Close cookie details

This site uses cookies. Learn more about cookies.

OverDrive would like to use cookies to store information on your computer to improve your user experience at our Website. One of the cookies we use is critical for certain aspects of the site to operate and has already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but this could affect certain features or services of the site. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, click here to see our Privacy Policy.

If you do not wish to continue, please click here to exit this site.

Hide notification

  Main Nav
Harley and Me
Cover of Harley and Me
Harley and Me
Embracing Risk On the Road to a More Authentic Life
Borrow Borrow Borrow
"Bernadette Murphy's luminous book shows us how to take risks that make us fierce and vulnerable, knowing that true strength is about being generous as much as it is about not giving in." —Emily Rapp Black, author of The Still Point of the Turning World and Poster Child

What happens when women in midlife step out of what's predictable? For Bernadette Murphy, learning to ride a motorcycle at forty-eight becomes the catalyst that transforms her from a settled wife and professor with three teenage children into a woman on her own. The confidence she gained from mastering a new skill and conquering her fears gave her the courage to face deeper issues in her own life and start taking risks. It is a fact that men and women alike become more risk averse in our later years —which according to psychologists and neuroscience is exactly what we should not do. And Murphy stresses that while hers is a story of transformation using a physical risk, emotional and educational risks can serve the same beneficial purpose for other women.
Murphy uses her own story to explore the larger idea of how risk changes our brain chemistry, how certain personality types embrace dangerous behavior and why it energizes them, and why women's expectations change once estrogen levels drop after the childbearing years. She also explores the idea of women and risk in pop culture—why there are so few stories of the conquering heroine (instead of hero). Surely Thelma and Louise driving off the cliff should not be our only pop culture reference for women finding true freedom.
With scientific research and journalistic interviews weaving through a page-turning, road trip narrative, Harley and Me is a compelling look at how one woman changed her life and found deeper meaning out on the open road.

"Bernadette Murphy's luminous book shows us how to take risks that make us fierce and vulnerable, knowing that true strength is about being generous as much as it is about not giving in." —Emily Rapp Black, author of The Still Point of the Turning World and Poster Child

What happens when women in midlife step out of what's predictable? For Bernadette Murphy, learning to ride a motorcycle at forty-eight becomes the catalyst that transforms her from a settled wife and professor with three teenage children into a woman on her own. The confidence she gained from mastering a new skill and conquering her fears gave her the courage to face deeper issues in her own life and start taking risks. It is a fact that men and women alike become more risk averse in our later years —which according to psychologists and neuroscience is exactly what we should not do. And Murphy stresses that while hers is a story of transformation using a physical risk, emotional and educational risks can serve the same beneficial purpose for other women.
Murphy uses her own story to explore the larger idea of how risk changes our brain chemistry, how certain personality types embrace dangerous behavior and why it energizes them, and why women's expectations change once estrogen levels drop after the childbearing years. She also explores the idea of women and risk in pop culture—why there are so few stories of the conquering heroine (instead of hero). Surely Thelma and Louise driving off the cliff should not be our only pop culture reference for women finding true freedom.
With scientific research and journalistic interviews weaving through a page-turning, road trip narrative, Harley and Me is a compelling look at how one woman changed her life and found deeper meaning out on the open road.

Available formats-
  • Kindle Book
  • OverDrive Read
  • EPUB eBook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:

Recommended for you

About the Author-
  • Bernadette Murphy has published three books of creative nonfiction: The Tao Gals' Guide to Real Estate (with Michelle Huneven); The Knitter's Gift; and the bestselling Zen and the Art of Knitting (2002) in which she uses memoir and reportage to explore the connection between fiber arts, creativity, and spirituality. She served for six years as a weekly book critic for the Los Angeles Times. Her personal narratives and essays on literature have appeared in The Rumpus, The Nervous Breakdown, Manifest Station, BOOK Magazine, Ms. Magazine, LA Weekly, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, Los Angeles Times Magazine, and elsewhere. She currently serves as core faculty in creative nonfiction at the Antioch University Los Angeles MFA program. Learn more at bernadette-murphy.com.

