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Martin's Must-Reads

There are one million new books published each year.  With so many books and so little time, where do you begin to find your next must-read? There’s the New York Times Bestseller list, the Goodreads app, the Cape Library’s Staff picks shelf and now Martin’s Must-Reads.

Every Wednesday at 6:42 and 8:42 a.m., and Sunday at 8:18 a.m., Betty Martin recommends a must read based on her own personal biases for historical fiction, quirky characters and overall well-turned phrases. Her list includes WWII novels, biographies of trailblazers, novels with truly unique individuals and lots more. Reading close to 100 titles a year, Betty has plenty of titles to share. Tune in each Wednesday and visit KRCU.org for previous must-reads.

Local support for "Martin's Must Reads" comes from the Cape Girardeau Public Library and the Poplar Bluff Municipal Library.

Latest Episodes
  • “They say that when I was born, all the wild geese flew down from the sky, and the fish swam beneath the waves, having forgotten how to swim. Even the lotus flowers in our gardens quivered and turned their heads away, so ashamed they were of their own diminished allure in my presence. I have always found such stories to be laughably exaggerated, but they prove the same thing: that my beauty was something unnatural, transcending nature itself. And that beauty is not so different from destruction.”
  • “In Malaysia, our grandparents love us by not speaking. More specifically, they do not speak about their lives from 1941-1945, the period when the Japanese Imperial Army invaded Malaysia, tossed the British colonizers out, and turned a quiet nation into one that was at war with itself.”
  • “It’s all about the men,” Gwyn said. “Did I tell you I tried to join a Vietnam vets talk therapy session in Dallas? It’s always the same thing. ‘You don’t belong. You’re a woman. There were no women in Vietnam.’”
  • “Tuesdays at 4:30 p.m. That’s her routine. I stand on a grimy square of sidewalk near the busy intersection of 16th and K Streets, scanning the approaching pedestrians. My new client will arrive in seven minutes. I don’t need to meet her today. ”
  • “A thousand years in the past, a thousand years in the future - no matter where you live or how rich or poor you are - the four phases of a woman’s life are the same,” Respectful Lady says. “You are a little girl, so you are still in milk days. When you turn fifteen, you will enter hair- pinning days. The way we style your hair will announce to the world that you are ready for marriage.”
  • “Julia was in the back garden, an eighteen-by-sixteen-foot rectangle hemmed by wooden fences, watching her mother dig up the last of the season’s potatoes at the exact time William was due at the house. She knew he’d be punctual and that one of her sisters would let him in. William would probably be flustered by her father, who would ask him if he knew any poetry by heart, and by Emeline and Cecelia, who wouldn’t cease moving or talking. Sylvia was working at the library, so he’d be spared her inquisitive stare,”
  • “If you visit the Alabaster River at sunrise or sunset, you’re likely to see the sudden small explosions of water where fish are feeding. Although there are many kinds of fish who make the Alabaster their home, the most aggressive are channel catfish. They’re mud suckers, bottom feeders, river vultures, the worst kind of scavengers. Channel cats will eat anything. This is the story of how they came to eat Jimmy Quinn.”
  • “With Ruth, I always thought that there would be a next time. For more than twenty years, she had defied not one but three bouts of cancer, not to mention other medical complications. Her endurance, her will to live even her plain old-fashioned grit, were unmatched. After one surgery, when most of us would be pushing the nursing station call button, she drafted a major speech. She even participated in Supreme Court oral arguments from her hospital bed.”
  • “So, how does it feel? Said Dr. Qadry, fixing Raymer with her pale blue eyes. “Yesterday was your last day, right?” Right. In fact his photo had made the front page of the paper, it’s headline reading: “The End of an Era.”
  • “David’s success in business was ten percent luck, ten percent indefatigability and zero percent Ida Mae. Mayer’s achievements in Torah scholarship originated from an altogether different formula. Had it not been for his mother, he never would have gone to yeshiva and been accepted into the Drezner clan. Sure, his success story had a supporting cast - Rabbi Kugel, Mrs. Kugel, his early yeshiva mentors - but when Ida Mae revealed her Jewish identity to her sons that blistering summer day, she set everything in motion.”