Paddle Your Own Canoe by Nick Offerman

I absolutely love Parks & Recreation. “Flu Season” is the best episode ever. My sister would contest that it’s “The Fight”, which is a close second. I’ve read Yes Please by Amy Poehler, and loved it. For Paddle Your Own Canoe I wanted to do something a little different. Often, my sister and my mother and I can share books. This time, I wanted to get one that my dad and I could read together! He’s aware of who Nick Offerman is, so I thought it would be a good compromise. I’m so sorry, Daddy.


The Layout

Each chapter is a series of different stories from Mr. Offerman’s life. A lot has to do with his background in the theatre, going to college, being a carpenter and his family. Each of the sixteen chapters ends with an applicable life lesson, such as ‘How to Be a Man’ and ‘Measure Twice, Cut Once’ (a lesson I’ve also learned from my father).

It’s written very conversationally as well. Casual, like you were having a beer with him while he bestows his infinite wisdom on you. I like that about Paddle Your Own Canoe.

Why I’ve Apologized to My Father

One thing about Nick Offerman, if you’re unaware, is that he’s rather crude, both in jargon used and in situations described. Additionally, there was a moment where he commented on the fictionality of the Bible, so that was interesting. But, like I said, the life lessons in the book are great! Here’s one of my favorite parts: 

I feel a bit like Chris from Parks & Rec, trying to get wisdom from Nick Offerman when he is literally just talking about a proper way to use a tool. I think it’s applicable though! When you’re going into a project with everything you have, what is your end goal?

My Actual Favorite.

The lesson of this chapter is “How To Be A Man”. He does go into some details on the “standard” manly things, changing a tire, opening jars/doors, etc. I really appreciated this portion of the lesson though. Isn’t this the type of man we’re all looking for?


All in all, I really liked this book! I feel like I know and love Ron Swanson a bit better now. Paddle Your Own Canoe is not just a “boy book”. Nick Offerman’s lessons apply to all parties.

Be sure to subscribe to my blog on the right side of the screen! Follow along with my other book reviews here. Be sure to “Like” my Facebook page too!

Leave a Reply