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CHINATOWN, U.S.A.: a state of mind, a world within a world, a neighborhood that exists in more cities than you might imagine. Every day, Americans find "something different" in Chinatown's narrow lanes and overflowing markets, tasting exotic delicacies from a world apart or bartering for a trinket on the street -- all without ever leaving the country. It's a place that's foreign yet familiar, by now quite well known on the Western cultural radar, but splitting the difference still gives many visitors to Chinatown the sense, above all, that things are not what they seem -- something everyone in popular culture, from Charlie Chan to Jack Nicholson, has been telling us for decades. And it's true that few visitors realize just how much goes on beneath the surface of this vibrant microcosm, a place with its own deeply felt history and stories of national cultural significance. But Chinatown is not a place that needs solving; it's a place that needs a more specific telling. In American Chinatown, acclaimed travel writer Bonnie Tsui takes an affectionate and attentive look at the neighborhood that has bewitched her since childhood, when she eagerly awaited her grandfather's return from the fortune-cookie factory. Tsui visits the country's four most famous Chinatowns -- San Francisco (the oldest), New York (the biggest), Los Angeles (the film icon), Honolulu (the crossroads) -- and makes her final, fascinating stop in Las Vegas (the newest; this Chinatown began as a mall); in her explorations, she focuses on the remarkable experiences of ordinary people, everyone from first-to fifth-generation Chinese Americans. American Chinatown breaks down the enigma of Chinatown by offering narrative glimpses: intriguing characters who reveal the realities and the unexpected details of Chinatown life that American audiences haven't heard. There are beauty queens, celebrity chefs, immigrant garment workers; there are high school kids who are changing inner-city life in San Francisco, Chinese extras who played key roles in 1940s Hollywood, new arrivals who go straight to dealer school in Las Vegas hoping to find their fortunes in their own vision of "gold mountain." Tsui's investigations run everywhere, from mom-and-pop fortune-cookie factories to the mall, leaving no stone unturned. By interweaving her personal impressions with the experiences of those living in these unique communities, Tsui beautifully captures their vivid stories, giving readers a deeper look into what "Chinatown" means to its inhabitants, what each community takes on from its American home, and what their experience means to America at large. For anyone who has ever wandered through Chinatown and wondered what it was all about, and for Americans wanting to understand the changing face of their own country, American Chinatown is an all-access pass.
This stunning nonfiction picture book tells the inspiring story of Sarah Gerhardt, one of the first female big-wave surfers. Have you ever seen a big wave? One that’s twenty, thirty, forty, even fifty feet tall? Here’s a better question: Would you ever surf a big wave? Sarah Gerhardt did—and this is her story. Sarah and the Big Wave, a tale of perseverance and indomitable spirit, is about the first woman to ride the waves at Mavericks, one of the biggest and most dangerous surf breaks in the world.
The question didn't seem to be so much why we swim, as where and how we swim, and with whom. Also, where we fail to swim, water threatening to flood our lungs or the lungs of others, as well as where we rise and float. Ingrid Horrocks had few aspirations to swimming mastery, but she had always loved being in the water. She set out on a solo swimming journey, then abandoned it for a different kind of immersion altogether &– one which led her to more deeply examine relationships, our ecological crisis, and responsibilities to those around us. Where We Swim ranges from solitary swims in polluted rivers in Aotearoa New Zealand, to dips in pools in Arizona and the Peruvian Amazon, and in the ocean off Western Australia and the south coast of England. Part memoir, part travel and nature writing, this generous and absorbing book is about being a daughter, sister, partner, mother, and above all a human being living among other animals on this watery planet.
Book The Sea We Swim In: How Stories Work in a Data-Driven World Description/Summary:
A practical guide to "narrative thinking," and why it matters in a world defined by data. In The Sea We Swim In, Frank Rose leads us to a new understanding of stories and their role in our lives. For decades, experts from many fields—psychologists, economists, advertising and marketing executives—failed to register the power of narrative. Scientists thought stories were frivolous. Economists were knee-deep in theory. Marketers just wanted to cut to the sales pitch. Yet stories, not reasoning, are the key to persuasion. Whether we’re aware of it or not, stories determine how we view the world and our place in it. That means the tools of professional storytellers—character, world, detail, voice—can unlock a way of thinking that’s ideal for an age in which we don’t passively consume media but actively participate in it. Building on insights from cognitive psychology and neuroscience, Rose shows us how to see the world in narrative terms, not as a thesis to be argued or a pitch to be made but as a story to be told. Leading brands and top entertainment professionals already understand the vast potential of storytelling. From Warby Parker to Mailchimp to The Walking Dead, Rose explains how they use stories to establish their identity and turn ordinary people into fans—and how you can do the same.
