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Pawnee: The Greatest Town in America

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  4,734 ratings  ·  367 reviews
Welcome to Pawnee: More Exciting than New York, More Glamorous than Hollywood, Roughly the Same Size as Bismarck, North Dakota.

In Pawnee, Leslie Knope (as played by Amy Poehler on NBC's hit show "Parks and Recreation") takes readers on a hilarious tour through her hometown, the Midwestern haven known as Pawnee, Indiana. The book chronicles the city's colorful citizens and
Paperback, 240 pages
Published October 11th 2011 by Hyperion (first published January 1st 2011)
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Average rating 4.13  · 
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 ·  4,734 ratings  ·  367 reviews

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Gretchen Alice
Oct 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is LITERALLY the greatest book about Pawnee that I have ever read. A must-read for fans of Parks and Recreation. (And, really, if you aren't a fan, you need to change that immediately. I'm going to paraphrase Dwight Schrute who once said, "Do you watch [Parks and Recreation]? No? Then you are an idiot.")
Nov 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Pawnee, Leslie Knope's hometown and the setting for Parks and Recreation was immortalized in the show and in real life with her book Pawnee: The Greatest Town in America.

I have to say I'm a little disappointed with the book. This is one of those books where it would be better in audio book or acted out if the actors reprised their roles. The lines are there and I can hear their voices in my head, but it's missing the magic the actors bring to the lines.

All the main characters in the series wrote
Feb 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: five-stars, favorites
As a more recent convert to the Church of Parks and Recreation, I have to admit that I had no clue what I was missing before. The show is hilarious, packed with laughs and oohs and aahs and even moments where I tear up a little. When a friend purchased this book for me as a birthday present, I dug into it impatiently and reveled in each and every moment. Savoring this book was out of the question. The only answer was to eat up each page voraciously and then feel sorry for myself when I reached t ...more
Feb 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Welcome to Pawnee, Indiana - First in Friendship, Fourth in Obesity. (Must have something to do with all that corn syrup in the water supply...)

Allow the ever-cheerful Leslie Knope to take you on a tour of her beloved hometown. Learn all about the town's rich and deeply disturbing history, including the townfounder who refused to wear breeches on the Sabbath. Sample the world's greatest waffles at JJ's Diner, or stop in at The Snakehole Lounge and enjoy a "Him-osa" - a Mimosa topped off with a s
Nov 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comedy
Chock full of the same amount of humor and heart and inside jokes and craziness, Pawnee, IN is clearly the best fictional small town since Stars Hollow, CT. Actually, it's even better. Pawnee wins with the Reasonableists, the glorious rubber nipple factory, and the corporate giant Sweetums which helps makes Pawnee fourth in obesity. The book is hilariously in character, and my only complaint is that I wish it were a little longer.

If you're a fan of the show Parks & Recreation, this book is a mus
Dec 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
this is LITERALLY the best book i have ever read.

240 pages of laughs, pawnee: the greatest town in america embodies everything awesome about the best television show ever***, parks and recreation, in book form. worried about losing the unique voices of the characters? don't worry, they are mentioned plenty in this amazing, hilarious book.

actually, "hilarious" doesn't begin to cover it. my brother and sister were asking my parents, "why is he laughing so much?" for real. every page brought a new
Oct 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I'm going to make a statement, and the statement is this: This is literally the greatest book in America. I can't overhype it enough. And, its pretty unapologetic...

Spread your wings and fly!

Seriously, Parks and recreation is the greatest show in America. A lot of the book is directly from the show, not much new, but I love it anyway.
Jun 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Pawnee is really somethin else
Nov 17, 2012 rated it liked it
How interesting...

