BOOK REVIEW: Lance Armstrong book covers more topics than racing

When you barely escape with your life from testicular cancer and then return to Europe to beat the locals on their own turf – back-to-back – you write a book about it.

And when that book makes the New York Times Bestseller List and you’ve won in Europe five times in a row, you write another book.

Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, along with Washington Post journalist Sally Jenkins, return to author “Every Second Counts,” released Oct. 7.

Armstrong – just “Lance” to most anyone who rides a bike – returns in this book, talking about more than bike racing.

His first book, “It’s Not About The Bike,” is geared toward his survival from cancer and the 1999 and 2000 Tours de France.

“Every Second Counts” goes deeper into the mind of Armstrong and seems to avoid much talk about his Tour wins.

The beginning of the book talks about his divorce and references his wife Kristin, “Kik,” and ends describing her as his friend.

Armstrong doesn’t hide from showing emotion; instead, he seems to almost relish it.

“People warn you that marriage is hard work, but you don’t listen,” he writes. “You talk about pretty bridesmaids’ dresses, but you don’t talk about what happens next; about how difficult it will be to stay, or to rebuild.”

Religion and his visit to the New York City Fire Department stations after the Sept. 11 attacks also are covered.

Armstrong brags about his kids as well, inserting frequent anecdotes with his son Luke.

Luke: “Daddy, you look like me.”

Lance: “Uh, I look like you?”

Luke: “Yeah.”

Lance: “Are you sure it’s not the other way around?”

Luke: “Yeah, I’m sure. It’s definitely you that looks like me.”

The topic visited more than any other is the amount of work Armstrong puts toward winning the next Tour de France and how cancer changed his work ethic.

“I’ve often said cancer is the best thing that ever happened to me. But everybody wants to know what I mean by that: How could a life-threatening disease be a good thing?” Armstrong writes. “I say it because my illness was also my antidote: It cured me of laziness.”

After the book ends and the Afterword passes, the reader finds another treat – a chapter titled “Another Ending.”

The 2003 Tour de France held enough surprises that the publisher packed another 15 pages into the binding before the book’s release date.

Armstrong tells of the day when he was riding up a mountain when he crashed, breaking his bike’s frame.

After catching a main pack after an uphill mile of chasing, Armstrong jumped away, broken bike and blood flowing, to win the day’s stage.

“Every time I win another Tour, I prove that I’m alive – and therefore that others can survive, too,” he writes. “I’ve survived cancer again, and again, and again, and again. I’ve won four Tour titles, and I wouldn’t mind a record-tying fifth. That would be some good living.”

Now that he’s earned that “good living,” Armstrong still seems to be out to convince everyone he hasn’t changed much.