WYSO

Vick Mickunas

Host - Book Nook

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. 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.

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Alan Furst is often cited as the current master of the historical spy novel. I just read his latest, "A Hero of France," and I was shocked. His last several books have been fabulous. This new one is a real dud. Perhaps his bright star is dimming? I hope not.

In 1935 the city of Detroit, Michigan was in the grip of the Great Depression. Unemployment was high and many of the city's residents were barely getting by. There were some things that happened that year in Detroit that gave the residents something to cheer about. 1935 was a great year for sports in the Motor City.

1935 was the year that the Detroit Tigers won a baseball championship, the Detroit Lions were football champions, the Detroit Red Wings were the hockey champions and a boxer from Detroit named Joe Louis was on his way to becoming the heavyweight boxing champion.

An anthropologist from Indiana travels to Utah to do some research. Shortly after he arrives he is abducted by a cult that has forged their own secret society in a ghost town. This researcher, his name is Norman, then becomes a member of this group that resides in the ruins of a place they call Jacobyville.

 

Over the years that I have been interviewing authors on the radio I have had the pleasure to converse with some of the more interesting people on the planet. One of my favorite guests has been Gene Logsdon. Gene made half a dozen appearances on the program.

When I was in the third form at St. Andrew's School I made an amazing discovery; there was a sixth former named Phil Persinger who was the funniest guy I had ever encountered. I considered him to be a comic genius.

Ken Ilgunas decided that he wanted to take a walk. It was a long walk. Ilgunas hiked from Fort McMurray in Canada to the Gulf Coast of Texas. He was following the route of the proposed Keystone/XL pipeline. He tried to follow the actual course so most of his trip was made across grasslands and range lands. He was trying to stay off the roadways. Ilgunas was trespassing on private land for most of his journey. But he never got arrested. Nobody shot him. And he had some amazing adventures and met some wonderful people along the way. This is a fabulous adventure story.

Simon Sebag Montefiore has just published a history book that is a must read. He's also a fabulous person to interview. Here's my review that just ran in the Cox Ohio newspapers:

Over the years that I have been paying attention I have noticed that women tend to read mostly fiction. Men, if they read any books at all, frequently prefer non-fiction. At least that is what I have been observing.

Melissa Fay Greene has had a long and successful career as a writer of non-fiction books. She is frequently approached by people who are wondering if she can help them to find publishers or agents for their book projects. Greene is patient and polite. Even so the sheer volume of these requests can cause her to be somewhat hesitant to offer advice. One day she was contacted by a woman in Atlanta about a book idea. Greene, who lives in Atlanta, agreed to meet the woman for coffee.

Steve Hamilton has had a long and successful career as the author of a series of crime novels set in northern Michigan which feature Alex McKnight. Hamilton has just unveiled the first book in a new series that will be featuring a criminal named Nick Mason. In this debut Hamilton sketches out the outrageous circumstances that allowed Nick Mason to exit prison after serving only 5 years out of a 25 year sentence.

Some wonderful things come from Scotland; single malt whisky, haggis, and Tartan Noir. OK, let's forget the haggis. I do live for the Tartan Noir though. Perhaps you are unfamiliar with this dazzling literary genre? Scottish writers produce some of the finest crime novels; thus the term Tartan Noir. Should it be capitalized? I think so.

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