The Americana Series Monthly Challenge – February 2019: Hawaii

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The Americana Series Monthly Challenge – February 2019: Hawaii

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Jan 26, 2019, 12:12am

Each month, we will visit a different state in the United States of America for the Monthly Reading Challenge in the Mystery & Suspense Extra! Group. Last month, we visited Delaware, the First State – so this month, we are traveling not only all the way across the country but also forward 172 years to visit Hawaii, the most recent state admitted to the union.

The Americana Series Monthly Challenge – February 2019: Hawaii


Hawaiʻi (huh-wahy-ee, or hah-vah-ee) is the 50th and most recent state to have joined the United States, having received statehood on August 21, 1959. Hawaii is the only U.S. state located in Oceania, the only U.S. state located outside North America, and the only one composed entirely of islands.

Hawaii is one of four U.S. states—apart from the original thirteen, along with the Vermont Republic (1791), the Republic of Texas (1845), and the California Republic (1846)—that were independent nations prior to statehood. Along with Texas, Hawaii had formal, international diplomatic recognition as a nation.

The Kingdom of Hawaiʻi was sovereign from 1810 until 1893 when the monarchy was overthrown by resident American and European capitalists and landholders. Hawaii was an independent republic from 1894 until August 12, 1898, when it officially became a territory of the United States. Hawaii was admitted as a U.S. state on August 21, 1959

By a legislative act, Hawaii became officially known as the “Aloha State” in 1959. The word aloha is derived from the Proto-Polynesian, "alofa", and its meanings include “love,” “compassion,” and “mercy.” Aloha is used both as “hello” and “goodbye.”


It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean.

The state encompasses nearly the entire volcanic Hawaiian archipelago, which comprises hundreds of islands spread over 1,500 miles (2,400 km), making Hawaii the longest island chain in the world. The eight main islands are Niʻihau, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, Maui, and the Island of Hawaiʻi. The last is the largest island in the group; it is often called the "Big Island" or "Hawaiʻi Island" to avoid confusion with the state or archipelago. The archipelago is physiographically and ethnologically part of the Polynesian subregion of Oceania.

Fun Facts

Hawaii is the most isolated population center on Earth. It is 2,390 miles (3,846 km) from California, 3,850 miles (6,196 km) from Japan and 4,900 miles (7,886 km) from China.

When measured from east to west, Hawaii is the second widest state in the United States, after Alaska.

Hawaii is the only U.S. state whose land area is increasing (from volcanic eruptions). Hawaii’s Big Island, which is the common term used for the state of Hawaii, is growing by more than 42 acres each year because of the Kilauea Volcano. This volcano has been erupting for around 30 years now, which is impressive in and of itself. Mauna Loa, which is of the biggest volcanoes in the entire world, is also located on the Big Island and its lava fields were once a training site for astronauts before they went to the moon.

Hawaii has a diverse agricultural base. Hawaii is the only U.S. state that grows coffee. Coffee plantations in Hawaii make up 6,200 acres. In 2003, 8.5 million pounds of coffee were produced. Sugar is mainly produced on Maui and Kauai, on altogether 70,000 acres. In 2002, 340,000 tons of raw sugar were produced. (One ton of water is needed to make a pound of sugar). Hawaii produces about 320,000 tons of pineapple each year (as much as 75% of the world's pineapple). The Big Island of Hawaii is the worldwide leader in harvesting macadamia nuts and orchids.

The Hawaiian alphabet consists of only twelve letters. The five vowels are A, E, I, O, U. And the seven consonants are H, K, L, M, N, P, W.

Iolani Palace, located in downtown Honolulu, is the only royal palace in the United States.

Not only is the Big Island the largest of all the Hawaiian Islands, but it's also home to the largest contiguous ranch in the United States. Parker Ranch near Kamuela is 480,000 acres big.

Kilauea volcano on the Big Island is one of the largest and most active volcanoes in the world.

Kalaaupapa on Molokai was once a leper colony. It was administered by Father Damien, a Flemish Catholic missionary, who later died of leprosy himself in 1889.

The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands are a National Monument since June 15, 2006, when George W. Bush issued a public proclamation that created the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument under the Antiquities Act of 1906. In 2007, it was renamed to Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. The Monument encompasses 140,000 square miles (360,000 square km) of ocean waters, including ten islands and atolls of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, making it the largest marine wildlife reserve in the world. It's about the size of California.

