Monday, July 16, 2007

Bracing Breeze Worldwide Book Review

Like many waiting for their ordered cars to show up from Germany, I was hungering for all the information I could possibly get about my future new car. One of my many Google searches turned up an interesting find -- a book all about the history of the BMW 3-series entitled Bracing Breeze Worldwide: BMW 3 Series Convertibles”, the problem it was only in German. After doing a bit more Googling I did learn the book comes in English too along with a DVD. The book is published by Heel-Verlag, ISBN number 978-3-89880-809-5.

Getting the book was not an easy task. I tried Amazon, Amazon (UK), Barnes & Noble, and various searches until I finally got around to just emailing the publisher, who at the time did not even have the book on their web site; it is there now. So, after a few back and forth emails with a service representative at the publisher I ordered the book. I did that in late May, about the time my car was getting built by BMW. Funny how things happen but the book and my car showed up the same day almost 8 weeks later. The bad part is my book was supposed to come with the DVD, but there was no DVD to be found..? I guess I’m waiting another 8 weeks for the DVD now.

The book is written a lot like several cookbooks I own. There are plenty of travel pictures the author puts into words that gives a little history eventually leading to some of the history and information about the cars, much like a book on Italian cooking that gives you some history before it gets to the food. There is nothing wrong with this style but it is a bit dry and each section writes like a template that gets repeated over and over again. I found myself just skipping to the discussion about the cars by the time I got to the E46 model.

Unfortunately, the author(s), not sure who wrote this since no author is attributed, seem to know nothing first-hand about driving any of the cars covered in the book. The details about the cars could be easily gathered by reading the brochures from the dealerships and this is the most disappointing element of this book. What you really want to know is how the cars performed, handled, and what feeling the driver takes away from each variation as BMW evolved the convertible 3-series over the years. It’s rather fitting the book concludes with line dimensional drawings of each model just like a brochure.

I also felt let down by the coverage of the new E93 convertible. The pictures are stock BMW (in fact, all automotive pictures may be stock, I cannot confirm this though) and only a platinum, cream beige model is shown. Some variation in color combinations would’ve been nice, but I’m sure this publication was rushed out to meet the veracious hunger us new convertible owners are seeking as we seek to get our hands on everything 3-series convertible.

Of course getting my new car was far more exciting than getting any book, even a better written version with better pictures. Unfortunately, the book wasn’t really worth the wait and I found very little value and enjoyment reading this publication. I understand it is just an overview book for fans of this car and shouldn’t really be held to any literary standard; however, I have a coffee table book that came out in 1996 when I got my BMW Z3 that is really a gem and something I enjoy even to this day. That book shows the early Z3 in variety of color combinations, driving shots, and covers the history of the roadster (BMW and others) in a great, exciting way. Bracing Breeze Worldwide just doesn’t keep the reader's interest visually or mentally.


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