Gift Swimspiration this Christmas
December 05, 2020
Escape to sunnier climes, or on swimventures, or just back to more normal times with these five swimming books that are guaranteed to give you some much-needed swimspiration!
Our top five are mainly fiction, but we've included some classic non-fiction swimming books at the bottom, and some bonus titles, because, well, there's just too much swimspiration to choose from!
If you order one of these books today, you'll be able to read it yourself, then gift it to a loved for Christmas. Just saying.
Feel-good Sunday Times Bestseller about an unlikely friendship, ignited by a lido and strengthened through said lido's threatened closure. It's a debut novel for London journalist Libby Page, and explores the importance of belonging, and how swimming can be the community a newcomer needs to feel at home. Of course, there's also the drama of how to save the Lido!
The Shelly Bay Ladies Swimming Circle
In a seaside suburb on Australia's golden coast, four women head to the water to swim every day. In the waters of Shelly Bay, these four women find each other. They will survive bluebottle stings and heartbreak, they will laugh so hard they swallow water, and they will plunge their tears into the ocean's salt.
I Found My Tribe
In Ruth Fitzmaurice's memoir, I Found My Tribe, ‘The Tragic Wives’ Swimming Club’, as they jokingly call themselves, meet in Greystones, Co Wicklow every day, to swim, as a way of coping with the extreme challenges life puts in their way. Ruth's challenge is her husband Simon's Motor Neurone Disease.
Why We Swim
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. Why We Swim, a Time Magazine must-read book of 2020, is propelled by stories of Olympic champions, a Baghdad swim club that meets in Saddam Hussein’s palace pool, and modern-day Japanese samurai swimmers.
Fig Swims The World
Schoolgirl Fig Fitzsherbet can't swim, but sets herself a new year's resolution to complete 20 swims across six continents in 365 days! Fig Swims The World is essentially her diary of that year of swimventures - a personal, humorous, entertaining chronicle that would be ideal for your teenage water baby (but you will also love reading it yourself first!).
Swimming Classics, Wild Guides, and more
December 05, 2020
Honestly, we were never seriously going to limit our list to five swimming books. That would be madness. So here are a few more must-reads for anyone who loves swimming:
Waterlog by Roger Deakin - He was one of the forefathers of today's wild swimming movement, this book inspiring so many to get out and dip, splash and swim their way around their local area. It's a journey through his native Britain, focussed on getting wet as much as possible.
Waterlog is so famous, that recently author Joe Minihane reswam Deakin's routes in a bid to combat anxiety, and the result of that was a new book: Floating - A Life Regained.
Swimming to Antarctica by Lynne Cox - She is one of the original, and still one of the best, open water swimming authors, and this book is a bible to thousands of cold water swimmers. It's not her only title though, and her prose is certainly worth getting to know if you have any interest in open water endurance.
Man vs Ocean - The story of Adam Walker, a toaster salesman, who saw a film about a man who wanted to turn his life around by swimming the English Channel, and was so inspired, he went on to swim the toughest seven oceans in the world.
Wild Swimming in Ireland - An illustrated guide to some of Ireland's most-loved swimming spots, put together by photographer Paul McCambridge and renown long distance swimmer, coach, and Swim Ireland tutor Mo McCoy.
At Swim - An alternative to WSII, with wonderful stories of Brendan Mac Evilly's and Michael O’Reilly's travels around Ireland, seeking new swimventures and swim friends. It is great to dip in and out of, with clear guides to the places they encountered.
The Last Wave by Gillian Best - Follow the life of Martha, a woman who has swum the English Channel 10 times. Dip in and out of the complex relationships she has with her husband, her children, and her close friends, and appreciate that the one constant in Martha’s life is the sea.
Leap In by Alexandra Heminsley - A woman, some waves, and the will to swim. Our author's story of learning to swim, taking to open water, and using her newfound powers to overcome one of her bodys biggest challenges.
21 Miles by Jessica Hepburn - After a decade of trying to become a mother, this author decided to try something different; swim the English Channel. She went swimming - and eating - in search of the meaning of motherhood.
Swim Ireland Education Bookshop
Did you know that Swim Ireland sells books too? Yes, we have a small selection of educational books to help our coaches and swimming teachers. To browse, click the link below and search 'book'.