“Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man’s Fundamentals for Delicious Living” by: Nick Offerman

Ah Nick Offerman. I love and adore his brand of humor so much as it tends to be much like my own at times. Dry. A bit offensive. Overtly perverted.

This memoir-esque non-fiction tale is best consumed, in my humble opinion, in the audio book form. Why you may ask? Well even if you didn’t ask, I will tell you. For the simple reason that Nick narrates this himself. That’s right, you read correctly dear review reader, Mr. Offerman himself lends his vocal talents and chuckles to make his own work come alive in such a gripping and entertaining way that not only is it delightful to listen to, it is also, dare I say, a treat to the ears.

He mentions that the physical book format has illustrations, which they do as my hubby has a copy that I paged through while listening to the audio, and this is the first time I have come across someone within the book itself stating the differences between the formats. Class act truly.

If you don’t check out the audio, you will also miss out toward the end, the beautiful comedic stylings complete with guitar of Offerman crooning The Rainbow Song.

My husband and I are huge fans of Offerman, having watched his stand-up on Netflix titled the same as this book, and I was pleasantly surprised that this book is nearly an entirely different art form and entity than the stand up routine. I was afraid maybe this was like a novelization of that stand-up, but nay, I was gleefully mistaken.

Offerman goes into detail of his family life and growing up in Illinois, to his adult life of auditioning for roles. He also goes into detail on meeting his wife which seriously is such an ode to his love for her, that it makes you hardcore ship them as a couple and wish them nothing but the best because they are fricken’ adorable. They remind me of what my hubby and I will be like as a couple when we get older and that’s probably the highest compliment I could ever pay anyone ever.

I am rating this as four and a half instead of five for a few minor reasons. None of which have to do with differing opinions on anything, as I do not agree on the red meat eating for example, but differing opinions will never bring down a review rating from me. No, the reasons being just that I found the name-dropping a bit overdone and would have liked a bit more detail on his Parks and Recreation days (as I said, minor reasons).

I really enjoyed chapter two the most out of the entire book (the whole book was pretty great) about religion. I agree with Offerman so much here that I was nodding along as I read and out loud saying “Yes!” and throwing my hands up, like “Preach, Nick, preach!”

I would very highly recommend this one to anyone looking for dry humor, really intellectual humor, from a truly down-to-earth hard-working guy that just so happens to also be an actor.

Fair warning, Nick Offerman is *not* Ron Swanson. He is his own person and he plays the character of Ron on a television show. So, if you go into this thinking this is going to be written by Ron, I am here to tell you, you will be mistaken. Nick eats vegetables. (Shock!) Don’t project your own crap onto this book. I read some of the reviews dissing on this book and logically, they don’t make any sense to me. Especially the ones from “Christians” saying he is bashing on them. Did we even read the same book?!

However, if you go into this looking for tales written by an actual living breathing person who is self-admittedly not perfect, I believe that you will enjoy this one. These are all of the opinions of one guy. The title itself should clue you in: “Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man’s Fundamentals for Delicious Living

Goodreads Synopsis:

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 hand craft (and paddle) their own canoes.

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