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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: 'Lessons from Lucy'


Years ago when we enjoyed life with a scrappy Jack Russell terrier named Little Bit, we had a poster hanging on our refrigerator that reminded us of life lessons to learn from her. Things like “live in the moment” and “don't’ hold grudges” and “show compassion.” 

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and that’s what Dave Barry does in his newest book Lessons From Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog.” There’s one chapter for each of the seven lessons.  Some of the lessons are: Make New Friends (And Keep the Ones You Have); Don’t Stop Having Fun (And if you have stopped, start having fun again); Pay Attention to the People You Love (Not Later. Right Now.); and Let Go of Your Anger. Of course with Dave Barry as the author, each chapter is full of his trademark humor along with the great reminders of what to keep important in our lives.

In the “Don’t Stop Having Fun” chapter he shares the fun he’s had parading with the World Famous Lawn Rangers, including for President Obama’s inaugural parade and making music with The Rock Bottom Remainders, made up of authors like Stephen King and Amy Tan who really can’t play music very well.

Following the Epilogue there’s a chapter Barry added after living through a major life event with his family just as the finished book was going to print. There’s no humor in this chapter, but there is one last life lesson: Be grateful for what you have.

If you’re looking for a quick read to remind you of some of what is truly important in life, then you must read Lessons from Lucy: The Simple Joys of An Old, Happy Dog by Dave Barry.

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.
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