- Hardcover: 232 pages
- Publisher: PublicAffairs; First Edition edition (April 3, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1610390466
- ISBN-13: 978-1610390460
- Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #458,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Swim: Why We Love the Water Hardcover – April 3, 2012
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In Swim, a joyful plunge into the history, lore and legend of swimming, US journalist and avid swimmer Lynn Sherr explores the pleasures of gliding through cool waters while preparing to follow Leander and Byron and cross the Hellespont herself.”
San Francisco Chronicle
"A thorough celebration of swimming, and what it has taught us over the centuries.”
This book will enchant anyone who's drawn to water, whether you swim once a week at the local pool or dedicate your life to briny challenges . Beautifully illustrated with maps, texts and rare images of swimmingfrom Egyptian hieroglyphs through Hollywood to the Olympic Games. [Sherr] delivers it all in beautiful prose: She is an award-winning writer and broadcast journalist, a well-known face on ABC News for 30 years. This is Sherr in her element, eagerly sharing her life's passion through an assiduous look at swimming and what it means. Perhaps the tiny swimmer breaststroking over and over again at the foot of each page is Sherr herself . SWIM is the only book I've ever read that gathers together everything we love about swimming in one volume. It's all here. And its enticing blend of personality and passion will draw you in, just like an irresistible glimpse of a lake on a hot summer's day.”
Lynn Sherr's book, SWIM, will help water be your friend and it will be the best friend you'll ever have. I'm proud to be a part of that.”
Lynne Cox, open-water champion; author, Swimming to Antarctica
I couldn't put this book down. It's a swimming party, with glamorous stars, ancient warriors and lovers, and some of the greatest and wildest swimmers. It's a story full of zen and exuberant energy and merriment. If you love to swim, you'll love SWIM!”
A collection of swimming traditions and anecdotes wrapped in a celebration of the pleasures involved . Her enthusiasm propels the book forward. That enthusiasm bleeds over into her history of swimming, which has a gratifyingly great sweep. From start to finish, she searches for the essence of why swimming has touched so many, be it Oliver Sacks (I never knew anything so powerfully, so healthily euphoriant') or Chairman Mao (Do you swim? Water is a good thing'). Sherr sends a sweet valentine, with enough background to keep it interesting, to a love that has never let her down."
Wall Street Journal
What is there to say about such a solitary and inward experience? Plenty, as it turns out. In Swim: Why We Love the Water, Lynn Sherr pulls us into the subject and interweaves it within her version of a quest romance: Can this 60-something grandmother achieve her goal and swim the Hellespontthe legendary strait that runs between the Aegean Sea and Turkey's interior? ... Ms. Sherr writes personably and moves her reader through her narrative at a pleasing pace What Ms. Sherr does best is describe the pleasures of the water, of finding yourself while losing yourself, giving yourself up to the supporting medium. and every chapter of the book builds her personal narrative while placing it in the context of often fascinating mini-treatises on subjects that reach beyond the water. She writes interestingly about women and bathing suits (Diana Vreeland pronounced the bikini "the most important thing since the atom bomb") and about the effects of water on women's hair, topics that become, with her attention, more than merely peripheral.”
A witty and informative celebration of her sport, as well as an inspiring tale of personal challenge and discovery . [Sherr] immerses the reader in the history, lore, science and trivia of swimming. In barely 200 pages of buoyant prose illustrated with photos, diagrams and swimming art, Sherr presents an enormous amount of aquatic infofrom the origins of strokes and the evolution of swimwear to the physiology of Olympic swimmers; from the skinny-dipping habits of John Quincy Adams to whether giraffes can swim. (Yes, just not well.) Best of all, Sherr captures the physical thrill of the one human activity that takes place in a completely alien element. Dive in.”
Town & Country
A delicious, inspiring love-letter to swimming from former ABC correspondent Lynn Sherr. In between tales of swimsuits past and present, the stellar performances of Annette Kellerman and Esther Williams, and the magic of champion swimmers, Sherr chronicles her own attempt to swim across the Hellespont from Europe to Asia, following mythological lover Leander and romantic poet Lord Byron.”
