Book Nook

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

Vick Mickunas created the Book Nook author interview program for WYSO in 1994. Over the years he has produced more than 1300 interviews with writers, musicians, poets, politicians, and celebrities.

He has interviewed historians (Studs Terkel, David McCullough, Doris Kearns Goodwin), politicians (Mario Cuomo, George McGovern, John Kasich), movie stars (Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Peter Ustinov), astronauts (John Glenn, Buzz Aldrin, Gene Cernan), diplomats (Richard Holbrooke, Jose Ramos Horta), humorists (Garrison Keillor, Dave Barry, Sarah Vowell), and music legends from bands like The Animals, The Doors, and The Rolling Stones.

Vick has interviewed some of the leading writers of our time, people like Amy Tan, Denise Mina, Pat Conroy, James Lee Burke, Donald Ray Pollock, Ian Rankin, Andre Dubus III,  Joe Hill, Kate Atkinson, and Gary Shteyngart.

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.

This is one of the breakout novels of 2015. Here's my review which ran in the Cox Ohio newspapers:

 

In “Descent” Tim Johnston has written a literary mystery that is wrought with lovely craftiness. We can become emotionally involved and will want some of these characters to survive perils Johnston has imagined for them. It won’t be easy as outcomes remain in doubt. He takes us through baffling twists and turns.

WYSO listeners will recognize the calm, reflective voice of Bill Felker. Bill's meditations upon nature and the changing seasons are a long-time staple on the WYSO airwaves and in publications across America. Bill recently published his latest "Poor Will's Almanack 2015." I always enjoy my interviews with Bill because I can usually surprise him with a question or a topic that he probably wasn't expecting. In this interview we discussed Bill's SAD table, a new feature in this latest edition of a series that he has been producing for many years.

Peter James has created a crafty series of crime novels set in the English city of Brighton. Detective Roy Grace is his protagonist in what I like to call his "Dead  Series" because every book has the word "dead" in the title. Grace is a determined sleuth. These books are carefully plotted. James spends a lot of time consulting with advisors, veteran police officers, to make sure that he has gotten all his details right. 

Chris West began collecting stamps when he was a boy in England. A couple of years ago West published a collection of essays inspired by various British stamps. Each essay was a reflection upon the British history evoked by a particular stamp. West knows his British stamps and his British history.

Do you feed your dog canned dog food? Do you ever think that perhaps your dog deserves better fare than that? I have just the book for you. Judith Jones has known and loved many dogs over the course of her long life. Her current dog, Mabon, gets the same food for his dinner that Jones has prepared for herself. In her book "Love Me, Feed Me - Sharing With Your Dog the Everyday Good Food You Cook and Enjoy" the author explains how she came to the point of deciding that Mabon deserved better dinners than canned dog food.

2014 was another great year for biographies. One of my favorites was a biography of Nelson Rockefeller. Here's my review which ran in the Cox Ohio newspapers:

Nelson Rockefeller pursued a dream over the course of his lifetime; he wanted to become the president of the United States. It was not meant to be, but he gave it his best shot.

In his latest book, the historian Richard Norton Smith notes that for this grandson of one the richest men in America, John D. Rockefeller: “the presidency is one of the few things beyond Rockefeller’s purchasing power.”

During the mid 1970's things were really heating up on the island of Jamaica. It had become chaotic. Violence was breaking out. Two political parties were wrestling for control of the government in a hotly contested election. The reggae star Bob Marley wanted to try to calm things down. He decided to do a concert in the hope of easing some of the tension.

Thomas Johnson has come to a crossroads in his career as a minister. The congregation at his church in a small Ohio town is in a bit of an uproar over Reverend Johnson's rumored relationship with a female member of his flock. He doesn't believe that he has done anything wrong but when he receives a phone call that provides him with a pretext to get out of town for a while he takes advantage of that opportunity to get away from it all.

One hundred years ago President Woodrow Wilson was doing everything in his power to keep the United States out of the First World War. Wilson had experienced a miraculous ascent from virtual obscurity to claim the highest office in the land. His remarkable story has been meticulously researched and described by A. Scott Berg in his masterful biography "Wilson."

Roderick Kiracofe fell in love with quilts forty years ago. At the time he was living in SW Ohio. In his new book "Unconventional & Unexpected : American Quilts Below the Radar-1950-2000" he describes how he first became aware of quilts and how he then developed a passion for this under appreciated art form. Today he is one of our leading authorities on quilts.

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