Welcome to our Ten Book Challenge where our favorite authors share their “Book-It List”—a book bucket list with 10 of their most beloved and memorable reads—from the books with their favorite covers and best opening lines, to the reads they gift and the bookstores they frequent. This is a peek into your favorite authors’ perfect bowl of literary comfort food. We hope you discover something delicious!

Radar Girls is an extraordinary story inspired by the real Women’s Air Raid Defense, where an unlikely recruit and her sisters-in-arms forge their place in WWII history. It offers a unique slant on Hawaii in the immediate aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor; a powerful story about a little-known piece of women’s history with compassion and an unforgettable cast of characters.

Daisy Wilder prefers the company of horses to people, bare feet and salt water to high heels and society parties. Then, in the dizzying aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Daisy enlists in a top secret program, replacing male soldiers in a war zone for the first time. Under fear of imminent invasion, the WARDs guide pilots into blacked-out airstrips and track unidentified planes across Pacific skies. But not everyone thinks the women are up to the job, and the new recruits must rise above their differences and work side by side despite the resistance and heartache they meet along the way. With America’s future on the line, Daisy is determined to prove herself worthy. And with the man she’s falling for out on the front lines, she cannot fail. From radar towers on remote mountaintops to flooded bomb shelters, she’ll need her new team when the stakes are highest. Because the most important battles are fought — and won — together.

This inspiring and uplifting tale of pioneering, unsung heroines vividly transports the reader to wartime Hawaii, where one woman’s call to duty leads her to find courage, strength and sisterhood.

Don’t miss the most anticipated WWII historical fiction of summer 2021>>

The Book . . .

I last bought/am currently reading: The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave.Can’t put it down!

I recommend to everyone: The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy.

That was my favorite to read last year, and why: Rescue You by Elysia Whisler. My editor asked me to read this for an author blurb, and I was excited because it sounded right up my alley. I love dogs and it was just such a sweet and wonderful story. This book is her debut and it came out not only during the pandemic, but right around the election, so I don’t feel like it got the attention it deserved. It was just the kind of feel good book that I needed at the time. I love it when that happens!

Whose author I would love to have lunch with: The Wim Hof Method. I find Wim Hof and his breathing method fascinating, and I’d love to pick his brain.

That made me realize language had power: Malcom X

I’d like to see adapted to the screen: The Rose Code by Kate Quinn. Of course, I would also love to see mine adapted, especially The Lieutenant’s Nurse. It feels so cinematic to me.

That made me laugh out loud—or cry—while reading it: The Bookish Life of Nina Hill made me laugh out loud. I cry while reading pretty much any book, happy or sad.

That has the most gorgeous cover: The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner. It’s stunning!

With the best opening line: I love this opening line from Between Earth and Sky by Amanda Skenadore: Her past arrived that morning on page ten, tucked between a crosshatched cartoon of striking trolley workers and an advertisement for derby hats.

Bookstore that I frequent/is my favorite: Kona Stories, Kona Bay Books, Basically Books, and Da Shop: books + curiosities. They each have their own personality.

Bonus: Are your books good for book clubs?: Yes, I love book clubs and I had so much fun putting together A Night In Hawaii – individualized book club guides for Radar Girls, Red Sky Over Hawaii, and The Lieutenant’s Nurse that offer music, food and drink recipes, discussion questions and more. One for Island of Sweet Pies and Soldiers is coming soon! Readers can find them on my website.

Want more? Don’t miss our exclusive interview with Sara Ackerman on the surprises she unearthed during her research of Radar Girls, and what to expect from her next.