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635603078811723405-9780525954675Nick Offerman
Gumption: Relighting the Torch of Freedom with America’s Gutsiest Troublemakers
Dutton Books

Normally, I am inundated with advanced reader copies of books, manuscripts, and graphic novels from a varied representation of publishing houses and self-publishers, but here you will find a review of a book that I actually purchased myself. Now, most of the random things we cover here at Racket are either about to be available or recently released, I am reviewing this over a year after it actually came out because it’s just that damned good. Offerman’s sophomore non-fiction doubles as his second proverbial literary home run. Whereas Paddle Your Own Canoe found Offerman peddling youthful tales & the lessons learned, Gumption finds our narrator name-dropping his work as a thinly veiled excuse to rub elbows with some of his idols, who also happen to be a variety of hard-working Americans, the world’s finest purveyors of gumption.

From George Washington to Conan O’Brien, Offerman’s jubilant celebration of guts runs through a myriad of professions, backgrounds, sexual orientations, and genders, our gracious author invokes the fearless tenacity that this amazing country was founded upon. Between salient references to his amorous inclinations toward his also-famous wife and his signature superfluous wordplay, Offerman ensures a deeper relationship with a dictionary, or perhaps Google, should you happen to have read the book removed from your home library. I referenced both heavily while enjoying his work from a variety of locations, from a creek-side campfire in the Eastern Sierras to a hammock located in the fine city of Big Bear to the comfort of my own bed, where I was often shooshed by my own thoughtful, mindful, and exceedingly funny wife as she read herself to sleep. I believe the variety of scenery helped bring the expansive selection of phenomenal Americans to life.

With a venerable career of woodworking and craftsmanship (I hear he’s quite the thespian, as well), Offerman’s latest books has me pining for a the third (pining also doubles here as a reference to his work with the Offerman Woodshop). I hope my praise of Gumption leads you, our wonderful readers (read, “wife, mom, and some random person with a Nick Offerman Google Alert”) to snag a copy for themselves. And, should Mr. Offerman ever read this, I would not be opposed to an interview, preferably at a creek-side campfire, or in hammocks in the fine city of Big Bear, or, to make you feel more at home, on a boat (I know a guy).