Swimspiration While in Isolation: Reading List


This article was written for Outdoor Swimmer by Ella Foote. 

There is never a better time to catch up on your reading and there is no shortage of great books to read which can entertain and inspire a swimmer. Adventure, nature, swim-specific and old favourites – here is a list of what the team at Outdoor Swimmer will be reading while on lockdown.

What’s New

Losing Eden, Lucy Jones
As outdoor swimmers we don’t need to be told about the benefits of spending time outside, but this book makes a beautiful and well researched case for a wilder way of living. It may seem odd to recommend reading a book about being outside when we are being asked to stay inside, but this isn’t just about great big landscapes and wide-open seas, it is about soil, seeds and birds just outside our windows. It is a lovely read.

Wintering, Katherine May
This book is a great comfort in this period of uncertainty, the timing is serendipitous. It is about how we all need and have inactive periods in life – winters in our human experience. There are lessons on surviving dormant periods, dark moments and change of circumstances all told through Katherine’s personal experiences. There are beautiful passages about swimming in the sea in winter but overall this is a great book for comfort in these difficult times.

Swimming Focused

Taking the Plunge, Anna Deacon & Vicky Allan
This is a lovely book to dip in and out of and features gorgeous photography. Full of swimming stories from all sorts of swimmers, this book is about the healing nature of swimming and how much joy it brings. There is practical advice and personal inspiration, but overall is just a great example of the community we love to be part of.

A Boy in the Water, Tom Gregory
This isn’t just another book about another swimmer in the English Channel, it is a wonderful celebration of a moment in time for long-distance swimming. It is about spirit, determination, support, belief. There was so much to be enjoyed in this quick and simple read about a young boy’s dream. It won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2018 for good reason.

At the Pond: Swimming at the Hampstead Ladies’ Pond
A lovely collection of stories from London’s famous female pond. If you are a Hampstead Heath swimmer missing your fix, this is a great way to dive back into the energy of the place. Written by different swimmer writers from different perspectives it reflects on the history, seasons and spirit of swimming in the female-only pond.

Butterfly, Yusra Mardini
This one might have passed you by when it came out. It is a true story about how one woman saved fellow refugees from drowning and how she went on to become an Olympic swimmer. It is a great reminder of how ordinary people are thrown into extraordinary circumstances, unimaginable to many. Reading it will give you some grounding for the weeks ahead.

For more outdoor swimming inspiration and advice visit www.outdoorswimmer.com


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