- Biography & Memoir
'Lovely, lively, passionate... a celebration of nature's ability to inspire healing and joy' Robert MacFarlane.
In the breast strokes of Roger Deakin's Waterlog, this is the story of one man's journey swimming in Britain's waters while coming to terms with something more challenging than the choppy waters of the English Channel.
Joe Minihane became obsessed with wild swimming and its restorative power, developing a new-found passion by following the example of naturalist Roger Deakin in his own swimming memoir. While fighting the currents, sometimes treading water, Minihane confronts the buried issues in his life. Both strange and beautiful, the water puts him in touch with nature and himself. Floating is a remarkable memoir about a love of swimming and a deep appreciation for the British countryside. It captures in memorable detail Minihane’s struggle to understand himself, to move forward and celebrate the joy of taking time out for oneself. From Hampstead to Yorkshire, Dorset to Jura, the Isles of Scilly to Wales, Minihane has written a love letter to wild stretches of water. We swim with him through ponds, lakes, rivers and the ice-cold sea coming out of the water refreshed and ready to enjoy life.
‘Engaging and enjoyable… as much a commentary on the changing nature of Britain as a celebration of wild swimming’ The Idler
‘Minihane writes with refreshing candour… a transformative emotional journey’ Observer
‘Minihane writes cleanly and with honesty, and never misses a factual or stylistic stroke’ TLS
‘Lovely, lively, passionate… a celebration of nature’s ability to inspire healing and joy’ Robert MacFarlane, author of Landmarks
'Roger Deakin’s Waterlog journey, rebooted for the 21st century, Floating is a delicious slice of nature writing with a truly human heart' Alex Heminsley, author of Leap In
‘A wonderful book: a love letter to wild swimming, a hate letter to anxiety and a story of how we can learn to live with ourselves, our overclocked minds, even after we climb out of the water’ Joe Dunthorne, author of Submarine
‘A gentle, warm and life-affirming journey, celebrating the therapeutic joy found in swimming outdoors’ The Idler
‘I love this book… this has to sit next to Waterlog in every swimmer’s library’ Jenny Landreth, author of Swell: A Waterbiography
'A gem... so thoughtful. Prose as clean and beautiful as a good swim' Jessica Lee, author of Turning
‘Minihane writes with a compulsive honesty and clarity that draws you into its stream as beguiling as any river Deakin ever swam – a wonderful read. Highly recommended!’ Kate Rew founder of the Outdoor Swimming Society
‘A string of immersive green dreams, from still, pollen-dusted ponds of warm days to the cold churning power of the sea… this is an effortless, absorbing read. Floating highlights the beautiful variety of outdoor swims possible in Britain and the great positive impact they can have’ Caught by the River
'Minihane finds in swimming a rare moment of being free from anxiety and learns that it can be integral in overcoming depression' Wanderlust
‘We follow Minihane as he teams up with various friends to tackle swims in public pools, murky canals, sparkling lakes and fierce waves… anyone who has enjoyed the recent raft of ‘nature as therapy’ books would find this a good read’ Nudge Books
'Genuine and refreshing' Kirkus Reviews
‘Takes Deakin’s adventures a step further, by exploring the power wild swimming offers in the battle with his own anxiety problems’ Hackney Citizen
‘With the aid of re-kindled friendships, helpful taxi drivers and sheer determination Joe painstakingly sets out to re-trace all of [Deakin]’s swims conquering his fears of toe nibbling pikes, swan attacks and hungry eels’ Brockwell Swimmers Association