Book Review: The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and There Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics


The Boys in the Boat

Photo from Goodreads

A few weeks ago I went to visit the Brother in Chambersburg where he moved. I decided that I should not waste the three hour drive and I would try out audible. I decided all of this about 10 minutes before I was set to leave. So I made a mad dash to download the app and sign up. Then I needed to pick my free book. I surfed through the main page and The Boys in the Boat came up. I had it on my Amazon wishlist but had never pulled the trigger and now I could listen to it for free?! #Score I hit the download button and was on my way.

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and There Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics written by Daniel James Brown

This book sucked me in from the first moment. The narrator was  Edward Herrman and as soon as he started reading I was taken away. I felt every single moment of Joe’s childhood pain and I was so mad for him. I listened as he explained some of what was going on in Berlin leading up to the Olympics and about the relationships between key officials. I was on the Washington Sound as they rowed together for the first time. And I was cheering them on over and over again as they raced bigger schools with more money, As they raced with class and backbone, stregnth and passion that living on the frontier during the Depression can give you. I cant put into words how highly I not only reccomend this book but get the audio book. I cried a few times, felt happiness, anger, elation so many feelings. GO GET THIS BOOK. You won’t regret it.

The story focuses mostly on Joe Rantz’s story. Joe’s entire leading up to the 1936 Olympics is a trail. Nothing ever is easy, his life is always sad, he is always hungry and dirt poor. But Joe is never negative about his situation. He just keeps on. His early life certainly led him to being the excellent rower that he becomes.

There has always been something beautiful to me when it comes to patriotism. When the people of Seattle come together to make sure there boys get to Berlin I wept. At the end of the book when you learn about where these boys go, what they do I had chills. I have not enjoyed a book like I enjoyed this one in many many tears. You can find the Audible version and the Kindle version here. I still highly recommend listening to this book.

Also, I’m hoping to read 52 books this year and January I did pretty well with that goal. I read 5 books last month! I need to read more. And cell phone less. Instagram, Facebook they’ve really become a problem.


Book Review: Confessions of a Prairie Bitch

Once I learned how to read (I was a late bloomer) I couldn’t stop. It magically transported me away to magic lands, places where I was the cool kid, places where people understood me. Reading was the best thing! I will never, ever forget reading that first Harry Potter book on the plane home from visiting family in Texas and begging my Mom to take me to the bookstore to get the 2nd and 3rd books. I remember devouring Ella Enchanted (don’t watch the travesty the called a movie read the book NOW!), the Boxcar Children, Babysitters Club, Little House and anything else I could get my little hands on. As I’ve gotten older technology, schedules, tiredness have taken over my life and I don’t read as much as I should (bad, bad, bad!!) but it is something I’m working on. (I feel like I’m always working on something. Being neater, praying more, being kinder, reading more.) I thought that a good way to keep me reading was if I reviewed a book after finishing it.

I recently read Confessions of a Prairie Bitch (I got it on my Kindle for like 3 dollars). I should caveat this with first I loved the Little House show and that the books the show was (loosely) based on my Mom read to me. I was also Laura Ingalls for Halloween at least twice.

The author, Alison, I saw interviewed on Fox and Friends a few years ago and she talked about abuse during her childhood but didn’t go to heavily into it (or I don’t remember. I’m usually on my first cup of coffee when I watch the news) so I knew that she would likely talk about abuse but I had no idea what a heavy roll it played in her life. Alison candidly talks about her parents (who really in my opinion needed clued into reality), her abusive brother, growing up on the set of Little House and life after the prairie. I loved it. Once I started reading it (it was in the to read pile for almost a year) I couldn’t put it down. The nice thing was I had it downloaded on my cell phone so I could read it during lunch at work. Alison embraced her life as the “bitch” from Little House and has made an interested career both in Hollywood and being an avid activist!

I give this book **** stars.


Anyone know how to add my Goodreads account to my blog?