Author: Lynn Sherr
Swim is a celebration of swimming and the effect it has on our lives. It’s an inquiry into why we swim—the lure, the hold, the timeless magic of being in the water. It’s a look at how swimming has changed over the millennia, how this ancient activity is becoming more social than solitary today. It’s about our relationship with the water, with our fishy forebearers, and with the costumes that we wear. You’ll even find a few songs to sing when you push out those next laps. Swimming enthusiast Lynn Sherr explores every aspect of the sport, from the biology of swimming to the fame of Esther Williams; from turquoise pools and wild water to the training of Olympians; and she reveals the secret of buoyancy so that anyone can avoid the example of the English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, who lamented, “Why can’t I swim, it seems so very easy?” When his friend, the biographer Edward John Trelawny, said, “because you think you can’t,” Shelley plunged into Italy’s Arno River and dropped like a rock. With Swim, you can avoid that happening to you.
The Joy of Swimming
Author: Lisa Congdon
Publisher: Chronicle Books
From Lisa Congdon, bestselling author of Whatever You Are, Be a Good One, this lovely new book invites readers to dip into the many joys of swimming. Congdon brings her personal passion as a lifelong swimmer to this beautiful and thoughtful celebration of getting in the water. Hand-lettered inspirational quotes, watercolor portraits paired with real people's personal stories, illustrated collections of vintage objects—colorful swim caps, bathing suits through the ages, traditional pool signs—and much more evoke the beauty and inspiration of the subject. An emphasis on swimming as a way of life—taking the leap, going with the flow—makes this delightful volume one that will speak to serious swimmers, vacation paddlers, and anyone pondering their next high dive.
At once inspiring, hilarious, and honest, the new book from Alexandra Heminsley chronicles her endeavor to tackle a whole new element, and the ensuing challenges and joys of open water swimming. “It's a meditative act,” they said. But it was far from meditative for Alexandra Heminsley when yet another wave slammed into her face. It was survival. When she laced up her shoes in Running Like a Girl, all she had to do to become a runner was to get out there and run. But swimming was something else entirely. The water was all-consuming, confusing her every move, sabotaging every breath. Determined, Alexandra would learn to adapt, find new strengths, and learn to work with the water. She does not want to stand on the beach looking at the sea any longer. She wants to leap in. In doing so she will learn not just how to accept herself, but how to accept what lay beyond. Soon, she will be able to see water, anywhere in the world and sense not fear but adventure. She will dive into water as she hopes to dive into life. And it has nothing to do with being “sporty” or being the correct shape for a swimsuit. Open water swimming is currently one of the fastest growing sports in the world, and marathon swimming is the only sport where men and women do not race in separate categories. The water welcomes all who are willing and prepared to take part, and as Alexandra shows in her wondrous and funny book, not knowing how to do something is not necessarily a weakness—strength lies within the desire to learn. The time is now to leap in, and revel in what you thought was beyond you, discovering that it was only ever you holding you back.
A memoir from the open-water swimmer in which "we see Cox finding her way, writing about her transformative journey back toward health, and slowly moving toward the one aspect of her life that meant everything to her--freedom, mastery, transcendence--back to open waters, and the surprise that she never saw coming: falling in love"--Dust jacket flap.
• At age fourteen, she swam twenty-six miles from Catalina Island to the California mainland. • At ages fifteen and sixteen, she broke the men’s and women’s world records for swimming the English Channel—a thirty-three-mile crossing in nine hours, thirty-six minutes. • At eighteen, she swam the twenty-mile Cook Strait between North and South Islands of New Zealand, was caught on a massive swell, found herself after five hours farther from the finish than when she started, and still completed the swim. • She was the first to swim the Strait of Magellan, the most treacherous three-mile stretch of water in the world. • The first to swim the Bering Strait—the channel that forms the boundary line between the United States and Russia—from Alaska to Siberia, thereby opening the U.S.-Soviet border for the first time in forty-eight years, swimming in thirty-eight-degree water in four-foot waves without a shark cage, wet suit, or lanolin grease. • The first to swim the Cape of Good Hope (a shark emerged from the kelp, its jaws wide open, and was shot as it headed straight for her). In this extraordinary book, the world’s most extraordinary distance swimmer writes about her emotional and spiritual need to swim and about the almost mystical act of swimming itself. Lynne Cox trained hard from age nine, working with an Olympic coach, swimming five to twelve miles each day in the Pacific. At age eleven, she swam even when hail made the water “like cold tapioca pudding” and was told she would one day swim the English Channel. Four years later—not yet out of high school—she broke the men’s and women’s world records for the Channel swim. In 1987, she swam the Bering Strait from America to the Soviet Union—a feat that, according to Gorbachev, helped diminish tensions between Russia and the United States. Lynne Cox’s relationship with the water is almost mystical: she describes swimming as flying, and remembers swimming at night through flocks of flying fish the size of mockingbirds, remembers being escorted by a pod of dolphins that came to her off New Zealand. She has a photographic memory of her swims. She tells us how she conceived of, planned, and trained for each, and re-creates for us the experience of swimming (almost) unswimmable bodies of water, including her most recent astonishing one-mile swim to Antarctica in thirty-two-degree water without a wet suit. She tells us how, through training and by taking advantage of her naturally plump physique, she is able to create more heat in the water than she loses. Lynne Cox has swum the Mediterranean, the three-mile Strait of Messina, under the ancient bridges of Kunning Lake, below the old summer palace of the emperor of China in Beijing. Breaking records no longer interests her. She writes about the ways in which these swims instead became vehicles for personal goals, how she sees herself as the lone swimmer among the waves, pitting her courage against the odds, drawn to dangerous places and treacherous waters that, since ancient times, have challenged sailors in ships. From the Hardcover edition.
