Boys in the Boat named One Book, One Community selection for 2017

Choice reflects community’s designation as co-host of the 2017 World Rowing Championships

Image courtesy Sarasota County
Image courtesy Sarasota County

Daniel James Brown’s New York Times best-seller The Boys in the Boat has been named the 2017 selection for the Sarasota County Libraries and Historical Resources Department’s popular One Book, One Community program.

The Boys in the Boat is the true story of a group of young working-class men at the University of Washington “who ultimately shocked the world by defeating the most talented rowing teams at the 1936 Berlin Olympics,” a news release explains. Brown used the young men’s own journals “to recreate the epic adventure,” which is also the inspiration for a PBS documentary, The Boys of ’36, the release adds.

Libraries and Historical Resources Director Sarabeth Kalajian says in the release that the book was a natural choice for 2017’s One Book program because Sarasota County and Manatee County will host the 2017 World Rowing Championships at Nathan Benderson Park near University Parkway.

The Boys in the Boat is a captivating tale of triumph over adversity that’s rich in historical context and strong characters,” adds Kalajian in the release. “As the eyes of the world will be on Sarasota and Bradenton for the 2017 World Rowing Championships, reading this fascinating true story also offers the opportunity for an increased appreciation of rowing.”

“The One Book concept was created in 1996 to help foster a shared love of reading by encouraging everyone within a community to read and discuss the same book concurrently,” the release explains. “Sarasota County introduced its One Book program in 2003 as a way of connecting the area’s diverse mix of intergenerational, multinational, permanent, part-time, transient and multicultural residents,” the release points out.

Originally, the program recognized local authors, but over the past several years, it has expanded to world-renowned writers, the release continues. “Each summer, a committee selects the book, and in January, the committee hosts a public event for the author to discuss the book with the public. Sarasota County is partnering with the World Rowing Championships team at Benderson Park to bring author Brown to Sarasota on Jan. 26 for a luncheon and evening program, the release says. More information about both events will be available soon at the One Book website,

Anyone can participate in One Book One Community by attending an event or hosting a book discussion group, serving as a book discussion group leader or hosting a film or online discussion, the release explains. To learn more, or for complete programming information, visit, or call the county Contact Center at 861-5000.