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. 

For most New Yorkers, Grand Central Terminal is not just a train station, but a crown jewel, a masterpiece of design. 

The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis is an historical novel that takes place in Grand Central Terminal.

The story begins in April of 1928 with Clara Darden, the only female teacher of the Grand Central Art school.  She teaches the technique of illustration, draws illustrations for Vogue and works for Studebaker automobiles helping to design the car interiors and their ads. The story follows her through heartbreak and financial hard times.

“There are those who will argue such things should not be written. The songs are for the Keepers. Have I, of all people, forgotten the written word is sacred? But who am I, if not a Keeper of the Old Way? My name is Languoreth, daughter of Morten.”

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and that quote comes at the end of the historical fantasy The Lost Queen by Signe Pike. This book, the first of a trilogy, was ranked as one of the best Fiction for 2018 and has been compared to the Outlander and the Mists of Avalon series.

“I never heard the siren. I slept through the rising wind and tree branches wrenching loose and colliding with the roof. I glanced out the window and saw the Oklahoma sky soaked with a new color. Damp jade. Split pea soup. Moss on stone.”

“They were to be in the Nelson House," Perry said. "He would live and work in one flat - Juliet would work there too - while in the next store flat an MI5 officer, Godfrey Toby, would masquerade as a Nazi agent and encourage people with pro-Fascist sympathies to report to him. It they’re telling Godfrey their secrets," Perry said, "then they are not telling the Germans.”

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and that’s a quote from Kate Atkinson’s newest historical novel Transcription.

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

“At half past six on the twenty-first of June 1922, Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov was escorted through the gates of the Kremlin onto Red Square, it was glorious and cool.”

I’m Betty Martin of "Martin’s Must Reads" and that is a line from A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. This is one of my favorite recent novels, with rich prose and wonderfully creative descriptions.