Dr. Nuland is referring to the patient edition of the Merck Manual, whose title is "The Merck Manual of Medical Information: Home Edition"; he's not refering to the physician edition.
I have the patient edition, and it's filled in the gaps in information for me, particularly with respect to questions that I've had for my doctors, but have been unable to ask. The patient edition is organized in the same fashion as the physician edition, but in language that a layperson can understand. Frankly, it holds more concrete information than most of what I've been able to find on the Internet.
The book is sold at Borders and Barnes & Nobel, and it's worth a look to see what it contains.