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
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
Is this a question? Have you heard him talk? His man giggle? Phenomenal stuff, really.
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
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.
Secular humanist. Atheist. Dog lover (having had as many as four dogs in my pack). Skeptic.
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.
I listened to this in one sitting. I couldn't stop. Partly because Nick Offerman has a hypnotic voice, and partly because I was simply curious about what he had to say. He is a fascinating man that legitamately loves his life.
I reccomend it highly. It seems many people wanted a book written by Ron Swanson, but I prefer this. There is a depth of charm and wisdom that wouldn't be there had this book been on meat and scotch.
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.
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.
Nick Offerman is not Ron Swanson.
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.
The least helpful reviewer on audible.
It's a really good book, but it's not hilarious. It's amusing, it's entertaining, it's motivating, but it's not laugh out loud funny. I liked this book. I liked it a lot. I love Ron Swanson, and I found it very interesting to see where Ron Swanson ends and Nick Offerman begins. I don't agree with all of Offerman's views, but it's damn close. He's a cool guy. He's lived a cool life. He's not a bad writer. I recommend this.
Nick spends the first 8 chapters on a diatribe against God and Christians. It's really too bad because he's lumping all Christians in with the Westboro Baptist fundamentalist types and it's not accurate or fair. Most Christians I know are humble honest folks who are just trying to be better people and live lives of devotion to God. Hardly the types to deserve this rant. Nick then goes on to recount numerous adolescent antics he and his college buddies did while suffering from various degrees of inebriation. This is paddling your own canoe? Sounds like running with the pack, Nick.
He could have spent more time with his encouraging young people to give more consideration to hands-on occupations. He can serve as a really good example here.
I am a huge fan of Nick Offerman and the character of Ron Swanson, whom I consider the love of my life. As mentioned in other reviews, there are times when the book comes off as a bit preachy, there were times when I was agitated by this and didn’t really want to listen. That doesn’t come until much later in the book. What saved this book, and makes it far superior to the print version, is getting the chance to hear him sing; this is an experience I would have missed out on had I just read the book. It’s a good listen if you can ignore the preaching parts.
Just a heads up. About 1/3 of the book feels like he bashes on people who don't believe like him. Other than that, a decent a read.
"Nick Offerman isn't Ron Swanson"
I do not own the printed book, but it appears there is an abundance of visual matierial included within.
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.
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
NOT RON SWANSON, the story of woodworker turned actor.
I highly recommend this to anyone who has enjoyed Nick Offerman's acting.
"He is better than his father ."
Listen to the book. You will find out what that means, why it's true, and why this is possibly the best autobiography on audible. And his awesome voice doesn't hurt either .
"1 of the best autobiographies"
I have read and listened to many books in my time, I have enjoyed a lot of them. this is definitely 1 I have immensely enjoyed.
it has left me wanting to grab life by the balls and just make myself happy. I want to work with wood. I want to enjoy nature. whilst this is comical, it is also a feel good story. I would recommend this to anybody and I will ensure that my children listen to this book when they are teenagers as i think it will allow them to see that it's all good.
"Easy & Great listen!"
A funny story told in a comedic fashion, full of great little tid bits and lessons. Easy to listen while working away or sitting giving it your full attention.
I will endeavour to now make my life as delicious as nick's. I'll always try to paddle my own canoe.
"Offermans Life Lessons"
Funny, meaningful, and has some genuine life lessons that I try to implement. Bravo sir, bravo.
"Awesome for ladies and gents alike."
I'm a big fan of Nick from parks and recreation, as a woman I wasn't sure if this book was going to be for me though. I was wrong. It's great, yes he talks about manliness, but it's much more than that. Well written and actually genuinely thought provoking. I'm off to craft my own canoe.
"You've never heard anyone scream like a one year old pig screaming for its balls." Offerman
need I say more?
"Nick Offerman. Top notch."
Worth a listen, a truly fantastic story. Exquisitely read by an exceptional artist. Nick Offerman, top notch.
Offerman's approach to the book as a whole, lighthearted with real knowledge and passion about what he's talking about.
Mr Offerman himself of course, particularly as a child.
A fun, interesting listen for fans and newcomers alike.
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