Flat Water Tuesday by Ron Irwin is a sweet little novel that did not get the attention it deserved. Floated right under the radar. But for me it had all the ingredients of a sure fire winner: middle-aged guy returns to the boarding he school where he rowed to confront some difficult memories. Yes to boarding school tale, yes to rowing and yes to difficult memories. Continue reading
I know, me and a book about sports? I don’t think so. But trust me, it is a little different with Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. First, it came highly recommended from people I trust. Second, it is about rowing, a sport to which I have some experience and sentimental attachment.
Boys in the Boat recounts the journey of men’s eight crew to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Brown enters this narrative through Joe Rantz and his fellow crew mates at the University of Washington. Although rowing is often associated with blue bloods and the Ivy League elite, in the case of the Washington crew this could not be further from the truth. The students who comprised the crew often came from rough backgrounds and truly suffered during the years of the Great Depression. This makes Boys in the Boat a story of underdogs triumphing over adversity and making good on the world stage of the Olympic. Continue reading