Maine Calling Book Club

Our book club reconvenes to discuss a novel that's been compared to Elizabeth Strout's Pulitzer Prize winner 'Olive Kitteridge.'

The Maine Calling Book Club discusses Monica Wood's collection of interconnected short stories about the fictional mill town of Abbott Falls, "Ernie's Ark."


Gibson Fay-Leblanc: writer, teacher and Portland Poet Laureate. His first book of poems, Death of a Ventriloquist, won the Vassar Miller Prize and was published in 2012.

Christine Marshall: artistic director of the Mad Horse Theater Company

The Maine Calling Book Club reconvenes to discuss Harper Lee's classic 'To Kill A Mockingbird."

Guests: Ron Schneider: attorney with Bernstein Shur who specializes in employment and health care law but has practiced criminal defense as well.  He has a bachelor of arts degree from Bates College.

Sandra Thompson: English teacher at Sanford High School.  She has a BA in English and an MA in Education.  She's teachers 'To Kill A Mockingbird' every year.

The Maine Calling Book Club reconvenes to discuss Atul Gawande's best selling book 'Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine, and What Matters in the End."

Guests:  Kandyce Powell, Executive Director, Maine Hospice Council and Center for End of Life Care
Frank Chessa, Ph.D, Director of Clinical Ethics, Maine Medical Center
Bill Lundgren, adjunct professor of English at Southern Maine Community College and bookseller at Longfellow Books. His book reviews can be found at

The Maine Calling Book Club reconvenes to discuss a classic work of American literature - Arthur Miller's 'Death of a Salesman.'

Guests:   Tom Mikotowicz, Ph.D., Professor of Theatre, School of Performing Arts, UMaine
John F. Mahon, Chair of International Business, Policy and Strategy and Professor of Management, UMaine

Christine Marshall, Artistic Director, Mad Horse Theatre Company.  This weekend is the final weekend of the world premier of ALLIGATOR ROAD, by Maine playwright Callie Kimball

The Maine Calling book club reconvenes to discuss Lois Lowry's 'The Giver.'  It's the story of twelve year old Jonas who lives in a dystopian future where there is no war, pain, fear - and no color or emotion.  Jonas's rebels against his job as holder of memories of both the joy - and the pain - of life.

The Maine Calling Book Club reconvenes to discuss Cheryl Strayed's memoir of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.  "Wild" is now a major motion picture starring Reese Witherspoon.

Guests:  Mary Pols, Feature writer for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Today, not entirely reformed movie/book critic, author of Accidentally on Purpose

Join us for the next Maine Calling on Wednesday, November 26, when we discuss Roxana Robinson's novel "Sparta" about a veteran returning from the war in Iraq and the challenges he faces at home.

Guests:  Rich Brewer/Founder, OneWarriorWon

This month the Maine Calling book club discusses Stephen King's 'Carrie.'

Join us for a discussion of Elizabeth Strout's award-winning book "Olive Kitteridge."  It's a series of intertwining short stories set in a fictional coastal Maine town.  An HBO mini-series based on the book premiers later this fall. 

Guests:  Mary Pols, Feature writer for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Today, not entirely reformed movie/book critic, author of 'Accidentally on Purpose.'

Susan M. Preece, Director, Topsham Public Library

This month the discussion takes up Barbara Walsh's memoir "August Gale - A Father and Daughter's Journey into the Storm." It reads like fiction and tells the story of a fisherman fighting an unforgiving sea, a father who abandons his son, family secrets and reconciliation.

GUESTS: Jon Keller, author of the novel "Of Sea and Cloud." He's worked on lobster boats and now works as a clam digger.

Linda Oliver, Head of Reference at the Bangor Public Library

Memoir Writing 101

Aug 20, 2014

By their very definition, memoirs are books any and all of us can write. Here in Maine, it seems like a lot of us are putting pen to paper - or finger to laptop - to collect and share stories from our past. Talking about their memoirs and the craft of memoir writing -

Elizabeth Peavey, author of "My Mother's Clothes"

Helen Peppe, author of "Pigs Can't Swim"

Jaed Coffin, author of "A Chant to Soothe Wild Elephants"

This program was originally broadcast on April 28, 2104.

Vernon Barford School

The Maine Calling tackles its first kids' book.  Geared toward middle school readers, Wonder by R.J. Palacio tells the story of a 10-year old boy named August with severe facial deformities heading off to school for the first time.


Josh Christie is the author of Maine Beer: Brewing in Vacationland. He is a bookseller at Sherman’s Books in Portland and co-founder of the podcast Bookrageous.

  "Orphan Train" is Christina Baker Kline's breakout novel. The author - who grew up in Maine and comes back each year - has written four books, but this is the first to really take off, selling more than 800,000 copies. It spent 30 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list. The novel interweaves the story of two protagonists - Molly, a teenage girl of Penobscot Indian heritage living in a foster home, and Vivian, a wealthy elderly woman whose childhood was also marked by displacement and loss.

John Steinbeck's debut novel Of Mice and Men won praise from critics as a well-written, well-paced mystery with well-developed characters. The main characters, Lennie and George, have become cultural archetypes.

Host Jennifer Rooks speaks with:

Mary Pols, film critic for Time magazine and staff writer with the Portland Press Herald

Bill Lundgren, bookseller with Longfellow Books and book reviewer

Sanford Phippen, former host of Maine PBS series "A Good Read" who has taught high school and college English