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.

For the past half century working class Americans have watched as their economic status has been in decline. Manufacturing jobs went away. Labor unions have seen their power to protect American jobs dwindle. The lives of working class Americans are rarely depicted in fiction. Connie Schultz understands the lives of our working class citizens. She grew up in a working class family and her experiences and insights inform the action and inspired the characters in her novel "The Daughters of Erietown."

Over the 26 years that I have been talking to authors about their work I have spoken to many writers who had just published their first books. Many of them have gone on to successful careers while creating impressive bodies of work. Some others never wrote a second book or they wrote just a few more then faded back into the woodwork.

Will anybody ever know us completely? Is it possible to admit everything about oneself? Aren't there always things one feels are impossible to reveal? Embarrassing things? Weird thoughts? Scary desires?

Our upcoming November election is just around the corner and political campaigns are heating up. President Trump is creating an atmosphere of suspicion by asserting that voting by mail is subject to tampering. While this has never been proven to be the case he's plowing ahead with these accusations and creating doubts about the integrity of our election process.

Once upon a time authors went out on book tours. They would travel around the country and meet their readers in bookstores and libraries and all sorts of literary venues. The prevalence of authors going out on book tours has been in decline since the financial crisis of 2008. After that publishers began tightening their budgets and if you were not an author with a big name they were much more reluctant to subsidize your plane tickets and hotel expenses.

Dylan Taylor-Lehman returned to the program to discuss his history of the micronation Sealand. Perhaps you are perplexed, maybe you are wondering; what the heck is a micronation? And what is Sealand?

I had never heard of these entities until Dylan told me about them. This is a truly bizarre bit of history and it all began as a pirate radio station off the coast of England.

The former South Boston crime boss Whitey Bulger was on the run for many years. The fugitive was at the top of the FBI's most wanted list until 9/11 when Osama Bin Laden took over that spot. After they tracked down Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan Whitey Bulger heard the news at his hideaway apartment in Santa Monica and he knew that the FBI would soon focus on catching him again and he was absolutely correct.

"The Primal Scream" by Dr. Arthur Janov was an influential and controversial book. Twenty years ago I recorded my only interview with Dr. Janov to discuss his book "The Biology of Love." We were joined on the program that day by his wife France Janov. During the interview we had a discussion about his "primal scream therapy," how the idea for it came about, and how it is supposed to work.

Dr. Janov died in 2017.

If I really like a book I will try to interview the author twice, once for the hardcover release then once again when the book comes out in paperback. I really liked the book "Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Across America with Einstein's Brain" and I loved my initial interview with the author so when I had another chance to interview Michael Paterniti 19 years ago for the paperback it was essentially, forgive me for this, a no-brainer.

In 1998 Wally Lamb was on book tour to publicize his blockbuster novel "I Know This Much Is True." The novel had been catapulted to literary glory when it was selected as the featured book by Oprah Winfrey for her Book Club. Lamb is that rare lucky author who then went on to have his next book chosen by Oprah as well. He came out to Yellow Springs to do an interview with me.