Books - Fiction

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.

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.

Marty Wingate made her first appearance on the program to discuss her latest mystery novel, "The Bodies in the Library." This is the initial installment in her First Edition Library series and fans of mysteries might recognize the title is an homage to that Queen of Mystery; Agatha Christie.

Since I began interviewing authors on WYSO in 1994 I have kept a list of people I would really like to have on the program. Now and then I'll get to check a name off my list but it doesn't happen that often. Some names I simply have to cross off without ever having done an interview. Obviously when authors die that forces me to remove them from my list. Then there are the writers who are simply so famous that I do not realistically have a chance of ever interviewing them. Stephen King would be a good example of an author like that.

Rene Denfeld made her third appearance on the show to talk about her third novel "The Butterfly Girl." Denfeld's work defies categorization. Her latest effort springs in part from some deeply personal experiences. This is the story of a young girl who has fled an abusive life at home to survive as a homeless kid living on the streets of a Skid Row area in the Pacific Northwest. Denfeld knows what that feels like, she once found herself in a similar situation. After you listen to the interview you might wish to track down all of her novels.

Kinky Friedman made his only appearance on the program in 2000. The musician and novelist came through the area for a book signing followed by a performance at the Canal Street Tavern. The Kinkster strode into the studio wearing his signature ten gallon cowboy hat. He had an enormous unlit cigar clenched between his teeth. He was quite a sight.

He went on to give one of the most hilarious and politically incorrect interviews in the history of the program. I hope you enjoy it.

When I was a small boy and I learned how to read my life changed forever. I became so excited about reading books. All these years later my excitement remains. If anything, I am more excited about books now that I ever was. So many good books to read, so little time.

I first began interviewing authors on WYSO back in 1994. For many years I have been aware of the novelist Nevada Barr and her series that features Anna Pigeon, a National Parks Ranger who solves mysteries while being surrounded by nature. Amazingly, I have never interviewed Nevada Barr! Until now.

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.

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!