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.

Gabrielle Civil is a performance artist. "Swallow the Fish" is her memoir. In this book the author reveals how she became a performance artist and how she approaches her craft. The author admits that her work is political and she confesses that while she is performing she is trying to remain present inside her body. She describes a number of the pieces which she has performed. There are numerous photographs as well as essays about this author's experiences, inspirations, and beliefs.

Lara Elena Donnelly has just published "Amberlough." It is her debut novel. It was published by Tor Books, a major New York publisher. Lara grew up in Yellow Springs and had always wanted to be a writer. She has pursued her dreams with passion and now her determination and diligence is really paying off.

Listen to this interview to find out what her story is about and to learn about the journey that has brought her to this happy place in her life.

I read a lot of crime novels and some of them are very good. Occasionally I'll read one that completely dazzles me. "The Butcher's Hook" by Janet Ellis is one of those books that made me perspire with shock and astonishment. And this is her literary debut! Amazing.

Have you ever heard of Mrs. Sherlock Holmes? I had not either. I had always assumed that our fictional sleuth was a devoted bachelor. Well, back in the early years of the 20th century there was a real living person who acquired the nickname "Mrs. Sherlock Holmes." Her name was Grace Humiston and she lived in New York City, not London.
 

Peter Hook returned to the program to discuss his latest music memoir. Some listeners will recall that Peter joined us a few years ago to talk about his Joy Division book. After Joy Division's vocalist Ian Curtis killed himself 37 years ago the band reformed as the New Order and Peter Hook carried on as their bassist for many years. New Order enjoyed great commercial success but as Peter relates in this new book their fame came with a heavy cost.

Harry Campbell
courtesy of the Ohio State University

The Book Nook is an author interview program. Over the years almost every guest I have featured on the show has had a new book out. On occasion I'll interview a guest who doesn't have a book. I will do this because I think our listeners will enjoy the interview and hopefully, a change of pace.

A number of years ago I interviewed a woman who called herself Julia Butterfly. She had not written a book. But I was holding out hope that she would because she was doing a very interesting thing at the time. When I interviewed her she was up in a tree. I'm not kidding.
 

We have had some famous astronauts on the program. John Glenn made an appearance that became the longest interview in the history of the Book Nook. It ran over an hour. I rolled over NPR's news headlines at the top of the hour because I was still talking to John on the telephone and it was a live interview!
 

Nobody had ever done this before. Julie Zickefoose spent years drawing pictures of baby birds from life. She studied these tiny creatures as they developed in the nest. Each day she would create new portraits of these delicate nestlings. Her paintings of birds are magnificently rendered.
 

Many years ago I was spending a quiet Saturday afternoon inside a music listening room at my high school. There were shelves jammed with old record albums in there along with a turntable and a set of headphones. For a young music buff who was just discovering jazz that was my version of heaven.
 

Lee Child is one of the most generous writers around. He is an advocate for other writers. He provides enthusiastic blurbs for books he has enjoyed reading. A blurb from Lee Child can really give an unknown author a boost. I have Lee Child to thank for turning me on to a writer named Nicholas Petrie. Lee returned to the program recently and I quizzed him about books that he has really liked. He responded with a hearty endorsement of the work of Nick Petrie.
 

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