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Books

The Klan and the Kulture Wars: A review of Kenneth C. Barnes' new book on white nationalism in 1920s Arkansas

Popular culture has trained us to think of the Klan as first and foremost a racist group, rather than a religious one. But centering racism does not help to explain why the KKK was so popular in places like Paragould, Harrison, and Bentonville — places that were almost exclusively white. What Barnes does, instead, is to show how the Klan operated at the nexus of religion, race, business, leisure, law and politics.

Kevin Brockmeier's 'The Ghost Variations' brings ghosts out of the ether and into the everyday

Brockmeier, the Little Rock-raised author of eight books that probe the fantastical, offers one hundred vignettes on a wide range of ghostly perspectives.
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A review of the late John Churchill's "The Problem with Rules"

Churchill’s book arrives a year and change after his death, in a dispiriting moment. The foreword, written by his youngest son Hugh and his brother Larry, notes that liberal arts deliberation is sorely lacking through the pandemic as we struggle to balance public health services and the needs of the economy.

Recommended reading: Olly Neal's autobiography "Outspoken"

“You might not believe that an inexperienced health clinic director could become a civil rights bogeyman or hero depending on who you were talking to," Neal's summary reads. "I was. And it all happened in a flash.”

Recommended reading from a local author: Caroline Earleywine's "Lesbian Fashion Struggles"

In which Nancy Drew rolls up to a Pride parade in a blue convertible blasting Melissa Etheridge’s “Come to My Window.”

More meditation than memoir: A review of J. Chester Johnson's "Damaged Heritage"

If we truly wish to go beyond the project of personal reconciliation and create the structures we need for an equitable and just world, we are going to require a deeper understanding of the nature of evil than the one Johnson offers here.

Six Bridges Book Festival rescheduled for Oct. 8-11

Many of the authors who would have been here this weekend will attend in fall.

Recommended reading: Ling Ma's "Severance" is an uncanny novel for these times

Ma's debut novel is a prescient look at life during a pandemic, but it's also an uncanny meditation on work.

Mark Barr's "Watershed" is electric

Barr has written an outstanding novel about characters he deeply cares about. That devotion, in turn, has allowed him to craft a delightful story about this country’s very first experience with a transformative technology, and about the lives of people who made up the first cross-over generation — those before and after the introduction of electricity.

Kai Coggin's "Incandescent" burns brightly

In “Incandescent,” the voices behind the poems are passionate. They don’t over-rationalize humanity or pan its essence through long-winded metaphors. Sometimes they’re overcome with uncontrollable emotion. Sometimes they can’t say anything at all. Sometimes they find fire and life in the unexpected, in a slosh of memory, in the cycles of the natural world.
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'Stonewall 50': Five Questions with Seth Pennington of Sibling Rivalry Press

"That’s why it’s so important to open the floor to everyone, to make a space for queer art — everyone has a story but not everyone will share it if they are not seen first," Pennington said. "If we nurture this community we have, if we can be brave in that way, what I hope most: more queer people will stay."

George Takei’s “They Called Us Enemy” exhumes Rohwer, comic book-style

In “They Called Us Enemy,” the “Star Trek” actor’s new graphic novel memoir from Top Shelf, Takei tells the story of his family being removed from their homes in 1942 and sent by train to an internment camp — a euphemism, Takei notes archly, for imprisonment — in southeast Arkansas.

A forgotten classic

Tom Graves' comic novel 'Pullers' is set in the world of competitive arm wrestling.

Review: 'Don't Start Me Talkin'

By Tom Williams, Curbside Splendor Publishing, $15.96 (paperback).
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Pollan to WAC, Harris to Blytheville

Plus, Douglas Blackmon and Books in Bloom in Eureka Springs.

January book calendar

Trista Harris, Jay Ruud and more.

December book calendar

Food for fines and more.

October book events

Nate Powell's new one

And a new teen section for the Main Library.

Jo McDougall's latest

Better known as an accomplished poet, Jo McDougall has turned her considerable talent to writing a memoir about the vibrant rice farm where she grew up in Southeast Arkansas.
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