Thursday, April 21, 2016

Author Talk: Daniel James Brown

Last night, two friends from my book group and I attended a huge event for author Daniel James Brown. His nonfiction book, The Boys in the Boat, was the choice for our All-County Reads book this year. My book group unanimously loved the book (a rarity) - you can read my review at the link, if you've somehow missed it after 99 weeks on the best-seller list! I've gone to a lot of these county-sponsored author talks before, but this was the largest crowd I have ever seen!

Dan gave an interesting and engaging talk about the book, how he wrote it, and the real-life events that inspired it. He even brought along a video clip of the actual 1938 Olympic gold medal rowing race in Berlin, which was really amazing. During the Q & A period, a child asked him who his favorite author was, besides himself (ha ha). Dan explained how Laura Hillenbrand's books, Seabiscuit and Unbroken, were especially captivating and inspiring to him, and how he spent many hours studying both books and trying to emulate Hillenbrand's way of making a real-life story as compelling as a well-written novel.

His recap of the book, the film, and his reading of a few short passages reminded me of just how inspiring and well-written The Boys in the Boat is. As my friend said, "Even though I knew from the subtitle on the cover how the story ends, I was still on the edge of my seat reading the book."

I came home and told my husband he has to read this one, too!

Have you heard any favorite authors talk lately? Do you like attending author events?

If you haven't had a chance to hear Daniel James Brown speak, here is a similar event he did at the bookstore Politics and Prose in Washington, DC, in 2013:



  1. This was our All-County Reads book last year and we attended the finale which Brown spoke. It was a very memorable evening.

    1. Yes, he was very entertaining here, too - but probably especially intriguing to people from the region he wrote about! Glad you got to hear him speak, too.