Why We Swim

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Why We Swim
Title Why We Swim
Author
Publisher Algonquin Books
Release DateApril 14, 2020
Category Science Fiction & Fantasy
Total Pages 284 pages
ISBN B07WJ1NH6N
Book Rating 4.5 out of 5 from 274 reviews
Language EN, ES, BE, DA ,DE , NL and FR
Book Review & Summary:

A Time Magazine Must-Read Book of 2020 A Best Book of the Season: BuzzFeed * Bustle * San Francisco Chronicle “A fascinating and beautifully written love letter to water. I was enchanted by this book." —Rebecca Skloot, bestselling author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks An immersive, unforgettable, and eye-opening perspective on swimming—and on human behavior itself. We swim in freezing Arctic waters and piranha-infested rivers to test our limits. We swim for pleasure, for exercise, for healing. But humans, unlike other animals that are drawn to water, are not natural-born swimmers. We must be taught. Our evolutionary ancestors learned for survival; now, in the twenty-first century, swimming is one of the most popular activities in the world. Why We Swim is propelled by stories of Olympic champions, a Baghdad swim club that meets in Saddam Hussein’s palace pool, modern-day Japanese samurai swimmers, and even an Icelandic fisherman who improbably survives a wintry six-hour swim after a shipwreck. New York Times contributor Bonnie Tsui, a swimmer herself, dives into the deep, from the San Francisco Bay to the South China Sea, investigating what it is about water that seduces us, despite its dangers, and why we come back to it again and again.

Similar books related to " Why We Swim " from our database.

Why We Swim by Bonnie Tsui

Title Why We Swim
Author Bonnie Tsui
Publisher Algonquin Books
Release Date 2020-04-14
Category Sports & Recreation
Total Pages 288
ISBN 9781643750514
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A Best Book of the Season: BuzzFeed * Bustle * San Francisco Chronicle “A fascinating and beautifully written love letter to water. I was enchanted by this book." —Rebecca Skloot, bestselling author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks An immersive, unforgettable, and eye-opening perspective on swimming—and on human behavior itself. We swim in freezing Arctic waters and piranha-infested rivers to test our limits. We swim for pleasure, for exercise, for healing. But humans, unlike other animals that are drawn to water, are not natural-born swimmers. We must be taught. Our evolutionary ancestors learned for survival; now, in the twenty-first century, swimming is one of the most popular activities in the world. Why We Swim is propelled by stories of Olympic champions, a Baghdad swim club that meets in Saddam Hussein’s palace pool, modern-day Japanese samurai swimmers, and even an Icelandic fisherman who improbably survives a wintry six-hour swim after a shipwreck. New York Times contributor Bonnie Tsui, a swimmer herself, dives into the deep, from the San Francisco Bay to the South China Sea, investigating what about water—despite its dangers—seduces us and why we come back to it again and again.

Why We Swim by Bonnie Tsui

Title Why We Swim
Author Bonnie Tsui
Publisher Random House
Release Date 2020-04-16
Category Sports & Recreation
Total Pages 288
ISBN 9781473581876
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

'An enthusiastic and thoughtful work' The New York Times 'A beautifully written love letter to water and a fascinating story. I was enchanted' Rebecca Skloot, bestselling author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Take a dive into the deep with writer and swimmer Bonnie Tsui and discover what it is about water that seduces us, heals us and brings us together. Our evolutionary ancestors swam for survival. Now we swim in freezing Arctic waters, wide channels, and piranha-infested rivers just because they are there. Swimming is an introspective and quiet sport in a chaotic age. It is therapeutic for those who are injured and it is one route to that elusive, ecstatic state of Flow. Propelled by stories of polar swim champions, a Baghdad swim club, Olympian athletes, modern-day samurai swimmers and even an Icelandic fisherman who improbably survived a six-hour swim in the wintry Atlantic, Why We Swim takes us around the globe in a remarkable, all-encompassing account of the world of swimming. 'A truly great story. I love this book' Christopher McDougall, bestselling author of Born to Run

Why We Swim by Bonnie Tsui

Title Why We Swim
Author Bonnie Tsui
Publisher Algonquin Books
Release Date 2020-04-14
Category Sports & Recreation
Total Pages 288
ISBN 9781616207861
Language English, Spanish, and French
GET BOOK
Book Summary:

