Paddle Your Own Canoe

Bite-Sized Audiobook Reviews: JULIE AND JULIA and PADDLE YOUR OWN CANOE

BooksKristina PinoComment

Julie & Julia by Julie Powell (narrated by the author)

I love the film Julie & Julia, and I had always been wanting to read the book and kept putting off actually looking it up, until it occurred to me that there would probably be an audiobook. The book being narrated by the author was kind of the deciding factor, because who better?

Although I already had an idea of how the story went and some of the hardships Julie goes through in the course of her year of cooking through Mastering The Art of French Cooking, the film really skimmed through some of the heavier stuff that went on, and added a bit of humor and romance, and of course bits of Julia Child's own book My Life in France. This is definitely a case where I like both book and film adaptation, and they can coexist happily despite their differences. I appreciated the film for giving me a picture, and the book for going really deep and all up in those dark places the author crept in to get through that year.

Now I just need to read My Life in France. Audio or print? Gah.

Paddle Your Own Canoe by Nick Offerman (narrated by the author)

This book, along with Amy Poehler's Yes Please (reviewed previously), are the only two that I didn't clear from my phone right away as soon as I finished them to make room for new things (I just generally try to keep my phone clutter-free). It's a book I intend to re-listen to in the near future, because I loved every second of it the first time around.

Paddle is a great collection of little philosophies about life, and observations and musings on a wide range of topics. You'll get a snapshot of Offerman's life as a farmer, as a woodworker, as an actor, and as a husband, among other things. And you'll learn some stuff, maybe. But mostly you'll hear the words of someone who has figured it out: he's happy, satisfied with life, and is all about spreading positivity. He approaches even the slimiest of topics with a reasonable attitude, and delivers some solid truth bombs with plenty of humor peppered throughout. He talks a lot about being productive, honing a craft, and just overall being a good person. Also, if you listen to the audiobook you'll get to hear him sing.

I read Paddle Your Own Canoe as a part of the Book Riot 2015 Read Harder Challenge, fulfilling the audiobook task.

2015 Read Harder Challenge: Task 2 - PADDLE YOUR OWN CANOE by Nick Offerman

BooksKristina Pino1 Comment

"Parks and Recreation actor Nick Offerman shares his humorous fulminations on life, manliness, meat, and much more in his first book.

Growing a perfect moustache, grilling red meat, wooing a woman - who better to deliver this tutelage than the always charming, always manly Nick Offerman, best known as Parks and Recreation's Ron Swanson? Combining his trademark comic voice and very real expertise in woodworking - he runs his own woodshop - Paddle Your Own Canoe features tales from Offerman's childhood in small-town Minooka, Illinois - "I grew up literally in the middle of a cornfield" - to his theater days in Chicago, beginnings as a carpenter/actor and the hilarious and magnificent seduction of his now-wife Megan Mullally. It also offers hard-bitten battle strategies in the arenas of manliness, love, style, religion, woodworking, and outdoor recreation, among many other savory entrees.

A mix of amusing anecdotes, opinionated lessons and rants, sprinkled with offbeat gaiety, Paddle Your Own Canoe will not only tickle readers pink but may also rouse them to put down their smart phones, study a few sycamore leaves, and maybe even handcraft (and paddle) their own canoes."

After reading and loving Amy Poehler's Yes Please, this just seemed like a logical leap. I've watched enough Parks and Recreation that I'm an Offerman fan, though I don't know much about his life in general, so this'll be a great way for me to dive in. Also, the full title is glorious: Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man's Fundamentals for Delicious Living. I don't know much about it, but I already like where it's going.

This book will fulfill the task read (listen to) "an audiobook." It almost feels like cheating, since I already listen to audiobooks regularly, but that's a good "problem" to have when it comes to ticking off diversity-oriented tasks on a list.

I'll be starting it up this weekend.