PROBUS Club of Durham West

Novel Readers

The Novel Readers usually meet on the first Wednesday of the month (except for July & August).

Membership is currently full.  

Contact:  Colleen Lea using our directory (Members Only).   

Updates - 2024


In June, our book selection is the psychological thriller, The Silent Patient, by Alex Michaelides. Winner of the Goodreads Best Mystery of 2019, this debut novel tells the story of Alicia Berenson, a famous painter who murders her photographer husband, Gabriel, when he returns late from a fashion shoot. She refuses to speak afterwards, generating even more interest in what would be a notorious case. Kept in a secure forensic unit, she is visited by Theo Faber, a criminal psychotherapist, who is determined to discover Alicia's motive for shooting her husband five times in the face. 


At our May meeting we will be discussing the book The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi , the first book in the Jaipur Trilogy. 

The Henna Artist introduces the reader to the details of the lives of women in India and the societal restrictions that they faced.   The book is set in 1950s and introduces us to Lakshmi who creates the elaborate henna drawings on the hands and feet of wealthy Indian women for ceremonial occasions.

Wonderfully told, with the beautiful culture, sights, and smells of India, this story is easy to read and its allure is in telling a story that says that no matter which way life turns, it can bring you to a place where you will find the happiness you have been seeking all along.


The Novel Readers will be meeting in April to discuss the book “The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra”

On the day he retires, Inspector Ashwin Chopra inherits two unexpected mysteries. The first is the case of a drowned boy, whose suspicious death no one seems to want solved. And the second is a baby elephant.

This delightful mystery novel is the first book in the Baby Ganesh Agency Investigations series by Vaseem Khan. It combines elements of Mumbai life, murder, and an unlikely gift—a baby elephant—into a charming and joyful tale.


In March we will be reading Hang the Moon by Jeannette Walls an American author and journalist widely known as a former gossip columnist for MSNBC and author of The Glass Castle.  This is her most recent book and is described as a Wild ride through prohibition-era Virginia with a scrappy heroine at the wheel.  It was a nominee for Best Historical Fiction in 2023. 


The Novel Readers Book Club will be meeting in February to discuss the book “This Tender Land”.  It is a coming-of-age novel that has spirituality as one of its main themes.  As historical fiction, the novel follows four central characters on a physical and spiritual journey through the Depression era in the Midwestern United States. 

Updates - 2023

December 2023/January 2024

To start the New Year, on Wednesday, January 10th. The novel Readers will be discussing the novel Tom Lake by Ann Patchett.

It is a meditation on youthful love, married love, and the lives parents led before their children were born. Both hopeful and elegiac, it explores what it means to be happy even when the world is falling apart.


This month the Novel Readers will be meeting on the 1st of November to discuss Kate Morton’s book Homecoming.  The story takes place in Australia and centers around a perplexing murder case.  The book had been scheduled for our October discussion but was rescheduled for the following month.  It is a good read for anyone who likes Historical Fiction and a good mystery. 


The October meeting of the Novel Readers will be held on Wednesday, October 4, 2023. This months selection is Homecoming by Kate Morton.


Following the summer hiatus, Novel Readers is back to meeting on the first Wednesday of the month.

September’s selection is Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus.  The book is on the New York Times bestseller list and is being made into an Apple TV Series.


In June, the Novel Readers will be reading Crow Lake by Mary Lawson. The story centers on four siblings and is set in Northern Ontario. Crow Lake was Lawson's first novel and was published in 2002.

During our June 7th meeting, we will also be drafting our reading schedule for the coming year.


The Novel Readers will meet on May 3, 2023 to discuss The Maid by Canadian author, Nita Prose. Prose has written a somewhat different take on the murder mystery. Looking ahead to June, we will be reading Becoming by Michelle Obama. During our June 7th meeting, we will also be drafting our reading schedule for the coming year.


In April, the Novel Readers will be exchanging impressions about the historical novel, The Outlander by Canadian author Gil Adamson. While Gil Adamson has had other works published, The Outlander is her first novel and is set in western Canada in the early 1900s. 

This historical novel begins in 1903, when nineteen-year-old Mary Boulton flees into the Canadian wilderness. She has killed her husband and is attempting to escape the pursuit by his brothers. 

She has written a sequel to the story, called Ridgerunner.

Looking ahead to May, our selection will be The Maid by Nita Prose. The Maid is a murder mystery and is Nita Prose's first novel.


The Novel Readers plan to meet in person, on March 1, 2023, to discuss the depression era novel by Jojo Moyes, The Giver of Stars. The book is set in Kentucky and the central character, Alice, becomes one of the "packhorse librarians", delivering books in rural areas. Looking ahead to April, our group will be reading The Outlander by Gil Adamson. 


In February, the Novel Readers discussed Five Little Indians by Michelle Good.

This novel, which has won several awards, exposes the experience of the residential school system for indigenous children. 


In January, the Novel Readers met to discuss the novel, Looking for Jane, by Canadian author, Heather Marshall. Marshall's novel spans the time from 1960 to 2015 and focuses on reproductive rights for women. 

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