A large crowd formed outside Square Books in anticipation of Caroline Kennedy's book signing October 11th.   At 4 p.m. Ms. Kennedy took her seat behind a table in the back of the store and graciously greeted everyone in attendance, many of whom related stories about the influence her family had had on their lives. She asked questions of many Ole Miss students, and was photographed continuously, shook a lot of hands, signed all the copies of Listening In, and surprised the crowd down the street at Off Square Books with an impromptu appearance on Thacker Mountain Radio. Backstage she met Charlie Mars, who gave her his new CD, Blackberry Light, along with a brief (and we suspect partial) tattoo presentation.

Having been urged to come to Oxford by her daughter, Rose, who visited Oxford this summer, Caroline Kennedy took the time to acquaint herself with our town, and was noticed by lots of folks as she walked around the Square, ate in local restaurants, drove around town and campus, and toured Rowan Oak. She took a special interest in seeing the home of L. Q. C. Lamar, as Lamar is one of the subjects of her father's classic book, Profiles In Courage. Her visit here is unquestionably one of Square Books' prouder and more memorable moments.  RH

**We have a few signed copies of LISTENING IN left at Square Books so call and order today.

The World in a Week

Woooo boy.  I'm looking at next week's event schedule and see that it is not only a full week, but a wildly varied one as well.  Perhaps it could be seen as a fairly accurate sampling of what we always striving for in connecting up authors with their readers. On Tuesday, Kristen Iversen, will be discussing her book FULL BODY BURDEN: GROWING UP IN THE NUCLEAR SHADOW OF ROCKY FLATS. In this serious piece of investigative journalism, Ms. Iversen writes about Rocky Flats which, at least at one time, had a higher level of plutonium in the soil than Nagasaki. Parallel to her reporting she shares her memories from her childhood and later life there, making this at once a factual account and a close-up view of the human cost.
Wednesday we welcome Chuck Thompson back to Oxford, perhaps for the last time without a passport visa.  Mr. Thompson visited us last with a collection of his travel writing SMILE WHEN YOU'RE LYING. Unbeknownst to us, he must have been doing research for his newest book BETTER OFF WITHOUT 'EM:  A NORTHERN MANIFESTO FOR SOUTHERN SECESSION, which, depending on your point of view, is caustic humor in the "Modest Proposal" tradition or an inflammatory and vituperative return to yellow journalism. Join the conversation to decide for yourself.
J.R. Moehringer came to Square Books in 2005 when he published his touching memoir THE TENDER BAR, of growing up in a single mother household and how the regulars at his uncle's bar became his father figures. SUTTON is his first novel and by all accounts this story of Willie Sutton, who robbed over 100 banks in his day is every bit as poignant and well written.  Mr. Moehringer will be the guest author on Thacker Mountain Radio on Thursday.
That show will begin at 6pm by which time the signing for LISTENING IN: THE SECRET WHITEHOUSE RECORDINGS OF JOHN F. KENNEDY with Caroline Kennedy should be winding down. Ms. Kennedy will be signing at the original Square Books building beginning at 4pm.  It is a ticketed signing with a limited number so if you haven't purchased your copy and received your ticket you should do so soon.
Friday we will bring it back home with SWEETNESS FOLLOWS: THE STORY OF SAM AND THE TREAT OF THE WEEK, in which Mississippian Katy Houston shares the desserts she made for and recounts the story of the recovery of Sam Lane after a near fatal bicycle accident.  A sweet way to end a roller coaster week filled with radioactivity, bank robbers, yankee secessionists, and a daughter of Camelot.

