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Chicken Soup from the Soul of Hawai'i: Stories of Aloha to Create Paradise Wherever You Are Paperback – April 15, 2003

4.8 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen are the #1 New York Times and USA Today best-selling authors of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

Sharon Linnea is the author of the biography Princess Kaiulani: Hope of a Nation, Heart of a People, which won Bookselling This Week's "Pick of the Lists" (ABA) and the New York Public Library's Books for the Teen Age List and many others. Linnea's other books include Raoul Wallenberg: The Man Who Stopped Death and America's Famous and Historic Trees, with noted arborist Jeff Meyer, with a PBS series of the same name. She is the head writer for the New Morning show on the Hallmark Channel, a frequent speaker at writer's conferences and lives in Warwick, New York.

Robin Stephens Rohr is an author, publisher and photographer. She coauthored the best-seller The Powerstones-Letters to a Goddess, and was featured on Fox network's Encounters. She is on the advisory committee for the Naupaka Award, sponsored by the Waikoloa Foundation, whose mission is to perpetuate Hawaiian culture and the Hawaiian environment, and to support educational and leadership programs for native Hawaiian people. She lives in Hawai'i.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Strangers in Paradise

When you live in Boston, Massachusetts, and it's February, the thought of visiting Hawaii can defrost you. Over and over again, like a multi-sensory mantra, I'd close my eyes and conjure up pictures and sounds and soft feelings about a place far away . . . off the edge of some maps. Palm trees came to mind, with waving fronds like ballerina arms, and teal water washing over whole-wheat sand. There would be big red friendly hibiscus and smiling people.

And then I'd bolt awake from my tropical meditation. The soothing images of Hawaii would be repainted instantly with the scene right in front of me: packing tape and cardboard boxes. My husband and I were two days away from moving to Hawaii and leaving New England for good. Good as in forever, not good as in goody.
We were leaving our home, our friends, our families and two jobs, for one job and the hope that it would all work out. I was counting on what they called the "aloha spirit"ùthe kindness of the Hawaiian peopleùwhich I had read about. I just hoped the aloha spirit was a real thing, not the invention of a gifted travel writer or the Hawaii Visitors Bureau.

If only I was as thrilled about moving to Hawaii as everyone else was on my behalf. "Paradise, wow! You're so lucky!" they all said when they heard about my husband's new job. Coworkers, friends, even our families seemed to be more fixated on sun and surf than on missing us. Well, maybe not our families, but they, too, were pretty excited about the prospect of a free place to stay. I think Hawaii has a hypnotic attraction, even for those who've never been there.

I was scared of moving to the middle of the Pacific Ocean. To an island that I couldn't drive off of. To a place that is closer to Manila than Manhattan.

Yes, Hawaii would be warm, but sunshine alone is no elixir for happiness. If it was, there would be no suicides in summer. I would need more than good weather: I would need friends and a job; I would need to learn my way around and figure out how to pronounce all of those vowel-filled mouthfuls.

By the time our plane touched down, thirteen hours after leaving, it was 12:30 a.m. in Boston. I later learned that the thunder, wind and heavy rain that greeted us upon our arrival at the Honolulu International Airport is something called a Kona storm. The winds change their usual direction and dump a nasty bit of weather in their confusion. The rain was actually pouring sideways, in horizontal sheets. They say it doesn't happen often. And my feelings were hurt that it happened to us.
When morning finally found us at our new address, the sun was shining. Not just shining; it was pouring brightness into each room, like it was making up for last night's outburst. I walked from our unfamiliar bedroom to our kitchen to our living room and saw them all for the first time with daytime eyes. Our landlords, Mr. and Mrs. Higuchi, had kindly left a futon for us to use until our stuff arrived. I thought the fridge would be as empty as the rest of the little house but opened it anyway and found fresh banana muffins and guava juice inside. We enjoyed that first breakfast on our futon-cum-couch-cum-dining room table.

At the front door, I kissed my husband for longer than usual and wished him good luck at his first day of work; he wished me good luck, too. Down at my feet I was surprised to find a bouquet of long-stem red ginger, tied with raffia, and a note which read, "Aloha, friends." It was signed, "The Kalanis, next door."

From the phone in the otherwise empty living room, I dialed information and thought I had gotten a wrong number when a real person answered. "Aloha. Thank you for calling GTE Hawaiian Tel. This is Leilani. How may I help you?"

"Oh, Leilani, I need a lot of help!" I said.

After she gladly gave me the number of the Kalanis, the Department of Motor Vehicles and the closest bank, Leilani asked if there was anything else she could help me with. "Yes, Leilani," I said, "Could you be my best friend?"

