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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: 'Welcome to the United States of Anxiety'

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“When did USA become shorthand for the United States of Anxiety? From the moment Americans wake up, we’re bombarded with all-new terrifying news about crime, the environment, politics, and stroke-inducing foods we’ve been enjoying for years.”

I’m Mark Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and Jen Lancaster takes on our anxiety and neurosis inducing world in her book Welcome to the United States of Anxiety, Observations From A Reforming Neurotic.

Those looking for a how to manual on lowering your personal stress and anxiety level will be disappointed. Those looking for a detailed academic study of our society today are out of luck. What the reader will find is a collection of stories and observations from today’s headlines that blend astute observations, the unending question of “How did we get here?”, self-deprecating humor and a dry sarcastic wit.

This book is not all humor and fluff. Ms. Lancaster gets serious on the damage the media, social media and especially Facebook are doing to our society. She takes aim at the trolls, influencers, politicians, big business, food industry, helicopter parents, and mass shootings. Her humorous look at those who are paid huge sums of money to pose or just show up to an event is eye opening. The gem in this book is how Ms. Lancaster takes these observations and shows how they contribute to the increase in our personal anxiety and stress levels.

This book is not for everyone. If you are not ready to be challenged, if you are not ready to be offended at times, if you are not ready to have a finger poking you in the chest, you should skip this book. It has been said what makes humor so effective is that it is usually right. So also with Jen Lancaster’s book Welcome to the United States of Anxiety.

Mark co-hosted "Martin's Must Reads" until October 2022. He passed away unexpectedly on October 21, 2022.