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Andrew Walsh has only lived in Dayton for about five years but soon after he arrived here, he became interested in the history of the city - in particular, the old neighborhoods of early Dayton, like the Oregon District, and the long-gone Haymarket area.

“Since I moved to Dayton, I just became very kind of caught up in revitalization of downtown,” Walsh says. “I quickly moved just outside the Oregon District and was very into the spirit I saw from a lot of people and that kind of lead to appreciating Dayton’s History.”

Arnold Adoff, Virginia Hamilton and their children Jamie and Leigh in 1971
Antiochiana

Just about every place has a local hero, a hometown kid who grew up to make their mark on the world. In Yellow Springs, Ohio, one hometown hero made her mark on the world of children’s literature.

Although she passed away in 2002, Virginia Hamilton’s legacy continues through her large and varied body of work written for young people. It’s also been kept alive by her husband Arnold Adoff, by her children Leigh and Jaime, and by the recent publication of a biography for young readers.

14 years ago I booked an interview with an author who had just published his first book. Gary Shteyngart was on book tour for the paperback release of "The Russian Debutante's Handbook" and he came out to Yellow Springs for a live interview. I had really enjoyed the book and was looking forward to meeting him. Gary arrived and from the very start of our exchange that day I realized that I was in the presence of one of our great humorists.

Every writer fantasizes about writing a book that finds a massive readership. A book that sells and sells. A book that perches atop best seller lists for months or even years. For Bill Bryson that book was "A Walk in the Woods." This whimsical travel story which recounts Bryson's adventures hiking the Appalachian Trail with his buddy Steven Katz sold millions of copies. It made Bryson's career.

Professor Harold Bloom made his first appearance in the Book Nook in 1998 when he came on the show to talk about his book "Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human." Bear in mind that 20 years ago we were in the fledgling days of the internet as a form of mass communication. WYSO had only recently gone on-line with a web-site and those of us who were on the radio station staff at that time had not even had e-mail addresses for very long. Those were different times. During the early days of the commercial internet bandwidth, storage, and memory were still daunting and often expensive issues.

The Antioch Review recently published 2 special editions of the magazine to mark the 75th anniversary of the publication. AR editor Robert Fogarty returned to the program to talk about the history of the Review and how it has changed over the years.

Jeb Card is a professor at Miami University at Oxford and one of the editors of this essay collection. These essays delve into various aspects of our fascination with archaeology and the many variants of pseudoarchaeology that have attracted believers and adherents over the years.
 
In this interview Jeb Card describes how some artifacts that were supposedly from the lost continent of Mu were found in the archives at his university. These essays take readers from the Lost White City of Honduras through "Archaeology as Ghost Hunting."

Harry Campbell
courtesy of the Ohio State University

The Book Nook is an author interview program. Over the years almost every guest I have featured on the show has had a new book out. On occasion I'll interview a guest who doesn't have a book. I will do this because I think our listeners will enjoy the interview and hopefully, a change of pace.

A number of years ago I interviewed a woman who called herself Julia Butterfly. She had not written a book. But I was holding out hope that she would because she was doing a very interesting thing at the time. When I interviewed her she was up in a tree. I'm not kidding.
 

In this Book Nook edition we present two different authors presenting two very different books. Call it a Book Nook double header.

Dayton librarian Matt Kish illustrated all 552 pages of Moby-Dick
courtesy of Tin House Books

The novel Moby-Dick by Herman Melville is a dense and complicated   beast of a book by any measure. Even serious readers never finish it.  Melville published it in 1851 and since then it’s been adapted and re-imagined by artists over and over.
 

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