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. 

“The old man opens his watery blue eyes, those colorless foreign eyes that had frightened Ren so much in the beginning, and whispers something. The boy bends his cropped head closer. ‘Remember.’  The boy nods. ‘Say it.’ The hoarse rasp is fading. ‘When you are dead, I will find your missing finger,’ Ren replies in a clear small voice. ‘And?’ He hesitates. ‘And bury it in your grave.”

“On the morning of April 28, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. As the moments passed, the patrons and staff who had been cleared out of the building realized this was not the usual false alarm. As one fireman recounted later, “Once that first stack got going, it was goodbye, Charlie.”

“Every woman who enters the sea carries a coffin on her back, “ she warned the gathering. “In this world, in the undersea world,we tow the burdens of a hard life. We are crossing between life and death every day. When we go to the sea, we share the work and the danger," Mother added. “We harvest together, sort together, and sell together, because the sea itself is communal.” 

I’m Betty Martin with "Martin’s Must Reads" and those traditional words are spoken by the leader of the diving collective in the book The Island of the Sea Women by Lisa See.

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.