paddle your own canoe

title: Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man’s Fundamentals for Delicious Living

author: Nick Offerman

genre: Non-fiction, memoir, life story/advice

dates read: November 19th – November 22nd

review: 4.5 out of 5 stars

summary: Nick Offerman, probably best known for his role as Ron Swanson in the TV show Parks & Recreation, writes about his life and the advice he has from living it.  He talks about hobbies, working in theater, loving life, just plain loving, among many other things.  He encourages readers to find what they are passionate about and then try to find a way to get paid for it.  He recounts the difficulty he’s had in the tv and movie business but found a way to do what he loves anyway.

personal thoughts: Let me warn you right off the bat that this is a very irreverent and often times inappropriate book.  Lots of swearing and very liberal views on religion and sex (which, if you’re a fan of him already, you probably aren’t surprised about).  However, I think the core of what he’s saying is wonderful and I love that he’s not afraid to say it in his own style.  Jason and I got to see him live and it was a grand old time.  He believes in living with passion and treating people with respect, and he models it again and again in his own life.  It was fun to understand more of the man Nick Offerman.

favorite quotes:
“I learned thee word nonconformist in fourth grade and immediately announced that I would grow up to become one.” p. xi

“Whatever the adversity, if a man is on hand to provide ease to a lady’s cause, I tink he’s a s***heel if he stands idly by when she could use an umbrella, a handkerchief, or a steady arm.” p. 47

“Pursue decency in all dealings with your fellow man and woman.  Simply put?  Don’t be an asshole.” p. 51

“Choose your favorite spade and dig a small, deep hole, located deep in the forest or a desolate area of the desert or tundra.  Bury your cell phone and then find a hobby.” p. 79

“live theater is loaded with a certain sense of altruism that cannot be found in any other art form.  By engaging in the act of “putting on a show,” a theater is holding up a mirror to our hilarious and tragic human foibles so that we, society, may see ourselves therein and thereby receive a dose of social medicine.” p. 119

“No matter our age, if we always have a project to which we can apply ourselves, then we will wake up every day with an objective, something productive to get done.  This allows us to go to bed at night in the peaceful knowledge that we have done some good, gained some achievement, however small.” p. 168

“if we think of others in our fastidiousness or lack thereof around the toilet, how can we not extrapolate that notion into how we are leaving the rest of the world for the other show will com to use it after us?” p. 169

“Men and women alike, if you think that altering the tip of your nose with surgery will make you happier, I would suggest you alter something much more malleable than your flesh, like your priorities, or your friends.  Quit looking in the mirror so much.” p. 202

“If you think that a doe and a couple of fauns standing a few yards away watching you float by, or a beaver swimming along with a willow branch for its front porch, won’t chill you out and heal the hole that getting too many e-mails is eating in your brain’s ozone layer, then your thinking parts might be in need of repair.” p. 333


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