March Audiobook of the Month: Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man’s Fundamentals For Delicious Living

Who watches Parks and Recreation?

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I love Parks and Recreation, and the internet loves it, and from the Tumblr search I just did, Tumblr really, really likes Parks and Rec as well.  That’s because it’s an awesome show. And who’s the most awesome character of all? (according to a survey I did where I asked approximately one person, counting myself.)

 

Ron Swanson, of course.

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We’ve all seen the gifs, probably.  The character is a legend, of course, but it wouldn’t be the same without the actor who plays it. Who else has the ability to grow such a magnificent mustache, deliver lines with such unfailing authenticity, and who holds such a passion for eating meat both on the show, and presumably, in real life? Not your average Tom Cruise or Hugh Jackman, that’s for sure.

No, Nick Offerman is the genius actor behind Ron Swanson, and his real life sounds, if anything, even more interesting than the character he plays. His autobiography, Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man’s Fundamentals for Delicious Living, comes in audiobook form. Narrated by the man himself, no less, which is why I’ve chosen it as my audiobook of the month selection.

I tend not to read autobiographies, especially not of actors and the like, because they’re so often vainglorious pieces of boring shite, and I have enough of that going on in my own head.

Not Offerman, though.  He comes across as a genuinely awesome person in every way. He’s humble, intelligent, and witty, just to start.  I could go into more detail, but that would take time, and what, is it my job to tell you about a book when you could just read it yourself? Wait, hold on…

Fine, I’ll give you some more information.  So he talks about growing up, and how he got into acting, and the successes and failures he’s experienced, and he tells great stories.  The end.  See you next month, guys.

But seriously, this is a guy you’d want to invite over to your backyard barbecue because he’d be great. He’d just crack open a beer, probably an IPA or something but nothing too fancy, and then regale your guests with hilarious stories in the corner. He wouldn’t make himself the center of attention or anything, he’d just chill out talking to people. And he’d be nice to everyone and everyone would feel good from being around him. And later, after you were good mates with him, he’d probably make you like a coffee table or something, because oh yeah, that’s a thing that he actually does. He’s a carpenter. Like I said, Offerman is a pretty cool guy.  He’s essentially my dad, if my dad was also an actor. Which he’s not.

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The audiobook is great to listen to because it’s narrated by Offerman.  I imagine it’d still be great to read, but there’s just something about listening to his stories in his own voice that is fantastic.  He’s an actor, but he’s also just a guy who can grow a giant mustache and do woodworking and isn’t really your typical actor type at all.  He does talk about that as well, which I found very interesting. It’s a field where your looks are so very important, and this decidedly not action hero figure has waltzed in and found himself a niche where he fits, and it’s incredible.

 

So. Conclusion.  Read it/listen to it.  It’s a great book, and it’s fairly light listening, so it’s good to listen to on the train or while taking a walk or while cooking or whatever it is you crazy people do while listening to audiobooks. I drink whiskey and throw eggs at photographs of my enemies mostly. You should try that sometime as well.

 

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