Book Reviews October 2022


RVers are renowned for knowing a lot about the country they travel in, and how to be happy with their lot. This month’s new book releases are firmly on the ‘must-read’ list.



We have copies of all six of these new releases to give away. To be in to win, email or message us at with your choice. Winners will be drawn on Oct 20, 2022.

The Slow Roll

Simon Lendrum

Upstart Press

RRP $39.00

This debut novel by Auckland based advertising executive Simon Lendrum nearly never happened; the manuscript was pulled from the ‘slush pile’ – the term for publishers’ piles of unsolicited manuscripts by the team at Upstart Press. The novel starts with a simple request: “Can you find my runaway daughter?”, but for professional gambler O’Malley, nothing is simple.   There’s the murder of one of his poker partners, the attention of drug dealers, money launderers, the police, gangs…and to top it all off, his intriguing girlfriend Claire, who seems to be better at part-time sleuthing than he is. A self-confessed lover of the game, Lendrum says the poker world is full of characters and reprobates, which goes some way to explain the title; a slow roll in poker is a term for a move that’s the height of bad etiquette.





Kiwi Bikers: 85 New Zealanders And Their Motorbikes

Ken Downie

Massey University Press

The best Christmas present for your biker friends! Photographer Ken Downie has created this beautiful hardback that includes some of the most famous names in New Zealand motorsport. In a two-year project that has seen him travel the breadth of the country, Ken has collected witty and engaging stories on their incredible bikes from 85 enthusiasts of all ages, genders and backgrounds. The oldest bike in the book is a 1920 AJS Model D7win80,while there’s a host of Triumphs, Ducatis,
Royal Enfields, the famous Britten, Moto Guzzis and more, not to mention the very collectable 1927 Brough Superior. As much about the riders as the bikes, Kiwi Bikers showcases veterans of the track like Grand Prix champs Hugh Anderson MBE along with a new generation of stars including women’s motocross triple world champion Courtney Duncan, and stunt rider Shontelle Feeney.

Stay Alert With The Safe-T-Alert LPG & Carbon Monoxide Detector



Cracking The Happiness Code: A Practical Guide to a Happier Life

Pam Stoodley

Jane Publishing

RRP $29.99

It’s a lesson many RVers have learned: how to find what makes you happy. Cracking The Happiness Code is written in jargon-free language to help readers find out how their mind works, with the aim of helping achieve the happiness that eludes so many. Structured in two parts, the ‘Why’ of the book details things in your life that may be contributing to your unhappiness, based on scientific
studies. These include disorganisation, comparison and victimisation. The ‘How’ of the book gives you practical steps to change your thoughts and routines to create a mind that is in your control – and a controlled mind is ultimately a happy one. Dr Pamela Stoodley is a medical doctor, neuropsychologist and counsellor. “All my life I’ve played the role of the person others confided in,” she says. “I jumped into the wonderful world of medicine, psychology and neuroscience, and I realised everyone was seeking the same thing, just in different ways.”





Whiskey  Lima Golf

Darin Dance

The Bach Doctor Press

RRP $29.00

Set in contemporary downtown Wellington, crippled war veteran Tom (Tāmati) Yelich finds himself in a world of shadows. A world where intelligence agencies vie for supremacy in the deadly ‘Great Game’ played out on the capital’s streets. In the depths of depression following a career-ending injury in Afghanistan, Tom thought he’d never find purpose and meaning again, but with the help of his whānau and friends, he learns to deal with his trauma. Can he stop an international incident being played out in his home town with only the help of an eclectic collection of memorable characters? With PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) a running thread throughout the book, author Darin hopes the book will help Kiwis, especially men, face mental and physical obstacles. “Let’s get beyond the stereotypes – men don’t have to shut down,” he says. “It takes a community of support to overcome challenges.”

Practical advice: earning a living on the road






The Clarence – People and Places o Waiau Toa

Tim Fulton

Bateman Books

RRP $79.99

The Clarence is an enigmatic hinterland; at times undulating, sometimes impenetrable. Running a looping course for over 200km, the sprawl of the river and its surrounding valleys and ranges is dazzling. It’s beautiful, but it’s also dangerous, even for the most experienced of people who work this rugged country. When author Tim Fulton started out in journalism, an old family friend, the late Jim Rossiter, told him about his ‘last sheep muster’ at Molesworth in the late 1930s, just as the government was taking back control of the station and it fascinated him. Told in four parts over 250 pages and studded with historic and contemporary images, Fulton shares tales from alpine mountains beyond Molesworth and all the way to the Pacific. This book is proof that the best stories are always the true ones.




The Real Guide To New Zealand: The Unique Nature of Aotearoa

Mark Danenhauer

White Cloud Books

RRP $44.99

Can you tell a skink from a gecko? Is that a kea or a kākā? Can you spot the difference between a northern rātā and a pōhutukawa? This full colour guide is designed to help readers gain a basic understanding of our country’s natural history. Written simply and clearly, it explains why and how New Zealand’s natural world is unique, and how people have impacted it. It’s written by Mark Danenhauer, an expert with a BA in environmental studies and an MA in natural resources and sustainable development. American by birth, Mark now works in the environmental field in Taranaki, and has travelled New Zealand extensively in the seven years he’s worked here. A fascinating and revealing read.

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