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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President Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave a speech in which he enumerated the four freedoms that every American should be able to recognize and realize. Do you know what those four freedoms were? Of course it has been many years since FDR delivered that speech, you cannot be expected to know what they were, right? Can you name even one of those four freedoms that FDR cited? You cannot!? (sigh)

Jerry Bechard is the pie guy. That's my nickname for him, at least. Bechard is the owner of the Norske Nook restaurants in Wisconsin. The Norske Nook is famous for their pies. This cookbook is filled with recipes for these magnificent desserts. In this interview I asked Jerry how many pies they bake in an average day? You will be amazed by his response. Bear in mind that every pie is made by hand. And after all these years and all those pies Jerry still has a sweet tooth. Don't read this book on an empty stomach.

Olen Steinhauer is my favorite writer of espionage novels. There, I said it. His "Tourist" series featuring Milo, his reluctant spy has catapulted the author to the front of the queue. He has no peers in my view. Sorry, Daniel Silva.

The crime fiction department used to be a mystery to me. I didn't read many crime novels until I started interviewing authors on this program back in 1994. Ever since then I have been making up for lost time. I read two or three crime novels a week. And I do interview some of the authors. But most of those books are just for me. My guilty pleasures.

courtesy of Antioch College

Mark Roosevelt is an avid reader. He reads widely and deeply. Books are an important part of his life. In this essay collection Roosevelt reflects upon his reading life and offers readers some insights into some of the things which have stoked his passion for great literature.

Mark Roosevelt is the president of Antioch College in Yellow Springs, which holds WYSO's license.

About ten years ago Lynne Truss published a book called "Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation." The book was a smash hit, a best-seller, and ever since then I have wanted to interview her. I thought it would probably never happen. But I never gave up and suddenly I heard that she had a new book out and that she was actually on tour in the US. This was a rare opportunity because her books always come out in the United Kingdom but they don't always find US publishers. And she hardly ever tours the US. I could not pass this chance up.

Steve Berry's novels tend to be complex puzzles. His latest thriller in his Cotton Malone series is based upon Berry's research into the 16th Amendment. Are you familiar with that piece of legislation? Our national income tax system is the direct result of it. For it to have become a law it had to be ratified by a certain of states. So of course that happened, right? This book might plant some doubts in your mind about those long ago ratifications, were they enacted properly? That is merely one thread in this complicated story. The action is fast-paced, violent, and confusing.

Elizabeth Berg's latest novel is a work of historical fiction based upon the life story of the 19th century French novelist George Sand. Sand was one of the best-selling authors of her time. She was a prolific writer and was also the subject of scandal, rumor, and innuendo. In this fictional biography Berg seems to have formed an almost psychic bond with her subject. Sand comes back to life upon these pages. She was driven to do some things that society condemned. She had many love affairs and some of them ended in tragedy.

Once or twice a week I attend a meeting. It takes place in my recliner, usually late a night. I feel compelled to attend. Let's call this meeting to order. Repressing my guilt I open the next book and smile as I say say to myself again: hello, I'm Vick, and I'm a crime fiction junkie.

This past April we observed the 150th anniversary of our first presidential assassination. When John Wilkes Booth shot Abraham Lincoln that evening at the theater he changed the course of history. Have you ever wondered what might have been different if Lincoln had not been killed that night and been allowed to serve out his second term? Perhaps he might have been re-elected to a third term? We'll never know, right? But TJ Turner has imagined it.