Paddle Your Own Canoe by Nick Offerman
Anyone who knows me knows what an enormous fan I am of Parks and Recreation. While I am always and forever Team Leslie Knope, I still adore the other characters and want their real-life counterparts to succeed. Some of my favorite sub-plots involve the twisted relationship of Ron and Tammy (I have a nostalgic fondness for Will and Grace, so Megan Mullally makes me delighted instantly), so imagine my feverish joy when I found out that Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally were actually married…TO EACH OTHER. My mentee from my PhD institution my last year there gifted me this book, and it will hold a treasured spot on my shelf.
This is part-memoir, part-self-help. Offerman discusses his upbringing and the values that brought him to become the man he is today. He also discusses certain handy principles of meat preparing, woodworking, and facial hair that seem analogous to his Ron Swanson character, but are softened somewhat by his wicked and wry sense of humor. Offerman is also an Illinoisian, and I enjoyed his Chicagoland references *immensely.* The best chapters in the book deal with his life on Parks and Recreation (though it wasn’t enough, in my opinion) and his life with Mullally (truly tender).
This book was enjoyable for me, because I could hear Offerman’s voice reading it with a glass of Scotch in hand while enjoying a venison steak. I don’t know if this is the *best* celebrity memoir that I’ve ever read, particularly because some of his principles of living and ideology crowd into the memoir and history part of the book. He and I definitely disagree on religion, though we both have common ground in freedom for individual choices—even in those disagreements, I could understand and respect his perspective. It’s a solid and entertaining read!