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Find a Way

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  1,572 ratings  ·  291 reviews
On September 2, 2013, at the age of sixty-four, Diana Nyad emerged onto the sands of Key West after swimming 111 miles, nation to nation, Cuba to Florida, in an epic feat of both endurance and human will, in fifty-three hours. Diana carried three poignant messages on her way across this stretch of shark-infested waters, and she spoke them to the crowd in her moment of fina ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 20th 2015 by Knopf
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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Diane
Oct 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Diana Nyad is one tough woman. She is the person who swam from Cuba to Florida when she was 64. That's right, 64. It was her fifth attempt.

When Nyad was 26, she swam around the island of Manhattan, setting a world speed record. She also set a distance record for swimming from the Bahamas to Florida. And I hear she's good at playing squash.

This memoir covers Nyad's life from childhood to her 60s, but it jumps around and meanders quite a bit, almost as if her thoughts were being swayed by ocean w
...more
Clif Hostetler
Feb 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
Diana Nyad is my nomination for patron saint for those over age sixty who are searching for new challenges. Those striving for persistence and endurance can also find solace in her story as well.

She first tried to swim from Cuba to the United States in 1978 at age twenty-eight and failed. Then she went on to her midlife career consisting of broadcast journalism and motivational speaker. As she approached her retirement years she decided to try that swim again at age sixty. Again she failed, but
...more
Jennifer
"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" Mary Oliver

Diana Nyad is nothing short of an inspiration, whether one is looking for a story of athletic achievement, triumph over adversity, dogged refusal to give to give up on a goal, or fully embracing life long after conventional wisdom might have said the best days were behind you.

"Find a Way" is a chronicle of Diana Nyad's life, including her successful record-setting 110.86 mile swim from Cuba to Florida (52 hours
...more
Jennifer
Nov 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, swim-bike-run
Excellent memoir. More than a book about an extreme athlete, this is a book about courage, determination, and the amazing power of the human spirit. Must read.
Tara - Running 'n' Reading
Nov 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely incredible. At the end of this book, Nyad writes, in her author's notes,

"Eighty percent of what I wrote isn't in the book, but the pursuit of recalling a lifetime of experiences proved to be one of the most illuminating things I've ever done. Perspective of what was in the end important surfaced. Gratitude for this rocket ship of a life I've gotten to live overwhelmed me."

This book is so much more than the quest to reach Florida from Cuba as an open water swimmer, it is a true exampl
...more
Anita Pomerantz
Feb 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
After reading this memoir, I seriously would rather climb Mt. Everest than attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida.

Diana Nyad relates her multiple attempts to complete this swim, and it certainly is inspirational. Talk about tenacity and energy. Honestly, I felt like the mental effort to simply organize her attempt(s) were equal to the physical effort of the swimming. I was exhausted merely reading about it.

Her message is one she encapsulates toward the end of her book in the following quote:

Whatev
...more
Diane Yannick
Nov 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved reading about this extreme athlete who refused to give up on her dream. Yep, at age 64 she swam for 52 hours from Cuba to Florida. Two years later, she gives us a gift---her story. She figures out how to solve problems like those danged box jellyfish that sideline many others. The dedication of her team and her love for them is crystal clear. She was molested by an Olympic coach but appeared to use every negative experience as a way to strengthen her spirit. She trained relentlessly and ...more
Donna
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the autobiography of Diana Nyad who set some impressive swimming records. She definitely has a story to tell and I found this very inspirational. She had trials to overcome, but I'm not sure "overcome" is the right word here. She more than 'overcame' them. She learned to deal with it and did not let them define her. She carved out her own place. Not only that, but she owned it and triumphed.

