WYSO

Book Nook

Saturday, 7-8am and Sunday, 10:30-11am

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.

He has interviewed historians (Studs Terkel, David McCullough, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Gary Wills), politicians (Mario Cuomo, George McGovern, John Kasich, Donald Trump), pundits (Karl Rove, Ann Coulter, Ralph Nader, Christopher Hitchens), movie stars (Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Peter Ustinov), romance writers (Nora Roberts, Janet Dailey), astronauts (John Glenn, Buzz Aldrin, Gene Cernan), diplomats (Richard Holbrooke, Jose Ramos Horta), humorists (Bill Bryson, Garrison Keillor, Dave Barry, Sarah Vowell), food writers (Amanda Hesser, Michael Ruhlman, Judith Jones), poets (Galway Kinnell, Frances Mayes, Billy Collins), crime writers (P.D.James, James Lee Burke, Robert Crais, Denise Mina, Ian Rankin, Philip Kerr), and music legends from bands like The Animals, Joy Division, The Doors, and The Rolling Stones.

Vick has interviewed some of the leading writers of our time, people like Pat Conroy, Aleksandar Hemon, Anne Lamott, Donald Ray Pollock, Tom Robbins, Kate Atkinson, Gary Shteyngart, and Amy Tan.

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.

The Book Nook on WYSO is made possible by five local library systems in southwest Ohio:  the Greene County Public LibraryWashington-Centerville Public LibraryClark County Public Library, Dayton Metro Library, and Wright Memorial Public Library.

Don't you love it when somebody has the good grace to go out at the top of their game? It can be depressing to watch former star performers embarrassing themselves because they didn't know when to quit. We have all seen them, the baseball players who strike out on pitches they used to hit or the lead singer who wrote the lyric "I hope I die before I get old" still out there on stage 50 years later gamely strumming away. Some writers keep plodding along, putting out books long after inspiration has faded.

This book is the debut in a new crime fiction series set in Columbus. Roxane Weary is a private eye with lots of issues. Her dad was a hard drinking cop who died recently while fighting crime. The two of them didn't get along. His sudden death has left his daughter with unresolved "Daddy" issues. He drank a lot. So does she. Her love life is a mess, too. Her father's demise has even served to complicate that aspect of her existence. Business is bad.

Antioch College

In 1968 an eighteen-year-old youth named Bill Newman arrived in Yellow Springs to begin his freshman year at Antioch College. Bill's first Antioch co-op education experience took place in New York City. He was supposed to return to Antioch after three months but the experience he was having in New York was so thrilling and important to him that he ended up staying away for nine months.

There are quite a few memoirs being published. Every famous rock star from 50 years ago seems to have written one. At least, the ones who are still alive. Many of the memoirs that are coming out were penned by people who never have had a hit on the Top 40. People like you and me. We have stories to tell, too!

This is a time when some of us are feeling desensitized. The 24 hour news cycle churns out the latest shocking and outrageous reports. There's a blurring sensation that takes place. Books can give us a sanctuary, temporary cocoons to shelter us from all of this brouhaha.

Over the years that I have been hosting this program I cannot recall ever feeling like I could declare that a particular book is the hottest book of the summer. Well, I'm pleased to be able to finally say that this is it; "The Force" by Don Winslow is the hottest book of the summer and perhaps will prove to be the hottest book of 2017.

Peter James returned to the program to talk about his latest novel in his series that features his police detective Roy Grace. The previous dozen books in the series are fast paced thrillers and we usually knew who the killers were and spent most of our time wondering how Roy was going to apprehend them. In this latest book in his "Dead Series" Peter James has constructed his first absolute who-dunnit Roy Grace mystery. A woman has been found dead in the bathtub. We don't know who the murderer is in this one and the author tosses out lots of red herrings along the way to confuse us.

When I called Barbara Ehrenreich in 1998 to conduct this live interview I was prepared to talk to her about her book "Blood Rites" which had just come out in paperback. We had a good conversation about it. Then midway through that interview I asked her what she had been doing recently and what things were on her mind at that very moment?

The Antioch Review recently published 2 special editions of the magazine to mark the 75th anniversary of the publication. AR editor Robert Fogarty returned to the program to talk about the history of the Review and how it has changed over the years.

Many books have been written about President John F. Kennedy. His martyrdom in 1963 in Dallas virtually assured that his brief life would be examined and remembered. If he was still alive he would have just celebrated his 100th birthday.

A lot has changed in the book publishing industry over the last 20 years. When I was hosting this program during the 1990's we had many authors coming through the region on book tours. Publishers would send authors out to promote their books regardless of whether they were well known or completely unknown. Those were different times.

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