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Buzz Book Club: I Was Told There'd Be Cake, Section Three

Buzz Book Club: I Was Told There'd Be Cake, Section Three

Welcome back Buzz Book Club readers! This week, we hit a section in Sloane Crosely's I Was Told There'd Be Cake that I think included one of her best stories of the whole book. But more on that in a moment.

Here's a recap of how the Book Club goes if you're new: Every week I'll suggest chapters to complete by the next post (which, in this case, will go up every Friday in July). In these weekly Book Club posts, I'll posit a few questions to prompt discussion in the comments section.

Of course, you are always welcome to read beyond the weekly chapters, but please don't spoil anything in the comments! After the jump you'll find some questions that struck me as I read this section.

The next assignment: Read to the end that includes the stories "The Height of Luxury," "Smell This," "Lay Like Broccoli," and "Fever Faker." We'll chat about this final section next Friday, July 25.

To discuss the third section of I Was Told There'd Be Cake, in which we read the stories: "Sign Language for Infidels" and "You on a Stick,"

!

  1. "You on a Stick" is my favorite story by far in the entire book. There is so much to relate to in this story, and she presents it all in a hilarious way. Have you ever had trouble letting go of a friendship (or has a friendship had trouble letting go of you), and did Crosley adequately capture those emotions? Have you ever witnessed any serious bridezilla behavior firsthand?
  2. Another thing I appreciated about "You on a Stick" is that the "character" of her friend Francine is so much more fleshed out than most of the other people in her stories, and I found that to be a way more enriching reading experience. That is exactly what I wish Crosley would do with many of the other "characters" in her essays, like her parents or her sister. Did you like getting to know a person (other than Crosley herself) a little more fully in this story?
  3. Throughout the book there are sometimes these little stories within her essays and I wonder why they're included, and/or I wish she'd expand on them. For example, why was the big bedroom/small bedroom story in "You on a Stick"? That seemed like it could have been a story in itself, and in general, it didn't really fit.
  4. While I thought there was just something off about "Sign Language for Infidels", I did like one aspect of it: the idea that we're all supposed to do good, even if we don't really want to. Is it our duty to give back, or should we only donate our time and money if we feel truly moved?
  5. Also, just out of curiosity, what would you have done with the butterfly if you were in Crosley's shoes? There's a strong possibility that I would have just opened a window and been done with it.
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Brooklynbee Brooklynbee 7 years
Hey, I just happen to be reading this book right now! I'm relating to a lot of her stories. The "You on a Stick" essay cracked me up. F.U.!!!
Linda-McP Linda-McP 7 years
"You on a Stick" had me laughing from the start, even though I've never had a Francine to deal with. Sloane's selection of details and the recreation of dialogue is so perfect in this essay(though I do agree that the big room/small room tangent could be omitted to make the essay even stronger). I can picture Francine, the shower, the wedding, the other girls (even though I feel guilty laughing at Helen) and can totally relate to Sloane's joy when she discovers that Francine's new initials will be "F.U."
CitizenSugar CitizenSugar 7 years
Ohhh... the butterfly story. I think this one may have been the genesis of my "but there's no there there" theory. I'm confused as to the actual conflict of the chapter. The big plot points were skipping out on going to volunteer once, and accidentally taking a butterfly home. This is where I was desperate for either big growth and reflection, or a stunning series of events. Either. I'm not greedy, one would have been plenty. Though in writing this, perhaps I've been railing about being disappointed that bigger things don't happen to hang her chapters on, and maybe that's actually more realistic? Help! This cake book is haunting me!
Megatron Megatron 7 years
I think I am actually in a situation like that right now. It’s kind of a long story, but this girl at school thinks she and I are BFF and we only talked like once a week. Anyway, I can totally relate to the awkward situations and again am amazed at her wit. I wish I had only half her chutzpah. I haven’t witnessed any bridezilla behavior with any of my close friends (I have however been made to wear a corseit, a cowgirl skirt and boots…in periwinkle and white) but there is a lady who is getting married at my work and OMG I am sooo glad I am not going to be there. Con.trol. Freak. I did enjoy getting a more detailed character for Francine but again it made sense for the story she was telling. While I would appreciate more details about her family I don’t really think they pertain to the stories she is trying to tell. Yea, big room/small room tangent didn’t seem to have a purpose at all. I was reading during the commercials of SYTYCD, so I thought I had lost my place when that story came up. It didn’t really have a specified purpose to me and frankly confused me. I think if a situation (it tends to be different for everyone) really moves us, we will make time and/or money to donate to the cause. If Sloane was just doing it to make herself look good I think she was volunteering for the wrong reasons. Maybe that’s why she was so half-a**ed about it in the first place. Oh yeah, that butterfly would have been totally free. While I understand the conundrum, I don’t think I would have debated that long. In my mind, if no one notices a butterfly missing they don’t need to know. Wow, I sound so moral-less. I swear I’m not!
adw7984 adw7984 7 years
* "You on a Stick" is a very relatable story. It somehow seems like I am always getting sucked back into these relationships that I assumed were over. Crosley was hilarious in this story! It is funny that this happens, years after high school people will call you and act like BFF again but they don't seem to realize that it's not true! I did like to read the character of Francine, but to me she seemed so bizarre! I wonder if there was a slight exaggeration...it doesn't matter because I thought it was funny. * "Sign Language for Infidels" - I think that when donating time or money it is important to really like the organization you are donating too. If you aren't passionate about the cause, then you are just donating for the sake of it....just to tell other people that you donate to charity. I think every person probably has a cause that they are passionate about and if so it is important to donate to that cause. In Crosley's shoes, I probably would have opened the window and let it fly out. I know that is bad, but I don't think I would have returned it.
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