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Papa: Figuring Out What Matters Perfect Paperback – December 4, 2009


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Brent Olson is a writer from Big Stone County in western Minnesota. His syndicated column, "Independently Speaking," is read worldwide and his blend of humor, humanity, love, and sustained indignation has been delighting readers for 15 years. This is his fourth collection of essays.
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Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 132 pages
  • Publisher: Kirk House Publishers (December 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933794216
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933794211
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,459,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Brent Olson has written what is perhaps the first book ever to have cover blurbs from both a rhetoric professor at Berkeley and an editor at Successful Farming magazine.

His syndicated column, "Independently Speaking" is distributed worldwide. His real world experiences, as a husband, father, farmer, county commissioner and irate citizen, resonate with folks from a wide spectrum of backgrounds.

Brent lives on the farm his great-grandparents homesteaded. He made a living as a farmer for three decades, and started his writing career fifteen years ago. This is his fourth collection of essays.

Brent has been married to his wife, Robin, for 34 years. They have three children and one marvelous grandchild.

Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl Rainford on December 16, 2009
Format: Perfect Paperback
At first glance, Brent Olson's work might appear to be simple. He reflects on his life as a farmer and writer, his roles as a husband, father and grandfather, and his place in the small Minnesota community where his Norwegian ancestors sowed the seeds of his family tree. But don't be fooled. Through his carefully constructed essays, Olson voices the deeper workings of the ethos he has built over a lifetime with banged-up knuckles and aching knees. Each engaging essay opens a door to reveal ever-larger rooms of thought, taking readers on a journey that ends with a fresh view of the world and a new clarity about their place in it. As a former News and Features Editor with Successful Farming/Agriculture Online I have read and re-read Olson's Independently Speaking columns for more than a decade. Some still make me laugh out loud, others still make me well up. All of them make me think. Papa: Figuring Out What Matters is his best collection of work yet. The theme of "what matters" rises like a lone bird's song at first light.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ars Longa on January 19, 2010
Format: Perfect Paperback Verified Purchase
Brent Olson has a rare talent to write in a succinct and straightforward manner. His observations on life, family, happiness, work, and loss strike most sensitive cords. The amazing part of his essays is that they resonate with the reader, no matter what they do for a living, how long or where they've lived. Born and raised in a city, I can't help wondering: "If I can relate to this so well, what must someone who works the land for a living feel when they read this?" One can agree or disagree with Olson's thoughts on various matters, but one can't deny the sincerity his writing radiates.
"Figuring out what matters" is a modest title for this book, because the author already has. This truly is the salt of the earth speaking.
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By J. Caldwell on January 28, 2010
Format: Perfect Paperback
Life isn't always easy, pretty or the way we expected it would be. But, when you've got Brent Olson's vision of and approach to the world, it doesn't always have to be easy, pretty and expected.

This collection of Brent's observations and columns from the past few years covers everything that matters -- family, community, work, play. Brent's got a knack for weaving words in ways that will both entertain you and make you think. He helps you do just what the book's title suggests: Figure out what matters.

Brent writes like he speaks -- a skill that's rare and hard to come by these days. He's a great storyteller and writer, and this book is perfect for anyone with an appreciation of rural America and life on the farm. Heck, it's perfect if you don't have an appreciation of rural America and life on the farm!

Long story short, this book is a lot of fun!
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By A. Martin on December 17, 2009
Format: Perfect Paperback Verified Purchase
This collection of essays - some already seen in his columns, some new - goes directly to what's important in life. Some are funny, some are sad, some about farming, or being a Norwegian or a father, grandfather, husband, son, or simply a member of the human race, all of them are thought-provoking. There's nothing pretentious about them, just very well-written essays about life.
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