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Book Reviews

COURTESY PHOTOS
                                Malcolm Naea Chun’s ‘Kahuna,’ left, details ravages of Western maladies, while Charles Langlas’ “Under the Volcano: The People of Kalapana, 1823 to 2010,” right, examines the former rural seaside village on Hawaii island.

Hawaii books examine ravages of Western disease, Kalapana village

COURTESY PHOTOS
                                Malcolm Naea Chun’s ‘Kahuna,’ left, details ravages of Western maladies, while Charles Langlas’ “Under the Volcano: The People of Kalapana, 1823 to 2010,” right, examines the former rural seaside village on Hawaii island.

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
COURTESY UH PRESS
                                “Picture Bride Stories” by Barbara Kawakami (University of Hawaii Press, $39.99)

Narratives connect 16 Hawaii picture brides

COURTESY UH PRESS
                                “Picture Bride Stories” by Barbara Kawakami (University of Hawaii Press, $39.99)

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
COURTESY BEACHHOUSE PUBLISHING

Texas dad has ‘crazy’ Hawaiian daydream

COURTESY BEACHHOUSE PUBLISHING
Reviews of Hawaii-themed books by Texas dad Mike Guardia, Constance Hale and Ruth Moen. Read More
COURTESY WILLOW SPRINGS BOOKS

Expats run deep in local author’s debut

COURTESY WILLOW SPRINGS BOOKS
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
COURTESY UH PRESS

New books examine issues surrounding WWII

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

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“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
 
ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                Acclaimed novelist Zadie Smith signs a book for a fan in Jamaica in 2014. Since 2001, the tiny, laid-back beach town of Treasure Beach has hosted the Calabash International Literary Festival, attracting Nobel laureates and a slew of other acclaimed writers.

Pages go from persuasive to pedestrian in ‘Swing Time’

ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                Acclaimed novelist Zadie Smith signs a book for a fan in Jamaica in 2014. Since 2001, the tiny, laid-back beach town of Treasure Beach has hosted the Calabash International Literary Festival, attracting Nobel laureates and a slew of other acclaimed writers.

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
ASSOCIATED PRESS / 2015
                                Robbie Robertson was lead guitarist and principal songwriter for the Band. His memoir covers 33 years, ending when the Band broke up.

Rock musician tours high road with memoir

ASSOCIATED PRESS / 2015
                                Robbie Robertson was lead guitarist and principal songwriter for the Band. His memoir covers 33 years, ending when the Band broke up.
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
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Biography of painter Turner has little warmth

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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
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Author writes of a chiefess, her husband and their hale

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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

A brilliant look at maoli luminary

Given the major role in Hawaii history and letters played by John Papa ‘I‘i, political leader and trusted kahu and counselor to rulers of the kingdom until his death in 1870, readers of a fascinating new biography might be amazed to discover that he never became fluent in English. Read More
Updated on  October 21, 2016 at 7:03 pm
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Isle author expands truth about yoga

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Updated on  September 9, 2016 at 4:57 pm
Through the lens of yoga, Kailua author and psychologist Jennie Lee takes a comprehensive look that offers depth and breadth to this ancient philosophy. Read More
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Culinary blogger navigates single-motherhood with sharp humor

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Updated on  August 14, 2016 at 4:57 pm
In her delightful new novel, “How to Party With an Infant,” Kaui Hart Hemmings brings her acerbic brand of humor to the pitfalls of modern parenthood and dealing with life’s crazy, unexpected hardships. Read More
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Murder most foul — and most fun

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Updated on  July 22, 2016 at 6:21 pm
Victoria Kneubuhl, one of Hawaii’s acclaimed playwrights, begins her latest murder mystery with exciting action set in Shanghai, where Honolulu native Ned Manusia rescues and escapes with his seriously injured British friend while duping the opposition at every turn. Read More
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Pidgin treatise reflects devotion to language, culture and values

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Updated on  July 15, 2016 at 7:02 pm
Inspired in part by her mother’s devotion to the Japanese culture that flourished on the Big Island plantation where she grew up, Myra Sachiko Ikeda has written a nostalgic lexicon-and- lifestyle book, “A Harvest of Hawai‘i Plantation Pidgin: The Japanese Way.” Read More
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New book commemorates isles’ extinct birds

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Updated on  July 8, 2016 at 6:55 pm
In Hawaii forests the air is enlivened by the songs of birds, a treat that’s easy to take for granted until it’s gone. Such is the case on Guam, where, due to the predations of the brown tree snake, native birds have gone extinct and left the forests silent. Read More

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