A Time Magazine Must-Read Book of 2020 A Best Book of the Season: BuzzFeed * Bustle * San Francisco Chronicle A Best Book of the Year: NPR's Book Concierge * Washington Independent Review of Books “A fascinating and beautifully written love letter to water. I was enchanted by this book." —Rebecca Skloot, bestselling author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks An immersive, unforgettable, and eye-opening perspective on swimming—and on human behavior itself. We swim in freezing Arctic waters and piranha-infested rivers to test our limits. We swim for pleasure, for exercise, for healing. But humans, unlike other animals that are drawn to water, are not natural-born swimmers. We must be taught. Our evolutionary ancestors learned for survival; now, in the twenty-first century, swimming is one of the most popular activities in the world. Why We Swim is propelled by stories of Olympic champions, a Baghdad swim club that meets in Saddam Hussein’s palace pool, modern-day Japanese samurai swimmers, and even an Icelandic fisherman who improbably survives a wintry six-hour swim after a shipwreck. New York Times contributor Bonnie Tsui, a swimmer herself, dives into the deep, from the San Francisco Bay to the South China Sea, investigating what it is about water that seduces us, despite its dangers, and why we come back to it again and again.
“A blistering plot and crisp writing make The Night Swim an unputdownable read.” –Sarah Pekkanen, bestselling author of The Wife Between Us In The Night Swim, a new thriller from Megan Goldin, author of the “gripping and unforgettable” (Harlan Coben) The Escape Room, a true crime podcast host covering a controversial trial finds herself drawn deep into a small town’s dark past and a brutal crime that took place there years before. Ever since her true-crime podcast became an overnight sensation and set an innocent man free, Rachel Krall has become a household name—and the last hope for people seeking justice. But she’s used to being recognized for her voice, not her face. Which makes it all the more unsettling when she finds a note on her car windshield, addressed to her, begging for help. The new season of Rachel's podcast has brought her to a small town being torn apart by a devastating rape trial. A local golden boy, a swimmer destined for Olympic greatness, has been accused of raping the beloved granddaughter of the police chief. Under pressure to make Season 3 a success, Rachel throws herself into her investigation—but the mysterious letters keep coming. Someone is following her, and she won’t stop until Rachel finds out what happened to her sister twenty-five years ago. Officially, Jenny Stills tragically drowned, but the letters insist she was murdered—and when Rachel starts asking questions, nobody in town wants to answer. The past and present start to collide as Rachel uncovers startling connections between the two cases—and a revelation that will change the course of the trial and the lives of everyone involved. Electrifying and propulsive, The Night Swim asks: What is the price of a reputation? Can a small town ever right the wrongs of its past? And what really happened to Jenny?
Winner of the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award, Autobiography Swimming Studies is a brilliantly original, meditative memoir that explores the worlds of competitive and recreational swimming. From her training for the Olympic trials as a teenager to enjoying pools and beaches around the world as an adult, Leanne Shapton offers a fascinating glimpse into the private, often solitary, realm of swimming. Her spare and elegant writing reveals an intimate narrative of suburban adolescence, spent underwater in a discipline that continues to inspire Shapton’s work as an artist and author. Her illustrations throughout the book offer an intuitive perspective on the landscapes and imagery of the sport. Shapton’s emphasis is on the smaller moments of athletic pursuit rather than its triumphs. For the accomplished athlete, aspiring amateur, or habitual practicer, this remarkable work of written and visual sketches propels the reader through a beautifully personal and universally appealing exercise in reflection.
In California, a team of talented young men begin pursuing the most elusive dream in sports, the Olympic Games. The pressure steadily increases as two best friends (a mentor and his protégé) reach the top of the world rankings and unexpectedly find themselves direct competitors. Their teammates include an emerging star methodically plotting to retrace his father's path to Olympic glory, as well as a super-extraordinary athlete desperate to walk away from it all. Led by one of the most passionate coaches in sports, a brilliant and explosive strategist on a personal quest for redemption, this team of dark horses and Olympic favorites works through escalating rivalries, joyous triumphs, and heartbreaking setbacks. Author P. H. Mullen chronicles their journey to the 2000 Olympic Games and presents one of the most powerful and moving sports books ever written. Boldly sweeping in literary power and pace, this startling book will permanently change how you view the Olympic athlete. It is a fascinating world of suspense and emotion where human desire for excellence rules over all, and where there are no second chances for glory. But above all, Gold in the Water is a triumph of the human spirit.
Architecture critic and water baby Christopher Beanland takes a deep dive into the fashionable outdoor swimming scene with Lido, profiling the world s best pools with his trademark wit, wisdom and pop culture references. Stylish photography and interviews with fellow lido enthusiasts only further add gloss to Beanland s delightful new book.
