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Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man's Fundamentals for Delicious Living | [Nick Offerman]

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

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.
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Publisher's Summary

Parks and Recreation actor Nick Offerman shares his humorous fulminations on life, manliness, meat, and much more in his first book.

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 - "I grew up literally in the middle of a cornfield" - to his theater days in Chicago, beginnings as a carpenter/actor and the hilarious and magnificent seduction of his now-wife Megan Mullally. It also offers hard-bitten battle strategies in the arenas of manliness, love, style, religion, woodworking, and outdoor recreation, among many other savory entrees.

A mix of amusing anecdotes, opinionated lessons and rants, sprinkled with offbeat gaiety, Paddle Your Own Canoe will not only tickle readers pink but may also rouse them to put down their smart phones, study a few sycamore leaves, and maybe even handcraft (and paddle) their own canoes.

©2013 Nick Offerman (P)2013 Penguin

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    OpenMindedNotCredulous California, USA 11-17-13
    OpenMindedNotCredulous California, USA 11-17-13 Member Since 2003

    Secular humanist. Atheist. Dog lover (having had as many as four dogs in my pack). Skeptic.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "On the need to acknowledge the role luck plays"

    I don't think I've ever laughed so much listening to a book. Admittedly I'm in the ideal demographic for this book: a middle age male who enjoys living life with gusto, eating and drinking heartily, and working with wood. Still, I suspect that anyone who enjoys the TV show "Parks and Recreation" will enjoy this book. This is essentially an autobiography but with a lot of wit, wry humor and frequent acknowledgement that he's been lucky. It leaves no doubt that Nick is someone you'd be happy to call a friend.

    Warning: If you're a fundamentalist christian you're likely to be offended by his observations regarding religion in the early part of the book. But if you're an atheist or at least religiously liberal you'll enjoy those parts as much as everything else he has to say.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kyle Hattiesburg, Ms, United States 01-03-14
    Kyle Hattiesburg, Ms, United States 01-03-14
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    "Like bacon for your ears"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Paddle Your Own Canoe to be better than the print version?

    Yes, I read through half of the printed edition until I found out the author read the audio version. Without hesitation I downloaded this book and let ten hours fly by as I listened to this gentle, bear-like man recite prose that made my chest hair grow


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

    Is this a question? Have you heard him talk? His man giggle? Phenomenal stuff, really.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed much, but more importantly I could feel my twenty-something-year-old inner yuppie child quiver before a new mountain man like giant of self reliance and well roundedness


    Any additional comments?

    You'll love it more than Ron Swanson. I read this book going in with the idea that it'd be more of a book on life from the humorous outlook of Ron Swanson ( A character played by Offerman on Parks and Rec.) Instead, I was delightfully surprised to hear Nick's recounts of growing up with larger than life parental figures, his often humor infused humility, and his down to earth life lessons. I Will listen to it again.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Oakville, ON, Canada 05-27-14
    James Oakville, ON, Canada 05-27-14 Member Since 2001
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    "Moderately interesting at time but way too preachy"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    OK, so the author isn't into religion or other people who openly profess their beliefs. I get it. But after the sixth time of going onto other topics and coming back to express his dislikes on this topic yet again? You don't see the hypocrisy and banging on and on about the same topic here?

    As for the rest of the story? Moderately interesting and sometimes gave me the odd chuckle. Not great and not terrible.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron St. Louis, MO, USA 11-09-13
    Aaron St. Louis, MO, USA 11-09-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Nick Offerman For President... of Something Cool"

    I don't know how helpful this review will be, because I am finding it difficult to contain the gushing adolescent praise that keeps bubbling up. What is this book? It is kick ass. It is awesome. Oh my god, it's totally awesomely kick ass. If you hate deep wisdom carved right in the middle of gut laughs, then sister, you have found your Mein Kampf. However, if you like things that are manufactured with care, love, and absolutely not one iota of pretension or sense that in order to be intelligent you have to be obtuse and obfuscating, then... what are you waiting for? Click the thing, and get crackin', friend.

