Updated: Jul 13
Merrill Memorial Library
Eager for some excitement and a literary challenge to spice up your summer? Look no further than Merrill Memorial's Adult Summer Reading Challenge! We went through the Bingo sheet and have a ready selection of some of our titles that can fit the themes.
Here are some of our recommendations:
1. Debut Author
Bald Eagles, Bear Cubs and Hermit Bill by Ron Joseph
In Bald Eagles, Bear Cubs and Hermit Bill, wildlife biologist Ron Joseph recounts his youth in central Maine, the importance of his family's dairy farm, and his adventures in the field over the course of a career that spanned more than three decades. A gifted storyteller, he also introduces readers to fascinating characters who have worked in some way to preserve the natural beauty of Maine. Joseph's forty stories are told with the compassion and appreciation of a man who truly loves Maine, its people, and its many wonders. The book includes an introduction by Paul Doiron, author of the Mike Bowditch series of Maine crime novels and former editor-in-chief of Down East magazine.
Just East of Nowhere by Scot Lehigh
Just East of Nowhere, Scot Lehigh's debut novel, is a gritty coming-of-age story that explores the often hidden pockets of Maine and features a poignant and troubled cast of characters who are caught in the undercurrents of a struggling coastal town. The powerful novel, with its characters, setting, and storyline, should resonate with anyone who also came from, as in singer Kris Kristofferson's evocative phrase, "just the other side of nowhere."
2. Climate Crisis Novel
And Poison Fell From the Sky by MarieThérèse Martin
MarieThérèse "Terry" Martin grew up grateful for the paper mill that dominated the economy of her small Maine town, providing jobs for hundreds of local workers. But years later, while working as a nurse, she and her physician husband "Doc" Martin came to fear that the area's sky-high cancer rates were caused by the smoke and chemicals that relentlessly billowed from the mill’s stacks. Together, they sounded an alarm no one wanted to hear and began a long, and often bitter, fight to expose the devil's bargain their hometown had struck with the mill.
3. LGBTQ+ Memoir
Moon in Full by Marpheen Chann
Moon in Full, a contemporary coming-of-age story, shines light on one young man’s search for truth and compassion in a complicated era as it unwinds the deep-seated challenges we all face finding our authentic voice and true identities. Chann’s heart-warming journey weaves through housing projects and foster homes; into houses of worship and across college campuses; and playing out in working-class Maine where he struggles to find his place. Chann must reconcile his fears and secret longings as a young gay man with the devoutly religious beliefs of his new family. Chann, a second-generation Asian American, recounts what he has learned, what he has lost, and what he has found during his evolution from a hungry refugee’s son to religious youth to advocate for acceptance and equality.
4. Poetry Anthology
Cold as a Dog and Other Stories by Ruth Moore
Bestselling author Ruth Moore (1903-1989) not only wrote some of Maine’s greatest novels, but was also a talented poet who published three books of poetry and wrote ballads that have become an ingrained part of pop culture along the coast. Her “The Night Charlie Tended Weir” is frequently performed in theaters and at clambakes. Folksinger Gordon Bok recorded an album based on her ballads. Cold as a Dog and Other Stories is a collection of work from a career that stretches for decades and serves to highlight and showcase the remarkable breadth of her writing talent. The book includes selections of ballads, poems, and short stories that previously appeared in Cold as a Dog and the Wind Northeast, The Tired Apple Tree, Time's Web, and When Foley Craddock Tore Off My Grandfather's Thumb.
5. Award-winning Book (from your birth year)
Check out our Ruth Moore collection!
6. Book that Makes you Laugh!
Finding Your Inner Moose by Susan Poulin
Ida has found her “inner moose,” and become a Certified Maine Life Guide. After years of “Running with the Moose,” she’s picked up a few pointers and is now eager to share the wisdom of their ways. Taking her inspiration from Maine’s antlered friend, Ida covers topics ranging from A to Zumba, and offers helpful hints on how to live a happier life. This uplifting and entertaining motivational moose-terpiece is guaranteed to make you smile.
Bert & I by Marshall Dodge and Robert Bryan
Bert and I ... The Book features more than sixty classic stories from the legendary storytellers Marshall Dodge and Robert Bryan, the godfathers of Down East humor, who together created the now-iconic "Bert and I" stories starting in the 1950s.
The characters everyone loves and remembers are all here: Bert and his fellow fisherman known only as "I", Gagnon, World Champion Moose Caller, Virgil Bliss, the dirtiest man in Hancock County, Arnold Bunker, Kenneth Fowler, Camden Pierce, Harry Whitfield, and many more. The stories in this book are drawn from five "Bert and I" albums recorded over nearly two decades, including the seminal Bert and I ... And Other Stories from Down East, perhaps the most important comedy album in New England history. Bert and I ...
A Moose and a Lobster Walk Into a Bar by John McDonald
A Moose and a Lobster Walk into a Bar is beloved for its timeless Downeast humor. The book mixes classic Maine storytelling, stretched truths, and wry observations made by McDonald during his travels through the Pine Tree State. McDonald discusses the economic power of Maine’s yard sale industry, bemoans that Massachusetts (which allowed Maine to become a state in 1820) is buying the state back one house at a time, and relates how the black fly was just an attempt at controlling tourists now gone haywire. You also meet Maine characters like Uncle Abner, Merrill Minzey, and Hollis Eaton, and find yourself pondering where the truth ends and the story begins.
7. Book Chosen by Its Cover
Salt and Roses by May Davidson
Salt and Roses is a charming collection of essays for those who appreciate simple pleasures, like the beauty of human relationships, the playfulness of animals, and the charm of boating along the coast of Maine—combined with some heartfelt laughter along the way. Author May Davidson writes about her experiences and the life lessons she and her husband, Jim, learned on the water, on the farm, or when traveling together. Davidson encourages readers to appreciate life and to find value in the people and places around them. She loves Maine and feels the state’s landscape, with its blue-green junipers and unpredictable snow storms, can seem as alive as any person.