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A Trip to the Hardware Store & Other…

A Trip to the Hardware Store & Other Calamities (Quirky Essays for Quirky…

by Barbara Venkataraman

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This author is a natural story teller. Her style is so soft that makes reading a pleasure, very light experience that will really bright your day. This collection of small chronicles or essays is a description of everyday's life situation that turns out to be very funny when you talk about them (probably not that funny when the situation really happened...). Unfortunately it finishes too soon!
I was able to identify myself with the first story, A Trip to the Hardware Store, as my home repairs always end up in disasters... Beyond Belief and High Finance are also very good!

I recommend it to the permanent library of any reader who loves a laugh and enjoys a very well written collection of short stories.
I received this book from the author and I was not requested to provide a positive review. Opinions expressed here are my own. ( )
  rmattos | Jan 23, 2016 |
A collection of short essays written about the author and her family, gently poking humor at herself. A quick read to lighten your mood or to "cleanse you palate" between serious reads. ( )
  olongbourn | Mar 1, 2015 |
Barbara Venkataraman’s short collection of essays starts with a nicely evocative and humorous tale of her father’s hardware store dreams. The family is vividly normal, the dad convincingly determined, and the mom ever patient, offering a tale that’s fun and is probably repeated yearly around the country. In another essay, a neat comparison of efficiency vs laziness offers creativity as an alternative to procrastination. And a fun display of kitchen gadgets might have readers searching the depths of their cabinets.

Trip to the Hardware Store is a short collection, and most of the stories amuse, especially the first and last. Where the humor grates, perhaps I’m just displaying my cultural difference and immigrant background. Short, fun, and easy to read, this might be a volume to load onto your kindle for your next trip to the hardware store.

Disclosure: I was given a free ecopy and I offer my honest review. ( )
  SheilaDeeth | Dec 11, 2014 |
A Trip to the Hardware Store by Barbara Venkataraman
Funny, humorous at times of lifes every day events and how they can be easily become calamities.
Dad is not a typical person who can fix things, he tries, really hard so when he heads to the hardware store, others try to stop in to call in the professionals.
He tries to not fail but when the hot water stops and mom has called the plumber and he knows what the problem is in the pipe, just not where, she asks Dad to find it for them so it can be fixed. The disaster that follows sounds VERY similar to what we went through to find out pinhole leak in the pipes.
Next story is about having friends over for dinner. Plans are going along fine til she realizes so many of her friends have different food allergies so she substitutes many ingredients so everybody can enjoy the meal.
Another story about lazy bones brings information about well known people who did procrastinate and make life dimplier for others.
Account past due makes her realize she's sent a collection note to a friend and not who it was intended for.
Gadget girl is about the numerous items/gadgets one must have. but how many is too many LOL, clutter. i've decluttered a bit and can do more in the kitchen!
Where did the time go-she takes care of her dad who is aging and forgetful and so many doc appts, lab work, etc
High finance is a good one on how to collaborate with your family to achieve lifes unexpected events that call for a gift to be sent.
I received this book from Library Thing via the author in exchange for my honest review. ( )
  jbarr5 | Dec 3, 2014 |
Too funny! I AM these people! I found someone in each of these stories to identify with, and loved it! My son and I listened to the Audible version on a long car ride and we both cracked up over various scenes in this glimpse into the lives of people just like us! I can remember my dad doing home repairs and taking a trip to the hardware store, and the occasional professional that had to be called in. While most of my close friends don't have the dietary restrictions mentioned in the "Dinner is Served", my son's class parties are a bit of a nightmare to plan for. Kids allergic to milk, nuts, soy, and even certain colors...( can you BE allergic to a color????)... 'Lazy Bones', how I love thee! A Master Procrastinator's guide to expert excuses! 'Your Account is Past Due' is a hilarious and heartwarming look into the life of America's super-villain, the bill collector. 'Gadget Girl' I'm guilty as charged... I own 90% of these gadgets and have many more besides. 'Where did the Time Go?' This one I could only relate to on a tangential level, as my parents/grandparents are still taking care of each other. Still it was eye-opening, yet amusing, and definitely quirky. 'Beyond Belief' : yup, that's my life story ( or could be ) as I still get enough bruises and bug bites to rival my 11 yr old! 'High Finance' is hilarious! It's totally something my brother and I do.... One year I bought him a parts car, the next year he bought me a dryer... Lol, it's a perfect system! ( )
  LizaRobbins | Nov 23, 2014 |
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Like her first offering, I'M NOT TALKING ABOUT YOU, OF COURSE, these musings also touch the heart and tickle the funny bone. In this second collection of short essays, Ms. Venkataraman addresses some serious and poignant topics with great warmth and humor. Her writing remains uplifting and whimsical and I still want more.
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At 8,000 words, this collection of humorous essays explores such quirky topics as: disastrous home repairs, ("A Trip to the Hardware Store"), an unfortunate dinner party (“Dinner is Served"), the truth about lazy people ("Lazy Bones"), the weird life of a debt collector ("Your Account is Past Due") and obsessions with gadgets ("Gadget Girl"). Other essays examine how surreal the aging process is (“Where Did the Time Go?"), why you shouldn't judge a person by their job (“Beyond Belief”), and how to complicate simple transactions (“High Finance”). Like the author's first work, "I'm Not Talking About You, Of Course…," these essays will give your spirit a lift and leave you smiling.
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