Book Club Suggestions from BookBar’s Cookbook Club: Aloha Kitchen edition

By Becky LeJeune

If you’ve followed the club, then you know that this month we’ve been cooking from Alana Kysar’s excellent debut, Aloha Kitchen: Recipes from Hawai’i.

Well, in addition to choosing a new cookbook each month, we’re taking it one step further with themed book club reading and snacking suggestions to go along with the club pick. Today we’ve got reading ideas and a menu suggestion for the perfect Aloha Kitchen  themed book club meeting!

First up, Diamond Head by Cecily Wong. This debut traces three generations of a family that settles in Hawaii at the turn of the twentieth century. Family secrets and the murder of their patriarch weigh over the family for generations. Diamond Head

This historical family saga is great for discussing mother/daughter relationships and women’s roles in Chinese culture.

This is Wong’s debut, but readers who enjoy this multi-generational saga might also enjoy the work of Yangsze Choo.



Next up is The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig. This YA time travel adventure finds the main character set on traveling to a time before her mother died, in an attempt to save her. But the very act could put her own existence at risk!Girl From Everywhere

Discussion topics include father/daughter relationships and begs the question, if you could change something in your own past, would you?

Readers who enjoy this one can continue the story with Heilig’s follow up, The Ship Beyond Time.



And finally, The Island of Sweet Pies and Soldiers by Sara Ackerman. Set in WWII Hawaii, the book finds a wife struggling in the wake of her husband’s disappearance. The author, a native of Hawaii, based the story on her grandparents’ experiences during the war.

Island of Sweet Pies

Discussion topics include relations between Westerners and Japanese settlers during WWII, female friendships, and mother/daughter relationships.  

Sara Ackerman’s latest, The Lieutenant’s Nurse, is out now and is set around the bombing of Pearl Harbor.




Suggested menu:
Hurricane Popcorn
Maki Sushi
Butter Mochi
Plantation Iced Tea
Mai Tais

Becky LeJeune is BookBar’s local author coordinator and office manager and resident cookbook enthusiast.