Books Like The Boys in the Boat

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown is a wonderful book about the University of Washington rowing team, which competed in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. The book takes a detailed look at the lives of the nine men on the oar crew. These young men grew up during the depression and would fight in World War 2. This book is also a great introduction to the sport of rowing.

If you are looking for books like Boys in the Boat here are 14 books to inspire you.

I’ve organized them into four main groups: 

Books About the 1936 Olympics

The 1936 Olympics in Berlin was a historic Summer Olympics. Held only a few years before the start of World War 2. Adolf Hitler wanted to showcase his countries facilities and invited the world to Berlin. These Olympics were the first to be televised. The games are well remembered for the rise of Jesse Owens, but also have other great stories. Here are some book recommendations about the 1936 Olympics.

Fast Girls: A Novel of the 1936 Women’s Olympic Team by Elise Hooper

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand

Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler’s Olympics by Jeremy Schaap

Books About The Sport of Rowing

If you enjoyed the rowing aspect of The Boys in the Boat, then check out these classic books about the sport of rowing. Teamwork is necessary for a successful rowing team and each of these books tells the story of teamwork, leadership, and endurance.

Assault on Lake Casitas by Brad Alan Lewis

The Amateurs: The Story of Four Young Men and Their Quest for an Olympic Gold Medal by David Halberstram

Blood Over Water by James Livingston

The Red Rose Crew: A True Story of Women, Winning, And the Water by Daniel Boyne

Rowing to Latitude: Journeys Along the Arctic’s Edge by Jill Fredston

The Wonder Crew: The Untold Story of a Coach, Navy Rowing, and Olympic Immortality by Susan Saint Sing

Books About World War 2

If you liked the historical time period of The Boys in the Boat then check out these great historical and non-fiction books about World War 2.

Flags of Our Fathers by James D. Bradley

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Other Similar Sports/Adventure Books

Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand

Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing

Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

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