Books and Gnocchi

Have you noticed that gnocchi is everywhere lately?  “Everywhere” might be an exaggeration, but I think it has been mentioned in three out of four books I’ve been reading lately.  That’s pretty impressive (not the books I’m talking about below).

What is gnocchi?  I used to think it was dumplings made with potato as the key ingredient, but I recently learned that they can actually be made with a variety of bases.  Anyway, they’re basically Italian dumplings.  And they’re heavenly.

Sometimes they look like this before they’re cooked:

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photo from

But we’re not here to talk about delicious carbs, folks.  Not today.  Today we’re here to talk about books.

I found myself reading two books by two very funny people who used to star in Parks and Recreation–Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman.  We’ll talk about Amy first:

photo from
photo from

My initial expectation for this book was Bossypants: Part 2.  That’s not really fair, because Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are very different people.  But I loved Bossypants.  Really really loved it.  I’m always hoping that a new book will be that funny and relatable and wonderful.  At the end of the book, I secretly thought that if I were ever to meet and hang out with Tina Fey, we would be friends.

Yes, Please is different, but it’s still a winner.  It’s definitely more career-centric than Fey’s book, which is fine.  I think that Poehler does a great job of working her outside life into the story of her work.  When you’re famous for your work, that seems like a logical balance.  She also manages to include real-life hurts in a way that isn’t selfish or mean-spirited.  She just talks about life in a candid way.  I like it.

And now for Nick Offerman:

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photo from

His book, Paddle Your Own Canoe, was admittedly not quite as “up my alley.”  I still think Offerman is hilarious, and I have a lot of respect for how he has handled his career.  I love that he has other professional interests (woodwork, theater, etc.).  I love that he actually likes to work.  I love how much he cares about his wife.  There is some crass stuff in there, however, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.  If I were to make one complaint, it’s probably just that I was hoping Nick Offerman and his Parks and Rec character Ron Swanson were exactly the same person.

They’re not the same person.  Sigh.  For the sake of real life Nick Offerman, that’s a great thing.  For Hannah the Fan, it’s very mildly disappointing.

The books were funny as they were intended to be, and they made me feel the loss of Parks and Rec even more than the series finale.  I’ll just have to watch some reruns.

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