering everything from Crosley's obsession with plastic ponies to her experience attending an epidemic of weddings (which leads to a clever and amusing story about her role as a bridesmaid). Writing in an entertaining and witty style, she examines her family, work, sex, and love livesas well as life in general. We learn that behind the author's secret obsession with plastic ponies, each pony represents memories of a specific individual; at some point, in an effort to liberate herself, she leaves them on a train. We also learn that her unique namewhich has had people confusing her with a cancer hospital, a man, and, in one charming essay about her interaction with a telemarketer, "Slow"helped define her identity, despite the price at which it came. The real story behind Crosley's namethat it was inspired by a black-and-white movie called "Diamond Rock"leads her along another path of self-discovery. A refreshing, original reflection on modern life recommended for public libraries.Susan McClellan, Shaler North Hills Lib., Glenshaw, PA

    Copyright 2008 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    March 1, 2008
    For those for whom the publication of new work by David Rakoff or Sarah Vowell would be a literary event equivalent with the announcement of an eighth Harry Potter novel, the release of Crosleys debut collection of keenly insightful personal essays should have similar impact. The New York Times, NPR, and Village Voice contributors take on everything from volunteering to vegetarianism, bridesmaids duties to baking disasters escorts readers on a raucous ride through the fluctuating minefield that is contemporary culture. Crosleys sardonic observations have a sassy edge; her nimble humor, a naughty zing. Yet beneath her smug persona of young woman about town (that town being Manhattan) lurks another, more vulnerable image: that of sensitive mall rat from suburbia (the suburbs being Westchester.) Real and recognizable, Crosleys is the voice of everyones favorite quick-with-the-quips sister, daughter, roommate, coworker. With an unabashed appreciation for the trenchant irony inherent in lifes more quotidian activities, Crosley exposes societysand her ownmost endearing qualities.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2008, American Library Association.)

  • Reviews for I Was Told There'd Be Cake and Sloane Crosley: Whether you're involved in a love/hate relationship with just yourself or with the entire world, these essays will charm the pants off you—but not so as you'll feel violated. Sloane Crosley is bright and funny and enchanting. This is a sparkling debut.

    —Meghan Daum, author of My Misspent Youth and The Quality of Life Report

    "Hilarious and affecting and only occasionally scatological, I Was Told There'd Be Cake is lively reminiscence about growing up strange. Sardonic without being cruel, tender without being sentimental, Sloane Crosley will win you over with this delightful debut."

    —Colson Whitehead, author of Apex Hides the Hurt

    "I love Sloane Crosley. In I Was Told There'd Be Cake, she navigates the social, the moral, the romantic experiences that prompt her to create her own voice and freshly define the world around her. Crosley is a post-modern Mary Tyler Moore, and this book is wry, generous, knowing—a perfect document of what it is to be young in today's world."

    —A.M. Homes, author of This Book Will Save Your Life and The Mistress' Daughter

    "Sloane Crosley is another mordant and mercurial wit from the realm of Sedaris and Vowell. What makes her so funny is that she seems to be telling the truth, helplessly."

    —Jonathan Lethem, author of The Fortress of Solitude and Motherless Brooklyn

    "Charming, elegant, wise, and comedic, these essays absolutely sparkle and entertain. Sloane Crosley is a 21st Century Dorothy Parker, and this book is a gem and heralds a wry new voice in American letters. Gorgeous writing, outrageous humor—it's all here!"

    —Jonathan Ames, author of Wake Up, Sir!

Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Penguin Publishing Group
  • Kindle Book
    Release date:
  • OverDrive Read
    Release date:
  • EPUB eBook
    Release date:
Digital Rights Information+
  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

Status bar:

You've reached your checkout limit.

Visit your Checkouts page to manage your titles.

Close

You already have this title checked out.

Want to go to your Checkouts?

Close

Recommendation Limit Reached.

You've reached the maximum number of titles you can recommend at this time. You can recommend up to 5 titles every 7 day(s).

Close

Sign in to recommend this title.

Recommend your library consider adding this title to the Digital Collection.

Close

Enhanced Details

Close
Close

Limited availability

Availability can change throughout the month based on the library's budget.

is available for days.

Once playback starts, you have hours to view the title.

Close

Permissions

Close

The OverDrive Read format of this eBook has professional narration that plays while you read in your browser. Learn more here.

Close

Holds

Total holds:


Close

Restricted

Some format options have been disabled. You may see additional download options outside of this network.

Close

MP3 audiobooks are only supported on macOS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) through 10.14 (Mojave). Learn more about MP3 audiobook support on Macs.

Close

Please update to the latest version of the OverDrive app to stream videos.

Close

You've reached your library's checkout limit for digital titles.

To make room for more checkouts, you may be able to return titles from your Checkouts page.

Close

Excessive Checkout Limit Reached.

There have been too many titles checked out and returned by your account within a short period of time.

Try again in several days. If you are still not able to check out titles after 7 days, please contact Support.

Close

You have already checked out this title. To access it, return to your Checkouts page.

Close

This title is not available for your card type. If you think this is an error contact support.

Close

An unexpected error has occurred.

If this problem persists, please contact support.

Close

Close

NOTE: Barnes and Noble® may change this list of devices at any time.

Close
Buy it now
and help our library WIN!
I Was Told There'd Be Cake
I Was Told There'd Be Cake
Sloane Crosley
Choose a retail partner below to buy this title for yourself.
A portion of this purchase goes to support your library.
Clicking on the 'Buy It Now' link will cause you to leave the library download platform website. The content of the retail website is not controlled by the library. Please be aware that the website does not have the same privacy policy as the library or its service providers.
Close
Close

There are no copies of this issue left to borrow. Please try to borrow this title again when a new issue is released.

Close
Barnes & Noble Sign In |   Sign In

You will be prompted to sign into your library account on the next page.

If this is your first time selecting “Send to NOOK,” you will then be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

The first time you select “Send to NOOK,” you will be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

You can read periodicals on any NOOK tablet or in the free NOOK reading app for iOS, Android or Windows 8.

Accept to ContinueCancel