Saturday, January 28, 2012

5 Books That Have Inspired the Most Tattoos

I'll admit to having more than a few books. And to having a few tattoos. But, bibliophile that I am, I don't have tattoos that were inspired by books. Many people do, however.

"Curiouser and curiouser": A Cheshire Cat tattoo inspired by the fiction classic Alice's
Adventures in Wonderland.
image source:

Whether they're characters from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland or quotes from Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club, literary tattoos are definitely a whole other level of book love. Publishers Weekly listed the five books that have inspired the most tattoos. See the article (with links to literary ink) below. * January 24, 2012

Top 5 Books That Inspire the Most Tattoos

source: rate my ink

By Gabe Habash

What’s just as interesting as a tattoo is the story behind the tattoo, and that’s certainly true for the subcategory of tattoos that are inspired by famous literary works. We spent an untold number of hours combing the Internet’s two most extensive literary tattoo sites: Contrariwise: Literary Tattoos and The Word Made Flesh, then cross-checking the most frequently occurring tattoos with Google searches and Google image searches, all to get to the bottom of what books inspire the most tattoos and why. And though this isn’t a scientific ranking, it’s the closest anyone’s come to tabulating which books inspire the most tattoos, given the Internet’s evidence. What you’ll find below shows a fascinating effect: as you look past the superficial design, you’ll find a wholly specific reason, wholly specific to the individual. It’s why one person can have an “I am nobody” tattoo from Sylvia Plath and someone else can have an “I am I am I am” tattoo from Sylvia Plath–it shows how we all treat stories and writing differently.

5. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

King of the long mantra quote, with “It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we are free to do anything,” cropping up the most. Fight Club also inspires a healthy mix of text tattoos and image tattoos, more so than any other book on this list. Certainly the film has helped its popularity as an ink subject (a lot of Brad Pitted flesh came up), but what seems to most elevate Fight Club as a tattoo choice is the story’s counterculture message and its promotion of the individual, two considerations always at the forefront of the tattoo-minded’s mind. Morgan, who has an “It’s only after…” tattoo, stated on Contrariwise: “This tattoo represents having strength and independence and losing all fear no matter what situations we are dealt in life.”

4. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The book’s most famous line, “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye,” is well represented in ink, as is the elephant swallowed by the boa. But most of the Prince tattoos you’ll find are of the Prince himself, with variations of this design inked onto the back or flank being the most popular. Certainly Saint-Exupéry’s watercolor illustrations in the book naturally lend themselves to tattoos, but it’s the book’s themes of loneliness, being true to yourself, and the appreciation of the world’s wonder and beauty that make it so popular. Like a number of the books on this list, The Little Prince is a children’s book with an enduring message. Check out the book’s official website here to here the stories behind the tattoos, including Ange, who has the book’s famous rose “to remind me that we should learn to know people as they truly are, and not trust simply to appearances.”

3. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Probably more than any other book on the list, Where the Wild Things Arecaptures the kid in those who have its characters tattooed on their bodies. A search of the archives turns up an equal number of Wild Things tattoos and Max tattoos, almost every one citing how they loved the book as a child. Along with The Little Prince, Wild Things seems to be the book of choice for those looking to capture the wonder of childhood storytelling. But some have more specific reasons: Deana got this tattoo of Max in commemoration of her son’s (also named Max) surviving a metabolic disease which caused him a severe form of epilepsy. “I could have never imagined how he would turn out to be such a fighter. Or all the Wild Things he would have to face in his short life. That’s how I see my Max. As the most wild thing of all. The one who told all the other wild things to BE STILL! And the rest of his life has been, and forever will be the wild rumpus.”

2. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Alice has inspired the most varied collection of tattoos of any book. Its wide cast of characters, quotes and images are all represented: the Cheshire Cat, the Dodo, the White Rabbit, and the Caterpillar all have fans out there. Out of the quotes, “We’re all mad here” was the most commonly occurring. Credit Alice‘s popularity among the tattooed to the fully-realized world Carroll created, and for tone specific to its story. More than any other book on this list, you’d be likely to get an Alice tattoo because it simply looks great and is hyper-intricate. Tim, who has an image of the Cheshire Cat on his shoulder blade, said on Contrariwise: “The Cheshire Cat is the only creature in Wonderland who uses logic. Though his words often seem mocking and bizarre, his process is always logical. To me the Cheshire Cat symbolizes the fragility of the border between genius and insanity.”

1. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Alice may have a higher volume of tattoos, but the single most popular book-inspired tattoo is, by far, “So it goes,” the mantra from Vonnegut’s most famous book. You’ll find the phrase on wrists (the most common location), forearms, upper backs, lower backs, shins, and feet. And that’s not all: the book’s other legendary phrase, “Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt,” cropped up almost as much as “So it goes,” giving Slaughterhouse-Five two of the most-tattooed book phrases, along with “To die would be an awfully big adventure” and “i carry your heart.” In the stories that owners of the “So it goes” tattoos have posted, the saying often represents the owner’s coping with worry or loss, including Aaron, who, in remembrance of her cat Jello Biafra, had some of its ashes mixed into the “So it goes” tattoo next to an image of a cat. Some have had the tattoo done after breakups, and others have gotten the tattoo to remind them of life’s cycles. But for whatever the reason, the phrase’s broad appeal makes it king of the literary tattoos.

Friday, January 27, 2012

'Feisty' Librarians Raise Voices Over Lost Jobs, Hours

Chicago residents aren't the only ones angered by the decision, made earlier this month, to close city libraries on Mondays. The librarians themselves are up in arms over the closures...and the elimination of nearly 200 library jobs. This week, they took to the streets of Chicago to protest.
After the librarians raised their voices in protest, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel relented on some of his earlier cost-cutting decisions. He agreed to reinstate nearly half of the 176 library workers who were laid off. And he appears to be softening his stance on keeping city libraries closed on Mondays. See the CBS Chicago story below for more details.

Above image source:

CBS Chicago * January 23, 2012

Has Emanuel Met His Match in Chicago Librarians?

Chicago library staff protest city budget cuts on Monday.
photo: cbs

CHICAGO (CBS) — They might be the most unlikely of groups to say “No” to the mayor and get away with it: Chicago’s librarians.
Mayor Emanuel has backed off on a cost-cutting move to close libraries on Mondays, despite the library union’s refusal to make concessions.
CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine explains.

They’re a feisty bunch, these librarians, who held protests Monday to demand the Emanuel administration reinstate full hours on Mondays.
Monday morning, Veronica Bonilla found the doors to her neighborhood library locked. She left, disappointed.
“I used to bring the kids to the story time in the morning and they like it, so it’s going to be sad,” she said.
Earlier this month, the mayor ordered the libraries closed on Mondays, after the union refused to agree to work two half-days instead of one full day.
Now, he’s relented, finding the money to do exactly what they want: rehiring nearly half the 176 employees who had been laid off.
Still not enough, they say.
“He has taken those steps. He seems to be realizing the importance of the libraries to the neighborhoods, and we’d like him to work with us to come the rest of the way,” says Anders Lindall, spokesman for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 31.
The mayor says he will not restore all the cuts in library hours and jobs.
“They tried to make the libraries a bargaining chip for undoing the responsibility we had to bringing reforms to the rest of the budget,” Emanuel said. “And I’m not going to undo all the savings we achieved there and somehow try to hold the libraries hostage.”
But so far, the librarians have succeeded in restoring most of the proposed cuts, probably because of the negative perceptions held by moms who bring toddlers to story time, students who use libraries after school and the unemployed who need computers to look for work.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Students Occupy Berkeley Library to Protest Cuts

When students at the University of California, Berkeley learned that hours for a campus library would be cut after the surprise resignation of a library staffer, they decided to occupy that library as an act of protest.

image source:

Staging a "study-in" at the Anthropology Library in Kroeber Hall on January 19, the students demanded that the hours be restored and a full-time staff member be hired to replace the one who had unexpectedly resigned. Two days later, on January 21, the university announced that it would meet those demands. At the height of the action, 70 protestors occupied the library, reported the UC Berkeley News Center.

Flier advertising a 2010 study-in at the City College of San Francisco.
image source:

This wasn't the first time that a study-in took place at UC-Berkeley's Anthropology Library. In 2009, students occupied it in reaction to the administration's decision to reduce its hours of operation - and the hours of operation at other campus libraries - in an attempt "to offset the library system's budget deficit," according to the Daily Californian article I've posted below.

