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Trent Preszler Books In Order

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Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Little and Often: A Memoir (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Trent Preszler
Author Trent Preszler grew up on a cattle ranch in South Dakota and rode a horse to a one-room country schoolhouse near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. He got his BS from Iowa State University in the year 1998. He subsequently got awarded a Rotary Scholarship to the United Kingdom and a diploma from the Royal Botanic Garden.

After a White House internship for President Bill Clinton, he got his MS in agricultural economics and then a PhD in horticulture from Cornell University.

Trent is the CEO of Bedell Cellars and is the founder of Preszler Woodshop, which has been featured in The New York Times Robb Report, OUT Magazine, Esquire, Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal Magazine. A documentary all about his life, titled “Boatbuilder and Winemaker” won the 2018 New York Emmy Award for Best Lifestyle Feature. “Little and Often” was a USA Today Best Book of the Year.

The title “Little and Often” means that extraordinary things can happen if we only focus on doing little and ordinary tasks each and every day. And building that first canoe with his father’s tools sort of beat that lesson into him. Since it can’t be done any other way, except for his dad’s way of “little and often”.

He believed he had very little in common with his father. All of that came crashing down when Trent saw his father lying in his casket. He looked at his dad’s hands, realizing they had the same exact hands. Trent’s mom always told him that his dad could build anything. And that was the moment when he thought that if his dad was able to build anything, then maybe he could too.

The tool box was not just his inheritance, but it was also a challenge. That fourteen years where the men had barely spoken to one another, however his dad’s dying had undone years of bitterness and pent up anger.

While living in Mattituck, right on the Peconic Bay. There had just been these two historic blizzards, with the most snow they’d gotten in decades. He was trapped in his house staring out at the frozen bay, which hadn’t froze over in forty years, and there were people out there on their iceboats with sails.

There Trent was, all alone in his quiet house with his dog, looking at his dad’s tools wondering what he could do to honor his memory and something that would be relevant to his life in New York? He didn’t really consider a table, a bookshelf, or furniture. It was obvious that he had to build a boat, because he lived on the water but was not a great swimmer. In fact he can’t swim.

Canoes are also a manageable thing you can do for yourself and by yourself. Building them felt like an entry point to the maritime world; something which was approachable and in a more mystical way, connected him to the explorers of centuries past.

Even where he grew up, Lewis and Clark came up the Missouri River using their canoes. And he grew up on Lewis and Clark Lake in South Dakota and some of his own earliest memories of his dad involved these rickety duck hunting blinds which him and his buddies built out of aluminum canoes and skiffs, these rusted up and broken down boats sitting in the mud. He wondered if he could make a fancier, New York version of that.

Trent felt as though this story was burning a hole inside of him. He felt a huge relief that he had found this path out of the darkness through working with his hands and finding another kind of inspiration. It started dawning on him, after a couple years, that his father’s gift was not just a gift, but it also changed the entire trajectory of his life. Then he began thinking that this might be a lesson that others may relate to as well.

“Little and Often: A Memoir” is a non-fiction book that was released in 2021. “Little and Often” is a gorgeous memoir of love, grief, and the shattered bond between a son and a dad, and the resurrection of a broken heart. Trent tells his story with the same amount of craftsmanship and art which he brings to building boats, and he reminds us of creativity’s powers to heal and transform our own lives. It is a deeply moving and powerful read. It’s not one that you will soon forget.

Trent believed that he was living the life that he had always wanted, with a seaside Long Island home, a job at a winery, when he got called back to the life he left behind. After years of estrangement, he cancer-stricken dad invited him back home for Thanksgiving in South Dakota. This would be the last time he saw his dad alive.

Preszler’s only inheritance was this beat-up wooden toolbox which was his dad’s, who was a rodeo champion, a cattle rancher, and a Vietnam War Bronze Star Medal recipient. This family heirloom befuddled and confused Trent. He did not work with his hands, although maybe that was exactly the point.

In his grief, he wondered if maybe there was still someway he could better understand his dad, and with that came this epiphany: he would build something with his inheritance. Without having any training or experience in woodcraft, driven just by blind will, he decided he would construct a wooden canoe, and would aim to paddle it on the first anniversary of his dad’s death.

As Preszler taught himself how to use his dad’s tools better, he confronted some unexpected revelations about his dad’s secret history as well as his own struggle for self-respect. The grueling challenges of boatbuilding pushed his limits, however the canoe became his one and only consolation. Slowly, Preszler learned just what working with his hands offered: a different perspective on life, and the means by which to change it.

“Little and Often” is this unflinching account of bereavement and is a stirring reflection on the complexities of inheritance. Between his present and his past, and between America’s heartland and both of its coasts, he shows just how one is able to achieve reconciliation through the healing powers of creativity.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Trent Preszler

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