Book reviews: March 2020

The Deals on Wheels team reviews some of the latest titles to hit the bookshelves

The Dalai Lama

Alexander Norman

Penguin Books

Reviewed by Reid Ryan Alan


A fascinating look into one of the world’s most famous – yet elusive – leaders, the Dalai Lama. It’s the first authorised biography of the Dalai Lama in 25 years. Well researched, the biography holds a strong narrative while also providing a thorough history lesson packed with information.

For those who may not have a strong knowledge of Tibet and Buddhism, the author does well to make sure you don’t need to do your own research in order to understand the stories in the book, however there is a lot of facts and information to take in – so go easy. With that in mind, credit must go to the author for pulling together this biography, for the subject has lived an extraordinary life indeed.




Living on Shaky Ground

Matthew Wright

Bateman Books

Reviewed by Karina Florence


This detailed look at the science behind earthquakes and what that could mean for the future in New Zealand is a fascinating read. More an evaluation of some of New Zealand’s quakes than a history lesson, this book explores some pivotal events that had a real impact across the whole nation, and looks at how Kiwis dealt with the aftermath of some of these tragic events.

It explores three major events – the Wairarapa quake of 1855, the Hawke’s Bay quake of 1931 and of course the February 2011 Christchurch quake where 185 people lost their lives. Supported by photographs and diagrams, it’s an interesting look into New Zealand’s earthquakes.




My Mini Could Tow That!

Don and Marilyn Jessen

Bateman Books

Reviewed by Shaylie Jessy Elliott


A wonderful collection of all the different kinds of Teardrop campers and caravans from across New Zealand and Australia.

The authors’ keen interest in miniature vintage and classic caravans have connected them with a variety of people from all over, each with their own unique camper.

They’ve put together this excellent portfolio that tells the stories of how these campers have come to be – through restorations and redesigns and self builds, as well as the stories of the people behind them.

Brilliant photos accompany each story and it really makes you want to hitch one to the back of your car and start exploring the country.



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