Book Notification

Daniel James Brown Books In Order

Book links take you to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn money from qualifying purchases.

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Under a Flaming Sky (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Indifferent Stars Above (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Boys in the Boat (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Facing the Mountain (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Daniel James Brown is an American writer of nonfiction books. His major interest is bringing compelling historical events, making them as accurate and vivid as they occurred before. Brown grew up in San Francisco Bay Area and went to Diablo Valley College, University of California, and UCLA.

He was a teacher of writing at San Jose State University and Stanford before becoming a full-time writer. His novel The Boys in the Boat became a New York Times bestseller which narrates the story of nine Americans and Their Quest to win gold in the 1936 Berlin Olympic

The Boys in The Boat
The book tells the story of the University of Washington crew in 1936 and their adventurous quest for the Olympic gold medal. The crew changed the game and caught the attention of uncountable people in Americans.

The boys who formed the crew came from ordinary families and defeated elite opponents, first and later German crew representing Adolf Hitler in the games. At the center of the story is one rower, Joe Rantz, a teenage boy with no family and rows not only for glory but to gain purpose.

The crew is held together by a supportive team mentored by a visionary British boat constructor. It’s their trust in one another that makes them win in the Olympics. They serve as a reminder to the country for what can be done when people come together driven by commitment, positive minds, and determination.
The 1936 Olympics was mostly remembered because of Jesse Owen’s victory that got him four gold medals, but people don’t realize the Washington crew won
against great odds. How the victory happened and how a team of prominent athletes became great competitors has taken James Brown a whole five years trying to communicate.

The author captures the historical importance of the boy’s efforts taking readers into Hitler’s Germany during the preparations of the Olympics. He also gives the reader a glimpse into Joseph Goebbel’s ministry of propaganda.

The main lesson in the story is beating the odds and finding hope during the most desperate moments of one’s life. It’s refreshing to read this story of boys from America who, in the desperate moments of depression, proved to the whole world that nothing is impossible with hope and determination

The story features quotes of legend and boat designer George Pocock sharing his experience he had while watching individuals unite to form a team. Brown shows much respect in memory of all great crews and their immeasurable determination to be among the crew in the number-one Boat. The Boat would go to compete against the world’s elite in Berlin.

The author vividly describes crew training with national races against the IV League in Poughkeepsie while highlighting the developments in a military Germany. He also gives some information on the early life of Rower, Joe Rantz, and details of his wife’s experiences.

The book serves as a motivational story of Joe, his wife Joyce, and the rest of the crew members that won the Berlin Olympics. It alternates between Joe’s childhood and at the time when he was a student at the University. The author partially highlights Joe’s perseverance in depression and his teams’ quest to participate in the Olympics.

He lived a good life during his childhood, but life takes a different turn immediately after his month passes away. His father remarries, and the stepmom doesn’t want to see him, forcing him to leave home at the age of ten.

Joe was abandoned by his father and stepmother and left to live on his own as a teenager. He works his way and makes it to college, where he lived in the university gym since he had nowhere else to go. Joining the university rowing team was a way of keeping himself busy. He was forced to work between semesters, including working in a construction site during the summer to get enough money for his tuition.

The book is a testament to the power of sacrifice, trust, and hope in yourself and other people as it speaks well to great things that can be achieved once one believes in themselves. Even when you’ve no single hint or interest in rowing, you’ll still find the book interesting.

It’s refreshing how the boys’ crew overcame all the odds and the race day catastrophes to present an amazing win they have ever seen. The book also captures the development of the Nazi regime as they rose in power during preparations for the 1936 Olympics. Stories of washing the towns to cover up poverty and the new oppression of Jews and the minorities are extremely distressing.

The stories of the propaganda machine and the wool pulled caught the attention of the world. Brown goes the extra mile to give a list of things the athletes never saw on that day.

The Indifferent Stars Above The Harrowing Saga of a Donner Party Bride
The book explains the tragedy suffered by members of the Donnor party while focusing on Sarah Graves. She’s newlywed traveling with her family in the company of other people as they look for a better life. They met at the Donnor party, where the host was George Donnor, crossing the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
The trip was not so easy, and some people lost their lives even before the storm hit. The terrain they traveled in was rough as children passed away in accidents while animals hurt their feet caused by the rocks.

After the massive storm, Sarah and fourteen other people began moving on snowshoes to California, where they suffered freezing, starvation among other horrors. Out of 83 people stuck on the mountain, only 45 got to California.

They faced hard choices and fought so hard but couldn’t make it. They were fighting against ambiguous odds and did all they could. The story is narrated from Sarah’s perspective as the author discusses the decisions made by her and her family.

Brown has done a lot of research concerning the book connecting to the Donner party that happened in the United States in real life. The author not only covers the lives of the emigrant but also a vivid description of starvation and doing everything possible to keep your family alive.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Daniel James Brown

One Response to “Daniel James Brown”

  1. Robert William Przychodniecz: 3 months ago

    I have just finished reading “The Boys in the Boat”. I Became interested as the movie was coming out. I didn’t want to see the movie without reading the book first. After reading the book and reading what they did with the movie I am not moved to see it as I think I may be disappointed. The book is so much more that a sports story. The Boys in the boat is by far the best nonfiction books I have ever read. It may well be the best book I have ever read. I want to thank Mr. Brown and all involved with bringing this story to life. It was truly exciting to read.


Leave a Reply