Dive into 6 audiobooks perfect for a summer swim


I was talking with another fan about our audiobook habits when she told me her favorite time to listen was while swimming. I haven’t taken my beach read from shore to the lake with me yet, but with the mercury soaring, it might be time to invest in a waterproof MP3 player and underwater headphones. Here are a variety of swimming — that is, swimming-related — audiobooks to dive into this summer.

Bonnie Tsui”why we swim” stands out among a string of recent titles on the history and culture of swimming, especially when paired with Angie Kane’s pleasant and melodious storytelling. Tsui’s love of swimming adds depth to his intriguing stories about our relationship with the aquatic world, from evidence of prehistoric swimmers to the physiology behind an Icelandic fisherman’s unlikely shipwreck survival. The healing qualities of swimming are evidenced by Kim Chambers’ recovery from a debilitating fall to become one of the greatest long-distance swimmers of all time. A seasoned open water swimmer herself, Tsui is literally immersed in her subject, and Kane conveys that invigorating sensory liveliness with a seductive taste that can have you racing for the nearest pool or lake.

Based on John Cheever’s classic short story “The Swimmer”, in which doomed hero Ned Merrill decides to drive through his Long Island suburb by water, from swimming pool to swimming pool, Roger Deakin left in 1997 to swim across Great Britain. “water log‘, told with suitably awkward enthusiasm by Mike Cooper, is Deakin’s account of his exodus across the ponds, in which he plunges headlong into the historical and literary associations of the various ditches, canals, lochs, lakes, rivers and springs. along his way. Cooper adds just the right note of ironic mischief to this engrossing meander through leagues and centuries, with plenty of erudite and entertaining pools and whirlpools along the way.

Libby Page’s Charming Novel”The Lidorevolves around the fate of the titular London swimming pool, which is set to be demolished when Kate, a troubled and shy young journalist, joins forces with octogenarian widow Rosemary, the pool’s oldest living patron, in a bid to save the beloved local landmark of privatization. by seizing the gentrifiers. Clare Corbett skillfully portrays various characters from London’s diverse Brixton district, while recounting the heroines’ journeys with empathy and charm. Swimming seems like the most solitary activity imaginable, but in Page’s wistful and enchanting read on the beach – as in the memoir above – we see how such collective ablutions form a very special kind of community.

The moving news of Julie Otsuka “swimmersbegins with that same sense of aquatic camaraderie, as a diverse group of individuals come together to find healing and balance in the hallways of an underground pool. But like an ominous crack that suddenly appears and begins to spread across the bottom of the pool, not all diseases can be washed away so easily. Tracy Kato-Kiriyama reads with sensitivity and restraint how Alice, an aging swimmer with dementia, is increasingly driven adrift by alien tides uncontained by lane markers. This listening in one sitting is a minor masterpiece.

One of my favorite audiobooks to share with fans of Daniel James Brown’s popular sports story “The Boys in the Boat” is Julie Checkoway’s equally inspiring story.The Three Year Swim Clubin which a motley crew of Japanese American “sugar ditch kids” growing up in poverty on the plantations of Maui are challenged to reach unlikely heights by their starry-eyed coach Soichi Sakamoto, an elementary school teacher who could barely swim. Training in filthy irrigation ditches in sugarcane fields and facing countless hardships, these seemingly skinny and undersized competitors emerged onto the world stage in pursuit of Olympic gold at the worst possible time. possible, as the 1940 Tokyo Olympics were canceled when Japan invaded China, followed by the attack on Pearl Harbor which prompted the boys to enlist to fight overseas. Could other miracles still await us on the other side of the war? Narrator Alex Chadwick holds our interest throughout with his clear and authoritative take on this largely forgotten story, even adding a vintage cadence to commentary from the era.

Memoirs are often best told by their authors, but few are as gifted as Diana Nyad, who in “find a waytakes us through every shot of his determined and seemingly doomed quest to become the first person to swim nonstop from Cuba to Florida, despite strong gulf currents, sharks and deadly jellyfish. Nyad’s outcry when describing encounters with him is truly chilling, and her physical and mental anguish when the stinging frosts put an end to one of her multiple attempts couldn’t be more real. Writing with candor and immediacy about her struggles in and out of the water, Nyad combines her skills as a swimmer and sportscaster to create a captivating and deeply inspiring listening experience.


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