Reader Reviews

Meeting Strangers, Making Friends:  More Surprising Travel Adventures from the Minnesota Storyteller

Tom Mattson’s new book, like his first, had me enthralled every step of the way.  Tom has a unique and captivating writing style.  Both books are worthy of placement in school libraries and classrooms–a way to introduce students to the world of travel few of us envision.”     Ron, Minnesota

New and fresh and magnetizing and I can’t put the book down!  A great job in telling heart-warming stories, using humor and choice adjectives and adverbs, so the reader feels the scene.  The first-person dialogue makes one feel they are standing right there beside the author.  Larry, Oklahoma

When I start reading a book that has me inside and enjoying, it’s as if chocolate is melting in my mouth.  When I’m enthralled with a story, I savor every word and try to make it last.  This is my best way to describe how much I am enjoying this book.  I’ll continue to write updates as the chocolate is melting.”  Bonnie,  Minnesota 

I just read about the chocolate melting in Bonnie’s mouth.  I love it.  I am eager for my already-ordered copy of Meeting Strangers, Making Friends, anticipating stories to savor.”  Pat, West Virginia



Tom Mattson is an amazing person who’s fascinated me with his writing about how he goes around the world, meeting people by accident and becoming friends with them,  and writing about it in a way that is so captivating…  He’s seeing parts of the world that no one else ever sees.  The stories are just phenomenal… I loved the book!  Once you start reading it, you can’t stop.


- N.Y. Times best-selling author Jack Canfield (“Chicken Soup for the Soul,” “The Success Principles,” internationally renowned keynote speaker and corporate trainer

Fascinating!  I am a native Mayan from the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico.  Tom’s book helped me relate to other native people around the world.

- A review on by A. Gopa

“I graduated from kindergarten and high school with Tom Mattson.  He was a classmate, a teammate, and valued friend… Traveling the world is consistent with “Tommy’s” adventuresome nature.  His book is entertaining and educational, and I learned a lot about world geography and world cultures… You’ll enjoy it and will be much more knowledgeable about our world.”   (full review posted on by Denny Hogan)

- Denny Hogan

“Traveler and blogger Tom Mattson has seen a thing or two.  The Other Worlds is a colorful tour through far-flung places … Mattson proves to be the definition of a free-spirited traveler, seeing every detour as an opportunity.

“And he is a lively, edifying raconteur.

“The Other Worlds demonstrates the central, enduring tenet of travel: despite the vast geographic and cultural distances that separate us, we’re all interconnected, and the act of getting to know a place and its people is a small miracle to be treasured.”

Ho Lin, Foreword Reviews, January 3, 2020 (foreword

- Ho Lin

“It was a morning filled with casual conversation and more than a little laughter as Mattson recounted his overnight experience in a Tijuana jail, his 400-day trip around the world, and his visits to his ‘shack’ in the mountains of Guatemala…”

“Getting to know local author Tom Mattson,” Timberjay Newspapers (Tower-Soudan, Ely and Cook, MN), December 6, 2019. Sulu’s Espresso Café in Tower hosted the book signing event.

- E. M. Schultz

“It sounds like Tom lives in a magical place—Minnesota.  Certainly, he is one who can see the magic around him, everywhere.”

- Patricia, West Virginia

“His simple living reminds me of many who seek solace or inner spirituality.”

- Andy, Oregon

“Tom is really funny and interesting.  Today, while waiting in the doctor’s office, I read his piece on Bar La Roca, and when I started laughing, people turned around to see what was so funny.  (The doctor was running late and everyone was in a bad mood.)  Tom should be a travel writer on the lines of Bill Bryson.”

- Kay, New England

“I really, truly, enjoyed the story about the silver mine in Bolivia. Great work!  Look forward to many more!”

- Jean, Minnesota

“I sent your story,  Scientific Americans at Work,  to a friend in California.  He compared your writing style to that of Gabriel García Márquez.  Now that is not damning with faint praise!”

- Dan, Washington, D.C

“I’m enjoying reading Tales of Strange several times… the stories within the story, the descriptions, the encounters with others.  A richness that invites re-reading.”

- Patricia, West Virginia

Tales of Strange in a Large City is a nice piece of writing. Send it to the New Yorker.”

- Joan, California

“I have been wracking my brain trying to figure out how to smuggle Advance Man aboard Air Force One.  I think President Obama would love it.  I certainly did.” (Story reviewed days before the president departed on his historic 2016 visit to Cuba.)

- Dan, Washington, D.C

“Wow! Creative!   You are a genius when it comes to writing! I hope that you are saving all of these travelogues to be published at a future date. So much better than Charles Kuralt!  You are living life on your own terms and have such a gift to relate your adventures with such cleverness…”

- Ron and Betty, Minnesota

“Very few of the millions who travel the world take the time to get to know much about the areas they pass through…  I think you have a bit of anthropologist in you—you are curious about the things that matter to the people who live where you go, and you respect their customs and beliefs.”

- Dave, Minnesota

“I can only imagine adventures like yours!  I am jealous of your nomadic life!”

- Eva, California

“Wow, your images are beautiful, I’m amazed how you’ve traveled to so many obscure and beautiful locations.  It’s like you’ve taken on the life of an explorer, and taken me to places I’ve never been, by your photos and your wonderful ability for storytelling.  Through your adventures, I’ve experienced new parts of this world in its everyday beauty.”

- Ches, Texas photographer