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
- Books About The Sport of Rowing
- Books About World War 2
- Other Similar Sports Books
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