Book Review | Copenhagenize

Copenhagenize: The Definitive Guide to Global Bicycle Urbanism by Mikael Colville-Andersen
Copenhagenize: The Definitive Guide to Global Bicycle Urbanism by Mikael Colville-Andersen

This book offers an interesting and new (to US residents) look at bicycle infrastructure. The author suggest a build it and they will come philosophy to bicycle infrastructure. I whole-heartedly agree with this and 90% of what he offers in the book. My one major complaint is his stance on bikes. I feel they have a place and get more people on bikes. Anything that does that is a plus in my book.

The US has different challenges that the rest of the world, getting butts in saddles is one of the things we need to change. While the COVID-19 pandemic definitely sold bikes, it did not increase the amount of people doing everyday activities, like running errands and grocery shopping on bicycles. At least not from what I see daily. Commuting is also down, so commuting via bicycle at least for those already working from home didn’t change.

What we may have increased with the pandemic is recreational riders and not those who ride because it is the easiest way to get around which is what Mikal talks about in his book. For this to change in the US it means that we need to drastically change our infrastructure. Mikal talks about a lot of different ways to do this. If you want to see what needs to change in the US and places like it to make them more bicycle friendly, then this is a great book.

I loved this book and it only loses a star because of his stance on ebikes.

Book Review | The Water Will Come

The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World by Jeff Goodell
The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World by Jeff Goodell

Excellent work on sea-level rise and what its impacts are and will be in the future. Something everyone should read.

This is an important read for those who live on the coast, California, Florida and anywhere were the land is threatened by ocean level rise.

Climate change is something we all need to be learning more about. For me, 2020 was about learning about climate change to a point, still lots to learn. I hope that in 2021 I can start making changes. From what I have learned the most powerful thing I can do is vote, but I can also make other large changes in my life that will have a small positive impact on the environment.

Some of those things I hope accomplish in 2021 are:

  • Go vegan (started in October 2020, had been vegetarian for 3 years)
  • Reduce plastic use
  • Be minimalistic and very thoughtful about everything that comes into the house
  • Vote with my purchases, by purchasing products containing and packaged with minimal or no plastic, by purchase plant-based products, shopping with vendors that are climate-friendly
  • Stop buying gasoline vehicles, this one is hard because while there are a lot of electric vehicles out there, there are no full EV minivans which is a must for my partner, also since we don’t need a new car, this will probably not be something we do for at least another year. Part of what I have learned is to use what you have as long as you can
  • Lead by example, hopefully, by doing the above I will have a chance to change some minds of those around me

Book Review | The More of Less

The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own by Joshua Becker
The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own by Joshua Becker

Maybe the single best book on minimalism I have read. Detailed without being boring. Entertaining, but also very useful. Joshua Becker did an amazing job with this book. An added plus is that he reads his own book in the audio version. Wonderful.

You can learn much more about this book by watching this video

I’m a fan of Joshua Becker’s. I watch his youtube channel and I read his blog. If you want to learn more about minimalism Joshua is a good person to follow. You can catch up on his youtube videos, which are short and sweet as you would expect from a minimalist.

I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars! I listened to the audiobook version, but I want to get a copy as well for reference. Just a great resource for those wanting to explore or implement minimalism in their life. Best yet Joshua has kids and has still managed to make this happen. He speaks specifically of how to attack this challenge.

Book Review | The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming

The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells
The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells

A very detailed and thoughtful look at our current situation. Greatly disturbing and I wish there had been more about what we can do, however, the author does state that the most powerful thing we can do is vote. I agree, but I also think that there are other things we can do in addition and would like more discussion around that.

This was an audiobook listen for me. I gave this 4 out of 5 stars, as I wanted to hear more about how we can all impact climate change. This was discussed on a recent podcast I listened to that Bill Gates does with Rashida Jones. If you are interested in this topic this podcast is worth listening to. Also, Gates has a new book out called How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need that I plan on reading soon.

Much more about this book, The Uninhabitable Earth on this Talks at Google. Embedded below.

The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming | David Wallace | Talks at Google

Book Review | Waking Gods

Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel
Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel

This was great. It followed where the last book left off and it did an amazing job. This is great sci-fi. If you like sci-fi or just robots you will like this series. Very entertaining! I can’t wait to see where the next book will take us.

