Books about Hawaii: 2024 Updated Guide to Essential Reading

Are you looking to immerse yourself in the rich culture and breathtaking landscapes of Hawaii? Look no further than these 20 best books about Hawaii. Whether you’re planning a trip to the islands or simply want to explore the beauty of Hawaii from the comfort of your home, these books will transport you to paradise. From captivating novels to informative guidebooks, there’s something for every book on Hawaii enthusiast on this list. Get ready to be captivated by the spirit of aloha and the allure of Hawaii with these must-read Hawaii books.

20 Best Books About Hawaii

Moloka’i

by Alan Brennert

Moloka’i by Alan Brennert is a captivating historical novel that takes readers on a journey through the rich and tumultuous history of the Hawaiian Islands. Set in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, this poignant story follows the life of Rachel Kalama, a young girl diagnosed with leprosy and exiled to the remote island of Moloka’i. Through Rachel’s eyes, readers experience the beauty and harsh realities of life in Hawai’i, the resilience of its people, and the impact of colonization and disease on the indigenous population. This compelling tale is a powerful exploration of love, loss, and the enduring spirit of the human heart. Moloka’i is a must-read for anyone seeking a moving and immersive experience in the world of Hawai’i.

The Descendants

by Kaui Hart Hemmings

The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings is a captivating book about Hawaii that takes readers on an emotional journey through the lush landscapes and complex family dynamics of the Hawaii book. The story follows Matt King, a descendant of Hawaiian royalty, as he grapples with the impending decision to disconnect his comatose wife from life support. As he navigates this difficult decision, Matt also finds himself dealing with unforeseen family drama and the revelation of his wife’s infidelity. With vivid descriptions of the Hawaiian setting and a rich exploration of the characters’ inner struggles, Hemmings’ novel offers a poignant and authentic portrayal of life in Hawaii. The Descendants is a powerful and thought-provoking read that delves into the complexities of love, loss, and the ties that bind us to our heritage.

Shark Dialogues

by Kiana Davenport

Shark Dialogues by Kiana Davenport is a compelling and sweeping saga that delves into the rich and complex history of the Aloha State. This multigenerational novel weaves together the stories of four unforgettable women, whose lives are intricately connected to the land and culture of the islands. Set against the backdrop of the lush and vibrant landscapes of the Pacific, this book on Hawaii explores themes of love, loss, and the enduring spirit of the Hawaiian people. With lyrical prose and vivid imagery, Davenport brings to life the beauty and the hardships of life in the islands, making this a must-read for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of this enchanting place. If you’re looking for a captivating and immersive book about Hawaii, Shark Dialogues is a perfect choice.

Honolulu

by Alan Brennert

Honolulu, by Alan Brennert, is a captivating book set in the beautiful and vibrant island of Oahu. This compelling novel takes readers on a journey through the history, culture, and challenges faced by the people of Hawai’i. The story follows the life of a young Korean picture bride who arrives in Honolulu in the early 20th century, seeking a better life. Through her experiences, readers gain insight into the diverse and rich tapestry of life in Hawai’i, from the sugar plantations to the bustling city of Honolulu. With its vivid descriptions and well-developed characters, this book on Hawai’i is a must-read for anyone who wants to immerse themselves in the enchanting world of the islands. Honolulu offers a poignant and immersive experience, making it a captivating and unforgettable book about Hawai’i.

The Last Aloha

by Gaellen Quinn

The Last Aloha by Gaellen Quinn is a captivating book about the enchanting islands of Hawaii. This historical novel takes readers on a compelling journey through the final years of the Hawaiian monarchy, offering a rich and vivid portrayal of the vibrant culture, traditions, and struggles of the people of Hawaii. Through the eyes of its compelling characters, the book explores the tensions between ancient Hawaiian beliefs and the encroaching forces of colonialism, making for a deeply engaging and thought-provoking read. With its lush descriptions and gripping storytelling, The Last Aloha is a must-read for anyone who is fascinated by the mesmerizing allure of the Hawaiian islands. This hawaii book is sure to transport readers to a world of beauty, passion, and resilience.

