The Local Literary Scene

Isle Pages

New releases from
Hawaii authors

"Pearl Harbor,"
"Fishes of Hawai'i,"
"Maui Beaches,"
"Kaua'i Beaches,"
"Lu'au Cooking,"
"Plants of Hawai'i,"

"Birds of Hawai'i,"
"Flowers of Hawai'i,"
"O'ahu Beaches,"

"The Road to Hana,"
"Big Island Beaches"

and "Waikiki Walks"
by various writers, photographers
and illustrators
(Bess Press, $4.95 each)

Pity the poor guidebook writer. You either try to cram in as much information as possible, which results in something the size of a phonebook -- impossible for tourists to lug around -- or you go picturebook-lite, which is pretty useless and quickly outdated. Stepping into the middle ground is Bess Press with an aggressive series of guides that are packed with information and pretty pictures, but more importantly, are folded to fit in a back pocket, contain current maps and are laminated on tough paper to resist all weather conditions. (They can double as a rain hat or windshield screen if necessary. They're water-resistant, not waterproof -- don't go snorkling with the fishes guide!) All are 12 "pages," except for the Pearl Harbor version, which is 16. Some contain Japanese translations of key words, or are available in Japanese as well. At $4.95, they're a little pricey for information you likely already know, but they could be a godsend for a harried visitor who needs a simple backpocket guide to what's special about Hawaii. Bess Press plans on keeping the information up-to-date with each printing.

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calendars and events.



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