I've been a fan of the hit show Parks and Recreation since it started airing in 2009.
That's a lie, I watched the first three (four?) seasons on Netflix this past summer in like a week. I also watched so many other shows on Netflix over the summer... I have an addictive personality, coupled with a newfound TV addiction, so that's fun. Anyway, I fell in love with the show and it became one of my favorite shows. Sadly, I have decided to not continue watching the current (fifth) se
Laura I.
Dec 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: nerd-geek-fan
Hmmm. I was SO into this book for the first like 100 pages. It was so cozy and adorable and silly and just making me happy to be reading it in Leslie's voice. There were a few....iffy jokes (you know how on the show she's always joking about how racist their Pawnee ancestors are and it's really charming and clever on the show? Here it mostly is but sometimes just seems...kind of actually racist?). And then on page 145 about Pawnee's best athletes there is this recurring joke about how all the be ...more
Nikki D
Mar 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
This is seriously the best thing ever. This is my favorite show and just to have this book be a real thing makes my heart sing. If you like Parks and Recreation, get this book. It will make you laugh and make you love the show even more!
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is a gift for super fans like me! So fun to read about the familiar people and places with references I recognize and appreciate. Appropriate for all Park and Rec groupies!
Feb 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
Remember the episode where they make a time capsule and Leslie Knope writes a book for it? Here is that book, and if "remember that episode when..." is your favorite game, this is the book for you. Or, if you see it on the sidewalk and somehow recognize Leslie Knope just from her blazer, because the rest of it is covered by trash, then probably that's a sign that this is, if not the, at least a book for you. It's entertaining enough. But it's maybe best found in your aunt's bathroom, which is a ...more
Sherri Keller
Feb 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is, literally, the best book ever written.

One minor quibble I have with the book is the Brief Note on the Typeface on the last page. It says that the book is set in "Prairie Strong", designed by Jørgen Svensson in 1924, etc., etc.

Then there is a "quote" by Alfred Barr, Jr., MOMA's famed curator which reads:
"Jørgen Svensson's 'Prairie Strong' is exactly the same as Times New Roman. Literally. He simply took Times New Roman—an extremely famous and popular font, mind you—and copied it, and cla
Hilarious, adorable, and perfect! If you like the show Parks and Recreation, you will live this book! Leslie's enthusiasm and love for Pawnee is addictive, and that's what makes this book LITERALLY the best book ever. Well, that and the history of the Sweetums company, Leslie's love for JJ's Diner's waffles, Ron's living in the woods diary, the special ad section... I could go on and on.

In the end, I'll leave you with words from Leslie herself: "Yes, every place in America has a story to tell, a
Kelly Hager
Mar 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
This basically reads like a Pawnee history textbook. There are sidebars written by Ann, Chris, Ben, April, Andy and Tom (and, best of all, a nature diary from Ron Swanson!). If you're a fan of Parks and Recreation, you'll enjoy this book.

There are sections on Pawnee government, activities, parks and---my favorite---murals. (I do like when Leslie talks about them on the show, too.)

I was saving this because there aren't any new episodes of Parks and Recreation until April 19 (stupid Community!) bu
Sean Kennedy
Dec 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is probably one of the best television series tie-in products as it is actually written by the writing staff instead of someone completely separate. Because of this it sounds and reads exactly like a product devised by Leslie Knope and the rest of the Parks department would release. Many chortles lie within.

RIP, 'Lil Sebastian.
Jun 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Awesome! Hilariously funny!! I will keep this book in mind when I am feeling down and need a pick-me-up!! This book is so creative you forget it is a made up town. If you're not careful you might just catch yourself planning a vacation there!
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
5* for a fun addition to the parks and rec's world !
The universe of the series lives on with a lot of easter eggs and much more about the lovely fictional town of Pawnee <3

Nov 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
This is a really clever book, and I like it for the same reason I like parks & rec - the sense of humor is good natured and isn't really aimed at putting people down (except for Jerry). It's just about the absurdity of a small town - how small things can seem much more important than they warrant. But it also has a lot of affection for the small town lifestyle and kinda has the premise that it's not stupid to be proud of where you live, wherever that may be.