The Colony: The Harrowing True Story of the Exiles of Molokai

by John Tayman

The Colony: The Harrowing True Story of the Exiles of Molokai by John Tayman is a riveting book about Hawaii that delves into the tragic history of the leprosy settlement on the island of Molokai. Tayman skillfully brings to life the harrowing experiences of those who were banished to the remote colony, where they were left to fend for themselves in deplorable conditions. Through meticulous research and compelling storytelling, the author sheds light on the resilience and courage of the exiles, as well as the medical and social injustices they endured. The book on Hawaii paints a vivid and haunting picture of a dark chapter in the Hawaii book’s history, while also celebrating the strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

The Legends and Myths of Hawaii: The Fables and Folk-lore of a Strange People

by David Kalakaua

The Legends and Myths of Hawaii: The Fables and Folk-lore of a Strange People by David Kalakaua is a captivating exploration of the rich cultural heritage of the Hawaiian Islands. This book delves into the enchanting world of Hawaiian mythology, offering a fascinating collection of traditional legends and myths that have been passed down through generations. Kalakaua, the last reigning king of Hawaii, provides unique insights into the beliefs and customs of his people, shedding light on the ancient stories that have shaped the island’s identity. From tales of powerful gods and goddesses to mythical creatures and heroic feats, this book offers a mesmerizing glimpse into the folklore of this diverse and vibrant culture. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a mythology buff, or simply curious about the enchanting world of the Hawaiian Islands, this book is a must-read for anyone interested in the captivating lore of this beautiful archipelago.

The Hawaiian Canoe

by Tommy Holmes

The Hawaiian Canoe by Tommy Holmes is a captivating exploration of the rich history and significance of the traditional Hawaiian canoe. This comprehensive book delves into the origins of the iconic vessel, its role in Hawaiian culture and society, and the remarkable skills and knowledge of the master canoe builders and navigators. With vivid descriptions and stunning imagery, Holmes takes readers on a fascinating journey through the evolution of the Hawaiian canoe, from its ancient roots to its modern-day resurgence. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an adventurer, or simply captivated by the allure of the Pacific Islands, this book about Hawaii will transport you to the heart of Hawaiian seafaring tradition and leave you with a profound appreciation for the enduring legacy of the Hawaiian canoe.

The Hawaiian Archipelago: Six Months Among the Palm Groves, Coral Reefs, and Volcanoes of the Sandwich Islands

by Isabella L. Bird

Isabella L. Bird’s “The Hawaiian Archipelago” is a captivating travelogue that takes readers on a remarkable journey through the stunning landscapes of the Sandwich Islands. Through Bird’s vivid and evocative prose, readers are transported to the palm groves, coral reefs, and volcanoes of Hawaii, where they can immerse themselves in the natural beauty and cultural richness of the archipelago. This book about Hawaii is a fascinating exploration of the islands’ people, customs, and geography, providing a unique and insightful perspective on the region. With her keen observations and adventurous spirit, Bird brings the islands to life, making this an essential read for anyone interested in the enchanting allure of Hawaii.

The Hawaiian House Now

by Malia Mattoch McManus

The Hawaiian House Now by Malia Mattoch McManus is a stunning exploration of contemporary architecture in the beautiful islands of the Pacific. This captivating book showcases the unique blend of traditional Hawaiian design elements with modern influences, resulting in striking and innovative homes that capture the essence of island living. McManus takes readers on a visual journey through a diverse range of residences, from beachfront bungalows to hillside retreats, offering insights into the design process and the use of local materials. With its breathtaking photography and insightful commentary, The Hawaiian House Now is a must-read for anyone interested in architecture, interior design, or simply enamored with the allure of the Aloha State. Whether you’re a design enthusiast or simply enamored with the allure of the islands, this book about Hawaii will transport you to the idyllic landscapes and inspire a new appreciation for the art of living in paradise.

