• Tuesday, September 18, 2018
  • 85°

Book Reviews

HEADLINES ONLY
MOST RECENT

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’

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

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
 

Author writes of a chiefess, her husband and their hale

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

Isle author expands truth about yoga

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
 

Culinary blogger navigates single-motherhood with sharp humor

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

Murder most foul — and most fun

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

Pidgin treatise reflects devotion to language, culture and values

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

New book commemorates isles’ extinct birds

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

Bamboo Ridge’s new literary anthology is inclusive to da max

The new anthology Bamboo Ridge: Journal of Hawai‘i Literature and Arts No. 108 shows not only numerically, but content-wise that independent publishing in Hawaii is alive and well. Read More

Crime novel explores racism and class strife in 1920s Honolulu

Kapaa native Bill Fernandez, author of “Kaua‘i Kids in Peace and War” and other hanabata-day memoirs, tackles fiction with “Cult of Ku: A Hawaiian Murder Mystery.” Read More

Impact of isles’ steel guitar traced

The history of Hawaiian music since 1778 is a story of Hawaiians adopting haole (non-Hawaiian) ways of making music and then adapting them into something uniquely Hawaiian. Read More

2 books tell the tales behind the names

Just as our parents, filled with hope and love, chose names to identify and celebrate us as unique individuals, the Hawaiians named the many different rains that bless our islands. Read More

Novels take readers across time, space

Middle-age discontent is not confined to the planet Earth in M. Thomas Gammarino’s interstellar novel “King of the Worlds.” Read More

Page Turners

“Kauai Stories 2,” edited by Pamela Varma Brown (Bathrobe Press, $19.95): Fifty Kauai residents contributed personal stories to this heartwarming, eclectic collection organized by subject, such as hula, lei, love of the ocean and family businesses, including Kaneshiro Hog Farms. Read More

Poets make exquisite incisions

Anatomical drawings in the 16th century often featured bodies taking part in their own flaying, wielding knives in postures of liberation as they exposed their complicated insides. Read More

Older Stories

Newer Stories

Scroll Up