Book Review: Circling The Sun

McLain’s writing carves out Beryl’s life much in the way an artist sculpts out a statue. First it is a dream, then an image, and finally a beautiful piece of art. Between the lines and chapters, McLain hums a quiet steady beat with her chisel. She chips us through Africa and sweeps us across the sea, all to tell a story of one woman, one soul, looking and learning and hoping and doing. There’s failure and sorrow, joy and a deep, aching love….for Africa, for man, for adventure. I’ve read Beryl’s written story “West With The Night” and McLain’s brings it to life again. “Circling The Sun” is beautifully written.

Book Review written by Elaine Gallant

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Garden Sushi — Simply Masterful Veggie

There has never been a better time than now to eat your vegetables. So may I suggest that you run…not dawdle…to Garden Sushi @ Choice Health Bar for a Nubu-esque experience of the freshest vegetables presented in a most stunning array of “sushi” made from brown rice, quinoa, and forbidden rice.

We had an unbelievable evening of tantalizing tastes and textures. Warm kinoko mushroom miso soup; a delightful tower of daikon and avocado with tahini sauce; house made dumpling with kale, shiitake, black bean and tofu; beet carpaccio with tangy apple salsa; a sampler plate of “nigiri” sushi (I swear the eggplant with miso glaze rivaled my favorite sweet unagi) and last but not least, a memorable tasting of a tomato caviar roll.

This place is five star…on a “sushi” scale and vegetarian scale. Our palates were alive from the moment we started eating until we left crying that we did not have a camera between us to post a photo…not even a cell phone. So? We’ll have to go back again and again and again.

Garden Sushi @ Choice Health Bar is open Mon-Sat, 6PM – closing and BYOB. 1087 Limahana Pl, Lahaina, HI 96761, 808-661-7711.

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New Restaurant: Maui Food Style

Maui Food Style is a fun, new, small restaurant that has opened in the Ace Hardware complex on Wainee.  It is situated across the parking lot from Ace Hardware and close to Maui Taco.

One of our members visited it recently and loved the bento boxes!

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BOOK REVIEW: “Scar Tissue” by Anthony Kiedis with Larry Sloman

How is this guy, or even these guys still alive? How much can the body take? The universe devour? Anthony Kiedis keeps waking up and giving up the mind-numbing mayhem only to fall back down. Recognizing his addiction is only a fraction of controlling it. This revelation of a book makes the reader want to urge him onward to continued good health. To say, “Keep it up, Tony. The world’s force is with you.” This reader hopes he makes it

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Kauai Writer’s Conference

Coming May 1-3, 2015 at the Courtyard Marriott. For information go to, I’m headed there and am thrilled to be going….anything I can do to improve my own writing is a plus. My first real novel, titled “The 5th C” (a CIA chase through Washington, Paris and Siberia) is in the editing phase…the many questions I have are rising. Do I have a good read? Is it a viable sell? And….should I even consider doing so? Or should I throw my first, maybe-not-so-ready-for-prime-time novel in a drawer and go right to novel number two? And lastly, can anyone guess how many ways I suggest trepidation in this short paragraph? I’m hoping this conference will help squelch some of my doubt.

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Book Review: “Expecting Adam…” By Martha Beck

How does one share with the world their deepest fears? Head on, I guess. Because Beck has saddled her life to a sprinting horse in “Expecting Adam”. True, while the entire story is about how she had to slow down to completely understand and appreciate her Down Syndrome son, she nonetheless races wildly around the corral before being tamed to the point of acceptance. “Expecting Adam” is a delightful read for all of us and Beck deliciously delivers it by the mouthful.

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Book Review: The Leopard by Giuseppe Di Lampedusa

Much emphasis was placed on getting this story published. Mission accomplished. The build up for that, however, did not fully meet my coaxed anticipation as a result. I also had some difficulty staying “on point” with name changes and the authors odd inclusion of modern day time references. I wanted to stay in the period, understand Garibaldi’s influence on the characters and move forward with them. The last chapter, however, took a major leap, forcing an ending that otherwise would have been better for me if allowed to build. All in all, I learned some things, found the author’s skew interesting, and warmed slightly to the overall tale.

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Book Review: All the Light We Cannot See

Anthony Doerr brilliantly stitches together the final fragments of World War II much the same way Dr. Frankenstein did to his subject. The sutures are large and misshapen. The tattered pieces are sewn at angles. But the net effect is a dying monster whose wounds are knitted with fear, punishment, power, pain and, yes, even love. In the end it is about a faithful blind girl, her loyal and loving father, a boy of talent and wonder and the pursuit of a cursed but extraordinarily rare diamond. Set in Saint-Malo, France, Doerr’s tale is simply ingenious.

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Book Review: The Light in the Ruins

What’s not to love about a good mystery draped and entrenched with history, elegance and matters of the heart? The characters are real to the touch. Their fallacies imaginable. And their passion deep and strong. I wondered throughout: Is the murderer the Nazi, Friedrich Strekker? Ilario, the sheep herder? Is it Roberto Pirreda, the director of Arezzo Museum? Is it a woman as suggested? If so, whom? Giulia? The shield of anonymity holds throughout…what a surprise to finally be told…yes! Because I never could decide.

My hope is that book club members include discussion about the many victims of the war: Serafina, Christina, Francesca, Vittore, Marco, the entire Rosati family. The damage and how each person was affected. I also hope someone brings up and talks about all the compromises everyone makes due to the war…and I mean everyone, especially Marco.

The Light in the Ruins is a wonderful read. It should make for a great night of discussion.

4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing read
The Light in the Ruins (Vintage Contemporaries) (Kindle Edition)
By Elaine Gallant
August 14, 2014

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A New Restaurant Opens

What a surprise to find un po ‘di (a little bit of) authentic Italy in the heart of Lahaina town with the recent opening of Sale Pepe Pizzeria e Cucina located adjacent to Ulalena at 878 Front Street.   Sale Pepe, which means “Salt Pepper” in Italian, has already won the hearts of many locals and visitors alike.

What I found on any given night is that it’s not uncommon to walk into this intimate, open-concept bar and kitchen to find it pleasantly busy. And it’s no wonder because the food is as expected: al dente rigatonis, creamy risottos, spicy salume, fresh formaggi, and of course, thin-crust brick-oven pizzas.

Please note that the menu changes daily…what? Did I say daily? Yes. And the wine? There’s certainly a nice selection along with other aperitivi and birre but you are welcome to bring your own bottle of vino.  Corkage fees apply.

The owners of Sale Pepe are Michele Di Bari and his partner and wife, Qiana. Both are from Brooklyn, NY although Michele is originally from Milan. They “married on a whim and kept coming back” to Maui and now they are here to stay.

So stop in, grab a bite, a little vino and share a meal familia Di Bari-style. I’m sure — like me and the many others I’ve spoken to — you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Sale Pepe Pizzeria e Cucina — 878 Front Street, (808)-667-7667.

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