Beach Reads: Books by Hawaiian Authors

Posted on: December 2, 2022

There is nothing better than sitting under the tropical sun while the ocean breeze wraps around you. Well, maybe there is one thing that could make it better – a good book! Today, your friends at The Pauli Family Condos at Wailea want to highlight the amazing works of local, Hawaiian authors. Find your perfect beach read while also supporting the islands you have grown to love with these great books.  

Hawaii, though small, is rich in culture, history, and people. It’s these deep roots that make for a fantastic foundation for various literature, documentaries, and music. Although it was difficult to culminate a list of the best works from Hawaiian authors, here are a few that we think will make your vacation just a little bit better.  

Fiction Books from Hawaiian Authors 

Hawaiian Mythology (Martha Beckwith) – After growing up on the islands, Beckwith became fascinated with the tales and stories she heard about the legends of Hawaii. After collecting and writing down the stories for years, she finally published her completed works at the age of 69. 

This is Paradise (Kristiana Kahakauwila) – New to the ranks of Hawaiian authors, Kahakauwila does an amazing job of painting incredible scenes full of mystery, intrigue, and even tragedy in this debut collection. 

The Folding Cliffs (WS Merwin) – A Maui resident, Merwin delivers an epic tale that gives you an amazing natural history of the islands while also painting a picture of life during colonization.  

Sharks in the Time of Saviors (Kawai Strong Washburn) – A perfect beach read, this story outlines the saga of a family struggle, the Hawaiian Gods, as they pursue salvation. Old myths clashing with new realities will keep you turning the pages until the end.  

Non-Fiction Books from Hawaiian Authors 

Aloha Betrayed: Native Hawaiian Resistance to American Colonialism (Noenoe K. Silva) – Hawaiian culture isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. In fact, American colonization is a large and tragic part of the history of the islands. Learn more about the effects of colonialism and how Hawaiians fought back in this great read.  

Asian Settler Colonialism: From Local Governance to the Habits of Everyday Life in Hawai’i (Candace Fujikane and Jonathan Okamura) – A different take from American colonization, this book focuses on the impacts of Asian settlers on Hawaiian life and culture.  

Hawaii’s Story by Hawaii’s Queen (Liliuokalani) – A plea for justice, this book was written by Hawaii’s last true queen. A book that some describe as a necessary read before visiting Hawaii, it outlines the tragic fall of Hawaii to American colonists.  

The Kumulipo – Originally published in the 19th century, the Kumulipo is the creation chant about the origins of life on the islands. This chant, first recorded by Westerners, was an oral tradition passed created in honor of Kalaninuiamamao and passed down to his daughter Alapaiwahine.  

It’s easy to get lost in all that Maui has to offer – gorgeous beaches, luxe surroundings, deep-root culture, and a poignant history that has definitely left its mark. Whether you need the perfect beach read or you want to get to know our beloved islands a little more, a book from a Hawaiian author is a great way to get started. And if you are looking for a peaceful backdrop to read your next book at, let The Pauli Family Condos at Wailea help you find the perfect condo.