The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
The Story: The true story of the crew team from the University of Washington that went to the 1936 Olympic games. Brown, the author, is invited to meet Joe Rantz, who is in the present dying. Rantz begins to tell Brown his story, the story of the eight other men he rowed with and the boat.
The Review: This is a beautiful book. It's a fascinating story. We follow Joe's early life and the struggles he lives through with his family after his mother dies and his father remarries and they struggle through difficult economic times. Joe learns to work to support himself, but decides that he will go to college. For him the way to survive college at the University of Washington is to make the crew team.
As the story shifts to the University, we meet the eight other men who make up Joe's team, and more importantly to Joe, we meet the boat. And the boatmaker. I was amazed at the descriptions of the boat and how difficult it is to row because of the balance required. But this team starts winning.
It is an excellent book, and I highly recommend it.
The Story: This is a mystery that centers around a Sir Arthur Conan Doyle legend. Doyle kept journals, but the journal that would cover the time when Doyle decided to resurrect Sherlock Holmes after he killed him off is missing. It is the holy grail of the Holmes fanatics. This mystery gets tangled up with a murder and both must be solved.
The Review: Can I be honest? I listened to this after one of my surgeries this summer. I don't know if I really slept through the entire thing, or if it's the meds, but I have no memory of this book. I have no idea what happened. I don't know if it was interesting. I really just don't remember.
The Story: Gladwell examines the point that turns something into a trend. His examples range from an unpopular shoe being picked up by a few kids and then spreading to become the shoe everyone has to have, to the spread of suicide among teens.
The Review: This is a good read and listen. Gladwell is engaging and has tons of examples to prove his point.
If you've never read it, I recommend it.
The Story: Pi Patel leaves India with his family and the animals from their zoo. There is a terrible storm and the ship they are all on sinks, leaving Pi as the only survivor in a lifeboat with a zebra, a hyena, a gorilla, and a tiger named Richard Parker.
The Review: This is a reread and a new listen for me. This is a great book. It is beautifully written. I love Pi as the narrator. He is so introspective and thoughtful even while he must do everything he can to keep himself alive in a lifeboat.
The narration of this was also great. It was easy to listen to.