Hawaii is the only state that is not geographically located in North America, is completely surrounded by water, and does not have a straight line in its state boundary.

Hawaii is home to the unique “Happy Face Spider” (Theridion grallator), which bears an uncanny resemblance to a smiling face on the back of its abdomen

Maui is home to many famous attractions including Haleakala Crater, the old whaling town of Lahaina, the road to Hana, and Kaanapali Beach.

The island of Kahoolawe was once used as a target by the U.S. Navy and Air Force. The services are cleaning up unexploded shells. No one is allowed to go ashore without permission. The island consists of an uninhabited area of 45 square miles.

The popular T.V. series Lost was shot in Hawaii. At the end of the credits is a note thanking the “people of Hawaii and their Aloha Spirit.” In 2004, police departments received numerous calls about a “horrible plane crash” at Mokule’ia beach, which technically was a plane crash, but in fact it was Oceanic Flight 815. The wreckage was simply part of the set for the filming of the pilot!

Over the years there have been a number of popular movies filmed in Hawaii, even if they are not set there. Some of these movies include Jurassic Park & Jurassic World, 50 First Dates, Godzilla, Tropic Thunder and You, Me and Dupree. Many of these filming locations can be seen at the Kualoa Ranch.

Notable Residents

Hiram Fong of Hawaii was the first Asian-American in the Unites States Senate. Fong is a descendant from Chinese immigrants and was elected to the Senate in 1959.

Born in Hawaii, Barack Obama is the only president from outside the continental United States. Honolulu-born Barack Obama, then serving as United States Senator from Illinois, was elected the 44th President of the United States on November 4, 2008 and was re-elected for a second term on November 6, 2012. He was the third Hawaii-born candidate to seek the nomination of a major party and the first presidential nominee from Hawaii

Bruno Mars was born into a musical family in the heart of Waikiki. Bruno performed with his family’s band and became known for his Elvis impersonation.

Bethany Hamilton, a professional surfer who lost her arm in a 2003 shark attack, was born on Kauai, and still lives there now

Actresses Lauren Graham and Nicole Kidman were both born in Hawaii. Of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood fame, actress Lauren Graham was born on March 16, 1967 in Honolulu, and moved to Virginia when she was five. Kidman was born in Honolulu, Hawaii while her Australian parents were in the United States on educational visas

Jason Mamoa of Aquaman fame, won the 1999 Hawaii Model of the Year Award before becoming famous for his role as Khal Drogo in the HBO hit, Game of Thrones.

In honor of Hawaii as the “Aloha State”, read a Mystery/Suspense book (any sub-genre will do!) that satisfies one or more of the following:

• A Mystery/Suspense book with “Hello” or “Good-bye” in the title or a type of flower in the title;

• A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place on an island, or

• A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's initial (either the first or last) can be found in HAWAII

Happy Reading ❤

Jan 26, 2019, 12:39am

In honor of Hawaii as the “Aloha State”, read a Mystery/Suspense book (any sub-genre will do!) that satisfies one or more of the following:

• A Mystery/Suspense book with “Hello” or “Good-bye” in the title or a type of flower in the title;

• A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place on an island, or

• A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's initial (either the first or last) can be found in HAWAII

Edited: Feb 18, 2019, 5:00pm

Brenda's Challenge - Hawaii the “Aloha State”:
3/3 Completed

• A Mystery/Suspense book with “Hello” or “Good-bye” in the title or a type of flower in the title;
The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler - 2/18/19; 3 stars

• A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place on an island, or
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie - 2/1/19; 4 Stars

• A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's initial (either the first or last) can be found in HAWAII
Flood by Andrew Vachss - 2/3/19; 3 stars

Edited: Feb 8, 2019, 10:40am

Carol Learns to Dance the Hula

1. A Mystery/Suspense book with “Hello” or “Good-bye” in the title or a type of flower in the title
The Last Kiss Goodbye by Karen Robards - 2/8/19 3.5 stars

2 A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place on an island.
Boar Island by Nevada Barr - 2/1/19 - 2.5 stars

3. A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's initial (either the first or last) can be found in HAWAII
Hangman by Jack Heath -2/3/19 - 3.5 stars

