Cars and transport, recent titles

A real mixture this month, from rocket ‘girls’ to travelling the world in an estate car named Desire and a guide to bicycling.

Syndetics book coverRise of the rocket girls : the women who propelled us, from missiles to the moon to Mars / Nathalia Holt.
“The riveting true story of the women who launched America into space. In the 1940s and 50s, when the newly minted Jet Propulsion Laboratory needed quick-thinking mathematicians to calculate velocities and plot trajectories, they didn’t turn to male graduates. Rather, they recruited an elite group of young women who, with only pencil, paper, and mathematical prowess, transformed rocket design, helped bring about the first American satellites, and made the exploration of the solar system possible.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCars, trains, and planes : the definitive visual history of land and air transportation / general consultants, Tony Streeter (trains), Giles Chapman (cars), Philip Whiteman (planes).
Cars, Trains, and Planes chronicles the history of mechanized transportation in awesome detail, profiling the thousands of machines that have carried people around the world over the last two hundred years. This stunning book offers a lavishly illustrated photographic collection of the world’s most incredible popular vehicles. …See everything from the first steam engines to the newest high-speed intercity trains; the Model T Ford to the latest hybrid and electric cars; and the Wright Flyer to stealth fighter jets and huge passenger planes.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverInto the black : the extraordinary untold story of the first flight of the space shuttle Columbia and the astronauts who flew her / Rowland White.
“The real-life techno-thriller from a bestselling author and aviation expert that recaptures the historic moments leading up to the launch of the space shuttle Columbia and the exciting story of her daring maiden flight. Using interviews, NASA oral histories, and recently declassified material, Into the Black pieces together the dramatic untold story of the Columbia mission and the brave people who dedicated themselves to help the United States succeed in the age of space exploration…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAn estate car named Desire : a life on the road / Martin Gurdon.
“In the 1960s, Martin Gurdon grew up in a lost world of bubble cars and Ford Anglias, a place where dads took spare gearboxes on holiday and cars were frequently fixed at the roadside. A 1970s family crisis saw him sent to relatives in rural Lancashire, before spending five dysfunctional years at a vegetarian boarding school, where cars were both his salvation and his undoing, thanks to an illicitly acquired Triumph Herald. He’s since driven everything from supercars to Morris Marinas and been stalked with murderous intent by Reliant Robins. As iconic, and sometimes spectacularly awful vehicles passed through his hands, Martin dreamed of owning an exotic Bristol 401 like his dad’s, and of writing about cars, but would anyone ever be mad enough to let him? Car fans and car agnostics alike will love An estate car named Desire’s eccentric cast of wheeled and human characters.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDoor to door : the magnificent, maddening, mysterious world of transportation / Edward Humes.
“Transportation dominates our daily existence. Thousands, even millions, of miles are embedded in everything we do and touch. We live in a door-to-door universe that works so well most Americans are scarcely aware of it. …And yet, in the one highly visible part of the transportation world–the part we drive–we suffer grinding commutes, a violent death every fifteen minutes, a dire injury every twelve seconds, and crumbling infrastructure. Now, the way we move ourselves and our stuff is on the brink of great change, as a new mobility revolution upends the car culture that, for better and worse, built modern America…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHello, bicycle : an inspired guide to the two-wheeled life / Anna Brones ; illustrations by James Gulliver Hancock.
“An inspirational and encouraging illustrated guide to the world of bicycles and cycling, with practical information on bike buying, riding, repairs, and maintenance. Riding a bike is one of life’s simple joys–it’s fun, freeing, and good for the planet and our health. Hello, Bicycle is a practical guide to the bike life with real-world advice, covering everything you need to know to up your bicycling game and ride with confidence and style…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFifty ships that changed the course of history : a nautical history of the world / Ian Graham.
“A virtual history of the world told through the boats and ships that influenced how and where people lived, with whom they traded, the ideas they exchanged, and how they won and lost the battles that set the course of later generations and millennia.” (Syndetics summary)