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a book recommendation for you

This summer, my newest obsession has been listening to audio books.

I listened first to this one, then this, this and this (even though I had already read it and seen the move. It was so fantastic even for a second time and maybe even better to listen to than to read or watch).

While heading to our favorite vacation spot a few weeks ago, Ryan and I decided to listen to a book while we drove the 3.5 hours.  It seemed like a fun thing to do to pass the time while the kids had their headphones on watching their movie. Finding a book that we both would like was the tricky part: Ryan loves a good business/marketing/strategic thinking book, I much prefer a novel.

Somehow we landed on a book that piqued both of our interests and gave it a try. And then we couldn’t stop. We listened all the way to vacation, all the way home and this past week have spent our evenings sitting on the couch silently listening to this fascinating, compelling, engaging story.

What’s the book, you ask? Well let me share.

Boys in the Boat - a great read if you like history , sports, Seattle and an engaging story / jones design company
 

The book is called The Boys In The Boat by Daniel James Brown. It’s been sitting in my kindle for over a year after my mom and aunt told me I’d love it. But I just never started. I’m so glad I waited so that Ryan and I could ‘read’ it together – it’s so fun to listen to and great to talk about the story with each other. We feel so old sitting on a Friday night listening to a book, but whatever. We like it.

The story is about a crew from the University of Washington who defy odds and win an olympic gold medal at the Berlin Olympics just as Nazi Germany was coming to power. It’s about the history of the boys – one in particular named Joe Rantz – about what it was like to grow up during the great depression, the dust bowl, life in the Pacific Northwest during this time. But it’s also about the sport of rowing, the art of paddling, of boat making, and strategy. And then most of all it’s about what a team can do when they trust in one another. Seriously, we love it.

I found this video from the author about the book:

It’s so good you guys. The funny thing is, as we were listening on that long drive on vacation, we noticed the kids each took off their headphones and started listening along. Even they loved it! So it’s a big win. Highly recommended by the whole Lex family.

You can learn more about the book here.

30 thoughts on “a book recommendation for you”

  1. This sounds wonderful – just added myself to the library hold list. We visited family in Berlin over the summer, and I’d love to read a book that connects to that trip. :)
    You might also enjoy Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand…it’s not my usual genre at all, but I LOVED it (and so did my husband).

  2. LOVED this book!! So fun and was so neat to imagine all those fans watching rowing events. My daughter is rowing as did my niece – really loved it!

  3. Can’t wait to read it!

    I am interested in your graphics design class, but my internet is extremely unreliable. Could your class still work for me?

  4. I have never commented before, but just had to chime in…I adored this book! A great history/memoir/sports/olympics read all rolled into one. I actually read the book a while back, but now I am thinking I need to listen to the audiobook also….thanks for the book recommendations!

  5. Thanks for the recommendation. Can’t wait to read this. I am curious, do you use Audible or CD’s or another method to listen to your books?

    1. I use Audible – an app that I think Amazon just bought. When you purchase a kindle book from amazon, you get a discount on the audio book. And my favorite part is that you can switch between listening and reading and the program automatically saves your place.

  6. I absolutely loved this book and have recommended it to just about everyone I know! I’ve also given it as gifts. So glad you and your husband enjoyed it too. It’s one of those fascinating stories that is beautifully told. (I even watched some Pac-12 rowing on tv because of that book!)

  7. I haven’t read/listened to this one, but it seems similar to Unbroken which I absolutely loved and highly recommend. (Not for kids though.) I haven’t seen the Unbroken movie, but can say the book/audio book was outstanding. The audio book was narrated by Edward Herrman which made it that much better – and a little bittersweet. <3

    1. It is similar to Unbroken (in fact, louis z. ran in the same olympics in 1936!) and it is also narrated by Edward Herrman. If you liked Unbroken, you’ll like this one too!

  8. I have about a 45 commute each way in a very rural area. I have listened to audio books for over a decade. It is very relaxing and makes the time fly. Most libraries have extensive offerings. This summer, we took our elementary age kids on a 10 hour trek to the Atlantic ocean. I was really dreading it. I checked out the first Harry Potter on audio on a whim and we had NO COMPLAINING OR FIGHTING on the way to or from the beach. They would ask us to turn it on each time we got back in the car. We enjoyed it so much that we have continued with the series on shorter jaunts to town and the babysitter this summer. I also have to say that my kids have listened to my books playing in the car since they were infants and they both have extraordinarily high reading levels for their age. Even though they weren’t necessarily kid stories, I really do think that this exposure to language has impacted their development.

  9. Just placed a hold for it at our library! I’m hoping it comes in time for our vacation coming up. I LOVE audio books, but it’s difficult to find one my husband and I would both enjoy. We recently enjoyed The Rosie Project, so I’ve also placed a hold on The Rosie Effect.

  10. I’m new to this whole “listening” to books. Do you purchase a CD or do you download to your device/phone and use a particular app to listen to it? Sorry if it’s a silly question… can anyone explain?
    Thanks!!

    1. I use an app on my phone called Audible. It is run by amazon, so when you purchase a kindle book, you get a discount on the audio version (or you can just purchase the audio).

  11. Our book group (four couples) read this book over the summer. It was a favorite of all of us. I could hardly put it down once I started!

  12. I agree with everyone. I loved the book and so has everyone I have recommended to. And how awesome is it to have Joe on your family tree, Anne. You now have such a beautiful book to tell his story to your children and grandchildren.

  13. Hi Emily! I’m so happy to see that you enjoyed his book! Joe Rantz was my husband’s grandpa :) It is such a great story and it is told so beautifully.
    After reading it, we took our kids to the U to see the boat that raced in Germany, and Joe’s UW sweater, various trophies and photos…. It all brought the story to life just that much more!

  14. Thanks for the recommendation, I will put this on my list. I started reading The Red Tent, from your list or was it from your podcast with Jamie Ivey, I can’t remember. Thanks so much for your ist of books I’m enjoying them so far.

  15. Loved, loved, loved this book! I couldn’t put it down and still think about these boys, especially Joe and all he endured!

  16. This book stole my heart this summer as well. Everyone I know who has read it has loved it just as much. Highly recommend- even if you think it won’t be a book you would enjoy, I swear you will!

  17. glad you loved listening so much and love the families reaction :-) Check out AudioFile Magazine…A magazine dedicated to audiobooks .The website is audiofilemagazine.com. Enjoy!!!!

  18. I just finished this book as well, and thought it was great! My Mom recommended it to me because I rowed in college. The way the author described the boys’ time in the boat, training and racing, was so descriptive I could feel the rocking back-and-forth you feel when you’re on the water.
    It was also a very good conduit for putting history in context: the Depression, Nazi Germany, etc. This was an excellent book!

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