Tag Archives: Dan D’Addona

Book Review: Golden Glow by Dan D’Addona and Kaitlin Sandeno

21 Dec

I’m very lucky that my local Indie bookstore is co-owned by a former swimming reporter. It makes the store a hot spot for swimmers on book tour. I took advantage of such an event to meet Kaitlin Sandeno last summer. 

Cover image via Amazon

Golden Glow by Dan D’Addona and Kaitlin Sandeno

Summary from Amazon:

Kaitlin Sandeno was one of the world’s greatest and most versatile swimmers. Competing at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics, she was a part of the world record breaking 4×200-meter relay team and is one of an elite few to medal in three different strokes.

Golden Glow: How Kaitlin Sandeno Achieved Gold in the Pool and in Life recounts Sandeno’s amazing swimming career—including her spectacular Olympic performances—and details the impact she has made in the world outside the pool. Breaking into the Olympics at seventeen years old, she became the face of the team with her enthusiasm and bubbly personality. She returned to the Olympics four years later to have one of the most dominating meets by an American woman in history. But Sandeno’s legacy in the pool is nothing compared to how she has used her platform to help those around her. She is the national spokesperson for the Jessie Rees Foundation and spreads joy around the country to children fighting cancer. She has emceed Olympic trials, hosted multiple shows for USA Swimming, and has given back to her sport, as a coach of youth teams and now as general manager of the International Swimming League’s DC Trident.

Golden Glow is not only the story of how hard work and perseverance led Sandeno to Olympic gold but also how she has used her success in the pool to inspire those around her.

I was excited to get into this book and learn more about Sandeno’s career. She came up right when I started to follow swimming closely so I didn’t know a ton about her and was excited to read more. Sandeno was great to hear speak and I think part of what I enjoyed so much about this book was remembering the excitement she had when she spoke at her event and knowing that the bubbly personality portrayed in the book was 100% genuine.

The characters were all so positively drawn that if I hadn’t met Kaitlin, I might not have believed how energetic she can be. Since meeting her, I believe this was a very accurate depiction of her, her friends, and her family. The way Sandeno was involved in the story, I knew things would be in a positive light but I didn’t find it rang false and I was glad to hear about her family.

Sandeno’s friends played a big part in this book and I was touched by how close she stayed with friends from high school and college swimming. She seemed to be very loyal to them and they cared for each other in a very meaningful way. I envied those friendships.

My friend Sarah, D’Addona, Sandeno, and me, August 2019

I could understand the ups-and-downs of a swimming career as Sandeno described them. While my stages were not as big as hers, I’ve had that rival that you just can’t seem to beat and those time barriers you just can’t seem to break. It was very relatable to me and made me feel better that even Olympians have the same struggles.

The end of Kaitlin’s career wasn’t what she wanted, but she had so much grace to approach it the way she did. I really enjoyed reading that section and seeing how she could leave the sport on her terms and with such dignity. It earned her even more respect in my mind.

I was frustrated with this book at the beginning. Instead of chronologically progressing through Sandeno’s life, it started with her involvement with the Jessie Rees Foundation, a post-career involvement. I thought this was a weird way to begin the book and upon reaching the end, didn’t understand why it didn’t come there. It started the book on a weird foot for me.

Sandeno didn’t win the individual gold that everyone else wanted for her. But the time she achieved was enough for her to feel like she’d won gold. The relay she did win gold on was legendary. Her Golden Glow is how she approaches life in and out of the water. She really does radiate positivity.

Writer’s Takeaway: I wasn’t a huge fan of the structure of this book. There were a lot of long quotes from Sandeno, her friends, family, and coaches. These were linked together with D’Addona’s narrative. Sometimes, this worked well. Other times, it seemed a bit jolting and seemed to stray on- and off-topic. It was good at giving first-hand accounts, but not the easiest to read for a book-length piece.

Overall I enjoyed this but it wasn’t my favorite. Three out of Five Stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

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WWW Wednesday, 16-December-2020

16 Dec

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: Nothing new with Lateral Thinking by Edward de Bono. I know I’ll get back to it eventually so I’m trying not to worry about it much.
My reading buddy and I had our second-to-last meeting about The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger yesterday. So I’m pushing through to the end! I’m excited to wrap this up this week and have a review up soon.
I made some big progress with A Burnable Book by Bruce Holsinger after a long drive to the doctor’s office last week. I’m a lot more optimistic that I’ll finish it this year now.
I started a new physical book this week and picked up A Pale View of Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro. I’m a big fan of a few Ishiguro works but he can be hit or miss with me. Let’s hope this one is a hit.

Recently finished: I wrapped up Golden Glow by Kaitlin Sandeno and Dan D’Addona on Sunday which means I’ve now read all the autographed books on my shelf! Once book events can happen again, I know I’ll fail at this again but for now, it’s a good feeling. I plan to have a review up next week.

Reading next: My library has reopened and I’m still waiting on the inter-library loan of Hum if You Don’t Know the Words by Bianca Marais. Fingers crossed!
I’ll need an audiobook soon so I’m going to pick up Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. This is a book club pick for January so I want to give myself plenty of time to wrap it up.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

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WWW Wednesday, 9-December-2020

9 Dec

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I actually read a little bit of Lateral Thinking by Edward de Bono! About a chapter. It’s not much, but I’m happy with it.
I’m back in The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger and I’ve still got about 40 pages in our section before I hit our last stopping point. It will be fun to finish this one before the new year.
I’ve taken a break on Golden Glow by Kaitlin Sandeno and Dan D’Addona while I get back to Salinger. I’m sure I’ll be back to it shortly and I should finish it quickly, I’ve taken a big chunk out of it.
I haven’t gotten through a lot of A Burnable Book by Bruce Holsinger but I’m enjoying it so far. I’m not very worried about finishing it by the end of the month, but it will be closer than I’d like.

Recently finished: Nothing new this week. Though I’m optimistic I’ll have something finished next week. I was able to post my review of The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown last Thursday. My book club met last week to talk about it and I’ll post notes from our discussion tomorrow. I really enjoyed this book and gave it a full Five out of Five Stars.

Reading next: I think I’ll need a physical book next and it will be one of two. My library is currently closed and I’ve requested a book via Inter-library Loan. So it will depend on when that’s available. I’ve requested Hum if You Don’t Know the Words by Bianca Marais. This is a book club selection that wasn’t available digitally so I’m hoping to get a copy. The group doesn’t meet until January so I have time.
If the library doesn’t open up soon, I’ll grab one from my shelves. It will be A Pale View of Hills by Kazuo Ishiguro. I’ve had this one on my shelves for a long time and I look forward to finally getting to it.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

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WWW Wednesday, 2-December-2020

2 Dec

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: Is anyone surprised I haven’t touched Lateral Thinking by Edward de Bono? Because I’m not. As the weather gets nasty, maybe I’ll stay in and read during my lunch breaks.
My buddy and I meet tomorrow to talk about The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger so I’ll be pushing forward with this one again soon!
I started Golden Glow by Kaitlin Sandeno and Dan D’Addona over the weekend. Too early to say so far what I think, but I love a good sports biography so I’m just excited to be back to the topic.
I’ve finally started A Burnable Book by Bruce Holsinger! This is a long audiobook and I know I’m in for the long haul so I’m strapping down, determined to finish this during December to complete my reading challenge.

Recently finished: I finished Knitting Yarns by Ann Hood over the weekend and even had time to review it. My review was posted yesterday. I gave the book Three out of Five Stars.
I finished The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown just in time! It was a bit of a race but I was ready for our book club discussion on Monday. I’ll likely post a review and a book club reflection next week or soon after.

