Star-Bulletin Features

Sunday, May 6, 2001


Isle Pages

New releases from Hawaii authors, reviewed by Burl Burlingame:

The Chinese Robe, Scott C.S. Stone (Island Heritage, $5.99)

An interesting and well-written novelette by Volcano resident Stone concerns a possibly cursed artifact from ancient China, a Taoist monk's robe that enchants everyone who covets it. The robe, called the Pei-chi Tao-pa'o from the Middle Kingdom, is supposedly real; the book's groove is not. It's modern noir, very "Maltese Falcon," but fun nonetheless. Just the right length to finish off on a flight to San Francisco.

Mid-Pacific Country Club: At the Turn 1926-2001 (Mid-Pacific Country Club, $25)

This handsome keepsake is a limited edition meant for members of the near-Lanikai country club to commemorate its 75th year. They're doing so by looking back, to the days when Lanikai was the biggest community in the area and golf courses were a new phenomenon. These kinds of productions can be dull to most, but a generous and well-printed selection of photographs and drawings by John Kelly help, and the text is clear and lively. The real star is designer Barbara Pope. Spare copies may be available through the country club office.

Partners in Pleasure, Paul Pearsall (Hunter House, $14.95; $24.95)

This latest from Honolulu neuropsychologist Paul Ka'ikena Pearsall, a regular on "Oprah," uses "2,000-year-old Polynesian wisdom" to explain that couples are happier as couples than as singletons. As for the wisdom of the Pacific ancients channeled through Pearsall, we learn, for example, that the Hawaiian word le'a means both "joy" and "orgasm." Those wise Hawaiians! Europeans have been trying to find a single word that means both "orgasm" and "dreadful guilt" for 4,000 years.

All About Hawaiian (In Japanese), Albert J. Shutz (Island Heritage, $5.99)

Linguistics professor Shutz has apparently written a guide to the Hawaiian language, well illustrated by Edmund Enomoto. We'll take their word for it, because it's in Japanese, after all.

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