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.

Professor Harold Bloom made his first appearance in the Book Nook in 1998 when he came on the show to talk about his book "Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human." Bear in mind that 20 years ago we were in the fledgling days of the internet as a form of mass communication. WYSO had only recently gone on-line with a web-site and those of us who were on the radio station staff at that time had not even had e-mail addresses for very long. Those were different times. During the early days of the commercial internet bandwidth, storage, and memory were still daunting and often expensive issues.

In the 13th book in her series that features Armand Gamache, now Chief Superintendent Gamache, we find him living peacefully in the quaint village of Three Pines. There's a Halloween Party and one of the guests in attendance is a mysterious figure. This person is robed and masked and nobody seems to know the identity of this silent person.

Almost twenty years ago Leonard Shlain made his first appearance on the program. Dr. Shlain came through the area on book tour for "The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image." Our conversation that afternoon clearly made an impact with listeners. To this day I still hear from people who heard the interview and were intrigued by it.

As I am interviewing authors I am always trying to think of the best questions to ask them. I want to keep things fresh and that can be a challenge. A number of years ago I interviewed C-Span's Brian Lamb. As the host of that network's Book TV program Lamb has distinguished himself as one of the best prepared author interviewers around. Like me, he's accustomed to being the one who is asking the questions. He seemed slightly uncomfortable with having that role reversed.

Loudon Wainwright III has spent the past half century writing and performing songs that range from whimsical to confessional to downright silly. This clever man possesses a brilliant wit. His distinctive voice continues to entertain, provoke, and amuse. Now that voice has been transferred to the pages of a candid memoir called "Liner Notes."

Once upon a time it was possible to live in Manhattan inexpensively. It wasn't that long ago really. There were neighborhoods like the Lower East Side where artists, club kids, and squatters were still able to eke out livelihoods in the vibrant city that continues to attract newcomers from every corner of the globe.

Tana French returned to the program to talk about her latest Dublin Murder Squad novel "The Trespasser."  Last year Tana did an interview for the hardcover release of this book and I could not resist the opportunity to talk to her again because I loved this story and she doesn't put out new books very often.

Bruce Campbell has had a long acting career. He recently published his second memoir. If you don't recognize his name you'll probably recognize his face. You'll say, oh yeah, that guy! Here's a link to his Wikipedia page that provides an accounting of some of the projects he has undertaken.

Kathi Reed returned to the program to discuss her latest novel "Trouble for Rent." This book is a prequel to Reed's debut effort "Banking on Trouble." In this one Annie Fillmore is running her mom and pop video rental store in a small town in Ohio. The year is 1990 and the video rental business was at the height of what was to be a brief but highly lucrative run.

C.J. Box concludes his "Highway Quartet" with "Paradise Valley." A serial killer known as "The Lizard King" has been preying on truck stop prostitutes for years and he is finally slowing down. As this diabolical psychopath heads back to the wild western lands where he grew up he is leaving a trail of carnage behind him. And, in a weirdly twisted manner he is trying to recreate a family unit consisting of hostages he has harvested from among the innocents who have had the misfortune to meet him.

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