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Category Archives: Books

Book worth reading

Books: The Bicycle Wheel

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Another book I liked from my library system. This one was located at the Viking Municipal Library. The author, Jobst Brandt is an engineer graduate from the Stanford University.  He’s also well known of the cycling community both as a technical expert but also as a rider. This book is from 1988 and published through Avocet.

This book is about the bicycle wheel. Surprise! It’s not about the brands but how they are made. It’s about understanding the laws of physics that apply to a wheel while riding. It’s about understanding the differences and making the right choices for our type of riding. There’s a lot of very well made illustrations and the the descriptions are easy to understand.

The last section is about wheel building. I will be building a set of wheels for one of my bikes very soon and I enjoyed that part. Its well made like the rest of the book and I’ve learned a few things I’m glad I now know before my wheels are being started.

This book would be good for anyone curious about wheels, someone building wheels or just anyone interested in cycling. That’s another book on my “to order” list. This one even have a priority note.

The Bicycle Wheel

Inside the book

In my library copy of the book some had taped good to have information charts at the end of the book. Things like spoke sizing chart, tire/rim compatibility and frame sizing conversion. I will most likely copy those and stick them on my shoppe cabinets.


Happy reading!



Book: Bicycle technology

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This is another book I liked and that is really complete. Bicycle Technology: Understanding, Selecting and Maintaining the Modern Bicycle and its Components”  by Rob Van der Plas was published in 1991. The author is a professional engineer that as a passion for bicycles. What to expect is a very detailed book with lots of exploded views, graphics, illustrations and pictures. It’s easy to read and I enjoyed all the details I didn’t know about parts and frames and construction of a bicycle. Don’t expect an high colored book. This one is black and white only. This doesn’t remove anything from the quality. Who needs to know the color of the little bit of frame you see in the picture anyways?

Bicycle Technology

A book a will most likely ad to my cycling library as the one I read was from my amazing library system.

Book: Radisson

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I’ve recently discovered the Radisson series from Berube. I thought they were appealing so I rushed to my library and found the 2 first tomes. First I have to mention that this series is in french. You got to learn french just to read those graphic novel. It’s worth it. The novel is based on the autobiography from Pierre-Esprit Radisson called the Extrodinary adventures of a “Coureur des Bois”. So the first album is called : “Fils d’Iroquois” and the second one “Mission a Anondaga”. They were published by Glenat.

Tome 1: Fils D’iroquois

tome 2: Mission a Anondaga

There’s now 4 albums and that the end of the series from my understanding. The library only had the 2 first tomes but I’m on the look for the 2 other ones. I enjoyed the graphics. They are different but yet appealing. The characters are warm and lovable even if some might be evil. Good quality of work in this book. I recall Berube saying it took him 5 years to complete the series. That’s a lot of work.

I’ve met Berube at the University of Quebec in Hull while I was studying there. He was quite talented back then and I’m not surprised of what he have done. Nice guy with nice personality. You cannot not like him. An author to discover.

The author: J-S Berube

People start booking your French lesson and learn about the Quebec history through Berube’s book. You won’t be disappointed. I know because I’ m a tough crow and I don’t usually enjoy graphic novels.

Book: Wheels of Change

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Another while since I’ve posted. I guess I was quite busy with bikes (riding and fixing them) plus I’ve been announced the death of Vic Mroszczak who was a friend and what a great man. It’s also been raining quite a bit lately which means more time to read. I’ve read lots of books but they were not interesting enough to post about. “Wheels of Change” I had read before but I have to admit that my reading was limited to the pictures. This time I read it all and loved it.

This book is by Sue Macy and published by the National Geographic. Macy also wrote Bull’s Eye and Bylines. I took a peak at Bull’s Eye and it was a nice book. So what is “Weels of Change: How Woman Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a few Flat Tires Along the Way)” about? This book is not very long (96 pages) and filled with beautiful pictures and the design is awesome. It’s easy to read and eye catching. Like most historical book it as a portion about how the bicycle was invented but it’s focused on the bicycle for the woman. You can see how the machines were made so the woman rode side saddle way to accommodate the skirts. I can’t believe how woman made it with those cumbersome lengths of fabric that could weight up to 25 pounds and those corset the cut you in half. There’s also a quick portion about bicycle related inventions by woman in the 1890’s which is basically when the high wheeler was in service. There’s a page on Alice Austen a woman photographer and avid cyclist. It mention celebrity cyclist such as Katharine Wright (the Wright brothers sister), Marie Curie and Annie Oakley.  There’s a nice part about bicycle fashion for woman and how the bloomers were created thanks to Amelia Bloomer. Believe it or not there was song written about woman cyclists like “The Bicycle Girl” by Nettie M. Wagner and j. Carroll Chandler. I liked the portion about woman racing bikes. Not just the safety one but the high wheelers. One of the known figures were Elsa von Blumen and Louise Armaindo. The later was a french Canadian so I saw my heritage in her. Then some woman like Annie Kopchovsky took the chalenge to go around the world by bicycle with no money on them and come back with at least 5000$. I was happy to read that back in the late 1800’s there was ladies cycling publications done like the “Bearings”. I love the name!

