Part of my haul from Native Books (http://www.nativebookshawaii.com/) in Hawaii. Probably the only bookstore left on Oahu, since Borders is closed and...morePart of my haul from Native Books (http://www.nativebookshawaii.com/) in Hawaii. Probably the only bookstore left on Oahu, since Borders is closed and an independent bookstore, Rainbow Books, also shut its doors recently (update: there is a Barnes and Nobles still). There is also Revolution Books, but didn't get a chance to visit. Native Books, also known as Na Mea Hawaii, is a must-visit. It's all Hawaii books (they call it Hawaiiana), but ones you would not be able to get elsewhere. A wonderfully curated bookstore/gift shop (they know the tourist clientele's mentality well) and apparently actively involved in the community. Got a kick out of seeing a craft workshop going on in one corner of the store. You would never think to find a place like this at the end of a mostly commercial/touristy strip mall, but it's there like an oasis.
So far loving the Glen Grant book (have several more in my stack by him). He weaves in a lot of Hawaii history and lore, making it fun to absorb some of the local flavor. A good antidote for the blanding effect of a tourist driven place.
The guy working at the bookstore told me it's hard to get Grant books, and that he died recently. I looked him up and he appears to have been kind of a character, taught history at the local university often in character as one of his historical subjects, and even opened a store of sorts called The Haunt, where artists/musicians/writers can congregate. Originally from Culver City, and his father did special effects on Wizard of Oz. Here is an obituary (he was only 56): http://archives.starbulletin.com/2003...
So far the book reads like a pulp novel, so writing is a little "eh," but spirited nonetheless. Can't quite put a finger on it yet, but there's still something extremely smart about it, despite the so-so writing.(less)