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.

After much deliberation I have decided to declare 2014 to be The Year of the Debut Novel. Every year I compile a list of my favorite fiction and non-fiction titles to share with readers of the Cox Ohio newspapers. I was going through my fiction stack and realized that half the books I'm considering to be my favorites from the past year are debuts. Now Smith Henderson's superb first novel "Fourth of July Creek" has landed upon that select stack. Wow, what a book!

Richard M. Nixon fascinates us. He rose to the pinnacle of political power in 1968 when he was elected President of the United States of America by a narrow margin in a closely contested race in which he defeated Hubert Humphrey. In 1972 he won by a landslide in defeating George McGovern. He didn't get much of a chance to enjoy that resounding reelection victory. The event that ultimately led to Nixon's downfall had already taken place, a break-in at the offices of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. 

Beth Macy is a journalist. She has a nose for the big story. She found one a few years ago. This story was so big that she decided to write a book about it. Here's my review which ran in the Cox Ohio newspapers:

One of this summer’s hottest books is by a writer originally from Urbana. “Factory Man” by Beth Macy came out on July 15 — it is already a New York Times best-seller. Bear in mind that this is her first book.

James Lee Burke has racked up more appearances on this program that any other author. There are some authors who have been on numerous times. Even so, it isn't even close. I hate to miss any opportunity to interview one of our greatest living novelists. Fortunately Burke keeps putting out books.

Michael Ruhlman returns to the program to talk about his latest culinary adventure. This time he takes us along for an exploration of what he believes is our most versatile cooking ingredient, the humble chicken egg. You can do so many different things with eggs. Ruhlman expounds upon the various permutations of this divine food.

14 years ago Marc Levy visited the Book Nook to talk about his novel "If Only It Were True." That book became an international best-seller. In 2005 this story was adapted and released as the Hollywood film "Just Like Heaven." Levy is French and he's very popular in his native land. He's also rather productive. During the 14 years since his last appearance on the program he has written and published 14 more novels.

Alan Furst returned to the program after a long hiatus. The last time he was here he came out to the WYSO studios in Yellow Springs for an interview. That was back in the late 1990's. This time around we tracked him down at his hotel in Chicago. Furst was touring for the release of "Midnight in Europe." In this interview he discussed his writing process and what it is like to meet his fans. Here's my review which appeared in the Cox Ohio newspapers:

Andrew Goodman was a young man from New York who went to Mississippi during the summer of 1964 to participate in the civil rights struggles that were taking place then in the South. Shortly after he arrived he vanished. Andrew and two other civil rights workers had been taken by members of the Ku Klux Klan and brutally murdered. Their bodies were found some time later.

Craig Johnson's series of crime novels featuring the Wyoming Sheriff Walt Longmire just keeps rolling along. His character has also become the inspiration for the popular TV series  "Longmire." In this interview the author explains how he came up with the idea for the first book and what has transpired since then. 

Roz Chast has experienced something that many Americans have experienced; caring for aging parents as they lived through their final days on earth. But Chast is different from the majority of Americans in that she is an incredibly gifted long-time staff cartoonist for The New Yorker magazine. So when Chast decided to write a memoir about the things she recalled about her parents and their final days she was able to depict those moments in graphic novel form.

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