The Hawaiian Quilt

by Wanda E. Brunstetter

The Hawaiian Quilt by Wanda E. Brunstetter is a captivating and heartwarming book about Hawaii. The story follows Mandy, a young woman who travels to Hawaii to escape a difficult relationship and find solace in her grandmother’s quilting business. As Mandy immerses herself in the vibrant culture of the island, she discovers the beauty of tradition and the healing power of community. Through the intricate art of quilting and the warmth of new friendships, Mandy begins to find peace and purpose in her life. The novel weaves together themes of love, forgiveness, and the resilience of the human spirit against the stunning backdrop of Hawaii. With its rich storytelling and vivid descriptions, The Hawaiian Quilt is a compelling and uplifting read for anyone looking for a taste of paradise.

The Hawaiian Discovery

by Wanda E. Brunstetter

The Hawaiian Discovery is an engaging book about the beautiful island of Hawaii. Wanda E. Brunstetter takes readers on a captivating journey as they follow the story of Ellen and Harrison, who are brought together by unexpected circumstances. As they explore the breathtaking landscapes of the island, they also discover the healing power of love and forgiveness. Brunstetter’s descriptive writing brings the lush scenery and vibrant culture of Hawaii to life, making readers feel as if they are walking alongside the characters. This book on Hawaii is a heartwarming tale of second chances and the beauty of new beginnings. Whether you have been to Hawaii or dream of visiting someday, this hawaii book will transport you to the enchanting shores of the Aloha State.

Hawaii’s Story by Hawaii’s Queen

by Liliuokalani

Hawaii’s Story by Hawaii’s Queen by Liliuokalani is a captivating memoir that offers a unique perspective on the history of the Hawaiian Islands. This book provides an intimate account of the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy and the political turmoil that ensued. Liliuokalani, the last monarch of Hawaii, shares her personal experiences and struggles during a time of great upheaval. Her writing is both poignant and insightful, offering readers a deeper understanding of the cultural and political landscape of the islands. This book on Hawaii is a powerful and important historical document that sheds light on the complexities of Hawaiian history and the enduring spirit of its people. Whether you are a history enthusiast or simply interested in learning more about the rich heritage of the islands, this book about Hawaii is a must-read.

Hawaii

by James A. Michener

Hawaii by James A. Michener is a captivating epic novel that delves into the rich history and culture of the Aloha State. This sweeping saga takes readers on a journey through the centuries, from the formation of the volcanic islands to the arrival of the Polynesian settlers, the impact of European explorers, and the eventual annexation by the United States. Through the lives of diverse characters, Michener skillfully weaves together the complex tapestry of Hawaii’s past, exploring themes of love, war, tradition, and change. With vivid storytelling and meticulous research, this book on Hawaii immerses readers in the beauty and drama of the islands, offering a deep understanding of the land and its people. Whether you’re a history buff, a travel enthusiast, or simply seeking a captivating tale, this book about Hawaii is a must-read for anyone intrigued by the enchanting archipelago.

Lost Kingdom: Hawaii’s Last Queen, the Sugar Kings, and America’s First Imperial Adventure

by Julia Flynn Siler

Lost Kingdom: Hawaii’s Last Queen, the Sugar Kings, and America’s First Imperial Adventure by Julia Flynn Siler is a captivating book about Hawaii that delves into the fascinating history of the Hawaiian Islands during the late 19th century. Siler skillfully weaves together the stories of Hawaii’s last monarch, Queen Liliuokalani, the powerful sugar barons who shaped the islands’ economy, and America’s imperial ambitions in the Pacific.

The book offers a vivid portrayal of the clash of cultures, the political maneuvering, and the complex power dynamics that ultimately led to the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy and the annexation of the islands by the United States. Siler’s meticulous research and engaging storytelling bring this pivotal period in Hawaiian history to life, making Lost Kingdom a must-read for anyone interested in the rich and tumultuous history of this beautiful archipelago.

Hawaii’s Plants and Animals: Biological Sketches of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

by Charles P. Stone

Hawaii’s Flora and Fauna: A Natural History of the Volcanic Isles by Charles P. Stone offers a captivating exploration of the diverse plant and animal life found in Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park. This comprehensive book provides an in-depth look at the unique biological diversity of the islands, from the vibrant array of native plants to the fascinating wildlife that call these volcanic landscapes home. Stone’s meticulously researched biological sketches showcase the rich ecological tapestry of Hawaii, making this a must-read for anyone interested in the natural wonders of the Aloha State. Whether you’re a botanist, zoologist, or simply a nature enthusiast, this book about Hawaii promises to be an enlightening and immersive journey into the remarkable world of Hawaii’s plants and animals.

