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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: 'Goyhood'

“David’s success in business was ten percent luck, ten percent indefatigability and zero percent Ida Mae. Mayer’s achievements in Torah scholarship originated from an altogether different formula. Had it not been for his mother, he never would have gone to yeshiva and been accepted into the Drezner clan. Sure, his success story had a supporting cast - Rabbi Kugel, Mrs. Kugel, his early yeshiva mentors - but when Ida Mae revealed her Jewish identity to her sons that blistering summer day, she set everything in motion.”

That’s a passage from Reuven Fenton’s novel Goyhood. The prologue introduces the twins David and Marty when they are twelve and discover a steel candelabrum with eight branches on the front lawn of the new rabbi’s home. When Rabbi Kugel visits the twin’s home, their mom Ida Mae reveals that the twins are of Jewish descent.

The rest of the story takes place thirty years later when the estranged brothers reunite to bury their dead mother. David after years of drugs, women and failed businesses has finally struck it rich with an e-cigarette company. Marty, now Mayer, has spent the same years studying Jewish law. Hours before the funeral is to take place, Rabbi Yossi shares Ida Mae’s last message to her sons. They are, in fact, not Jewish since she was not. Mayer decides to convert to Judaism, but that can’t happen for a week, so David takes them on an adventure through the Deep South. Although much of the story is about Mayer struggling with his faith, it’s also about the relationship between the two brothers.

If you’re looking for a fun novel about the very real subjects of faith and brotherhood, then you must read Goyhood by Reuven Fenton.

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.