WYSO

Books - Non-Fiction

Dennis Turner was feeling perturbed about some things that have been happening in our country. Fortunately he found a distraction that took his mind away from current events. Turner heard about an archive of letters in Cincinnati-these missives penned by nuns who were living in convents in Europe during World War Two inspired him to write this book.

The Star Wars movie franchise is alive and well after all these years and the physicist and Star Wars aficionado Patrick Johnson decided that it was high time Star Wars fans had a handbook to help them understand the physics that come into play in the films. So he decided to write one.

Lake County, Florida used to be a very dangerous place to live. It wasn't because there was a high crime rate. In fact Willis McCall, the long-time sheriff of Lake County presented more of a hazard to some residents than any criminals ever would. In his book "Devil in the Grove" the author Gilbert King wrote about a horrible injustice that took place there and the crimes that were perpetrated by that corrupt and violent sheriff.

William T. Vollmann writes some massive books. His current offering is so enormous that his publisher had to split it into two volumes. The first installment is "No Immediate Danger-Volume One of the Carbon Ideologies." Volume Two, "No Good Alternative," will be published in June.

I spoke to Bill Vollmann about the first volume-we had a sobering discussion about this very important book. Vollmann has written this book by taking the approach that he is leaving this text behind for some reader in the future to peruse. A reader who will probably be fairly miserable and living in a world that is far different from the one we know now.

We did something rather different recently when we recorded a Book Nook program before an audience at the Little Art Theatre in Yellow Springs in conjunction with the Greene County Public Library. Melissa Fay Greene returned to the program to do another interview for her book "The Underdogs: Children, Dogs, and the Power of Unconditional Love." This is the inspirational saga of 4 Paws for Ability in Xenia, Ohio and the woman who founded the organization, Karen Shirk.

Here in the United States we live our lives of astounding affluence. We take so many things for granted; fresh water, inexpensive fuels, hot showers, electricity, low crime rates, clean air, abundant food and shelter, heat, air conditioning, the internet; transportation, the list goes on and on. Our consumer society remains blissfully oblivious to how much of the rest of the world lives.

William Howard Taft is the only president who also served as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He was our 27th president and was the most judicial of the lot. While he was a reluctant president; he never really wanted the job, he was an immensely gifted chief justice and is considered to have been one of the best judges to have served in that position.

22 years ago a relatively unknown poet became a publishing sensation after she released her first memoir. Frances Mayes had written about her experiences renovating an ancient villa in the Tuscany region of Italy. That book, "Under the Tuscan Sun,  became a massive blockbuster best-seller. The paperback remained on the best-seller list for years.

It was around this time of year in 1996 that Thomas Cahill came through the area on a tour to publicize his book "How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe." It was right before St. Patrick's Day and since the man known as Patrick was the central figure in Cahill's history of early Ireland it seemed quite appropriate.

David Cay Johnston returned to the program to discuss his latest book about Donald Trump. The first time we had him on the show Donald Trump was still just a candidate for our highest office and Johnston had written a book called "The Making of Donald Trump."

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