2017-2018 Book List

Literature and Medicine is a free reading group open to employees, friends, and family of Eastern Maine Medical Center.

Meeting six times a year, EMMC’s book club, facilitated by Margery Irvine, lecturer in English, UMaine, Maine Humanities Council Scholar, delves into works of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction.

Here it is, the EMMC Literature and Medicine book group’s readings for this year!

514bvjOLbfL._SY346_October 5, 2017

 Hillbilly Elegy – J.D. Vance

A passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck. Nonfiction.

51yvsv5X28L._SY346_November 2, 2017

Home Fire – Kamila Shamsie

Isma is free. After years of watching out for her younger siblings in the wake of their mother’s death, she’s accepted an invitation from a mentor in America that allows her to resume a dream long deferred. But she can’t stop worrying about Aneeka, her beautiful, headstrong sister back in London, or their brother, Parvaiz, who’s disappeared in pursuit of his own dream, to prove himself to the dark legacy of the jihadist father he never knew. When he resurfaces half a globe away, Isma’s worst fears are confirmed. Fiction.

51DT32Ue4EL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_December 7, 2017

Becoming Nicole – Amy Ellis Nutt

*With special guest Wayne Maines (Nicole’s father).

The inspiring true story of a transgender girl, her identical twin brother, and an ordinary American family’s extraordinary journey to understand, nurture, and celebrate the uniqueness in us all, from the Pulitzer Prize–winning science reporter for The Washington Post. Nonfiction.


51uyVCMgXiL._SY346_February 1, 2018

Commonwealth – Ann Patchett

One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating’s christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny’s mother, Beverly—thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families. Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how this chance encounter reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved. Fiction.


41eupQMoDcL._SY346_March 1, 2018

Feral – George Monbiot

A lyrical, unabashedly romantic vision of how, by inviting nature back into our lives, we can simultaneously cure our “ecological boredom” and begin repairing centuries of environmental damage. Monbiot explores ecosystems that have been “rewilded”: freed from human intervention and allowed—in some cases for the first time in millennia—to resume their natural ecological processes. Through his eyes, we see environmental success—and begin to envision a future world where humans and nature are no longer separate and antagonistic, but are together part of a single, healing world. Nonfiction.

51a9N5gCzKLApril 5, 2018

The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead

Winner of the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre–Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share. Fiction. 

Participate in whichever months you choose — come to 1, 3, or all 6!

Bring a meal to dine and mingle from 5:30 to 6:00 pm. Discussion begins promptly at 6 pm and ends at 8 pm. Participants who join will obtain their own books. Beverages are provided.

For more information about this free program, contact: Helen McKinnon, RN, MS, vice president, Support Services, 973-7842 Debbie Stanley, administrative assistant III, Support Services, 973-8331.

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