#THEPOOLREADS This week we’re reading... 1 min #THEPOOLREADS This week we’re reading... 1 min The Death of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware, a book about the relationship between a seven-year-old and her seventy-seven-year-old grandmother, and Twenty Theatres to See Before You Die Added on 29.06.18 Posted on 29.06.18 Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Email LinkedIn The Death of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware, a book about the relationship between a seven-year-old and her seventy-seven-year-old grandmother, and Twenty Theatres to See Before You Die Posted on 29.06.18 Ella Risbridger is reading… Border: A Journey To The Edge Of Europe by Kapka Kassabova It's hard to describe this without making it sound worthy (which it is, in the most genuine sense), but it's lyrical and funny and sad and appallingly timely all at once. It's about the border-places between Bulgaria, Turkey and Greece; it's about forests and magic and the refugee crisis; about the things we understand and the things we don't understand and the things we can't understand. Also, full of interesting facts: did you know that homing pigeons don't fly as the crow flies (as it were) but instead follow the roads far below? Now you do. • BUY Border: A Journey To The Edge Of Europe on Amazon or pop into your local bookshop. Kate Young is reading… My Grandmother Sends her Regards and Apologises by Fredrik Backman A friend passed this book on to me the minute she’d finished reading it; an endorsement if ever there was one. Written by Fredrik Backman – whose lovely A Man Called Ove I read a couple of years ago – the book has been translated from Swedish by Henning Koch. It explores the relationship between seven-year-old Elsa, a precocious outsider, and her seventy-seven-year-old grandmother, a shrewd, cantankerous storyteller. Moving back and forth between reality and the fairytale world Granny has created, the book is endearing and heartwarming, but never saccharine. I loved it. • BUY My Grandmother Sends her Regards and Apologises on Amazon or pop into your local bookshop. Elaine Robb is reading… Small Country by Gaël Faye War is very much something that exists outside my small world of reference – it trickles through in news reports and disturbing images, but isn’t something I personally comprehend. Gaël Faye’s award-winning debut novel, now translated from the French, is a masterpiece in bringing home the first-hand realities of war, as remembered by the author himself. Seen through the eyes of 11-year-old Gaby, the child of a Rwandan mother and French father, living in Burundi in 1992, Small Country depicts the accelerating atrocities of the Hutu-Tutsi civil war with horrifying immediacy. It’s a slow build; sandwiched between the narrator’s 33rd birthday in Paris, the heart of the novel begins with Gaby’s last happy memories of his parents before their marriage split, his home life with his sister, his schoolboy friendships, which makes the sudden, brutal switch from everyday life to lawless terror all the more impactful. It’s heart-wrenching and beautiful and distressingly authentic. Everyone should read it. • BUY Small Country on Amazon or pop into your local bookshop. Alexandra Heminsley is reading… The Death of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware When Hal receives a solicitor's letter saying she has inherited a substantial property in Cornwall from her grandmother, it couldn't have come at a better time: she is broke, with loan sharks on her tail. The trouble is, she has no grandmother, so she knows a mistake has been made. But she decides to go along with it anyway ... just in case she can pull it off. Ware is so brilliant at writing women at their mean, manipulative best – and somehow doing it sympathetically. Gripping. • BUY The Death of Mrs Westaway on Amazon or pop into your local bookshop. Lynn Enright is reading… Twenty Theatres to See Before You Die by Amber Massie-Blomfield I go to the the theatre pretty regularly but I have been to less than half of the venues in this book – mainly because Amber Massie-Blomfield has travelled extensively, as she rounds up the most interesting spaces in British theatre. This is a beautifully written book, informative and considered, offering hope about the arts and what they can achieve – and it’s also a handy travel guide that I’ll consult when planning weekends away or day trips. These theatres can tell us a lot of the state of the British arts – and about the state of Britain in general. • BUY Twenty Theatres to See Before You Die on Amazon or pop into your local bookshop.