I admire her strength and dedication. This sounded honest and I appreciated her narrative voice h
...more
Robin
Nov 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I am just in awe of this woman. She was one of my favorite NPR commentators and her storytelling skills transfer well to this autobiography. Her mental discipline through 50+ hours of nonstop swimming, repeatedly trying an unprecedented athletic feat in her 60s that she failed at in her 20s, her journalism career, and her physical abilities all just blow me away. Highly recommended.
D'Anne Avotins
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If Goodreads has a 5-star scale, then I give this book 6 stars. Ever since I read "The Orchard" by Adele Crockett Robertson, I have been in love with the Memoir/Biography genre. To glimpse into the life of someone so dedicated to a life mission is true inspiration to me. Diana Nyad's story, from page one, captivated and delighted me, cover to cover. It resonated with me on so many levels: friendship, love, feminism, athleticism, dedication, teamwork... Her writing entranced me. I loved the impre ...more
Estef Najera
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Is an inspiring story for “never, ever give up”

My best phrase is:
“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals”

Btw #haters must die! Don’t be envy of others !
Faye
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm amazed by Diana Nyad! It was a great book of adventure and a life lived with purpose.
I actually read it specifically in the summer because I thought it would add to my love of swimming - well, it didn't. Her swims sound torturous! However, I learned some tips to keep the mind occupied during long swims, which I tried. The counting didn't do it for me, but having a list of songs to sing to myself is a great idea.
Paul Kiczek
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in a physical or mental challenge
Recommended to Paul by: Everwalk
Diana Nyad holds an inexplicable power to push herself beyond personal limits. Whether that was created from innate personal strength or forged from unfortunate personal circumstances, we get to share a bit of what it’s like to live a willful life on the edge. There is a life lesson here for all of us.

I guess I’ve always wondered what drives people to do the impossible. For many like me, Diana’s stories have been heard over the years in short but stunning news blurbs, like swimming around Manhat
...more
Christine Zibas
Jan 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The world was in awe when Diana Nyad turned up on the beach of Key West, having crossed the ocean from Cuba at age 64. After reading this biography, "Find a Way," readers will soon see they don't know the half of it. All of the long hours training, the deadly jellyfish, the haywire ocean currents, the 55 hours and 100-plus miles of swimming only begin to tell the tale of what Nyad overcame to reach her dream.

She had first tried the Cuba to Florida crossing in her 20s, as were many other swimmers
...more
Lynne Spreen
Nov 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: midlife
Very inspiring. Some of the challenges Diana Nyad went through to achieve her dream were unbelievable! What a warrior woman. From her childhood, where sexual abuse turned her into an overachiever, to her mid-sixties, where she has one more chance to achieve her lifelong dream, Nyad inspires, yet she's very human. She is introspective, suffers emotionally, wonders about herself, but in the end, gets on with it.

This is a story not just of super-human athletic accomplishment, but also of rebirth a
...more
Ellen
Nov 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It's difficult to imagine the person who wouldn't be fascinated by, touched by, inspired by Diana Nyad's memoir Find A Way. It is so much more than a mere chronicling of her epic swim from Havana, Cuba to Key West, Florida, in 2013, at age 64.
It's a breathing, pulsing offering of an extraordinary person's lifelong journey to get to her "other shore," but meant to reflect back to each and every reader that we too get to live our " one wild and precious life" with purpose, passion, and intensity,
...more
Jennifer Madgiak
Jan 03, 2016 rated it did not like it
Diana Nyad is an extreme ultra-swimmer, which is incredible as is her journey.
I'm a swimmer myself, so I can definitely admire her determination and the never give up mentality, just remarkable!
Diana Nyad is not, however, a good story-teller. I did appreciate the occasional sarcasm/jokes, but overall it was hard for me to follow the "plot" and order of events.
Lynda Haghan
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Interesting story
Devon
Jun 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Who would not burst into tears watching Nyad haul herself onto the Key West shore after her 52 + hour swim from Cuba--battered, weakened, lurching, swollen and burnt from salt water and jelly fish stings?

This is a well written account of the drive and journey that (after four prior thwarted attempts) finally brought her to that destination. Nyad tells the story with some puzzle pieces from her personal background that bring a lot of dimension, color and relate-ability to the narrative, creating
...more
Alison
Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
Because I miss swimming so much I decided to torture myself / live vicariously through Diana Nyad in her memoir about her 110-mile swim through deadly box jellyfish infested waters from Cuba to Florida in 52 nonstop hours at the age of 64. It took her FIVE attempts to finally accomplish this, 35 years.

