Swimming for your life

During the swelter of July and August, what could be more appealing than a dip into cool river waters? The first time New York design journalist (and passionate amateur swimmer) Akiko Busch swam across the Hudson River she was transfixed; Nine Ways to Cross a River: Midstream Reflections on Swimming and Getting There from Here (available 7/10) gracefully chronicles her quest to swim across eight other rivers, including the Mississippi, the Delaware, and the Ohio.

Busch examines the history of each river and ponders philosophical thoughts on the elemental power of waters, rhythm, and currents. “Each river has its own identity, and it is one you come to know the way you come to know anything or anyone you love,” Busch writes. “You are captivated by the sight of it; you are taken with its spirit; you learn its personal history. And then, sooner or later, you acquaint yourself with its personal presence.”

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

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