Stephan Lee
March 01, 2011 AT 05:00 PM EST

Image Credit: Henry S. Dziekan III/Getty ImagesEver since I read her first insightful, funny collection of essays, I Was Told There’d Be Cake, I haven’t been able to get enough of Sloane Crosley. In moments of boredom, I sometimes scour the Internet for mentions, profiles, or any interviews she’s given. I find her endlessly fascinating. Sloane has broad appeal, I’m sure, but to me, she’s like my nonexistent cool older sister’s even cooler best friend. She’s 32 now to my 25, and I look to her as an example of someone who’s made the transition from clueless upstart to real New York publishing power player in the most enviable fashion. Sloane’s absolutely gorgeous —  shiny hair, a great figure, and an ample posterior–but it’s clear from reading her work and hearing her speak that she’s gotten to where she is by being smart, hard-working, and really, really nice. But I love that she’s no Girl Scout, either. By her own admission in Cake, her early-twenty-something self seems to have been way flakier than I ever was or currently am, yet she managed to grow up and eventually have it all: She kicked serious ass at her day job as book publicist extraordinaire, wrote two best-selling essay collections in her spare time, and is now adapting her own work for an HBO pilot. Plus, she does well at fancy parties and seems to go out more nights than she doesn’t. Do I need to explain any more why she’s my hero?

Anyway, after blowing through her second collection, How Did You Get This Number, in one sitting this past summer, I’ve realized Sloane’s steady stream of contributions to various publications are doing a pretty good job of holding me over until her next book. Seriously, homegirl gets around: She has had regular columns in The New York Times and The Independent, writes one-offs for other glossies like W and Esquire, and her Village Voice essays — the ones that led to her first book deal — are all still archived. In preparation for a recent, ill-advised train ride from Manhattan to Ronkonkoma, I printed all the online Sloane essays I could find and clamped them together with a huge binder clip. All said and done, I had a hefty tome that lasted through my long round-trip journey–alas, a third book of sorts! Sloane thrives in the roomier, meandering stories that the word-limitless book format allows her, but her magazine and newspaper essays are excellent, too. For someone who writes endlessly about herself, Sloane the protagonist is miraculously un-infuriating. Light touches of self-deprecation and irreverence separate her from the droves who aspire to be the next Girl About Town memoirist.

For those of you who don’t quite require a book’s worth of Sloane’s columns and articles, I’ve highlighted a few of her greatest hits. Enjoy!

Goodbye, Columbus [Village Voice]: The essay that started it all. Sloane described the perils of moving in Manhattan in an e-mail to her friends, one of whom was a Voice editor who thought it’d make a great piece. A longer, even better version appears in Cake.

Empty Rooms, No Regrets [NYT]: We come full circle. In this recent piece, Sloane describes the experience of seeing the apartment she had so many problems moving into gutted as soon as she moves out. I felt a little sad reading this, as her Upper West Side apartment was the setting for so much of her first two books. It’s like seeing Central Perk demolished.

A Wrinkle in Time [W]: Sloane discusses beauty and getting older as she approaches the age when faces supposedly self-destruct.

Cat People Are People Too [NYT]: I don’t relate because I hate cats, but this is hilarious.

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