MSB Book Club

The MSB book club has had a successful start and carried on into the New Year with the team enjoying reading and discussing the chosen books.  

December Book

December’s book was chosen by Dominique Owens. She chose The First Phone Call from Heaven by Mitch Albom: 

The gift of heaven on earth. 

It will become the biggest story in the world. 

The First Phone Call from Heaven tells the story of a small town on Lake Michigan that gets worldwide attention when its citizens start receiving phone calls from the afterlife. Is it the greatest miracle ever or a massive hoax? Sully Harding, a grief-stricken single father, is determined to find out.” 

Mitch Albom is the author of numerous books of fiction and nonfiction, which have collectively sold more than forty million copies in forty-seven languages worldwide. He has written seven number-one New York Times bestsellers – including TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE, the bestselling memoir of all time, which topped the list for four straight years – award-winning TV films, stage plays, screenplays, a nationally syndicated newspaper column, and a musical. He founded and oversees SAY Detroit, a consortium of nine different charitable operations in his hometown, including a non-profit dessert shop and food product line to fund programs for Detroit’s most underserved citizens. He also operates an orphanage in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, which he visits monthly.  

Dominique said “This is the one book I could read over and over again. I cried in public reading this on the train, and I think it’s the right amount of wonderful for the festive period!”  

First phone call from heaven

Team Reviews

“I enjoyed the book although I thought it took a while to get going. I believe in heaven, yet from the start I didn’t believe the phone calls were from heaven. I was convinced it was a hoax. This prompted me to question why I wouldn’t believe in the phone calls from heaven…is my faith that weak? I like it when a book forces you to think! I also liked the way this book made you think about the power of media and its impact on society and community. I would give it 3.5 stars out of 5.” Louise Murphy, Head of Social Housing and Regeneration ***½

“It was a bit predictable, but I enjoyed it in any event. I raced through it because I wanted to know how it ended and whether I had guessed it right! I would give it 4 stars.” Emma Parry, Legal Assistant **** 

“I found it a bit slow and didn’t really warm to any of the characters. I also found it quite predictable. I would give it 2.5 stars out of 5.” Amy Tagoe, Associate Solicitor **½

I thought the book was a nice easy read. I thought it was good how it demonstrated how quickly something can go ‘viral’ and change people’s lives, and how everyone has their own agenda when dealing with such viral phenomenons whether that be protesters, religious groups, phone companies, the media, a small town, and the individuals involved. I would be interested to read more by Mitch Albom. I would give it 3 stars.” Rachael Payne, Solicitor *** 

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

January Book

January’s book was picked by Sarah Sharples and she has chosen Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, which was the winner of Costa First Novel Award, a No.1 Sunday Times bestseller and the Book of the Year 2018. 

Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive – but not how to live. 

Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend. 

Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything. 

One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life. 

Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than…. fine? 

Sarah said: “During the first lockdown in 2020, I was looking for several good books to pass the time and for a bit of escapism. My friend recommended Eleanor Oliphant, she praised the book and rated it 5 stars. My expectations were, therefore, quite high. After reading an overview of the book, I was drawn to it and thought I must give it a go. Without giving too much away, it is a book which has stuck with me for the past two years, for its wit, sadness and much more. When I was asked to choose the next book for MSB’s Book Club, I thought this book would appeal to people. Overall, it wasn’t a difficult decision and I hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I did!” 

The book club invites you to read the book and let us know what you think! 

Useful reading apps

Many of us use apps on our phones everyday whether it is for social media, games, fitness etc. It isn’t surprising then that there are quite a few apps for book lovers as well besides the e-readers. Here are just a few: 

  1. Good reads  

One of the most popular and well known this app tracks the books you are currently reading or want to read as well as allowing you to post reviews. It is also a good way to see what is currently popular.  

      2. Bookly 

With Bookly you can set goals for how many books you would like to read in a year and keeps track of whether you are on goal or not. It’s a wonderful idea if your new year resolution was to try make time to read as you can set reminder alarms. 

      3. Litsy 

This allows bookworms to share pictures of the book they are currently reading. There is also a cool feature that allows you to archive your favourite quotes from the book you are reading. 

How do you keep track of your books that are waiting to be read?  

Do you keep a hold of favourites, or do you pass the books on?  

Share a ‘shelfie’ with us of your books you cannot get rid of, the ones waiting to be read and what book you are reading now! 

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