Edited: Feb 14, 2019, 10:59pm

Elvis Fans Lynda and Oliver Say Aloha

In honor of Hawaii as the “Aloha State”, read a Mystery/Suspense book (any sub-genre will do!) that satisfies one or more of the following:

• A Mystery/Suspense book with “Hello” or “Good-bye” in the title or a type of flower in the title;

💘 • A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place on an island
Yankee Doodle Dead - Carolyn G. Hart - 3.5 Stars - set on Broward's Rock Island, South Carolina

• A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's initial (either the first or last) can be found in HAWAII

Jan 27, 2019, 10:41am

• A Mystery/Suspense book with “Hello” or “Good-bye” in the title or a type of flower in the title;

Tonight I Said Goodbye by Michael Koryta

• A Mystery/Suspense book that takes place on an island, or

Keep The Midnight Out by Alex Gray

• A Mystery/Suspense book where the author's initial (either the first or last) can be found in HAWAII

I Hear The Sirens in the Street by Adrian McKinty

Jan 29, 2019, 4:47pm

I'm going to read The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks. He's got "H" for an initial.

Jan 29, 2019, 7:30pm

I've changed my mind. I'm going to read Isolation by Mary Anna Evans. It takes place on a small island off Florida's Gulf coast.

Feb 1, 2019, 6:14pm

#2 Takes place on an Island

Boar Island by Nevada Barr
Anna Pigeon series Book #19

Anna Pigeon, in her career as a National Park Service Ranger, has had to deal with all manner of crimes and misdemeanors, but cyber-bullying and stalking is a new one. The target is Elizabeth, the adopted teenage daughter of her friend Heath Jarrod. Elizabeth is driven to despair by the disgusting rumors spreading online and bullying texts. Until, one day, Heath finds her daughter Elizabeth in the midst of an unsuccessful suicide attempt. And then she calls in the cavalry---her aunt Gwen and her friend Anna Pigeon. While they try to deal with the fragile state of affairs---and find the person behind the harassment---the three adults decide the best thing to do is to remove Elizabeth from the situation. Since Anna is about to start her new post as Acting Chief Ranger at Acadia National Park in Maine, the three will join her and stay at a house on the cliff of a small island near the park, Boar Island. But the move east doesn't solve the problem. The stalker has followed them east. And Heath (a paraplegic) and Elizabeth aren't alone on the otherwise deserted island. At the same time, Anna has barely arrived at Acadia before a brutal murder is committed by a killer uncomfortably close to her.

I intend no pun...well maybe just a small one...when I say Boar Island was..well... boring. Unlike the other books before this one there was very little focus on the Park itself (Acadia in Maine) and almost no involvement of the main character...Anna Pigeon. When she did appear it seemed almost an after thought on the author's part. Many of the characters were drawn from an earlier book and were not very interesting. Nevada Barr has done much, much better and I hope this is just a fluke.

Feb 2, 2019, 7:21pm

3. Artemis by Andy Weir - both Initials are in Hawaii.

Just wish the book was better, hard to believe this is by the same author who wrote The Martian.

Feb 2, 2019, 7:42pm

>10 Andrew-theQM:. I felt the same way. The main character was just SO unlikeable and the humor so forced. The Martian was fun and interesting and you could connect with Mark (as much as you could with someone abandoned on Mars anyway 😀)

Feb 2, 2019, 8:24pm

>11 bhabeck: Totally agree, didn’t engage with this one at all, or even care what happened. Only gave it 2 stars.

Feb 4, 2019, 5:42pm

#3 Authors first or last initial can be found in "Hawaii"

Hangman by Jack Heath
Timothy Blake series Book #1

A 14-year-old boy vanishes on his way home from school. His frantic mother receives a disturbing ransom call. It's only hours before the deadline, and the police have no leads. Enter Timothy Blake, codename Hangman. Blake is a genius, known for solving impossible cases. He's also a sociopath - the FBI's last resort. But this time Blake might have met his match. The kidnapper is more cunning and ruthless than anyone he's faced before. And Blake has been assigned a new partner, a woman linked to the past he's so desperate to forget. Timothy Blake has a secret, one so dark he will do anything to keep it hidden. And he also has a price. Every time he saves a life, he takes one

The character of Timothy Blake comes across as being the result of a breeding between James Bond and Dracula. Overall he is brilliant at solving puzzles be they kidnappings and murders or crosswords and Rubik's cubes. Timothy is more than just interesting...he's a puzzle that no matter how hard the reader tries to see a reason for "what he just slips through the mind...which is probably a good thing. I really liked the writing style of this author but you need to be willing and able to suspend your disbelief for some parts of it and just go with the flow. I look forward to meeting Timothy again...just not in a dark alley.

