Saturday of Book Reviewing – Offerman’s Paddle Your Own Canoe

….AKA Nick Offerman is not Ron Swanson but you’ll love his meat-loving, wood working self anyway.

Written in 2013, during his tenure on Parks and Recreation (with fellow excellent people Amy Poehler, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, etc.), Offerman’s Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man’s Fundamentals For Delicious Living was probably born of a need to distinguish himself from his manly man character on the show. I imagine he could only take so much worshiping before he knew he had to reveal himself as a mere mortal like the rest of us.

On goodreads, I wrote:

I respect Ron Swanson, libertarian carnivore of Parks and Rec fame, but I genuinely admire the man who portrayed him. Nick Offerman’s book isn’t insanely quotable, nor is it really intended for the reader unaware of his distinct voice. That being said, it’s a great insight into the actor’s life and source of advice for his fans. Such graceful, humble guidance is offered within its pages. He leads by example; teaching of virtues like hard work and patience and empathy via true story.

I also learned that Kabuki literally translates into:
sing, dance, skill
Seems like pretty good fundamentals to me.


Adding to that review here, I would like to mention a passage I found particularly noteworthy on pg. 162

‘At the top of every session of circus class, the assembled troupe would recite:
“Come to the cliff,” he said.
They said, “We are afraid.”
“Come to the cliff,” he said.
They came, he pushed them
and they flew.’

So Offerman goes on to elaborate on just what this meant to him, both in the moment and in hindsight, but I find it speaks quite well for itself.
Lesson Learned: It’s important to have mentors who will not only believe you can fly, but who will guide you passed your own fear to get you to do it.

Is Offerman such a mentor? Maybe in his real life at his workshop, but honestly, this book doesn’t inspire such blind faith. Of course, I hear he has written a few others, so they might…

Jessie Gutierrez/Wolfy

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