Shantyboat: A River Way of Life

Item #: 300-793
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by Harlan Hubbard

Reviewed by Harry Bryan in WB #224 (Jan/Feb 2012). Harry has recently designed a most charming houseboat for a client (also featured in WB #224), and this book happens to be a favorite of his... in the category of Walden and Living the Good Life.

In 1944 Harlan and Anna Hubbard built a small houseboat that accommodated their needs. Shantyboat is the story of their journey down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to New Orleans. Harlan's illustrations are a great addition to the text.

And, if you've not seen Christopher Cunningham's editor's page in Small Boats Monthly, take a look at Anna and Harlan 1985.

From Wendell Berry's foreword:
An account of life amid the elements: the backlands and backwaters, weather and currents that require human skill to be great because human control is so small. But it is by the same token, and even more, and account of domestic life... the boat conveys its household into the wilderness. From its windows, the world is newly seen and understood.

352 pp., softcover

Review

Some books, such as Thoreau's Walden,or Nearing's Living The Good Life, have become a permanent part of my home library. Every so often I reread them, my life's intervening experience lending new insight to the author's words. Shantyboat is such a book, and as I return my dog-eared copy to the bookcase, I know that someday I will read it yet again and it will once more offer a fresh perspective for my own life.
--Harry Bryan, reviewed in WoodenBoat #224

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