Feb 6, 2019, 4:37pm

Type of flower in the title:

Mr. Campion's Farewell - Mike Ripley 4★s

Feb 6, 2019, 10:30pm

Feb 8, 2019, 10:40am

I'm done! Got all 3.

Feb 8, 2019, 3:51pm

>15 bhabeck: I wondered whether you'd all let me get away with that one! ;D

Feb 18, 2019, 5:15pm

Finally done. I had 2 hard reads for the challenge this month - Flood and The Long Goodbye. The storyline wasn't convoluted and the book wasn't especially long - what made them hard was the style of writing. Flood and The Long Goodbye are both written in the style associated with Old Time Radio murder mysteries....staccato tempo, non sequitur sentences and stylized prose to evoke the time period

Here's one paragraph (of 3) that is used to describe a gorgeous blonde that walked into the bar. Chandler is giving examples of what kind of blonde this woman is NOT:

"There is the soft and willing and alcoholic blonde who doesn't care what she wears as long as it is mink or where she goes as long as it is the Starlight Roof and there is plenty of dry champagne. There is the small perky blonde who is a little pal and wants to pay her own way and is full of sunshine and common sense and knows judo from the ground up and can toss a truck driver over her shoulder without missing more than one sentence out of the editorial in the Saturday Review. There is the pale, pale anemic blonde with anemia of some non-fatal but incurable type. She is very languid and very shadowy and speaks softly out of nowhere and you can't lay a finger on her because in the first place you don't want to and in the second place she is reading The Waste Land or Dante in the original, or Kafka or Kierkegaard or studying Provencal. She adores music and when the New York Philharmonic is playing Hindemith she can tell you which one of the six bass viols came in a quarter of a beat too late. I hear Toscanini can also. That makes two of them."

Feb 18, 2019, 5:47pm

>18 bhabeck: WOW! He must have been being paid by the word:) That being said...

Good job on a fine finish. Aloha!

Feb 20, 2019, 5:19pm

#2 Takes place on an island

Isolation by Mary Anna Evans
4 ★

Archaeologist Faye Longchamp-Mantooth struggles to recover from a shattering personal loss and she sees that everyone she loves is trying to reach out to her. If only she could reach back. Instead she's out digging holes all over her home, the Florida island of Joyeuse. Then a close friend at the local marina is brutally murdered, the first in a string of crimes against women that rocks Micco County. Joe, desperate to help Faye, realizes she is in danger from both her inner demons and someone who has breached the island's isolation.

There were several storylines throughout that were balanced nicely against each other. They were Faye’s personal and family life, the murder and other crimes, and an old mystery involving Faye’s great-grandmother and a Union soldier she may have helped or hurt. Life on the island provided a lot of atmosphere. The killer was a bit of a stretch but otherwise this was an enjoyable read.

Feb 25, 2019, 11:56am

Book 2; author's initial in 'Hawaii':

Set in Darkness - Ian Rankin 5★s

Feb 28, 2019, 3:39pm

And one final book for the full set:

The Singing Sands - Josephine Tey 3.5★s

(At least part of the action takes place on the Isle of Cladda in The Hebrides.)

Feb 28, 2019, 4:32pm

Feb 28, 2019, 5:07pm

I think we all had a good month, Carol, :)

Thanks to Brenda for the challenge - it's fun!

Feb 28, 2019, 7:50pm

>24 Sergeirocks: She's doing a fantastic job. The information is interesting and the challenge if a lot of fun. I've lived in the U.S. my entire life and I didn't know some of the things we've learned so far.

Mar 1, 2019, 11:41am

>24 Sergeirocks: >25 Carol420: thank you! I've been learning a lot doing this as well. Punkin' Chunkin', Happy spiders and Eskimo ice cream just to name a few

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