One Book One Bloomfield 2017

“All were merged into one smoothly working machine; they were,
in fact, a poem of motion, a symphony of swinging blades.”
~ Daniel James Brown, The Boys in the Boat


The Bloomfield Public Libraries are sponsoring the sixth annual ONE BOOK ONE BLOOMFIELD program this fall. It is a community wide discussion using one book to discuss our lives, our concerns and our experiences through the story of the characters in the selected book. All readers are invited to participate by reading the one book selection: The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown, and attending one or more events planned at the libraries.

Book groups in town are encouraged to select this book to discuss in their planned fall discussions. Join in this opportunity to bring many members of our community together to explore varied interpretations of ONE BOOK. Our conversations will be made richer by broad participation of many people in Bloomfield.

About the Book

The Boys in the Boat celebrates the 1936 U.S. men’s Olympic eight-oar rowing team—nine working class boys who stormed the rowing world, transformed the sport, and galvanized the attention of millions of Americans.

The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers from the American West, the boys took on and defeated successive echelons of privilege and power. They vanquished the sons of bankers and senators rowing for elite eastern universities. They defeated the sons of British aristocrats rowing for Oxford and Cambridge. And finally, in an extraordinary race in Berlin they stunned the Aryan sons of the Nazi state as they rowed for gold in front of Adolf Hitler.

Against the grim backdrop of the Great Depression, they reaffirmed the American notion that merit, in the end, outweighs birthright. They reminded the country of what can be done when everyone quite literally pulls together. And they provided hope that in the titanic struggle that lay just ahead, the ruthless might of the Nazis would not prevail over American grit, determination, and optimism.

And even as it chronicles the boys’ collective achievement, The Boys in the Boat is also the heart warming story of one young man in particular. Cast aside by his family at an early age, abandoned and left to fend for himself, Joe Rantz rows not just for glory, but to regain his shattered self-regard, to dare again to trust in others, and to find his way back to a place he can call home.”

(Book description courtesy of author Daniel James Brown’s website.)

Schedule of Events

One Book One Bloomfield is a community wide book discussion and more. All are invited to participate in the various events planned during September and October. See the library’s event calendar to register for these programs and view all upcoming library events.

Rowing Lesson at Riverside Park
Tuesday, September 19, 5:30 PM at Riverside Park in Hartford

Join us for an opportunity to participate in a rowing lesson at Riverside Park! Experts at Riverfront Recapture will teach participants the basics of rowing. Get a taste of what The Boys in the Boat did and learn what rowing is all about. This is an Intro to Rowing class, learn the basics of the rowing stroke on the ergometers and in a training boat.

Space is limited, registration is required.The lesson will begin at the Riverfront Boathouse in Hartford’s Riverside Park. Traveling south on 91 take exit 33, Jennings Road, left at the off-ramp light, right at the stop sign, left into Riverside Park, drive to the Boathouse at 20 Leibert Road.

Documentary Film: The Boys of ’36
Thursday, October 5, 6:00 PM at Prosser Public Library

In 1936, nine boys from the University of Washington took the rowing world and a nation by storm, when their eight-oar crew team captured the gold medal at the Olympics in Berlin. The boys’ victory, and their obstacles, inspired a nation struggling to emerge from the depths of the Depression. Narrated by Oliver Platt. Running time: 60 minutes. Originally produced as an episode of American Experience in 2016. Rated TVPG.

See the documentary and stay for discussion afterward of the film and this year’s ONE BOOK, The Boys in the Boat.

Crew Talk
Monday, October 9, 6:00 PM at Prosser Public Library

Crew coaches at Trinity College, Heather Barney and Kevin MacDermott will be at Prosser along with Katie Oullette from the Farmington Valley Rowing Association to talk about rowing in conjunction with Bloomfield’s ONE BOOK, The Boys in the Boat. Registration is appreciated.

Book Discussions
Thursday, October 12,6:30 PM at McMahon Wintonbury Library
Monday, October 16, 6:30 PM at Prosser Public Library
Monday, October 23, 2:00 PM at Prosser Public Library

All readers are welcome to all the ONE BOOK events and book discussions this month. Copies of the book, The Boys in the Boat, Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, by Daniel James Brown, are available at the library August through October, 2017. Registration is appreciated.