Quick show of hands.

Who here wants to be pals with Ron Swanson?

**all hands raise in a semi-orderly fashion**

Now, who here wants to be pals with Nick Offerman?


Unbeknownst to most, Nick Offerman is not, in fact, Ron Swanson. Are there many similarities? Yes. Does Nick love meat and work wood like the beautiful lumberjack-ish specimen that he is? Yes. Is he a multi-dimensional human being with further complexities than a TV character? Thank God, yes.

In his new book, Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man’s Rules for Delicious Living, Nick comments on everything from forcing himself to eat vegetables, to his high school football and theater careers, to religion and how it shapes a person’s world view, to his vast and interminable love for his wife, Megan Mullally. More than anything, though, Nick advocates for just being plain good to other people.

Growing up in Manuca, Illinois gave him a powerful aptitude for hard work and a healthy respect for education, family, and women. He cracks many a serious joke about how his sisters can do everything twice as well as he can and in half the time. The way he talks about the women in his life is extraordinary. I’m a little sad to say it’s extraordinary, but you don’t see this often. He so vehemently wants the reader to come away understanding that women and men are no different. Except, of course, in their sexual attractiveness to him.

He discovered his passion for theatrics when he started volunteering to do readings at the local Catholic church. It was performing these readings that led him to his personal convictions about the Bible, general religious hypocrisy, and how differing Biblical interpretations can help guide one to do good in the world or help one justify their transgressions. He ultimately came to the conclusion that being a decent human being had nothing to do with religious belief. Just don’t be an asshole, he says. It’s that easy.

He lays out his teenage and college years where he fumbled through football, theater, and relationships, always managing to find the humor in every day missteps and triumphs. In many cases, he was a big proponent of the ‘fake it til you make it’ school of thought. He never let the fear of failing at something stop him from giving it a shot. And through his trials and errors, he proved that he had what it took to make it through theater school and venture off into the world of comedic acting.

He curses with such poetic fervor that the sound of his voice makes you want to live in his vocal chords forever. And when he laughs. **suppresses a choked up squeal** When he laughs you can just see his little teeth peering out from behind that masterpiece of a mustache. And damn it if I’m not wildly jealous of Megan.

Odds are you probably won’t agree with everything he says, but you will respect his opinion because he puts forth an intelligent and meaningful argument for EVERYTHING. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I think you will too.

Also, bacon.

Because, obviously.

Hold on to those butts.

feature image source