C. G. Burge, ed. The Air Annual of the British Empire 1939. London: Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, 1939. A comprehensive overview of the state of the British aviation industry as of the start of 1939, from the big aircraft manufacturers down to (for example) Cellon Ltd., makers of cellulose dope since 1911. Also articles on the state of the art and future prospects in many aspects of aviation, lots and lots of advertisements, and some very interesting statistics and other reference material at the back (if you intend to fly to Zanzibar, you must give the Aviation Control Officer at Kisauni Customs Aerodrome two hours' notice -- telegraph 'Aviation Zanzibar').

Joseph Heller. Catch-22. London: Vintage Books, 2011 [1962]. A true classic, which I haven't read since high school. To mark the 50th anniversary of its original publication, includes 50 pages of reviews and commentary, some of the latter by Heller himself. Christmas win!

John Slessor. The Great Deterrent: A Collection of Lectures, Articles, and Broadcasts on the Development of Strategic Policy in the Nuclear Age. London: Cassell & Company, 1957. Published by Slessor after retiring as Chief of the Air Staff, though some of the pieces date as far back as 1933. The 'great deterrent' is the hydrogen bomb, but (in these pre-Sandys, pre-Sputnik days) delivered by good old-fashioned bombers, not missiles: 'It is the bomber that could turn the vast spaces that were Russia's prime defence against Napoleon and Hindenburg and Hitler into a source of weakness rather than strength'.

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