2014 Columbia One Read–The Boys in the Boat

One of Columbia’s literary traditions, sponsored in part by the Daniel Boone Regional Library, is the Columbia One Read.  The past few years selections have spanned both fiction and non-fiction titles including, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, The Weight of Water, The Tortilla Curtain, The Tiger’s Wife, and last year’s winner The Ruins of Us.

This year the One Read committee has chosen The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown.

Trade Pb / 416 pgs / May 2014 / List Price $17.00 / Our Price $12.75

Out of the depths of the Depression comes an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times—the improbable, intimate account of how nine working-class boys from the American West showed the world at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin what true grit really meant.

It was an unlikely quest from the start. With a team composed of the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew team was never expected to defeat the elite teams of the East Coast and Great Britain, yet they did, going on to shock the world by defeating the German team rowing for Adolf Hitler. The emotional heart of the tale lies with Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not only to regain his shattered self-regard but also to find a real place for himself in the world. Drawing on the boys’ own journals and vivid memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, Brown has created an unforgettable portrait of an era, a celebration of a remarkable achievement, and a chronicle of one extraordinary young man’s personal quest.

For more information on the Columbia One Read Program follow the link below.

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