John Shelton Reed signs DIXIE BOHEMIA


TALK AT 5:30

In the years following World War I, the New Orleans French Quarter attracted artists and writers with low rent, a faded charm, and colorful street life. By the 1920s Jackson Square became the center of a vibrant but short-lived bohemia. A young William Faulkner and his roommate William Spratling, an artist who taught at Tulane, were among the "artful and crafty ones of the French Quarter," In Dixie Bohemia John Shelton Reed introduces Faulkner's circle of friends ranging from the distinguished Sherwood Anderson to a gender-bending Mardi Gras costume designer and brings to life the people and places of New Orleans in the jazz age. Reed begins with Faulkner and Spratling's self-published homage to their fellow bohemians, Sherwood Anderson and Other Famous Creoles. . A charming and insightful glimpse into an era, Dixie Bohemia describes the writers, artists, poseurs, and hangers-on of the New Orleans art scene in the 1920s and illuminates how this dazzling world faded as quickly as it began.




In September 1962, James Meredith became the first African American admitted to the University of Mississippi. A milestone in the civil rights movement, his admission triggered a riot spurred by a mob of three thousand whites from across the South and all but officially stoked by the state's segregationist authorities.

James Meredith and the Ole Miss Riot
is the memoir of one of the participants, a young army second lieutenant named Henry Gallagher, born and raised in Minnesota. His military police battalion from New Jersey deployed, without the benefit of riot-control practice or advance briefing, into a deadly civil rights confrontation. He was thereafter assigned as the officer-in-charge of Meredith's security detail at a time when he faced very real threats to his life.

Gallagher's first-person account considers the performance of his fellow soldiers before and after the riot. He writes of the behavior of the white students, some of them defiant, others perceiving a Communist-inspired Kennedy conspiracy in Meredith's entry into Mississippi's "flagship" university. The author depicts the student, Meredith, a man who at times seemed disconnected with the violent reality that swirled around him, and who even aspired to be freed of his protectors so that he could just be another Ole Miss student.




Mike Stewart sits with his world famous pups. Deke, the cover dog, sits on the right.


Mike Stewart and his pack stopped by last week to sign copies of his new book SPORTING DOG AND RETRIEVER TRAINING THE WILDROSE WAY: RAISING A GENTLEMAN'S GUNDOG FOR HOME AND FIELD (Rizzoli, hd. 45.00). Stewart has been training dogs since he was a child, and this book outlines his unique, low-force, positive training method that has made Wildrose Kennels of Oxford, Mississippi one of the top dog training facilities in the United States, if not the world. With tons of illustrations, diagrams and beautiful photographs, SPORTING DOG AND RETRIEVER TRAINING is part training guide mixed with part coffee table book. This is going to be a great buy for the holiday season for anyone interested in hunting, dogs or just teaching some new tricks to an old friend.  AB




A Second Helping from James Meredith at Square Books


James and Judy Meredith with Richard Howorth

Following the success of his recent appearance on August 30, 2012, when James Meredith spoke to the press and an overflow crowd at Off Square Books, then signed copies of his new book, A Mission from God: A Memoir and Challenge for America (Simon & Schuster, 25.00) and had his picture taken countless times, for a total of nearly four hours, the famous Mississippian returned to Oxford on Saturday, September 15, and signed many more books (now available at Square Books).

Mr. Meredith again spoke to us passionately of his ambitions for Mississippi, explicated in his book -- the necessity and hope for a better education for Mississippi's children, the independence from government, the role of church and family in our culture, and his belief that "Mississippi shall one day be -- not on the bottom, but on top." But he had additional reasons to return to Oxford -- the Ole Miss - Texas football game. So he donned his red shirt and Rebel baseball cap and joined a distinguished group of alums in the Chancellor's box, where ESPN cameras found him,  naturally, rooting for the home team. "Right now, I just want to be ahead at half-time," he said at one point.

Once half-time began, just before the 1962 undefeated Ole Miss team was honored on the field, Chancellor Dan Jones quickly gathered a crowd inside and spoke: "Everyone here is special. But tonight we honor someone who changed our University, our state, and our nation, and made them, and all of us, better...." James Meredith didn't quite get his wish for the football game, nor has he got his wish for Mississippi's achievement. But he remains determinedly hopeful for the prospects of both the team and Mississippi. As he should, warrior that he is.  RH