With palm trees galore and more than 100 beaches (plus more than 100 volcanoes!), Hawaii’s islands are a playground in paradise. But there’s a lot more to love about the 50th state than its splash-worthy waters and lush hiking trails.
Settled by sea-faring Polynesians in the 4th century, the islands meld the cultures of native Hawaiians, American mainlanders, and Japanese, Filipino, Korean, and Chinese immigrants. All of which is shorthand for ‘fascinating people, delicious food, and irresistible music.’
A visit to Hawaii pretty much requires you to swim and paddle around in the Pacific. You can also trek on volcanoes, stroll through the rainforest, learn to surf, meet the Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle (honu) and the Hawaiian Monk Seal (llio holo I ka uaua), dance the hula, and pay tribute to the mighty Pele, goddess of fire.
In this episode, we marvel at the Polynesian settlers, learn about a forbidden island, sway to Hawaiian music, and enjoy a virtual luau on the beach. Then we recommend five books that transported us to Hawaii, including a snarky exploration of Hawaiian history, a stunning short story collection, a family saga tinged with magical realism, a white-knuckle report on the hunt for giant waves, and a techno-thriller that makes the most of Hawaii’s flora and fauna. (show notes / transcript)
Top image courtesy of Christian Joudrey/Unsplash.
Want to keep up with our book-related adventures? Sign up for our newsletter!
Strong Sense of Place is a website and podcast dedicated to literary travel and books we love. Reading good books increases empathy. Empathy is good for all of us and the amazing world we inhabit.
Strong Sense of Place is a listener-supported podcast. If you like the work we do, you can help make it happen by joining our Patreon! That'll unlock bonus content for you, too — including Mel's secret book reviews and Dave's behind-the-scenes notes for the latest Two Truths and a Lie.
This is a weekly email. If you'd like a quick alert whenever we update our blog, subscribe here.
We'll share enough detail to help you decide if a book is for you, but we'll never ruin plot twists or give away the ending.
This 30-page Reading Atlas takes you around the world with dozens of excellent books and gorgeous travel photos. Get your free copy when you subscribe to our newsletter.
Content on this site is © 2022 by Smudge Publishing, unless otherwise noted. Peace be with you, person who reads the small type.