Book Review 2018 – Part VI

Earlier this year I read and then reviewed Narrow Dog to Wigan Pier by Terry Darlington (Book review here), which I think is his third book. As I enjoyed it so much I decided to have a look for his first book, Narrow Dog to Carcassonne.

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Much like the other book, this is all about life on a narrow boat with a whippet. The big ‘hook’ with this book is that they made their way across the channel, in a narrow boat. Of coarse it took two years of planning, and most people telling them that they would die, but they made it. I don’t think that I’m giving anything away there. The book is written with great humour and a very unique style, which I greatly enjoy. They travel around the UK to begin with, from Stone to London and back, gaining valuable boating experience on the Thames and the Bristol Channel.

The canals of France are also very different from the narrow canals in the UK, as well as very few people having seen a whippet. You don’t need to be a fan of canals or boating to enjoy this book. One of the best books that I’ve read this year.

Book Review 2018 – Part I

Time for my first book review of 2018, or more accurately, my last book review of 2017 as both books were finished before Christmas. It’s unlikely that I will be reviewing as many older books this year. This Christmas and last Christmas, the company that I work for gave everyone a £200 one4all voucher, which I mainly spent on second hand books from the stores that sell through Amazon. Unfortunately, Amazon no longer accept one4all vouchers, but Waterstones do, so all is not lost, although the selection isn’t as good.

Back to the book review, and two really good books, Alone in Antarctica by Felicity Aston and Narrow Dog to Wigan Pier by Terry Darlington.

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Alone in Antarctica is all about one woman’s attempt to walk across the most inhospitable continent on the planet. Felicity had been to the area a few times, most recently walking to the pole with a group of women, but on your own is very different, especially if you’re setting off from the ‘wrong’ side and not stopping at the pole. I found it very interesting plotting her route, as she wanted to avoid crevasses, obviously, and not have to climb too many steep slopes towing all of her gear. The loneliness really comes across in the book, and I was hooked, although this is one area that I might not plan to cycle across.

Narrow Dog is on the whole a much more local book for me, as he writes about the area I know well. I’ve always loved canals, whether running, cycling or walking, or reading about them. You also can’t go wrong with a couple of less than intelligent but loveable dogs. This is Terry’s third book and I will be honest, I’ve not read the others. He doesn’t just write about canals and dogs, but also reminisces about his work and how he took up running. I enjoyed the chapter on the Lancaster canal, and loved his disparaging comments on the Huddersfield canal, saying that it was horrendous to navigate and that maybe it should have been left unpreserved.

Both books were good, although very different, with very little humour in the first, and a lot of dry humour in the second.

I am now also caught up with my book reviews, so my next review is for a book that I’m still reading.