Book of the Month: The Boys in the Boat

Our August Book of the Month is Daniel James Brown’s The Boys in the Boat, the #1 New York Times Bestselling story about nine working-class college kids who triumphed over Nazi Germany in the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. If you have yet to try or digital audiobooks, consider downloading a free 43-minute excerpt of The Boys in the Boat today!


“The individual stories of these young men are almost as compelling as the rise of the team itself. Brown excels at weaving those stories with the larger narrative, all culminating in the 1936 Olympic Games…A story this breathtaking demands an equally compelling author, and Brown does not disappoint. The narrative rises inexorably, with the final 50 pages blurring by with white-knuckled suspense as these all-American underdogs pull off the unimaginable.”
—The Seattle Times

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Join readers and listeners all month on social media to discuss The Boys in The Boat. Use the hashtag #boysintheboat and find us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

PBS recently released a documentary about the 1936 Olympic Crew team, The Boys of ’36. See the trailer below or watch Chapter #1 on

You can watch Daniel James Brown speak about the The Boys in the Boat at Washington D.C.’s independent bookstore, Politics and Prose.

What’s Popular in Indie Bookstores This Month

Seven bestselling audiobooks that deserve your attention.


Everybody’s Fool

By Richard Russo

Russo, at the very top of his game, returns to North Bath, New York, and the characters from his beloved novel Nobody’s Fool.

“While any new book from Richard Russo is a cause for celebration, to have one that revisits the characters from a beloved classic feels like a gift from the literary gods… No one writes better about the quirks, petty jealousies, hard times, humor, and heartbreak of small-town America.”

– Shawn D. / Powell’s, Portland, OR


The Gene

By Siddhartha Mukherjee

Mukherjee animates the quest to understand human heredity and its surprising influence on our lives, personalities, identities, fates, and choices.

“In the last century, nuclear science changed the world; today, genetics has us again on the brink of a new age, but now it’s not just the world we’re remaking—it’s ourselves. Mukherjee skillfully retraces our steps, relating what we suspected about genetics before we found genes, how we learned to read their code, and, now, how we may rewrite it.”

– Laurie G. / Politics and Prose, Washington, D.C.



By Louise Erdrich

The masterful new novel by the National Book Award-winning author of The Roundhouse.

“In LaRose Erdrich does what she does best, creating a multi-generational portrait of a family with careful attention paid to nearly every person mentioned; there are no side characters here, only finely sketched individuals who are part of a whole. Reading this book feels a lot like becoming part of that family.”

– Devon D. / Book Culture, New York, NY


The Nest

By Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

Sweeney’s warm, funny, and perceptive debut novel about four adult siblings and the fate of their shared inheritance.

“Welcome to the strikingly dysfunctional Plumb family: four siblings connected by little more than The Nest, a joint trust fund that each has earmarked to support their unrealistic lifestyles…Sweeney artfully touches on each family member as they scramble to save the precarious lives they have built for themselves, bringing light and humor to her characters’ various plights.”

– Jennifer Oleinik (E) / University BookStore, Seattle, WA


Lab Girl

By Hope Jahren

This illuminating debut memoir by acclaimed scientist Jahren is also a moving portrait of a longtime friendship, and a stunningly fresh look at plants that will forever change how you see the natural world.

“With good humor, plenty of science, scattered literary allusions and the occasional sarcastic zinger, Hope Jahren’s Lab Girl is a sublime memoir of a plant research scientist and her struggles to find professional success, love and family.”

– Bruce Jacobs / Watermark Books and Café, Wichita, KS


Shoe Dog

By Phil Knight

Nike founder Knight shares the inside story of one of the world’s most iconic and profitable brands.

“I’ve known Phil Knight since I was a kid, but I didn’t really know him until I opened this beautiful, startling, intimate book. And the same goes for Nike. I’ve worn the gear, with pride, but I didn’t realize the remarkable saga of innovation and survival and triumph that stood behind every swoosh. Candid, funny, suspenseful, literary—this is a memoir for people who love sport, but above all it’s a memoir for people who love memoirs.”

– Andre Agassi / Author of Open


Zero K

By Don DeLillo

DeLillo’s brilliant new novel is an ode to language, a meditation on death, and an embrace of life.

“The author of the masterpieces White Noise and Underworld returns to form with a haunting novel about what it means to die in the age of ultrasophisticated biology and cryogenics. Like a wonderfully intelligent and benevolent alien being, DeLillo brings an outsider’s perspective to modern life, helping us understand and define who we are.”

– Rico / BookShop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA