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Every Second Counts [Hardcover]

Lance Armstrong , Sally Jenkins
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 7 2003

The four-time Tour de France winner and number 1 New York Times bestselling author returns with an inspirational account of his recent personal and professional victories—and some failures—and an intimate glimpse into how almost dying taught him to really live.

Since the release of his megabestseller, It’s Not About the Bike, Lance Armstrong has enjoyed a new series of thrilling rides, from the birth of his twin daughters, to an astounding succession of Tour de France triumphs, to being chosen as Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated in 2002. Continuing the inspiring story begun in his first book, Every Second Counts captures the mind-set of a man who has beaten incredible odds and considers each day an opportunity for excellence.

Armstrong’s previous book recounted his journey from a grim diagnosis of testicular cancer, which had spread to his lungs and brain, to a stunning recovery that culminated in his winning the 1999 Tour de France—the ultimate evidence that he had also won a daunting battle with death.

His new book addresses the equally daunting challenge of living in the aftermath of this experience and making the most of every breath of life. Armstrong candidly discusses his prickly relationship with the French and the ultimately disproved accusations of doping within his Tour de France team, and he writes about his recent achievements, including celebrating five years of cancer survival and how he restored a magnificent chapel in his beloved Spain.

A fresh perspective on the spirit of survivors everywhere, Every Second Counts will invigorate and enthrall Armstrong’s millions of admirers.


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In the opening of Lance Armstrong's memoir, Every Second Counts (co-authored by Sally Jenkins), he reflects: "Generally, one of the hardest things in the world to do is something twice." While he is talking here about his preparation for what would prove to be his second consecutive Tour de France victory in 2000, the sentiment could equally be applied to the book itself. And just as Armstrong managed to repeat his incredible 1999 tour victory, Every Second Counts repeats--and, in some ways exceeds—the success of his bestselling first memoir, It's Not About the Bike.

Every Second Counts confronts the challenge of moving beyond his cancer experience, his first Tour victory, and his celebrity status. Few of Armstrong's readers will ever compete in the Tour de France (though cyclists will relish Armstrong's detailed recounting of his 2000-2003 tour victories), but all will relate to his discussions of loss and disappointment in his personal and professional life since 1999. They will relate to his battles with petty bureaucracies, like the French court system during the doping scandal that almost halted his career. And they will especially relate to constant struggles with work/life balance.

In the face of September 11--which arrives halfway through the narrative (just before the fifth anniversary of his diagnosis)--Armstrong draws from his experiences to show that suffering, fear, and death are the essential human condition. In so openly using his own life to illustrate how to face this reality, he proves that he truly is a hero--and not just because of the bike. In Every Second Counts he is to be admired as a human being, a man who sees every day as a challenge to live richly and well, no matter what hardships may come. --Patrick O'Kelley