Shoal of Time: A History of the Hawaiian Islands

by Gavan Daws

Shoal of Time: A History of the Hawaiian Islands by Gavan Daws is a captivating exploration of the rich and complex history of the Pacific archipelago. This meticulously researched book delves into the ancient origins of the islands, the arrival of Polynesian settlers, the impact of European explorers, and the tumultuous period of colonialism and annexation. Daws skillfully weaves together the stories of Hawaiian royalty, the sugar industry, and the cultural impact of migration, offering a comprehensive and insightful look into the diverse tapestry of Hawaii’s past. With vivid storytelling and thorough analysis, this book on Hawaii is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the unique heritage and enduring spirit of the Aloha State.

Pele: Goddess of Hawaii’s Volcanoes

by Herb Kawainui Kane

Pele: Goddess of Hawaii’s Volcanoes by Herb Kawainui Kane is a captivating exploration of the legendary Hawaiian deity and her connection to the awe-inspiring volcanoes of the islands. This beautifully illustrated book on Hawaii delves into the mythology and folklore surrounding Pele, offering a rich cultural and historical perspective on the significance of volcanoes in Hawaiian tradition. Through vivid imagery and engaging storytelling, the author brings to life the powerful presence of Pele and her impact on the land and people of Hawaii. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a mythology buff, or simply drawn to the mystique of volcanoes, this book about Hawaii is a must-read for anyone intrigued by the enchanting allure of the islands.

The Hawaii Book of Rice

by Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi

The Hawaii Book of Rice by Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi is a delightful exploration of the importance of rice in Hawaiian cuisine and culture. This captivating book about Hawaii delves into the history of rice in the islands, its influence on local dishes, and the stories of the people who have shaped its culinary significance. Through engaging narratives, stunning photography, and mouthwatering recipes, readers are taken on a journey through the diverse flavors and traditions of Hawaii. From traditional favorites to contemporary creations, this book on Hawaii celebrates the versatility and allure of rice in the Aloha State. Whether you’re a food enthusiast, a history buff, or simply curious about Hawaiian culture, The Hawaii Book of Rice offers a fascinating and flavorful glimpse into the heart of the islands.

The Hawaiian Survival Handbook

by Brother Noland

The Hawaiian Survival Handbook by Brother Noland is a must-have for anyone looking to explore the beautiful and diverse landscapes of the Aloha State. This comprehensive guide offers practical tips and advice on how to survive and thrive in Hawaii’s unique environment, from navigating the ocean to foraging for food in the jungle. Brother Noland, a renowned Hawaiian musician and cultural expert, shares his deep knowledge of the land and its resources, making this book a valuable resource for both visitors and residents alike. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, or simply fascinated by the natural beauty of the islands, this book about Hawaii is an essential addition to your library. With stunning photography and engaging storytelling, The Hawaiian Survival Handbook is your key to unlocking the secrets of this enchanting paradise.

Conclusion

Exploring the rich culture, history, and natural beauty of Hawaii through literature can be an enriching experience. The 20 best books about Hawaii offer a diverse range of perspectives, from captivating fiction to insightful non-fiction. Whether you’re looking to escape into a tropical paradise or gain a deeper understanding of Hawaii’s unique heritage, these books have something to offer every reader. So, grab a book, immerse yourself in the aloha spirit, and let the pages transport you to the enchanting islands of Hawaii.

Which Hawaii book is best?

The best book on Hawaii can vary with personal preference, but three widely recommended titles are:

  1. Moloka’i by Alan Brennert,
  2. The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings,
  3. Shark Dialogues by Kiana Davenport.

Each offers valuable insights and could be a great starting point.

What are the best books on Hawaii?

The best books on Hawaii include:

Each offers unique insights into the subject. While these books on the topic of Hawaii are highly regarded, it’s important to note that any list of ‘best’ books is subjective and reflects a range of opinions.

What are the best Hawaii books of all time?

Choosing the best Hawaii books of all time can vary depending on who you ask, but seven titles that are often celebrated include