Thursday, August 08, 2013

More on barging books

A few posts back I did a round up review of some of my favourite boating books. Since the list isn't entirely complete, I thought I'd add a couple of others I've enjoyed as well as one or two I would like to get hold of.

One that I forgot to mention is a book I read quite early in my adventures in self publishing. This is also a self published book by an American writer by the name of Michelle Caffrey. I came across her book, Just Imagine, on, where I have done all my own self publishing. Michelle and her husband sold up their very successful marketing business in (I think) Colorado, and bought an old Dutch barge. They fitted it out as a kind of floating hotel and spent some years doing charters in the Burgundy region of France. The barge, as you might realise, was called 'Imagine', and the book is about their first few months of discovering what it is to own their very first barge in a strange country and cope with all the problems involved. Both Michelle and her husband were past 'spring chicken' years when they embarked on this enterprise and the book also tells much of their self discovery and emotional development. I enjoyed it very much although sometimes the American language confused me. As it is targeted for the real American market, there were several expressions and words I wasn't familiar with. It was definitely the first time I had come across the use of 'potable' to describe drinking water!

Another book I've read and enjoyed is the sequel to Terry Darlington's Narrowdog to Carcassonne. This one is called Narrowdog to Indian River and describes the rather crazy journy Terry and his wife make on their narrowboat down the intra-coastal waterway on the east coast of the US. Admittedly, the route they take is quite protected from the elements, but even so, it is far beyond what most people would consider a suitable route for an English canal boat. Bearing in mind these boats are built for waterways of around twelve foot wide which are about as dangerous as a minnow compared to the whale of the intra-coastal, they were at best, very brave, and at worst foolhardy. The Darlingtons were both over seventy when they embarked on this journey with their timid (and narrow) whippet as well. If I'm honest, I liked this book much more than the Carcassonne one as it has more to do with boating and the real journey than about Terry Darlington trying out his creative writing styles on us.

Lastly, there is one book I haven't read, but have wanted for a long time, and in fact I've just succumbed and ordered it from Amazon as it doesn't seem to be available anywhere else. It has the lovely name of Betty's Barge and I can't wait to read it. The blurb says it's about cruising quietly through France so it sounds just up my street.  There is one other I would love, but they won't deliver it here, so I'll have to ask my sister to order it for me. It's called The Leaky Iron Boat. Anyone knowing about my adventures in barging will know that this sounds about right for me, doesn't it?


  1. More books for my 'must read pile'. Please stop I have walls to paint. And yes we are planning to move in to the barge in two weeks! I am so excited, I very nearly have a bathroom nod a bedroom. Pete won't let me post ny pictures until they're done, so hopefully in the next couple of days.....xxxxx

  2. My comment was published three times hence the selections! X

  3. What an extensive list of boating books! I hope some of them offer remedies to overcome sea sickness. I usually fair better on large boats sailing through calm waters. I'm really not much fun at all.


  4. These look fab. Val - and this rate my to-be-read file is going to take over the house!

  5. Julie, I don't remember anything about being sea sick in any of these although the narrowdog one might have something as they were at sea in a canal boat! Mostly, barges stay on rivers and canals so sickness isn't a problem.

    Jo, if you ever get to read any of these, I'd love to know what you think! I know what you mean by the 'to be read' list. Mine is rather long too!

  6. Quite an array of barge books. Have fun reading!

    Happy Weekend :)

  7. I had no idea how many books are out there on barging. How cool. You have shown me through your blog about barging, and there really is a community of bargists.? is that the term?

  8. Gosh! So many boating books. I am constantly amazed at how our language is so different from that spoken in the US. I've never heard the word potable used for drinking water either.

  9. Carol, I've read them all except the last one! You could say I'm obsessed with boat books!

    Grace, yes, there are many communities of barge owners like us, but a bargee is tehnically a working skipper.

    Ros, you're right, I had quite some trouble with this one now and then, but I did enjoy it! When I first read 'potable' water, I thought it was a typo and she meant portable…haha. But no...

  10. Now giggling my way through 'Wet Foundations' by Mary Cassells. Available on Kindle and it's very funny.


Apologies for switching on comment moderation, but this is to make sure everyone can comment without jumping through captcha hoops!

However, anonymous comments will not be published, so please would you sign your name. Even if you leave a nice, relevant comment, I won't publish it without a name.