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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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.

On May 4, 1970 a terrible event transpired on the campus of Kent State University. Ohio National Guardsman fired their rifles into a crowd of students. Four students died and a number of others were injured. The carnage was the end result of a cascading chain of troubling events that had unfolded over one horrific weekend in northern Ohio.

In his book "67 Shots - Kent State and the End of American Innocence" Howard Means examines the escalating turbulence which ultimately led to this horror. It should have never happened. But it did. It is good to remember. Lest we forget.

Manhattan was once a place where ordinary people could afford to live. People with dreams. People with low paying jobs. Even starving artists. Molly Prentiss has set her debut novel in New York City as the 1970's are ending. Her book is populated by distinctive characters from the period; a barmaid who has followed her dreams and moved to the city from the wilds of Idaho, an art critic for the New York Times who has a rare perceptive gift, and a struggling painter who has fled the Dirty Wars in his native Argentina.

Can you name the original 13 British colonies that then became the United States? Okay, can you name what was once considered to be a potential 14th colony? Did you say Canada? You are well informed. Apparently the US has had designs upon Canada for years and according to Steve Berry those plans to annex Canada continued right up until World War Two.

The "Prey" series by John Sandford is one of the most popular crime fiction series around. The books sell and sell and sell. There's a good reason for that- they are really good books.

As we scan the world around us we can focus on many troubling things that are happening. Just to name a few that spring from the forefront of my perceptions at this moment: climate change, the horrifying situation in Syria, and the wanton destruction of precious cultural treasures by groups that justify their violence somehow through their warped concepts of what is unacceptable to them.

Amit Majmudar was recently named the Poet Laureate of Ohio. Many states have poets who occupy these honorary positions in their states. Ohio had never had one before. Amit Majmudar is our very first one. His term began in January and he'll hold the post for two years.

In this interview Amit reveals how all this came about and he reads a number poems from his enchanting new collection "Dothead." Amit Majmudar is a nuclear radiologist in Columbus. He writes some splendid poetry. Enjoy.

Robert Morgan is one of our great literary stylists. His latest novel, "Chasing the North Star," is the story of a slave who escapes from his life of servitude in South Carolina in 1850. Jonah Williams is young and somewhat innocent as he heads north with the hope of reaching Canada and freedom. Along the way he encounters another slave named Angel in North Carolina.

Robin Yocum grew up in a small eastern Ohio town known as Brilliant. What remains of the place is still there but the glass factory that gave Brilliant a name closed down long ago. Brilliant has become just another one of those formerly prosperous Rust Belt communities.

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