Waterway Books

A selection of waterways related books for your interest, information and entertainment. Where possible we have included book reviews, and have a special feature on a particularly popular author each season.

If you have a favourite waterways book or author, please let us know by writing to the editor.

featured authors

John Skull, author

John Skull and his wife Biene lived on their narrowboat ‘Speakeasy’ for two years. During this time John kept an illustrated journal which he has published and is now available on Amazon. John has had an adventurous life, from a childhood in Belfast, to a long naval career and a continuing thirst for travel. ‘Narrowboating…It’ll be fun, they said’ is John’s second book.
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Stephanie Horton, author

stephanie hortonStephanie Horton says, “I wrote Narrow Boat Engine Maintenance and Repair to help boat owners keep their engines operational and moving. This single reference tool combines RCR’s practical advice with our engineers’ specialist knowledge, who through years of experience have unrivalled skills and repair techniques. Hopefully readers will agree the content and photos simplify things and help them keep their boats in a good condition.”
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Ian Douglas Storyteller and Author

Ian DouglasIan Douglas has been a storyteller for about 24 years, working all over the British Isles at festivals and events, and in schools, colleges and universities.

He was inspired to start storytelling after attending the ‘bit craic’ storytelling nights in Newcastle upon Tyne with friend Gary Cordingley - who just happens to be the illustrator of Ian's book "Folk Tales from the Canal Side".
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Heather Wastie

Heather WastieHeather Wastie’s links with canals began when she was a child, when her family bought a small cruiser and then an old working boat called Laurel, which her father converted (although he retained the traditional back cabin).
Heather is a writer, poet, singer/songwriter, keyboard and accordion player.  She has published 8 collections of poetry, two of which relate to the canals. Heather performs her poems, working in conjunction with Alarum Theatre Company.
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Bill Savage

Bill Savage Canal is kingBill Savage describes himself as a canal junkie. His book ‘Canal is King’ is about a canal journey-with-a-difference. From idyllic tranquility to urban grunge. Travelling with Bill is a bit weird, often hilarious, always eventful, inevitably informative, chatting with quirky characters along the way.
Photographer as well as author – we have to thank Bill for providing our frontispiece for this edition of CanalsOnline Magazine!
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Carolyn Clark

Carolyn Clark

Carolyn Clark, in her latest book ‘The East End Canal Tales’ interweaves memories from over 50 people with historical accounts to tell the intriguing, humorous, moving and sometimes surprising stories of life and work on the Hackney and Tower Hamlets reach of the Regents and the Hertford Union Canals. Over 130 photographs and images, many never published before, bring the stories to life.
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Irfan Shah

Irfan Shah

“In Rodley, the barges huddle, moored tight against the towpath alongside small wooden huts and deck chairs and sleeping pets.”
So begins the short story, ‘The Cyclist in the Canal’, a few pages that tell of an imagined encounter between two couples and a less than considerate cyclist on the towpath of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal.
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Kitty Irvine

Kitty Irvine I was born and grew up in the north of England. From an early age, my parents were heavily involved in Scouting, so I spent many weekends and school holidays camping and sailing. My family holidays were spent in the north west of Scotland. I suppose this is where I get my love of wildlife and countryside. My writing started one day as we walked along the canal towpath with our dog. The idea came to me of a very small magical canal boat that was huge on the inside…
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Michael Nye

Michael Nye, author of books for children

When I began writing my first book, “Mayfly” I thought it was the one book that we’re all supposed to have in us. Having just published my 6th book “The Reed Cutter” I am just about getting used to the fact that the old maxim is slightly less than accurate! I prefer to call the books a family rather than a series because, whilst loosely chronological they were written to be readable singly or, more or less, in any order.
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David Robertson

David RobertsonDavid Robertson lives close to the Staffordshire and Worcester Canal at Hinksford. He is a regular contributor for CanalsOnline Magazine, and writes with a great sense of humour, making his articles highly enjoyable. Dave has also written plays for Radio, short stories and some poetry – quite apart from being an ardent blogger.
Dave is most famous, however, for his series of books for children. The Misty books are about the adventures of Dave’s border collie Misty and her doggie friends.
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featured books

east end canal tales

The East End Canal Tales by Carolyn Clark

Narrow boat engine by Stephanie Horton

Narrow Boat Engine Maintenance and Repair by Stephanie Horton

the wrong way round , waterway book by Rob Pearson

The Wrong Way Round, by Rob Pearson

Inland Waterways Manual

Inland Waterways Manual by Emrhys Barrell