Portland Maine Bicycle Commuting Message Board General Discussion › Book discussion ideas

Book discussion ideas

John B.
Westbrook, ME
Post #: 1,425
One of our meeting ideas is a book club discussion. What should we read?

Here are some ideas suggested as related by Amazon.com: (But wait! Don't buy from Amazon yet! It's possible we could meet at a local bookstore and they could help us buy local! Anyone have an in with any local bookstores?)

­Pedaling Revolution: How Cyclists Are Changing American Cities, Jeff Mapes

­Bicycle Diaries, David Byrne

­The Cyclist's Manifesto: The Case for Riding on Two Wheels Instead of Four, Robert Hurst

­Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us), Tom Vanderbilt

­Pedal Power: The Quiet Rise of the Bicycle in American Public Life, J. Harry Wray

Comments? Other suggestions?
user 5414356
Brunswick, ME
Post #: 167
I've read the ones by Vanderbilt, Mapes and Byrne. Here's my two cents:

Traffic was excellent. A very interesting and well-written book that covers everything from the science to the pyschology of traffic. I also enjoy the author's blog: How We Drive.

Pedaling Revolution was an okay read. Basically a history lesson, I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to know some of the background behind today's bicycle culture.

Bicycle Diaries was kind of disappointing for me because I was expecting it to be about cycling. It turned out to be, basically, "I went to this city and this is what I did there. Oh...and I rode my bike there, too". The introduction and epilogue were actually about bikes, but the in-between was mostly just a travel journal.
John B.
Westbrook, ME
Post #: 1,433
Here's one last suggestion, then I'll post a poll. I was just at Longfellow Books discussing the possibility of them hosting this discussion (and the answer is yes!), and he pointed out a new book by author David Herlihy, called The Lost Cyclist. AND, completely independently of us, the owner has already secured Herlihy to speak at his store in early July! So I've made this a Meetup (read details), and we can either make this our group discussion book, or go ahead and read another book and discuss that one separately. Either way, Longfellow will gives a discount on purchasing copies.
John B.
Westbrook, ME
Post #: 1,487
We have a decision!

The votes have been cast, and the score was tied at 4 votes apiece for both The Lost Cyclist by David Herlihy, and The Cyclist's Manifesto by Robert Hurst. To break the tie, I decided on...

The Cyclist's Manifesto: The Case for Riding on Two Wheels Instead of Four, Robert Hurst

(I figured you can go to see David Herlihy at Longfellow Books on July 9, unless of course you are going to the Maine Bike Rally. But Longfellow still has those books if you want to read that one.)

­Longfellow Books has ordered 5 copies of the Hurst book, and they should have them in by next Wednesday, July 7. I for one am going to pick mine up next week in order to take it on vacation with me the following two weeks. Please help support a local business by purchasing yours from Longfellow too. They can order more if needed. They will also be hosting the discussion group.

So, when should that discussion meeting be? Perhaps early August? Which weeknight works best for people?
John B.
Westbrook, ME
Post #: 1,492
The books are in at Longfellow! You may purchase at any time.
John B.
Westbrook, ME
Post #: 1,506
I've finished Cycling Manifesto. Anyone else started it yet?
A former member
Post #: 3
I'm about a third of the way through. It's a fun read so far. Look forward to discussing his idea on p. 32 "It could simply be that the bicycle itself is a beacon of darkness, bitterness, and ill will that transforms anyone who climbs on top of it." smile
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