Relaxing Reads

Shut the door on the doomsayers and cozy up on your couch with one of these new books.

Photo: David Croxford

Be Inspired

Benjamin Cayetano, Hawaii’s governor from 1994 to 2002, has come out with his long-anticipated autobiography. In Ben, he shares his story of rising from a rocky childhood to become a politician dealing with Hawaii’s issues—including the Bishop Estate scandal, Sept. 11 and the sovereignty movement—at the highest echelons. When Cayetano was working on the book, we published an excerpt in our December 2006 issue. You can read the piece, called “Mom,” in our archives at

Ben is $19.95, from Watermark Publishing, a sister company to HONOLULU Magazine. As part of the book’s release, Cayetano will be doing Q-and-A discussions open to the public; for a schedule, go to


Photo: David Croxford


I’ve never seen a book like The Maui Book of Lavender ($22.95), which sports a lavender-scented ink. But in addition to its spa-like aroma, the book is a guide to other sensory delights: recipes for cooking with lavender; photos of crafts, like wreaths, created using the herb; tips on growing lavender; and even home remedies incorporating the plant to treat common ailments. Authors Alii Chang and Lani Medina Weigert are the co-owners of Alii Kula Lavender on Maui. The book is from Watermark Publishing.


Photo: David Croxford


Visitors to Hanalei often come away with the impression that the place is enchanted. In his new book, Hanalei-based writer Daniel Harrington thoroughly explores the reality, providing everything from a mapped-out driving tour of landmarks to a lesson in the Hawaiian mythology of the area. Hanalei: A Kauai River Town has lots of wonderful old photos and intriguing local history. I didn’t know, for example, that the town was once the site of a silkworm plantation. Hanalei: A Kauai River Town is $18.95 from Mutual Publishing.