Read ME is a statewide community read that gives Maine adults an opportunity to read two books recommended by a well-known Maine author.

For 2020, our recommending author Lily King has chosen Roughhouse Friday by Jaed Coffin and The Vigilance of Stars by Patricia O’Donnell. Curtis Library has purchased multiple copies of the books.  Click on titles to check availability.

Jaed Coffin is the author of A Chant to Soothe Wild Elephants. A regular contributor to Down East Magazine, his essays and stories have appeared in the New York Times, Nautilus, Jezebel, The Sun, and many other publications. He’s been a featured speaker at TEDx and Moth Radio Hour, as well as a guest at over twenty colleges and universities. Jaed teaches creative writing at the University of New Hampshire and lives in Maine with his wife and two daughters.

Roughhouse Friday is a meditation on fathers and sons; on the intersections of race, loneliness, and masculinity; and on our inescapable longing for love.

Patricia O’Donnell grew up in Parkersburg, Iowa.  Her BA and MA are from the University of Northern Iowa, and her MFA in Fiction is from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.  She and her husband Michael Burke raised their three children–Emma, Brendan, and Harper–in Wilton, Maine, a small town which curves around the southern end of Wilson Lake.

Patricia is a professor of Creative Writing at the University of Maine at Farmington, where she teaches fiction writing in the BFA Program in Creative Writing. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Agni Review, The North American Review, Prairie Schooner, and other journals and anthologies. Her novel, Necessary Places, was published by Cadent Publishing (now part of Tilbury House).  Her memoir, Waiting to Begin, was published in August, 2016 by Bottom Dog Press. Her collection of short fiction, Gods for Sale, won the Serena McDonald Kennedy Fiction Award for 2016, and was published by Snake Nation Press.

Four stories twine together in The Vigilance of Stars, set in both contemporary and 1950’s Maine.

Author events

Jaed Coffin:  Wednesday, August 12 | 6pm | Registration coming soon

Patricia O’Donnell:  Details coming soon

These events will be virtual and open to the state.

Book Groups

Toward the end of the summer season, Maine State Library and Maine Humanities Council will offer a facilitated virtual book discussion for each of the featured books.

This will be open to all participating libraries. (Further details TBD)