Cycling, Wine, and Men Paperback – 8 Feb 2011
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“Cycling, Wine, and Men is a charming, delightful, and enlightening read. I fell madly in love with Nancy Brook—her words rang true, her insights and honesty felt like a good friend. A constant reminder to live your life fully, forgive yourself daily, and love yourself more. There’s a line in her book, ‘There’s a gift in the waiting,’ which perfectly describes this gem of a memoir.”
– Amy Ferris, author of Marrying George Clooney, Confessions from a Midlife Crisis
“Brook’s observant tale left me longing to box up my bike and head back to France. A journey isn’t about the destination, but the valleys, the climbs, and the small hamlets along the way. As she demonstrates, what you learn about yourself in the process often proves to be the ultimate souvenir.”
– Kathleen Flinn, author of The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry
“When it comes to heartache and relationships, m
"Cycling, Wine, and Men is a charming, delightful, and enlightening read. I fell madly in love with Nancy Brook--her words rang true, her insights and honesty felt like a good friend. A constant reminder to live your life fully, forgive yourself daily, and love yourself more. There's a line in her book, 'There's a gift in the waiting, ' which perfectly describes this gem of a memoir."
- Amy Ferris, author of Marrying George Clooney, Confessions from a Midlife Crisis
"Brook's observant tale left me longing to box up my bike and head back to France. A journey isn't about the destination, but the valleys, the climbs, and the small hamlets along the way. As she demonstrates, what you learn about yourself in the process often proves to be the ultimate souvenir."
- Kathleen Flinn, author of The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry
"When it comes to heartache and relationships, many women often put healing on the back seat when maybe they should be putting it on a bike seat--literally and figuratively! This book does a wonderful job of reminding women that while the journey may be more important than the destination...sometimes the destination is just what is needed to return to happiness and contentment at home."
- Kimberly Dawn Neumann, author of The Real Reasons Men Commit and founder of DatingDivaDaily.com
"Honest, heartfelt, and inspiring. I admire Nancy Brook's courage to overcome challenges and explore life's possibilities."
- Rick Frishman, bestselling author and Morgan James publisher
"I love the lesson of the book: looking for happiness outside of ourselves never produces lasting satisfaction."
- Peggy McColl, New York Times bestselling author
"Cycling, Wine, and Men is sure to inspire others to follow their bliss."
- Theo Pauline Nestor, author of How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed
"If you subscribe to the notion that life is about lessons, Nancy Brook's life has a few to offer. Here's the most important one: We all need people. But sometimes, the person we need most is the one we discover in ourselves."
- Craig Lancaster, author of 600 Hours of Edward and The Summer Son
"Nancy Brook's chronicle of cycling through France, as a means of 're-cycling' her life, goes beyond the typical 'I survived' genre. She invites the reader to join her up and down the hills, deep into the nooks and crannies of the countryside, and into the hearts of the country folk--as she braves the terrain apart from the safety of her riding companions. Nancy literally reaches out to grab life in the very best way--on her own terms. Bravo and thank you, Nancy, for a great read and a great ride!"
- Bonnie D. Graham, producer/host "Read My Lips" on BlogTalkRadio.com
"In this captivating and delightful memoir, Nancy Brook takes us on an exploration through both the rolling hills of the French countryside and her own internal journey toward self-acceptance. We grow along with her as she cycles and examines her life and relationship choices. Cycling, Wine, and Men: A Midlife Tour de France is exquisitely written and hard to put down. A real joy to read!"
- Kristen Moeller, MS, author of Waiting for Jack: Confessions of a Self-Help Junkie- How to Stop Waiting and Start Living Your Life
"At age 43, Nancy Brook takes a long, backward look at her life: It's a path pockmarked by a husband's betrayal, cavalier lovers and a long, lonely climb up the career ladder. But there's also something else. Buoyed by remarkable resilience and an innate belief in love that refuses to be snuffed out, she embarks on a mid-life adventure bicycling through France. Riding through the bucolic French countryside and over grueling mountain passes, Nancy's tour de France quickly becomes an engaging tour de life. Honest, reflective, with more than a little sauciness, Nancy's journey becomes the reader's journey to rediscovering love, levity, and a life--well lived."
