MSB Book Club – July/August

The MSB Book Club gives their thoughts on the May/June reads, share their chosen books for the July/August period, and say goodbye (for now) to founder and chief bookworm Rachael Payne as she goes on maternity leave.

May/June Books

The Book Club had 4 choices for their May/June reads. All the reads were chosen by members of the book club:

Arthur and Teddy are Coming Out by Ryan Love – Pride Selection

About the Book: No one in the family is prepared for 79-year-old Arthur Edwards to drop a bombshell: he’s gay, and after a lifetime in the closet, he’s finally ready to come out.

Arthur’s 21-year-old grandson, Teddy, has the same secret. But Teddy doesn’t feel ready to come out just yet – especially when Arthur’s announcement causes shockwaves in the family.

Can Arthur and Teddy navigate first loves, heartbreak, and finding their place in the LGBTQ+ community?

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid – Pride Selection

About the book: Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s, to her decision to leave show business in the ’80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story nears its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own – in tragic and irreversible ways.

The Cove by L J Ross

About the Book Gabrielle Adams has it all – brains, beauty, a handsome fiancé́, and a dream job in publishing. Until, one day, everything changes.

‘The Tube Killer’ takes his victims when they least expect it: standing on the edge of a busy London Underground platform, as they wait for a train to arrive through the murky underground tunnels of London.

Gabrielle soon learns that being a survivor is harder than being a victim, and she struggles to return to her old life. Desperate to break free from the endless nightmares, she snatches up an opportunity to run a tiny bookshop in a picturesque cove in rural Cornwall.

She thinks she’s found the perfect escape, but has she swapped one nightmare for another?

Who Moved My Cheese Dr Spencer Johnson

About the book: It is the amusing and enlightening story of four characters who live in a maze and look for cheese, to nourish them and make them happy. Cheese is a metaphor for what you want to have in life, for example a good job, a loving relationship, money or possessions, health or spiritual peace of mind. The maze is where you look for what you want, perhaps the organisation you work in, or the family or community you live in. The problem is that the cheese keeps moving.

In the story, the characters are faced with an unexpected change in their search for the cheese. One of them eventually deals with change successfully, and writes what he has learned on the maze walls for you to discover. You’ll learn how to anticipate, adapt to, and enjoy change – to be ready to change quickly, whenever you need to.

Discover the secret of the writing on the wall for yourself and enjoy less stress and more success in your work and life. Written for all ages, this story takes less than an hour to read, but its unique insights will last a lifetime.

Staff Reviews

I read the Cove by L J Ross and Who Moved My Cheese. The Cove was fantastic, and I cannot believe I have waited so long to read another L J Ross novel. I have a few predictions but mostly L J is excellent with her red herrings and keeping you guessing throughout the novel. It was fast paced and concluded well. 5 stars. Who Moved My Cheese was a good quick read. I tend to hate change in my personal or professional life and take a while to get used to it as I worry about the unknown. This book was a good look into how to adapt to and accept change. I’d give it 4 stars. I have previously read the other two books that we had as options, and they were 5 star reads for me, both are fantastic for different reasons which is why I chose them as the Pride reads for MSB.” Rachael Payne, Solicitor *****

“I read Who Moved My Cheese and the Cove. I would give them 5 stars. Who Moved My Cheese is a remarkable parable of four characters in a maze and their quest for cheese.  The quest though is not just about the food.  The cheese is a metaphor for what we want to have in life, and the tale explores human nature, including change and fear. This story takes about an hour to read, but its unique insights will help the reader change their attitude towards life and work.” Louise Murphy, Partner and Head of Social Housing and Regeneration *****

“I read Evelyn Hugo and would give it 5 stars. I couldn’t put it down. I loved the main character, and the story development was very engaging. I would recommend it to everyone.” Amy Tagoe, Senior Associate *****

“I read The Cove by LJ Ross. My rating is three stars. This was a quick and easy read, but it was too far-fetched for me at times, which affected my immersion in the story. One of the reveals did surprise me and it was entertaining; overall I’d say that this works well as a light summer read but it’s not particularly memorable.” Michelle Summers, Solicitor ***

July/August Reads 2024

The Book Club have 4 choices for their July/August reads:

Lover Birds (Publication Date 4th July 2024) by Leanne Eagan

Leanne was born and raised in Liverpool before they moved to London. Lover Birds is their debut novel, and the launch of the book will be celebrated in Waterstones Liverpool on 4th July 2024.