This is the follow up of the first book Sleeping Giants, which you can read my full review of that at the link above. This is one of the series that I keep coming back to because of its great writing and amazing science fiction. The only problem is I have so many books to read, I keep taking breaks between the books in the series, and by the time I get back I’ve forgotten a lot of what was in the last book.

Five stars for this book. Read this series you will like it! The next book in the series is, Only Human.

Book Review | The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi

I read this at the same time as my 5th grader. We both really enjoyed it. It is the wonderful journey of a little girl (13) who goes to sea and has the adventure of a lifetime. This juvenile historical-fiction work will appeal to all ages!

I really enjoyed this and I’m glad I was able to read this along with my oldest daughter. This year we are reading another one of her books at school together and I’m also enjoying that. I’m happily surprised by the choices her school/teachers are making. This is a fun book to read no matter your age. Five stars!

Quick tip, looking up vocabulary words on a kindle is a lot easier than in a print book!

Book Review | Follow the Geeks: 10 Digital Innovators and the Future of Work

Follow the Geeks: 10 Digital Innovators and the Future of Work
Follow the Geeks: 10 Digital Innovators and the Future of Work by Lyndsey Gilpin, Jason Hiner

I originally picked this book up because Leo Laporte was featured in it. I have been a fan of his for years and watched him on TechTV, the listened and watched his podcasts. I still try to tune in from time to time and listen or watch a podcast. But a treat I didn’t expect was to learn about many others who crossed Laporte’s path and some that didn’t. Lisa Bettany, Tom Merritt, and Veronica Belmont are some of my favorites in this book. If you enjoy these geeks and want to get a short biography on them then this is a great book for you.

Four out of five stars here! I bought this in 2016 just as it was published, but didn’t get around to reading it until 2019. Bummed it took me that long, but so happy I ended up reading it.

Book Review | Ride Your Way Lean: The Ultimate Plan for Burning Fat and Getting Fit on a Bike

Ride Your Way Lean: The Ultimate Plan for Burning Fat and Getting Fit on a Bike by Selene Yeager

I ordered this book as a Zip Book. My library ordered it from Amazon and shipped it directly to me. When the library opens again I will return directly to the library and it will become part of the circulating collection. Very cool option!

I’ve been wanting to read Selene’s book for some time after listening to her on the Paceline Podcast. She is also known to Bicycling Magazine readers as the Fit Chick. She breaks down losing weight while cycling in an easy to read and digestible way. I can also tell you from my experience she is absolutely correct.

I’ve lost over 30 lbs mostly riding on my bike. During the COVID pandemic, I’ve been riding indoors and you can burn a huge amount of calories riding if you stick with it. Indoor tools like Zwift make it easier to stick to riding by gamifying the whole thing.

If you are a cyclist or interested in how the low-impact exercise of biking can help you lose weight this is a great read!

Book Review | A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

This is deep stuff. There is a lot of good in this book, but it’s something I will need to study, not a light read. I listened to this on audio and I think I’ll have to go back and re-read this. I would recommend it.

I listened to this audiobook. To be honest, I thought it might be a too new age for me, but it had a lot of people’s recommendations so I gave it a go. I gave this book 4 stars, but I stick with my initial review above, I think I need to read this again. Maybe the next time in print and take my time with it. I’d also be open to reading more from Tolle as I know he has written some other books that have become very popular. No, highlights from the book to share with you as this was the audio version.

Book Review | Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter & Organize to Make More Room for Happiness

Outer Order, Inner Calm: Declutter & Organize to Make More Room for Happiness
by Gretchen Rubin

Wonderful. I really enjoyed this book. It encompasses much that has been said elsewhere and adds more to it. It also is not filled with too much other stuff or reiterating over and over. Very well done. One star removed for the final chapter “Add Beauty”. I felt that this last chapter “adds” too much when the idea is to declutter. But as with all books and learning, take away what you want and leave what you don’t. Wonderful book!

Book Recommendations:
A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander
Organizing from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern

Top Ten Tips for Creating Outer Order
1. Make Your Bed
2. Follow the one minute rule: anything you can do in less than one minute do without delay
3. Have a weekly power hour: make a list of tasks you’d like to accomplish and spend one hour, once a week, tackling the items on the list
4. Make it fun to get the job done
5. Don’t let yourself fall into empty
6. Don’t put things down, put them away
7. Don’t stockpile: that is, don’t store more of an item than you can realistically use
8. Keep mementos that are small in size and few in number
9. Keep things organized, but not overly organized
10. If you can’t find something, clean up