Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Unfamiliar Fishes - an audiobook review

An adult book today...

Vowell, Sarah. 2011. Unfamiliar Fishes. Simon and Schuster Audio.

If you're looking for something recent in adult nonfiction, try Sarah Vowell's, Unfamiliar Fishes, which chronicles the transformation of Hawaii since the arrival of Captain Cook and more importantly, the first missionaries. As is her way, Ms. Vowell is both erudite and playful, offering carefully researched history punctuated with the droll realities of the contemporary and the commonplace. (e.g., why Barack Obama is our first "plate lunch" president)  Though she does not count herself among the believers of any religion, she is nevertheless well-schooled in and respectful of the beliefs of native Hawaiians and the later arrivals. She gives credit and scorn equally, deservedly and humorously. If you've never heard her quirky little voice before (she is the voice of Violet in The Incredibles), you're likely to love it or hate it. I love it. Listen for yourself.

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