Reviews-
  • The Rumpus “Let's just say it up front. Bernadette Murphy is a powerful woman, even if she's petite and 'bird boned.' She survived a childhood with a mentally ill mother. She raised three children. She's a professor, a journalist, a marathoner, an ice climber, a Sierra hiker, and, as she tells us in her gripping memoir, Harley and Me, a brave motorcyclist. This woman has a lot to brag about, and yet, thankfully, she is not casting for bad-ass cred in this memoir. Instead, we see a woman at midlife who's questioning everything she's been taught about gender roles and risk . . . What's truly refreshing is that she shows how the path to transformation is a rocky road. No easy 10 Steps to Survive Your Midlife Crisis provided here. Her story inspires without being tritely inspirational, and that is a real gift."
  • The National Book Review "Murphy takes the cliché of the middle-aged man and a sports car and turns it around in this memoir about how she, as a forty-eight-year-old college professor, wife, and mother of three learned to ride a motorcycle. Murphy writes discerningly not only of the motorcycling, but of the underlying neuroscience and psychology. She argues persuasively for the idea of using risk to transform life."
  • The Chicago Review of Books "Murphy's book is a hybrid: part memoir, part travelogue, part science-psychology. It's a powerful call to reconsider our impulse to 'settle in' during the second half of our lives. For Murphy, risks and new experiences are not exclusive to 25-year-olds. We'd all do well to look 'into the Eyes of the Beast' more often, to lean into our fears, turn on the gas, and roll."
  • TribeLA Magazine "Riveting, intimate, and a fun read . . . Living vicariously through Murphy's travels gives us insight into what it means to embrace mid-life rather than complain about it. Her story and her book are compelling."
  • Peter Nichols, bestselling author of The Rocks and A Voyage for Madmen "Harley and Me is a whip smart, revelatory investigation into the science of risk-taking and a brave memoir of personal growth. Everyone's life crashes at some point, but what Bernadette Murphy did to pull herself upright again makes this book a thrilling ride all the way. It's a road more people ought to travel. You don't have to be a biker or a woman to get what's going on here, Harley and Me is for all of us. But after reading it you may end up buying a motorcycle. I did."
  • Henry Winkler "After reading Harley and Me, I now know that without risk, you can't ride into the center of your life, with or without a motorcycle."
  • Christiane Northrup, M.D., New York Times bestselling author of Goddesses Never Age: The Secret Prescription for Radiance, Vitality, and Wellbeing “The reason so many people's lives begin to truncate and get small as they move through time is because they've lost the ability to take a risk. Even if that risk is as small as going to a party alone where you don't know anyone. We can all learn to take more risks. Especially when we realize how robust the payoff is. Whether riding a Harley or learning how to dance, taking risks can enhance your life and health on every level. Let Harley and Me be your guide."
  • Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander and Paint It Black “In Harley and Me, Bernadette Murphy gives us a road-map for re-wilding a conventional life. This timely memoir is not about getting your life together, it's how to loosen up on a well-lived life and make space for the unexpected. Inspiring, funny, and honest, Murphy puts to rest the old myth that adventurous women always end badly."
  • Michelle Huneven, author of Blame and Off Course “Lovingly researched and compulsively readable, Harley and Me should come with a warning label: CAUTION! This book will change your life--and in ways you can't yet imagine."
  • Emily Rapp Black, author of The Still Point of the Turning World and Poster Child “For any woman who has ever needed to adapt or die, Harley and Me is essential reading. Beyond familiar platitudes of loving ourselves and being brave and never giving up, Bernadette Murphy's luminous book shows us how to take risks that make us fierce and vulnerable, knowing that true strength is about being generous as much as it is about not giving in."
  • Sarah Hepola, New York Times bestselling author of Blackout: Remembering The Things I Drank To Forget, and former personal essays editor at Salon.com “Bernadette Murphy's road memoir is a stirring reminder that it's never too late to become the person you were meant to be. I may never ride a Harley, but Murphy's story has me...
Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Counterpoint
  • Kindle Book
    Release date:
  • OverDrive Read
    Release date:
  • EPUB eBook
    Release date:
Digital Rights Information+
  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

Status bar:

You've reached your checkout limit.

Visit your Checkouts page to manage your titles.

Close

You already have this title checked out.

Want to go to your Checkouts?

Close

Recommendation Limit Reached.

You've reached the maximum number of titles you can recommend at this time. You can recommend up to 99 titles every 1 day(s).

Close

Sign in to recommend this title.

Recommend your library consider adding this title to the Digital Collection.

Close

Enhanced Details

Close
Close

Limited availability

Availability can change throughout the month based on the library's budget.

is available for days.

Once playback starts, you have hours to view the title.

Close

Permissions

Close

The OverDrive Read format of this eBook has professional narration that plays while you read in your browser. Learn more here.

Close

Holds

Total holds:


Close

Restricted

Some format options have been disabled. You may see additional download options outside of this network.

Close

You've reached your library's checkout limit for digital titles.

To make room for more checkouts, you may be able to return titles from your Checkouts page.

Close

Excessive Checkout Limit Reached.

There have been too many titles checked out and returned by your account within a short period of time.

Try again in several days. If you are still not able to check out titles after 7 days, please contact Support.

Close

You have already checked out this title. To access it, return to your Checkouts page.

Close

This title is not available for your card type. If you think this is an error contact support.

Close

An unexpected error has occurred.

If this problem persists, please contact support.

Close

Close

NOTE: Barnes and Noble® may change this list of devices at any time.

Close
Buy it now
and help our library WIN!
Harley and Me
Harley and Me
Embracing Risk On the Road to a More Authentic Life
Bernadette Murphy
Choose a retail partner below to buy this title for yourself.
A portion of this purchase goes to support your library.
Clicking on the 'Buy It Now' link will cause you to leave the library download platform website. The content of the retail website is not controlled by the library. Please be aware that the website does not have the same privacy policy as the library or its service providers.
Close
Close

There are no copies of this issue left to borrow. Please try to borrow this title again when a new issue is released.

Close
Barnes & Noble Sign In |   Sign In

You will be prompted to sign into your library account on the next page.

If this is your first time selecting “Send to NOOK,” you will then be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

The first time you select “Send to NOOK,” you will be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

You can read periodicals on any NOOK tablet or in the free NOOK reading app for iOS, Android or Windows 8.

Accept to ContinueCancel