A Best Book of the Season: BuzzFeed “A fascinating and beautifully written love letter to water. I was enchanted by this book." —Rebecca Skloot, bestselling author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks An immersive, unforgettable, and eye-opening perspective on swimming—and on human behavior itself. We swim in freezing Arctic waters and piranha-infested rivers to test our limits. We swim for pleasure, for exercise, for healing. But humans, unlike other animals that are drawn to water, are not natural-born swimmers. We must be taught. Our evolutionary ancestors learned for survival; now, in the twenty-first century, swimming is one of the most popular activities in the world. Why We Swim is propelled by stories of Olympic champions, a Baghdad swim club that meets in Saddam Hussein’s palace pool, modern-day Japanese samurai swimmers, and even an Icelandic fisherman who improbably survives a wintry six-hour swim after a shipwreck. New York Times contributor Bonnie Tsui, a swimmer herself, dives into the deep, from the San Francisco Bay to the South China Sea, investigating what about water—despite its dangers—seduces us and why we come back to it again and again.

Swim by Lynn Sherr

Title Swim
Author Lynn Sherr
Publisher PublicAffairs
Release Date 2012-04-03
Category Sports & Recreation
Total Pages 232
ISBN 9781610390477
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

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.

American Chinatown by Bonnie Tsui

Title American Chinatown
Author Bonnie Tsui
Publisher Simon and Schuster
Release Date 2009-08-11
Category Social Science
Total Pages 288
ISBN 9781416558361
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

CHINATOWN, U.S.A.: a state of mind, a world within a world, a neighborhood that exists in more cities than you might imagine. Every day, Americans find "something different" in Chinatown's narrow lanes and overflowing markets, tasting exotic delicacies from a world apart or bartering for a trinket on the street -- all without ever leaving the country. It's a place that's foreign yet familiar, by now quite well known on the Western cultural radar, but splitting the difference still gives many visitors to Chinatown the sense, above all, that things are not what they seem -- something everyone in popular culture, from Charlie Chan to Jack Nicholson, has been telling us for decades. And it's true that few visitors realize just how much goes on beneath the surface of this vibrant microcosm, a place with its own deeply felt history and stories of national cultural significance. But Chinatown is not a place that needs solving; it's a place that needs a more specific telling. In American Chinatown, acclaimed travel writer Bonnie Tsui takes an affectionate and attentive look at the neighborhood that has bewitched her since childhood, when she eagerly awaited her grandfather's return from the fortune-cookie factory. Tsui visits the country's four most famous Chinatowns -- San Francisco (the oldest), New York (the biggest), Los Angeles (the film icon), Honolulu (the crossroads) -- and makes her final, fascinating stop in Las Vegas (the newest; this Chinatown began as a mall); in her explorations, she focuses on the remarkable experiences of ordinary people, everyone from first-to fifth-generation Chinese Americans. American Chinatown breaks down the enigma of Chinatown by offering narrative glimpses: intriguing characters who reveal the realities and the unexpected details of Chinatown life that American audiences haven't heard. There are beauty queens, celebrity chefs, immigrant garment workers; there are high school kids who are changing inner-city life in San Francisco, Chinese extras who played key roles in 1940s Hollywood, new arrivals who go straight to dealer school in Las Vegas hoping to find their fortunes in their own vision of "gold mountain." Tsui's investigations run everywhere, from mom-and-pop fortune-cookie factories to the mall, leaving no stone unturned. By interweaving her personal impressions with the experiences of those living in these unique communities, Tsui beautifully captures their vivid stories, giving readers a deeper look into what "Chinatown" means to its inhabitants, what each community takes on from its American home, and what their experience means to America at large. For anyone who has ever wandered through Chinatown and wondered what it was all about, and for Americans wanting to understand the changing face of their own country, American Chinatown is an all-access pass.

Swimming Studies by Leanne Shapton

Title Swimming Studies
Author Leanne Shapton
Publisher Penguin
Release Date 2012-07-05
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 336
ISBN 9781101584934
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

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.

