WYSO

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.

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.

Ben H. Winters has written one of the most thought provoking and timely novels that has been published during this long, hot summer. One of the most polarizing presidential campaigns in many years is underway. Our first black president is preparing to leave office. One could have hoped that Barack Obama's terms in office might have allowed America to begin to address and to heal some of our racial issues. It hasn't happened.

When Michelle Pretorius was growing up in South Africa she led a very insulated existence. That was just the way it was back in those days and she didn't realize until later that she had missed out on a lot. She also began to understand that her knowledge about the history of her country was not that good. As she researched South Africa's past she decided that some of that history could become the launching point for a wildly imaginative novel.
 

Vick Mickunas and Chris Tebbetts
Peter Hayes / WYSO

Chris Tebbetts grew up in Yellow Springs. When he was in high school he worked as a page for the Yellow Springs Library. Chris is a novelist who has written a number of books for middle grade readers. Chris has found a niche as an author who collaborates with other writers. His best known partnership is as the co-author on a series for middle school readers with the novelist James Patterson. In this interview Chris talks about what it was like to grow up in Yellow Springs and how he became a writer. Chris was back in the area to teach at the Antioch Writer's Workshop.

Original air date September 10, 2001.
 

Over the years that I have been hosting this program I have had numerous opportunities to interview legendary novelists. I have learned that when such an opportunity presents itself I must do whatever I can to make it happen because I might never get another chance to speak to a particular writer.

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