Why We Swim
Author: Bonnie Tsui | Hardcover
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.