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).


August 16, 2016 -- English poet whose political reputation overshadowed that of his poetry until the 20th century. He is now considered to be one of the best Metaphysical poets.



August 15, 2016 -- Scottish novelist, poet, historian, and biographer who is often considered both the inventor and the greatest practitioner of the historical novel.

August 12, 2016 -- American financier and philanthropist, noted for his lavish lifestyle, fondness for ostentatious jewelry, and enormous appetite.



August 9, 2016 -- The Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the most remarkable architectural structures from medieval Europe. It is located in the Italian town of Pisa, one of the most visited European cities.    

August 8, 2016 -- On this date in 1945, President Harry S. Truman signs the United Nations Charter and the United States becomes the first nation to complete the ratification process and join the new international organization. Although hopes were high at the time that the United Nations would serve as an arbiter of international disputes, the organization also served as the scene for some memorable Cold War clashes.



August 5, 2016 -- Joseph Carey Merrick was born on August 5, 1862, in Leicester, England. At a young age he began to develop physical deformities that became so extreme that he was forced to become a resident of a workhouse at age 17. Seeking to escape the workhouse several years later, Merrick found his way into a human oddities show in which he was exhibited as "The Elephant Man."   


August 4, 2016 -- Shelley was an influential English romantic poet, famous for his lyrical poetry and idealistic radical political thought. He was also generous in his support and encouragement of fellow poets, and was a key figure in the development of English romantic poetry.



August 3, 2016 -- Martin Sheen is an American actor best known for his roles in films Badlands (1973) and Apocalypse Now (1979). He has won numerous awards for his role as President Bartlet on the TV series The West Wing.    


August 2, 2016 -- French-born American engineer, architect, and urban designer who designed the basic plan for Washington, D.C., the capital city of the United States.

August 1, 2016 -- Richard Henry Dana Jr. was an American lawyer and politician from Massachusetts who gained renown as the author of the American classic, the memoir Two Years Before the Mast.    


July 29, 2016 -- Stanley Kunitz was an American poet who served as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress (1974; 2000). He won the Pulitzer Prize for his work Selected Poems 1928-1958 (1958).



July 28, 2016 -- Gerard Manley Hopkins is one of the three or four greatest poets of the Victorian era. He is regarded by different readers as the greatest Victorian poet of religion, of nature, or of melancholy. However, because his style was so radically different from that of his contemporaries, his best poems were not accepted for publication during his lifetime, and his achievement was not fully recognized until after World War I. 



July 27, 2016 -- Charlotte Corday, born July 27, 1768, is most known for killing Jean Paul Marat in his bath, during the French Revolution period.


Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw wrote more than 60 plays during his lifetime and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1925.



July 25, 2016 -- Jack London, whose life symbolized the power of will, was the most successful writer in America in the early 20th Century. His vigorous stories of men and animals against the environment, and survival against hardships were drawn mainly from his own experience.


July 21, 2016 -- Don Knotts was a comedic actor of film and television known for his roles on TV's The Andy Griffith Show and Three's Company.



July 20, 2016 -- Petrarch was a poet and scholar whose humanist philosophy set the stage for the Renaissance. He is also considered one of the fathers of the modern Italian language.


July 19, 2016 --  Archibald Joseph Cronin, born in 1896, was a novelist, dramatist and writer of non-fiction who was one of the most renowned storytellers of the twentieth century. His best-known works are The Stars Look Down, The Citadel, The Keys of the Kingdom and The Green Years, all of which were adapted to film.



July 18, 2016 -- William Makepeace Thackeray was a 19th-century novelist known for such works as Vanity Fair and Barry Lyndon.


July 15, 2016 -- Known for his self-portraits and biblical scenes, Dutch artist Rembrandt is considered to be one of the greatest painters in European history.


July 14, 2016 -- Bastille Day is the common name given in English-speaking countries to the French National Day, which is celebrated on 14 July each year.     


July 13, 2016 -- Allegedly, a descendent of Trojan prince Aeneas, Julius Caesar's auspicious birth marked the beginning of a new chapter in Roman history. By age 31, Caesar had fought in several wars and become involved in Roman politics. After several alliances, he became dictator of the Roman Empire. This led to a senatorial coup, and Caesar's eventual assassination, on the Ides of March.    


July 12, 2016 -- Henry David Thoreau was born on July 12, 1817, in Concord, Massachusetts. He began writing nature poetry in the 1840s, with poet Ralph Waldo Emerson as a mentor and friend. In 1845 he began his famous two-year stay on Walden Pond, which he wrote about in his master work, Walden. He also became known for his beliefs in Transcendentalism and civil disobedience, and was a dedicated abolitionist.



July 11, 2016 -- John Quincy Adams, son of John and Abigail Adams, served as the sixth President of the United States from 1825 to 1829. A member of multiple political parties over the years, he also served as a diplomat, a Senator, and a member of the House of Representatives.