Lara's Reviews > Swimming Studies

Swimming Studies by Leanne Shapton
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's review
Sep 06, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: non-fic
Read from September 06 to 13, 2012

The design of this book is gorgeous. Here's a tip: if you hold this book in the sunlight, it reflects the colour of pool water in your room. I think I need a copy just so I can achieve this illusion in the winter.

This is a non-fic that reads like a story. It offers insights into the world of the competetive swimmer that I've never thought about (electronic touch pads? wat?), but also delves deeply into the author's own life and reflections. I realize this will be filed with the sports books, but it reads like a very tender memoir. It shifts through time like a swimmer doing lengths, and gives the reader enough credit to figure out when in time it is by giving a few reference markers. As she transforms from athlete to artist, she explores how 'specialness' is often the product of practice, practice, practice, whether it be sports or art.

I heard about this book when the author was a guest on The Story on APM. I was hooked by the succinct cross-sections of the swimmers' lives as the racers are on the blocks.

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