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 now 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 for previous must-reads. 

When I was in secondary school, literature classes often started with the study of mythology. I read The Odyssey several times over those years. So it was interesting to read a novel that revolved around those gods and mortals.

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and the novel I’m referring to is Circe by Madeline Miller. When Circe is born to Helios the Titan god of the sun and Perse, a nymph daughter of Oceanos, Circe is labeled a nymph, but in her adult life she is a witch exiled by her father to a remote island.

“Man is seldom content to witness beauty. He must possess it.” 

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and that’s the quote author Kirk Wallace Johnson chose to use to preface his book The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist.

“We hold a piece of women’s history in our hands every day... a piece of history created - in a roundabout fashion - by Hedy Lamarr.”

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and that’s a quote from the Author’s Note of Marie Benedict’s novel The Only Woman in the Room. It’s based on the life of Hedy Kiesler, or as we know her from the American film industry, Hedy Lamarr.

Years ago when we enjoyed life with a scrappy Jack Russell terrier named Little Bit, we had a poster hanging on our refrigerator that reminded us of life lessons to learn from her. Things like “live in the moment” and “don't’ hold grudges” and “show compassion.” 

“She was not used to being hunted. The lake stretched slate blue, glittering. The woman gazed over it, hands lying loose in her lap. A folded newspaper sat beside her on the bench. The headlines all trumpeted arrests, deaths, forthcoming trials. The trials would be held in Nuremberg, it seemed.”

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and that’s the opening lines to Kate Quinn’s historical novel The Huntress. It’s the story of three very different women from 1946-1950, who, as the story begins, stand on vastly different shores.