Kona Stories Announces June Book Club Meetings

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Kona Stories Book Clubs

Kona Stories community bookstore will host three book club meetings during June 2019. The monthly groups meet to discuss works of fiction, travel, memoir, class or non-fiction. Book clubs are free to attend if the books are purchased from Kona Stories. Otherwise, a $5 donation is appreciated.

Attendees are invited to bring a pūpū or beverage to share and come prepared to discuss one of the following books. People may attend any or all groups. Kona Stories is located in the Keauhou Shopping Center in the courtyard shops near KTA. For more information, call (808) 324-0350 or visit www.konastories.com.

Book Club Meetings


June 11, 2019, at 6 p.m. — Fiction Group: Tin Man by Sarah Winman

Synopsis: Ellis and Michael are twelve-year-old boys when they first become friends and for a long time, it is just the two of them cycling the streets of Oxford learning to swim, discovering poetry and dodging the fists of overbearing fathers. Then one day, this closest of friendships grows into something more. Fast-forward 10 years and we find that Ellis is married to Annie and Michael is nowhere in sight. What happened in the years between? With beautiful prose and characters that jump off the page, Tin Man is a love letter on human kindness and friendship, of loss and living.

June 18, 2019, at 6 p.m. — Travel Book Group: Notes on a Foreign Country – An American abroad in a Post-American World by Suzy Hansen


In the wake of the September 11th attacks and the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, Suzy Hansen, who grew up in an insular conservative town in New Jersey, was enjoying early success as a journalist for a high-profile New York newspaper. Increasingly, though, the disconnect between the chaos of world events and the response at home took on a pressing urgency for her. Seeking to understand the Muslim world that had been reduced to scaremongering headlines, she moved to Istanbul.

Hansen arrived in Istanbul with romantic ideas about a mythical city perched between East and West, and with a naïve sense of the Islamic world beyond. Over the course of many years living in Turkey and traveling through Greece, Egypt, Afghanistan and Iran, she learned a great deal about these countries includes their cultures, histories and politics. But the greatest, most unsettling surprise would be what she learned about her own country—and herself. It would take leaving home to discover what she came to think of as the two Americas: the country and its people, and the experience of American power around the world. She came to understand that anti-Americanism is not a violent pathology. As Hansen writes, it is “a broken heart . . . a one-hundred-year-old relationship.”

Blending memoir, journalism and history, and deeply attuned to the voices of those she met on her travels, Notes on a Foreign Country is a moving reflection on America’s place in the world. It is a powerful journey of self-discovery and revelation—a profound reckoning with what it means to be American in a moment of grave national and global turmoil.


June 25, 2019, at 6 p.m. — Non-Fiction Book Group: The Collected Schizophrenias – essays by Esme Weijun Wang

An intimate, moving book written with the immediacy and directness of one who still struggles with the effects of mental and chronic illness, The Collected Schizophrenias cuts right to the core. Schizophrenia is not a single unifying diagnosis, and Esme Weijun Wang writes not just to her fellow members of the “collected schizophrenias” but to those who wish to understand it as well. Opening with the journey toward her diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, wang discusses the medical community’s own disagreement about labels and procedures for diagnosing those with mental illness, and then follows an arc that examines the manifestations of schizophrenia in her life. In essays that span the depths of psychosis, the failures of the higher education system, and the dangers of institutionalization, Wang’s analytical eye—honed as a former lab researcher at Stanford—allows her to balance research with personal narrative. An essay collection of undeniable power, The Collected Schizophrenias dispels misconceptions and provides insight into a condition long misunderstood.

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