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 LibraryWright Memorial Public Library, and Microsun Lamps.

Marty Wingate made her first appearance on the program to discuss her latest mystery novel, "The Bodies in the Library." This is the initial installment in her First Edition Library series and fans of mysteries might recognize the title is an homage to that Queen of Mystery; Agatha Christie.

The debut of the iPhone seems to have signaled a tipping point in our culture. A dozen years later millions of us are addicted to our screens; on our televisions, on our computers, and on those now ubiquitous "smart" phones.

Tiffany Shlain was just as entranced by technology as the rest of us but about ten years ago she decided to make a conscious effort to draw the line and put up some resistance to all those screens that had taken over her life.

Mark Kurlansky made his one and only appearance on the program to discuss his fascinating study of a substance that seems ubiquitous to us in "Salt: a World History."

Kurlansky has distinguished himself by publishing scholarly studies that are treasure troves of trivia. In the past the people who had access to large quantities of salt possessed enormous power. You can learn so much from reading this book and Kurlansky gives a great interview.

Our senior U.S. Senator from Ohio is Sherrod Brown. When he was first elected to the U.S. Senate he was brought on to the floor of the Senate chamber along with the other newly elected first-time Senators. They were there to choose their desks. The desks are numbered.

Since I began interviewing authors on WYSO in 1994 I have kept a list of people I would really like to have on the program. Now and then I'll get to check a name off my list but it doesn't happen that often. Some names I simply have to cross off without ever having done an interview. Obviously when authors die that forces me to remove them from my list. Then there are the writers who are simply so famous that I do not realistically have a chance of ever interviewing them. Stephen King would be a good example of an author like that.

Susan Orlean made her first appearance on the program to discuss the paperback reissue of her bestseller "The Library Book." I had wanted to interview Susan for some time. A number of years ago she wrote a book about Rin Tin Tin and I really wanted to interview her for that non-fiction history of the 1950's canine TV star but I could never arrange to get her on the schedule to do that. Then when "The Library Book" came out in hardcover I tried again to get an interview but had no luck again.

Some years before Neenah Ellis came to WYSO to become our station manager she passed though our region on a publicity tour for her book "If I Live to Be 100: Lessons from the Centenarians." I liked the book so much that I had her on the program twice, once for the initial hardcover release, then again when it came out the following year in paperback.

The music historian and scholar Ted Gioia returned to the program to discuss his monumental new study of what he describes as the subversive history of music.

Dr. Suheil Bushrui made a number of appearances on the program. He was an eminent scholar and an authority on the works of William Butler Yeats and Kahlil Gibran.

It was always a distinct pleasure to have a conversation with him because you never knew where any particular discussion might lead. His intellect was radiant-it was truly an honor to speak with him.

Dr. Bushrui died a few years ago. I would like to dedicate this particular podcast, number #600 in our archive by my calculation, to him.

Rene Denfeld made her third appearance on the show to talk about her third novel "The Butterfly Girl." Denfeld's work defies categorization. Her latest effort springs in part from some deeply personal experiences. This is the story of a young girl who has fled an abusive life at home to survive as a homeless kid living on the streets of a Skid Row area in the Pacific Northwest. Denfeld knows what that feels like, she once found herself in a similar situation. After you listen to the interview you might wish to track down all of her novels.