Books - Non-Fiction

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.

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.

Dayton historian Curt Dalton has written more books about Dayton history than anybody I know. It isn't even close. In 2002 I had him on the show twice over a period of five months because that's how prolific he was, he had two books that came out during that short period.

The first book was a history of Dayton's beer brewing industry from the heyday when Dayton had numerous breweries to the total decline that had occurred by 1960 when the Dayton beer brewing scene had essentially vanished.

In 2002 when I interviewed Amy Krouse Rosenthal she was just beginning her meteoric rise to become the best-selling author of memoirs and over 30 children's books over the next 15 years. Amy became a much beloved writer. She died in 2017.

There are not that many books that I pick up and instantly react with expressions of Wow! and Awesome! This book elicited those reactions from me. What a gorgeous endeavor! This massive study of the electric keyboards that are identified with the musical legacies of many musicians from the mid to late 20th century is filled with incredible details and fabulous illustrations.

In 2002 I interviewed Amy Krouse Rosenthal. She died in 2017. I just interviewed her husband Jason for his memoir "My Wife Said You May Want To Marry Me" and it was a powerful experience. During the interview I surprised him by playing a snippet from my interview with Amy. (my interview with Amy is in our Book Nook archive of podcasts).

Jason experienced a great loss and this is his story of love, life, the end of a life, and what came afterward.

Barbara Ehrenreich is one of my favorite people to interview. I have never met her in person and I have only talked to her twice but, wow, what an impact she has made on me. Barbara tells it like it is. She's brilliant and articulate and she has very progressive values. She is also fearless.