So, I Read This Book Today

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Barbara Venkataraman

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


Everyone has them. Those weird tales, slightly embarrassing, a real pain when it is happening, but leaving a lasting impression.  You know the ones. The ones you pull out at parties, or over the meal when the new girl/boy friend comes to dinner and you want to embarrass the sister/brother.  That sort of things.

This little group of essays tells some of these little stories, and they are well worth the listen for a good chuckle and a story of your own for a party.  “Wait till you hear this! I listened to this group of essays the other day . . .”

I especially like the title essay, as I am a hardware store nut myself, and with Carrie Lee Martz’s narration it had me in stitches. Of course, all of the essays are funny and well worth the listen. Come on, it’s less than an hour long, pick it up and listen already! It’s only $2,76 at Audible, and if you are anything like me, it will make your day.


I received the audio from the author, but this in no way impacts my review.

Review: Death by Didgeridoo by Barbara Venkataraman

21899943First, this is not a bad book. It is a short read, the story of a family law attorney who suddenly finds herself out of her depth when her nephew, Adam, an Asperger’s Syndrome sufferer, is accused of murder. A gentle child, Adam isn’t a violent person, and Jamie is determined to not only help protect Adam, but to find the real killer.

The author is an attorney and mediator, and it shows in her work. I think that is my problem with the book. It is “tell” rather than “show,” and contains the kind of dry material that isn’t truly appropriate in a fiction book. While I am very familiar with ‘legalese’ the fact that she used the online site for the Florida Secretary of State Corporations to locate who owned the victim’s business, and exactly how she searched for the corporation, really doesn’t add to the storyline. This is a first-person narrative, which can be interesting at times, but first-person needs to be creative in order to pull it off.

Overall, as I said this is a short read, and a good way to while away a bit of time. Hard mystery lovers will find it too light and fluffy, while the first-person narrative and stilted presentation makes it hard to read as a ‘cozy.’ The thing is, the story has good bones. It could have been better, and I hope the author finds her stride.

If you are interested in a good murder mystery that includes a detective with Asperger’s Syndrome, Carolyn McCray’s Detective Robi Darcmel is brilliantly done.

I received this book in return for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.

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