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.

Ways to Connect

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.

Jacqueline Winspear discusses the development of a most unusual detective series that features the private investigator Maisie Dobbs. In this interview the author describes her initial moment of inspiration when she
imagined Maisie dressed in period costume inside the London subway, circa 1929. That vision evolved into the opening chapter of her first Maisie Dobbs book.

Ian Rankin is one of the most popular mystery writers in the United Kingdom. For twenty years he wrote a series of detective novels featuring John Rebus, a cantankerous deputy inspector with the Edinburgh (Scotland) Police.

That series was written in chronological order so that when Rebus reached the mandatory retirement age Rankin simply ended it. That was a few years ago.

Bill Hooper was a long time resident of Yellow Springs. He was responsible for the construction of over 300 houses over the course of his career as a contractor. He was also involved in many building projects on behalf of Antioch University while he served as a trustee of this institution.

He oversaw major building projects on the Antioch campuses in Seattle, Washington and Keene, New Hampshire. Hooper was also involved in numerous Antioch building projects here in Yellow Springs, including the current WYSO studios which opened in 1995.

24 years ago Rebecca Skloot was in her high school biology class when her teacher mentioned the case of a woman who was being treated for cancer in 1951. Her doctors had taken a sample of some cancerous cells from her. There was something unique about these cells; they kept on growing. They continue to be used today for medical research.

In 1979 a mysterious author called Trevanian published a spy novel called "Shibumi." Trevanian was the pen name for an author who wrote numerous best-sellers including "Shibumi' and "The Eiger Sanction." The author died in 2005.

Téa Obreht has written one of the most highly anticipated novels of the year. "The Tiger's Wife" is a mingling of 3 seemingly unrelated threads; a mythic legend about a tiger that escapes from a zoo during a war, a folk legend about a man who cannot die, the "deathless man," and the author's grief over the death of her grandfather.

Chang-rae Lee's ambitious novel "The Surrendered" is a sprawling, cinematic journey across time. Readers are transported to Manchuria in the early 1930's, Korea in the early 1950's, and modern day New Jersey and Italy.

Lee has imagined 3 main characters here , a missionary, a Korean War orphan, and a GI. Their lives become intertwined through tragedy and haunting circumstance. The author is a masterful storyteller. In this interview he describes how he crafted this work and how he chose to become a writer.

Lucrecia Guerrero grew up in Nogales, Arizona, right along the border with Mexico. That border land area has always exerted a powerful influence on her writing. Ten years ago she published a collection of short stories, "Chasing Shadows." These otherworldly, atmospheric tales served notice that Guerrero is a writer who possesses extraordinary talent.

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