My favorite reads this year each earned a spot in my permanent collection. What that really means is I read them all cover to cover and I bore the hell out of others telling them how good they are. They're composed well - I'm a stickler for good writing. They're largely compact, though Raising The Bar meanders a bit (in a good way). They're all entertaining and packed with wisdom. Except the sausage book. There's no wisdom there save for avoiding, at all costs, a trip to Sweden to eat the Swedish national sausage with shrimp paste.
1. Raising The Bar
Business isn't binary, yet most business books might have us believe it is. Gary Erickson's generous accounting of his own history entwined with that of his company, Clif Bar & Co., provided the best example I've read to date of a company that finds more value in its journey than its destination. My only complaint might be about the printing quality. I'd gladly pay a few more bucks for a higher fidelity, longer lasting copy of a book I'll keep around for years to come.
2. Soigneur (00)
The inaugural edition of Soigneur in English - a collection of their best articles and photos, translated into English tops, by far, my list of cycling journals in 2016. This is the only periodical (admittedly it's heftier than a monthly or quarterly pub) that has stood the test of time on my bedside/couch/backpack for reading. To boot, the English language and translation is better than a lot of the native-English journals on shelves today. That's craft, baby.
3. The Rider
All the language, sentiment, and leidenschaft in cycling writing, from what I can tell, owes its origins to Tim Krabbé's book, The Rider. It's an incredible tale but what makes it that is Tim's ability to suck the reader into the peloton to share in its tension, comedy, and pain. For writers, The Rider is a wonderful lesson in brevity and the craft of writing.
4. The Wurst of Lucky Peach
I am plant-powered. I'm also sausage-powered. This 40th birthday present from some friends is a great foray into the world of not-always-good sausage. The best thing about the book for me is the writing - a simple premise (sample the world's sausages), simple constraints (write about them!), and boom, travel! I'd like this for cycling routes, please, maybe for my 50th.