From the evolution of our aquatic ancestors' to the trauma of bathing suit shopping, these essays examine the sport of swimming from every angle.”
Open Water Swimming, Steve Munatones
A joy to read and re-read . Each chapter moves smoothly and swiftly like the swimming strokes of the most graceful aquatic heroes and heroines. Looking down on each page of Lynn's book is similar to swimming over a coral reef: you are not quite sure what you are going to come across next, but you are sure enough to enjoy it when you do. Lynn literally covers thousands of years of history, along with nearly 100 photos, engravings and images that like perfectly placed currents gently pushing the reader towards the end of an extraordinarily well-written and deeply researched page turner.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Charming Swim is a book-length love letter to [Sherr's] favorite sport.”
[A] breezy, amiable meditation . [Sherr's] enthusiasm for the subject I have never had a bad swim,' she writes at one point buoys us along as she interviews competitive swimmers, biologists, and the president of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.”
Swimming may be Sherr's salvation, but one needn't be an enthusiast to be charmed by this graceful memoir.”
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Top customer reviews
I’m giving this book 3 stars since I didn’t particularly care for Sherr’s jumping around on topics all over the place. I would only recommend this to those who love swimming. The book is thoroughly researched – some of it is interesting and other parts were a bit boring for me. I am grateful to have read it, since it’s definitely motivated me to hopefully swim more.
Why people swim. The reason varies from a pleasant pastime to medical must. Some may love the sense of freedom in the water and the calmness of the rhythm of their strokes and breathing. It would be a way to forget becoming old. Swimming will be the world's cheapest antidepressant, makes people happy and mellow. It might be the best way for others to fall asleep. In swimming you are the man you want to be. Unlike most addictions, swimming is actually good for us, perhaps even better than we thought. It helps to build lean muscle mass and promote flexibility. It has some good effect in tranquilizing nervous system and enhancing cardiovascular performance. Lynn Sherr picks the togetherness with the water as her number one reason. The water and Lynn become partners, it hold her up, she pushes herself through. At some levels we're genetically similar to fish. The fish part of us is written inside of the basic structure of our bodies. We left this part behind in the process of evolution. It's as clear as the fact dolphins work at 60 percent efficiency in the water and humans only 11-12 percent.
This book is not a philosophical research about swimming but an encyclopedia of swim related knowledge, which Lynn Sherr collected during her trainings preparing for the crossing of Hellespont. Swimming was practiced regularly in ancient times but virtually disappeared centuries. Swimming was so deeply embedded in the culture of classical Greece. It was a critical life skill, was also one of the martial arts. I would like to point the Japanese Ninja had trained various water relate tactics like to walk on the moat, swim across the moat and hide in the moat. Swimming vanished as Europe plunged into intellectual darkness. Like swimming itself the pool as a popular addition to courtyard or backyard disappeared from Western history. Some historians blame its decline on the church. Some say the ban on mixing water and flesh was due to misguided medicine, which terrifying warnings of diseases lurking in contaminated water. It reappeared with the dawn of the Renaissance. It was very interesting to know the original form of free style was introduced firstly by American Indians to European people. The nineteenth century was the swimming century. Swimming was the most popular recreational activity in America in the 1920s and 1930s. Swimming pools became a symbol of luxury, the exclusive province of royalty and the rich. Nowadays the pool area has become another room in their home. They want to see the water move; they want to hear it move; they want to dance; to turn colors at night. Swim gears also experienced dramatical change in accordance with searching fastest form to swim. You'll find further interesting trivia about swimming in this book.
I think she meant to write "66 lengths of a 25 meter pool."
One mile = 1609 meters = 66 lengths of a 25 meter pool
One mile = 1760 yards = 72 lengths of a 25 yard pool
But great book overall. Makes you want to jump in and go for a swim now, which I am about to do now!