Da Boutique: Books + Curiosities celebrates its 4th anniversary this Saturday, April 2, with so many things to celebrate. As a community bookstore, it provides a place where you can find your next great read and connect with amazing stories and storytellers. Read on for more details on what this weekend’s event entails. But first, in commemoration of this special occasion, we asked three Hawaiian authors what they are currently reading to give your bookshelf some literary inspiration.
“angel of the sands, angel of the snows by Lois-Ann Yamanaka is a picture book that I would have loved when I was a child. Every year around Christmas, I remember feeling like I missed the quintessential winter experience of continental cinema. But in this book, Yamanaka refocuses the narrative on the uniqueness and beauty of the Hawaiian Islands, encouraging children to celebrate where they are. Ashley Lukashevsky’s illustrations are also an act of refocusing. Her art celebrates black hair and brown skin and bodies, all rendered in a playful style that will appeal to children and adults alike. (Now I want to hang some of his illustrations on my wall!) Highly recommended for the young reader in your life.
—Tae Keller, Newbery Prize-winning author of When you trap a tiger and the next Jennifer Chan is not alone.
SEE ALSO: HONOLULU Staff Favorites: The Best Books I’ve Read in 2021
“I happen to keep reading TWO books about Japanese American internment camps during WWII. I heard about it At Mine Okubo Citizen 13660 a long time ago, but it took a major exhibition of Miné Okubo art at the Japanese American National Museum to remind me that I had read this important book. Originally published in 1946, Okubo}’s book is an illustrated memoir, his first-hand account of life in confinement. Most of the scholarly books I have read before on this subject focused more on historical facts and issues. Citizen 13660 covers those things too, but it’s Okubo’s eye for the sensory details of camp life that sticks with me the most. Da oddah book i read is Kiku Hughes’ Shift. This graphic novel remains one of the Asia-Pacific American Librarians Association’s Children’s Literature Honor Books. Da author nevah met her grandmother who was institutionalized, so she says this book is based on research. I’m curious how she will make the subject of internment accessible to today’s young readers. In the story, the granddaughter has no interest in knowing more about the grandmother she never met until she is mysteriously transported to the 1940s. . Oh, I already love her!”
— Lee Tonouchi, award-winning author of Princess of Okinawa: Legend of Hajichi Tattoos
“I read how dads like to watch television. They will watch six shows at once, switching from one to another every 10 seconds until one manages to catch their attention. I read in the same way, a Survivor: Book Island, where I’ll start with eight books, most of them getting the chest, until I’m left with one book that grabs me enough to continue to the end. Right now my favorite is The new memoirs of Garrett Hongo, The perfect sound. If his name sounds familiar, it’s either because you read poetry, or because he sounds so local you think you graduated or worked with a Garrett Hongo. Her memoir actually goes into her island roots, her later transplantation to the mainland, and her years trying to locate her family, community, and aesthetic through poetry. It is subtitled “A Memoir in Stereo” because the story is framed by discussions of music and his obsession with recreating the music and sounds of his life. It’s a thick book, just over 500 pages, but it’s not a chore like a Russian novel; Hongo’s prose is so lush and evocative that the reading experience is exhilarating.
— Jeffrey J. Higa, author of Calabash stories
SEE ALSO: 7 Hawaiian books to give them something to talk about
These and a host of exciting new releases are available through Da Shop: Books + Curiosities. Stop by Saturday, April 2 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for a day of festivities including a keiki story hour, book signings, and pop-ups from local artisans and food vendors. Grab a scoop of Via Gelato, sample empanadas from Papi’s Empanadas, chat with local authors Chris Caravalho and Lois-Ann Yamanaka, treat yourself to a Jana Lam prop and, of course, browse the shelves. As a gift to its beloved readers and supporters, Da Shop is holding its biggest in-store sale of the year (25%-50% off) as well as a Bess Press warehouse sale ($1-10 books $).