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How to Be: NORTH DAKOTA: A Guide to the Plains Paperback – November 15, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 146 pages
  • Publisher: How to Be: NORTH DAKOTA (November 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615553648
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615553641
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.3 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,554,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Born and raised on a dairy farm in the Midwest, Abe Sauer splits time between North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin. He has written for The Atlantic, Esquire, The Awl, Reuters, Scooter, Jest Magazine, and The St. Paul Almanac, amongst others. One of his daughters was born in North Dakota, the other is North Dakotan in spirit.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Karen Post on December 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
Been to North Dakota a few times, but after reading Abe's book I'm feeling like I may live in the wrong place. Well maybe next move. Till then this funny, smart and quirky read takes you there without buying a ticket or even packing the woolies.

A great gift for any adventurer or for that matter a perfect gift for a want to be adventurer too.

If your brain is tired of world news, industry rags, this book is worth the time. And add a glass of nice wine, it's even better. It's feel good, "cool" educational and entertaining.

Congrats Abe!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kay Steiger on October 3, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is horrible. I'm not quite sure what I was expecting, but I remember reading about it on The Awl (gee, thanks, The Awl) , and so I added it to my "to read" queue. But this book is awful. Like, really, really bad. This book is like one of those books that they sell in the [YOUR STATE HERE] gift shop at the airport. Maybe it's even worse than that, because I never got tricked into reading any of those books. It's just filled with really terrible jokes. Like here, this is joke from the "language and diction" part of this book:

Hafta
Must do
Simple usage: "I hafta take allada empties out of my trunk 'fore I get pulled over."

Yes, that is a real joke in this book. And that's one of the funnier ones. There are also jokes like this:

The state House of Representatives and state Senate also maintain the national model, with the latter looking down on the former, literally; state senators must be six feet tall to serve.

Really? Just, really? I think my grandfather told funnier jokes. (Actually, this is true. My grandfather was quite funny. Unlike this guy.)

I guess I should be impressed that this person managed to write 142 pages (and sucker some illustrator into doing half the work) on something that is basically a one-note joke. Bravo, I guess?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By The Prairie Nightingale on January 13, 2012
Format: Paperback
If you like your history coupled with humor (that "spoonful of sugar"), you will chuckle your way through How to be: North Dakota - a Guide to the Plains. Consider the book an introduction, like free samples at the grocery store, that will whet your appetite to learn more. But, beware. Some of the history I know to be true and some of the fiction is obvious. The rest could be history veiled in humor, or just the author pulling our leg. You'll have to figure that out on your own.

Besides history, you will also find geography, zoology, personalities, sports, politics, manners, jokes, and even a recipe for turning sugar beets (North Dakota being one of the largest producers nationwide) into granulated sugar! Readers should also enjoy the book because of the illustrations on nearly every page. From maps to old tin-type photos, cartoons to a "paint-by-number" illustration, there's something here for everyone.

One note of caution. Should you be a parent wanting to introduce you child to history as fun, you will want to read ahead of time to screen the "censored" material (the author has identified one chapter on square-dancing in this category). One chapter simply isn't there - the reader is told: "Pursuant to bill ND006-562, this chapter has been removed for failure to comply with the state's abstinence-only education policy." (I did no research to verify whether this is in fact truth or fiction!)

Finally, I would correct this statement found on page 51: "Note: North Dakota has no peacocks." Once upon a time I know it did. It's the first place I ever saw one. One of the farmers in my pastor papa's country-church parish had one. Unfortunately, I wasn't old enough or curious enough at the time to ask the farmer how that peacock ended up in North Dakota.
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By Jamie on January 13, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book arrived within a week of ordering and was as advertised. It was a gift, so I don't know if it's a good read.
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