Sunday, January 20, 2008

Nick's Book Corner

Book Reviews by Nick Sinclair.

Dear Mom: A Sniper's Vietnam
By Joseph T. Ward

Oh Shit. Back when I was wasted off my ass on a permanent basis I read Dear Mom, A Sniper's Vietnam. J.T. Ward is a complete bad ass. Upon joining the marines with his three other best friends from Colorado, he ended up joining the scout snipers and doing a tour of Nam 1969. He carried a 500 Remington bolt action rifle. The gun was his free pass to say, do, and kill anything he wanted, and he used that privilege. J.T. had over a 100 confirmed kills. That means after you kill someone, one has to somehow reach the body and search for anything important like papers, maps, or money. He smoked junk when hurting. All he wanted was a new pair of boots. J.T. chilled with the locals and ate dog.
Moho introduced this book to me and I read it immediately. We would drink beers and create an alter ego of J.T. Ward, which we would always say in a deep voice, babbling for hours about Vietnam. People thought we were insane, maybe we were..this book is no joke...It's a MUST read.

The Polynesian Family System in Ka'u, Hawai'i
By E.S. Craighill Handy and Mary Kawena Pukui

Ka'u is unique and amazing. This book was written from 1930 to 1950 by an Al'i women and her friend. It is taught at the universities of Hawai'i and is one of the keys to understanding the Hawaiian culture before white man. Filled with Hawaiian sayings, customs, spiritual beliefs, food, and general ways of life- this book is the roots! There are a lot of Hawaiian phrases that are translated to English. This is one of my favorites: "O ka moa i hanai ia ka la, ua 'oi i ka moa i hanai ia i ka malu." Translation:
A rooster raised in the sunlight is stronger than the one raised in the shade....
In this book you are brought into the reality of Hawai'in life. They discuss the importance of Kalo, the food staple, that is grown on the wet uplands. The Ohana(family) is of the highest importance. Working and keeping it tight with one another is what's all about. I can't speak more highly of it's cultural significance.

No comments: