Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Linkdump - Amazon Edition, Complete With Giveaway.

I'm going to keep the "linkdump" feature going for as long as I can while making it kind of interesting. I'm planning to come in strong for next week as well, and fill your face with my computer words every day until Thursday the 15th, when I must go underground to avoid the alien invasion. If that whole thing turns out to be a hoax, then I will resume posting on the 27th of December, and rocket us into the end of the year with some year end roundup stuff, resolutions, and a NYE ride in to work.

IF we all survive. 

In the meantime, here are some books that I will be taking into the bunker with me. The majority are bike related, but all are great books. 

Major Taylor: The Extraordinary Career of a Championship Bicycle Racer I got this for Christmas last year, and I enjoyed it a lot. Major Taylor was the first black World Champion of anything, and he was an interesting individual to boot. Unfortunately after he retired he hit some snags and ended up dying a pauper at the age of 53. This is a great read. I thought I wrote a full article review, but I can't find it. 

Ballad Of The Whiskey Robber: A True Story Of Bank Heists, Ice Hockey, Transylvanian Pelt Smuggling, Moonlighting Detectives, And Broken Hearts. This is another great book that my wife gave me. It's not bicycle related, but it is sports related, so I'm going to give myself a pass in order to recommend a great book you may have never heard of. BOTWR:ATSOBHIHTPSMDABH is the incredible true story of Attila Ambrus, a Transylvanian professional hockey player who takes up robbing post offices to make ends meet. It's an incredible true story, and a great book.  

Escape Artist I'm torn on this book; one the one hand, I like it, and enjoyed reading it. On the other hand, there are some things about the book that bother me; his relationship with his suddenly dying wife seems to be very secondary to the cycling aspect of the story, though I think that he meant it to mean more. I am going to read it again and see if I can get a different perspective, since I posted it here. The writing is good, and the basic story is ok, but some aspects are a bit underdeveloped, like my legs. 

Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance; An Inquiry Into Values. This one is also not bicycle related, but it is two wheel related, so I'm again going to give myself a pass I'm still not so zen as I'd like to be, but this is my problem, not the book. I first read this when I was in my late teens; one of my mother's co-workers gave me a hardcover copy on my 16th birthday. I remember he being a groovy older lady, though I've forgotten her name. I've read this book at least ten times, and I always come away with something new. This is a paperback copy that I bought to take on a motorcycle trip. 

French Revolutions:Cycling the Tour De France. I know I said I was going to reread "Escape Artist", but I think I'll probably reread this book first, after I finish the Civil War trilogy I'm reading. This book is a nice light sorbet for your brain. It's the travelogue of a guy who decides to cycle the route of the Tour De France a few weeks before the pros, and it's an interesting tour of France, the race, and people. He's a good writer (unlike myself) and the book is pretty funny. He's able to capture the unique character of all of the people he meets, and makes the reader feel as if they are riding along on the adventure.

There are my links for this week and please, if you have any good bike book recommendations, throw them in the comments. I mentioned a giveaway in the blog title, and here it is; if you would like to read "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance", I will mail you the copy above. I didn't realize that I had two copies of the book until I started pulling stuff of the shelves for this article, and I don't need both. The first person to post "I want it" on the comments will win this copy - I'll even autograph it if you want. The only rule is that if you have already read it, please let someone who hasn't claim it. I'm guessing that no one will claim it at all, but we shall see. 

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