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.

Pete Rose was one of the greatest baseball players to ever play the sport. Now that Pete is entering his twilight years he wants to leave us with some final thoughts about how he became such a great player and the things that have been important to him. If you read "Play Hungry - the Making of a Baseball Player" you'll learn what matters to Pete Rose.

None of us are getting any younger. But many of us are living longer lives. As the birth rate holds steady or even declines slightly older Americans will continue to make up a growing proportion of our population. How we are aging and the things we can do to try to make our aging a less difficult process are becoming increasingly crucial.

The presidential contest in 2000 came down to a photo finish between Al Gore and George W. Bush. It was too close to call. The candidate who was awarded the electoral votes for the state of Florida would be declared the winner. The results in Florida were unclear and in dispute. The eventual declaration that Bush had won was finally decided weeks after the election when the matter was finally referred to the Supreme Court. Judge Antonin Scalia cast the key vote that tipped the election to the Republicans.

One of the most peculiar interviews I have ever experienced during my years hosting the program took place about 20 years ago. In those days the program aired live from our studios every weekday afternoon and the majority of my guests came out to the station to be interviewed.

I had been contacted by a fellow named Andrew Jones. He called himself "The Flying Wine Man." I had no idea what he meant by that appellation but I was about to find out.

One of my favorite interviews from the year 2001 was the one that I did with J.N. Stroyar. The author came out to our studios to discuss her massive novel "The Children's War." This work of alternative history operates under this basic premise: the Germans did not lose World War Two and in the world that followed the Nazis remain the dominant force in Europe. Imagine that. Stroyar did and the result is a chilling story that was one of my favorite works of fiction that year.

Alastair MacLeod wrote short stories that were like jewels. He published just one novel and fewer than 20 short stories during his lifetime. He was one of the most highly regarded writers in his native Canada. It was quite an amazing thing that the author came out to our studios to participate in this interview.

We talked about fishing and mining and the relationships between fathers and sons. MacLeod died in 2014.

Andro Linklater came out to Yellow Springs to talk about his study of the history of land surveying in our region. This fascinating book shows readers how our landscape was formed by the survey methods that were employed and how those measurement techniques varied in different regions. Down south they did things rather differently.

18 years ago I attended an event here in Yellow Springs called "Community Voices." One of the performers that evening was a gentleman who had recently moved to the village. Ira Brukner recited his poem "Questions" and I was captivated. After that I spent many months trying to persuade him to appear on the program. Finally, he agreed to make an appearance. And what an appearance it was!

John Mauceri was heading to Dayton to be the guest conductor for the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and that presented a wonderful opportunity to interview this eminent artist. We discussed his book "Maestros and Their Music - the Art and Alchemy of Conducting" and it was truly invigorating and educational to hear what he had to say about his views on the art of conducting and some of his experiences from a long and distinguished career.

Alafair Burke returned to the show to discuss her latest novel "The Better Sister." I had her on the show last year for her book "The Wife" and even though these are stand-alone works there is definitely a linkage between them. This is a murder mystery/domestic thriller that will have her readers nervously flipping pages late into the night.