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.

Laura Lippmann returned to the program to discuss her latest impressive mystery novel. This one, "Lady in the Lake," is set in Baltimore in 1966. Lippmann was inspired to write the novel after reading about two actual murder cases from the period. In one murder a young white girl vanished after stopping by a pet store. The police spared no efforts trying to solve that crime. In the other homicide a young black woman was discovered dead in a fountain out in the middle of a lake.

When I was a child I didn't keep track of the days of the week before I began going to school. When I was about four years-old I began to recognize when it was a Friday. That was the day that my dad would come home from work with a six pack of beer. His brand was Budweiser. Years later I tried some of his beer, just a sip, and I spit it out. It was awful stuff; I could not understand the attraction.

Coleman Barks is known as one of our foremost interpreters of the poetry of Rumi, the 13th century Persian mystic. Barks is sometimes described as a translator but he actually is more of an interpreter, he takes existing translations that have been made over the centuries and rewrites them in the spirit of what he feels in each poem. Barks doesn't actually speak the original language in which the poetry was written.

Blood of Victory" by Alan Furst
(original recording made in 2002)

17 years ago when Alan Furst came out to Yellow Springs for a live interview he was just beginning to win acclaim as one of our leading espionage writers. During our conversation that day he explained his fascination with the period from 1939-1941 and how he is intrigued by the history of those years in Europe as the German forces were sweeping across the continent.

Walter Mosley is one of those legendary talents. He can do it all, fiction, non-fiction; crime novels, mysteries, political commentary, science fiction, the man is a genius. I still cannot believe that he actually came out to Yellow Springs one day years ago to appear on the program.

"The Sibley Guide to Birds" David Allen Sibley
(original recording made in 2000)

David Allen Sibley is one of our leading ornithologists. He spent years working on his masterful guide to American birds. He created thousands of paintings to illustrate it and he drew almost every single bird from real life. This book became an instant best-seller and has sold hundreds of thousands of copies.

Loving's Love: A Black American's Experiences in Aviation" Neal Loving
(original recording made in 1996)

Kristen Lepionka is an ascendant star in the crime fiction genre. Her third novel "The Stories You Tell" is another installment in her series which features the private detective Roxane Weary. Lepionka sets these stories in her hometown of Columbus and with each successive book the author is building her audience of enthusiastic readers. Roxane Weary is the real deal. She's an old school gumshoe who navigates the rather baffling trends in modern society. She understands how to plumb the on-line world and often employs social media to do some of her sleuthing.

Alison Gaylin had been on my list. Frequently I will ask authors I am interviewing for suggestions of some books that I might enjoy. It is a great way to discover books and authors previously unfamiliar to me. And I know that listeners love it, too. Over the past few years I have had half a dozen authors mention Alison Gaylin. They said I had to read her, that she's a fabulous writer. I made a note of that each time her name was mentioned and I took the hint and tried to interview Alison for a book she published a couple of years ago.

There are some really wonderful people who work in the publishing industry. I deal with publicists who help me to book interviews with authors and many of them are quite passionate about the books and authors they are trying to promote. I have one publicist who has arranged many interviews for me over the years and he has a good sense of which books to suggest and authors who I might wish to interview.

In 2006 an English writer named Kate Mosse published her book "Labyrinth." It was the first book in what became known as her Languedoc Trilogy. That work of historical fiction created a worldwide sensation. I really enjoyed the book and I tried to get an interview with her but she got so famous so fast that it was never possible for me to schedule her.