Book A Swim in a Pond in the Rain Description/Summary:
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the Booker Prize–winning author of Lincoln in the Bardo and Tenth of December comes a literary master class on what makes great stories work and what they can tell us about ourselves—and our world today. LONGLISTED FOR THE PEN/DIAMONSTEIN-SPIELVOGEL AWARD • ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The Washington Post, NPR, Time, San Francisco Chronicle, Esquire, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Town & Country, The Rumpus, Electric Lit, Thrillist, BookPage • “[A] worship song to writers and readers.”—Oprah Daily For the last twenty years, George Saunders has been teaching a class on the Russian short story to his MFA students at Syracuse University. In A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, he shares a version of that class with us, offering some of what he and his students have discovered together over the years. Paired with iconic short stories by Chekhov, Turgenev, Tolstoy, and Gogol, the seven essays in this book are intended for anyone interested in how fiction works and why it’s more relevant than ever in these turbulent times. In his introduction, Saunders writes, “We’re going to enter seven fastidiously constructed scale models of the world, made for a specific purpose that our time maybe doesn’t fully endorse but that these writers accepted implicitly as the aim of art—namely, to ask the big questions, questions like, How are we supposed to be living down here? What were we put here to accomplish? What should we value? What is truth, anyway, and how might we recognize it?” He approaches the stories technically yet accessibly, and through them explains how narrative functions; why we stay immersed in a story and why we resist it; and the bedrock virtues a writer must foster. The process of writing, Saunders reminds us, is a technical craft, but also a way of training oneself to see the world with new openness and curiosity. A Swim in a Pond in the Rain is a deep exploration not just of how great writing works but of how the mind itself works while reading, and of how the reading and writing of stories make genuine connection possible.
Just as George Plimpton had his proverbial cup of coffee in the NFL as the un-recruited and certainly unwanted fourth-string quarterback for the Detroit Lions, so, too, did Will McGough immerse himself in a sport he had no business trying. Like Plimpton, whose football folly turned into the bestselling Paper Lion, travel and outdoor writer McGough writes of his participation in, around, and over the course of one of the world's premier triathlons, the annual 140.6-mile Ironman in Tempe, Arizona. McGough chronicles the Ironman’s history, his unorthodox training, the pageantry of the race weekend, and his attempt to finish the epic event. The narrative follows not just his race but also explores the cult and habits of the triathlete community, beginning with the first Ironman competition in Hawaii in 1978. This is a light-hearted, self-deprecating, and at times hilarious look at one man's attempt to conquer the ultimate endurance sport, with a conclusion that will surprise and delight both dedicated triathletes as well as strangers to the sport.
Roger Deakin set out in 1996 to swim through the British Isles. The result a uniquely personal view of an island race and a people with a deep affinity for water. From the sea, from rock pools, from rivers and streams, tarns, lakes, lochs, ponds, lidos, swimming pools and spas, from fens, dykes, moats, aqueducts, waterfalls, flooded quarries, even canals, Deakin gains a fascinating perspective on modern Britain. Detained by water bailiffs in Winchester, intercepted in the Fowey estuary by coastguards, mistaken for a suicude on Camber sands, confronting the Corryvreckan whirlpool in the Hebrides, he discovers just how much of an outsider the native swimmer is to his landlocked, fully-dressed fellow citizens. Encompassing cultural history, autobiography, travel writing and natural history, Waterlog is a personal journey, a bold assertion of the native swimmer's right to roam, and an unforgettable celebration of the magic of water.
Choose a stroke and get paddling through the human history of swimming! From man's first recorded dip into what's now the driest spot on earth to the splashing, sparkling pool party in your backyard, humans have been getting wet for 10,000 years. And for most of modern history, swimming has caused a ripple that touches us all--the heroes and the ordinary folk; the real and the mythic. Splash! dives into Egypt, winds through ancient Greece and Rome, flows mostly underground through the Dark and Middle Ages (at least in Europe), and then reemerges in the wake of the Renaissance before taking its final lap at today's Olympic games. Along the way, it kicks away the idea that swimming is just about moving through water, about speed or great feats of aquatic endurance, and shows you how much more it can be. Its history offers a multi-tiered tour through religion, fashion, architecture, sanitation and public health, colonialism, segregation and integration, sexism, sexiness, guts, glory, and much, much more. Unique and compelling, Splash! sweeps across the whole of humankind's swimming history--and just like jumping into a pool on a hot summer's day, it has fun along the way.
