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.

C.J. Box returned to the program to talk about his latest book in a long-running crime series that features a protagonist who is a game warden in Wyoming. These books have attracted a significant readership and are routinely best-sellers.

As this story opens someone has just fired a bullet and readers are given the slow motion vantage point of that projectile as it passes over a long distance and eventually (in a couple of seconds) crashes through the window of a home and hits someone.

Clive Cussler, who died last month, was a publishing legend. Over the course of his long career Clive Cussler sold over 100 million books. Not bad, for a guy who had to resort to trickery to obtain his first publishing contract.

President Trump has a complicated financial history. When he was running for president in 2016 he refused to release his tax returns. Presidential candidates who are interested in providing some transparency regarding their financial records will usually disclose such information. He said he could not release his tax returns because they were under audit but that he would release them eventually. That was three years ago and he continues to block any efforts to have that information revealed.

James Lee Burke has made more appearances on the program than any other author. In 2002 I interviewed him for his book "White Doves at Morning," a stand-alone novel that remains one of my favorite books that he has written. There are quite a few books to choose from, he will publish his 40th book in May.

I have many favorite interviews with Jim as well but I have to admit that this one holds a special place in my heart. Everything about it felt just right. If this isn't my favorite conversation with J.L.B. then it is certainly among the top three.

Meg Gardiner remembers living in southern California when a serial killer known as The Night Stalker was on the prowl. She derived her inspiration for her latest thriller, "The Dark Corners of the Night," from that real life crime rampage but this story is definitely a work of her imagination.

If you enjoy stories that keep you flipping pages while you are barely holding on to the edge of your chair then you might like this one. It contains the most exciting chase scene that I have read in years.

Garfield the Cat is one of the most enduring characters in the world of comics. It rivals legendary franchises like Peanuts, Calvin and Hobbes, and The Far Side in popularity. And unlike those other strips Garfield just keeps chugging along as the creator of this chubby, sarcastic feline, Jim Davis, continues to crank out the work at his studio in Indiana.

The astronomer Galileo had a daughter and they were very close. She lived a fairly cloistered life because she was a nun but she did keep a diary. The author Dava Sobel mined her diary entries to fashion a truly exquisite book. This has been Dava Sobel's only appearance on the program to date. What a pleasure it was to have a conversation with someone who is so articulate and who has such a fine mind.

Wally Lamb returned to the program for his third visit in 2003. Wally is one of those fortunate writers who has had books chosen to be featured by Oprah's Book Club. Writers used to pray that Oprah would pick one of their books. She picked Wally Lamb twice. Ever since he had that good fortune Wally Lamb has been returning the favor by performing good works and acts of charity. For many years he has been teaching writing classes for women at a prison in Connecticut.

If you asked me to name my favorite living writer in Ohio I would tell you it is Donald Ray Pollock. If you asked me to name my favorite living author in any other state I could not do it, with one exception: my favorite living author who lives in Alaska is a guy named John Straley. John lives in Sitka and he recently retired from his job as a public defender. Now he has time to write lots of books! Oh, how lucky we are.

Jane Kleeb believes the Democratic Party has a serious problem and if they remain unwilling to recognize it and attempt to fix it they stand little chance of regaining a US Senate majority or even getting another candidate elected to the White House. The problem as Kleeb sees it is this: the Democrats have written off rural voters. Their national candidates can hardly be bothered to campaign in rural areas. Rural voters feel marginalized and ignored as a result. Kleeb knows what she is talking about, she's the head of the Democratic Party in the very rural state of Nebraska.