On this date, August 21st, in 1959 President Dwight Eisenhower signed a proclamation admitting Hawaii to the Union. Thus completing the 50 states of America we know today. Get to know the lush, beautiful Aloha State by perusing the fiction, non-fiction books and movies listed below.
The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings
A descendant of royalty and one of the largest landowners in Hawaii, Matthew King struggles to deal with his out-of-control daughters–ten-year-old Scottie and seventeen-year-old Alex–as well as his comatose wife, whom they are about to remove from life support. (Also, check out the movie version of this book).
Eddie Would Go by Stuart Holmes Coleman
The story of Eddie Aikau, Hawaiian hero and pioneer of big wave surfing.
This is paradise: stories by Kristiana Kahakauwila
“A visceral, poignant, and elegantly gritty work of debut fiction set in Hawaii, in the vein of Junot Diaz’s Drown and Danielle Evans’s Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self. This is the real Hawai’i: life is not the paradisical adventure that honeymooners or movie-goers see. Danger lurks on beautiful beaches, violence bubbles under the smooth surf, and characters come face to face with the inevitability of change and the need to define who they are against the forces of tradition and expectation.”
Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell
An examination of Hawaii’s emblematic and exceptional history, retracing the impact of New England missionaries who began arriving in the early 1800s to remake the island paradise into a version of New England.
Hawaii by James Michener
Hawaii’s prehistory and history appears through the eyes of its natives, missionaries and Asians who came to influence it.
Lost kingdom: Hawaii’s last queen, the sugar kings and America’s first imperial adventure by Julia Flynn Siler
Siler brings to life the ensuing clash between a vulnerable Polynesian people and relentlessly expanding capitalist powers. Portraits of royalty and rogues, sugar barons, and missionaries combine into a sweeping tale of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s rise and fall.
For your viewing pleasure, check these DVD’s out:
Hawaii Five-O (the classic series and the reboot)
Who could forget these classic TV show’s from the 70’s and 80’s that introduced Hawaii to millions of viewers?
Ann-Marie, a big-wave surfer on the North Shore of Oahu, drives to make a comeback after nearly drowning in a surfing competition. Her life becomes more complicated by her romance with a handsome football player. Ann-Marie and her surfer buddies work as maids at a posh resort and share a beach shack with Anne-Marie’s wayward young sister. Ann-Marie struggles between her need to prove herself and her desire to take the easy way out.
From its hot molten core to the mega sized waves battering its coast, Hawaii is an untamed and very wild bit of paradise that continues to transform itself and challenge expectations.
Jake Shimabukuro: life on four strings
Follows ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro over the course of a musical season, capturing dynamic performances before sold-out crowds, intimate moments of life on the road, and visits to his native Hawai’i, where he has risen from local hero to international star.