About the book: About the book A fantastic, queer, enemies-to-lovers story – in one corner, a girl with ADHD experiencing her first girl crush in a monumental way; in the other corner, a posh, rich girl who’s new to school and has her own reasons to be guarded. Told with humour and heart, this is a perfect novel for Alice Oseman and Becky Albertalli fans, marking a great new YA romcom voice.

Darci catches Elle’s eye the minute she arrives as the new girl in school. But Elle keeps her curiosity in check, and even seems dismissive (which Darci overhears). Then Darci is equally dismissive (which Elle overhears) and immediately a rivalry is born. Things become knottier when Darci is asked to be Elle’s tutor, and even knottier than that, when Elle starts to recognize her feeling as something other than disdain or derision. In fact, it might be… the opposite. There are many misunderstandings that need to be gotten past for Elle and Darci to figure out how perfect they are for each other.

Imposter by L J Ross (First of the Alex Gregory series)

Another L J Ross book for the book club as the Cove went down well with so many members.

About the book: There’s a killer inside all of us… After an elite criminal profiling unit is shut down amidst a storm of scandal and mismanagement, only one person emerges unscathed. Forensic psychologist Doctor Alexander Gregory has a reputation for being able to step inside the darkest minds to uncover whatever secrets lie hidden there and, soon enough, he finds himself drawn into the murky world of murder investigation.

In the beautiful hills of County Mayo, Ireland, a killer is on the loose. Panic has a stranglehold on its rural community, and the Garda are running out of time. Gregory has sworn to follow a quiet life but when the call comes, can he refuse to help their desperate search for justice?

Murder and mystery are peppered with dark humour in this fast-paced thriller set amidst the spectacular Irish landscape.

Imposter by L J Ross (First of the Alex Gregory series)
The Burnout by Sophie Kinsella

The Burnout by Sophie Kinsella

Bestselling author Sophie Kinsella was diagnosed with Glioblastoma at the end of 2022. She has been undergoing treatment and wrote “What Does It Feel Like?” which is a work of fiction but her most “autobiographical” work to date. It is due to be released 8th October. In the meantime, the team will enjoy reading her current release The Burnout.

About the Book: Discover the joy that awaits when you set yourself free…

Sasha is well and truly over it all: work (all-consuming), friendships (on the back burner), sex-life (non-existent).

Armed with good intentions to drink kale smoothies, try yoga and find solitude, she heads to the Devon resort she loved as a child. But it’s off-season, the hotel is falling apart, and she has to share the beach with a grumpy, stressed-out guy called Finn. How can she commune with nature when he’s sitting on a rock, watching her suspiciously? Especially when they don’t agree on burnout cures. (Sasha: manifesting, wild swimming, secret Mars bars; Finn: drinking whisky.)

But when curious messages start appearing on the beach, Sasha and Finn are forced to begin talking – about everything. What’s the mystery? Why are they both burned out? And what exactly is ‘manifesting’, anyway?

They might discover that they have more in common than they think. . .

Yellowface by Rebecca F. Kuang

Yellowface was winner of: Foyle’s Fiction Book of the Year, Amazon Book of the Year, Shortlisted for Waterstones Book of the Year and Fiction Book of the Year 2024 – British Book Awards




When failed writer June Hayward witnesses her rival Athena Liu die in a freak accident, she sees her opportunity… and takes it.

So what if it means stealing Athena’s final manuscript?

So what if it means ‘borrowing’ her identity?

And so what if the first lie is only the beginning…

Finally, June has the fame she always deserved. But someone is about to expose her…

What happens next is entirely everyone else’s fault.

Yellowface by Rebecca F. Kuang

Goodbye to Rachael

This will be Chief Book Worm Rachael Payne’s last time running the MSB Book Club until 2025 as she is going on Maternity Leave and finishes on 18th July 2024! Rachael has been running the MSB Book club since she started it in November 2021.

Michelle Summers will be taking over running the book club in Rachael’s absence and has been a part of the MSB Book Club since she started working at MSB.

Contact us, we are here to help

We’re here to help, so please pick up the phone or drop us an email and one of our dedicated team will help with your enquiry.