New Books by Hawaii Authors

Look no further for a thought-provoking read.

Topics in the Tropics

Some of Hawaii’s most well-informed citizens have contributed their 2 cents on our state’s politics, culture and community in The Value of Hawaii: Knowing the Past, Shaping the Future (University of Hawaii Press, $19.99). Craig Howes and Jon Osorio co-edited the 29 essays, creating a book they hope will serve as a jumping-off point for further discussions. Some of the authors and subjects you’ll find include:

Ramsay Taum on tourism
Noting the “airport ring toss” of professional greeters, “Could anyone have imagined 50 years ago that lei intended to express love, affection and friendship would one day be produced by strangers in a foreign land, so they could be delivered by strangers to other strangers who flew in to visit no one?”

Charles Reppun on agriculture
“The 7,500 hired farm workers in Hawai‘i earn on average only $25,094 …”

Meda Chesney-Lind and Kat Brady on prisons
“Twenty-six percent of the Department of Public Safety’s general fund operating appropriations are go toward incarcerating prisoners outside of Hawai‘i, up from 15.6 percent in 2000.”


Moonlighting Authors

Three local authors prove you don’t have to be an English major to write a book. 

The Idea Man is a book for young adults by Kona-based state Senator Josh Green. Green gets bonus points; he is also an emergency room physician. Loihi Press, $8.95.

A Reasonable Person is a thriller from retired Honolulu lawyer Walter Davis. Davis was, for 40 years, an insurance litigator, and used his experience to write this courtroom drama. Available at, $12.38.

Tropica is a sci-fi manga novel by Tony Clapes, who is a non-partisan candidate running for Hawaii governor. Tropica covers economic development in an island society. Bess Press, $12.95.




New Wave

“A wave might seem to be a simple thing, but in fact it’s the most complicated form in nature,” writes Susan Casey in The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean. Casey, who lives part-time in Maui and part-time in New York City, dives into everything from Laird Hamilton’s epic-wave surfing, to nonlinear wave mechanics and nautical tragedies. The book also raises some disturbing questions about global sea levels, and what humans are likely in for in the future. Much of the book was researched on Maui and Oahu. It’s a rip-roaring scientific read. Doubleday; $27.95.