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.

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.

Iveta Jusova grew up in Czechoslovakia. She wasn't that aware of feminism until she went away to college. At the university she immersed herself in learning about it and her studies became the gateway to her future career.  In this collection of essays readers will discover that the development of feminism in a socialist society and in what is now the Czech Republic bore some significant differences from the feminist movements in countries like England and the United States.

Astrea Taylor returned to our studios to discuss her latest book, "Belle Dame Sans Merci," an urban fantasy novel that showcases the author's vivid imagination. The main character is a woman who has become a demon. She is trying to improve her karma enough to be admitted to heaven. Until she does so she'll continue with her lethal labors for a truly devilish boss. Taylor's vision of the precincts of hell is complex and profoundly amusing.

Fiona Barton served notice with her debut novel "The Widow" that she is a rising star in the world of crime fiction. Her second effort, "The Child," is just as compelling as her first book. Barton had a long career as a journalist and that background has served her well. Kate, her fictional investigative reporter has returned in the second book but don't think that just because she is back that these two books mark the start of a series. They don't. These are stand-alone thrillers.

The U.S. Postal Service has played a significant role in the history of our country. In her book "How the Post Office Created America-a History" Winifred Gallagher enumerates the many major impacts that our U.S. Mail has had upon the growth and development of our infrastructure, our industries, and our educational opportunities.

Long-time NPR commentator Frank Deford began contributing his commentaries to National Public Radio in 1980. In May of this year he turned in his last radio piece for Morning Edition. He died later that month.

Deford made a couple of appearances in the Book Nook over the years. Here's an interview Frank did with me in July, 2000. His dulcet tones will be missed.

We are living in the age of the "selfie." Some of us are self-absorbed. President Trump epitomizes the "selfie" lifestyle. It's really all about him. This is the perfect moment for a humorous novel featuring a protagonist who is dealing with all the stress and pressure of modern life and not handling it too well.

"Who is Rich" by Matthew Klam is set during the summer of 2012. That seems like a zillion years ago. Barack Obama was running for re-election and his opponent was Mitt Romney. In retrospect those seem like innocent times.

Virginia Heffernan grew up with the Internet. She was on-line before any of us were. In this interview she explains how that happened and how her zealous participation in that strange and sometimes magical world has been a transporting endeavor.

I wanted to interview Virginia when this book first came out last year but I wasn't able to make that happen. Fortunately when books are issued again as paperbacks we obtain second chances to discover them. I persevered. Virginia agreed to an interview.

Don't you love it when somebody has the good grace to go out at the top of their game? It can be depressing to watch former star performers embarrassing themselves because they didn't know when to quit. We have all seen them, the baseball players who strike out on pitches they used to hit or the lead singer who wrote the lyric "I hope I die before I get old" still out there on stage 50 years later gamely strumming away. Some writers keep plodding along, putting out books long after inspiration has faded.

This book is the debut in a new crime fiction series set in Columbus. Roxane Weary is a private eye with lots of issues. Her dad was a hard drinking cop who died recently while fighting crime. The two of them didn't get along. His sudden death has left his daughter with unresolved "Daddy" issues. He drank a lot. So does she. Her love life is a mess, too. Her father's demise has even served to complicate that aspect of her existence. Business is bad.

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