An Evening With Daniel James Brown

25 Apr

My husband made a comment to me last night that I needed to start a book club. I responded with a sigh, said I’ve tried that more than once, but I’ll stick to the books that interest me.

“No, you need to start a book club for women older than 60,” he said.

Now, I’ve been described as an “old soul,” but I’ve never thought about what demographic I best fit in with. I guess now I know.

Friday night is date night, and my husband was gracious enough to sacrifice our usual date of dinner and a movie, to attend a local author event. The event was the finale of Pierce County READS 2015, which encourages the county to read the same book. This year was The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown.

I have already blogged about the book, and I’ve already said that if you have yet to read it, you should stop whatever you’re doing and pick it up.

We were surrounded by 1,400 other fans, or family members of fans who had no choice but to come (including the bored teenage girl who sat next to me). Brown gave insight into how his 4 1/2-year research culminated into a New York Times bestseller. He read excerpts that put you in the Husky Clipper with the nine boys as they raced for a national title and a shot at the 1936 Olympics.


Georgia Lomax, executive director of the Pierce County Library System, described it best when she said she first picked up the book and already knew how it ended. But as she read she couldn’t help but worry about the boys. Brown’s narrative sets you in the scene of a time long gone.

The event also included a short video clip of Team USA’s gold medal-winning race. You can’t help but feel emotional watching the finish because as a reader you know about the adversity the boys went through leading up to Berlin. You even know what was going on in the boat during the race thanks to Brown’s insight.

Brown said The Boys is more than a book about rowing, but that it’s also about us and where we come from. We read about the Pacific Northwest small towns after the stock market crash, during the depression and pre-World War II.

The event wasn’t enough to encourage my husband to pick up the book, but he did say he would watch the movie. I’m already looking forward to that date night.

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