WYSO

Books - Non-Fiction

When Sara Bir takes daily strolls though her neighborhood in southeast Ohio she keeps an eye out for delicious foods. These foods are all around us but most of us don't bother to notice them. Sara is a fruit forager. She finds all kinds of tasty things that are growing right out there in the open and many of these delectable treats end up as food for wildlife or they are wasted by being left to rot on the ground.

Over the years that I have been interviewing authors on WYSO I have made some observations about writers. One thing I have noticed is that there are a variety of trajectories that a person's career can take. I have interviewed many people who were just starting out and in most cases, barely being noticed. Then we can go to the other end of that potential trajectory to find the writers who have had that one big book, now years in the past, still hoping to rise to those heights once again and sometimes, with bitterness, bemoaning the declines of their careers.

In Rebels and Underdogs: The Story of Ohio Rock and Roll, author Garin Pirnia explores the past and present of Ohio's modern rock scene city by city.  With a chapter devoted to Dayton, Pirnia delves into several seminal rock bands.  She spoke with Kaleidoscope host Juliet Fromholt about how Dayton fits into the state's larger musical picture.

Rebels and Underdogs: The Story of Ohio Rock and Roll is available now.

William T. Vollmann has now published the second half of his massive Carbon Ideologies. Volume Two is called "No Good Alternative" and in this one the author continues his examination of our energy consumption and the growing concerns that our fossil fuel usage is ultimately going to cause drastic changes in the world as we know it.

Dennis Turner was feeling perturbed about some things that have been happening in our country. Fortunately he found a distraction that took his mind away from current events. Turner heard about an archive of letters in Cincinnati-these missives penned by nuns who were living in convents in Europe during World War Two inspired him to write this book.

The Star Wars movie franchise is alive and well after all these years and the physicist and Star Wars aficionado Patrick Johnson decided that it was high time Star Wars fans had a handbook to help them understand the physics that come into play in the films. So he decided to write one.

Lake County, Florida used to be a very dangerous place to live. It wasn't because there was a high crime rate. In fact Willis McCall, the long-time sheriff of Lake County presented more of a hazard to some residents than any criminals ever would. In his book "Devil in the Grove" the author Gilbert King wrote about a horrible injustice that took place there and the crimes that were perpetrated by that corrupt and violent sheriff.

William T. Vollmann writes some massive books. His current offering is so enormous that his publisher had to split it into two volumes. The first installment is "No Immediate Danger-Volume One of the Carbon Ideologies." Volume Two, "No Good Alternative," will be published in June.

I spoke to Bill Vollmann about the first volume-we had a sobering discussion about this very important book. Vollmann has written this book by taking the approach that he is leaving this text behind for some reader in the future to peruse. A reader who will probably be fairly miserable and living in a world that is far different from the one we know now.

We did something rather different recently when we recorded a Book Nook program before an audience at the Little Art Theatre in Yellow Springs in conjunction with the Greene County Public Library. Melissa Fay Greene returned to the program to do another interview for her book "The Underdogs: Children, Dogs, and the Power of Unconditional Love." This is the inspirational saga of 4 Paws for Ability in Xenia, Ohio and the woman who founded the organization, Karen Shirk.

Here in the United States we live our lives of astounding affluence. We take so many things for granted; fresh water, inexpensive fuels, hot showers, electricity, low crime rates, clean air, abundant food and shelter, heat, air conditioning, the internet; transportation, the list goes on and on. Our consumer society remains blissfully oblivious to how much of the rest of the world lives.

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