On Board with Books

December 2021 Multimedia Janet Groene and Gordon Groene

If your dream is to move onboard your houseboat and cruise carefree and forever, a large crop of new books will show you the way. They may not be about houseboats or even about boating in general, but suddenly bookstores are filled with new titles about men and women, most of them young and in the work force, who turned their lives around through imagination, courage, smart business practices and portable professions.  

These new books can help you through some facet of your liveaboard lifestyle. All can be ordered through bookstores or online at www.Amazon.com.

The 40-Year-Old Snowbird is Tracey Parnell’s revealing story of a young woman who quit a six-figure corporate job in Canada when she was 32. She now lives in Toronto in the summer and Florida in winter, earning her way no matter where she is. Houseboaters who hate ice and snow will identify with Parnell’s quest for eternal sunshine. Everyone in the work force will admire her creativity in developing a number of businesses that travel with her.

If fear or self-doubt are keeping you from taking off or you’re simply stuck in a rut, her workbook suggests ways to find out what you really want in life. “Use your brain, not your back” (to make money), she enthuses.

Escape The Wolf, a Personal Security Handbook for the Traveling Professional is aimed at business travelers but it has a valuable message for anyone. Author Clinton Emerson has a bachelor’s degree in security management from the American Military University. Half of his 570-page book deals with recognizing and dealing with risky situations in a variety of situations at home and away. The last half is less geared to houseboat life because it’s about etiquette and culture in nations you will probably never visit. Nevertheless that section is interesting armchair reading. 

On the Other Guy’s Dime by G. Michael Schneider is sub-titled A Professional’s Guide to Traveling Without Paying. Because he holds a Ph.D. degree, he’s able to accept short-term teaching jobs all over the world. If you have teaching credentials but have never looked into temporary professorships, this book could be your passport to paid cruising.

Queen of the Road by Doreen Orion is written by a psychiatrist whose husband, also a psychiatrist, talked her into taking to the road in an RV. This is a chick lit book about how to find room for 100 pairs of shoes and learning to laugh at one travel caper after another. The book is a travelog, a marriage manual and a hilarious romp. If the nesting instinct is keeping you or your spouse from flying free, this book is an upbeat glimpse at how funny, sunny and rewarding the liveaboard life can be.

From Empty Nest to Life Vest is also a woman’s book, written by Christie Gosline and a winner of an Independent Publisher Book Award. Christine married for the second time when her girls were pre-teens. Her new husband, Rick, was a good husband and dad, but when the girls entered college he saw an opportunity to leave his pressure cooker job and try a new life at sea. Christie, now an empty nester who realized she too needed new directions, agreed to go sailing. This is a book about travel, boating, parenting, second chances and getting along in a small, floating home. The author is very good at describing places and peoples. Parts of the personal journal that she kept on the boat are charmingly reproduced in the book.

The Boy Behind the Gate is Larry Jacobson’s story. As a child he looked longingly beyond the locked gates on the finger piers at his hometown marina and yearned to have a boat of his own. He made his fortune, bought a yacht at age 46 and spent six years sailing around the world with his partner, Ken, and crew. His message to readers is that you, too, can be unstoppable.

Now that he’s back from his circumnavigation he continues his message of how to branch out, beat the odds and figuratively open that locked marina gate. In addition to his book he spreads his “you can be unstoppable” message as a motivational speaker.


About the Authors

Gordon and Janet Groene lived full-time on the go for ten years and they hold the NMMA Directors Award for boating journalism. Their books include Living Aboard and Creating Comfort Afloat. Janet posts new galley recipes weekly at www.BoatCook.blogspot.com.

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