Thursday, December 19, 2013

Book Review: Paddle Your Own Canoe by Nick Offerman

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Dutton Adult (October 1, 2013)

This fall, Nick Offerman released his memoir in the form of Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man's Fundamentals for Delicious Living.  You know Offerman best as Ron Swanson from the NBC sitcom, Parks and Recreation.

While Offerman has played comedic roles in the past several years, this is not a straight-out laugh-out-loud book.  Far from it, actually, even though he tells it in his trademark comic wit.  Offerman does mix in some amusing anecdotes, opinionated lessons and rants but he would tell you that he is "your average meat, potatoes, and corn-fed human male, with a propensity for smart-assery, who has managed to make a rewarding vocation out of, essentially, making funny faces and falling down."

The character of Swanson, we learn, is loosely based on himself.  Offerman goes into details on what it takes to grow the Swanson mustache.

Offerman didn't become a hit overnight.  He grew up in Minooka, Illinois, on a farm and made his way to the University of Illinois, where his acting education became the foundation for the guy we know today.

From his days in Chicago, he tells us what it means to pull a "Schwimmer."  What is pulling a Schwimmer?  It's going west to Los Angeles for the TV and Film roles.  Had he not pulled a Schwimmer, he never would have met his wife, Megan Mullally.

Each chapter of the book tells a story of his life while being accompanied by his opinions and fundamental advice.

Readers will most certainly be delighted by the book and maybe stay away from their phones for a while.

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