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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: 'The Lincoln Highway'

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“To Emmett, all the houses in this part of the country looked like they’d been dropped from the sky. The Watson house just looked like it’d had a rougher landing. The roof line sagged on either side of the chimney and the window frames were slanted just enough that half the windows wouldn’t quite open and the other half wouldn’t quite shut. In another moment, they’d be able to see how the paint had been shaken right off the clapboard.”

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and those are some lines from the beginning of Amor Towles newest novel The Lincoln Highway. As the story begins nineteen year old Emmett is returning from a reformatory after completing a fifteen month sentence for involuntary manslaughter. While he was away his father died and the bank foreclosed on the family farm.

Emmett plans to reunite with his eight year old brother, Billy, and head west to start a new life. Billy wants to travel on the Lincoln Highway based on postcards their mother sent after leaving them eight years ago. It seems like a straightforward plan until Duchess and Woolly show up that same day with a different plan that involves heading east to New York. They are friends Emmett made at the reformatory. The straight forward plan becomes a crazy adventure involving hopping freight trains, settling scores, and making friends.

Towles is such a good writer. Every character he introduces is unique and richly drawn. One of my favorites is Billy who has a pure heart and finds most of life’s lessons can be drawn from his favorite book, Professor Abacus Abernathe’s Compendium of Heroes, Adventurers, and Other Intrepid Travelers.

If you love a great adventure story with unforgettable characters, then you must read The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles.

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.