PROBUS Club of Durham West

Words Worth Reading

The Words Worth Reading book club meets at the home of a member on the 3rd Tuesday of each month.

In December and June we get together for a pot luck luncheon.

There are 10 members in the club and the membership is currently at capacity.

Leader:  Jean Jackson   905-420-6410 

Updates - 2024


In March, the book club will be reading the novel Saving Grace by Jane Green.  As outlined by Goodreads, a site for readers and book recommendations, "Grace and Ted Chapman are widely regarded as the perfect literary power couple. But the marriage is not all that it seems to be. Ted is a successful novelist but Grace must try to deal with his rages and mood swings. When his longtime assistant and mainstay leaves, Grace finds herself in need of help but with no one to turn to. But then a new assistant comes to assist Ted although just maybe she is too good to be true. With everything at stake and no one to confide in, Grace must find a way to save herself before it's too late."


In February, the book club will be discussing the novel "The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post" by Allison Pataki.

As outlined by Goodreads, "The author has crafted an intimate portrait of a larger-than-life woman, a powerful story of one woman falling in love with her own voice and embracing her own power while shaping history in the process. From crawling through Moscow warehouses to rescue the Tsar's treasures to outrunning the Nazis in London, from serving the homeless of the Great Depression to entertaining Roosevelts, Kennedys, and Hollywood's biggest stars, Marjorie Merriweather Post lived an epic life few could imagine.  Not content to stay in her prescribed roles of high-society wife, mother, and hostess, Marjorie dared to demand more, making history in the process. Before turning thirty she amassed millions, becoming the wealthiest woman in the United States. But it was her life force, advocacy, passion, and adventurous spirit that led to her stunning legacy." She even had the now very famous Mar-a-Lago built in Florida.


In January, the club will be discussing "The Paris Library" by Janet Skeslien Charles. This is a true story of the heroic librarians at the American Library in Paris during World War ll. As outlined by Goodreads, " It is an unforgettable story of romance, friendship, family and the power of literature to bring us together." It is an "ode to the importance of libraries, books, and the human connections we find within both" (Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author).

Updates - 2023


In December, we'll be getting together for some tasty appetizers and Christmas baking before discussing the novel, "Recipe for a Perfect Wife" by Canadian author Karma Brown. As outlined by Goodreads this book "masterfully bridges the lives of two women, living sixty years apart, who refuse to fall victim to patriarchy. While Karma Brown’s signature style remains, it’s laced with something sinister and dark. A brilliant, brooding, timely novel, fraught with tension, that packs a punch. Brown knows how to keep readers riveted until the very last page."  In an interview with Sue Carter editor of the Quill and Quire, Brown admits " We (women) have come a long way, but we have not come as far as maybe we would like to think when it comes to women's rights and the gender expectations within a marriage and a family".


In November, the book club members will be discussing the novel "Midnight Library" by Matt Haig.  As outlined in the Bibliofile, the novel is "about a young woman, Nora, who is regretful about her life and feels alienated and unneeded in this world.  In her unhappy emotional state, she comes across the Midnight Library where each book represents an entrance into another variation of what her life could have been. As she reads the books they allow her to access different versions of her life.  Nora's journey of self-discovery results in a life-affirming and reflective story about the choices we make, the paths we've chosen and each of our places in this world".


In October, the members of the book club will be discussing Jodi Picoult's novel, "Wish You Were Here”. According to the author, it is about "the resilience of the human spirit in a moment of crisis”. It is a topical story that Super Summary outlines as being "about a young woman who leaves for a trip to the Galapagos and gets locked down as borders close under quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic”.


In September the book club will be back meeting in the members' homes now that we've all enjoyed our summer recess.

We will be discussing Crow Lake, the first novel written by Canadian author Mary Lawson who is a distant relative of Lucy Maud Montgomery.

The Canadian Encyclopedia writes that "Crow Lake explores the connection people hold for the land on which they are born, a common theme in Canadian literature”. According to Goodreads, it is a “literary experience in which to lose yourself by an author of immense talent. It is set in the rural badlands of northern Ontario and is a drama of family love and misunderstandings and of resentments harboured and driven underground. The novel leapt to the top of the bestseller lists only days after being released in Canada and earned glowing reviews in The New York Times and The Globe and Mail, to name a few”.


This month the members will be reading and discussing the novel The Spoon Stealer by Lesley Crewe, a Canadian author living in Cape Breton. According to her website, she brings readers from WW1 England to 1960's Nova Scotia following a spoon-stealing chronicler who inherits the family farm and all the members of her family.

Emmeline never quite fit into this group and after dealing with multiple losses in the First World War she flees to England and makes her life there with her best friend Vera, a small white dog. She joins a memoir-writing group at the local library and through this group we learn about her life on the farm, her English friends and the jobs she held while living in Great Britain. Emmeline believes that a spoonful - perhaps several spoonfuls - of kindness can set to rights her family so broken by loss and secrecy.


In May the members of our book club will be discussing the novel, Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng.  She wrote it in 2014 and it is her debut novel. Wikipedia outlines that "The story is about a mixed-race Chinese-American family whose middle daughter Lydia is found drowned in a nearby lake. The death of their child leads her parents James and Marilyn to reflect on the lives."

Kirkus Reviews noted "Ng's emotionally complex debut novel sucks you in like a strong current and holds you fast until its final secrets surface."


In April, the members of the book club will be discussing "The Maid" by Canadian author Nita Prose. The novel became a New York Times and Canadian bestseller just a few weeks after its release. As outlined in a CBC article "The Maid is a gripping mystery about an awkward yet perfectionist hotel maid, Molly, who becomes the lead suspect in a murder case after finding a dead man in his hotel room."


In March, the book club read and discussed "The Last Grand Duchess by Bryn Turnbull."   As outlined by Goodreads, "This sweeping novel takes readers behind palace walls to see the end of Imperial Russia through the eyes of Olga Romanov, the first daughter of the last Tsar.  It is a story about dynasty, duty, and love but above all about a family who would choose devotion to each other over everything else, including their lives."


In February, we read the book, "The Circus Train" by Amita Parikh. In the British newspaper the Guardian, "The heroine is Lena who contracted polio as a baby and has never quite found her place in Europe's most magnificent travelling circus, World of Wonders, where her father is the headline act. She is more interested in the worlds of science and medicine. We learn about Lena's compelling rite of passage as she must deal with many challenges as she travels with the circus throughout Europe in the late 30s and 40s."


In January the book club discussed the novel "A Gentleman in Moscow" by Amor Towles. As outlined by Goodreads, it is a story " about a man, Count Alexander Rostov an aristocrat who is ordered by a Bolshevik tribunal to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel."

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