in partnership with Maine State Library
Read ME is the Maine Humanities Council’s statewide community read. Every summer, the program gets Maine adults all reading two books recommended by a well-known Maine author. Over 70 libraries participated in the 2021 program featuring the Gerry Boyle recommended Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains (Kerri Arsenault) and Mainely Power (Matt Cost).
Read ME is structured to enable even the smallest, most rural libraries to participate. All that’s required is a commitment to making each of the featured titles available to their patrons.
- Connect Maine’s adult reading community through shared reading experiences
- Support libraries in their work to provide quality adult summer reading initiatives
- Elevate upcoming Maine Authors
Gerry Boyle on 2021’s books
Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains by Kerri Arsenault
“My first newspaper job was with the Rumford Falls Times, the weekly newspaper in Rumford, Maine, where I worked for a few months 40 years ago. Just a page into Mill Town the experience of living and working in that extraordinary western Maine community came rushing back. Rumford and its downwind sister town, Mexico, are complicated places, a blend of fierce independence juxtaposed with the reality of a one-employer town. With a native’s experience and an outsider’s perspective, Arsenault explores mill town culture and the human cost of its irreplaceable prosperity. I read the book in very few sittings, feeling that with every page I was gaining new understanding of the community and the people who live there. This mill town had an outsized influence on me, including serving as the setting for my first mystery novel, Deadline. That book was translated into a half-dozen languages as readers across the world found life lessons in a crime novel set in this startling place. Mill Town delivers insights that go far beyond its geographic bounds. It’s an important book.” – Gerry Boyle
Mainely Power by Matt Cost
“It sometimes strikes me that as we look far and wide for suspense that will captivate us for the duration of a novel or a Netflix series we should look in our own backyard. Fact is, the ingredients of a good crime story—compelling characters, authentic setting, a twisty plot, and a liberal sprinkle of fun—are in our midst. Matt Cost knows this and he offers us new literary acquaintances who lead us around a tweaked version of a place we know well. What better place for a private detective than Brunswick, and what better day job for that detective than a mystery bookstore? In Mainely Power things get very complicated very fast. I settled in with the colorful cast of this midcoast tale and felt that pang that good crime fiction gives you—you bear down on the resolution with the reservation that part of you doesn’t want the story to end. And if it does, you hope there’s a bookstore in Brunswick where you can find Goff Langdon and a cup of coffee and go over the story yet again.”
– Gerry Boyle