Rolla Public Library's Online Book Club discussion

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
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August 2020 > August BotM "The Boys in the Boat"

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message 1: by Rolla (new)

Rolla Public Library (rollapubliclibrary) | 515 comments Mod
When I reserved this book last year, I thought it would coincide nicely with the 2020 Summer Olympics. Obviously that didn't go as planned, but I think the book should still be very interesting! - Katy


Cheryl struggles to catch up (cherylllr) I've got my copy! I can't promise that I'll read it in time, but I hope to do so, as it does look interesting indeed.


Ralph McEwen | 22 comments I have started the audio book.


Ralph McEwen | 22 comments I have finished the book. This book does what I like in a historical story. I know what will happen, but the telling of how it happened still manages to keep you engaged. This book tells of the hardships endured in the 1930s and how these amazing people came together to accomplish a goal that nobody thought they could. It does make me think about, if its the struggle that is necessary or if the people involved would have reached the heights if the path was clear and easy.


Cheryl struggles to catch up (cherylllr) Good point, I think you're right. Adversity can be motivating, and luxury, enervating.

I gave up on the book; it's just not my thing. But I have a question.

In the beginning we're told that rowing is a matter of intelligence. I can see strength being needed, and a sort of transcendent teamwork, but what does having a keen brain have to do with it?


message 6: by Ralph (last edited Aug 28, 2020 03:22PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ralph McEwen | 22 comments The intelligence required as I read it show up in different ways. The Coxswain has to use the most intelligence. He has to know his team, what motivates them, how much they have to give, call the stroke, steer the boat, read race conditions (the water and wind). The Rows have to be able to judge the strength to apply to each stroke so to be in sync with the other rowers and at the pace set by the coxswain. They also have to understand their bodies to position the hands, feet, back and head which changes within the stroke and desired effect. They also must be able to mentally overcome the bodies desire to stop the pain. There is also the strategy of the race, whether to start quickly or slowly. What code the coxswain is calling as the race changes during the run. They don't call in plain English so the other teams don't over hear their plans. I sure there is much more but that my understanding.


message 7: by Ralph (last edited Aug 28, 2020 03:25PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ralph McEwen | 22 comments I find it hard to fathom how they managed to practice and compete while holding menial jobs that barely fed them and put a roof over their heads.


Cheryl struggles to catch up (cherylllr) Thanks!

It does sound like a good book for the right audience.


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