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Light Years: A Girlhood in Hawai'i

2.6  ·  Rating Details ·  40 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
'Light Years' is a very personal, if unusual, travelogue back in time, back to Hawaii and through the pages of Conrad, Stevenson and Defoe. Susanna Moore is an academy award winner in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Hardcover, 195 pages
Published October 1st 2007 by Haus Pub. (first published August 1st 2007)
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Mar 31, 2008 Jeanne rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: nobody. Stay away!
Shelves: memoir
Wow! I haven't disliked a book this much since. . .

My grievances are as follows:

The title. Light Years: A Girlhood in Hawai'i is the most misleading title I've ever encountered. This book is NOT about her girlhood in Hawai'i.

The content. Each chapter begins with some random story about her childhood in Hawai'i (10 pages or less) and is then followed by pages and pages and pages of excerpts from books that the author allegedly read during her girlhood.

These excerpts comprise most of the book.
Kathy Hiester
Apr 22, 2011 Kathy Hiester rated it liked it
Susanna Moore paints compelling pictures with words. She begins her chronicle with "No memory presents itself of my first acquaintance with the sea. It was always there, and I was always in it." What I soon discovered was that the pictures she paints are not so much of herself, but of the place she happened to be at the time, the oceans that surrounded it, and the books that kept her company.
Moore employs an bizarre arrangement for this book. Following each brief chapter is at least an equal num
A lot of people don't like this book because of the excerpts. However, I really liked them. I didn't find it interrupted the narrative, because she was not writing in chronological order anyway, and she was also just writing about random things. It's sort of a memoir, but not a typical one. She writes about her life, but mostly about how she was affected by the sea growing up, and the excerpts relate to that, as they are all about interactions people have with the sea. It's beautifully written. ...more
Aug 04, 2008 Dagný rated it really liked it
I just went to Hawaii for the first time, a short trip to Oah'u. I picked up this book by Susanna Moore just before I left and it was a delightful companion. I was so pleased to find something to anchor an interest in the place (although it was lovely; the ocean colors, the breezes, the music). To have stories, past happenings, to guide an experience of a place is much more interesting. This beautiful little book has short glimpses of Moore's reminiscences of growing up in Hawaii ( Oah'u) and wo ...more
May 12, 2008 LeGrand rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: ???
Shelves: biographies, hawaii
I was prepared to really love this book and perhaps that is why I was so extremely disappointed in it. I really enjoyed all of her own personal stories about Hawaii. Unfortunately however the majority of the book is excerpts from other books and while they are selected appropriately and are relevant to her own story, I think this book would have been better if she had stuck to telling her own tales/story. She is a good writer and having lived in Hawaii, I found her insights and stories to be som ...more
Oct 17, 2012 Jennifer rated it liked it
I liked this book. The author grew up on O'ahu at the same time my father did, so her stories were familiar to me like not having to wear shoes to school. Honestly, I skipped the author's book and poetry exerpts at the end of each chapter. I just read her memoir sections and I found them to be lovely.
Megan Anderson
I enjoyed the memoir sections, but the excerpts from other authors' works really dragged down the whole book for me. They interrupted the flow, and honestly? I picked up the book because I wanted to read about her life. If I wanted to read, say, something by Robert Louis Stevenson, I'd have read one his books. Extremely disappointing.
Apr 27, 2013 H added it
Shelves: memoir, hawaii
I was aware that while I didn't yet understand what it meant to be attached to this Earth, I did not want to make the mistake of imagining that myth was something available to everyone. I understood that myth was a luxury. (47)
Maureen Flatley
Dec 30, 2010 Maureen Flatley rated it it was amazing
A reread of an old favorite.....delightful.
Jun 07, 2008 Laura rated it did not like it
I started this book and couldn't get into it. Very disappointed as I had been waiting to read this for a long time.
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Susanna Moore is the author of the novels One Last Look, In the Cut, The Whiteness of Bones, Sleeping Beauties, and My Old Sweetheart, which won the Ernest Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for First Fiction, and the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her nonfiction travel book, I Myself Have Seen It, was published by the National Geographic Society in ...more
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