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Arts & Culture
There are one million new books published each year. With so many books and so little time, where do you begin to find your next must-read? There’s the New York Times Bestseller list, the Goodreads app, the Cape Library’s Staff picks shelf and now Martin’s Must-Reads.Every Wednesday at 6:42 and 8:42 a.m., and Sunday at 8:18 a.m., Betty Martin recommends a must read based on her own personal biases for historical fiction, quirky characters and overall well-turned phrases. Her list includes WWII novels, biographies of trailblazers, novels with truly unique individuals and lots more. Reading close to 100 titles a year, Betty has plenty of titles to share.Local support for "Martin's Must Reads" comes from the Cape Girardeau Public Library and the Poplar Bluff Municipal Library.

Martin's Must Reads: Top Reads of 2019


If your online feeds are anything like mine this time of year you receive many lists of the top best books of the year, and so, on this the first day of 2020, I will list some of my favorite reviewed books of 2019.

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads." If you’ve been listening to my reviews over the past year, you know that I prefer to read historical fiction or fiction with interesting characters and the occasional nonfiction. In October my husband, Mark, began reviewing one of his favorite reads each month. As he prefers the nonfiction genre in the form of  history, sports, biographies and life issues, he’s added a new dimension to our weekly reviews.

Looking back over our reviews from 2019, here are some of my favorite titles. Click on the title of the book to read the review.

My recommendations for general fiction:
Virgil Wander by Leif Enger
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owen
The Weight of a Piano by Chris Cander
The Stars are Fire by Anita Shreve
Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

My two favorite light fiction reads:
The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary and The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman.

My favorite historical fiction titles:
The Night Tiger by Yangtze Choo
Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
Deep River by Karl Marlantes
Dragonfly by Leila Meacham
The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See
The Huntress by Kate Quinn

And finally, my favorite nonfiction reads of 2019:
Don’t Make Me Pull Over by Richard Ratay
The Good Neighbor by Maxwell King
Becoming Dr. Seuss by Brian Jay Jones and A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purcell

It’s 2020. You must read!

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