Splash by Howard Means

Title Splash
Author Howard Means
Publisher Hachette Books
Release Date 2020-06-02
Category Sports & Recreation
Total Pages 336
ISBN 9780306845642
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Choose a stroke and get paddling through the human history of swimming! From man's first recorded dip into what's now the driest spot on earth to the splashing, sparkling pool party in your backyard, humans have been getting wet for 10,000 years. And for most of modern history, swimming has caused a ripple that touches us all--the heroes and the ordinary folk; the real and the mythic. Splash! dives into Egypt, winds through ancient Greece and Rome, flows mostly underground through the Dark and Middle Ages (at least in Europe), and then reemerges in the wake of the Renaissance before taking its final lap at today's Olympic games. Along the way, it kicks away the idea that swimming is just about moving through water, about speed or great feats of aquatic endurance, and shows you how much more it can be. Its history offers a multi-tiered tour through religion, fashion, architecture, sanitation and public health, colonialism, segregation and integration, sexism, sexiness, guts, glory, and much, much more. Unique and compelling, Splash! sweeps across the whole of humankind's swimming history--and just like jumping into a pool on a hot summer's day, it has fun along the way.

Total Immersion by Terry Laughlin

Title Total Immersion
Author Terry Laughlin
Publisher Simon and Schuster
Release Date 2012-03-13
Category Sports & Recreation
Total Pages 320
ISBN 9781451688337
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Swim better—and enjoy every lap—with Total Immersion, a guide to improving your swimming from an expert with more than thirty years of experience in the water. Terry Laughlin, the world’s #1 authority on swimming success, has made his unique approach even easier for anyone to master. Whether you’re an accomplished swimmer or have always found swimming to be a struggle, Total Immersion will show you that it’s mindful fluid movement—not athletic ability—that will turn you into an efficient swimmer. This new edition of the bestselling Total Immersion features: · A thoughtfully choreographed series of skill drills—practiced in the mindful spirit of yoga—that can help anyone swim more enjoyably · A holistic approach to becoming one with the water and to developing a swimming style that’s always comfortable · Simple but thorough guidance on how to improve fitness and form · A complementary land-and-water program for achieving a strong and supple body at any age Based on more than thirty years of teaching, coaching, and research, Total Immersion has dramatically improved the physical and mental experience of swimming for thousands of people of all ages and abilities.

Voices In The Ocean by Susan Casey

Title Voices in the Ocean
Author Susan Casey
Publisher Doubleday Canada
Release Date 2015-08-04
Category Nature
Total Pages 336
ISBN 9780385679411
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

From Susan Casey, the New York Times bestselling author of The Devil's Teeth and The Wave, a breathtaking look into the mysterious world of dolphins and their conflicted history with man. Since the dawn of recorded history, humans have felt a kinship with the sleek and beautiful dolphin, an animal whose playfulness, sociability and intelligence seems like an aquatic mirror of mankind. In recent decades, scientists have discovered dolphins recognize themselves in reflections, count, feel despondent, adorn themselves, rescue each other (and humans), deduce, infer, form cliques, throw tantrums, gossip and scheme. Several native peoples trace their lineage to dolphins. They are the stars of multi-million dollar aquatic theme parks, money which has fueled a sinister illicit trade as shown in the documentary Blackfish. The U.S. Navy has a secret program using dolphins as undersea soldiers. The theory that they are a superior, extraterrestial species is popular among the new age fringe. They are the victims of brutal slaughters as depicted in the documentary The Cove. To swim with a dolphin is a transporting experience, an encounter with a being seemingly so like us, yet so alien. No writer is better positioned to portray these magical creatures than Susan Casey, whose combination of personal reporting, intense scientific research, and evocative prose made The Wave and The Devil's Teeth contemporary classics of writing on the oceans. For two years Casey traveled the world, and has written a thrilling book about the other intelligent life on the planet.

