Book About Olympic Glory Wins 2014 One Read Vote

The non-fiction narrative “The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown won the 2014 One Read vote by a wide margin. It’s the third time a non-fiction book has been selected for One Read.

“Even though the reader knows the outcome of the story, it is still a captivating saga of how a group of ragtag college boys rise to the challenge of being champions,” said Doyne McKenzie, Daniel Boone Regional Library (DBRL) collections manager and One Read co-chair.

An uplifting and fast-paced Cinderella story, this nonfiction work describes the journey of nine working class young men from the University of Washington as they row their way out of obscurity and into the gold-medal race at the 1936 Olympic games in Hitler’s Berlin. The story of poor, twice-abandoned Joe Rantz anchors this cinematic tale of passion and perseverance set against the struggles of the Great Depression and a looming second World War.

Earlier this year readers submitted more than 100 book suggestions. The reading panel helped narrow the list to the two finalists and people voted for their preferred title for this year’s One Read selection. "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" by Ben Fountain was the other book in the running this year.

“The books explore patriotism through contrasting lenses, with groups of young men facing different sets of challenges," said Sally Abromovich, One Read co-chair and DBRL librarian. The volunteer community task force is now working on related programming for September. “We’ve talked about a number of different related topics for our fall programming, such as the Depression, Hitler’s Germany, boat making, teamwork, and local Olympians” said Lauren Williams, One Read co-chair and DBRL librarian. The group is in the process of finding a date the author can come to Columbia.

One Read, now in its thirteenth year, is a community-wide reading program coordinated by Daniel Boone Regional Library and cosponsored by a task force of local businesses, agencies, academic institutions and other groups that encourages adults of all ages to read and discuss a single book.

More information about submitted titles and related One Read topics can be found at

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