Da Shop: Books + Curiosities is turning 4 years old this Saturday, April 2, with so much to celebrate. As a community bookstore, it offers a place where you can find your next great read and connect with amazing stories and storytellers. Read on for details of what this weekend’s event entails. But first, in commemoration of this special occasion, we asked three Hawai’i authors what they’re currently reading to give your shelf some literary inspiration.
“Sand Angel, Snow Angel by Lois-Ann Yamanaka is a picture book I would’ve loved as a kid. Every year around Christmastime, I remember feeling like I was missing out on the quintessential mainland-movie winter experience. But in this book, Yamanaka recenters the narrative on the uniqueness and beauty of the Hawaiian Islands, encouraging kids to celebrate where they are. Ashley Lukashevsky’s illustrations are an act of recentering, too. Her art by Ella celebrates dark hair and brown skin and bodies, all rendered in a playful style that will appeal to both kids and adults. (Now I want to hang some of her illustrations of her on my wall!) Highly recommended for the young reader in your life.
—Tae Keller, Newbery Award-winning author of When You Trap a Tiger and the forthcoming Jennifer Chan Is Not Alone.
SEE ALSO: HONOLULU Staff Favorites: The Best Books I Read in 2021
“Just so happens I stay reading TWO books about da Japanese American internment camps during WWII. I came to hear about Miné Okubo’s Citizen 13660 one long time ago, but it took da big Miné Okubo art exhibit at da Japanese American National Museum to remind me that I bettah read dis important book. Originally published in 1946, Okubo’s book is one illustrated memoir, her firsthand account of her life in internment. Most scholarly kine books I read before on dis topic focused more on historical facts and issues. Citizen 13660 covers these tings too, but it’s Okubo’s eye for da sensory details of camp life that sticks with me da most. Da oddah book I reading is Kiku Hughes’ displacement. Dis graphic novel stay one Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association Youth Literature Honor Book. Da author nevah got to meet her grandmother who wuz interned, so she says dis book wuz all based on research. I wuz curious how wuz she gonna make da subject of internment accessible to young readers of today. In da story, da granddaughter has no interest in learning about da grandma she never met until she’s mysteriously transported back to da 1940s. TIME TRAVEL. Ho, I love it already!”
— Lee Tonouchi, award-winning author of Okinawan Princess: Da Legend of Hajichi Tattoos
“I read the way dads like to watch TV. They’ll watch six shows at the same time, switching between them every 10 seconds until one manages to catch their attention. I read the same way, a Survivor: Book Island, where I’ll start with eight books, with most of them getting the boot, until I’m left with one that grabs me enough to continue on to the finish. Right now, my favorite is Garrett Hongo’s new memoir, The Perfect Sound. If his name seems familiar, it is either because you read poetry, or it sounds so local that you think you must have graduated or worked with a Garrett Hongo. His memoir of him actually goes into his Island roots, his subsequent transplant to the mainland, and his years of trying to locate his family, his community, and his aesthetic of him through poetry. It is subtitled “A memoir in stereo” because the story is framed through discussions of music and his obsession with him with re-creating the music and sounds of his life. It is a thick book, a little over 500 pages, but it isn’t a slog 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 Hawai’i Books to Give ‘Em Something to Talk About
These and a host of exciting new releases are available through Da Shop: Books + Curiosities. Stop by on Saturday, April 2 from 11 am to 4 pm for a day of festivities that include a keiki storytime, book signings, and pop-ups from local artisans and food vendors. Grab a scoop of Via Gelato, enjoy some empanadas from Papi’s Empanadas, talk story with local authors Chris Caravalho and Lois-Ann Yamanaka, treat yourself to a Jana Lam accessory, and of course, browse the shelves. As a gift to its beloved readers and supporters, Da Shop is having its biggest in-store sale of the year (25% to 50% off) as well as a Bess Press warehouse sale ($1 to $10 books).
Da Shop: Books + Curiosities, 3565 Harding Ave., (808) 421-9460, dashophnl.com, @dashohnl