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. 

“Emerging onto the street, I nearly walked into a disinfection cart. It’s sweet, tangy tang marked the air. I ducked away from the masked men who were spraying the gutters and feeding their hose through the grating of gully after gully. ...Children carrying suitcases were filing into the train station as we swung past, being sent down the country in hopes they’d be safe. But from what I could gather, the plague was general all over Ireland. The specter had a dozen names: the great flu, khaki flu, blue flu, black flu.”

“I’ve never done a job like this. I’ve never moved so fully into someone’s life, infiltrated their home and coerced them to be my friend. Most of my cons have taken place in the dark, under the cover of intoxication: parties nightclubs, hotel bars.”

“I bleed honey. It runs deep in my veins. I am a fourth—generation beekeeper, intimately familiar with the world of honey bees and the aberrations of those who maintain them.”

“Chika Jeune was born three days before the earthquake that decimated Haiti in 2010.  She spent her infancy in a landscape of extreme poverty.  When her mother dies, Chika is admitted to the Have Faith Haiti Orphanage which Albom operates in Port-au-Prince.”

So begins the story of Chika Jeune , one which Mitch Albom recounts in his book Finding Chika, a little girl, an earthquake, and the making of a family.  I’m Mark Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads."  Full disclosure, I can’t review the book without spoilers.

When a crisis or tragedy strikes, some people will cave under the pressure of the situation. Others rise beyond all expectations and show the better side of themselves and humanity.  Such is the situation with Jon Mooallem’s book This is Chance! The Shaking of an All-American City, A Voice that Held It Together; a book about the 1964 earthquake in Anchorage, Alaska.