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da Shop Staff Picks for the Holidays

It's no secret that we love to read and share our favorite books with you.  With the increase of online shopping, we miss some of the in-person chats we used to have over a new release or a classic childhood favorite.

We hope the holidays can still be just as personal by offering our curation and passion for books to help you shop this holiday season.  Our staff picks reflect our own varied tastes, interests, and curiosities.  You can shop these titles in-store, online, or make a special order.

DAVE, da Shop owner

Aloha Spirit: Contemporary Artists From Hawaii curated by Imago Mundi

"Aloha Spirit is truly a little art masterpiece. Supported by Luciano Benetton, of United Colors of Benetton, this book is part of a larger collection representing indigenous cultures around the world through the artistic lens of local artists living from and living in these areas and places. Hawaiʻi is unlike any other place. A former sovereign kingdom illegally annexed by the US, surprise, its history is particularly relevant today as we examine the themes of identity, place, culture, and appropriation. One of the easiest ways to dive into these oft touchy subjects though is through art and this book does just that. By lending an identity to Hawaiʻi as seen by the artists who are born and raised in this archipelago, readers come to interpret paradise and what that cliche term means as seen through the creative perspectives and homogenous ethnicities that have intermixed to make Hawaiʻi what it is today." 

LANI, shop guardian

Silence in the Age of Noise by Erling Kagge

This is a pithy series of meditations about silence that can be found almost anywhere--in the natural world, between the moments in music, and even within ourselves. Author Kagge also lends exploration into the lack of silence in our lives and the struggles that come with being still and silent. As a seasoned explorer and the first to have sojourned to the South Pole, he has experienced silence in the deepest and most intense ways. Part philosophy as well as personal musing, Kagge sows seeds of thought to consider how all humans can uniquely experience silence in their own ways. Hint: you don’t have to traverse across the globe, become a monk, nor perform extreme sessions of meditation. 

MARIKO, resident artist & plant mama

 At the Center of All Beauty: Solitude and the Creative Life by Fenton Johnson

This is the kind of quiet, hard-to-classify book that is easily overlooked, so I’m giving it a boost, because I’m thankful it exists. In a culture that is obsessed with being coupled, having an active social life, collaborating… a voice that considers solitude a legitimate calling really stands out. This book came out just as the pandemic began forcing us into isolation, so while it wasn’t written with that kind of solitude in mind--what perfect timing! If, like me, you’ve been thinking a lot about solitude lately, this book might offer some comfort and inspiration.

DIANE, Events & Special Projects

The Bowl of Light by Hank Wesselman

Incredible first-hand telling of a personal, fated relationship with a Hawaiian Kahuna from Big Island that reveals ancestral spiritual knowledge and direction for the future of humanity. For anyone with an interest in spirituality, indigenous wisdom, Hawai‘i and Hawaiian culture, and who is looking to make sense of the world we currently live in and what our responsibility is within the larger picture of life on earth and beyond. Especially powerful for those that live on the islands, it’s an impactful star-map of a book that uplifts as much as it grounds.  

 

BUDDY, Publisher

The Bear by Andrew Krivak

This book surprised me and ended up being something different than I assumed. It is an allegorical tale of a young girl and her father who live in a remote northern forest and are completely self sufficient. Their bond as well as struggles with nature becomes a central theme and is animistic. Reading it while living on a Chippewa Ojibway reservation, and riding my bike through back roads and forests, made the story more personal and appealing. I see bears on rare occasions, deer, eagles daily and it was 45 degrees the last two nights. Winter is long and hard here....also a central theme in the novel. This book is a great escape, but odd and weird like it is everywhere this summer... our alternate universe.


KRISTEN, Blog and Newsletter Queen

Birds Art Life by Kyo Maclear

I love Kyo Maclear's children's books so I was excited to read her adult nonfiction. Birds Art Life is a beautiful reflection on the writing life, on slowing down and observing, on paying attention to the details that surround us.  Part memoir, part creative guide, this book is bursting with Kyo's poignant description and intimate curiosity that makes her picture books some of my absolute favorites. This is a great book for nature lovers, writers, and anyone who is looking for a meditative memoir.

 

JEN, Inventory & Operations

Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

When people talk about COVID, not the virus itself, but its side effects of the shutdowns, time on our hands, etc., two books and themes come to mind: Tara Westover's Educated: A Memoir inspires you to rise out of a situation beyond your control. David Goggin's Can't Hurt Me inspires you to challenge yourself so that you can take and stay in control of the situation.

 

DIMPNA, Cheerleader & Education Specialist

‘Ohana Means Family by Ilima Loomis, Illustrated by Kenard Pak

I LOVE collecting children’s books and am always on the hunt to add to my ever-growing collection. So imagine my excitement when I saw ‘Ohana Means Family by Maui author Ilima Loomis. Paired with Kenard Pak’s whimsical illustrations, the entire story is written to the gentle cadence of The House That Jack Built.
An enjoyable read for the entire family as each page walks the reader through all the elements to grow kalo, along with themes such as the importance of working together, preparing food, and in the end, gathering together as an ‘ohana to share a meal … this is definitely a keeper!

 

RICH, Stock Manager

 The Wild Robot The Wild Robot Escapes by Peter Brown

Books for young readers (3rd grade approximately) that deal with topics on accepting diverse groups and lifestyles. In The Wild Robot, Roz (the robot) adopts a gosling, and with various animals on the island, creates a community that works and lives together. It’s a good intro to topics like “Black Lives Matter” for young readers.
In The Wild Robot Escapes, (spoiler alert!) Roz tries to get back to the island from which she is taken. In this book, she has to work with humans and learn about herself. Deals with questions about what makes us a person, does Roz’s awareness of “self” make her “human”? There’s a discussion guide at the end of Wild Robot Escapes which is useful for guiding the reader through various topics.