Why we swim

by Tsui, Bonnie,

Format: Print Book 2020
Availability: Available at 4 Libraries 4 of 6 copies
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CLP - Main Library Mezzanine - Non-fiction GV837.T78 2020
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Call Number  GV837.T78 2020
Northland Public Library Nonfiction 797.21 T78
Location  Northland Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  797.21 T78
Sewickley Public Library Nonfiction 797.21 TSU 2020
Location  Sewickley Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  797.21 TSU 2020
South Park Library Nonfiction 797.21 TSU
Location  South Park Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  797.21 TSU
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"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
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 naturalborn swimmers. We must be taught. Our evolutionary ancestors learned for survival; today, 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 former 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, and why we come back to it again and again.

An immersive, unforgettable, and eye-opening perspective on swimming--and on human behavior itself.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "In this eloquent exploration of the human relationship to water, Tsui examines "the universal experience of being immersed in water," whether it's in an ocean, lake, or swimming pool. The narrative is divided into five topics: survival, well-being, community, competition, and flow. A lifelong swimmer, Tsui deftly moves from one topic to another, weaving in her personal experiences, which include embracing open-water swimming (sans wet suit) in the frigid waters of San Francisco Bay and swimming across Lake George in upstate New York, the latter to kick off her wedding celebration. Fascinating highlights include the gripping story of an Icelandic fisherman who survives a winter shipwreck, plunging into 45-degree water and enduring a 6-kilometer swim to shore, and the story of a swimming coach who gave lessons in Saddam Hussein's palace pool. Tsui travels to Japan to learn firsthand about Nihon Eiho, also known as samurai swimming (yes, you swim in a full suit of armor). Trailblazers featured include Charlotte "Eppie" Epstein, who founded the Women's Swimming Association in 1917; legendary open-water swimmer Lynne Cox; five-time Olympian Dara Torres; and the most decorated male swimmer in history, Michael Phelps. This fascinating look at the positive impact swimming has had on our lives throughout history might leave most readers eager to get back in the water as soon as possible."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Journalist Tsui (American Chinatown) opens her eclectic, well-crafted survey with a fascinating story about an Icelandic fisherman who swam six kilometers in 41 degree water after his boat capsized. He survived thanks to a "biological quirk"--an unusually thick layer of body fat, more comparable to a seal's than to the average human's. From this starting point, Tsui looks at five different reasons swimming is important to humans, dedicating a section to each: survival, well-being, community, competition, and "flow" (the pursuit of the sublime). Characters like the opening chapter's "real-life selkie"--a folkloric creature halfway between a human and a seal--and marathon swimmer Kim Chambers, who took up the sport after almost losing a leg to injury, appear throughout, along with scientific facts, personal stories, and social history. Tsui shares her own history as a swimmer, and swimming's place in her family history--her parents' Hollywood-worthy first meeting was at a Hong Kong swimming pool in 1968, she a "bikini-clad beauty," he a "bronzed lifeguard." In a chapter about the mindset of champion swimmers, she writes, "The view from within is what I'm after." Her overarching question is about "our human relationship to water" and "how immersion can open our imaginations." Readers will enjoy getting to know the people and the facts presented in this fascinating book. (Apr.)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Swimming.
Publisher Chapel Hill, North Carolina :Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill,2020
Edition First edition.
Contributors Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill (Firm)
Language English
Description 277 pages ; 22 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 259-277).
ISBN 9781616207861
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