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 presented by the Greene County Public Library with additional support from Washington-Centerville Public LibraryClark County Public Library, Dayton Metro Library, and Wright Memorial Public Library.

One of the most impressive works of non-fiction that I read during 2017 was the book "Glass House - the 1% Economy and the Shattering of the All-American Town" by Brian Alexander. Alexander's hometown of Lancaster, Ohio has seen the once vital industrial core of the community withering. Like many towns in the region known as the Rust Belt Lancaster's manufacturing base has shriveled and this once vibrant little town has been dealing with the aftermath of this decline in local employment and all the incipient problems which have been the result of this slow decay.

During the early 1990's a crime reporter for the Dayton Daily News named Cheryl Reed was investigating the crack cocaine epidemic that was underway during that period. Reed was able to interview some young women who were using crack. Reed had been assured by the local police that she would not find any users of one particular race, young white girls, that they simply did not exist in Dayton. Their claims were dubious.

Harry Dolan returned to the program to talk about his delightfully deceptive new mystery novel "The Man in the Crooked Hat." Dolan is a masterful plotter and this story is brilliantly conceived. Our protagonist is Jack Pellum, a reluctant private investigator and former cop who is obsessed with identifying the person who killed his wife. Pellum suspects that is was a mysterious man who had been spotted in the vicinity. This fellow had been wearing the "crooked hat" of the title.

Some interviews  can make a powerful impression. One interview that has stood the test of time is the one that I had in 1998 with Dr. Leonard Shlain about his book "The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image." Nearly twenty years later listeners will still mention it.

Clifton Fadiman was one of my boyhood idols. I admired him-to my young mind he epitomized wisdom and savoir faire. He was quick and witty and so very erudite. I hadn't thought about him in years. Then last summer an advance copy of a memoir crossed my desk. It was a book by Anne Fadiman, Clifton's daughter, and the book is mostly about her relationship with him. I was intrigued and I immediately contacted her publicist to request an interview with the author upon the publication of her book.

When you live in a state like Ohio you have to deal with many mistaken notions. Some people on the east coast don't really have a comprehension of what it is like out here in flyover country and that can be a good thing. Allow me to explain.

We live in an affluent consumer society. Many of us have too much stuff and we are obtaining more of it with every passing day. Is your stuff becoming an issue for you? Do you feel like perhaps your life could be better with much less?

Rose Lounsbury got to a point in which she realized that she had too much stuff and that it was having a negative impact on the quality of her life. She decided to do something about that.

The Irish writer Maeve Binchy passed through Dayton on book tour in 1999. Maeve and her husband Gordon Snell came out to Yellow Springs for a live interview in our studios. During that conversation she explained that she had never come to America before on a book tour because some health issues had been preventing it.

Back in 1999 Mike Wallace appeared on the program to discuss the first volume of his massive history of New York City. That book ended with the year 1898. Wallace was the co-author of that work. It is a massive volume and was highly praised. The book went on to win the Pulitzer Prize.

"Righteous" by Joe Ide

Joe Ide returned to the program to talk about his second book in a series that features a fearless sleuth named I.Q. In his first book, the eponymous "I.Q.," we learned the back story of this young man who investigates crimes in a hardscrabble neighborhood in Los Angeles. He had been devoted to his older brother and after his brother was killed in a traffic accident that tragedy left the younger brother devastated and alone.

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