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Book Notes, Feb. 2

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The big release of the month came earlier this week, when Pantheon released "The Illumination" (hardcover, $24.95), the latest novel from Little Rock author Kevin Brockmeier. As he did in his 2006 novel "The Brief History of the Dead," Brockmeier forms the conceit of his new book around a world-changing development, the origins of which are never explained. In this case, the six men and women that form the interwoven narrative find that one day, in an otherwise normal world, all human pain manifests itself as visible light: a leukemia sufferer radiates pain from all points in his body, a woman with ulcers shoots lasers from her mouth when she bites her lip, a man struggling with the loss of his wife tries to absorb pain in a "dreamlike vesper."

February Books Calendar

5 Tanner Critz ("End to Ending"), 2 p.m., WW.

7 Andrew Lubin, journalist and author, gives lecture "Counterinsurgency Operations: A Policy for Failed States," 6 p.m., CS.

8 "Tales from the South" with Velda Brotherton, Holly Patton, Mare Carmody, 5 p.m., SAC.

9 P. Allen Smith ("Seasonal Recipes from the Garden"), 4 p.m., WW.

12 Lonnie Williams ("Remembrances in Black"), 1 p.m., TBIB.

15 Carla McClafferty ("The Many Faces of George Washington"), LL.

15 Cookie's Book Club discusses Abraham Verghese's "Cutting for Stone," 7 p.m., TBIB.

16 Arvind Singhal ("Inviting Everyone: Healing Healthcare through Positive Deviance"), 12 p.m., CS.

17 Paul Reyes ("Exiles in Eden"), 6 p.m., CS.

22 "Tales from the South," 5 p.m., SAC.

22 Bob Brown ("Defining Moments"), 6:30 p.m., TBIB.

28 Daryl Copeland ("Guerrilla Diplomacy"), 12 p.m., CS.

Area bookstores and libraries:

CS: Clinton School of Public Service, Sturgis Hall, 1200 President Clinton Ave., 683-5200.

FCL: Faulkner County Library, 1900 Tyler St., Conway, 501-327-7482

LL: Laman Library, 2801 Orange St., North Little Rock, 501-758-1720

ML: Main Library, 100 Rock St., 918-3000

SAC: Starving Artist Cafe, 411 Main St., North Little Rock, 372-7976

TBIB: That Bookstore in Blytheville, 316 W. Main St., Blytheville, 870-763-3333

WW: WordsWorth Books & Co., 5920 R St., 663-9198

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