I have two fine books on the go just now, Jane Rusbridge's second novel Rook (which confirms the talent shown in her first one), and A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander which is just the thing to read if you're fancying going in for Grand Designs.
Firstly the novel, and Rook is "a mesmerising story of family, legacy and turning back the tides, beautifully evoking the shifting Sussex sands, and the rich seam of history lying just beneath them". Jane's narrative is one of layers, each scene revealing a little more of her characters' past or present and what moves and motivates them, and similarly the network of connections - obvious or more deeply hidden - which informs them. More on it soon, but suffice to say for now that I'm loving it.
I'm not very far into A Pattern Language (which was warmly recommended by a friend), but it's about the elements which go into making a building or room - whether a domestic one or for public use - a successful and harmonious place. For example, the pages shown above are on "entrance transition" - "buildings, and expecially houses, with a graceful transition between the street and the inside, are more tranquil than those which open directly off the street. The experience of entering a building influences the way you feel inside the building. If the transition is too abrupt there is no feeling of arrival, and the inside of the building fails to be an inner sanctum." It goes on to explain in detail why this is and how to achieve the optimum arrangement. It's all quite fascinating.
Those are my 'Friday reads', what are yours?