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.

I did not know it at the time but I began heading down the path to recording this interview with John Straley when I was in the third grade. I remember it like it happened yesterday. We had eaten lunch in the cafeteria at St. Augustin's School in Des Moines. Then I went out to play during recess with my best pal. His name was Jimmy Percival. We were over admiring the rose bushes blooming in front of the convent when an older kid, a fourth grader we didn't know came running over to us and starting beating up my buddy, Jimmy.

By the time he was in the fourth grade my older brother had amassed quite a collection of comic books. I was in the second grade then and early in the mornings while my brother was still asleep I would sneak a few comics out of his stash and huddle up next to the heat vent and read them until it was time for breakfast and then our walk to school. I truly enjoyed those moments and it was always a bit crushing when my father, who was my hero, would notice me there, absorbed in my reading, and he would often make scornful comments like; "you'll never find a job reading comic books."

Reading books can be such a joyful experience. There are so many things to like about it. One of my favorite things is discovering a writer who has just published her first book and realizing that their work is something special. Then I have the eager anticipation ahead of waiting for them to write many more!

Most of you are familiar with the expression "the third time's the charm." But what does that mean, exactly? Well, in the case of Mark Bernstein it means that I have interviewed him three different times for the same book and that on the third try we finally got things right. Actually, that isn't entirely true. Here's what happened: we got things right during the previous century when his book "Grand Eccentrics - Turning the Century: Dayton and the Inventing of America" was originally issued in 1996 and I interviewed him for the first time.

"Mississippi Blood" by Greg Iles
Original recording made in 2017

Peter James returned to the program to talk about the latest installment in his series that features Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. Roy's beat is the seaside city of Brighton, England and as this story begins he's spending some time with his son Bruno. They are attending a soccer match at the new stadium. As the two are settling into their seats the ever observant Roy notices a young man who is sitting a few rows in front of them and in his view this fellow is exhibiting some peculiar behavior.

Bill Felker, the host of Poor Will's Almanack on WYSO returned to the Book Nook to discuss his latest project. Recently Bill decided to engage in another book publishing venture in addition to his annual almanacks. Over the years Bill has been keeping meticulous daily journals of his thoughts, observations, and meditations. Bill decided to take his voluminous daily records and compile them into monthly editions that are now available for readers to peruse and savor.

One century ago Dayton, Ohio was a hotbed of industry and innovation. In his book "Grand Eccentrics - Turning the Century: Dayton and the Inventing of America" Mark Bernstein looked back at some of the men who were instrumental in making this area a thriving place during that period.

One of the stranger trends in publishing recently has been the spate of self-help books espousing Scandinavian lifestyle advice based upon practices that are embedded in the cultures of countries like Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and most recently, Finland.

If you are a regular reader of the New York Times you have surely read the writing of Richard Sandomir. He has been with that newspaper for many years. I have always wanted to interview him and I finally got the opportunity with the publication of the paperback edition of his book "The Pride of the Yankees - Lou Gehrig, Gary Cooper, and the Making of a Classic."

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