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.

Ways to Connect

Over the years that I have been hosting this program I have witnessed a lot of changes on the book publishing landscape. Technology has had an impact. Electronic books are now popular. Almost anybody can publish a book now if they want to do so.

Book publishing has been going through consolidations. Back in the 1990's there were many more authors who went out on book tours. We used to get several passing through the WYSO studios each week for live interviews. Those days are gone.

Kent Haruf was one of the great American novelists that you might have never heard about. Haruf took a long time writing his books and he didn't even get published until late in life. His first book "The Tie that Binds" came out in 1984. That was followed in 1990 by "Where You Once Belonged." That second book only took him six years to write but he felt like he had to rush because he needed the money. He was so unhappy with it that before it even came out he wrote his editor a letter delineating all the flaws he felt were in it.

Quite some time ago I recognized that I will never be able to read all the books I want to read. That doesn't mean I have stopped trying. One thing that really excites me is the prospect of discovering new books and new writers. The other day I had the opportunity to talk to Flynn Berry about her novel "Under the Harrow." The book just came out. It is her debut novel.

Michael Goldfarb has had a distinguished career as a journalist. Recently he returned to Ohio to work on a documentary for the BBC. Michael was interviewing Ohioans who are independent voters so that he could hear their opinions in regard to our upcoming presidential contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

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.