Sat02252017

Last updateWed, 22 Feb 2017 5pm

Podcasts: Not your father's radio show

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nerds1Sitting in your home listening to a broadcast of news or stories or what have...

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The Literarea 2014 Year End Book Review

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From classic lit to philosophy to books of local note, my list of books read in 2014 is kind of diverse. There are the Two Richards of the 70s: Pryor and Nixon. The late, great David Foster Wallace and Christopher Hitchens make appearances. Old favorites like Kerouac and Burroughs were re-read. And even the round-headed fool, Karl Pilkington, show up. All and all, a "well rounded" year of reading. So enjoy the list along with a...

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Knight: Amazing priest was everyday guy – and guiding light

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After an invigorating, uplifting Peoria Cursillo renewal weekend in 1999, my heart was drawn to Catholicism but my head resisted with resentment. Among various voices, influences and sounding boards during and after that ecumenical experience in Christianity, I heard priests and Protestant pastors alike acknowledge my misgivings, but none were as meaningful as a sort of guide in absentia, Father Andrew Greeley, who died Thursday at his Chicago...

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Literarea Review: “Peoria Stories: Tales from the Illinois Heartland” by Ken Zurski

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Sadly, many Peorians have an inferiority complex about the city they call home. It gets compared (usually negatively) to Chicago or St. Louis or some other arbitrary locale the complaining party finds more enjoyable. And while a smaller city like ours can never boast the same attractions and entertainment as our larger neighbors to the north and southwest (get over it, people), there is at least one area where Peoria stands up pretty well –...

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Towery on Fiction

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Editor's note: This is the first in an occasional series of articles on fiction writing by Peorian Terry Towery, a budding novelist and veteran of more writing conferences and seminars than anyone should ever have to attend. Towery’s debut novel, the psychological thriller “The Final Victim” is currently being shopped to literary agents in New York City. Wish him luck. He’s going to need it.

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Quick Lit Bits: "The Haunted Life and Other Writings" by Jack Kerouac

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When it comes to new releases from the Kerouac estate, I'm sorry to say I believe we've reached the Bukowski Point.* Right now, as I glance at my bookshelves, I count over 50 books either by or about Kerouac and I have a hard time believing anything new or interesting has yet to come to light. While Kerouac was a prolific writer, how much more can be mined from this vein? Well, as it turns out there still some more good stuff out there.

"The...

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Peoria's forgotten "Great Agnostic" getting some attention

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He was revered by a diverse group of people, from Abraham Lincoln (who encouraged him to run for president) to Christopher Hitchens (who quoted him extensively), but yet he is utterly unknown to many people -- even those in his hometown.

Yes, Robert G. Ingersoll was a well-known orator the country over during his heyday in the 1800s and he called Peoria home. What made Ingersoll so famous was his staunch agnosticism (or atheism) and his...

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The Grand National, All-American Literarea Annual Book Review, Part II: The Legend of Curly’s Gold

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Well, 2013 was <insert something clever, reflective> and hopefully 2014 will be <insert something positive, uplifting>!

Since I’m not one for the “My year in review!” columns – too self indulgent for even someone as self-indulgent as I – I’ll just stick to listing all the books I read in 2013 along with a one sentence review/description...

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Say it isn't so, Norm

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Stacy Peterson referred to Norm Kelly as "one of Peoria's treasures" the other night. I couldn't agree more.

Peterson, reference assistant for public programming and events for the Peoria Public Library, was introducing Norm before he spoke to nearly 170 people crammed into a meeting room at the library's new North Branch. It was the third of a scheduled four talks Norm is giving about Peoria's bawdy history.

I'm not going to review...

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A Literarea Review: Continental Divide: Wildlife, People, and the Border Wall

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Continental Divide: Wildlife, People, and the Border Wall
Krista Schlyer
Texas A&M University Press

“Even with a wall blocking their way, many humans will succeed. Wildlife will not.”

When...

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