The Reader’s Notebook

Weekdays (M-TH) at 9:06 a.m., 12:20 p.m. and 5:44 p.m.

“The Reader’s Notebook” is a daily radio feature using general interest pieces, often of literary or historic significance. Topics will also include science, technology, philosophy, folklore and the arts.

The series is written and hosted by J. D. Reeder, a retired educator, historian, avid reader and regular writer, director, and performer with the Morehead Theatre Guild.

The segments air weekdays (M-TH) at 9:06 a.m., 12:20 p.m. and 5:44 p.m. Each segment will include vignettes about writers, artists and other noteworthy people whose birthdays or other significant events coincide with the date of the program. 

Occasionally, word and phrase origins will be explored, often with a Kentucky connection or include poems and excerpts from other writings associated with the subject of the day.  Each episode will conclude with the phrase: “Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year,” a quotation from noted American poet and essayist, Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Theme music for "The Reader's Notebook" provided by Todd Kozikowski ("Shadows of the Moon"/1997).

Podcast Link


March 11, 2021 -- A Way with Words

  • filibuster - Informal term for any attempt to block or delay Senate action on a bill or other matter by debating it at length, by offering numerous procedural motions, or by any other delaying or obstructive actions.



March 10, 2021 -- After the Treasury issued Demand Notes, Congress authorizes a new class of currency known as “United States notes” or “Legal Tender notes.” These notes replace Demand Notes. They continue to circulate until 1971. Similar to Demand Notes, they are nicknamed "greenbacks."

March 9, 2021 -- Public displays of affection: the dos and donts.


March 8, 2021 -- Alan Hale Jr. was an American actor and restaurateur. He was the son of character actor Alan Hale Sr. His television career spanned four decades, but he was best known for his co-starring role as Captain Jonas Grumby on the 1960s series Gilligan's Island. He also appeared on several talk and variety shows. 



February 25, 2021 -- A Way with Words

  • Kakistocrat
  • Empleomania
  • Throttlebottom
  • Carpetbagger

biography.com/David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

February 24, 2021 -- Steven Paul Jobs was an American inventor, designer and entrepreneur who was the co-founder, chief executive and chairman of Apple Computer. Apple's revolutionary products, which include the iPod, iPhone and iPad, are now seen as dictating the evolution of modern technology. 



February 10, 2021 -- Fanny Efimovna Kaplan was a Russian-Jewish woman, Socialist-Revolutionary, and early Soviet dissident who was convicted of attempting to assassinate Vladimir Lenin and executed by the Cheka in 1918.



February 9, 2021 -- American singer and songwriter Carole King has written or co-written over 400 songs that have been recorded by more than 1,000 artists. Many of her most popular works – including "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" for The Shirelles, "Take Good Care of My Baby" for Bobby Vee and "You Make Me Feel (Like a Natural Woman)" for Aretha Franklin – were written in partnership with her first husband, Gerry Goffin.


February 8, 2021 -- Jules Verne, a 19th-century French author, is famed for such revolutionary science-fiction novels as 'Around the World in Eighty Days' and 'Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.'



February 4, 2021 -- A Way with Words

  • Origins of 'Left' and 'Right' in Politics


February 3, 2021 -- John Donald Fiedler was an American character actor and voice actor. His career lasted more than 55 years in stage, film, television and radio. 



February 2, 2021 -- William Henry Pratt, better known by his stage name Boris Karloff, was an English actor who was primarily known for his roles in horror films. He portrayed Frankenstein's monster in Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, and Son of Frankenstein. He also appeared as Imhotep in The Mummy.


February 1, 2021 -- Hattie Ophelia Wyatt Caraway was an American politician who became the first woman elected to serve a full term as a United States Senator. Caraway represented Arkansas. She was the first woman to preside over the Senate.



January 28, 2021 -- A Way with Words

  • two-faced
  • It's All Greek To Me
  • Were your ears burning?


January 27, 2021 -- The National Geographic Society, headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States, is one of the largest non-profit scientific and educational organizations in the world.



January 26, 2021 -- Paul Newman came to be known as one of the finest actors of his time with films like 'Cool Hand Luke' and 'The Hustler.' He also started the Newman's Own food company, which donates all profits to charity.



January 25, 2021 -- The University of Virginia is a public research university in Charlottesville, Virginia. It was founded in 1819 by United States Declaration of Independence author Thomas Jefferson.


January 21, 2021 -- A Way with Words

  • in the limelight
  • ham it up
  • blonde bombshell

Liam James Doyle for NPR

January 20, 2021 -- The 20th amendment to the Constitution specifies that the term of each elected President of the United States begins at noon on January 20 of the year following the election. Each president must take the oath of office before assuming the duties of the position.



January 19, 2021 -- Dolly Rebecca Parton is an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, actress, author, businesswoman, and humanitarian, known primarily for her work in country music.



November 19, 2020 -- A Way with Words

  • fair game
  • white elephant
  • barking up the wrong tree


November 18, 2020 -- William Tell is a folk hero of Switzerland. According to the legend, Tell was an expert marksman with the crossbow who assassinated Albrecht Gessler, a tyrannical reeve of the Austrian dukes of the House of Habsburg positioned in Altdorf, in the canton of Uri.


November 17, 2020 -- Gordon Meredith Lightfoot Jr. is a Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist who achieved international success in folk, folk-rock, and country music. He is credited with helping to define the folk-pop sound of the 1960s and 1970s.


November 16, 2020 --  Fifth Avenue is a major thoroughfare in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. It stretches north from Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village to West 143rd Street in Harlem. It is considered one of the most expensive and elegant streets in the world.


November 10, 2020 -- David Akeman better known as Stringbean, was an American singer-songwriter, musician, comedian, actor and semiprofessional baseball player best known for his role as a main cast member on the hit television show, Hee Haw, and as a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

Public Domain

November 9, 2020 -- The Cullinan Diamond was the largest gem-quality rough diamond ever found, weighing 3,106.75 carats (621.35 g), discovered at the Premier No.2 mine in Cullinan, South Africa, on 26 January 1905. It was named after Thomas Cullinan, the mine's chairman. In April 1905, it was put on sale in London, but despite considerable interest, it was still unsold after two years. In 1907, the Transvaal Colony government bought the Cullinan and then presented it to Edward VII, King of the United Kingdom, who had it cut by Joseph Asscher & Co. in Amsterdam.



November 5, 2020 -- A Way with Words

  • cut the mustard
  • raise a toast
  • gone to pot


November 4, 2020 -- Arthur William Matthew Carney was an Oscar-winning American actor in film, stage, television and radio. He is best known for playing Ed Norton opposite Jackie Gleason's Ralph Kramden in the 1950s sitcom The Honeymooners, and for his surprising Academy Award for Best Actor win for his role in Paul Mazursky's Harry and Tonto (1974).

November 3, 2020 -- In the United States, Election Day is the annual day set by law for the general elections of federal public officials. It is statutorily set by the Federal Government as "the Tuesday next after the first Monday in the month of November" equaling the Tuesday occurring within November 2 to November 8.


November 2, 2020 -- George Washington was an American political leader, military general, statesman, and Founding Father who served as the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797. Previously, he led Patriot forces to victory in the nation's War for Independence.