I live in Ohio now, but I'm originally from Oklahoma. I noticed some news from my old state this week.

 
(Here's a guest post by Chicago writer Lynda Barckert, a native of Birmingham in Florence Township in Erie County. Hope everyone's local college kids had an easier time getting home than she did -- Tom)
 

Here is my annual "best books of the year" blog post, in which I ask some of my favorite people, including authors and pundits, which books particularly impressed them in the past year.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced the 2014 inductees: Peter Gabriel, Kiss, Nirvana, Linda Ronstadt, Cat Stevens, Hall and Oates, the E Street Band, Andrew Loog Oldham and Brian Epstein.

Author Mary Murray Bosrock will be in town Thursday, Dec. 12, to promote her memoir about growing up Catholic in Sandusky, "Mortal Sin on My Soul."

She'll be at the Sawmill Creek Resort shops from noon to 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

Ed FitzGerald, the presumptive Democratic nominee for governor in next year's race against incumbent John Kasich, has dumped his running mate, state Sen.

The bowl matchups have been announced. Ohio State is off to Miami to play Clemson in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 3. Bowling Green State University takes on Pittsburgh at the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl on Dec. 26, while my alma mater, the University of Oklahoma, has a date with Alabama on Jan.

After Nelson Mandela died, my son found a quotation about Mandela by the late Christopher HItchens, and shared it on Facebook. Here it is:

I know that today is "Cyber Monday," the day when online sites are supposed to roll out bargains.

But the best price of all is free. For cheapskates who want to get something for nothing, here is some advice on how to get free audiobooks.

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