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William A. Moskal Jr.

  • 2 reviews
  • 2 ratings
  • 21 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015

  • Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man's Fundamentals for Delicious Living

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Nick Offerman
    • Narrated By Nick Offerman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Growing a perfect moustache, grilling red meat, wooing a woman - who better to deliver this tutelage than the always charming, always manly Nick Offerman, best known as Parks and Recreation's Ron Swanson? Combining his trademark comic voice and very real expertise in woodworking - he runs his own woodshop - Paddle Your Own Canoe features tales from Offerman's childhood in small-town Minooka, Illinois, to his theater days in Chicago, beginnings as a carpenter/actor and the hilarious and magnificent seduction of his now-wife Megan Mullally.

    Kyle says: "Like bacon for your ears"
    "It's Nick Offerman, yo."
    Where does Paddle Your Own Canoe rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This was a fine audiobook. Not as funny or touching as Tina Fey's Bossypants, but nice company while I was working around the house.

    What does Nick Offerman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    It was a pleasure to hear the author tell his own tales - it definitely adds atmosphere to hear it in his own voice, like sitting at a bar listening to stories of his youth.

    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Nick Offerman is not Ron Swanson.

    Any additional comments?

    The book includes stories of Offerman's childhood on a farm in Illinois which were sweet and charming to hear. He also talks about his time in drama school and early days on stage, as well as moving to LA.

    Offerman is primarily an actor who performs works written by others, so his book isn't as polished or tight as one written by someone who is primarily a writer. I'm not sure, for example, why a chapter about his thoughts on religion and politics was included. It wasn't very groundbreaking or particularly insightful, nor was it what I was wanting. This book is only tangentially "a guide to delicious living." It's mostly "a guide to how Nick Offerman has spent his delicious life."

    Offerman seems to have a positive and grateful outlook on life, which colors all of the memories and anecdotes he shares and makes listening to the book a good experience. When I started listening, Offerman and his Parks and Recreation character, Ron Swanson, was linked firmly in my mind, but by the end I heard him as an artist who is currently on TV.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, Robert Garland
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Garland

    Look beyond the abstract dates and figures, kings and queens, and battles and wars that make up so many historical accounts. Over the course of 48 richly detailed lectures, Professor Garland covers the breadth and depth of human history from the perspective of the so-called ordinary people, from its earliest beginnings through the Middle Ages.

    Mark says: "Tantalizing time trip"
    "24 hours of pretty neat stuff"

    The format of 48 half-hour lectures is very accessible and Professor Garland is an excellent speaker. The diversity of topics and focus (mostly) on the life of the masses was interesting and unique, for example, thinking about the houses and food for the builders of the pyramids gave me new insight to Egyptian history.

    Egypt, Greece, Rome, Celtic and Norse England are covered in depth with other areas of the world also receiving attention. Topics include "Being an Egyptian Worker." "Being a Greek Woman." Religious groups are spoken of as well.

    Sometimes Prof. Garland got a bit judgmental - he didn't seem to attempt a straight relation of facts. This happened mostly with snide comments or condemnation of slavery or the subjugation of women. I found these comments distracting and unnecessary (I don't need a PhD to tell me these things are morally wrong). Perhaps Prof. Garland was uncomfortable sharing this information? It really brought down the level of the lecture from what I would consider a "great course" to a rather common pop-history.

    I did mostly enjoy these lectures. There were enough references to historical events to keep me grounded and relate back to things I've already learned about but the themes around how these events affected common people kept the series interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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