Waterlog by Roger Deakin

Title Waterlog
Author Roger Deakin
Publisher Random House
Release Date 2011-05-31
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 352
ISBN 9781446442852
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

‘Roger Deakin is the perfect companion for an invigorating armchair swim. Engaging, thoughtful and candid’ Telegraph Waterlog celebrates the magic of water and the beauty and eccentricity of Britain. In 1996 Roger Deakin, the late, great nature writer, set out to swim through the British Isles. From the sea, from rock pools, from rivers and streams, tarns, lakes, lochs, ponds, lidos, swimming pools and spas, from fens, dykes, moats, aqueducts, waterfalls, flooded quarries, even canals, Deakin gains a fascinating perspective on modern Britain. Detained by water bailiffs in Winchester, intercepted in the Fowey estuary by coastguards, mistaken for a suicide on Camber sands, confronting the Corryvreckan whirlpool in the Hebrides, he discovers just how much of an outsider the native swimmer is to his landlocked, fully-dressed fellow citizens. This is a personal journey, a bold assertion of the native swimmer's right to roam, and an unforgettable celebration of the magic of water.

The Night Swim by Megan Goldin

Title The Night Swim
Author Megan Goldin
Publisher St. Martin's Press
Release Date 2020-08-04
Category Fiction
Total Pages 352
ISBN 9781250219701
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

“A blistering plot and crisp writing make The Night Swim an unputdownable read.” –Sarah Pekkanen, bestselling author of The Wife Between Us In The Night Swim, a new thriller from Megan Goldin, author of the “gripping and unforgettable” (Harlan Coben) The Escape Room, a true crime podcast host covering a controversial trial finds herself drawn deep into a small town’s dark past and a brutal crime that took place there years before. Ever since her true-crime podcast became an overnight sensation and set an innocent man free, Rachel Krall has become a household name—and the last hope for people seeking justice. But she’s used to being recognized for her voice, not her face. Which makes it all the more unsettling when she finds a note on her car windshield, addressed to her, begging for help. The new season of Rachel's podcast has brought her to a small town being torn apart by a devastating rape trial. A local golden boy, a swimmer destined for Olympic greatness, has been accused of raping the beloved granddaughter of the police chief. Under pressure to make Season 3 a success, Rachel throws herself into her investigation—but the mysterious letters keep coming. Someone is following her, and she won’t stop until Rachel finds out what happened to her sister twenty-five years ago. Officially, Jenny Stills tragically drowned, but the letters insist she was murdered—and when Rachel starts asking questions, nobody in town wants to answer. The past and present start to collide as Rachel uncovers startling connections between the two cases—and a revelation that will change the course of the trial and the lives of everyone involved. Electrifying and propulsive, The Night Swim asks: What is the price of a reputation? Can a small town ever right the wrongs of its past? And what really happened to Jenny?

Places We Swim by Dillon Seitchik-Reardon

Title Places We Swim
Author Dillon Seitchik-Reardon
Publisher Unknown
Release Date 2018-09-20
Category Bodies of water
Total Pages 208
ISBN 1741175666
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

From lap pools to ocean pools, rockpools to hot springs, Places We Swim covers the breadth of Australia, bringing you the 60 best places to swim, dive, jump, paddle and float around the country. You'll discover just what makes each swimming spot unique, learn the best time to go, gain some useful local knowledge and find out the best things to see and do in the area. With destinations ranging from the neighbourhood city pool to remote outback waterfalls, this book is a celebration of not just these magnificent swimming spots, but of the diverse landscapes and communities that make up Australia.

Haunts Of The Black Masseur by Charles Sprawson

Title Haunts of the Black Masseur
Author Charles Sprawson
Publisher Pantheon
Release Date 2012-08-29
Category Sports & Recreation
Total Pages 320
ISBN 9780307823649
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

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.

The Joy Of Swimming by Lisa Congdon

Title The Joy of Swimming
Author Lisa Congdon
Publisher Chronicle Books
Release Date 2016-04-19
Category Self-Help
Total Pages 144
ISBN 9781452146744
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

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 Swim by Brendan Mac Evilly

Title At Swim
Author Brendan Mac Evilly
Publisher Gill & Macmillan Ltd
Release Date 2016-06-01
Category Travel
Total Pages 191
ISBN 9781848895850
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Sea swimming is the great leveller; we’re all the same in a pair of togs. No one minds who you are or what you’ve done; the question is ‘are you getting in?’ Popular for centuries, sea swimming has had a recent surge in interest, with a growing community now taking the plunge. Brendan Mac Evilly and Michael O’Reilly, enthusiastic members of this bathing fraternity, chart their adventures in forty-three of Ireland’s most enticing places to swim. Along the way, they meet artists who come to the sea for inspiration and distance swimmers undertaking marathon sea swims. Their conversations with local dippers touch on the history and lore of these stunning locations and confirm Ireland’s vibrant sea-swimming culture. Part guidebook, part travelogue, part analysis of our relationship with the sea, At Swim explores the thrills, fears and joys of sea swimming.