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School-In It's Not about the Bike (Putnam, 2000), Armstrong related his battle with cancer and his incredible Tour de France victory. In this book, he gives a gripping account of his second through (record-tying) fifth victories at the Tour. (His latest triumph might be missed by less-than-thorough readers-it's at the very end, following the afterword.) One sees that Armstrong has grown up quite a bit since his first book. However, he still has a reckless streak, as witnessed by his fondness for diving into a place called Dead Man's Hole. There are glimpses into his personal life and reflections on his illness, but this memoir is unabashedly about the thrill of racing and winning with the U.S. Postal Team. Armstrong talks about his teammates with humility and admiration. He also deals frankly, yet with remarkable restraint, with the accusations of doping by the French. The cyclist still works with his Lance Armstrong Foundation against cancer, but readers get the sense that he is definitely looking forward. Warm and informal in tone, Every Second Counts is a must-read for cycling fans.
Sheila Shoup, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every Second Counts April 19 2004
Format:Hardcover
Unequivocally the world's greatest cycling race, the Tour de France is an arduous three-week, 20-stage ride that tests both the physical fitness and the mental toughness of its participants. These two books pay homage to the event in different ways. A beautiful coffee-table work produced in collaboration with the French sports daily, L'Equipe, The Official Tour de France celebrates the race's centenary this year. Interspersed throughout this definitive, year-by-year account are wonderful photographs, 200 in color and 500 in black and white. In an appendix, readers will find information on podium placings, total victories by riders, champions by nation, and winners of the yellow, green, and polka-dot jerseys. With a foreword by Lance Armstrong. Speaking of Armstrong, one quickly runs out of superlatives to describe the four-time Tour de France winner who has survived testicular, brain, and lung cancer. In his previous biography, It's Not About the Bike, also co-written with Washington Post journalist Jenkins, he documented his early life and career and his battle with cancer, culminating with his first Tour victory. Every Second Counts chronicles the challenge an athlete faces living in the aftermath of his experiences, when each day is a precious gift. The work describes his recent cycling achievements, being cancer-free for five years, and dedication to the foundation that bears his name, which helps cancer patients worldwide. An inspirational read that has the makings of another best seller. Both books are worthy additions for all public libraries.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It's not about the book... July 3 2004
Format:Hardcover
If every second counts for you, you should probably skip this book and read something a little more worthwhile. Unlike his previous book "It's not about the Bike" this book lacks the drama and general interest for the common reader. That being said if you are a cycling fan you can probably find some behind the scenes stuff here to be interesting, but basically this is a recap of Lance's racing since the 1999 Tour De France win. Which means if you are a cycling fan you already know everything in this book and if you are not a cycling fan you wont care what's in this book.
Overall it is more less just another puff piece athletic biography that seems more interested in re-enforcing Lance's status as a sports hero than it does delving into one of the most fascinating sports figures of a generation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book for cycling fans April 10 2004
Format:Hardcover
Anyone who loved the first book, and is into cycling or sports in general would love this book. I think it is BETTER than his first one, especially on the behind-the-scenes of the professional cycling world, and The Tour. It starts off where "It's Not About The Bike" ends, and continues from there. In the begining there is a feeling that he is repeating himself, but the book improves with each page you read.
I feel it is more honest, and his thoughts and views are more profound than the first book. It is also a lot more about-the-bike than the first one, which is what I was looking for.
His descriptions of the Tours are honest and revealing, his proffesionalism and ethics are impressive and inspiring.
A highly recommended reading!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Every book counts April 6 2004
Format:Hardcover
Lance writes earnestly about his trials and triumphs. He connects with his readers through simple honesty. Lance has a story and his story is interesting.
As a toastmaster, I chuggled when I read that he'd rather climb the alps on his bike than give a speech. As a speaker of English as a second language, I smiled when Lance's teammate insisted that the phrase "less or more" is the same as "more or less". Having lived in Austin for a year, I can imagine Lance and his friend's cycling in the backroads and almost being run over by a truck.
I am not a cyclist nor a cancer survivor but I know what it feels to be a friend, to lose a friend, to work as a team, to have fun, to be in love, to be misunderstood, to feel betrayed and to feel helpless. That's what makes the book great.
If you're looking for great literature, this is not the book for you but if you would like to feel connected with another human being through his writings, give this book a try. Along the way, you might learn, as I did, things that you wouldn't have known otherwise, about Tour de France, Drug testing, etc.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Every Second Counts April 4 2004
Format:Hardcover
Every Second Counts is an autobiography about Lance Armstrong after recovering from cancer. It involves getting his life back on track and cancer making him realize how precious ever second is to his life. Prior to his sickness Lance was a cocky, arrogant, American cyclist who was out to conquer the world of cycling. After being diagnosed with testicular and brain cancer he learned what life was worth to him through the struggles and hardships during his treatments. After his bout with cancer, Lance finds himself to be a new man with a new outlook on life, a new sense of motivation for living, and determination for fulfilling his cycling career. He goes onto win his 1st tour de France only two years after his diagnosis of cancer and has completed a miracle no person thought possible. Many suspected he was victorious solely because of the drugs he had taken for his cancer treatment. He realized the only way to prove to the public that he wasn't "doping" was to take the tour de France for a second time, then a third, fourth and finally a fifth time while coming up clean on every drug test. While the book talks much on his cycling experiences it also focuses on he pushed himself to lead his life to the fullest. How to find motivation for some thing you might consider a lost cause, or to endure massive amounts of pain and keep telling yourself, "pain is temporary," and also how to live a well-balanced life of work and family.
Every Second Counts is by far the best book I have ever read. Although I haven't picked up, never mind finished many books this one pulled me in and I would find myself reading for hours. It was so interesting to read about human struggle and how they possibly overcame the burden and living to talk about it.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
Holy cow, some of these reviews are pretty brutal. Don't be turned off by a few obviously bitter people. Lance puts a lot of thought and effort into this awesome book. Read more
Published on June 17 2004 by Richard Gould Madsen
4.0 out of 5 stars Follow Up, how life is after cancer
This book is the follow up of the book, it's not about the bike which is about his career up till his second win. Read more
Published on April 24 2004 by M. Buisman
4.0 out of 5 stars No Chain - Take the good with the bad
Actions speak louder than words were my first thoughts before I picked up the book.
This book shows that Lance Armstrong's life story is full flaws, just like any normal... Read more
Published on April 9 2004 by D. McGrath
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not as good as first book!
A lot of great things in this book, but it doesn't pull things together as well as in his first book. Read more
Published on March 19 2004 by Darrell Criswell
3.0 out of 5 stars The Epilogue (So Far) for "It's Not About the Bike"
Every Second Counts brings us up-to-date on what happened to Lance Armstrong after he survived testicular cancer and went back to competitive cycling to win the Tour de France. Read more
Published on March 5 2004 by Donald Mitchell
2.0 out of 5 stars No goose-bumps this time.
Let me start off by saying that I worship Lance Armstrong and think that It's Not About the Bike is one of the best books I have ever read (and I've read a few). Read more
Published on Feb. 29 2004 by Gordon Charles Ros
2.0 out of 5 stars Maturing Beyond The Bike
I just read Lance's second book, "Every Second Counts" and it's left my head spinning!! I didn't know if this was the same person that wrote the book "It's Not About The Bike"... Read more
Published on Feb. 26 2004 by Paul
5.0 out of 5 stars More Sorprices!!!!
If you like bikes and his first book, you gona love this one!!!
Published on Feb. 24 2004 by Carlos Y. Vélez
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