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.

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.
 

Over the years I have had the opportunity to interview authors at various stages in their careers. Some of the writers that I have interviewed have gone on to become spectacularly successful. Nicholas Sparks comes to mind. When I interviewed him for "The Notebook," his first book, he seemed slightly dazed by the positive early reviews and he was reluctant to believe that fame was in his future. Well, he has sold a gazillion books since our first interview and he quit his day job as a pharmaceutical salesman many years ago.

Angie Grigaliunas has created a stunning imaginary world in her dystopian fantasy novel "Sowing." This is the first book in her "Purification Era" series. She is still planning the series and during this interview she stated that it will probably take at least eight books to complete it.
 

Did you realize that over the last several decades millions of people around the world who have been living in poverty have seen their standards of living improve? It is true. One large factor in this improvement has been due to the surging economy of China as millions of Chinese have been able to see their economic standings rise. This has been happening in many other countries as well.

Lisa Lutz gave us one of the standout novels of 2016. "The Passenger" was so clever, so enthralling, so devilishly twisted, that I had Lisa on the program for the hardcover release early in the year, then after I had spoken to her that first time I was so enchanted by her wit (and her novel) that I invited her back to the program for another visit when the book was issued in paperback later in the year.

James Church is a man of mysteries. The man known as James Church (it is a pseudonym) is the author of a series of mystery novels that feature the North Korean security officer Inspector O. The author of these books is clearly familiar with North Korea, spycraft, and the perils of espionage. The actual identity of the man who writes under the pen name of James Church remains clouded in a fog that is as thick as the one which obscures the workings of the regime that runs North Korea. Fortunately we have this series of books available to us.

Some people assume that I know a lot about farming because I'm from Iowa. I don't. I'm a city boy and for me cattle and cornfields were mostly just a passing blur as my parents sped along the interstate highway. Years later I conducted a lot of market research for the agricultural industry. I interviewed hundreds of farmers. That experience helped me to become a better interviewer but the things I learned about farming were mostly related to the way agriculture is now being conducted in America with monoculture crop rotations; corn, then soybeans. Herbicides. Pesticides.

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