Kona Stories Announces October Book Club Meetings

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Kona Stories Bookstore hosts three monthly book clubs meeting to discuss works of fiction, travel and non-fiction.

The fiction group meets on the second Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m.; the travel group meets on the third Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m.; and the non-fiction group meets on the fourth Tuesday of every month at 6 p.m.

All group meetings are free if the featured books are purchased from Kona Stories. If not, a $5 donation is appreciated. Kona Stories is located at the Keauhou Shopping Center in the courtyard shops near KTA Superstores. For more information, call Brenda or Joy at (808) 324-0350 or visit www.konastories.com.


Attendees are encouraged to bring a pūpū or beverage to share, and come prepared to discuss the following books:

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Oct. 10 Fiction Group: A Trip to the Stars by Nicholas Christopher

Synopsis: Fusing imagination, scholarship and suspense with remarkable narrative skill, Christopher builds a story of tremendous scope exploring love and destiny. A Trip to the Stars begins in a Manhattan planetarium in 1965 where 10-year-old Enzo is whisked away from his young adoptive aunt, Mala. His abductor turns out to be a blood relative: his great-uncle Junius Samax, a wealthy ex-gambler who lives in a converted Las Vegas hotel surrounded by priceless art and a host of idiosyncratic guests. In Samax’s magical world, Enzo receives a unique education and pieces together the mystery of his mother’s life as well as the complicated history of his adoption.


Back in New York, Mala only knows that Enzo has disappeared. After a yearlong search proves fruitless, she enlists in the Navy Nursing Corps and falls in love with a wounded B-52 navigator who disappears on his next mission. Devastated again, Mala embarks on a restless, adventurous journey around the world, hoping to overcome the losses that have transformed her life.

Christopher traces the intricate connections of Mala’s and Enzo’s lives, though each remains separate from each other. They remain tied in ways they cannot imagine–until the final miraculous chapter of this extraordinary novel.

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Oct. 17 Non-Fiction Group: Elephant Complex – Travels in Sri Lanka by John Gimlette


Synopsis: No one sees the world quite like John Gimlette. In this work of nonfiction, he ventures into Sri Lanka, a country now emerging from twenty-six years of civil war. Beginning in the exuberant capital, Colombo, Gimlette ventures in all directions: to the dry zones where the island’s 5,800 wild elephants congregate at ancient reservoirs; through cinnamon country littered by Portuguese forts; to the “Bible Belt” of Buddhism; then to Kandy, the country’s eccentric, aristocratic Shangri-La.

In the course of his journey, Gimlette meets farmers, war heroes, cricketers, terrorists, a former president, survivors of great massacres–and perhaps some of their perpetrators. He also relates the island’s beguiling wildlife: elephants, crocodiles, snakes, storks and the greatest concentration of leopards on Earth. Here is a land of beauty and devastation, a place at once heavenly and hellish–all brought to vibrant, fascinating life in Gimlette’s work.

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Oct. 24 Non-Fiction Book Group: Grunt – The Curious Science of Humans at War by Mary Roach

Synopsis: Grunt tackles the science behind some soldiers’ most challenging adversaries–panic, exhaustion, heat and noise–and introduces readers to the scientists who seek to conquer them. Roach dodges fire with a U.S. Marine Corps Paintball Team as part of a study on hearing loss and survivability in combat. She visits the fashion design studio of U.S. Army Natick Labs and learns why a zipper is a problem for a sniper. She visits repurposed movie studios where amputee actors help prepare Marine Corps medics for the shock and gore of combat wounds.

At Camp Lemmonier, Djibouti, in east Africa, we learn how diarrhea can be a threat to national security. Roach samples caffeinated meat, sniffs an archival sample of a World War II stink bomb, and spends a sleepless night with crewmembers tending the arsenal aboard a nuclear submarine. She answers questions not found in any other book on the military: Why is DARPA interested in ducks? How is a wedding gown like a bomb suit? Why are shrimp more dangerous to sailors than sharks? Take a tour of duty with Roach, and you will never see our nation’s defenders in the same way.

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