My Summer Reading List

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My Summer Reading List

Posted by: Kim Steutermann Rogers
Aug 16, 2013

Here we are half-way through August, our backs starting to arch away from the looming long weekend that signifies the end of summer. It's not just school kids who hate to see the summer come to an end. Have you squeezed in your summer vacation yet? What about your summer reading list? Dented it? Just when I think I have made good headway into the massive collections of books on my bedside table, on my desk, on the end table next to my reading chair, and the one in my tote bag, I find another one--or three--books that I think I really must read. The end result is: Too many books; not enough time. Sigh.
Here are a few on any one of the stacks decorating my home:

Hawaiki Rising
Sam Low

I might actually finish this book if I would just stop giving my copy away. Sam Low spent 10 years writing Hawaiki Rising, the story of the early years of Hokulea, the voyaging canoe, and the man who navigated her to Tahiti in 1976 using stars and other signs from the natural world to find their way. I'm only a fraction into the book, but I already know I'm in the capable hands of a skilled writer.

Georgia O'Keeffe's Hawaii
Patricia Jennings and Maria Ausherman

Now, this one I have finished, and I find myself going back to flip through it to enjoy the art. In 1938, the Dole Pineapple Co. commissioned Georgia O'Keeffe to visit Hawaii and produce two paintings for advertising purposes. O'Keeffe started her stay on Oahu but soon departed for the East Maui town of Hana, then even more remote than it is today. In Hana, O'Keeffe befriended 12-year-old Patricia Jennings, daughter of the Hana sugar plantation manager. With Jennings at her side, O'Keeffe produced 20 works of art. This book tells the story of the 10 days Jennings spent with O'Keeffe.

This Is Paradise
Kristiana Kahakauwila

The debut collection kept popping up on my radar, first as an Oprah summer read and, then, as a standout short story collection on NPR. So, when I found it at Costco, the best source of new books on Kauai, I snatched it up. I was a little concerned when I started the title story as some tired cliches about Hawaii popped up, but something told me the author would dig beyond  stereotype to reveal a more complex and complete Hawaii, as well as multi-layered characters. And she did.

Haena: Through the Eyes of the Ancestors
Carlos Andrade

This book has sat on my bookshelf for two years, and I've yet to crack it. But after hearing author Carlos Adrade speak earlier this week, I pulled the book from the depths of my to-read stack and settled it higher. In this book, Andrade shares the stories of Haena, a land district situated on the northwest coast of Kauai.

Toby Neal

You may have read my Q&A with Maui author Toby Neal earlier this year. She recently published what she calls a "companion book" to her signature Lei Crime Series. In this one, Dr. Wilson, a psychiatrist who gets cameo appearances and/or mentions in the Lei series, gets into her own trouble after going on a walk-about around Maui. Also included in this e-book is bonus content in the form of photographs taken by Toby's professional photographer husband, Mike.

What about you? What's on your summer reading list? (And, Michael, I already know Hawaiki Rising is on yours;-)

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