- Allyn Calton, editor, Magic City Magazine
"Cycling, Wine, and Men by Nancy Brook is a touching, heartfelt tome about her rough and unfortunate time leading up to a cycling tour of France. Reading about her life and a string of bad luck that leads up to her big decision to bicycle through France is filled with tension and drama and wrestles with the idea of making it all right by taking this trip. While reading, you will find yourself rooting for her and wanting to yell out, 'Yes, go to France!' And what a time it is. Ms. Brook's first book is a must read for anyone who has ever lived through life's various trials and tribulations, just to see if it turns out okay."
- Mark Stephen Levy, author of Overland
"Riveting! I could not stop reading."
- Linda Cassell, executive coach, Quantum Leap Coaching & Training
"Cycling, Wine, and Men is a Gold Medal Winner. I started reading because author Nancy Brook is a colleague. But that's where the road divides. Newly divorced and seeking the coveted new life, Brook showed me the roadway. Sharing her personal journey, she gives us a rich book with insight, poise, and warmth. A great read for women AND men alike."
- Eric Gelb, author and copywriter, www.PublishingGold.com
Top customer reviews
Nancy resolves to make the most of her trip to the country she has always dreamed of visiting, and along the way she takes many photographs (some are included in the book), talks to many of the French people she meets along the way, and tries to immerse herself in the culture. During her journey, she begins to become more comfortable being alone, less judgmental of other people's life choices, and her own problems are put into perspective. By the end of the tour she feels rejuvenated. Her view of life has shifted. She begins to appreciate her own life so much more.
The tour across France is over 700 miles by bike, including some of the steepest mountains, some of which are tackled by professional cyclists along the route of the Tour de France. Nancy Brook's story includes interesting historical detail about each town that is visited on the tour. Also, there is information on the wines of France. There are many tips included in the book for people who would like to follow in her footsteps and undertake such an adventure, including what type of gear a cyclist should take, camping and climbing tips.
There are many words of wisdom scattered throughout the book, things that the author has learnt from her journey through life. Her French adventure opened her mind to the world of possibilities waiting for her outside the everyday mundane matters that she had become used to focusing on.
This memoir reminds us all that it is good to stop once in a while and take a look around and appreciate the gifts we have been given, rather than concentrating on what we don't have.
Reviewed by Maria Savva as a reviewer for Bookpleasures.
By her early forties Nancy had already accomplished a lot, including picking herself up after her husband disappeared with money from their joint business, leaving her a single parent with debts and in trouble with the police. However in terms of a serious relationship and time for herself, things were lacking in her life. Putting her corporate life on hold for a much needed holiday we join Nancy as she makes the amazing journey across France from Bordeaux in the west to the Alps in the east, by bike.
Nancy and I are of a similar age and although I live in France and love cycling here the thought of undertaking a trek by bike from Bordeaux to the Alps is still quite daunting. Nancy sets out to accomplish it and on her first visit to France. She flew into Paris from the States with her luggage and bike (all packaged up), immediately found her way onto a train to Bordeaux and within a few days was cycling the vineyards with a group she only just met in a country she had only just arrived in - chapeau Nancy. I loved the day-by-day descriptions of the cycling route, she was honest, enthusiastic and her determination was quite something. France was somewhere Nancy had always wanted to visit and it was refreshing to experience her fresh-faced love for this beautiful country and to share in her enthusiasm for some of the very French scenes she saw on the way. It is true that we often tend to take for granted what is on our doorstep.
There is no doubting Nancy is a strong, independent woman, but she admits to being a romantic too and her need for the fairytale happily ever after is something she discusses in the book. For me, there was a bit too much musing on the various men and what went wrong, but as the title mentions men maybe I shouldn't have been surprised by this. What this book did give me was a kick up the backside - if you can do it Nancy, why the hell can't I? However, I'm not sure camping is my idea of a good holiday and especially having cycled between 80 and 100kms each day. I do like my comforts.
If you are a cyclist or an armchair traveler you will love this journey across France that takes in vineyards, hilltop towns, markets, fetes, mountains and gorges all without the discomfort of riding a bike and sleeping in a tent.
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