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
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.
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!
Another wonderfully funny and well written collection from this author. Her essays are short enough to listen to during idle moments and between chores. The stories are so close to many of my own experiences so that i giggled and cried through the book in sympathy and commiseration. I look forward to reading more from Barbara. This book would certainly be enjoyable for anyone.
I'm Not Talking about You, of Course: Quirky Essays for Quirky People, Book 1 is a collection of short essays of life's observations that is extremely funny and thoroughly enjoyable. All of the stories were well written and I could easily imagine my own quirky family in many of the scenes. It even includes a reference to Doctor Who!
Barbara Venkataraman's writing style is very similar to the late Erma Bombeck, who could take the most mundane of tasks and make it sound entertaining. At almost one hour, this collection of essays was the perfect length for my commute to and from work.
Carrie Lee Martz did a great job narrating. She reads with enthusiasm and spunk, both of which really contributed to my enjoyment of the collection.
Yes, I will listen again. It is amusing and so truthful.
A Trip to the Hardware Store and Other Calamities as it was the first of Barbara's books I have listened to and enjoyed. Funny lady!
You know she is talking about you.
I love audiobooks!!!
Yes! I plan on listening to it again. The phobia essay was especially pleasing, and I want to learn all of them by heart!
I think it's a tie between the doghouse her dad built, and the kitchen disaster. Both were hilarious and relatable!
Definitely the part during the kitchen disaster when she's sitting in front of the fridge, dripping club soda, and laughing like a loon!
Yes I laughed several times over the course of this very enjoyable book.
Just want to add that the narrator, Carrie Lee Martz, is one of my favorites. Her expressive and multi-octave voice is pleasing to the ear, and unlike some voice actors, does not change in volume when it changes in pitch. It's very appropriate for listening to while driving, as you won't have to keep changing the volume to suit the character. Awesome job!
This is the second title I have listened too by this author and narrator. This one is just as good as the last (which was A Trip to the Hardware Store). The stories are short–which I like because I can listen to them between working on various projects. I loved the one about the didgeridoo–really funny. But they are all good. The writing reminds me of a cross between Erma Bombeck and Dave Barry.
The narrator adds a lot–she has a light, perky, slightly quirky voice that strikes a perfect note for a volume of humorous stories .
The part about the many phobias. Funny, yet informative!
The didgeridoo, of course.
The didgeridoo with the african bees.
I look forward to further adventures.
The format felt like a stand-up comedy with target audience of mostly mothers and middle-aged women:)
This is a collection of humorous stories of the author's experiences. It involves herself, family and pets.
She was very light and pleasant to listen to.
The anecdote about the author dealing with getting old and juggling everything her doctors advised her to do:) I can relate, maybe, and this is why I liked it best:)
This collection of the author's experiences was very easy and pleasant to listen to. It goes fast and is a wonderful way to decompress after the the daily grind or in between more stressful endeavors. It is somewhat tame in language, but the topics are relatable and could be listened to by everyone with no fear of being offended or ambushed by ugliness. Overall, a very nice way to spend and hour.
Humor! It wasn't all laugh-out-loud, but I did enjoy and appreciate the humor.
This question involves thinking, and I'm not up for that now.
Mostly good, but she was not relaxed. It would have been better if she'd felt at ease. Otherwise, I liked her inflections and obvious enjoyment of the story.
Real life - it's not all roses.
Thanks for the smiles!
I had listened to A Trip to the Hardware Store & Other Calamities and I like Barbara Venkataraman’s sense of humor so I was happy to listen to this book, too. I’m Not Talking About You, Of Course has several cute stories that we can all relate to. While the stories didn’t make me laugh out loud, I did find myself smiling or giggling a few times.
I could relate to many of the things that were talked about but the one that really hit home was the pain scale. You know, rating your pain on a scale from 1-10. Not only is what she says funny, but it is so true.
If you like cute, short stories and life observations, you’ll enjoy I’m Not Talking About You, Of Course.
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