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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Paul Doiron has published the first two books in a murder mystery series that features the Maine game warden Mike Bowditch. The first book, "The Poacher's Son" (Minotaur Books) recently came out in paperback. The second novel, "Trespasser" (Minotaur Books) was released in hardcover last week.

While it isn't crucial to read these books in chronological order it might be more fun. I read them out of order so I was excited about going back and reading "The Poacher's Son" so that I could gain some added insights into
the latest book.

In this archived edition of the Best of the Book Nook we reprise an interview that was recorded earlier this year. At the time that this recording was made Téa Obreht was preparing for her first book tour. Her debut novel, "The Tiger's Wife" was one of the most anticipated novels of 2011. The book wasn't out yet and this young writer was eager to embark on this grand adventure.

Tom Franklin has written a novel about long-held secrets, mysterious disappearances, race relations, and a complicated friendship.

The friends are Larry Ott and Silas Jones. Larry is white. Silas is black. They live in the fictional town of Chabot in southeastern Mississippi. Larry is a mechanic. Silas is the town cop. Their friendship began when they were kids. But it ended because something bad happened.

Geraldine Brooks has made a seemingly seamless transition from her previous career as a foreign correspondent to her present occupation of novelist.

Brooks visited the Book Nook in early September, 2001 to talk about her first historical novel "Year of Wonders." She returns to discuss her latest effort, "Caleb's Crossing." This book is based on the true story of a Wampanoag Indian who graduated from Harvard College during the 17th century.

Chris Hedges spent nearly two decades as a war correspondent for the New York Times. He was part of an investigative team that won a Pulitzer Prize for their reporting.

Hedges reported from war zones in Africa, the Middle East, Central America, and the Balkans. He knows the horrors of war. His first book, "War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning" is one of the most powerful anti-war manifestoes of the last decade. Hedges appeared in the Book Nook when that book was published and he returned for another visit when it was reissued in paperback.

George Vecsey has been writing about baseball for 50 years. When he was a kid Vecsey rooted for the Brooklyn Dodgers. The St. Louis Cardinals had a hitting star then, a fellow named Stan Musial. They called him "Stan the Man." Vecsey has fond memories of those Dodger/Cardinal games of the 1940's and '50's.

Vecsey's new biography of Musial reveals the story of Musial's humble origins in a steel mill town in Pennsylvania. We learn how Musial achieved fame yet never lost his sense of kinship with ordinary people.

Melissa Fay Greene is the author of a number of highly respected works. Her book "Praying for Sheetrock" was named one of the top 100 journalistic works of the twentieth century by the journalism department at New York University. Greene has chosen some weighty topics to cover; the bombing of a synagogue in "The Temple Bombing", and the African AIDS-HIV pandemic in "There Is No Me Without You".

Philip Kerr wrote his first Bernie Gunther novels back in the 1980's. He wrote several then he shelved the project and went on to other things.

Kerr's Bernie Gunther character is a Berlin cop in the 1930's. He was a homicide detective when Adolph Hitler's National Socialists came to power.Suddenly, there were a lot more homicides to investigate.

Jimmy Breslin has written a biography of Branch Rickey. Rickey was the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball club. He is the man who brought the first black ball player into the major leagues. That man was Jackie Robinson.

This is the story of how Rickey made that fateful decision to break what was then known as the color line in baseball. It was a decision that changed America forever.

Kate Atkinson writes some complex literary fiction. Her latest novel "Started Early, Took My Dog" derives it's title from a poem by Emily Dickinson. This is her 4th novel featuring private investigator (now retired) Jackson Brodie.

Each book is this series has been utterly different. In the previous one, "When Will There Be Good News?" Brodie spent much of the book in a coma after being involved in a train wreck. He barely existed in that one.

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