Betty Martin

Host, Martin's Must-Reads

Betty Martin was born in Boston, Massachusetts to a Lutheran pastor and his organist wife. Betty’s love of books was inspired by her father who read to all four children each night.

After graduating from the University of Connecticut with a B.A. in American History in 1975, she followed her mother’s advice and earned a Masters in Library Science from the Southern Connecticut State University. In her first professional library position she served as  the children’s librarian for the Wallingford Public Library in Wallingford, Connecticut, for fifteen years.

In 1992 she moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where she served as a Regional Youth Services Coordinator for the St. Louis Public Library. She moved to Cape Girardeau, Missouri in 1994 to marry Mark Martin and was hired by the Cape Girardeau Public Library to serve as the Adult Services Coordinator which she did for three years until being promoted to director. She served as director for twenty-one years and counts leading the organization through a building project as the highlight of her career.

She retired in July of 2018 and now has plenty of time to read. Her reading tastes lean towards historical fiction, any well-written novel with quirky characters and a few nonfiction titles. Her ultimate hope in recording book reviews is that, someday, someone will make an action figure of her just like Nancy Pearl has, or maybe a bobble-head.

Ways to Connect

“They were at it again. Arguing, Shouting. Soon there would be crying. Weather like this brought out the darkness in her father.”

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and that was a quote from Kristin Hannah’s novel The Great Alone.

The story takes place over twelve years beginning in 1974.  When husband and father, Ernt returns from Vietnam he struggles to keep a job. With a bequest of land in a remote village in Alaska, he decides to take his family there for a fresh start.

Review of The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

May 1947, Southampton.  “The first person I met in England was a hallucination.”

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must-Reads" and those are the first lines in one of my latest favorite historical novels. The Alice Network by Kate Quinn has parallel narratives. One of Charlie,  a young unwed pregnant woman who, on her way to Switzerland to take care of what her mother calls her “little problem,” detours to follow leads to the whereabouts of her lost cousin.