What Are We Reading This Summer at HONOLULU Magazine?

Summer months mean about two more hours of extra daylight. So it’s perfect reading weather. In our June issue, local authors created a list of 31 books. We asked the HONOLULU staff for their picks for your summer reading list.

Bark: Stories

by Lorrie Moore

I’m a fan of short stories (as all former MFA students are) and Lorrie Moore is one of the best, writing hilarious and devastating collections Like Life and Birds of America. Bark is her first short story collection in 14 years. I finally got around to reading her hilarious novel Anagrams on a plane ride to Honolulu, and I’m sure all my laughing out loud made me look like a maniac. I can’t get enough of her. —Senior writer Loren Moreno


Fictitious Dishes

by Dinah Fried

This photo book features meals from 50 novels ranging from On the Road to Beezus and Ramona and Metamorphosis meticulously recreated. I love the attention to detail in the photographs, from the choice of silverware to table surface, to create whimsical and delightful images from some of our favorite classic reads. They make me want to reread all those books again. —Dining editor Martha Cheng

Gone Girl

by Gillian Flynn

Nick and Amy Dunne are celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary — then Amy disappears. Flynn draws you in from the first page and doesn’t let you go through all the twists and turns: Was it a kidnapping? Murder? Suicide? Or did she run away? Gone Girl will have you reading into the wee hours of the morning until you’ve reached the end. And once you do, you’ll think twice about the person sleeping next to you. —Special projects editor Lennie Omalza

Local Story: The Massie-Kahahawai Case and the Culture of History

By John P. Rosa

I confess I found this book while we were preparing our summer books feature for the June issue. I've always been fascinated by this infamous case and have written various stories about it. Reading this book provides context I didn't know and makes me want to do more research. —Editor Robbie Dingeman


Trashy Beach Read

Ms. America and the Offing on Oahu

by Diana Dempsey

This easy beach read has a big plus: It’s a free Kindle download. This entertaining murder mystery tracks Ms. America as she investigates the death of her top, and bitchiest, competitor.  The Hawaii references are fairly non-offensive, if not entirely accurate, but the entire book is light, fluffy fun. —Marketing manager Christi Young


The Fault in Our Stars

by John Green

A young-adult novel narrated by a sixteen-year-old cancer patient named Hazel, who meets and falls in love with a boy at the support group she's forced to attend. Ok, I'll admit it — I read Twilight, The Hunger Games, and Divergent, and I am not in my teens. I'm a sucker for young adult fiction, and easy reads like this are the best for the airplane or the beach. I'm also a purist that prefers to read a book before seeing it on the big screen, and this one is out in theaters. I guess I'd better get on it fast! —Digital media manager Ambika Castle

The First Strange Place: Race and Sex in World War II Hawaii

by Beth Bailey and David Farber

This fascinating historic novel focuses on the effects of war on Hawaii, beyond Pearl Harbor. Close to a million soldiers, sailors and marines converged on Oahu during World War II and changed the culture of the island. From new social orders to race relations and, of course, the boom for Hotel Street, The First Strange Place tells the story through easy-to-read memoirs, documents and diaries. —Marketing manager Christi Young

The French House

by Don Wallace

This book comes out in June. Don and his wife, Mindy Pennybacker, always inspired me when I worked with them at Honolulu Weekly, and I can't wait to read about this fantastical new side of them that I've never seen. I mean, who hasn't wanted to buy a cottage in the south of France? —Assistant managing editor Katrina Valcourt


The Returned

by Jason Mott

The popular novel The Returned is now an ABC television series called Resurrection. I first heard about the book from an interview on Tell Me More with Michel Martin. I was intrigued after listening to the interview with the author, who was inspired to write the book after a dream of reuniting with his deceased mother. What would happen if our deceased loved ones returned when we've already moved on with life? I'm curious to read the book and find out what happens. —Web producer Diane Lee


The Soul of Leadership: Unlocking Your Potential for Greatness

by Deepak Chopra                     

“You can be such a leader,” Chopra promises. “The path is open to you. The only requirement is that you learn to listen to your inner guide.” In this unique handbook you are shown how to do just that, in words as practical as they are uplifting. I want to allow for my potential for greatness to emerge with the qualities of creativity, intelligence, organizing power and love. —Senior art director Kristin Lipman

Wind, Sand and Stars

by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Just about everyone has read The Little Prince, but this memoir, written for adults, recounts de Saint-Exupery’s hair-raising aviation scrapes flying mail across the Sahara Desert in the years leading up to World War II. It might be non-fiction, but it’s one of the most beautiful works of prose I’ve ever read, full of philosophy, adventure and the same poetic uplifting feel of The Little Prince. And hey, it’s only 182 pages! —Managing editor Michael Keany

Looking for more books to read? Check out our guide to new and notable books from local authors and publishers.