MSB Book Club – May

The MSB book club discuss their April read, attending another author event, and next month’s book pick.

April’s Book

Jemima Allen-Galloway picked the book for April and chose ‘Magpie’ by Elizabeth Day.

On her choice, Jemima said, “Magpie is about a girl with a troubled childhood, who enters into a relationship with a man who she thinks will give her the love and security she’s always craved. There are dark twists and turns that you would never expect! This book explores themes of love, mental health and fertility.”

Magpie by Elizabeth Day

About the Book

When Marisa meets Jake, everything falls into place. But then their new lodger Kate arrives.

Something isn’t right about her. It’s the way she looks at Jake, keeps her toothbrush right next to theirs, and constantly asks questions about the baby they are trying for. Or maybe it’s all in Marisa’s head. That’s what Jake thinks. And she trusts him, doesn’t she?

But Marisa knows something is wrong, and she is determined to find out why, even if it costs her everything.

About the Author:

Elizabeth Day is the author of five novels and Sunday Times bestselling memoir, How to Fail. Her acclaimed debut Scissors, Paper, Stone won a Betty Trask Award and Home Fires was an Observer book of the year. Her third, Paradise City, was named one of the best novels of 2015 in the Evening Standard, and The Party was an Amazon bestseller and a Richard & Judy book club pick. She is also an award-winning journalist and has written extensively for The Times, the Telegraph, the Guardian, the Observer, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle. She is currently a columnist for the Mail on Sunday’s You magazine and host of the iTunes chart-topping podcast, How To Fail With Elizabeth Day.

Staff Reviews

“I’ve really enjoyed Magpie. It’s been an unnerving read which constantly has you questioning how reliable the narrator is as much as she is questioning herself. Jake and Marisa have only just started their family after years of trying but are now forced to open their doors to a stranger who seems to know things she shouldn’t and has questionable motives. I’m only halfway through but am looking forward to finishing and seeing how the story unravels. So far, I would give Magpie 3.5 stars.” Matthew Park, Paralegal ***.5

“I would give Magpie four stars. I thought the book was interesting and it dealt with some important and emotive themes such as infertility. The book kept my attention, and I did feel sympathy for the characters. I did think that the conclusion was a little too ‘clean’ and abrupt, but I appreciate that this is a work of fiction!” Michelle Summers, Solicitor ****

May’s Book

Fariyad Saeed has chosen the book for May, and she has selected Becoming by Michelle Obama.

Fariyad said upon her selection, “I’m a big fan of autobiographies and particularly those of individuals who have been trailblazers in areas that have historically never held a place for them. For me, Michelle Obama is a remarkable global figure not only for the fact that she is the first African American First Lady married to the first African American US President, but her exceptional careers in corporate law and the not-for-profit sector have made her a formidable equal to her husband. She couldn’t be in his shadow even if she tried! I look forward to seeing what people think of her autobiography.“

About the Book

Becoming has sold over 17 million copies worldwide since its publication in 2018.

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her — from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it — in her own words and on her own terms.

Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations — and whose story inspires us to do the same.

Becoming Michelle Obama

About the Author

Michelle Robinson Obama served as First Lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School, Mrs. Obama started her career as an attorney at the Chicago law firm Sidley & Austin, where she met her future husband, Barack Obama. She later worked in the Chicago mayor’s office, at the University of Chicago, and at the University of Chicago Medical Center. Mrs. Obama also founded the Chicago chapter of Public Allies, an organization that prepares young people for careers in public service.

The Obamas currently live in Washington, DC, and have two daughters, Malia and Sasha.

An evening with Cecelia Ahern and Joanna Cannon 17th April 2023

Chief Bookworm, Rachael Payne, and book club member, Emma Parry, attended an evening with Cecelia Ahern to discuss her new book ‘In a thousand different ways’. She was joined by Joanna Cannon, bestselling author of ‘The Trouble with Goats and Sheep’, ‘Three Things About Elsie,’ and ‘A Tidy Ending’.

Joanna Cannon was first published in 2016 after writing her first novel in an NHS car park and has since sold over a million copies of her novels which have been translated into 14 languages.

An evening with Cecelia Ahern and Joanna Cannon 17th April 2023
An evening with Cecelia Ahern and Joanna Cannon 17th April 2023

Cecelia has been a published author since 2004 when she debuted with her first novel, ‘P.S. I Love You’ at the age of 21. Since that time, she has published 19 novels, sold over 25 million copies internationally, and is published in over 40 countries in 30 languages.

Both authors were clearly fans of one another’s work and the discussion flowed nicely between the two. There was then a Q&A portion of the evening before a book signing. Both authors took time to talk to everyone in attendance, take pictures, and sign various books.

Rachael broke a personal record with the number of books signed with Cecelia being a good sport and signing over 15 books.

An evening with Cecelia Ahern and Joanna Cannon 17th April 2023

Mental Health Awareness Week May 15th to 21st May 2023

Whilst at the event on 17th April, Dr Joanna Cannon discussed her upcoming book ‘Will You Read This, Please?’ With Mental Health Awareness Week approaching, we think this will be an important read and want to share with everyone.

Prior to becoming a bestselling author, Joanna worked as a Psychiatrist and it is this work that inspired the novel. She said that the title of the book came from when patients would write down how they were feeling and ask her to read it.

Will You Read This, Please? by Dr Joanna Cannon

About the BookSome people who deal with mental illness have the opportunity and ability to write about it, but many do not – and it was those people, those unread stories, I wanted to find.”

How do we give a voice to those who so often remain unheard? Will You Read This, Please is a frank and impactful collection of twelve stories as told to our best British writers, based on the lived experience of people who have faced mental illness in the UK.

Edited by Joanna Cannon, this is a ground-breaking and unforgettable collection, which shines a light on the stigma and isolation of living with mental illness, while also showing the strength and resilience of the human spirit.

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