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Unfamiliar Fishes
Unfamiliar Fishes | Sarah Vowell
From the author of Lafayette in the Somewhat United States, an examination of Hawaii, the place where Manifest Destiny got a sunburn.Many think of 1776 as the defining year of American history, when we became a nation devoted to the pursuit of happiness through self- government. In Unfamiliar Fishes, Sarah Vowell argues that 1898 might be a year just as defining, when, in an orgy of imperialism, the United States annexed Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Guam, and invaded first Cuba, then the Philippines, becoming an international superpower practically overnight. Among the developments in these outposts of 1898, Vowell considers the Americanization of Hawaii the most intriguing. From the arrival of New England missionaries in 1820, their goal to Christianize the local heathen, to the coup d'tat of the missionaries' sons in 1893, which overthrew the Hawaiian queen, the events leading up to American annexation feature a cast of beguiling, and often appealing or tragic, characters: whalers who fired cannons at the Bible-thumpers denying them their God-given right to whores, an incestuous princess pulled between her new god and her brother-husband, sugar barons, lepers, con men, Theodore Roosevelt, and the last Hawaiian queen, a songwriter whose sentimental ode "Aloha 'Oe" serenaded the first Hawaiian president of the United States during his 2009 inaugural parade.With her trademark smart-alecky insights and reporting, Vowell lights out to discover the off, emblematic, and exceptional history of the fiftieth state, and in so doing finds America, warts and all.From the Hardcover edition.
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review
PaperbackPirate
Unfamiliar Fishes | Sarah Vowell
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Pickpick

Last week I finished this book which I started on a flight to Maui. I knew the very basic history of Hawaii & wanted to know more before visiting.
I really like how Sarah Vowell tells history, in a linear way that can sidebar to other relevant events in time, and then back again. Natural history is also addressed throughout. Photographs or illustrations were the only thing missing.
I read The Wordy Shipmates, but I liked this more.
🐠🐡🐟🐠🐡

charl08 That looks so beautiful 😍 5mo
PaperbackPirate I want to go back @charl08 ! 😍 5mo
57 likes2 comments
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PaperbackPirate
Unfamiliar Fishes | Sarah Vowell
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Working on my #JoysOfJune and #BigJuneReadathon goals this morning in Maui!

PurpleyPumpkin Beautiful! 😍 6mo
Gissy Beautiful photo!😍 6mo
kspenmoll That sky!💙 6mo
PaperbackPirate Thank you @PurpleyPumpkin @Gissy & @kspenmoll ! It was a beautiful day! 🥰 6mo
52 likes4 comments
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PaperbackPirate
Unfamiliar Fishes | Sarah Vowell
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#JoysOfJune update!

🍌 I read for 4 hours on a plane ride to Maui yesterday and almost made it to the halfway point. Fascinating history.

📚 Thanks again @Andrew65

Andrew65 Looks a good choice. 6mo
DisneyFan Have fun in Maui!!! Love that place! 6mo
PaperbackPirate I can see why @DisneyFan ! Thank you! 6mo
PaperbackPirate It has been @Andrew65 🌺 6mo
40 likes4 comments
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PaperbackPirate
Unfamiliar Fishes | Sarah Vowell
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Time for #JoysOfJune with @Andrew65 !

Goals:
🐎 Read Saddle Up for Murder by Leigh Hearon
🐡 Read 1/2 of Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell
🦈 Read 1/2 of Terror in the Trench - short stories edited by Jay Alexander
🟰 576 pages

✈️ I have a 6 hour plane ride and a beach day on the schedule this week so I see a lot of reading time in my future!
📚 Happy Reading everyone!

Graywacke Unfamiliar Fishes is terrific history, but maybe not an easy read without some Hawaiian historical context. 6mo
kspenmoll Enjoy your beach trip! 6mo
Andrew65 Sounds a good week ahead, good luck 😊 6mo
34 likes1 stack add3 comments
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PaperbackPirate
Unfamiliar Fishes | Sarah Vowell
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Summer break means bigger book stacks!
🐎 Saddle Up for Murder by Leigh Hearon for the Belmont Stakes
🦈 Terror in the Trench edited by Jay Alexander for our trip to Maui
🌊 The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune for #MonthlyKeyWordGXO and Pride Month
🌺 Unfamiliar Fishes by Sarah Vowell - also for Maui
👻 Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts by Kate Racculia - finished this morning & loved!
🚸 The Institute by Stephen King - buddy read on IG
#tbr

KathyWheeler I really liked The Institute. 6mo
PaperbackPirate @KathyWheeler I just started it today, and I like it so far. 🙌 6mo
52 likes2 comments
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Bookwormjillk
Unfamiliar Fishes | Sarah Vowell
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I didn‘t take any pictures yesterday, but I did get out and take my podcast walk. I‘ve been downloading this podcast for about a year, but only recently started listening. I really like it. #NFN21

Today I learned: TR sent the first telegraph across the world in 1903.

