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.

Winter is my favorite season. Here's a photo I took a few years ago-Happy New Year!
Vick Mickunas

For my final program of 2019 I selected some more of my favorite interviews from the past year and I included my favorite interview of 2019! I never dreamed I would get an interview with this author and it was even more marvelous than I expected!

back in the day, shopping for record albums in Iowa City - Vick Mickunas
Vick Mickunas

As the years fly by I like to pause at the end of each one to reflect upon the things that have happened during each year. I'll compile lists. For the past 15 years I have been writing book reviews for the Cox Ohio newspapers and each December I will share lists of my favorite books divided by whether they were fiction or non-fiction titles. During the decade that I was the music director at WYSO I would compile an annual list of my 100 favorite albums from each year. I do love making lists and sharing them.

Don't you just love it when you discover a book that is totally unusual and as you are reading it you keep saying things like; this is so beautiful, and, I am totally feeling this?! Kathryn Scanlan has created a book like that, I could not believe how much it resonated with me.

When I was in the fourth grade I received a Webster's Dictionary as a birthday present. I had asked for it and was so delighted to receive it. I spent the next year reading it. I have been a dictionary lover ever since.

2002 was the breakout year for the humorist Bruce Cameron. The previous year he had finally gotten his first book published and in 2002 as "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter: And other tips from a beleaguered father [not that any of them work]" was coming out in paperback he was on a roll. Bruce was coming through Dayton to honor the late Erma Bombeck when I caught up with him. The book was being developed for a television pilot which then became a TV series and he was definitely on his way to fame and riches.

Andy Martin spent a year shadowing the best-selling author Lee Child. Child allowed Martin to watch him as he was writing another one of his novels in the blockbuster series that features Jack Reacher. He sat there like a fly on the wall as Child typed away in his apartment which overlooks Central Park. He went out to eat with Child. He encountered Lee Child's fans. He gives us an up close and personal view of the man behind these popular books. He even reveals this nervous author who was concerned his book would not go straight to Number One on the best-seller list.

Professor Keith Doubt returned to the program to discuss his latest book about Bosnia. If you want to gain a better understanding of this region and the impact that the Dayton Peace Accords have had on the nation of Bosnia this interview could serve to enlighten you.

In 2012 I had an opportunity to interview Robert K. Massie. The author was probably best known for his blockbuster biography of the last monarchs of imperial Russia, the doomed "Nicholas and Alexandra." Massie had also written a highly regarded biography of another czar, Peter the Great. 8 years ago he published another monumental biography of a Russian ruler in "Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman" and he joined me on the telephone to talk about the paperback release of what ultimately became his final book. Massie died earlier this month.

In 1958 a mining disaster in Canada made headlines all over the world. The design of the mine had been a risky one and when it collapsed it did not come as a huge surprise. There were many fatalities that day but miraculously some miners remained alive, trapped inside the mine. In her book "Last Man Out: The Story of the Springhill Mine Disaster" Melissa Fay Greene describes the rescue efforts that followed and what it was like for the men who were struggling to survive down below. Their food was gone, their water was gone, things were looking very dire. This is quite a story.

Back in 2002 James McBride made his first appearance on the program to talk about his first novel "Miracle at St. Anna." James has come back to be my guest on a number of other occasions and he has become one of my favorite guests.