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

“Why is it that people are engineered to live just long enough to to pile up a lifetime of mistakes but not long enough to fix them? If only we were like trees, she thinks. If only we had centuries.” 

“Therapists don’t perform personality transplants: they just help to take the sharp edges off. A patient may become less reactive or critical, more open and able to let people in. But part of getting to know yourself is to unknow yourself - to let go of the limiting stories you’ve told yourself about who you are so that you aren’t trapped by them, so you can live your life and not the story you’ve been telling yourself about your life.”

The book Doctor Zhivago was first published in Italy in 1957 after being smuggled out of Russia.  It was several years later and after Stalin’s death when it would be published in Pasternak’s country, Russia. 

“It is a sad fact of life that if a young woman is unlucky enough to come into the world without expectations, she had better do all she can to ensure she is born beautiful. To be poor and handsome is misfortune enough; but to be penniless and plain is a hard fate indeed.” 

“It’s easier to kill a man than a gator, but it takes the same kind of wait. You got to watch for the weakness, and take your shot to the back of the head. "

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and those are the first lines to Deb Spera’s novel Call Your Daughter Home.

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