Reading next: It’s hard to say. Maybe it’s best that I don’t? I don’t have a plan and with me being so early in my books, it’s hard to predict what I’ll want to pick up next. I’ll stay quiet here this week.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

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WWW Wednesday, 25-November-2020

25 Nov

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: This has been a week of no change. I still haven’t opened Lateral Thinking by Edward de Bono. I guess it didn’t grab me in the first few pages and I haven’t given it a fair try again since.
I keep moving forward with Knitting Yarns by Ann Hood but I’m not near finishing it yet. If I’m optimistic, next week?
I’ve finished our next section in The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger and we’ll pick up and talk about it again after the holiday. I’m liking it OK so far. I’m not won over, but I’m not disliking it either.
I’m now in a race to finish The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. My book club meets on Monday so I’ll be pushing to finish it this weekend!

Recently finished: I’ve got a better feeling about next week. Fingers are crossed.

Reading next: I honestly can’t wait to start A Burnable Book by Bruce Holsinger. I’m optimistic I’ll have it started next week. I really want to finish the reading challenge!
I’ll probably need a physical book next. Reading during quarantine has been a great time to get through signed books that I don’t want leaving my house. The next one on my list is the last of my backlog. I guess I’ve got to get to some author events as soon as I can! The book is Golden Glow by Kaitlin Sandeno and Dan D’Addona. I love my swimming books, so I’m pumped to get to this.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

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Meeting Kaitlin Sandeno and Dan D’Addona (Golden Glow)

27 Aug

Combining my love of swimming with my reading habit is always a wonderful moment. I was able to do that a few years ago when I met Anthony Ervin and just over a week ago I did it again when I met Kaitlin Sandeno. Sandeno is an Olympic medalist and former world record holder. She partnered with sports journalist Dan D’Addona to publish her memoir and one of her book tour stops was in Ann Arbor, MI, a short drive from home. I’m very lucky that there’s another swimmer/reader, Mike Gustafson, who, along with his wife, opened Literati Bookstore back in 2013. Mike is a college swimmer and former writer for USA swimming so he’s able to get big names like Ervin and Sandeno into his store when they’ve published their own books. Honestly, I don’t know how I got so lucky.

Sandeno and D’Addona

My good friend Sarah joined me for this event and we were lucky/brave enough to get front row seats! The event was set up like a conversation between Sandeno and D’Addona. D’Addona is from the greater Ann Arbor area and Sandeno formerly trained at the University of Michigan so both knew the area well. They’d spent time in Ann Arbor when researching the book. D’Addona had interviewed many people who were influential in Sandeno’s life and the book is largely a collection of these interviews. One thing that shocked me most is that Sandeno wasn’t committed to swimming until high school. She was still playing soccer in 8th grade! That’s crazy to think she’d be in the Olympics before college started.

Sandeno’s major event was the 400 IM and she’s best remembered for getting silver. Sandeno loves a good race and that was one with her being touched out by 0.12. She mentioned that she thinks intelligent swimmers are more likely to get into their own heads when they get to a race situation. I’m going to say that’s why I choke in races so often! She also revealed to us that the World Record-setting relay she was part of was her first international relay. She hadn’t been on the international scene long so the Olympics were a big jump for her.

I was able to ask a question and I asked for Sandeno’s opinion on the newly formed International Swim League (ISL) because she is the General Manager for the DC Trident. Her team is looking strong with swimmers like Natalie Coughlin, Cody Miller, and Katie Ledecky. Sandeno is the first American-born female GM in pro sports and she’s more than ready for the challenge. I’m so excited to see the first meet in October. She said she was most excited about the opportunity to give swimmers the ability to swim professionally and to have sponsors so they can concentrate on swimming and not worry about how they’ll earn a living. It’s an opportunity not many swimmers have.

Sandeno and D’Addona were generous to take time to sign our books and take pictures after the event. I’m so grateful to them for stopping in Ann Arbor and for Literati for hosting them. I hope we get more swimming memoirs soon so I can enjoy these events even more often.

 

My friend Sarah, D’Addona, Sandeno, and me

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!