Betty Martin

Host, Martin's Must-Reads

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.

After graduating from the University of Connecticut with a B.A. in American History in 1975, she followed her mother’s advice and earned a Masters in Library Science from the Southern Connecticut State University. In her first professional library position she served as  the children’s librarian for the Wallingford Public Library in Wallingford, Connecticut, for fifteen years.

In 1992 she moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where she served as a Regional Youth Services Coordinator for the St. Louis Public Library. She moved to Cape Girardeau, Missouri in 1994 to marry Mark Martin and was hired by the Cape Girardeau Public Library to serve as the Adult Services Coordinator which she did for three years until being promoted to director. She served as director for twenty-one years and counts leading the organization through a building project as the highlight of her career.

She retired in July of 2018 and now has plenty of time to read. Her reading tastes lean towards historical fiction, any well-written novel with quirky characters and a few nonfiction titles. Her ultimate hope in recording book reviews is that, someday, someone will make an action figure of her just like Nancy Pearl has, or maybe a bobble-head.

Ways to Connect

For most New Yorkers, Grand Central Terminal is not just a train station, but a crown jewel, a masterpiece of design. 

The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis is an historical novel that takes place in Grand Central Terminal.

The story begins in April of 1928 with Clara Darden, the only female teacher of the Grand Central Art school.  She teaches the technique of illustration, draws illustrations for Vogue and works for Studebaker automobiles helping to design the car interiors and their ads. The story follows her through heartbreak and financial hard times.

“Oh dear, what does one wear after learning her husband can’t bear the sight of her? Can I quickly fashion a funeral shroud out of the bedsheets? No, I’m still Mrs. Douglas Simmons, and I need to act like it.”

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and that’s a quote from Mr. and Mrs. American Pie by Juliet McDaniel. 

“There are those who will argue such things should not be written. The songs are for the Keepers. Have I, of all people, forgotten the written word is sacred? But who am I, if not a Keeper of the Old Way? My name is Languoreth, daughter of Morten.”

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and that quote comes at the end of the historical fantasy The Lost Queen by Signe Pike. This book, the first of a trilogy, was ranked as one of the best Fiction for 2018 and has been compared to the Outlander and the Mists of Avalon series.

“I never heard the siren. I slept through the rising wind and tree branches wrenching loose and colliding with the roof. I glanced out the window and saw the Oklahoma sky soaked with a new color. Damp jade. Split pea soup. Moss on stone.”

“They were to be in the Nelson House," Perry said. "He would live and work in one flat - Juliet would work there too - while in the next store flat an MI5 officer, Godfrey Toby, would masquerade as a Nazi agent and encourage people with pro-Fascist sympathies to report to him. It they’re telling Godfrey their secrets," Perry said, "then they are not telling the Germans.”

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and that’s a quote from Kate Atkinson’s newest historical novel Transcription.