That resumes the book pretty well. Two thumbs up for that book that I can’t bring back to the library because I keep going back to re-read information. Captivating!


Book Cover


A peak of inside the book. Note the design.

Book: The Mad Trapper of Rat River

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This time I got an old book out of the library. Sometimes (a lot of times) the dusty pages of an old book have a lot to offer. This book was first published in 1972. I like history and the one of my country even more. My friend Neil suggested me this reading as he also like his Canadian history. I know I can trust Neil when it comes to good books. So I headed to my online library and ordered this book. The first one to come was from the High Prairie Municipal Library.

The “Mad Trapper of Rat River” by Dick North takes place in the north country in the Yukon Territories and North West Territories from the late 1920’s to 1932. The book is devised in three parts. First one is about Albert Johnson, the second about Arthur Nelson and the third about their similarities and the rumors while tracking Johnson/Nelson’s tracks. While reading about the Johnson history I was amazed about the super powers of the guy. He carried a loaded pack with snowshoes weighing 10 pounds each on 85 miles in three days! The mounties were after him and the chase lasted for a total of 52 days in the crude winter with temperature averaging 45 below 0. While being chased Johnson couldn’t do any fire to not mark his position. No one knows how he did to survive that long without food. No one knows his real identity.The Nelson’s story is not as flamboyant as the Johnson’s one but it seems like the two guys were related as they are trying to make the relation in part three of the book.  A total mystery.

A book to read. It’s a short one but well made. Very interesting until the last part.

The Mad Trapper of Rat River

Books: Making Bombs for Hitler

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It’s been a while since I posted. I should do it more often or more regularly. I got a call from the library some days ago telling me that Making Bombs for Hitler was finally arrived. When I ordered it through the online system a few copies were available through Alberta and there was  a line up for it. It only took some weeks to be able to get it. Yay!

Making Bombs for Hitler is another book by Marsha Forchuk Srypuch. Published at the Scholastic editions. In this book you follow Lida from the time she’s abducted by the Nazi and put to work in the concentration camps. This is like the sister book of the author’s previous book Stolen Child that I liked. You can see my review in my previous posts. Lida is Larissa’s older sister. You get to follow her in her surviving of the camps and making herself useful to not be killed using her skills learn with her family before they died. It took me 2 nights to read through it. The first night I went through 1/3 of the book and the following night I was almost grateful for my boy friend’s super loud snoring so I had to go in the spare room to be able to sleep. I brought the book with me and finished it in the early hours of the morning. I didn’t get much sleep but that was worth it! I couldn’t get out of that book even more than with Stolen Child. The details were awesome. The author must have been doing a lot of research. It was sometimes hard to read as the things that happens to those kids is horrible. The turnip soup and saw dust bread they get to survive and how their clothes are turning into rags are just a few things that you read in the book.

Another must read book. It was really interesting. I’m also reading From a Buick 8 from Stephen King and Stolen Child and Making Bombs for Hitler were far more interesting. Good work Marsha for another great book. When is the next one? I can’t wait!!!

Book Cover

Book: Underground to Canada

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This book I’ve found at the library. There’s tons of treasures hiding in this place! This book was on a table display about freedom. It’s a young adult book. Since I was reading about Ukrainians coming to Canada lately I thought I could give a try to the underground railroad for the abolition of slavery. The book “Underground to Canada” is by Barbara Smucker.

The author is really good at narrating the story I’ve found. I could have read the book in one day if I didn’t had to take care of my household. The accent is on Julilly and then some on Liza her friend. There’s a few more people involved in it but the story is about Julilly and her escape to Canada.  I could almost feel the pain, the hopes, the scares and joys of her journey.

At the end of the book there’s a very short biography about Mr. Alexander Ross and one about Mr. Levi Coffin with some Notes about them. These men played an important role in the “Underground Railroad” to free the slaves in the states and bring them to Canada.

I really liked this book. It’s recommended for age 8-12 years old but I guess adults can pretend to be young again!

Book cover