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 Lulu.com, 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?