If you’ve rowed before, never rowed before, or want to row. If you know everything about rowing, know a little bit about rowing, or know nothing about rowing. If you’ve rowed a race, watched a race, or want to. If you love rowing, are indifferent about the sport, or downright dislike it….
You HAVE to read this book.
The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
(I know! Basically that means everyone needs to read it!)
I’ve read a handful of books about rowing in the past, but this one truly is in a league of its own. Beyond the rowing topic, this is hands down one of the best books I have ever read. It’s entertaining, heart-wrenching, historical, and simply beautiful. I typically enjoy nonfiction books… yet, I am in love with this one.
It took me a long time to get through it, mostly because my schedule doesn’t allow for as much reading time, but mostly because I didn’t want it to end. It is that good.
To give you some context, the book follows the lives of a handful of boys who, during the Great Depression, make up the crew of the century. The parallel and overlapping stories of that crew and Hitler’s 1936 Olympic games in Berlin make for a must-read book. It’s truly amazing.
There were points in the book where I was absolutely blown away by how the author captures the essence of rowing. I have a difficult time relaying what it is exactly about rowing that makes rowing rowing. But Daniel James Brown exquisitely describes everything about crew that makes it so perfect. From the importance of teamwork to the grueling work it requires to the roles that every single person in the boat… he gets it. And he makes sure the reader understands too.
Again, it’s about rowing… so if you’ve ever been interested or wanted to know more, then you have to read it. And if you’ve been a part of an incredible crew yourself, you will find comfort and familiarity within the pages of the book. Plus… even if you’ve never touched an oar or never had the desire to know anything about crew, you’ll still love this book.
One word: perfect.
What book have you most recently read? Any recommendations?