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Book Reviews

‘Golden Hill’ a twisty tale of potential colonial con man

Updated on  August 19, 2017 at 5:56 pm
“Golden Hill” features characters that allude often to Shakespeare. Everyone in this novel has a secret, and nothing is as it seems. Read More

‘Refuge’ follows painful journey of an Iranian exile

Many of the characters in Dina Nayeri’s second novel, “Refuge,” are estranged from themselves, but none more so than its protagonist, Niloo. Read More

Faces, rhymes bring isles’ roads, waves to life

Updated on  July 30, 2017 at 5:04 pm
“Things That Go on Water in Hawaii” and “Things That Go on Wheels in Hawaii” are two new board books to help toddlers learn about island life. Read More

Artful stories among reads at Hawaii Book & Music Fest

Updated on  May 2, 2017 at 11:11 am
Three books that each incorporate the visual arts are among the exciting reads whose writers will appear at the Hawaii Book & Music Festival. Read More

Isle writer hits hard with novel spanning 30 years

Updated on  April 30, 2017 at 5:13 pm
In his latest thriller, “Assassins,” prolific Molokai resident Mike Bond constructs an epic spy story following one man’s experience with 30 years of war and terrorism in the Middle East. Read More

Archaeologist’s career island-hops through Polynesian cultures

Updated on  April 23, 2017 at 4:38 pm
Composed of recollections, photographs and illustrations, “Curve of the Hook” — equal parts personal and scientific history — summarizes the career and philosophy of Yosihiko Sinoto, senior archaeologist at Bishop Museum. Read More

Hawaii books examine ravages of Western disease, Kalapana village

Updated on  February 28, 2017 at 11:10 am
Malcolm Naea Chun’s ‘Kahuna’ details ravages of Western maladies, while Charles Langlas’ “Under the Volcano: The People of Kalapana, 1823 to 2010” examines the former rural seaside village on Hawaii island. Read More

Narratives connect 16 Hawaii picture brides

Updated on  January 28, 2017 at 7:53 pm
A picture was worth a lifetime for 20,000 picture brides who came to Hawaii from Japan and Korea during the plantation era. Read More

Texas dad has ‘crazy’ Hawaiian daydream

Reviews of Hawaii-themed books by Texas dad Mike Guardia, Constance Hale and Ruth Moen. Read More

Expats run deep in local author’s debut

Many of the narrators in Stephanie Han’s first collection of short stories are tough, sarcastic, worldly American expatriates trying to hide how self-conscious and vulnerable they feel. Read More

New books examine issues surrounding WWII

Local reviews of new books “Countdown to Pearl Harbor,” “I Had a Comrade” and “Bayonets in Paradise.” Read More

Hawaii launch of 2 WWII books honors Pearl Harbor anniversary

Two books written or edited by daughters whose fathers fought in World War II will be celebrated during events at the Phillipine Consulate on Nov. 29. Read More
Updated on  November 18, 2016 at 11:58 pm

‘Picture Bride’ examines trials of plantation-era Japanese in Hawaii

“Picture Bride” offers an accessible glimpse into Hawaii’s history, stories and events most locals have heard in passing but have never studied in depth. Read More

New books spotlight poetry, kumu hula

Artwork and Grimm fairy tales inform the poems in “Things Seen,” while “The Natives Are Restless” traces the history of kumu hula Patrick Makuakane. Read More

Pages go from persuasive to pedestrian in ‘Swing Time’

Updated on  November 11, 2016 at 11:00 pm
Doubles — pairs of friends, rivals and families; contrasting ideologies and views of the world — animate Zadie Smith’s novels. Her latest, “Swing Time,” works a variation on this setup. Read More

Rock musician tours high road with memoir

Robbie Robertson was lead guitarist and principal songwriter for the Band. His memoir covers 33 years, ending when the Band broke up. Read More

Track Trump’s presidential path via books

A list of New York Times picks for those trying to understand the political, economic, regional and social shifts that drove one of the most stunning political upsets in the nation’s history. Read More

Biography of painter Turner has little warmth

Updated on  November 1, 2016 at 8:15 pm
The most cloying American artist of the 20th century was almost certainly Thomas Kinkade (1958-2012), whose popular paintings depicted what seemed to be well-lighted houses for elves. Read More

Page turners: ‘Wild Things,’ ‘The Do Over,’ ‘The Hawaiian Quilt’

In “Wild Things,” her fine new collection of short stories, Jaimee Wriston Colbert, a Hawaii-raised prize-winning author,writes with the energy of a new, young voice. Her brisk pacing and descriptive skill, however, reveal a pro. Whether in ajobless, polluted Pennsylvania or a Hawaii where species are going extinct, her characters share a sardonic and desperatetone. Read More
Updated on  October 28, 2016 at 7:01 pm

Author writes of a chiefess, her husband and their hale

Updated on  October 21, 2016 at 7:03 pm
Liliuokalani reigned as queen of Hawaii for only two years but lived for 79. “I concentrate on those long years,” writes Rianna M. Williams, a docent at Washington Place and author of “Queen Lili‘uokalani, the Dominis Family, and Washington Place, Their Home.” Read More