Summer Book Reading – Bikes Included!

It’s officially summer, and that means it’s officially summer vacation time! And that always seems to mean “What’s on your summer reading list?”

My reading list is season-less, and never-ending and ever-growing. As much as I value my reading time (the only truly relaxing activity I do), as with so many other adults, I rarely get or make time to do it. So, books sit half-read waiting for some down time. Others just pile up, although since I try to limit myself to e-books these days, I can’t really see them stacked up. Maybe that’s the problem!

Someday I will finish reading The Conquest of Nature, by David Blackbourn. I’ve been working on it a while now, but it’s serious reading, and I need dedicated time to concentrate on it. Sadly, I suspect that by the time I finish it, I will have forgotten the beginning. This is a huge book, so it will not be something I take on a flight to read in the plane. The Conquest of NatureOne history book I did recently finish is Brave Companions: Portraits in History, by David McCullough. This is a great travel book because it’s a collection of short stories about men and women who had an impact on the world. Alexander von Humboldt, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Harry Caudill, Francis P. Valentine…. some are familiar names, some are new to me. It’s inspiring to me, to read about the challenges and triumphs of these people, as well as to consider how lucky we are to benefit from their experiences. Brave CompanionsStill in the history genre, I recently received the latest bulletin from the German Historical Institute. The essays in the bulletins tend to be more modern German history so when one arrives that has something late 19th century related, I get very excited – this one is about post-1848 popular press, a topic that I researched for my Master’s Thesis. It’s long and intellectual, so it will require an evening dedicated to reading, but I’m pretty excited. I miss getting to do research, and I loved my topic, so anything that keeps it fresh makes me happy. GHI BulletinThe Mechanic and I are in the early planning stages for a trip to Iceland next February or March, so I have collected a stack of tourism books. Our only goal for the trip is to see the Aurora Borealis (fingers crossed!), but there is plenty of other stuff to do as well. I don’t know how much hiking I’ll want to do in the winter, but there are museums, cooking classes, the Blue Lagoon, whale watching tours, and a bridge across the Continental Divide! Iceland BooksIf you haven’t yet read Bikeyface’s Bike There book, I strongly encourage it – it’s not very long, and in her famous and beloved cartoon style. If you have friends who are interested but concerned, this would be a great gift as well. I wish I could get dozens of copies and hand them out to people on my bike rides. Bike There Bikeyface book BikeyFace BookI am hoping that this summer I’ll finally get around to reading the rest of Bikenomics, by Elly Blue. As much as I love biking, I find it hard to read “industry” books in my free time. But this is a classic and I need to finish it. BikenomicsI would much rather read books about biking that are history, fiction, fictionalized, or children’s books. I found some fun ones on A Mighty Girl’s website. Tillie the Terrible Swede, about a woman who sews and bikes; Bicycle Madness, about a girl and a suffragette in the late 1800s; the sweet story of The Girl and The Bicycle; and one I’ve wanted to read for a while now, Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom. I know there are more like this out there, but these should keep me busy for a while. Wheels of Change

Love the One You Wear

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and some of my favorite blogs are full of great Valentine’s Day themes, and I had to share.

I love all the gift ideas in Bike Pretty’s two “last minute” blog posts (here and here) – hint hint hint…

And Bikeyface’s Valentine’s Day cartoon pretty much sums up The Mechanic and I – just toss in a few other oft-repeated topics (rabbits and motorcycles), and cheese and crackers, and that’s pretty much our days! Thanks Bikeyface!

And here I am, in love with my new reflective leg warmers. I feel a bit selfish.bikes 001My mom made these for me, at my request, so in a way, this is about love…

She found this great reflective thread/yarn stuff, but I don’t remember where, and since she’s currently on a cruise, I can’t ask her. But I’ll report on it when she gets back.

My mom had almost finished one when we were at Disney World in December, and the package with both of them arrived last week, with an Agent P Valentine’s Day card (how can you not love a pet platypus that moonlights as a secret agent?!). bikes 004They are nice heavy gray yarn, something not wool, since I can’t wear that, and machine washable, since I assume they’ll eventually need to be washed. Today was warm enough to wear a dress to work, so it was the perfect opportunity to wear them. I took them off once I got to work, quite pleased with how warm they are. I suspect I’ll wear them often this spring.

bikes 003I’ll have to get better photos at another point; I had to drag The Mechanic out of bed to take pictures.

But not only did I love wearing them, I love that my mother made them for me, I am proud of her talent, and thankful that she’s willing to do crazy stuff like this for me! Even though she is currently cruising the world, and lives in California, wearing something she made me means I always have her with me – so I really do love what I wear.

Happy Valentine's Day from Our Bike Household to Yours!

Happy Valentine’s Day from Our Bike Household to Yours!