Friday, June 19, 2009

READS: Tiki Your Way to a Summer Frame of Mind

With the weather being a little cold in some places, not everyone has been able to run their boat as much as they'd like - or even had a chance to sit around a pool or lake, sipping Coronas. But you could get in a better frame of mind with Sven Kirsten's Tiki Modern, a great follow-up to his 2003 book, The Book of Tiki. The latter was a real inspiration to me, providing the impetus to build a tiki bar and generally turn my backyard into a summertime Bali Hai playground. Well...at least as much as our Ohio climate would allow. My wife drew the line at fake palm trees, but we'll see.

The book provides about as comprehensive a look as you could ever want at this remarkable cultural phenomenon. It may seem strange to us now, but for hundreds of thousands of American servicemen who served in the South Pacific during WWII, the tiki style provided an idyllic reminder of the region's natural beauty--even as it was experienced in the midst of a brutal war. Tiki Modern, like it's predecessors, is more than just a dip into nostalgia, it's an in-depth study of pop culture, and it's a great escape from our current cool weather. Kick back with one of these books and a Zombie or Mai Tai, and your spirit will soon be drifting off into a world of palm trees, gentle surf and skimpy bikinis.

Inspired? You can also head over to the Eastside Tiki store and get yourself a shirt, or a cool clock. It's just the thing to get you and your friends back on track with your summer plans!

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