    Nick's story is great not because I am interested in how to become a famous actor (although he crafts a pretty good blueprint for that) or because I was an athlete who grew up in a small town (I did grow up in a small town around the same time as him, and one state over, but I really didn't care for the jock archetype at all) or because I am unsure of how to become a proper man (all the chest hairs are present and accounted for)... it's just that there is so much humor, warmth, intelligence, and wisdom in the words here writ that I challenge you to not find yourself guffawing, talking to friends about it, and hitting repeat so that you can nod along with what he's saying in an attempt to milk every bit of understanding from this comely and delicious basket of concepts. This is A Good Book, the best book I have read or listened to this year, and probably one of my very favorite works of humor ever. Nick Offerman: 21st Century Mark Twain? Maybe not, but probably as close as we're likely to get. For god's sake, why are you still reading this? Download the book!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justin NEW PORT RICHEY, FLORIDA, United States 10-23-13
    Justin NEW PORT RICHEY, FLORIDA, United States 10-23-13 Member Since 2013

    Its a fascinating tale that would begin on may 5th, 1989 in Mease Dunedin hospital and from there the legacy grew. I am adult now.

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    "Ron Swanson"
    If you could sum up Paddle Your Own Canoe in three words, what would they be?

    Funny nonstop listen


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was narrated by nick offerman


    Have you listened to any of Nick Offerman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Just as entertaining as his well written character.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed and felt his passion for life.


    Any additional comments?

    Please narrate more books nick. Genius.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William A. Moskal Jr. 03-03-14
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    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ladyface 09-27-14
    Ladyface 09-27-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Entertaining and well-written"
    What about Nick Offerman’s performance did you like?

    I love Nick Offerman even more for having listened to him for 11 hours.


    Any additional comments?

    Though this book is a comic memoir written in the vein of Jane Lynch's "Happy Accidents" Nick Offerman effectively incorporates the Ron Swanson gestalt. The line between Offerman and Swanson seems intentionally blurred. If you like Parks and Rec, you'll love "Paddle Your Own Canoe".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Steve 09-04-14
    Steve 09-04-14 Member Since 2014
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    "not what I expected"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Not sure, just not a good book. Sorry, Nick!


    Would you ever listen to anything by Nick Offerman again?

    If it was more humorous, maybe....


    How could the performance have been better?

    The app the works fine, no performance issues


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jordan 08-10-14
    jordan 08-10-14
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    "just wasn't what I was looking for"
    Would you try another book from Nick Offerman and/or Nick Offerman?

    No, probably not


    What could Nick Offerman have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    He shouldn't have changed a thing. It was very true to himself, I just wasn't enjoying the book because I don't relate.


    What didn’t you like about Nick Offerman’s performance?

    I couldn't relate to the views/story.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Nothing much.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jacob Redmond, WA, United States 03-13-14
    Jacob Redmond, WA, United States 03-13-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Unorganized and rambly."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Yeah, the stories and the anecdotes would all have something to do with the message of the book.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    I liked hearing about how his relationship with Megan Mullally took shape, but I really didn't care a whole lot about the rest of the stories he had to tell. They seemed kind of random. He jumped around a lot and there just wasn't a great cohesive flow to the events he relates and most of them don't really lend themselves to the stated message of the book; hard work and loving relationships are the things that bring us happiness. I guess I was also kind of disappointed that he isn't more like Ron Swanson in real life.


    What about Nick Offerman’s performance did you like?

    Great actor, fantastic performance. It's like he had always planned for this to be an audiobook when he wrote it. Very well done in terms of performance.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    I'd probably wait for home release.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Harlow Essex England
    7/13/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Nick Offerman isn't Ron Swanson"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Paddle Your Own Canoe to be better than the print version?

    I do not own the printed book, but it appears there is an abundance of visual matierial included within.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Autobiographies read by the author, have those little flourishes that they experienced at the time. Hearing Nick giggle as he repeated events from his past, if it's good enough for the author to laugh at it's fine in my book.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The whole section on belief, in relation to others. The fact people will always confuse a character for an actor and having differing opinions is an almost constant


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    NOT RON SWANSON, the story of woodworker turned actor.


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend this to anyone who has enjoyed Nick Offerman's acting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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