Lessons in Chemistry [book]

Collection of interesting links and online articles pertaining to rowing.
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HornetMaX
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Lessons in Chemistry [book]

Post by HornetMaX » January 14th, 2024, 1:29 pm

I know there's a recent TV series but on an advice from a friend I decided to read the book first.

Very funny and thought provoking per se. But there's also some rowing/erging involved and well, if you are a rower or if you know a rower, you'll probably find these parts absolutely hilarious and 100% spot on.

My entire family is reading it, we may want to look at the tv series one everybody is done.
1973, 5'8" (173cm), LW, started rowing Sep 2021 (after 10 years of being a couch potato), c2 log

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Aquaman
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Re: Lessons in Chemistry [book]

Post by Aquaman » January 18th, 2024, 6:32 pm

At first, I thought this post was mis-placed. I've not read the book but did a quick analysis to understand why it might be relevant. Apparently the author uses rowing as a methaphor, perhaps in not a positive light, but probably not far from what people might consider as "row bros". Here's a quote I excerpted online:

“On top of his grudge holding, he had a reputation for impatience. Like so many brilliant people, Calvin just couldn’t understand how no one else got it. He was also an introvert, which isn’t really a flaw but often manifests itself as standoffishness. Worst of all, he was a rower. As any non-rower can tell you, rowers are not fun. This is because rowers only ever want to talk about rowing. Get two or more rowers in a room and the conversation goes from normal topics like work or weather to long, pointless stories about boats, blisters, oars, grips, ergs, feathers, workouts, catches, releases, recoveries, splits, seats, strokes, slides, starts, settles, sprints, and whether the water was really “flat” or not. From there, it usually progresses to what went wrong on the last row, what might go wrong on the next row, and whose fault it was and/or will be. At some point the rowers will hold out their hands and compare calluses. If you’re really unlucky, this could be followed by several minutes of head-bowing reverence as one of them recounts the perfect row where it all felt easy.”

Thanks for sharing! I may still not read the book, but my daughter did and I'll check with her.

HornetMaX
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Re: Lessons in Chemistry [book]

Post by HornetMaX » January 19th, 2024, 4:25 am

Aquaman wrote:
January 18th, 2024, 6:32 pm
Apparently the author uses rowing as a methaphor, perhaps in not a positive light, but probably not far from what people might consider as "row bros".
Don't judge it by a few lines.

BTW, the author (Bonnie Garmus) is ... a rower.
1973, 5'8" (173cm), LW, started rowing Sep 2021 (after 10 years of being a couch potato), c2 log

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Aquaman
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Re: Lessons in Chemistry [book]

Post by Aquaman » January 19th, 2024, 7:26 am

Yes, I wouldn’t judge the book by those lines, nor its title or cover - all of which are suggestive but not representative of the whole. I’ve since read a synopsis but that also wouldn’t do justice to the author’s prose or plot. So for those who did read it, and given the author’s experience as a rower, does it give the sport a lift? Seems like it at least is giving it good exposure.

HornetMaX
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Re: Lessons in Chemistry [book]

Post by HornetMaX » January 19th, 2024, 9:59 am

Aquaman wrote:
January 19th, 2024, 7:26 am
So for those who did read it, and given the author’s experience as a rower, does it give the sport a lift? Seems like it at least is giving it good exposure.
My take: exposure for sure. I don't want to spoil stuff but I can say it makes a bit of fun of rowers, but in a way I find surprisingly accurate and fair.
Thing that made sense once I discovered the author is a rower: it's written on the 4th cover page, I only read it when I was like 75% in the book.
1973, 5'8" (173cm), LW, started rowing Sep 2021 (after 10 years of being a couch potato), c2 log

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Yankeerunner
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Re: Lessons in Chemistry [book]

Post by Yankeerunner » February 20th, 2024, 10:19 am

Excellent book. It was my favorite of the 20 or so books that I read last year. Enough about rowing to keep any rower interested, and generally written in a style that's 'can't-put-down.' I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it.
55-59: 1:33.5 3:19.2 6:55.7 18:22.0 2:47:26.5
60-64: 1:35.9 3:23.8 7:06.7 18:40.8 2:48:53.6
65-69: 1:38.6 3:31.9 7:19.2 19:26.6 3:02:06.0
70-74: 1:40.2 3:33.4 7:32.6 19:50.5 3:06:36.8
75-76: 1:43.9 3:47.7 7:50.2 20:51.3 3:13:55.7

