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.

Amitav Ghosh returned to the program to discuss his latest novel, "Gun Island." The first two times he appeared on the show it was to talk about this second and third books in his Ibis Trilogy. Those massive volumes were set during the period of the Opium Wars and were works of historical fiction that had me presuming that "Gun Island" would also be set during some long ago era. However this is not the case.

Rachel Eve Moulton dropped by the studio to talk about her new book "Tinfoil Butterfly." Rachel grew up in Yellow Springs-this is her debut novel-she was about to make her first public appearance to do a reading from her book-so this interview was a very special occasion.

Listen to our conversation to hear about her eerie story line-it reminds me of an episode of the Twilight Zone.Very scary. And since Rod Serling, that program's creator lived in Yellow Springs during the 1950's that seems rather fitting somehow.

In August of 1969 the legendary Woodstock Music Festival took place. It has been known as having been a wonderful event, something to celebrate. Four months later, in December 1969, The Rolling Stones gave a free concert in northern California at the site of what was then the Altamont Speedway. The concert at Altamont will always be remembered as a horrific event in which people died and thousands of spectators experienced really bad acid trips.

Julie Zickefoose returned to the program to discuss her thoroughly heart warming and utterly amazing book "Saving Jemima: Life and Love with a Hard-Luck Jay." Julie rescued a baby blue jay and raised it for about a month until it was ready to be released back into the wild.

She named the bird Jemima and when you read this story you will fall in love with this spunky little bird just like Julie did. Julie's watercolor paintings and photos of Jemima are incredible and they complement this engaging tale in the most wonderful ways.

I love writers who are unpredictable. That's one reason I am a huge fan of the novelist Lisa Lutz. I never know what to expect from her and her latest novel "The Swallows" certainly came as a total surprise to me. This is a book about female rage and a gender war at a boarding school. She is so clever and this story is so very compelling.

Heaven only knows what her next book will be about-I'm certainly looking forward to reading it!

Thomas Mallon has written a number of works of historical fiction that are based on actual events. He likes to have political themes in many of them and his book "Mrs. Paine's Garage: and the Murder of John F. Kennedy" was a fascinating story about a woman who was a peripheral figure in the events surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas in 1963.

A few years ago I received an e-mail from the publicist for the author Louise Penny. She was wondering if I would be reviewing the latest book in Penny's massively popular series set in Quebec which features Inspector Armand Gamache. When I responded I asked her if Louise would be willing to be my guest on the radio. I wasn't expecting a positive response. I understood how an author who routinely tops the best-seller lists might be too busy to make an appearance in The Book Nook.

"Leaving Atlanta" by Tayari Jones

17 years ago a writer named Tayari Jones came through Dayton on a book tour for her debut novel. At that time she was virtually unknown. That afternoon she made her first appearance on a live radio program. Today Tayari Jones is no longer an unknown author. Her most recent novel, "An American Marriage," was an Oprah's Book Club selection and a best-seller.

"The Rape of Nanking" by Iris Chang

Over the years that I have been hosting this program I have had the opportunity to interview a number of historical figures. Three of those individuals have been astronauts; John Glenn, Eugene Cernan, and Buzz Aldrin. Our early astronauts are mostly gone now. Of those three Buzz Aldrin is the only one who remains with us today.

The first time I had Tony Horwitz on the program he had just published his landmark work of non-fiction "Confederates in the Attic." Tony gave a wonderful interview that day. I loved that book so much that I had him on the show again for the paperback release. Over the years I did four interviews with Tony. His partner, the novelist Geraldine Brooks has made three appearances in the Book Nook.