Book Lovers Unite

More than 100 alumni and friends around the world joined in for the inaugural meeting of the Punahou Book Club, engaging in a thoughtful discussion of the group’s first book selection, “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption,” by Bryan Stevenson. The virtual event was moderated by President Mike Latham ’86, and panelists included faculty members, Christina Torres and Pam Sakamoto and Troy Andrade, an assistant professor at the University of Hawai‘i William S. Richardson School of Law.

The group discussed everything from race relations in Hawai‘i, and the myth of “racial paradise” in the Islands, to interpretations of Stevenson’s bestselling memoir, which reveals his efforts to defend the poor, incarcerated and wrongly condemned in Alabama. Audience members were able to submit questions for the panelists via the Webex chat. The book club’s next selection is Min Jin Lee’s “Pachinko,” a finalist for the National Book Award.

Nearly 1,000 book lovers have joined the new club, which was organized during the pandemic to encourage reading, while also allowing alumni and others in the Punahou community to connect. “When we started the book club, we had no idea we would attract so many participants from all over the world, virtually bringing people together to discuss relevant and substantive topics of our time,”
said Doug Rigg ’84, Punahou’s director of Alumni Relations.

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