Dangerscouse
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Re: Lessons in Chemistry [book]

Post by Dangerscouse » February 20th, 2024, 5:23 pm

You've all convinced me to buy the book. No idea when I'll get a chance to read it as I've already got a big stack to read.
50 HWT; 6' 4"; 1k= 3:09; 2k= 6:36; 5k= 17:19; 6k= 20:47; 10k= 35:46 30mins= 8,488m 60mins= 16,618m HM= 1:16.47; FM= 2:40:41; 50k= 3:16:09; 100k= 7:52:44; 12hrs = 153km

"You reap what you row"

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Yankeerunner
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Re: Lessons in Chemistry [book]

Post by Yankeerunner » February 21st, 2024, 6:33 am

Aquaman wrote:
January 18th, 2024, 6:32 pm
At first, I thought this post was mis-placed. I've not read the book but did a quick analysis to understand why it might be relevant. Apparently the author uses rowing as a methaphor, perhaps in not a positive light, but probably not far from what people might consider as "row bros". Here's a quote I excerpted online:

“On top of his grudge holding, he had a reputation for impatience. Like so many brilliant people, Calvin just couldn’t understand how no one else got it. He was also an introvert, which isn’t really a flaw but often manifests itself as standoffishness. Worst of all, he was a rower. As any non-rower can tell you, rowers are not fun. This is because rowers only ever want to talk about rowing. Get two or more rowers in a room and the conversation goes from normal topics like work or weather to long, pointless stories about boats, blisters, oars, grips, ergs, feathers, workouts, catches, releases, recoveries, splits, seats, strokes, slides, starts, settles, sprints, and whether the water was really “flat” or not. From there, it usually progresses to what went wrong on the last row, what might go wrong on the next row, and whose fault it was and/or will be. At some point the rowers will hold out their hands and compare calluses. If you’re really unlucky, this could be followed by several minutes of head-bowing reverence as one of them recounts the perfect row where it all felt easy.”

Thanks for sharing! I may still not read the book, but my daughter did and I'll check with her.
In the magazine Rowing News, Dr. Rowing responded to this excerpt thusly:

Dr. Rowing's comment on that paragraph in Rowing News (January 2023)
"You will be surprised to hear a rower say that, rather than being a comic exaggeration, this passage is criminally understated. We also converse about the perfect pitch (not the musical kind), outboard pitch, spacing, run, yoga and stretching, the proper pre-race warmup, Ted Nash, the disappearing American collegiate rower, sleep and training, wooden boats, races lost by coxswains, a race won by a coxswain, whether George Clooney will nail it in the film version of 'The Boys In The Boat,' whether the proliferation of unis has led to the downfall of toughness, and races we should have won."
:lol:
55-59: 1:33.5 3:19.2 6:55.7 18:22.0 2:47:26.5
60-64: 1:35.9 3:23.8 7:06.7 18:40.8 2:48:53.6
65-69: 1:38.6 3:31.9 7:19.2 19:26.6 3:02:06.0
70-74: 1:40.2 3:33.4 7:32.6 19:50.5 3:06:36.8
75-76: 1:43.9 3:47.7 7:50.2 20:51.3 3:13:55.7

HornetMaX
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Re: Lessons in Chemistry [book]

Post by HornetMaX » February 21st, 2024, 10:20 am

It would be very hard to argue that the book exaggerates the rowers' quirks on this forum :)
1973, 5'8" (173cm), LW, started rowing Sep 2021 (after 10 years of being a couch potato), c2 log

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jackarabit
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Re: Lessons in Chemistry [book]

Post by jackarabit » May 30th, 2024, 2:04 pm

No mention of crooked keels in bulkheaded 8’s?
There are two types of people in this world: Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data

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Dangerscouse
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Re: Lessons in Chemistry [book]

Post by Dangerscouse » May 30th, 2024, 4:05 pm

I'm not far off finishing this book, and it's very good. Admittedly, any reference to rowing in a novel is going to make it easier for me to enjoy, but notwithstanding that it is well worth a read for a change from my usual historical fiction etc
50 HWT; 6' 4"; 1k= 3:09; 2k= 6:36; 5k= 17:19; 6k= 20:47; 10k= 35:46 30mins= 8,488m 60mins= 16,618m HM= 1:16.47; FM= 2:40:41; 50k= 3:16:09; 100k= 7:52:44; 12hrs = 153km

"You reap what you row"

Instagram: stuwenman

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