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

“At twenty-eight years old, Scott Harrison had it all. As a top nightclub promoter in New York City, his life was an endless cycle of drugs, booze, models - repeat. But ten years in, desperately unhappy and morally bankrupt, he asked himself, ‘What would the exact opposite of my life look like?'”

“The Bluthner carried the memory of every note it had ever created. Every chord, every scale.  It had absorbed all the grief and longing and joy and exultation expressed through it’s action, the impression of every touch and every tear shed at its keyboard.”

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and that’s a quote from Chris Cander’s book The Weight of a Piano.

During the first seventeen years of my library career as a children’s librarian, one of my favorite genres was fantasy and even now I am  drawn to adult fiction that draws from fairytale themes.

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and today’s recommended read is Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik. It has a Rumpelstilskin flavor to it. It’s about two kingdoms in medieval times, one of this world, another of a world of ice and snow. And it’s about two women: Miryem, who helps her money lending family survive and Irina, who’s Duke father marries her off to the Tsar.

“When Norman Eisen moved into the US ambassador’s residence in Prague, returning to the land his mother had fled after the Holocaust, he was startled to discover swastikas hidden beneath the furniture.” 

I’m Betty Martin with Martin’s Must Reads and that’s a quote from The Last Palace by Norman Eisen.  From 2011- 2014,  Eisen served as the US Ambassador to Czechoslovakia and lived in the embassy in Prague, the last palace built in Europe.

“A spellbinding novel of a merchant, a mermaid, and a madam - an unforgettable confection of obsession, wonder, and the deepest desires of the heart - told with bawdy wit, sparkling intrigue, and a hint of magic.”

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and that’s a quote from the fly leaf of the novel The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock by Imogen Hermès Gowar.

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