When I was a kid, I remember my mother reading Hawaii. That was a time when I was reading everything I could get my hands on and so I read Hawaii, and eventually Centennial, The Source, Texas and I forget–probably others. One of the aspects that I really enjoyed was the way Michener married the stories of everyone who lived there to the land. Not just people, but animals as well. I still remember the story of a little buffalo and he was as layered a character as many of the humans. I see Michener’s influence in my first book, The Demon Rift. Many stories are woven together over a span of time.
Link to used paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Hawaii-by-James-A-Michener/dp/B004HSS12K/ref=sr_1_46?ie=UTF8&qid=1334679176&sr=8-46