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

“The woman was staring at Nina in what can only be described as a truculent fashion, jangling her extensive, culturally appropriative turquoise jewelry. ‘ I want my money back. It’s a very boring book; all they do is sit around and talk.’ She took a breath and delivered the coup de grace. ‘I don’t know why the manager told me it was a classic.’ ”

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and those are lines from the the first chapter of Abbi Waxman’s very funny novel The Bookish Life of Nina Hill.

"I do not like green eggs and ham, I do not like them Sam I Am. Would you, could you with a goat? Would you, could you on a boat? I would not, could not with a goat, I would not, could not on a boat. I do not like green eggs and ham, I do not like them Sam I Am.”

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and I’m pretty sure everyone over the age of three knows who wrote those words. Becoming Dr. Seuss by Brian Jones is a thorough and very readable biography of the world’s most recognizable children’s book author.

“The man in brown snapped shut the book he’d been reading and looked up with a stare of disbelief. There was no doubt about it, absolutely none. The five-member team the author described in this obscure little book about clandestine operations in German-occupied France during  WWII was the same group he’d sent into Paris in the fall of 1942. Four had made it home, one barely, the last left behind dead, buried in an unmarked grave on French soil. Or so they’d all believed...”

“Alicia Berenson was thirty-three years old when she killed her husband. They had been married for seven years. They were both artists - Alice was a painter, and Gabriel was a well-known fashion photographer.”

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and those lines begin the first chapter of Alex Michaelides’ thriller The Silent Patient. Many of the chapters, like this one, are in the voice of criminal psychotherapist Theo Faber but some are entries from Alice’s diary that document her life in the months before her husband’s murder.

“Over the course of her hundred years...Stella Fortuna would survive eight near-death experiences - or seven, depending on how you count them. She would be bludgeoned and concussed, she would asphyxiate, she would hemorrhage, and she would be lobotomized. She would be partially submerged in boiling oil, be split from belly to bowel on two unrelated occasions, and on a different day have her life saved only by a typo. Once she would almost accidentally commit suicide.”