125471My New Jersey book club, Ladies Who Lunch, has been in existence since 1999 when several retired teachers decided to combine food, books, and conversation. The winning trifecta for an afternoon.

On a recent trip back to NJ and the LWL meeting, it was happily as if I had never moved the 2500 miles to Tucson, Arizona.

This month’s book (Jan. 2015) was The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. It was unanimous that we all enjoyed the book and became immersed in that period of history and the gripping story.

Here are some comments from eight women, all retired teachers who either were young children during the ’40s or are baby boomers, and only one of us with any experience rowing (at Smith College):

“Amazed me how the author could get the heart rate going.”

“I couldn’t put it down.”

“I like how he wove in historic events of the US and Germany. It made it more relatable to me.”

“Joyce and Joe’s relationship was inspiring.”


“Made me think about trust, teamwork, and American values.”

“Made me feel a part of the book.”

“Joe became very real, especially his childhood and how Joyce and the rowers became like his family.”

Combining reading (hardcover, paperback and Kindle) with technology, we went from the lunch table to You Tube and viewed part of Leni Reifenstahl’s   “The Triumph of the Will” and the actual Olympic film clip of the “Eights.”

An engrossing book that combines a triumphant personal story with a national US victory at the 1936 Olympics.