In 2010, a similar student protest took place at the Rosenburg Library at the City College of San Francisco.

The Daily Californian * January 21, 2012

Administration Agrees to Restore Anthropology Library Hours

Protestors in Kroeber's anthropology library protest cuts made to library's operating hours.
photo: eugene w. lau/staff

By Amruta Trivedi

The occupation of UC Berkeley’s anthropology library ended Saturday evening when campus administrators agreed to meet the demands of protesters and restore the library’s hours, marking the second time the campus has restored the library’s hours in response to a student occupation.

The demonstration began as a "study-in" Thursday evening in protest of cuts made to the library’s operating hours for the spring semester after a longtime library staffer resigned unexpectedly.

About 30 protesters were in the library Saturday evening when news came that Tom Leonard, UC Berkeley’s university librarian, signed the agreement to restore the anthropology library’s hours to its fall 2011 schedule. On a temporary basis, students will be hired to help staff the library.

According to the agreement, recruitment will start on Monday, but anthropology department chair Terrence Deacon said that many of the department’s faculty members have volunteered to work at the library during the morning hours until students can be hired. He added that during hours when there is no professionally trained library staff present, the circulation desk will be closed but the library will remain open for computer use and as a study space.

The original demands that protesters sent to administrators requested that the campus find a full-time staff member to work in the library within the next 30 days, but the campus agreed to the demands only after negotiating to start the search for a full-time staff member in that time period instead, according to Yvette Felarca, a national organizer for BAMN.

The agreement comes a little more than two years after the campus administrators restored the library’s hours following a similar demonstration.

In October 2009, the campus cut the Saturday operating hours of the anthropology library and other campus libraries to offset the library system’s budget deficit. The hours of all libraries were restored after students held a 24-hour “study-in” at the anthropology library that month and the campus received donations from UC Berkeley parents and students.

Callie Maidhof, a graduate student in the anthropology department who participated in both occupations, said that because this week’s restoration of library hours is the second time administrators have responded directly to a student occupation of the library, protesters are making it apparent that direct action is effective in changing campus policies.

“It sends a clear message of the power of collective direct action when students come together and say ‘we are going to do to this, and we are going to hold out until we get what we want,’” Maidhof said. “It is particularly poignant when we have the support of faculty and staff.”

During last week’s occupation, anthropology department faculty made arrangements with the campus administration to help supervise the protest past the library’s closing hours on the condition that campus police officers would not intervene.

Deacon, who spent much of the protest in the library and said he had been in conversation with administrators throughout the protest, said there was “good faith at the administrative level” about the students who occupied the library.

Staff writers Geena Cova, Chloe Hunt and Amy Wang contributed to this report.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Is It OK for Companies to Target Kids at the Library?

Consumer advocacy blog recently ran a story about Wells Fargo blatantly marketing to young children at the public library. At least one parent wasn't happy about it: "Wells Fargo representatives showed up to give all the children [attending storytime] stuffed horses wearing their logo blankets. I absolutely do not think this is appropriate at all," said "E."

Don Pearson, region president of Wells Fargo Oregon, poses with stuffed ponies the banking giant "generously" donates to schools...and public libraries.
image source:

I don't think it's appropriate either. I find the increasingly ubiquitous practice of corporations targeting young children - whether through television, at school, or at the public library - highly unethical. Small children are so trusting, so blissfully unaware of the money-driven motivations of big businesses that it's unfair and just plain wrong to use them to get to their parents (or, more accurately, their parents' wallets). You would think that at the library, kids would be protected from such unscrupulous practices, but apparently not. * January 19, 2012

Should Companies Advertise to Kids at the Library?

By Laura Northrop

image: wells fargo

Who doesn't like stuffed animals? Free stuffed animals, even! E. isn't happy, though. At storytime at her local public library, people representing Wells Fargo brought stuffed ponies with the Wells Fargo logo to distribute to the children, and donated a large pony to decorate the children's section.

At storytime last week, Wells Fargo representatives showed up to give all the children stuffed horses wearing their logo blankets. Additionally, they donated a giant horse wearing the blanket which now sits atop a bookshelf right in the middle of the children's section. I absolutely do not think this is at all appropriate.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Book Clubs for the Blind Abound

Blind bibliophiles are forming book clubs all across the country. In the nation's capital, a group meets every Thursday at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library.