Title The Mindful Art of Wild Swimming
Author Tessa Wardley
Publisher Leaping Hare Press
Release Date 2017-09-15
Category Philosophy
Total Pages 144
ISBN 9781782404293
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The Mindful Art of Wild Swimming explores how swimming in rivers, lakes, and seas is the very epitome of conscious living. Zen-seeker Tessa Wardley reconnects the physical and spiritual cycles of life to the changing seasons and flow of wild waters worldwide and leads the reader on to a mindful journey through the natural world. With expert insight and personal anecdote, she shares a sparkling clarity on why our relationship with open water is so fundamental to pure wellbeing, and reveals how wild swimming can be the ultimate Zen meditation.

The Baby Swim Book by Cinda L. Kochen

Title The Baby Swim Book
Author Cinda L. Kochen
Publisher Human Kinetics
Release Date 1986
Category Swimming for infants
Total Pages 229
ISBN UVA:X001185778
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Title Shame Is an Ocean I Swim Across Poems by Mary Lambert
Author Mary Lambert
Publisher Feiwel & Friends
Release Date 2018-10-23
Category Poetry
Total Pages 208
ISBN 9781250195883
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Beautiful and brutally honest, Mary Lambert's poetry is a beacon to anyone who's ever been knocked down—and picked themselves up again. In verse that deals with sexual assault, mental illness, and body acceptance, Ms. Lambert's Shame Is an Ocean I Swim Across emerges as an important new voice in poetry, providing strength and resilience even in the darkest of times.

Swimming Anatomy by Ian A. McLeod

Title Swimming Anatomy
Author Ian A. McLeod
Publisher Human Kinetics
Release Date 2009-10-22
Category Sports & Recreation
Total Pages 200
ISBN 9781492583219
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

See how to achieve stronger starts, more explosive turns, and faster times! Swimming Anatomy will show you how to improve your performance by increasing muscle strength and optimizing the efficiency of every stroke. Swimming Anatomy includes 74 of the most effective swimming exercises, each with step-by-step descriptions and full-color anatomical illustrations highlighting the primary muscles in action. Swimming Anatomy goes beyond exercises by placing you on the starting block, in the water, and into the throes of competition. Illustrations of the active muscles for starts, turns, and the four competitive strokes (freestyle, breaststroke, butterfly, and backstroke) show you how each exercise is fundamentally linked to swimming performance. You’ll also learn how exercises can be modified to target specific areas, improve your form in the water, and minimize common swimming injuries. Best of all, you’ll learn how to put it all together to develop a training program based on your individual needs and goals. Whether you are training for a 50-meter freestyle race or the open-water stage of a triathlon, Swimming Anatomy will ensure you enter the water prepared to achieve every performance goal.

Title Caterpillars Can t Swim
Author Liane Shaw
Publisher Second Story Press
Release Date 2017-09-12
Category Young Adult Fiction
Total Pages 256
ISBN 9781772600544
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Ryan finds his freedom in the water, where he is not bound by gravity and his wheelchair. When he rescues his schoolmate, Jack, from the water their lives become connected, whether they like it or not. Ryan keeps Jack's secret about that day in the water, but he knows that Jack needs help. The school is full of rumors about Jack's sexuality, and he has few friends. Almost against his better judgement, Ryan decides to invite Jack on a trip to Comic Con he's planned with his best friend Cody, the captain of the school's swim team. The three boys make an unlikely combination, but they will each have the chance to show whether they are brave enough to go against the stereotypes the world wants to define them by.

Title Swimming to Antarctica
Author Lynne Cox
Publisher Knopf
Release Date 2009-09-09
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 336
ISBN 9780307547873
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

• 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.

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