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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the "Indie Book of the Day" award for June 7, 2014.
This work is a collection of humorous insights into important topics ranging from annoying pet people ("I’m Not Talking About You, of Course"), to analyzing your inner child ("Irrational Fears"), to living like the Amish in the aftermath of a hurricane ("A Jolt of Electricity"). Other essays examine just how much damage can be caused by a sneeze ("It All Started with a Loud Sneeze"), why it is so complicated to buy a tube of toothpaste ("Ask Me No Questions"), how not to prepare dinner ("Martha, I Let You Down"), making new friends ("Friends in Low Places"), how a parent’s obsessive hobbies can become an inescapable vortex ("Crazy Hobbies"), and why spending the night in a sleep clinic is like being abducted by probing aliens ("Nightmare at the Sleep Clinic"). If you don’t see yourself in each of these entertaining essays, then I’m not talking about you, of course.
©2012 Barbara Venkataraman (P)2014 Barbara Venkataraman
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By med c on 01-22-15

Quirky essays

Which scene was your favorite?

All stories are refreshingly creative. It is a collection of short stories which are an ideal read in the waiting room or on the beach. "I am not talking about you..." is a pleasure to listen to.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful


By DabOfDarkness on 01-20-15

Everyday quirkiness is humorous!

Venkataraman takes us through snippets of her life via these quirky little essays. She touches on phobias, the odd (and often boring) hobbies of a parent, living without electricity, pet owner obsessions, and much more. If you need a little something to break the ice or just want to read out loud during a long car trip, the folks confined with you will probably find these stories amusing and have their own to tell.

The essay on pet owners and how they can go on and on about their pets was amusing. The essay starts off with the writer complaining about how boring these pet stories can be and then launches into pet stories of their own. Of course, I ended up feeling sorry for the pets in the stories. Then the short bit about various phobias was amusing too. There seems to be a phobia for every strange fear out there, and each phobia has a fun, tongue-twisting name.

I chuckled out loud at the essay on boring parental hobbies and how the kids all get forced into participating. From stamp collecting to coin collections. Yep, I can definitely relate. The essay on living without electricity (following a hurricane) for two weeks was also interesting. I live in a rural part of the country, in an older house. There is no central AC or heat. We have fire places and fans. Before they put in the substation, it wasn’t unusual to go several hours a week without electricity and phone. So listening to this family missing their tv shows and music at first and then morphing into a family that spent time outside and doing things together was entertaining. Yep, without electricity, you have to entertain yourself.

There’s plenty more in this slim collection of essays to entertain yourself, or a group of people. Each story was easy to relate to and I almost felt like I was having a conversation with the author as I nodded my head and thought of my own similar tales. Great for family entertainment!

The Narration: Martz did another fine job (she also narrates Venkataraman’s Jamie Quinn mysteries). She was fun and entertaining as she read these essays, seeming to enjoy telling the tales.

What I Liked: Entertaining, relate-able tales; pet stories; living without electricity; great for family car rides.

What I Disliked: Nothing – it is an amusing collection of essays!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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