Vick Mickunas

Host - Book Nook

Vick Mickunas created the Book Nook author interview program for WYSO in 1994. Over the years he has produced more than 1200 interviews with writers, musicians, poets, politicians, and celebrities. Vick Mickunas reviews books for the Dayton Daily News and the Springfield News Sun.

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Beth Macy returned to the program for the paperback release of her phenomenal investigative study of the collapse of the US furniture industry which once thrived in states like Virginia. Macy was working on a newspaper story about displaced workers when she heard about a man who had managed to keep his furniture factory running after he fought back against the flood of cheap imported furniture that had put so many American factories out of business.

The cartoonist Ted Rall has written a graphic biography of the fugitive Edward Snowden. Snowden infamously leaked the documentation that the National Security Agency is conducting a massive surveillance campaign that raises many privacy issues for average Americans. Snowden is still on the lam. Is he a villain? Or, a hero? You decide. Ted Rall grew up in Kettering.

Julia Keller's gritty crime series featuring the West Virginia prosecutor Bell Elkins continues in "Last Ragged Breath" as a man who wants to develop a luxury resort in Bell's hardscrabble county is found murdered. The leading suspect is a reclusive hermit who just wants to be left alone with his pack of rescued dogs. Bell is leading the prosecution but something about this case just doesn't smell right. Bell finally gets to the bottom of things. Some secrets are harder and blacker than the coal that once powered the economy of that region

The first atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Hiroshima in Japan in 1945. Shortly thereafter another bomb was detonated over the Japanese city of Nagasaki. Our war with Japan ended shortly thereafter.

Much has been written about what happened at Hiroshima. Much less has been said about Nagasaki. Susan Southard conducted extensive interviews with some residents of Nagasaki who survived that nuclear blast.

Wallace Stroby returned to the program to talk about his latest novel featuring Crissa Stone, the third in this series. These books are crime novels and Crissa is a criminal. She's always looking for the next big score and in "The Devil's Share" she might have gotten a lot more than she bargained for. Crissa gets involved with some shady characters who are smuggling stolen art from a war zone in the Middle East. It is always good to learn from your mistakes especially when your errors can prove to be fatal ones.

Mardi Jo Link returned to the program to talk about her latest memoir. Here's my review that ran in the Cox Ohio newspapers:

Mardi Jo Link had always wanted to make some deep, long lasting friendships. In October of 1993 she began her journey to creating those relationships when she was invited to spend the weekend on an island in northern Michigan with three of her co-workers. She describes this transformative event in her memoir “The Drummond Girls: A Story of Fierce Friendship Beyond Time and Chance.”

Merritt Tierce has published one novel, "Love Me Back," which was recently issued in paperback. On the strength of this one book she has become one of my favorite writers. 

This is the story of a waitress named Marie. Marie works hard and she's also very good at her job. Unfortunately her life is also a complete mess. I won't get into the details. Listen to the interview then treat yourself to an incredible read. This book was one of my favorite novels of 2014. You will be amazed.

Here's another example of a double dip interview. If I'm really excited about a book I do have a hypothetical opportunity to interview the author for the original hardcover release and then once again for the paperback. Of course I do have to convince various people, publicists, my producer Peter Hayes, and then the author to go along with my diabolical schemes. Fortunately, I got lucky again and was able to manage a second interview with the author of "Young God."

If you look up the word "prolific" in the dictionary it should be illustrated by a photo of Joe Lansdale. I'm kidding of course and merely trying to point out the fact that Lansdale writes a lot of really fabulous books and he ranges from horror to westerns to who knows what might be coming out next. Hollywood loves his stuff, too. He is a very busy writer.

In 2003 Luisa Lang Owen appeared on the program to discuss her memoir "Casualty of War: A Childhood Remembered." After World War Two ended and the Germans were defeated many members of the German ethnic minority in Yugoslavia were placed in concentration camps by Marshall Tito's victorious partisans. Luisa Lang Owen was one of those internees. She was only a child and the painful memories of the experience are at the heart of her memoir.