Leilani didn't end up becoming my best friend, but she did take the time to give me explicit directions to the grocery store, the recommendation of a woman who cuts hair for $20, an explanation of mauka and makai-and her home number, in case I had any other questions!

I had a lot of questions for Leilani. Ones I'd never bother her with. But I realized, by the end of that first morning, that one of my questions had already been answered. Hawaii was filled with strangers who could be my friends. And it wasn't the sunshine alone that makes Hawaii feel warm.

Jana Wolff


¬2003. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Chicken Soup from the Soul of Hawaii by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Sharon Linnea, Robin Stephens Rohr. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 371 pages
  • Publisher: Health Communications (April 15, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0757300618
  • ISBN-13: 978-0757300615
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,130,622 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By William D. Webber on June 25, 2003
Format: Paperback
I bought this book because I had read co-author Sharon Linnea's fascinating book on Princess Kaiulani, the girl who would have become Queen of Hawaii. I loved Chicken Soup from the Soul of Hawaii so much that I have given it to all my friends. People who have lived in Hawaii thanked me because the book has caught the authentic aloha spirit. Friends who read it before going to Hawaii for a vacation discovered it to be a better introduction to the Hawaiian culture and way of life than the guide books they had read. One friend who has never been to Hawaii and never expects to go lost sleep because she stayed up all night reading the book because the stories are so unique, warm and inspiring.
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Chicken Soup from the Soul of Hawaii is a wonderful book. I have lived in Hawaii for 20 years, and I still learned so much about Hawaii. Reading this book is like taking a tour of the Hawaiian islands. This book has stories by celebrities like Kelly Preston and Bo Derek, but I enjoyed the stories about the local legends and regular people more. One story that sticks out is about the legendary swimmer and surfer Duke Kahanamoku who designed and popularized the first aloha shirts in the 1930's. I was also inspired by the story of Hao Dang who found freedom in Hawaii after spending 3 months on the ocean and living in a Thai refugee camp. Today this young woman supervises 150 employees as a director of housekeeping for 2 of the biggest hotels on the Big Island. I was enjoyed the contributions of local entertainer Nalani Olds who submitted an interesting story about the history of the Royal Hawaiian Band. Olds also submitted a story about a former prison inmate who turned his life around to become a counselor. I loved the inspirational story of Kanalu Young who was paralyzed in a swimming accident as a teenager. He went on to earn a doctorate in history. He is now a professor of Hawaiian studies at the University of Hawaii I enjoyed reading about the story of Angela Perez Baraquio who became the first Asian to win Miss America in the pageant's 80 year history. This book is also very educational. I only knew 3 Hawaiian words before reading this book. I learned many more Hawaiian words like Lokahi which means unity and H'ookipa which means to interact or share. Chicken Soup from the Soul of Hawaii is entertaining, informative and inspirational. I enjoyed it very much.
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I just purchased this book today and have already read two stories. What a warm and wonderful book!! I loved it! There are so many touching, small kid time, heartwarming stories, you can't help but feel the warmth of aloha from Hawaii. Sit back, grab a beach towel and read on....
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Love this book. I think all the "Chicken Soup" books are good. I had just got back from Hawaii when I ordered this and every story in it brings fond memories of my trip to paradise. Glad I purchased this book.
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This book came to my attention while looking for Hawaii inspired reading. On a whim I placed the order. This is made up of many little stories that both inspire and warm the soul. One great story after the next making sense of the world and giving inspiration.
Read it yourself and pass it along to enrich someone else's life.

Enjoy.
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IF YOU HAVE EVER TRAVELED TO HAWAII AND LEFT YOUR HEART THERE AS YOU RETURNED HOME, THIS BOOK WILL TAKE YOU BACK TO YOUR HEART.

THE STORYS ARE FULL OF THE TRUE ALOHA SPIRIT. THE KINDNESS OF THE PEOPLE, THEIR PASSIONS, THEIR HISTORY AND THEIR LOVE OF LIFE. YOU CAN ALMOST SMELL THE OCEAN, THE MOUNTAINS AND THE FLOWERS. ONCE AGAIN YOU WILL FEEL THE SOFT GENTLE TRADE WINDS CARESSING YOUR HEART

MAHALO.....
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I read this book first on the beach when we were on vacation on the island of Oahu. Now I'm buying it for our older daughter who didn't come with us on the trip. The book is filled with short, feel-good stories that capture the Hawaiian spirit of Aloha. If you don't know much about Hawaii, it may draw you in enough to save up and go!
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Reading this brought back memories of Hawaii and the island spirit. Bought 6 copies to give to friends/family (Ohana). **********
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