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How to Be: NORTH DAKOTA: A Guide to the Plains Paperback – November 15, 2011
The Amazon Book Review
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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.
Top customer reviews
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?
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.
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.