Lisa's Reviews > Bicycle Diaries

Bicycle Diaries by David Byrne
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Mar 29, 10

Recommended to Lisa by: John McKenzie
Recommended for: Lisa
Read from March 27 to 28, 2010 — I own a copy, read count: 1, so far

The topics explored in this book are as wide ranging as the author's global travels. When road conditions aren't outright harrowing, bicycling can allow for an observant state of mind that is simultaneously aware of outward surroundings and aware of inner reflection; an optimal frame of mind for a tourist, or a writer. Bicycling is David Byrne's preferred mode of travel, both home in New York City and abroad. In this book he shares a few of the thoughts evoked by the different cities he explores; in California, he riffs on outsider art and self-censorship; in Germany, he questions whether inheritance of stolen property institutes inheritance of guilt; in South America, he follows the surprising geographic roots/routes of popular music; in China—no, everywhere—he wonders at the causes of civic indifference. He constantly questions the influence of architecture on culture, and of culture on architecture. He ends his book back in his home turf, where he has become actively engaged in improving biking conditions in NYC. The closing doodles of his fanciful bike rack designs reflect the mixture of humor, humanity, and civic mindedness that inform his narrative throughout.
This charming, engaging read has provoked me to explore my own attitudes and lifestyle, while sparking a bit of travel-lust. Next, D.C.
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