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

“After a bad breakup, Tiffy Moore needs a place to live. Fast. And cheap. Desperation makes her open-minded, so she answers an ad for a flatshare. Leon, a night-shift worker , will take the apartment during the day, and Tiffy can have it nights and weekends. He’ll be there only when she’s at the office. In fact, they’ll never even have to meet.”

“Aboard Chawla. Nedda Papas rose to birdsong, the sharp, rasping call of a dusky seaside sparrow against a backdrop of waves - a reminder of home and things she’d never see again.” 

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and those are the first lines of Erika Swyler’s science fiction novel Light From Other Stars.

“I don’t believe he can live through the night.” George Cherrie wrote in his diary in the spring of 1914. A tough and highly respected naturalist who had spent twenty-five years exploring the Amazon, Cherrie too often had watch helplessly as his companions succumbed to the lethal dangers of the jungle. Deep in the Brazilian rain forest, he recognized the approach of death when he saw it, and it now hung unmistakable over Theodore Roosevelt.”

"The house I grew up in had a great backyard..a long driveway for biking, a  tree perfect for climbing, two large boulders to play around and a section that could be frozen for ice skating."

 I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and Haven Kimmel’s autobiography A Girl Named Zippy took me back to those glorious days of childhood freedom and innocence. Haven grew up in the 1960’s in the small town of Mooreland, Indiana, population 300. Her book is about her life from birth through age 10.

“When Kya ran to the porch, she saw her mother in a long brown skirt, kick pleats nipping at her ankles, as she walked down the sandy lane in high heels. The stubby-nosed shoes were fake alligator skin. From there she saw the blue train case Ma carried. Usually, with the confidence of a pup, Kya knew her mother would return with meat wrapped in greasy brown paper or with a chicken head dangling down. But she never wore the gator heels, never took a case.”