01 November 2013 ~ 0 Comments

A Trip to the Hardware Store & Other Calamities (Quirky Essays for Quirky People) by Barbara Venkataraman

The author sent me this book for review and while browsing for something light after a major surgery, I picked this one. Short stories are absolutely wonderful when you’re on medications that affect your ability to focus because you don’t have to try to remember the entire story to get the gist of that “chapter”. As lover of reading, short stories allow me to enjoy reading without getting frustrated.

Many of the essays in this book were just plain funny. The title essay, in particular, had me hyperventilating with laughter. We all know this person. The one that tries to save money by doing it themselves to only pay MORE for it later because it got messed up even more. *glances towards husband*. Also memorable is trying to plan around friends and their food issues. It’s always a chore and as someone with food allergies, I totally am “that person” at times.

There were one or two that kind of fell flat for me though. High Finance just didn’t get me all that much (and I’m a bookkeeper!).

Having said that, humor is hard to pull off and this author makes an admirable effort. It was great to read this in between times of being too doped up to focus on high brow literature (because, yeah, I read a lot of that… or not). It would be an excellent book to pull up when you’re waiting in line, riding the train or need something you can pick up and put down quickly and need a break from the usual grind – or if you just need a good laugh.

Recommended for those not afraid to laugh at everyday real life stuffs.

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.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Book count for 2013: 37

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