Martin's Must-Reads

“In as strong a photograph as any taken of the brothers together, they sit side by side on the back porch steps of the Wright family home.  The year was 1909, the peak of their fame. Wilbur, with a long poker face, looks off to one side, as though his mind were on other things, which it most likely was. Orville gazes straight at the camera, one leg crossed nonchalantly over the other.”

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and those words, plus the photograph, begin David McCullough’s book The Wright Brothers.

In 2001, Geraldine Brooks, one of my favorite authors, published her first novel Year of Wonders. She wrote it after coming across an intriguing finger post in England pointing to the Plague Village.

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and Brooks’ book Year of Wonders is an historical novel about the English village, Eyam, during the plague year 1666. The plague arrives in their small village via a bolt of cloth from London.

For several years when I was an undergraduate at the University of Connecticut, I worked part time for a business law professor who had an interesting wind blown way of organizing the papers on his desk. At the end of each work day, he would gather them together, and guide them into his middle desk drawer and the next morning he would fling them back on to his desk.

“There is something so tantalizing about having a gifted child that some parents will go to almost any lengths to prove they have one.”

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and that’s a quote that Bruce Holsinger uses to begin his novel The Gifted School. Four women, Samantha, Lauren, Rose and Azra have been close friends for eleven years, ever since they met at a swim class when their children were babies.

“Are leaders born or made? Where does ambition come from?  How does adversity affect growth of leadership?  Do the times make the leader or does the leader shape the times?...What is the difference between power, title, and leadership?”

I’m Mark Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads."  These are some of the questions that Doris Kearns Goodwin explores in her book Leadership in Turbulent Times.