Book clubs for the blind are thriving.
image source:

Using the talking book format, the group's members explore the works of John Grisham and other popular authors. "People with disabilities have the same broad interests as anyone else," said Venetia V. Demson, chief of the library's adaptive services division.

Book clubs can be a vital social outlet for blind and visually impaired readers. Another important benefit is that they "can keep the world open when it's visually closing down," said Demson.

To read more about the group that meets at D.C.'s Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, see the Washington Post article below.

Washington Post * January 17, 2012

Book Club for the Blind Sustains Love of Reading

By John Kelly

Once she started going blind, Julia Sayles had a tough time remembering which books she had read. When every day you see the book you’re reading — on the table, in your bag, on your nightstand — the title on the spine has a tendency to sear itself into your brain.

Not necessarily so when a book to you is the sound of a narrator’s voice. Still, even though her eyes are failing, Julia — a retired federal lawyer — reads as much as she can. And on the second Thursday of every month, she goes to her book club at the District’s Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. It’s a book club for the blind and visually impaired.

Venetia V. Demson, chief of adaptive services,
stands near braille magazines at the Martin
Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in D.C.
photo: john kelly/washington post

Thursday, four members of the club — down from the dozen or so who normally attend — sat around a table on the second floor of the library discussing this month’s book: “The Valley of Fear,” a Sherlock Holmes mystery.

“A lot of times we complain about the narrator,” says Kathy Gosselin, the only member here today who has been blind since birth. The Holmes book was narrated by the ubiquitous Erik Sandval, who’s usually pretty good. Kathy doesn’t like the way he did the women’s voices in the Holmes book. “Too high,” she says.

Soon, conversation turns to other books the club has read. They liked “The Help,” and even tried to organize an outing to see the movie. They were thwarted by the difficulty of finding an audio-described version (with additional narration provided through a wireless headset) at a local theater.

They did not like “Your Inner Fish,” a science-heavy book about human evolution.

“It was like sitting through hours of a physiological lecture,” Mary Breen says.

The book that elicited the most discussion was John Grisham’s “The Rainmaker.” They also liked George Pelecanos, the local mystery writer who’s so good at conjuring D.C. neighborhoods.

“I thought I was going to be in that man’s book,” says George A. Caldwell, a retired lawyer. “He was getting close.”

When it comes to picking books for the club, the library has to make sure that they’re available in the National Library Service’s talking book format: USB cartridges that pop into special players. It’s all arranged through the library’s adaptive services division, which serves disabled and housebound readers.

The adaptive services division also records books for patrons who can’t find them elsewhere. That’s how George, who lives at Leisure World in Silver Spring, was able to get “The Guide to Getting It On,” a 928-page sex encyclopedia. A volunteer entered a soundproof booth at the library and recorded it.

Did you read the whole thing, George?

“I read it in its entirety,” George says, with the slightest trace of a smile on his face.

“People with disabilities have the same broad interests as anyone else,” says Venetia V. Demson, chief of the library’s adaptive services division.

“Remember when the boys in the Braille book club wanted books about anatomy?” says Serena McGuire, a sighted library employee who moderates the discussions. The boys wanted to get their hands on one of the tactile anatomy books on the market.

In addition to its collection of Braille and talking books, Venetia’s division teaches people to use voice-activated software. It offers accessibility classes. It has an American Sign Language story hour for kids. Deaf and hearing-impaired people can use video phones. Venetia is planning programs for autistic patrons. “Our goal is promoting independence,” she says.

Last month, Venetia was honored with an I Love My Librarian Award, sponsored by the Carnegie Corp., the American Library Association and the New York Times. She went to New York for the awards dinner and her $5,000 prize.

Venetia’s originally from Pelham, N.Y. At Pelham Memorial High, she vowed to read every novel in the school library, starting with the authors whose last names began with A.

Did she finish? “I remember reading ‘Arundel’ by Kenneth Roberts,” she says, “so I know I got to R.”

Her first career was in international cargo shipping (she once helped a guy ship a Russian tank to Milwaukee), before she went back to school and got her library degree.

Books, Venetia says, “can keep the world open when it’s visually closing down. That journey of the mind is maybe the only journey you can take if you have multiple disabilities.”

With books, the blind person sees, the deaf person hears, the housebound person visits Baker Street, matching Holmes and Watson stride for stride.

