Books - Non-Fiction

Mark Kurlansky made his one and only appearance on the program to discuss his fascinating study of a substance that seems ubiquitous to us in "Salt: a World History."

Kurlansky has distinguished himself by publishing scholarly studies that are treasure troves of trivia. In the past the people who had access to large quantities of salt possessed enormous power. You can learn so much from reading this book and Kurlansky gives a great interview.

Our senior U.S. Senator from Ohio is Sherrod Brown. When he was first elected to the U.S. Senate he was brought on to the floor of the Senate chamber along with the other newly elected first-time Senators. They were there to choose their desks. The desks are numbered.

Susan Orlean made her first appearance on the program to discuss the paperback reissue of her bestseller "The Library Book." I had wanted to interview Susan for some time. A number of years ago she wrote a book about Rin Tin Tin and I really wanted to interview her for that non-fiction history of the 1950's canine TV star but I could never arrange to get her on the schedule to do that. Then when "The Library Book" came out in hardcover I tried again to get an interview but had no luck again.

Some years before Neenah Ellis came to WYSO to become our station manager she passed though our region on a publicity tour for her book "If I Live to Be 100: Lessons from the Centenarians." I liked the book so much that I had her on the program twice, once for the initial hardcover release, then again when it came out the following year in paperback.

The music historian and scholar Ted Gioia returned to the program to discuss his monumental new study of what he describes as the subversive history of music.

Caleb Carr made his only appearance on the program in 2002 to discuss his non-fiction book "The Lessons of Terror : A History of Warfare Against Civilians." The book came out shortly after the horrific 9/11 terrorist attacks. 17 years later the treat of terrorism remains very much on our minds and the issues he discussed then are just as current and prevalent today.

In August of 1969 the legendary Woodstock Music Festival took place. It has been known as having been a wonderful event, something to celebrate. Four months later, in December 1969, The Rolling Stones gave a free concert in northern California at the site of what was then the Altamont Speedway. The concert at Altamont will always be remembered as a horrific event in which people died and thousands of spectators experienced really bad acid trips.

Julie Zickefoose returned to the program to discuss her thoroughly heart warming and utterly amazing book "Saving Jemima: Life and Love with a Hard-Luck Jay." Julie rescued a baby blue jay and raised it for about a month until it was ready to be released back into the wild.

She named the bird Jemima and when you read this story you will fall in love with this spunky little bird just like Julie did. Julie's watercolor paintings and photos of Jemima are incredible and they complement this engaging tale in the most wonderful ways.

"Leaving Atlanta" by Tayari Jones

17 years ago a writer named Tayari Jones came through Dayton on a book tour for her debut novel. At that time she was virtually unknown. That afternoon she made her first appearance on a live radio program. Today Tayari Jones is no longer an unknown author. Her most recent novel, "An American Marriage," was an Oprah's Book Club selection and a best-seller.

"The Rape of Nanking" by Iris Chang

The first time I had Tony Horwitz on the program he had just published his landmark work of non-fiction "Confederates in the Attic." Tony gave a wonderful interview that day. I loved that book so much that I had him on the show again for the paperback release. Over the years I did four interviews with Tony. His partner, the novelist Geraldine Brooks has made three appearances in the Book Nook.