I Love to Swim
Author: Rita Goldberg
I Love to Swim! is a delightful rhyme told from the perspective of a little boy whose mother brings him to swimming lessons. He shares his love of swimming in water since before he was born. At each level of swimming from playing in the bath to "Mommy and Me" classes, all the way through "Big" classes without parents, he proclaims, "I love to swim. My day is made!"I Love to Swim! is a children's educational book that helps young children and their parents discover the joy of swimming. It shares the basic guidelines of swim safety to help prevent drowning.Enjoy reading I Love to Swim! with the children in your life and allow the natural love of water become part of your lives with safety first.
Electric, sherbet-y colors, uniquely comic characters, and a story line filled with high comedy mark this fabulous picture book by new talent Deb Lucke. Eric Dooley just won’t swim. If sweating in the hot summer sun while everyone else cools off in the pool isn’t bad enough, Eric’s younger sister is having the time of her life. When he sees her dog-paddling right across the middle of the pool, under his sunblock he’s positively green with envy. Not to mention sweaty. And irritated. But after the babies in the wading pool give him dirty looks for invading their territory, Eric finds a way to conquer his fears. And just like that he goes from being the boy who wouldn’t swim . . . to being the boy who won’t get out of the pool. Not even in October.
Author: Wallace J. Nichols
Publisher: Little, Brown
A landmark book by marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols on the remarkable effects of water on our health and well-being. Why are we drawn to the ocean each summer? Why does being near water set our minds and bodies at ease? In BLUE MIND, Wallace J. Nichols revolutionizes how we think about these questions, revealing the remarkable truth about the benefits of being in, on, under, or simply near water. Combining cutting-edge neuroscience with compelling personal stories from top athletes, leading scientists, military veterans, and gifted artists, he shows how proximity to water can improve performance, increase calm, diminish anxiety, and increase professional success. BLUE MIND not only illustrates the crucial importance of our connection to water-it provides a paradigm shifting "blueprint" for a better life on this Blue Marble we call home.
Author: Leanne Shapton
Winner of the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award, Autobiography Swimming Studies is a brilliantly original, meditative memoir that explores the worlds of competitive and recreational swimming. From her training for the Olympic trials as a teenager to enjoying pools and beaches around the world as an adult, Leanne Shapton offers a fascinating glimpse into the private, often solitary, realm of swimming. Her spare and elegant writing reveals an intimate narrative of suburban adolescence, spent underwater in a discipline that continues to inspire Shapton’s work as an artist and author. Her illustrations throughout the book offer an intuitive perspective on the landscapes and imagery of the sport. Shapton’s emphasis is on the smaller moments of athletic pursuit rather than its triumphs. For the accomplished athlete, aspiring amateur, or habitual practicer, this remarkable work of written and visual sketches propels the reader through a beautifully personal and universally appealing exercise in reflection.
Gold in the Water
Author: P. H. Mullen, Jr.
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
In California, a team of talented young men begin pursuing the most elusive dream in sports, the Olympic Games. The pressure steadily increases as two best friends (a mentor and his protégé) reach the top of the world rankings and unexpectedly find themselves direct competitors. Their teammates include an emerging star methodically plotting to retrace his father's path to Olympic glory, as well as a super-extraordinary athlete desperate to walk away from it all. Led by one of the most passionate coaches in sports, a brilliant and explosive strategist on a personal quest for redemption, this team of dark horses and Olympic favorites works through escalating rivalries, joyous triumphs, and heartbreaking setbacks. Author P. H. Mullen chronicles their journey to the 2000 Olympic Games and presents one of the most powerful and moving sports books ever written. Boldly sweeping in literary power and pace, this startling book will permanently change how you view the Olympic athlete. It is a fascinating world of suspense and emotion where human desire for excellence rules over all, and where there are no second chances for glory. But above all, Gold in the Water is a triumph of the human spirit.
