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.

One of the great joys of reading fiction is when one encounters that rare book that grabs you by the imagination and doesn't let go. "Young God" by Katherine Faw Morris is that kind of story. Her protagonist is a 13 year-old girl named Nikki. As the story begins Nikki has just gotten out of a group home and she's hoping to reunite with her father Coy Hawkins. This tale unfolds in the hill country of North Carolina in a place that is reminiscent of the area where the author grew up.

Philip Kerr's latest novel is quite a departure from his long-running series that features the Berlin detective Bernie Gunther. 'Prayer" is a stand-alone novel about an FBI agent in Houston, Texas who is trying to solve some mysterious murders.

Gil Martins is an agent working for the FBI's Domestic Terrorism Task Force. He's going through a spiritual crisis, his marriage is falling apart, and he's becoming romantically involved with someone who he is trying to protect from this mysterious killer (or killers).

Steve Bennish is a reporter for the Dayton Daily News. When Bennish is out on the streets of the city he always brings along his trusty camera and he takes many striking photographs. His new book contains numerous classic black and white photos of everyday street life in Dayton.

In this interview we tried to give listeners an opportunity to imagine what these photos look like.  Then Bennish describes the various situations which produced them.

Swoosie Kurtz has had a long career as an actor in movies, on television and on stage. Her book "Part Swan, Part Goose - An Uncommon Memoir of Womanhood, Work and Family" is not your typical Hollywood memoir, however.

Paul Dickson returns to the program to discuss his latest word book.  Dickson is the most prolific writer I know. You might recall his previous Book Nook appearances for his recent biography of Bill Veeck, "The Dickson Baseball Dictionary," and "Words from the White House-Words and Phrases Coined and Popularized by America's Presidents."

Dennis Tafoya sets his latest novel, “The Poor Boy’s Game,” in gritty neighborhoods of Philadelphia. His protagonist is U.S. Marshal Frannie Mullen. As the story opens Frannie is involved in a situation that goes terribly wrong. She ends up losing her job.

She is devastated. Things quickly turn from bad to worse. Her father had been a violent enforcer for a Philadelphia roofers’ union that is controlled by mobsters. He has just escaped from prison-now some of his former associates are turning up dead.

This is an extraordinary novel. Here's my review of  it which ran the other day in the San Antonio (Texas) Express News:

“Knockemstiff” author Donald Ray Pollock is one of my favorite writers.  The other day I noticed he had written a Facebook post which mentioned a new book that he really likes. This reviewer acted immediately, procuring a copy of “The Enchanted” by Rene Denfeld.

Megan Hustad grew up in a family of missionaries. In her pithy memoir "More Than Conquerors" Hustad describes what it was like to live on the island of Bonaire off the coast of Venezuela while her father was working at a Christian radio station that had such a powerful signal it could be heard across the hemisphere.

Five years ago I read "The Tourist" by  Olen Steinhauer. This novel's protagonist is the reluctant spy Milo Weaver. He followed that book up with a couple more to form a trilogy. By the time we get to the third book the story lines are so complex that we almost feel the need to create wall charts to keep track of the action. Almost. Steinhauer writes intricate stories that dazzle and entertain.

Professor Martin returns for a second session on the program so we can talk about Herb's long held affection for the poetry of Dayton's greatest poet, Paul Laurence Dunbar. Herb is the leading scholar of Dunbar's prodigious output of poetry, plays, and novels.

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