What to Read in September 2021: 5 Hawai‘i Book Picks Recommended by Local Experts

We reached out to our friends at Da Shop: Books + Curiosities to ask their community of writers and readers for their picks: a biography, a reinvented travel guide, a local “I Spy” and more.


Da Shop September Picks Hawaiis Kolea Credit Courtesy Uh Press

Image: Courtesy of UH Press



Hawai‘i’s Kōlea: The Amazing Transpacific Life of The Pacific Golden-Plover

by Oscar W. Johnson and Susan Scott

The perfect book to resource right now as the kōlea return to Hawaiʻi from Alaska. This colorful, photograph-filled book is perfect for the casual reader and even the expert ornithologist. The easy-to-understand science-based text helps detail the amazing journey these shorebirds make every year. Kōlea can be seen in parks, cemeteries, golf courses and other open spaces; get to know these transpacific fliers and why they spend their Hawaiʻi time inland. Hint: If you have kids, it’s a fun book to reference before going out and searching for kōlea around your neighborhood or at the local park. —David DeLuca, owner at Da Shop: Books + Curiosities



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Paddling My Own Canoe: A Solo Adventure on the Coast of Moloka‘i

by Audrey Sutherland

A commemorative edition reissued by Patagonia Books celebrates the incredible accomplishments of kayak adventurer Audrey Sutherland. Sutherland, who died in 2015 at 94, had called Hale‘iwa home since 1954. In fact, farther east down the road is well-known surf break Jocko’s, named after her son, Jock Sutherland. Needless to say, the independent, fierce and authentic approach to adventuring that Audrey Sutherland applied to her kayak journeys is also how she lived life. Her book is an apt read for our current times and the real, genuine approach with which she writes about kayaking, swimming, hiking and camping solo along Moloka‘i’s north shore should serve as inspiration for how we should all be living life. —David DeLuca, owner at Da Shop: Books + Curiosities


SEE ALSO: What to Read in August 2021: 5 Hawai‘i Book Picks Recommended by Local Experts


Eddie Aikau: Hawaiian Hero

by Stuart Holmes Coleman

An armchair read, this easily approachable biography documents the life of the legendary waterman; it’s a great book to dive into as we head toward fall and the big-wave season begins. This story takes inspiration from the popular book Eddie Would Go and focuses on the life and transition of Aikau from a big-wave rider and lifeguard to a Hawaiian man looking to rediscover his heritage and culture. Although Aikau disappeared at sea almost four decades ago, his spirit of self-discovery continues to inspire. —David DeLuca, owner at Da Shop: Books + Curiosities



Geckos Slide and Peek: A Look-and-Find Adventure in Hawai‘i

illustrated by Jon J. Murakami

This local version of “I Spy” is a perennial favorite with my children. They LOVE finding all the different geckos and other things on each page again and again in different scenes, such as a crowded day at the beach or standing in line for shave ice. Part of Murakami’s gecko series, this activity book is the perfect diversion from devices and is sure to keep young minds engaged in many hours of unplugged fun. —Lani Lee, bookseller at Da Shop: Books + Curiosities




Detours: A Decolonial Guide to Hawai‘i

edited by Hōkūlani K. Aikau and Vernadette Vicuña Gonzalez

Detours challenges the conventional travel guide format that focuses on the exoticism of our Islands while neglecting to address the ongoing impact of tourism, militarization, climate change, and colonization on locals and the Native Hawaiian community. This multimedia collection of artists, activists and academics brings awareness to critical perspectives and constructs a powerful new narrative that, once observed, can no longer be ignored. —Kristen Namba Reed, bookseller at Da Shop: Books + Curiosities


SEE ALSO: Hawai‘i Book Recommendations: I Can’t Believe It’s Literature (And Local!)


All of these books can be ordered through Da Shop, our 2020 Best of HONOLULU winner for Best Place to Find Your Next Great Read. The Kaimukī bookseller is also open for browsing Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Da Shop: Books + Curiosities, 3565 Harding Ave., (808) 421-9460, dashophnl.com@dashophnl