Guidebooks 

Driving & Discovering Oahu and Driving & Discovering Maui and Molokai by Richard Sullivan published by Island Heritage. Beautifully photographed and named Best Hawaii Guidebook by American Airlines and the Hawaii Visitors and Conventions Bureau. Great localized maps throughout, especially the Hawaii's Greatest Driving Adventures driving maps at the back which includes the Obama Family's favorite spots. Uniquely, every photograph is numbered and indicated on a map alongside, so you can visit the exact spot each was taken. The books' only drawback are also their greatest asset: the books are large format. Great for photos and maps, not so much for tucking in a pocket or purse.

The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook; Hawaii The Big Island Revealed; Maui Revealed; Oahu Revealed ALL by  Wizard Publications, Inc.  These books are controversial, as some people disapprove of the fact  that these books have sometimes recommended hiking trails on private land, and places sacred to native Hawaiians. The books have some good information and some which should be disregarded. If in doubt about whether access or hiking is legal and permitted, don't do it. Also, do not leave the book visible in your rental car: it's a red flag for angry locals who resent the author "revealing" their special places - now closed to them - directly due to their being "revealed" in these Revealed books.

Trailblazer Travel Books: Kauai Trailblazer, Maui Trailblazer, Oahu Trailblazer, Hawaii the Big Island Trailblazer, No Worries Hawaii
The activities in these guides appeal to a wide range of levels, from family strollers to full-on adventure hikers. They are arranged geographically by trailheads and include the length of each hike and the elevation along with historical background, scenic highlights, maps, photos and highway navigation. Directions to beaches, rainforests, waterfalls, coastal bluffs, whale-watching perches, volcanic craters and historical sites make it easy for visitors to design their own itinerary and maximize their vacation time. Photos from their current Hawaii adventures can be seen at www.trailblazerhawaii.com.

Perfect Hawaii Vacation Guidebook  This free on line digital flip book differentiates between the four counties in island state of Hawaii, Kauai, Oahu, Maui and Hawaii, aka, the Big Island.  Included are beautiful maps, videos and photos.  Each Island tab brings you to that island and describes the "must do" activities.   by Toni Marie Davis ( Executive Director for the past 13 years of the Activities & Attractions Association of Hawaii, Inc.) 

Frommers Hawaii 2006 , by Jeanette Foster

Lonely Planet Hawai' i:  The Big Island , by Luci Yamamoto

Schmap Big Island Guide , a free digital guidebook

Mask, Fins & Snorkel: The Adventure Guide to Maui 's Best Snorkeling.  Published in March 2014 by Honolua Press. This up-to-date snorkeling guide provides full descriptions and candid advice on Maui 's best snorkeling spots. It features over 30 detailed site maps to get you where you need to go including driving directions, parking, and snorkel routes. It also provides tips for underwater photography, snorkeling with kids, marathon adventures for advanced snorkelers, and kayak-snorkel excursions for West and South Maui . Full color, 208 pages.

LookIntoHawaii.com Free and online guide book filled with Hawaii information, reviews, listings, and more. Find every hidden beach on every island! 

Literature

Letters from Hawaii by Mark Twain.  Not Mark Twain's best book, but it is quite interesting to see how people got around the islands in the 1860s. Twain wrote these letters as a correspondent for a Sacramento newspaper. At times humorous and at times overwrought, it's a worthwhile read for those of you embracing part of your inner nerd.

Hotel Honolulu by Paul Theroux.  While Theroux does write some fantastic non-fiction travelogues, this book is a novel. Incredibly creative. It is definitely R-rated with some over-the-top sexual passages. The main character becomes the manager of a hotel on Waikiki, and the book covers all the eccentric characters he encounters. You meet the whole range of humanity in this novel. Very funny. The book also does a fine job of highlighting some noteworthy quirks about modern-day Hawaiian culture--in particular, that uniquely Hawaiian vocabulary. The best part is: after reading this book, you'll be much more in tune with the lingo in "The Descendants". Highly recommended!