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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 Art Thief'

“Approaching the museum, ready to hunt, Stephane Breitwieser clasps hands with his girlfriend, Anne-Catherine Kleinklaus, and together they stroll to the front desk and say hello, a cute couple. Then they purchase two tickets with cash and walk in. It’s lunchtime, stealing time, on a busy Sunday in Antwerp, Belgium, in February 1997. The couple blends with the tourists at the Rubens House.... An elegant museum of Paul Rubens, the great Flemish painter of the seventeenth century. The item they’re hunting is sheltered at the rear of the museum. Here, mounted atop an ornate wooden dresser, is a plexiglass display box fastened to a sturdy base. Sealed inside the box is an ivory sculpture of Adam and Eve. “

Those are some lines from the first chapter of The Art Thief: a True Story of Love, Crime, and a Dangerous Obsession by Michael Finkel. It ‘s a biography of Stephane Breitwieser. As a young man, Breitwieser became obsessed with fine art from the seventeenth century. With no real source of income and thus unable to purchase art, he opted for stealing pieces ...silver pieces, small ivory sculptures, oil paintings and once, a 150 pound statue of Mary. His only tool was a Swiss Army Knife. Most of the museums he frequented were dangerously unprotected.

The flyleaf says” Carrying out more than two hundred brazen heists over ten years - In museums and churches across Europe- Breitwieser, along with his girlfriend, who served as lookout, stole more than three hundred artworks, worth an estimated $2 billion in total.”

If you’re looking for a crazy true story of art, crime, love and an insatiable hunger to possess beauty at any cost, then you must read The Art Thief by Michael Finkel.

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.