10 Excellent Books for Biking Enthusiasts

On a recent visit to WORD, a brightly colored book caught my eye: On Bicycles: 50 Ways the New Bike Culture Can Change Your Life, edited by Amy Walker. I began to flip through it and ultimately bought it.

image source:

Containing essays from more than 30 contributors, On Bicycles covers a lot of ground: types of bikes, what to wear while biking, biking with kids, riding in the rain, and much more. It's a good introduction for those like myself who are interested in getting back on a bike. included On Bicycles on its list of "10 Bike Books We Want to Read Now." You can check out the list below. * January 9, 2012

10 Bike Books We Want to Read Now

photo credit: april streeter

By A.K. Streeter

It's never too late to start transportation cycling -- but if the depths of winter generate some legitimate excuses not to start or refine your cycling career right this minute, this is a great time to get inspired.

Here are some of the stellar bike books published in 2011 (and a few from 2010), in order to start out or build up your biking bookshelves.

Happy reading (and cycling).

1. Tillie the Terrible Swede: How One Woman, a Sewing Needle, and a Bicycle Changed History

Despite being a children's book, Tillie the Terrible Swede: How One Woman, A Sewing Needle, and A Bicycle Change History will give all cyclists a wonderful taste of cycling back during Biking 1.0.

Tillie Anderson, the book's heroine, was a real-life amazing athlete who broke numerous records and won scores of bicycle races during her short career in the mid to late 1890s.

Anderson was part of a group of women cyclists who flaunted Victorian social constraints and moral codes in order to race their bicycles.

Author Sue Stauffacher became entranced with Anderson's story back in 2005, and succeeds in telling a sweet tale of Tillie's rise to short-lived fame -- from Swedish immigrant seamstress to world-class athlete to contented housewife.

2. On Bicycles: 50 Ways the New Bike Culture Can Change Your Life

The 50 individual essays in On Bicycles: 50 Ways the New Bike Culture Can Change Your Life make sure to cover all aspects of Biking 2.0, including sex, safety, bike shops, and sharing the road.

Chapters from famous bicycling advocates such as Jeff Mapes, John Pucher, and Elly Blue help enliven this 'Whole Earth Catalog' of bicycle culture.

Edited by Amy Walker, co-founder of Momentum Magazine, On Bicycles definitely has something for everyone, and yields up its bounty without being overly preachy.

Especially welcome to the non-technical transportation cyclist are chapters such as "The Case for Internally Geared Bicycle Hubs" by Aaron Goss, and "Ergonomic Evolution: The Advantages of Riding Reclined" by Vincent Tourdonnet.

3. Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way)

Sue Macy's book Wheels of Change: How Women rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way) is supposed to be a young adult title, but readers of almost any age will find lots to love in this history of how women used the bicycle to gain new-found freedom.

Macy details the history of the cycling innovations that helped women throw off the cumbersome skirts of the Victorian era and get on two-wheeled "safety' cycles and out into the world.

She includes some of my favorite cycling heroines, from Tillie Anderson to Louise Armaindo, and she sprinkles historical narrative with features -- cycling slang, for instance, and the rich vein of cycling songs that came out at the height of the bicycle boom in the late 1890's.

Wheels of Change is fun, and the archival photos alone will keep you absorbed for hours.

4. The Lost Cyclist

David L. Herlihy is well-known as one of American cycling's historians. While researching his classic Bicycle: The History, Herlihy time and again came upon old clippings referring to Frank Lenz, a reporter and touring cyclist who disappeared in 1894 while attempting to bike around the world.

Intrigued, Herlihy further delved into Lenz's fascinating story, and eventually wrote a book specifically about his journey, disappearance, and fellow cyclist William Sachtleben's quest to find him, called The Lost Cyclist.

Rich in period detail, The Lost Cyclist is an enjoyable, if sometimes slightly plodding read. It is those few slow moments when the gallery of vintage photos of Lenz during various stages of his short and semi-famous life help tide the reader over.

Though Herlihy does a painstaking job of trying to clear up the mystery of Lenz's disappearance, readers might remain somewhat unsatisfied. There are plenty of clues as to who killed Lenz, but the exact reasons why are never completely established.

The Lost Cyclist is the perfect book for a long week of winter reading pleasure.

