Although it’s not a book about cycling per se, if you’re interested in transportation issues in general, Tom Vanderbilt’s new book Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (And What it Says About Us) is a great introduction to the topic.
I just finished reading it yesterday, and it’s so good I think I might have to buy my own copy (though I rarely buy books except as gifts). It’s one of the few books both crammed with legit research but also fun to read. One time my Sara and I were so engrossed reading it on the El in Chicago that we missed our stop!
I would write a much longer review, but one of my favorite economists Edward Glaeser has already written a superb one here: (LINK).
I highly recommend it for anyone even tangentially interested in driving, traffic safety, or congestion.