A Trip to the Hardware Store & Other Calamities

Quirky Essays for Quirky People

Non-Fiction - Humor/Comedy
50 Pages
Reviewed on 07/16/2013
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Barbara Venkataraman,a native Floridian, is an attorney and mediator specializing in family law and debt collection.

She is the award-winning author of the Jamie Quinn Mystery series, as well as "The Fight for Magicallus," a children's fantasy; "If You'd Just Listened to Me in the First Place..." a humorous short story, and two books of humorous essays: "I'm Not Talking about You, Of Course" and "A Trip to the Hardware Store & Other Calamities." These books are available on Amazon Kindle.

She is currently working on the fourth book in the Jamie Quinn series, "Engaged in Danger". Coming soon!

    Book Review

Reviewed by Ginna Lamkie for Readers' Favorite

A Trip to the Hardware Store & Other Calamities by Barbara Venkataraman is a book of short stories that reflect on her family and some of her quirks, and ideas.

I love love loved this book! I felt like I was listening to a dear friend talk while I was reading it. I felt that Lazy Bones was about me. I am a short-cut taker and I always joke that it is because I am efficient. Where Did the Time Go was very heartwarming. When Venkataraman talks about how her dad is losing it a bit, but that it's a good thing because it means he is more carefree, it instantly made me feel better about ageing. I always watch my kids and envy how carefree they are. I had never thought about the elderly that way before. It made me happy. Beyond Belief was very cute and had a really charming dynamic between husband and wife. I really feel Venkataraman saved the best for last though. High Finance was my favorite. It showed such a wonderful family bond.

I really like Barbara Venkataraman’s writing style. She conveys so much heartwarming emotion without spelling out what she wants you to feel. This is a great read. I would recommend it as a purse book. Stuff it in your purse and pull it out and read it in line at the bank, or in the waiting room at the pediatrician. It will definitely bring a smile to your day.

P. Julier


No matter how many times I read this book, it still makes me laugh until I almost drop to the floor. This book is eight essays, so it is a fairly quick read. "Lazy Bones" is one of my favorites, because I can really relate to the art of procrastination. I love her quote supposedly from Woodrow Wilson " Today's greatest labor saving device is tomorrow" It may have worked for Woodrow, but unfortunately when I use it on my wife in reference to cleaning out the basement, it doesn't seem to work at all. "Your Account is Past Due" gives us a comical peek in to her world of bill collecting. She gives away some of her trade secrets such as eating a sandwich during the negotiation process, while the debtor thinks she's discussing the payment with her client. Not only is this book extremely funny, but it is very witty and intelligently written. The stories really relate to the crazy world we live in today. As a comedy author I can appreciate how difficult that is to do. I don't write many reviews, but this book deserves a shout out. I will look out for more of Barbara's books in the future.

Rae courtesy of My Book A


A TRIP TO THE HARDWARE STORE is a great short story. We are first introduced to the authors father. He is a man on a mission to get odd jobs around the house done. What he is actually doing is making more jobs for the actual handy men in town. We are then shown the friends of the author, the allergic, vegetarian, picky friends. I love her trying to please everyone. O, for the days you could give a kid a peanut butter sandwich without killing someone. I love the relationships she had with her father and sisters. It reminds me of my own family. Everyone gets paid back eventually. A story you can read in one sitting. This story will make you smile. I would definitely recommend.

Jim Sorensen


"A Trip to the Hardware Store & Other Calamities" takes up where Barbara Venkataraman's last eBook, "I'm Not Talking About You, Of Course...." leaves off. Ms. Venkataraman's writing pokes fun at herself and her family and by doing so pokes fun at the humanness in all of us. If you can't see yourself in her books you must come from Mars. She looks at the do-it-yourselfer that all husbands and Fathers fail at constantly just to achieve that one small success. Having a Dinner Party for all the friend's? Can't be to hard, right????? She looks at those of us that can't seem to get the bills paid on time and also takes procrastination to a whole new level. I was going to put off writing this review but a deal is a deal. The last chapter is a gem that will confuse even the smartest accountant. Again, like her previous book, for 99 cents this book is a steal. If you like to laugh at yourself and your loved ones BUY BOTH BARBARA'S BOOKS ($1.98). NOW!!!! I can't wait until the next chapter in this fun saga of love and laughter hits the e-waves!!!!!!

Cathy Roselli


Just like her first book of essays, Ms. Venkataraman tackles life's ironies in an easy and fun manner. The essays are easy to read and thoroughly enjoyable. I feel like I am sitting next to Ms. Venkataraman, talking, instead of reading her thoughts. I look forward to more ...

Helena & Ben Moreno


Another well written and entertaining collection of funny shorts by Ms. V and I enjoyed this one as much as I did her first collection. Ms. V. has an uncanny knack of taking real life situations and presenting them in a way that makes you laugh, both at the absurdities of the situation and the familiarity. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading humorous family stories.



Another slice of life collection that pokes fun at everyday situations and finds magic in the ordinary. The author shares personal moments with friends and family that resonate with us all, inviting readers to lighten up, enjoy one another and look at the world in a different way.