Boys in the Boat, Daniel James Brown, 2013

Reading like a page-turner mystery, though you know the outcome from the first page, this is a terrific tale of how the University of Washington crew team filled with sons of farmers, loggers, and hard scrabble laborers travelled to Berlin to win the gold medal in the 8 man crew race by beating Germany by 0.6 seconds in the Nazi Olympics of 1936.  Interweaving the stories of one of the crew members, Joe Rantz, abandoned by his family at the age of 12, the Husky crew in the 1930’s with their obsessed coach, Al Ulbrickson, and their British boat designer, George Pocock, and the darkening cloud of Nazi Germany , Brown combines the sweep of history (Dust Bowl, Depression, world war) with the individual stories of the crew members, coaches, etc to write a wonderful story.