5. A Simple Machine, Like the Lever

Evan P. Schneider's novel A Simple Machine, Like the Lever, is an ongoing stream-of-consciousness journal detailing the joys of cycling in a complex, sometimes heartbreaking world.

Schneider, through his alter ego Nick, manages to find some universal cycling truths -- not just the big ones, but the ongoing day-to-day ones.

Nick is trying to come of age in a very complicated society, and though his struggle is by no means unusual, the sweet observations of why we are cyclists keep you reading.

6. Urban Cyclist's Survival Guide

A new sub-genre of books has sprung up with tips and techniques for the urban cyclist, and this Urban Cyclist's Survival Guide by James Rubin and Scott Rowan covers many of the basics.

The approach is safety and survival oriented, and advocates defensive cycling. If you are a style-over-speed cyclist, you might grow alarmed at how many times "survival" pops up in this book, and at how the tone is one of competition, speed, and natural selection rather than cooperation and community.

Never mind, just take from this guide the tips that will help you, wherever you are in your cycling journey. For even more cycling urban cycling philosophy, follow up this book with The Art of Cycling by Robert Hurst.

7. Our Bodies, Our Bikes (and Other e-Zines)

Much of the interesting commentary on urban cycling is to be found not in so-called mainstream publishing but in the blogging world, so it's hardly surprising that some of the best recent titles on biking aren't mainstream books at all, but e-zines.

Our Bodies, Our Bikes is the latest in a series of 'zines by Grist blogger Elly Blue. Blue likes to write about bike policy, bike politics, and bike economics, and Our Bodies, Our Bikes mixes those together. Blue mostly plays editor on this compilation of essays, though she does a turn with Caroline Paquette on the essay "Your Vulva."

There's no bike porn in Our Bodies, however. Instead, there's a lot of practical advice mixed with a healthy dash of feminist encouragement. After all, men outnumber women in the bike lanes by at least 2 to 1.

Blue has a number of great e-zines, including a great long essay on bike economics -- all available at

Also check out both Boneshaker e-zines, the UK and the US versions.

8. It's All About the Bike: The Pursuit of Happiness on Two Wheels

Robert Penn's paean to bicycles, It's All About the Bike: The Pursuit of Happiness on Two Wheels, is another title looking for the essence of why humans love bikes.

Luckily, Penn's book is easy to read, and full of the quirky bike history that the cycle-obsessed just love to know. He's also bike obsessed, and dreams of a perfect bike, then describes it in full detail. It also includes some great background on the bike business and its development, plus lots of personal anecdotes.

Mostly, the book is good because Penn is a fluid, graceful writer. That's important as sometimes the going gets technical. The book will also teach you to know your bike intricately.

9. Bicycle - Love Your Bike: The Complete Guide to Everyday Cycling

Helen Pidd, a journalist for The Guardian, released Bicycle -- Love Your Bike: The Complete Guide to Everyday Cycling in 2010, and it really is a complete guide.

Packed with facts and written in a sassy, smart style, Bicycle is a great guide for both new and experienced urban cyclists.

Though the layout is cheerful and the illustrations of bike parts and procedures are welcome, the book does suffer from a bit of an overstuffed, overdesigned lack of readability -- the small orange san serif text on a black background can lead to a headache.

Still, Pidd does the bike world a great service in tackling many of the issues facing urban cyclists every day, as well as providing the type of basics every cyclist needs, at one point or another, to know. It deserves a solid space on the bike bookshelf.

10. Bike Snob: Systematically & Mercilessly Realigning the World of Cycling

If Bike Snob author Eban Weiss didn't invent snark, he certainly perfected it -- first in his BikeSnob NYC blog, and later in this best-selling book.

Weiss is super-snarky, dead-on observant, and sometimes very, very funny. He stereotypes the bike world to within an inch of its bike pedals, and it makes for an amusing and informative read.

However, he could use a few more women in his satirical take on bike culture.

Bike Snob is a great way for new cyclists to understand the politics of what goes on in the bike lane, and maybe, just maybe, have a little compassion for the different types of cyclists that pedal there. Maybe.

If you want more of the mercilessness, Weiss continues on with the BikeSnob NYC blog. Or, if your snark bones are tired, read David Byrne's Bicycle Diaries instead.

Photo Credit for Wheels of Change: National Geographic