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Watermark Publishing Blog

  • Words of Wisdom for New Grads

    In Lessons Learned on Bishop Street, his follow-up to the best-selling Lessons Learned on the Corner in Kalihi, Wes Park offers a treasury of simple lessons—kernels of wisdom as applicable to the boardroom as to everyday life.

    A product of a rough-and-tumble Kalihi neighborhood, Park battled polio as a child, and went on to helm some of the most prestigious companies in Hawai‘i. His upbringing—and the success he’s had—makes him a firm believer in the “local values” that served as his guideposts in life. The Introduction to Lessons Learned on Bishop Street excerpts from a speech he presented to the Public Schools Foundation in 2005:

    Some Lessons Learned in Public School Classrooms

    We learned to READ.

    We learned not to believe everything we read.

    We learned to compare what were were reading to other things we read, saw or heard.

    We learned to let fiction take us to faraway places and faraway times and to multiply our own experience by facing make-believe situations.

    We learned to read with our minds as well as with our eyes.

    When writing, we were taught to “express,” not to “impress.”

    He goes on to say,

    In Hawai‘i, the work culture is constantly evolving to embrace new people and new ideas. The values and codes of behavior that we learned in school have a lasting effect on that culture, as these lessons are constantly applied in our professional lives. Our challenge is to bring in new ideas the improve our work environment, without overpowering our time-honored basic local values.

    Wes’ words of wisdom are gems of common sense...delivered with an impish humor. His dedication sums up his style:

    As a youngster I admired the tough “Bulls of Bethel Street.” As a working man I admire the brilliant “Bulls of Bishop Street”: John Bellinger, Herbert Cornuelle, Robert Pfeiffer, Masyuki Tokioka, Sam Cooke, Walter Dods, Duane Kurisu and Duncan MacNaughton. Sometimes I wish I was smart like them instead of better looking.

    Here we offer 10 tidbits of advice from Lessons Learned on Bishop Street for the newest crop of graduates to keep in mind as they find their way in the world:

    (Click on an individual quote image to enlarge.)

  • Watermark Publishing Sweeps Hawai‘i Book Publishers Association Cookbook Awards Category

    The annual Hawai‘i Book Publishers Association’s Ka Palapala Po‘okela Awards were announced Friday, May 11, 2012. Watermark Publishing’s nominees in the Cookbook category, A Sweet Dash of Aloha: Guilt-Free Hawai‘i Desserts & Snacks by Kapi‘olani Community College and The Hawai‘i Book of Rice: Tales, Trivia & 101 Great Recipes by Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi, swept the category, taking the top Award of Excellence and the Honorable Mention award, respectively.

    The judges praised A Sweet Dash of Alohafor its departure from the norm in Island cookbooks, saying,

    So many locally published cookbooks are mishmash collections of ‘local food’ recipes. A Sweet Dash of Aloha is a refreshing well-focused, well-written cookbook that offers a new angle on local flavors and ingredients, combining simplicity and clarity with a sophisticated understanding of food, nutrition and health.

    The Hawai‘i Book of Rice received compliments for its comprehensive coverage of the Aloha State’s favorite grain:

    Tsutsumi has compiled a collection of dishes that reflect local tastes while exploring new and creative uses of rice. With its recipes for salads, appetizers, entrées and desserts, The Hawaii Book of Rice is certainly versatile. The book’s chapter on the history of rice in Hawai‘i is a well-researched, delightful introduction to the recipes and offers a solid backdrop for the social and economic importance of this local staple.

    This marks the fourth consecutive year that a Watermark Publishing title has received the Award of Excellence in Cookbooks. Last year’s Award of Excellence went to The Blue Tomato: The Inspirations Behind the Cuisine of Alan Wong by Chef Alan Wong and Arnold Hiura. Previous years’ recipients were Kau Kau: Cuisine & Culture in the Hawaiian Islands by Arnold Hiura (2010) and The Island Bistro Cookbook by Chef Chai Chaowasaree (2009).

    Don’t Look Back: Hawaiian Myths Made New edited by Christine Thomas; Kapoho: Memoir of a Modern Pompeii by Frances Kakugawa; and The Cocktail Handbook: Cool Drinks from Hawai‘i’s Hottest Bartenders by Jesse Greenleaf and Amie Fujiwara were also nominated in other Ka Palapala Po‘okela categories, but did not take home awards.