I realize this is a bit dramatic for
Feb 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Hilarious! If you are a fan of Parks & Rec, you should definitely read this book. The creativity of the writers astounds me - the lengths they've went to create a detailed history, culture, and profile of a fictional town. The "voices" in the book are true to the characters and the show. All around this is just a great, easy, fun read that will definitely have you laughing! ...more
Sarah Mackey
Oct 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I cannot remember the last time I read a book that filled me with this much joy.
Suzanne Taylor
Jul 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Hilarious. The Chris Traeger Parts were the best. It was a great thing to read while waiting for the last season to come out on Netflix!
Jordan Cuellar
I don’t even know how to rate this book. It was funny and ridiculous and I could actually hear the characters’ voices when I read what they wrote. It was over the top and clearly so much time and energy was put into this book. I very much enjoyed it, even though there were parts that I could have done without, sections that seemed unnecessary and/or uninteresting. It made me want to watch Parks and Rec again.
Morgan Lyons
Feb 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
Not actually as funny as expected, but I bought it and I love the show, so I figured it was worth the read. My favorite part was probably Ron sharing his basketball coaching philosophy. On the subject of "shooting," he counsels: Every morning, when you're done splitting firewood, shoot 100 free throws. If you make 90 or more of them, reward yourself with a hamburger. If you make 100, call me up and I'll come over and punch you in the face, because you're a liar. Steve Alford couldn't make 100 in ...more
Dec 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Oh my god, the writing staff on Parks and Recreation are my absolute favorite and this reminded me why. This was everything I love about the show in a book, hyperactive and hilarious, downright bizarre and offensive at times (Pawnee’s history is a messed up one) but always with heart. I mean, within a handful of pages, you can read Jean-Ralphio’s list of favorite clubs (including the rating from 1-10 of the girls he banged there) and read about how Ben grew to love Pawnee. There’s Ron’s nature d ...more
If you're a fan of Parks & Recreation (and if you're not, do yourself a favour and watch it) then you'll find a lot to love in this jaunt through Pawnee in the company of The Author (and my imaginary BFF) Leslie Knope.

Find out about the dodgy history of the home of Sweetums and feral raccoons, the culinary delights of JJ's Diner (don't forget to try the waffles) and the former names of Mouse Rat. Snigger quite a bit through Ron's cabin and April's college diaries. Just don't leave the book on y
Jan 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
If you haven't watched my favorite TV-show of all time Parks and Recreation, what are you doing with your life? Seriously, go watch it right now. It's amazing. The first season only has 6 episodes, and they are just 20 minutes long. And even if you don't LOVE the first season, keep watching, because that's their weakest season and it only gets better from there.

This is a companion book to said TV-show. It was absolutely hilarious, and they nailed the tone of Leslie Knope. Some parts were a littl
Nov 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I think your love for the book will be proportional to your love for the show.
Obviously I loved it. It captures the voice of the characters perfectly (especially Leslie as she's the one writing most of it) and it's really funny and has topics such as:
- "one month living in the woods in Pawnee" by Ron Swanson
- a map of Wamapoke incidents
- history of the racoon problem
- an entire chapter devoted to dissing Eagleton
- fake ads of every shop/restaurant/club/everything ever set in Pawnee
and so much m
Jan 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: five-stars, read-2012
"Jean-Ralphio dance up on me."

Obviously only read this book if you watch parks and recreation otherwise it will make little to no sense to you. You have to watch this show, its literally the best show ever and its hilarious and amazing.
The book whilst not being the best thing you'll ever read and many of the jokes are repeated from the show, i just love the kitsch factor of it all and it made me laugh, definitely read it if you're a fan of the show.
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Leslie Knope is currently the Deputy Director for the Pawnee City Parks and Recreation Department and candidate for Pawnee City Council. PAWNEE: THE GREATEST TOWN IN AMERICA is her first book.

(Leslie Knope is a fictional character on NBC's PARKS AND RECREATION and is portrayed by Amy Poehler.)

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Ashley Poston made her name with Once Upon a Con, a contemporary series set in the world of fandom, and her two-part space opera, Heart of...
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“Pawnee: First in Friendship, Fourth in Obesity” 0 likes
“I asked the U.S. Geological Survey to assist us in finally determining just how deep Devil's Fissure is [...] they refused, checking off the boxes marked "Budget Constraints" and "Gross Indifference.” 0 likes
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