Book Reviews Archives | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Book Reviews


‘Hawai‘i Movie and Television Book’ chronicles local contributions

A new 2018 edition of the book adds 13 classic films, along with feature films, TV shows and documentaries released since the original version was published in 2015. Read More

New York Times Top Books of 2017

The New York Times’ critics have made their choices of the best fiction and nonfiction books of the year. Read More

Hokule‘a voyage shines bright in new book

“Malama Honua: Hokule‘a — A Voyage of Hope,” by Jennifer Allen, includes color photos and thoughtful looks at stops on the voyage and waters in between, plus a capsule history of the Hokule‘a. Read More

Recent wave of WWII memoirs may be the last

Even veterans who were teenagers when the war ended in 1945 are at or approaching 90 by now. The 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack came last December, and publishers will likely have a hard time finding fresh accounts for the 75th anniversaries of milestones such as D-Day (June 6, 1944) and V-J Day (Aug. 14, 1945). Read More

Island-themed historic novels will carry you away

Summer may have just slipped by, but here are two new historical novels with literary leanings — and island themes — that will keep readers, for a little while longer, in that faraway, vacation state of mind. Read More

Memoir takes readers on surfer’s journey to serenity

You don’t have to be to a surfer to appreciate Jaimal Yogis’ description of looking for the light at the end of a curling tunnel of water as a metaphor for his quest for inner peace. Read More

Gift provides chance to rise to new challenge

“Sourdough” is the story we all secretly dream about. Could we leave our mundane lives and take a leap of faith in the direction of our newfound passion? Read More

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

“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

“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

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

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

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

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

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

‘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

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