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Best of the Book Nook: Potpourri


I have so many wonderful memories of watching Alex Trebek hosting the long-running TV quiz show "Jeopardy." I go way back with the program, I'm old enough to remember watching it when it was still being hosted by Art Fleming. Alex was something else. So articulate. Such a dry wit. So incredibly quick. He'll be missed. I used to love it when Alex would have the category of "potpourri" on the program. It would be a hodgepodge of unrelated answers, all of them so good that they defied categorization. In honor of Alex I put together a trio of very different interviews. None of these interviews had been posted previously to our podcast gallery. I would like to think that Alex would have appreciated their variety.

"Reading the OED, One Man, One Year, and 21,730 pages" by Ammon Shea (2009)

Ammon Shea read the entire Oxford English Dictionary. Okay, he did skip one word but you'll need to listen to the interview to find out which word that was and why he skipped it. Do you have any idea what an accomplishment it is to read the entire OED? Have you ever read an entire dictionary? I have, and it wasn't easy. And my dictionary was only a Webster's. The OED is a massive dictionary. We had a lot of fun on that day in 2009 talking about words and Ammon Shea has an incredible ability to recall the definitions of the most obscure and esoteric words. I think I only stumped him once! I would like to think that Alex Trebek would have enjoyed this discussion.

"Voluntary Madness-Lost and Found in the Mental Healthcare System" by Norah Vincent (2008)

Norah Vincent's memoir of her experiences checking in to mental health facilities is the epitome of investigative journalism. Norah is one of my favorite guests. I wish she would write more books!

"Ravens" by George Dawes Greene (2009)

George Dawes Greene was one of the first authors I ever interviewed. He wrote a book called "The Juror" and that story was adapted into a film. During this interview George explained that he hadn't been doing much writing since then because they paid him so well for those movie rights that he decided to take it easy for a while. It isn't that he wasn't busy, though. George created the "The Moth" and in this interview he talked about how this highly popular story-telling program began.

The Book Nook on WYSO is presented by the Greene County Public Library with additional support from Washington-Centerville Public Library, Clark County Public Library, Dayton Metro Library, and Wright Memorial Public Library.

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. 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.