Prairiegirl_reading I really like this podcast too. I haven‘t listened recently but I do appreciate it! 13mo
38 likes1 comment
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Bookwormjillk
Unfamiliar Fishes | Sarah Vowell
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Pickpick

I had it on my mental to-do list to learn more about the history of Hawaii this year, and this was an entertaining way to do it. #NFN21

rsteve388 That's cool! 13mo
50 likes1 comment
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Bookwormjillk
Unfamiliar Fishes | Sarah Vowell
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Yesterday I worked from my office in DC and was surprised to see deer on my walk. I never see them at home in the suburbs!
I picked a lighter podcast for a Friday, and continue to alternate between the tagged book and Obama‘s Promised Land on audio and The Third Pole in print.
#TodayILearned that vog is volcanic fog. #NFN21

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Lauren_reading
Unfamiliar Fishes | Sarah Vowell
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Pickpick

Sarah Vowell always entertains with her history! This wasn‘t my favorite book, but it was information I never learned in school about the missionaries going to Hawaii up through the annexation of Hawaii and Guam.

Riveted_Reader_Melissa I felt the same way... I learned so much that I never learned in school! 2y
39 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa
Unfamiliar Fishes | Sarah Vowell
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Pickpick

This flowed nicely after Wordy Shipmates as the descendants of those early Pilgrims and Protestants decided to missionary on the islands. The islands meanwhile, who have just had a religious overturning of their own, are happy to have them and their emphasis on reading, writing, & education. Sadly the natives become a bit trapped between the missionaries God and the sailors on shore leave from the whaling ships that dock there, vice & virtue in ⤵️

Riveted_Reader_Melissa ↪️ tight conflict, and are finally undone by Theodore Roosevelt‘s imperialism spree to have both a navel force and islands to refuel them. In the end the islands are annexed through some political maneuvering (read stealing) when Congress would not vote for the annexation because of the native population protests, but hey the descendants of those missionaries are now natives too (born on HI) and they want the US to annex it. 🙄 (edited) 2y
49 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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smallthings
Unfamiliar Fishes | Sarah Vowell
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Mehso-so

It's a lot of history told in a simple way. But the book doesn't have a clear structure, no distinct chapters and therefore I found it a bit confusing. And it took me ages to finish it even though it supposed to be a light read.

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shaynarae
Unfamiliar Fishes | Sarah Vowell
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Mehso-so

This book is a history of the colonization of Hawaii, which I realized I knew nothing about. On subject matter alone, I would rate this book much higher. But Sarah Vowell‘s history books are overall too dry; the peppered humor isn‘t enough to make it work for me. And while it‘s cool that there are so many celeb narrators for certain characters, they only read a sentence at a time, or whatever the quote requires, which is very distracting.

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Tonton
Unfamiliar Fishes | Sarah Vowell
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Pickpick

Vowell writes history, in this case about the US overthrow of Hawaii‘s queen and annexing of the country. Colonialism helped by missionaries similar to the conquistadors . Vowell is witty, yet serious about presenting history, tragedy, and absurdity.
Learned a lot, and went down easily.

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thatlaurenalex
Unfamiliar Fishes | Sarah Vowell
Pickpick

Unfamiliar Fishes is a quick-paced, informative, and entertaining look at the history of Hawaii's colonization. I read this book to educate myself on the recent history of my people; I'm half Pacific Islander but I grew up in California away from my Polynesian family so while I was taught our cultural history, I had no real knowledge of our colonization. Not only did I learn this, I was able to piece together some info about my family as well!

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monalyisha
Unfamiliar Fishes | Sarah Vowell
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Mehso-so

While still educational & informative, Vowell‘s book about Hawaiian history didn‘t catch me nearly as fast as her “Assassination Vacation.” I found myself zoning out rather than listening pretty often. I cant really put my finger on why that is. I think UF is more of a straightforward, chronological history than AV & has fewer personal anecdotes about her travels. It‘s still witty. I still want to be her bff.

Cont‘d in comments below. 👇🏻

monalyisha 1/1: I was still left with some valuable info (did you know there‘s NO legal treaty of annexation for Hawaii & that there are annual protests of its statehood by many natives?!) - but I wouldn‘t recommend this to someone who‘s not already a fan of Sarah Vowell. For those of you who ARE already fans, here‘s my 3 word review: needs more Owen. 😉 5y
53 likes1 comment
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monalyisha
Unfamiliar Fishes | Sarah Vowell
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“I stopped by New Bedford on one of those perfect New England October days, when the sky is blue and the leaves are gilded and the air has that bracing autumnal bite so that all you want to do is bob for apples or hang a witch or something.”