For a long time the long distance open water swim record was the infamous English Channel swim - 21 miles. When she was in her 20’s she broke that record by swimming 28 miles around Manhattan. When
...more
Nita
Sep 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
What a great story. I needed a story of someone who never gave up even when the world said differently. May we all have a passion like Diana Nyad and be able to doggedly pursue the dream.
Lucy Pettitt
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A truly inspirational read!
Jill Myers
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you need some inspiration to get back to working towards that dream that keeps gnawing at you then read this book!
Andy Miller
Dec 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
A compelling memoir by Diana Nyad that tells the story of the life, starting with her dad whose sometimes charm was outweighed by his frequent abuse and even more frequent absences and her mom whose love and spirit was diminished by her failure to protect Diana and her other children. The story continues with her early successful swimming career and a recounting of her being sexually abused by her coach. The story of her abuse is frank and detailed with the exception that she does not name the c ...more
Nancy Kennedy
Dec 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Diana Nyad made headlines when at the age of 64, she swam from Cuba to Key West. Not only was this achievement awe-inspiring in itself, it was even more incredible given that when she decided to give the 110-mile swim another try (she had failed once in her 30s), she had not swum for thirty years.

Ms. Nyad's book begins on the cobblestone streets of Old Havana as she anticipates the first strokes of her challenge. From there, she backtracks to her childhood with a remote French mother and an abus
...more
Heather
Nov 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: running-books
My rating for this book is an average-I give Diana Nyad and her amazing athletic accomplishments 5 stars and her book 3 (maybe even 2) stars. Before reading this, I knew that Nyad had been the first person to swim from Cuba to the US but I didn't realize she was 64 years old at the time or that the swimming wasn't the hard part, the hard part was coming up with ways to stay fed and hydrated, to keep sharks away, to navigate the most direct course, and to protect herself from jellyfish stings. I ...more
Paul
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this account of Diana Nyad's extraordinary life, focused on her successful swim from Cuba to Key West at age 64, after four unsuccessful attempts, beginning in her late 20s. Nyad is a great storyteller and writer. The account is engaging. It's especially inspiring considering the horrible abuse she suffered from her stepfather and high school swimming coach. The Audible edition is especially nice because Nyad reads the book.
Rebecca W
What a story! Diana Nyad left her Phd program in literature when she discovered her talent for distance ocean swimming, and she still has an ear for a story. A book about swimming long distance doesn't necessarily sound that interesting. But the journey to swimming from Cuba to Florida was exciting and dangerous and involved an unbelievable number of people. She read the audiobook and did a great job with the voices. Several times while listening to this I thought to myself that this would be a ...more
Lianne
Apr 19, 2016 rated it liked it
I have very mixed feelings about this book. No matter what my other opinions are, Diana Nyad is one of the most amazing athletes I have ever read about. Her strength of both mind and body is simply amazing. That said, I don't think she is a particularly great writer (she jumps all over the place in many instances making it difficult to follow her story). I also do not agree with her morals and feel that she is a pretty selfish person. She accomplished her dream but at what cost to her relationsh ...more
Pascale
Nov 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
I have no time for so-called inspirational literature, but swimming is my thing and I was much taken with a piece on Nyad in the New Yorker a couple of years ago. Although she rabbits on a bit too long at the end about her values and the meaning of her Dream, on the whole, this was a very engrossing read. She writes persuasively and makes every minute of her journey captivating to follow. I wish she'd chosen to include more info about her sponsors and the financial side of this huge operation. H ...more
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For her maverick open-water performance of the 1970s, Diana Nyad was known as the world’s greatest long-distance swimmer. For the next thirty years, Nyad was a prominent sports broadcaster and journalist, filing compelling stories for National Public Radio, ABC’s Wide World of Sports, and others. She is a national fitness icon, has written three other books, is a talented linguist, and is one of t ...more

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“I failed and faltered many times, but I can look back without regret because I was never burdened with the paralysis of fear and inaction.” 5 likes
“What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” 5 likes
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