"Stephens' darkly comic, sharply irreverent, undeniably wise 'Great Adoption Novel' is an unexpectedly timely, not-to-be-missed, epic wild ride." --Booklist, *Starred Review* Lisa Pearl is an American teaching English in Japan and the situation there--thanks mostly to her spontaneous, hard-partying ways--has become problematic. Now she's in Seoul, South Korea, with her childhood best-friend Mindy. The young women share a special bond: they are both Korean-born adoptees into white American families. Mindy is in Seoul to track down her birth mom, and wants Lisa to do the same. Trouble is, Lisa isn't convinced she needs to know about her past, much less meet her biological mother. She'd much rather spend time with Harrison, an almost supernaturally handsome local who works for the MotherFinder's agency. When Lisa wakes up inside a palatial mountain compound, the captive of a glamorous, surgically-enhanced blonde named Honey, she soon realizes she is going to learn about her past whether she likes it or not. What happens next only could in one place: North Korea.
NATIONAL BESTSELLER • In this extraordinary book, the world’s most extraordinary distance swimmer writes about her emotional and spiritual need to swim and about the almost mystical act of swimming itself. Lynne Cox trained hard from age nine, working with an Olympic coach, swimming five to twelve miles each day in the Pacific. At age eleven, she swam even when hail made the water “like cold tapioca pudding” and was told she would one day swim the English Channel. Four years later—not yet out of high school—she broke the men’s and women’s world records for the Channel swim. In 1987, she swam the Bering Strait from America to the Soviet Union—a feat that, according to Gorbachev, helped diminish tensions between Russia and the United States. Lynne Cox’s relationship with the water is almost mystical: she describes swimming as flying, and remembers swimming at night through flocks of flying fish the size of mockingbirds, remembers being escorted by a pod of dolphins that came to her off New Zealand. She has a photographic memory of her swims. She tells us how she conceived of, planned, and trained for each, and re-creates for us the experience of swimming (almost) unswimmable bodies of water, including her most recent astonishing one-mile swim to Antarctica in thirty-two-degree water without a wet suit. She tells us how, through training and by taking advantage of her naturally plump physique, she is able to create more heat in the water than she loses. Lynne Cox has swum the Mediterranean, the three-mile Strait of Messina, under the ancient bridges of Kunning Lake, below the old summer palace of the emperor of China in Beijing. Breaking records no longer interests her. She writes about the ways in which these swims instead became vehicles for personal goals, how she sees herself as the lone swimmer among the waves, pitting her courage against the odds, drawn to dangerous places and treacherous waters that, since ancient times, have challenged sailors in ships.
"In the aftermath of a deadly outbreak bearing similarities to the Tanganyika Laughter Epidemic, a city at the tip of Africa is losing its mind-complete with hallucinations, paranoia, and good old-fashioned ghost sightings. Is it the result of secret government experiments, an episode of mass hysteria, the effects of trauma, a sign of the end times? In a quarantined city in which the inexplicable has already occurred, rumors, superstitions, and conspiracy theories abound. In these strange days, Faith works as a full-time corpse collector and a freelance truthologist, putting together disparate pieces of information to solve others' problems. But after Faith agrees to help an orphaned girl find the girl's abducted baby brother, she begins to wonder whether the boy is even real. Meanwhile, Sans, a ponyjacker in the human hair trade, is so distracted by a glimpse of his dream woman that he lets a bag of money he owes his gang partners go missing-leaving him desperately searching for both and soon questioning his own sanity. Over the course of a single week, the paths of Faith, Sans, and a cast of other hustlers-including a data dealer, a drug addict, a sin eater, and a hyena man-will cross and intertwine as they move about the city, looking for lost souls, uncertain absolution, and answers that may not exist. Part ghost story, part whodunit, part palimpsest, THE DOWN DAYS is a rollicking exploration of the mutability of memory, the subjectivity of perception, and the notion that truth is ultimately in the eye of the beholder"--
A landmark book by marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols on the remarkable effects of water on our health and well-being. Why are we drawn to the ocean each summer? Why does being near water set our minds and bodies at ease? In BLUE MIND, Wallace J. Nichols revolutionizes how we think about these questions, revealing the remarkable truth about the benefits of being in, on, under, or simply near water. Combining cutting-edge neuroscience with compelling personal stories from top athletes, leading scientists, military veterans, and gifted artists, he shows how proximity to water can improve performance, increase calm, diminish anxiety, and increase professional success. BLUE MIND not only illustrates the crucial importance of our connection to water-it provides a paradigm shifting "blueprint" for a better life on this Blue Marble we call home.
Jim the crocodile finds the courage to face his fear of swimming in this funny and charming debut picture book for fans of Jabari Jumps and Jean Reidy’s Truman! Jim the crocodile is scared of swimming—or rather, of sinking. His family’s swamp is just too deep, too dark, and too big. But maybe he could swim, if only there were a smaller swamp where he could try it on his own terms. Jim wiggle-waggles far and wide until he finds the perfect place. With the help of some floaties and his sisters, Jim just might find the courage to face his fear and show everyone—including himself—that Jim can swim!