The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice; this was a happy accident - . it jumped off the shelf in a book-shop. I have started this series out of sequence as it is one of a large series, but I plan on reading the others - vampire books are not usually a genre that appeal to me one iota, but this is fun; the central character Lestat (who as you might surmise is a vampire) should be an unappealing and hideous character but as a reader, I found myself liking him very much; the first book in the series is 'Interview with the Vampire' which I plan on sinking my teeth into as soon as possible... The Horse Dancer by JoJo Moyes - a young girl lives with her Grandfather, who was a long time ago a member of the elite French 'cadre noir' - a bit like the Spanish School of Riding but in France. She lives on the wrong side of the tracks in a rough part of London and the one bright part of her life is her horse Boo; with her Grandfather she has been working on haute ecole movements with the horse which will one day, he hopes, give her a way out of the rough environment. The grandfather has a stroke and the girl ends up in care...believing that she will have the horse taken off her, she chooses to conceal it which causes her terrible problems. A lot of difficulties ensue for the carers and the child, which culminates with the child riding to France to try to show the Cadre Noir her horse; there is a second story going on about the carers, and a couple of others about the characters in the story so its not 'just' a horse-and-a-girl type book. Even if you are not into horses, this is one of those wonderful tales that would be excellent for both adults and older children. The result is unexpected, poignant, but ultimately positive.
Art Journals & Creative Healing (Restoring the Spirit through Self-Expression) by Sharon Soneff and Mindy Caliguire - even had I been able to buy this as an E-book I wouldn't have done so, because this sort of book has to be read, handled and enjoyed - I toy with journal-keeping on a sort of wistful basis most of the time - its basically creative diary keeping, or a process of working through an event or an emotion or a way of keeping an art-based journal on whatever subject you choose. Its a great idea, and I have lots of ideas for working on a variety of subjects...I'll occasionally start one and then other creative stuff will come along and push it aside and I feel ashamed of my pathetic efforts to keep up with it. Journal keeping doesn't really have rules other than you actually have to write it and keep up with it....and as good as my intentions are, I just cannot seem to do that. The process though, when I do put effort in is rewarding and I have (in theory, at least, at various stages of being worked on) several which focus on my animals, my work, and so on. This book's title is self-explanatory...the scope of the work and the subjects is inspiring. I always feel that my journals should be more beautiful but the process is designed for the writer/author to work through that subject and not for the books to be open to the scrutiny of others. In this book though, we do get to scrutinise the journal-keeping work of others...the book is full of advice and inspiration, so perhaps this one will make me put some work into the process.
The House on The Strand by Daphne du Maurier - it comes as a surprise to me how accessible and readable du Maurier's work is when I have not picked up one of her books for a while. Considering her work was written a relatively long time ago, I sometimes fall into the trap of imagining it to be stuffy and stiff. Not so. She produced a lot of other work besides her most high profile books, Jamaica Inn and Rebecca, which are fabulous reads. The House on the Strand is a story of drug-induced time-travel - which sounds a bit weird but is an original and inventive bit of storytelling with great atmosphere. I loved this one; I plan on re-reading Rebecca and Jamaica Inn as soon as I can find the time.