Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Book Review: The Happiness of Pursuit

The Tour de France is just around the corner and, in my household, the month of July means three solid weeks of cycling on TV.  That's why I jumped at the chance to review Davis Phinney's new book, The Happiness of Pursuit, for Amazon Vine.

I'm posting my review here as well. While Phinney's story is not the usual Christian-themed book I typically review on this blog, I found his story to be inspiring and admire the co-writers for "bleeping out" any foul language.  I feel pretty secure recommending this to the high school athletes I know.

The Joy is in the Journey

The Happiness of Pursuit is a multi-layered story.  It’s the story of Davis Phinney’s cycling career. It’s the story of his relationship with father, Damon Phinney.  It’s the story of his love of family and of getting to see son Taylor compete in the Beijing Olympics.  It’s the story of Phinney’s experiences with early onset Parkinson’s Disease.  Above all, this book is a collection of stories that reflect Phinney’s never-give-up attitude, which served him well as a cyclist and which he relies on in his battle with Parkinson’s.

Readers looking for a “tell-all” cycling memoir this summer should look elsewhere.  Phinney and co-writer Austin Murphy have given us a glimpse into the difficult work and choices that cyclists make in their career. But the point of the story is not the prize at the end nor fame nor fortune, but about celebrating life’s everyday victories whether they be barely hanging on to compete another day of racing or merely getting oneself out of bed.

Though some of the people mentioned in this book will be unfamiliar to those who don't follow professional cycling, even non-fans will find Phinney's story inspirational and engaging. A terrific fathers and sons story that will appeal to older teens and adults alike.

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