As a life-long New Englander, I almost snorted my drink out of my nose when I heard this line. 😂

AmyG Ha! 5y
vkois88 Hahaha that's hysterical 😂 5y
SandyW I've been on the left coast long enough to make that sentiment more wistful than exasperating. I miss Autumn! 5y
See All 6 Comments
Kaye Love Sarah Vowell ♥️ 5y
8little_paws She cracks me up!! I'm starting this book soon myself. Loved the wordy shipmates and her book on Lafayette 5y
monalyisha @8little_paws So far, I definitely like “Assassination Vacation” more... but I‘m of the firm belief that there‘s no such thing as a bad Sarah Vowell book. 5y
79 likes6 comments
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Bookchipmunk
Unfamiliar Fishes | Sarah Vowell
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@DebinHawaii congratulations on your Litsy milestone! And "Hi Max!" ? We spend as much time as we can on the Big Island in Kona which is our happy place. This is a photo of Mr Wonderful on top of the Ironman finish line for which he coordinates the volunteer construction crew (it takes a lot of Aloha). The tagged book is one of my favorites about Hawaii ??? #livingaloha

DebinHawaii Max says 'hi' back! 😽 The Ironman is such a great experience and all about living aloha for sure.🌺❤️Mahalo for joining in! 5y
Cinfhen 🤘🏽🤘🏽🤘🏽 5y
29 likes2 comments
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triskeleseeker
Unfamiliar Fishes | Sarah Vowell
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Hanging in my new personal book nook while baby naps!

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DebinHawaii
Unfamiliar Fishes | Sarah Vowell
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Pickpick

A good, sometimes humorous & sometimes cringe-worthy look at Hawaiian history & the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy & annexation by the U.S. Vowell is witty and droll, the narration took some getting used too--her voice reminds me of actress/comedian Kristen Schaal-squeaky, lispy & nasally-which at times drove me a little nuts, but I got used to it & liked listening for the different celebrity voices reading quotes. I'll read more from her.🌺🌴

Christine Love Sarah Vowell! I knew her voice (from This American Life) before I knew her writing, so I don't get annoyed by her narration (even though she for sure has a unique sound!!). Glad you enjoyed this. :) 5y
Booksnchill @DebinHawaii I only listen to Sarah Vowell books because they must be read with her voice- my favorite is Assassination Vacation 5y
Laalaleighh Ohhh sounds fascinating after reading 5y
Laalaleighh Stacking! 5y
JenReadsAlot I was looking at this one as I prepare for my upcoming vacation to Hawaii (OMG!!) 5y
84 likes4 stack adds5 comments
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DebinHawaii
Unfamiliar Fishes | Sarah Vowell
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Stayed & got project work done at the coffeeshop while listening to this book-which I kept starting & stopping in print. I thought since I was between audiobooks & it was available, I might actually finish it by listening, but Sarah Vowell's narration is not my favorite-I find it slightly annoying. The subject, celebrity narrators reading quotes & her humor help. Plus it's the 3rd audiobook I've tried to get into today-so maybe it's just me! 😬😶

BookBabe Yum, Graze snacks 😋 5y
83 likes1 comment
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ozma.of.oz
Unfamiliar Fishes | Sarah Vowell
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#anditsaugust #itshistory I bought this after I read The Girl from Everywhere. I was totally enchanted by the descriptions of Hawaii. And I love Sarah Vowell, so when I learned she had written a book about the annexation of Hawaii, Guam, and Puerto Rico, I just had to buy it. @RealLifeReading

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peaknit
Unfamiliar Fishes | Sarah Vowell
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Tagging my youngest daughter, my favorite person in the 🌎 (my oldest is not on Litsy and she's a teenager therefore cannot be my favorite!:) congrats on your Litversary @DebinHawaii #debsstack ❤️📚 I also ❤️🌴Hawaii!!

JenReadsAlot So cute! 5y
DebinHawaii Aww... she is adorable! 💜💜💜 Thanks for the Litsyversary greetings and thanks for joining in the fun! 👍😀 5y
SilversReviews Cute!! How do you get a photo on the post without having to choose a book? THANKS. 5y
monkeygirlsmama Awwwwww 5y
31 likes4 comments
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Jas16
Unfamiliar Fishes | Sarah Vowell
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I have posted before about my love for Sarah Vowell. She is an #autobuy author for me. This book taught me all the things I never knew I wanted to know about the island of Hawaii. #laislabonita #splashintosummerreads

8little_paws She's an auto buy for me too!! 5y
AliBG OOOOH! Try THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE for a fantasy rooted in Hawaii's history by an #ownvoices author. 5y
Jas16 @AliBG Thank for the recommendation. I have added it to my TBR 5y
See All 6 Comments
LeslieO I loved Assassination Vacation! 5y
Sydsavvy I love her book on Lafayette! She's so snarky! 5y
Cinfhen I need to check out this author 😊thanks for posting and sharing 🙌🏻 5y
57 likes3 stack adds6 comments
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bookwrm526
Unfamiliar Fishes | Sarah Vowell
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Pickpick

Such an interesting slice of history, about a place and time period I don't know very much about. The snarky humor is great, too.

