Alison Arngrim grew up in an unusual family. Her mother was the voice of Gumby and her father was the personal manager to Liberace and was also a homosexual. On top of all of this, her brother was a famous teenage heartthrob who seemed to rule the household and also sexually abused his younger sister. Desperate to get out of the house, Alison decided to begin going to auditions and acting. She had a few smaller roles and then was asked to audition for Little House on the Prairie. First she read for the part of Laura Ingalls, then Mary Ingalls, and finally…Nellie Olsen. Alison had everyone roaring during her audition to play the part of Nellie, the producers had struck gold. In her book, Alison discusses her relationships with the cast members as well as her difficulties working through her childhood abuse. She strikes the reader as a strong person who would rather laugh than cry and this ability has provided her with a full life and a satisfying career.
Fans of Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation will definitely want to check out Paddle Your Own Canoe: One man’s fundamentals for delicious living. This book contains the musings of Nick Offerman on varying subjects. There is much about Nick Offerman that is strikingly similar to the fictional Ron Swanson. For example, he loves woodworking and red meat. However he is the first to point out that unlike Ron Swanson, he is not a character and also eats salads.
I greatly enjoyed the chapters where he discussed growing up in rural Illinois and his early theater experience. Offerman certainly describes himself as having a passion for theater and yet also not being a stereotypical actor which creates an interesting dynamic to his stories. He also briefly discusses his romance with his wife of 11 years Megan Mullally (the fabulous actress who plays Ron Swanson's crazy ex-wife Tammy in Parks and Recreation). Overall, Paddle Your Own Canoe was a fun and quick read, perfect for reading when traveling.
Again and again what draws me to picture books are the colorful and creative illustrations. I always try to kid myself that I appreciate a well told story geared towards young readers. But no, in reality, I just like good pictures. "If You Hold a Seed" is no exception. I pulled it off the shelf because the colors on the spine were particularly captivating and I was not disappointed.
As much as I love good illustrations, I was pleased that it was not just a mediocre story with wonderful pictures. The story itself is beautiful and I felt as though the vivid colors and soft of the illustrations worked well with the text. It reminded me of Il Sung Na's books. So if you are a fan of "A Book of Sleep" and "Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit," you should read "If You Hold a Seed."
This made me sad because I generally love all of the actors in this film, but I gave the movie 10 minutes and then turned it off to do something better with my time. I enjoyed the first Grown Ups movie, but either my humor has changed or this was just a stinker of a film. I'm thinking the latter was the case. The humor was too juvenile and overplayed for my taste.
I had pretty low expectations when I picked up this book since there are quite a few terrible Austen-based novels out there, but I was pleasantly surprised. Was it at times cheesy and cliche? Yes. This might have bothered me more if the book was longer. But at it's current length of 196 pages, it was perfect. I knocked it out over a weekend when I could just curl up with a hot mug of tea and indulge in frivolities.
The movie based on the book http://www.aadl.org/catalog/record/1444652 is also delightful and just what I expected it to be. There were aspects of certain characters that the movie changed which I did not enjoy as much as the book, but overall the book and movie share the same spirit. I would recommend this novel to anyone who likes Jane Austen and can laugh at themselves.