August, 2016: The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

Geri wrote the email about this gathering because I didn’t attend. This was the horrible month that I lost my brother Dennis.

(Book #76) August 23, 2016: Well Melissa really went for the gold tonight. She treated us to a meal of Olympic proportions — pork medallions served with golden potatoes and sauerkraut slaw. And what could be more American than apple pie for dessert? A la mode no less. To round out the event, it was served on her roof deck with a beautiful view of the city. We all wore our “Live Like Dennis” buttons and paid homage to a great man, and his ever wonderful sister Teresa.

Everyone loved the book, complimenting the writing style and the character development. We all agreed it read like fiction. We also decided the younger generation has to toughen up. It’s not like they have been left to fend for themselves in the wilds of Washington! Thank you Melissa for a fun evening and delicious food.

What I loved about this book was the cross section of history — this crew competed in the 1936 Olympics where their lives intersected with Jesse Owens, Louis Zamperini, Leni Riefenstahl, Hitler, of course, and more important than Hitler, Hugh Laurie’s dad! The other aspect that pushed it up to a five star book for me was the author’s apparent appreciation of these boys/men and the way he was able to capture their spirit on paper.