Thursday, 3 June 2010

Reading material.

I am a keen reader of books, I love reading books on just about any subject.  As a result of buying a narrowboat, I have purchased and read a fair number of books on the subject. So I shall pass my opinion on some of the books and the suitability for new boaters. Being new boat owners is after all, what we set out to chronicle.

I am disappointed with "Canal and River Cruising" (second edition) - by Sheila Davenport. I am disappointed with both the content and the presentation. Yet the IWA have so much other worthwhile reading material on offer. This book fails to live up to the expectation of its title. If you are completely new to boating, or if it is just a passing interest. Then you might find this book is informative.

Best described as being at a very basic level. Yet the bare bones are in place, it would not take a great deal of editing and new or updated material to create a good boating starter guide. I hate to think what the first edition was like!

This is a small booklet that is full of invaluable information that you might spend a lot of time gleaning from other publications. Narrowboat on the trent is full of good advice. Written in a no nonsense style and built on many years spent boating on the river Trent.

Split into tidal and non tidal sections. The book also includes a very good descriptions of how to go about planning your first Trent trip. A very good read for the boater venturing on the River Trent for the first time.

Voices from the Waterways is a wonderful bedside book. Including interviews and anecdotes from people who lived on and around canal boats pre and post war. Worth reading if only for the section on "Uncle Billy the Wherryman" a hard working and hard living loveable rogue.

Voices from the Waterways is a well put together series of short stories, on all aspects of canal life. You will not be disappointed.

Trevor Pavitt has taken what could just have been a dry rendition of information from his day-to-day boating log. However, he then weaves a tale of his day to day experiences. From poignient family issues to fun with the family dog. The book also highlights interesting interactions with people both on and off the cut.

I felt quite sorry that the book actually records the end of Trevor's life aboard "Lady Elgar" and its subsequent sale. A good read on a winters evening aboard a cosy narrow boat.

Living aboard is a no nonsense guide to the realities of narrow boat ownership. It has been carefully crafted into sections that address most if not all the issues you will encounter. It offers good advice and should be read by all prospective narrow boat owners.

Narrow Margins is a book about much more than the trial and tribulations found in every family. I empathise fully with the ethos of the book, because I have been there. Marie and her partner have to make a difficult change of lifestyle when life plays them a bad roll of the dice.

Living on a narrow-boat as a means to an end would not be anyone's first choice. Full of ironic happenings that make you smile and feel sorry at the same time. Narrow Margins is one of those books that makes you want to champion the underdogs to win through in the end. Life is testing the strength of their family relationship and resolve to the full. If you want to know the outcome - read the book, you will not be disappointed.

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