Book reviews: November 2020

Deals on Wheels reviews the latest titles to hit the bookshelves


Penguin Random House

final-cover-with-sticker.jpg $37.00

Reviewed by Steve Atkinson 

War-related fiction seems to be popular at the moment, or so it seems judging from some of the books that have landed around me recently. The latest one has a focus on the V2 rockets, which arrived a little too late in Hitler’s bag of tricks to really change the outcome of World War II, but the ones that did make it to their targets still did considerable damage both physically and psychologically.

The tale follows scientist and fictional friend of real-life Werner von Braun from childhood through to adulthood in a telling of how perhaps the father of the Space Race may have ascended from Nazi Germany through to being one of the key figures in the US’ rocket industry. Along with what really is the main storyline and couple of average-ish side stories link together a better-than-expected plot. An easy and interesting read.


Perpetual Disappointments Diary

Nick Asbury

$39.99 MacMillian

final-cover-with-sticker.jpgReviewed by Steve Atkinson

Well, this unusual diary is definitely a page-turner, although, it will take an entire year to get to the end. Designed to embrace and endorse the real loser you are, not a day will go by without some depressingly witty quote or acknowledgement of a famous death pass by your line of vision.

But, on the plus side, you can scribble away dates of appointments you never intend to keep, while noting phone numbers of people you never want to see and more. Actually, it’s so cleverly put together that it is sure to do the opposite to its intention and make the owner cheerful and positive. Maybe, buy it for someone you hate—or love.





Oscar Garden: A Tale of One Man’s Love of Flying

Dr Annamaria Garden

Mary Egan Publishing



Not entirely content with her sister’s literal rendition of their famous flying father Oscar Garden, the author takes it on herself to provide us with a step-by-step journey through this little-known aviator’s life. Back in the early 1930s, the trip from England through to Australia had been conquered but mainly by experienced aviators.

It was here that the young Scotsman who had spent lengthy stints in New Zealand and Australia decided with some 200 hours on his pilot’s license to complete the trip Down Under. The successful experience and his subsequent life where he eventually became chief pilot for pre-Air New Zealand carrier TEAL is told is sometimes mind-numbingly detail, but for the most part, delivered well. All in all, a fascinating look at one of our
once-forgotten pioneers.




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