One of the best things I liked about “Parks & Rec” was Nick Offerman’s Ron Swanson. I liked the subtle humor as well as Ron’s philosophy that we should all be off the grid and fend for ourselves. It was almost like seeing a modern day interpretation of Henry David Thoreau. With better facial hair.
When Mr. Offerman came out with this first memoir, Paddle Your Own Canoe I was interested to know more about the man behind Ron Swanson. Sadly, this felt like two books in one. The baseline of the book is Offerman sharing his autobiography. I was surprised to learn that Mr. Offerman grew up not too far from where I live in Chicagoland. In fact, his hometown of Minooka, Illinois is a town I’ve heard of and have met people from. His background is really interesting. He comes from a good family and a good town with a good education and ultimately decides to study theater at U of I. It shouldn’t have been a surprise to me seeing as how he did such a bang up job on “Parks & Rec”, but I feel for the stereotype that people from rural areas and don’t major in theater.
Intermixed with his life story, Mr. Offerman shares his view of some aspect of society. He has poignant observations and suggestions for living a successful and meaningful life. I appreciated his observations but it was distracting having these breaks in between his life story. I would enjoy each section as its own book not mixed together.
All in all, I found this was a good lesson in not assuming anything about anyone. How many of Mr Offerman’s readers actually know that he’s been a part of so many theatrical companies and productions apart of “Park & Rec”? I realized I was guilty of this and this read has made me reflect that just because an actor is famous for a movie or TV show doesn’t mean they don’t have a background in other productions.