Book Nook

Saturday, 7-8am and Sunday, 10:30-11am

Vick Mickunas introduced the Book Nook author interview program for WYSO in 1994. Over the years he has produced more than 1500 interviews with writers, musicians, poets, politicians, and celebrities.

He has interviewed historians (Studs Terkel, David McCullough, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Gary Wills), politicians (Mario Cuomo, George McGovern, John Kasich, Donald Trump), pundits (Karl Rove, Ann Coulter, Ralph Nader, Christopher Hitchens), movie stars (Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Peter Ustinov), romance writers (Nora Roberts, Janet Dailey), astronauts (John Glenn, Buzz Aldrin, Gene Cernan), diplomats (Richard Holbrooke, Jose Ramos Horta), humorists (Bill Bryson, Garrison Keillor, Dave Barry, Sarah Vowell), food writers (Amanda Hesser, Michael Ruhlman, Judith Jones), poets (Galway Kinnell, Frances Mayes, Billy Collins), crime writers (P.D.James, James Lee Burke, Robert Crais, Denise Mina, Ian Rankin, Philip Kerr), and music legends from bands like The Animals, Joy Division, The Doors, and The Rolling Stones.

Vick has interviewed some of the leading writers of our time, people like Pat Conroy, Aleksandar Hemon, Anne Lamott, Donald Ray Pollock, Tom Robbins, Kate Atkinson, Gary Shteyngart, and Amy Tan.

Listen to the Book Nook with Vick Mickunas for intimate conversations about books with the writers who create them.

Vick Mickunas reviews books for the Dayton Daily News and the Springfield News Sun.

The Book Nook on WYSO is made possible by six local library systems in southwest Ohio:  the Greene County Public LibraryWashington-Centerville Public Library, MidPointe Library SystemClark County Public Library, Dayton Metro Library, and Wright Memorial Public Library.

Over the past dozen years or so there has been a pronounced surge in the publication of memoirs. There's a memoir for every taste. The Rolling Stone Keith Richards published his memoir a few years back and it has been followed by the memoirs of just about any living music star you can name. A certain Scandinavian writer has been publishing a series of best selling memoirs that can dwell upon what might appear to be rather insignificant events.

Trace Conger's latest Mr. Finn detective novel is his third in the series. In this one Mr. Finn a Cincinnati based private investigator has been hired by another questionable client. Finn is forced to accept some shady projects because he has lost his PI license and he really needs the income.

Sarah Byrn Rickman completes her trilogy of books on the WASPs (Women Airforce Service Pilots) with WASP of the Ferry Command: Women Pilots, Uncommon Deeds. Rickman, who first appeared on this program 15 years ago for her first book about WASPs has deep roots in the Dayton community. Rickman was a journalist for many years in Centerville/Washington Township and in this interview she explains how her journalistic endeavors ultimately put her in the position to become intrigued by the WASPs and then to become a dedicated chronicler of their history.

Wendy Gamber is a professor of history at Indiana University. She was spending a lot of time poring over Indiana newspaper archives from the mid to late 19th century and she kept seeing a particular name being cited in numerous articles. A woman named Mrs. Clem was the subject of extensive newspaper coverage in the Indianapolis region for a number of years. Gamber was struck by the frequency of those mentions and she decided to investigate further.

The early history of New England is filled with stories about the interactions that took place between the native peoples who were the original residents of the region and the European settlers who were in the process of dislodging the original inhabitants and taking their lands.

The new novel by Raul Ramos y Sanchez is quite different from his previous books. In his latest effort "The Skinny Years" Sanchez has mined his memories of being a young Cuban immigrant living in Miami during the 1960's. While this fiction has some elements of autobiography they primarily serve to make this story ring true. Sanchez was there and his protagonist, a youth with the nickname of "Skinny" is slowly becoming a man. We follow Skinny's adventures over a ten year period.

Recently I had another opportunity to interview James Lee Burke. The first time I interviewed Jim was in 1997 when he came out to our studios in Yellow Springs for a live interview for his novel "Cimarron Rose."

Over the course of our many conversations I have gotten to know him a little bit. He's a wonderful writer because he has such a great mind and a swirling imagination. He's also a scholar. Jim's breadth of knowledge of history, literature, and his craft never ceases to impress me.

Over the last several years we have been encountering some rather unreliable narrators in novels. "The Girl on the Train" by Paula Hawkins featured the most notable one so far. Fiona Barton gave us another one in "The Widow." And now Camilla Way is tantalizing readers with dueling unreliable narrators in her tense psychological thriller "Watching Edie."

Earlier this year I had the novelist Lisa Lutz on the program and I asked her for suggestions on any books and writers that I should be reading. She told me that I had to check out the work of Megan Abbott. So I did. That was a lovely suggestion.

Eighteen years ago when Donald Trump appeared as a guest on this program to publicize his book "Trump: the Art of the Comeback" it was already clear that he was a man with grand ambitions. His aspirations have now taken him to the point where he's one election away from occupying the White House.