Two Arkansas celebrities perhaps not thought of primarily as chefs released cookbooks late last year. "Seasonal Recipes from the Garden" (Clarkson Potter, hardcover, $32.50) is Arkansas garden guru P. Allen Smith's first foray into recipes, and it looks good: with tasty looking directions for the likes of Savory Grit Cakes, Aunt Martha's Corn Pudding, Parmesan Pecan Crisps and a Peach Moon Tart, and plenty of pictures of Allen's bountiful grounds near Roland. In her second cookbook, "Great Food, All Day Long: Cook Splendidly, Eat Smart" (Random House, hardcover, $30), Maya Angelou offers recipes, replete with autobiographical detail about how she developed them, designed to be eaten in small portions throughout the day. Dishes like Mixed-Up Tamale Pie, All Day and Night Cornbread and plenty that start as one thing — Crown Roast of Pork, for instance — and become another — like pork tacos and pork fried rice.
Butler Center Books recently released "Open House" (hardcover, $50), a lush coffee table history of the Arkansas Governor's Mansion, with dozens of full color photographs, including quite a few candid family shots. Some highlights: Gov. Bumpers' son Bill in Halloween dress, Bob Hope hanging with Chelsea Clinton and Captain Kangaroo posing with the mansion kitchen staff. Sadly, no shots from Anna Tucker's punk rock party on the mansion lawn in 1993.
Butler Center Books also recently published "Arkansas: An Illustrated Atlas" ($19.95), a hardbound geographic reference book for the classroom.
Students of the Central High Crisis will be interested in "Operation ARKANSAS" (Center for Arkansas Studies, UALR, paperback), a monograph by historian Robert W. Coakley, who, as a civilian historian in the Office of the Chief of Military History, covered the 101st Airborne's deployment in Little Rock in 1957. Written immediately after the crisis, updated in 1967 and initially published thanks to the Ledbetter Monograph Series at UALR, the book provides a view of the crisis from a military perspective.
13 Michael Burlingame ("Abraham Lincoln: A Life," "The Inner World of Abraham Lincoln"), 6:30 p.m., ML.
18 Cookie's Book Club discusses "A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail" by Bill Bryson, 7 p.m., TBIB.
24 Josh Gottheimer ("Power in Words: Barack Obama's Speeches from the State House to the White House"), 6 p.m., CS.
27 Allison Fine ("The Networked Nonprofit"), 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
ML: Main Library, 100 Rock St., 918-3000
TBIB: That Bookstore in Blytheville, 316 W. Main St., Blytheville, 870-763-3333
WW: WordsWorth Books & Co., 5920 R St., 663-9198