In a masterful work of cultural history, Charles Sprawson, himself an obsessional swimmer and fluent diver, explores the meaning that different cultures have attached to water, and the search for the springs of classical antiquity. In nineteenth-century England bathing was thought to be an instrument of social and moral reform, while in Germany and America swimming came to signify escape. For the Japanese the swimmer became an expression of samurai pride and nationalism. Sprawson gives is fascinating glimpses of the great swimming heroes: Byron leaping dramatically into the surf at Shelley’s beach funeral; Rupert Brooke swimming naked with Virginia Woolf, the dark water “smelling of mint and mud”; Hart Crane swallow-diving to his death in the Bay of Mexico; Edgar Allan Poe’s lone and mysterious river-swims; Leander, Webb, Weissmuller, and a host of others. Informed by the literature of Swinburne, Goethe, Scott Fitzgerald, and Yukio Mishima; the films of Riefenstahl and Vigo; the Hollywood “swimming musicals” of the 1930s; and delving in and out of Olympic history, Haunts of the Black Masseur is an enthralling assessment of man—body submerged, self-absorbed. It is quite simply the best celebration of swimming ever written, even as it explores aspects of culture in a heretofore unimagined way.
Learn to Swim
Author: Kathy McKay, Rob McKay
Learn to Swim guides parents of babies and children from ages 6 months to 4 years through progressive, baby-friendly swimming lessons that not only build confidence and help control sleep problems and tantrums, but are proven to stimulate intelligence and concentration, increase emotional and physical development, and boost immunities. DK's step-by-step approach will help parents teach water confidence and safety skills for babies and young children in Learn to Swim.
Author: Joe Minihane
Publisher: Gerald Duckworth & Co
This is one man’s journey, swimming in Britain’s countryside and immersing in the sometimes icy waters while coming to terms with something more challenging than the choppy waters of the English Channel. As Joe Minihane comes up for air, he discovers that swimming is both a joyous activity and a voyage into oneself. Minihane became obsessed with wild swimming and its restorative qualities, developing a new-found passion by following the example of naturalist Roger Deakin in his classic Waterlog. While fighting the currents, sometimes treading water, Minihane begins to confront the buried issues in his life. Along the way, he rekindles old friendships and forges new ones, and after an unexpected setback discovers that he has already gained enough strength to continue his recovery on dry land. Both strange and beautiful, the wild water puts him in touch with nature and himself. Floating is a remarkable memoir about a passion for swimming and nature. Moving from darkness into light, it is as intense and moving as it is lyrical and generous. It captures in memorable detail Minihane’s struggle to understand his life, to move forward and, steeped in the anti-authoritarian and naturalistic spirit of Deakin, celebrates the joy of taking time to enjoy life. From Hampstead to Yorkshire, and Dorset to Jura, from the Isles of Scilly to Wales, Minihane has written a love letter to wild stretches of water. We swim with him through ponds and lakes, rivers and canals, lodes and marshes, even the ice-cold sea and come out of the water healthier.
Lynne Cox has set open water swimming records across the world, and now she has focused her decades-long experience and expertise into this definitive guide to swimming. Cox methodically addresses what is needed to succeed at and enjoy open water swimming, including choosing the right bathing suit and sunscreen; surviving in dangerous weather conditions, currents, and waves; confronting various marine organisms; treating ailments, such as being stung or bitten, and much more. Cox calls upon Navy SEAL training materials and instructors’ knowledge of open water swimming and safety procedures to guide her research. In addition, first-hand anecdotes from SEAL specialists and stories of Cox’s own experiences serve as both warnings and proper practices to adopt. Open Water Swimming Manual provides a wealth of knowledge for all swimmers, from seasoned triathletes and expert swimmers to beginners exploring open water swimming for the first time. It is, as well, the first manual of its kind to make use of oceanography, marine biology, and to weave in stories about the successes and failures of other athletes, giving us a deeper, broader understanding of this exhilarating and fast growing sport. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Al Alvarez
Publisher: A&C Black
The ponds of Hampstead Heath are small oases; fragments of wild nature nestled in the heart of north-west London. For the best part of his life Al Alvarez – poet, critic, novelist, rock-climber and poker player – has swum in them almost daily. An athlete in his youth, Alvarez, now in his eighties, chronicles what it is to grow old with humour and fierce honesty – from his relentlessly nagging ankle which makes daily life a struggle, to infuriating bureaucratic battles with the council to keep his disabled person's Blue Badge, the devastating effects of a stroke, and the salvation he finds in the three Ss – Swimming, Sex and Sleep. As Alvarez swims in the ponds he considers how it feels when you begin to miss that person you used to be – to miss yourself. Swimming is his own private form of protest against the onslaught of time; proof to others, and himself, that he's not yet beaten. By turns funny, poetic and indignant, Pondlife is a meditation on love, the importance of life's small pleasures and, above all, a lesson in not going gently in to that good night.