WYSO

Vick Mickunas

Host - Book Nook

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. 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.

Ways to Connect

Silas House returned to the program to discuss his new novel "Southernmost." The last time we had Silas on the show it was when he had just published his novel "Clay's Quilt." That was far too long ago.

When Sara Bir takes daily strolls though her neighborhood in southeast Ohio she keeps an eye out for delicious foods. These foods are all around us but most of us don't bother to notice them. Sara is a fruit forager. She finds all kinds of tasty things that are growing right out there in the open and many of these delectable treats end up as food for wildlife or they are wasted by being left to rot on the ground.

Over the years that I have been interviewing authors on WYSO I have made some observations about writers. One thing I have noticed is that there are a variety of trajectories that a person's career can take. I have interviewed many people who were just starting out and in most cases, barely being noticed. Then we can go to the other end of that potential trajectory to find the writers who have had that one big book, now years in the past, still hoping to rise to those heights once again and sometimes, with bitterness, bemoaning the declines of their careers.

In 2002 Susan Vreeland returned to the program to discuss her novel about Artemisia Gentileschi, an Italian painter of baroque masterpieces. "The Passion of Artemisia" was the followup to her extraordinary collection of linked stories "Girl in Hyacinth Blue." Vreeland's depiction of an artist who fought to overcome a sexist society now seems remarkably prescient during our current wave of #MeToo awakenings throughout our culture.

William T. Vollmann has now published the second half of his massive Carbon Ideologies. Volume Two is called "No Good Alternative" and in this one the author continues his examination of our energy consumption and the growing concerns that our fossil fuel usage is ultimately going to cause drastic changes in the world as we know it.

Over the years that I have been reading books and listening to music I have found that the creative processes of writing fiction and writing music have something in common when it comes down to preserving the literature or music which is being created; some authors have just one really great book to write and some musicians have just one really great album to record. Life is funny that way. I suppose that these creative people sometimes get all their really good stuff out in just that one package.

When Michael Koryta was a teenager in Bloomington, Indiana an abduction and homicide took place just down the road from where he was living. A young woman had been riding her bicycle in the area when she vanished without a trace. The police were baffled by the crime. Later on a confession was made by someone who claimed to have been involved in her abduction. When they attempted to verify the details of that confession in the hope of locating the victim they discovered that the confession had been spurious. It wasn't true.

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 opioid crisis is a national emergency. The scourge of opioid abuse and addiction has hit the Appalachian region especially hard. It has been documented that there's a town in West Virginia that was literally inundated with Oxycontin by the manufacturer. Southern Ohio has seen more than our share of overdoses and tragedy.

After Sue Grafton died last December I put together a special memorial program in her honor. You can locate that program in our podcast archive. I took excerpts from my first interview with Sue for her book "M is for Malice" and my third and final interview with her for "W is for Wasted."

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