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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: Cloud Cuckoo Land

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“Set in Constantinople in the fifteenth century, in a small town in present-day Idaho, and on an interstellar ship decades from now Anthony Doerr’s gorgeous third novel is a triumph of imagination and compassion, a soaring story of children on the cusp of adulthood in worlds in peril, who find resilience, hope and - a book.”

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and that’s a summary of Anthony Doerr’s newest novel from the flyleaf of his book.

As a reader you’ll feel like you’re living in three different times...In 1453 you’ll follow Anna and her sister Maria as they eke out a living in an embroidery factory and Omeir who, along with his twin oxen, are drafted to bring an enormous cannon to the battle for Constantinople. In present day you’ll meet Seymour, an autistic child who falls in love with nature and a great grey horned owl and vows to seek revenge when the owl’s habitat is torn down to build houses. And also Zeno, a Korean War veteran who makes it his life’s work to translate the centuries old manuscript Cloud Cuckoo Land. And far into the future you’ll meet Konstance, a teenager who will live her entire life on an interstellar ship that will take 593 years to reach a habitable planet.

The common thread is the manuscript. This is a wonderfully creative novel, written by the same man who won a Pulitzer Prize for his novel All the Light We Cannot See. You’ll probably want to own a copy to reread and savor.

Once more from the flyleaf: this book “is a beautiful and redemptive novel about stewardship - of a book, of the Earth, of the human heart.” You must read Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr.

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