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Nine Ways to Cross a River: Midstream Reflections on Swimming and Getting There from Here
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Nine Ways to Cross a River: Midstream Reflections on Swimming and Getting There from Here

3.30  ·  Rating Details  ·  47 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
From Thoreau to Edward Abbey to Annie Dillard, American writers have looked at nature and described the sublime and transcendent. Now comes Akiko Busch, who finds multitudes of meaning in the practice of swimming across rivers. The notion that rivers divide us is old and venerated, but they also limn our identities and mark the passage of time; they anchor communities and ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published July 10th 2007 by Bloomsbury USA
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(showing 1-30 of 105)
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Dec 31, 2007 Julia rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoirs
I loved the concept of this book--swimming rivers and then writing about the experience--and liked the beginning of it, but it lost me midway through. It seemed like the author was working too hard, trying to connect the swims in different rivers to each other and with universal themes or larger meaning. The result was that the second half of the book seemed forced, and I felt let down at the end.
Dec 21, 2012 Robert rated it really liked it
Expectations for what one will find in this book is best explained by it's subtitle: Midstream Reflections on Swimming and Getting There from Here. This a book about reflections, it is not about swimming, nor even necessarily the rivers themselves, but about the author's experience with each, or more accurately, within each. It is more prose than literature, more experiential than informative. As such, and much like its focus subject, it meanders, it wanders, and sometimes takes us on unexpected ...more
Sep 08, 2007 Rebecca rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: a lost river rat
this is book was part of my book club this month and I must admit I am not sure why it was select or considered a New York Bestseller.

It is individual chapter about the author's experience crossing nine various rivers across the United States. While there were a couple of good moments, it was a relatively dry book and the author attempted in many ways to make connections between the way of the river and life.

There were a couple of good quotes in the book but other than that, it was good I was
Just shy of turning fifty, and just before the events of 9/11, Busch made a swim across the Hudson River near her home. The tragedy gave her the resolve to embark on journeys to eight other American rivers (the Delaware, Connecticut, Susquehanna, Monongahela, Cheat, Mississippi, Ohio and Current Rivers) and attempt to swim across them (although she received much contradictory information regarding the safety of this venture). These evocative essays blend history and lore of the rivers with envir ...more
Feb 20, 2008 Emily rated it did not like it
Recommended to Emily by: Library Journal
I was really looking forward to this book because there aren't many writers that write about understanding water as place by throwing themselves into the water. But, the book was a total disappointment. It could have been a nice short essay, but it just seemed forced as a whole. Busch says the same thing over and over, and doesn't really get at the heart of why people swim to understand water and places. Plus, she totally rips on lakes and pools and often treads too lightly on the danger she som ...more
Feb 09, 2016 Sacha rated it liked it
This book didn't grab me and inspire me the way I thought it might. It was a slow read, not bad, I didn't give up reading it, though I wasn't drawn to it. I'm not sure if it was the book itself, if it is because I read in winter when swimming in rivers isn't enticing, or because the industrial rivers of the East and Midwest seem so distant to me.
Jul 28, 2008 Tracy rated it liked it
I didn't read the whole thing--just the Hudson and Mississippi Rivers. Out of those 3 sections, I liked the Introduction about the Hudson river the best. The information about the rivers, while not in-depth, was interesting. She seems to clearly state that she wants people to become more connected with rivers, to reinstill them in the popular imagination and our lives, and that one of the ways to do that is to swim, and not be afraid of the rivers. Her message is nice, but I think I would have b ...more
Nov 09, 2010 Dianne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spiritual
I'm reading this for our campus Terra Nova group, which explores the intersection of science and spirituality. Oh it's beautiful! As an avid swimmer and founder of the 'all girl pond swimming club', I am crazy about these tales of swimming across rivers. The best descriptions I've ever read about textures of water.....I now eagerly eye every river I see to spy reasonable crossing points.
Nov 08, 2008 Elizabeth rated it it was ok
I really liked the parts of the book where the author was actually crossing the rivers. Unfortunately, that made up a very small part of the book. Badly in need of a heavy-handed editor.
Mary K.
Feb 21, 2008 Mary K. rated it really liked it
For those who love swimming, rivers, nature and philosophy. If you like meaningful deeds and just a bit of daring. Lots of geography, history and conservation talk, too.
Oct 04, 2007 Jessica rated it really liked it
Contains some very poetic insights into immersion and what lies beneath the surface. Metphorically and otherwise. If you like to swim you must read this book.
Jul 13, 2013 Annette rated it really liked it
I really liked this one very much. The structure and the idea are wonderful, in the first place, and I surely admire her values and her courage and tenacity!!
Carolyn thompson hammack
Jan 14, 2009 Carolyn thompson hammack rated it really liked it
akiko busch made you feel like you were right there in the river. many of the rivers were in parts of the country where i have spent a lot of time.
Aug 02, 2011 David rated it it was ok
Shelves: book
A set of essays and musings about rivers as the author swims across nine of them in the US.
Steve Tsuchiyama
enjoyable read about a woman who decided to swim across a bunch of rivers
Jan 28, 2008 Suzanne rated it it was ok
Pretty slow meditation on swimming and rivers.
Megan C
May 22, 2011 Megan C rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Some lovely descriptions.
Robert Whan
Robert Whan rated it liked it
May 06, 2016
Heather Maoury
Heather Maoury marked it as to-read
Apr 02, 2016
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Akiko Busch has written about design and culture since 1979. She is the author of Geography of Home: Writings on Where We Live and The Uncommon Life of Common Objects: Essays on Design an the Everyday. Her most recent book of essays, Nine Ways to Cross a River, a collection of essays about swimming across American Rivers, was published in 2007 by Bloomsbury/USA. She was a contributing editor at Me ...more
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