Lacythebookworm ❤️❤️❤️Sarah Vowell! 6y
bookwrm526 @Lacythebookworm This was my first by her, but I feel certain it won't be the last! 6y
33 likes2 comments
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bookwrm526
Unfamiliar Fishes | Sarah Vowell
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My reading buddy decided to abandon me today, and as he left he meowed #bringmesunshine. When I went looking for him a little later, this is where I found him. This book about Hawaiian history, is making me crave sunshine as well so I guess I can't complain too much. #melodicmay

Zelma I love the fluffy cat belly! 😻 6y
35 likes1 comment
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GinEyre22
Unfamiliar Fishes | Sarah Vowell
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#marchintoreading Day 30: Books that start with U, V & W

diovival Nice! 6y
10 likes1 comment
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thatlaurenalex
Unfamiliar Fishes | Sarah Vowell
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lol I know it was meant negatively but I am in love with the term "ocean ghosts" ?

RaimeyGallant Ocean ghosts: fantastic. 5y
5 likes1 comment
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GinEyre22
Unfamiliar Fishes | Sarah Vowell
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#riotgrams Day 9: Author or character who shares your name

slategreyskies Woohoo! Sarah over here too! *waves* :) 6y
12 likes1 stack add1 comment
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thatlaurenalex
Unfamiliar Fishes | Sarah Vowell
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Just started reading this, on the Americanization of Hawaii (aka what happened to my ancestors between the 1800s and the 1950s). I love Vowell's take on history and am pretty excited to learn more about a part of history that had a pretty direct effect on my family. I'm not very far in, but so far so good!

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Jas16
Unfamiliar Fishes | Sarah Vowell
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For an #authorilove I am choosing Sarah Vowell as she is the only nonfiction author who is an autobuy for me. She teaches me things while making me laugh. I will read anything she writes. #17booklove

KVanRead She's fabulous! 6y
32 likes1 stack add1 comment
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AlleyChen
Unfamiliar Fishes | Sarah Vowell
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Mmm yes, this is nice December reading weather. #whatsupHawaii

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BookNAround
Unfamiliar Fishes | Sarah Vowell
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I still remember reading James Michener's Hawaii when I was twelve. The title of the book one of the missionary descendants writes (Something Something or There Was Frigging in the Rigging) still makes me giggle. Even though that one seems like it was really well researched, I thought I should find a nonfiction account of Hawaii as well.

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missjenniferlowe
Unfamiliar Fishes | Sarah Vowell
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Both of these folks do an excellent job of narrating their books. I enjoy both their literal voice as audiobook narrators and their figurative voice as the narrators in the books. #octphotochallenge

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readtheworld
Unfamiliar Fishes | Sarah Vowell
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Pickpick

If you like your history with a side of snark, don't miss Sarah Vowell's Unfamiliar Fishes. Detailing the history of Hawaii's annexation into the US, it also provides modern-day parallels and enough cutting asides to make you immediately hunt down her other books.

Read more: http://bit.ly/2apL24G

#readtheworld #sarahvowell #nonfiction #history

DebinHawaii I keep meaning to read this one-it's been in my TBR list for ages. 🌴🍍 6y
readtheworld @DebinHawaii It's a great summer read - enjoy! 6y
23 likes6 stack adds2 comments
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Amiable
Unfamiliar Fishes | Sarah Vowell
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If this is even half as good as "Assassination Vacation" I'll be a happy reader.

Riveted_Reader_Melissa I read and loved Lafayette in the Somewhat US, and have added all the rest of her back catalog to my to read list! 6y
7 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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brendanmleonard
Unfamiliar Fishes | Sarah Vowell
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OTD in 1900, Hawaii became a US Territory. I wasn't crazy about Vowell's book on the subject, but I thought she did an excellent job of depicting Hawaii's strange and rich history. These other books are also worthwhile for their depictions of the state. & watch the Drunk History episode on Hawaii!

Well-ReadNeck I also loved James Michener's Hawaii!! 6y
29 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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MaureenMc
Unfamiliar Fishes | Sarah Vowell
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Pickpick

Vowell's take on American missionaries in Hawaii and the U.S.'s annexation of the country. Not my fave of hers, but an interesting read nonetheless.

monalyisha Same! 5y
6 likes1 comment