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.

Paul Dickson is one of the most prolific writers I know. He has written over sixty books. His most recent one, "Leo Durocher - Baseball's Prodigal Son," is the biography of one of the most colorful and controversial baseball personalities of the 20th century.

Malcolm Mackay lives on a remote island in Scotland. The crime rate where he lives in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis is almost non-existent. Most of the crimes that do occur in the area have taken place exclusively in Mackay's imagination. He writes crime novels and they are populated by criminals who are running rampant in the Scottish city of Glasgow. In Mackay's novels the police make an occasional appearance but they usually are not doing that much to prevent crime. In some instances they are permitting some bad things to happen. Looking the other way. Getting paid off.

People will ask me; "what was your favorite author interview?" or "what is your favorite book?" I cannot answer those questions. When it comes to crime novels I have many favorite writers. If I felt obligated to admit which writers I think are at the very top of their game in that genre right now I would name Philip Kerr along with a few others.

Kerr's latest novel "Prussian Blue" features his noir detective Bernie Gunther. This is the 12th book in this series.  I'm pleased to report that "Prussian Blue" is also the best Bernie Gunther book so far.

Greg Iles has published the highly anticipated third book in his monumental "Natchez Burning" trilogy. Over the course of these three books and 2300+ pages Iles has taken readers through a complex and expansive tale of racial tensions that played out over the course of decades in Natchez, Mississippi. These three novels are a massive and memorable work of the author's imagination. This final book went straight to #1 on the lists of best-selling fiction.

John Scalzi is rapidly becoming one of the most highly regarded science fiction authors writing today. Scalzi, who resides in the tiny village of Bradford in SW Ohio recently published "The Collapsing Empire," the first book in his new series. In this interview Scalzi talks about the basic story lines of his new novel and how he has progressively become the writer that he is today. Scalzi is quite fortunate to have a first reader who isn't reluctant to inform him when something he has written doesn't seem to be working.

Once in a great while I'll stumble upon a debut novel that is so freaking brilliant I'll just want to scream. But I don't usually scream now. I'm finally reaching some new kind of maturity I suppose. So I scream quite quietly. Then I contact the author's publicist and beg for an interview. Fortunately I can often book interviews with debut novelists-I have had hundreds of interviews over the years with writers who had just put out their first books.
 

The last time A. Scott Berg appeared on this program he discussed his monumental biography of Woodrow Wilson. On April 2, 1917 President Woodrow Wilson officially reversed course when he gave a speech to a joint session of Congress in which he stated his reasons for asking that the United States should officially declare war on Germany and finally enter World War I. The Great War had begun in 1914 and during his first term Wilson had taken pride in keeping our country out of that conflict.
 

After leaving the White House Ronald Reagan maintained an office in Los Angeles. It was a busy place; he met with dignitaries, celebrities, and ordinary Americans at his office. Peggy Grande was there, she became the former president's executive assistant, the person who managed his busy schedule. She got to know him quite well.
 

Brian Alexander is a writer who is based in San Diego. He grew up in Lancaster, Ohio. Alexander had been considering his next book project when he paid a visit to his old hometown. He was astonished to discover that this once thriving community had fallen on hard times. The manufacturing base in Lancaster has been in decline for some time. Alexander realized that his next book project should to be an investigation of what happened to this sweet little town.
 

With the publication of "I Let You Go" last year Clare Mackintosh won the attention of over a million mystery readers who loved her tightly woven and spectacularly clever book. How does one follow up on a debut novel that sizzled like that one did?

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