Books - Non-Fiction

Vick Mickunas / WYSO

I took a listen back to some of my favorite interviews for non-fiction titles during 2018 and chose several that really stood out. When I picked segments for this re-broadcast I had a number of criteria to consider. The major considerations were these: did I love the book? Did I have a really good conversation with the author? And finally, was the sound quality good?

The Wright Brothers are the most famous of Daytonians. Their achievements in inventing manned flight are indisputable. William Hazelgrove decided there was something about the Wrights narrative that didn't feel right to him. In his new book "Wright Brothers, Wrong Story - How Wilbur Wright Solved the Problem of Manned Flight" the author attempts to re-Wright and alter that narrative.

Listen to this interview and decide whether you agree with him.

James M. Scott returned to the program to discuss his latest World War Two history book. Scott gives readers an in-depth look at what occurred in what was once one of the most beautiful cites in Asia during the closing days of the war. Scott believes that the Battle of Manila had not received extensive coverage before now. He takes readers through the events that took place during the war as the Philippines were invaded by the Japanese and the American defenders and their leader, General Douglas MacArthur were driven away as MacArthur uttered his famous promise that "I shall return."

Over the years that I have been hosting the show I have featured quite a variety of biographies. I have had the opportunity to interview the writers of some highly regarded works. I had David McCullough on the program for his biographies of John Adams and the Wright Brothers. Scott Berg appeared to talk about his biography of Woodrow Wilson. In 1999 I had a chance to discuss "Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr." with Ron Chernow. This fascinating book about a man who was once the richest man in the world is an impressive piece of scholarship.

William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg were leading figures in what became known as the Beat Generation. Burroughs was best known as a writer who wrote experimental novels like "Naked Lunch." Ginsberg was well known as a poet. His poem "Howl" was instrumental in overturning the legal definition of obscenity.

The late Lloyd Ostendorf was considered to be one of the leading experts on photographic images of President Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln lived during a time when photography was still in its infancy and even though he was the most famous person in America at one time very few genuine photos of Lincoln are known to exist.

2018 has been a great year for taking this program out on the road to bring you author interviews presented before live audiences. We headed over to the Jewish Community Center in Centerville to record an interview with Sally Kohn for her extraordinary book "The Opposite of Hate: A Field Guide to Repairing Our Humanity."

Linda Schmitmeyer did a very brave thing; she wrote a memoir detailing her family's decades-long ordeal dealing with her husband's mental illness. Linda, her husband Steve, and their children lived through it and they stayed together as a family. If anything it has made them stronger.

This is a powerful and very personal story that will provide strength and inspiration to those who are dealing with their own mental illness or that of a loved one.

Jereme Zimmerman returned to the program to talk about his exciting new book about home brewing. Some of you might recall that on his previous visit to the show he told us about his adventures in making mead.

His new book is just as interesting and as beautifully conceived as his previous one. We learn the history of brewing beer, ales, and other things and he shows us some amazing recipes and techniques for creating our own tasty beverages.

I moved to SW Ohio in 1993 and began hosting radio shows on WYSO in June of that same year. I have tried to learn as much as I can about the history of this region. I was aware that during the 1960's there were racial disturbances and riots in many major metropolitan areas. I had heard that there were riots in Dayton during that period but I knew very little about them.