    Our nominees & winners. Back row, left to right: Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi (The Hawaii Book of Rice); Christine Thomas (Don't Look Back); Amie Fujiwara and Jesse Greenleaf (The Cocktail Handbook); Watermark Publishing publisher George Engebretson. Front row: Wanda Adams and Adriana Torres Chong (A Sweet Dash of Aloha)

    Each year, the Hawai‘i Book Publishers Association presents the Ka Palapala Po‘okela Awards to recognize and honor the best of Hawai‘i book publishing from the previous year. “Ka Palapala Po‘okela” literally translated from Hawaiian means “excellent manuscript. ”

  • Cocktail Handbook Enhanced E-Book Edition Now Available - Includes Videos & New Recipes!

    A sampling of the "delightful dozen" new e-book exclusive cocktails. Clockwise from top left: The Ambassador; The Bluegrass; Pineapple Smash; Zen Fresh; Twisted; Dangerous Liasons. Photos: Dawn Sakamoto

    Watermark Publishing is pleased to announce the release of the company’s first enhanced e-book, available now on the Apple iTunes platform, and soon to be released for the Barnes & Noble NOOK reader!

    The digital edition of The Cocktail Handbook: Cool Drinks from Hawai‘i’s Hottest Bartenders by nationally recognized Waikīkī bartenders Jesse Greenleaf and Amie Fujiwara includes six embedded how-to videos and a dozen new e-book exclusive recipes, along with the 80-plus drinks from Greenleaf and Fujiwara and 20 other Island “star-tenders,” inside tips on bar etiquette and tools and techniques of the trade found in the original print edition.

    Enjoy another round—on the house! Since the print publication of The Cocktail Handbook, we’ve honed our craft even further, entered more competitions and persuaded our bosses at work to add new concoctions to the menu.

    Here are twelve new, hot-off-the-bartop bonus recipes. Some of these cocktails are great paired with food; others are perfect for backyard BBQs and parties, and we’ve got a few that are just the thing for winding down after a long day.

    After all, it’s “Last Call!” To quote the bartenders’ anthem, “You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.” After an adventurous evening serving up boozy beverages, the real work of a drink slinger begins—paperwork, counting tips, and cleaning the bar. And don’t forget the recipe brainstorming—this is where many of our best drinks are born; bouncing flavor combinations off co-workers is often the most honest sounding-board a bartender has. This delightful dozen passed muster to earn their place in this chapter of Last Call Libations.

    Pull up a barstool and share a final toast with us!

    The Cocktail Handbook - Jesse Greenleaf & Amie FujiwaraThe Cocktail Handbook: Cool Drinks from Hawai‘i’s Hottest Bartenders enhanced e-book is priced at $12.99 and is available for the iPad®, iPhone® or iPod touch® via the iBookstore now. Tell your friends to find it: at

    A release on the Barnes & Noble NOOK platform is forthcoming. Links to purchase the title may be found at

    See below for a sneak peek at one of the e-book exclusive recipes: Zen Fresh, a gin drink designed for the hesitant gin drinker.

    Zen Fresh

    by Amie Fujiwara

    The sweetness of ginger and a cool touch of cucumber come together to smooth out any lingering “gin jitters.” This Asian-influenced lemonade is so easy on the palette it may just be the gateway cocktail to heartier gin drinking! Dirty Martini, anyone?

    2 oz. Bombay Sapphire gin
    3 oz. lemonade
    Splash ginger ale or ginger beer
    3 - 4 slices pickled ginger
    3 slices cucumber (reserve 1 for garnish)
    Lime wedge, for garnish

    In a mixing tin, muddle ginger and 2 slices of cucumber. Add gin, lemonade and ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a tall glass filled with ice. Top with a splash of ginger ale or ginger beer. Garnish with reserved cucumber slice and lime wedge.

  • Hawai‘i Book & Music Festival 2012

    Join us at the Hawai‘i Book & Music Festival next weekend, May 5-6, at Honolulu Hale!

    The wonderful folks at HAWAI‘I Magazine included this delightful illustration by Tony Ablen in their newest issue (now available in digital format) to help spread the word about the Festival. (Click the image to enlarge.)

    Come down, shop the fantastic bargains, buy direct from local publishers, meet local authors and hear great music. Plenty of fun for the keiki, with entertainment and activities all day long. Want to see what’s happening when? Download the schedule.

    Watermark will be offering great deals on new books, anywhere from 20% - 80% off, and a wide selection of “publisher’s hurts” (used books) as low as $2 for a softcover book!

    Take $10 off your $25 purchase (new books only) with this coupon:

    See you there!

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