I say it a lot but it was fine wisdom and I have used it for 5 years. My former colleague in Fitzroy Rev Whitney Wilkinson looked me sternly in the eye as my first holiday in Fitzroy was about to begin and said, “No theology! Your head needs a rest from thinking about work.” I left a Calvin biography back in the shelf which actually I have still never read and picked up a Colin Bateman novel which ironically was set 100 yards from Fitzroy. Near work… but not work! It has been my mantra ever since.
So, I am setting aside John Paul Lederach’s The Moral Imagination which I so want to read, Tim Keller’s Ministries Of Mercy and Generous Justice, as well as John F Kilner’s Dignity and Destiny sent to me by the kind Neil Craigan. Hopefully I might get around to these come autumn time.
In the meantime I am taking with me the following:
DONAL RYAN - THE THING ABOUT DECEMBER
I read The Spinning Heart last summer. The new kid on the Irish novelist block, Ryan is a great social analyser of modern Ireland. Also not a tome that will take half the holiday!
NICK HORNBY - FUNNY GIRL
I have always loved Hornby. He is perceptive, insightful and always funny. Again a lighter read of heavier themes!
MARILYNNE ROBINSON - LILA
Perhaps a little more work to get into but Robinson’s spiritual wisdom dropped into character driven novels are always full of depth charges. To read the female perspective on Gilead will be fascinating!
PETER WAUGH - HALF IRISH
Local youth guru Waugh’s debut novel. I have started this one and it is an easy intriguing read that I look forward to getting further into.
ANDREW J H SHARP - THE GHOSTS OF EDEN
Off to Uganda at the end of July. After 10 years in Cape Town I knew the place inside out and upside down. Uganda is all new so this is a novel to scene set.
ANDREW RICE - THE TEETH SMILE BUT THE HEART DOES NOT FORGET
Again about Uganda, this might be the one I read while travelling there and being there. A more historical piece about the bloody violence of the 70s and how a country is trying to forgive or forget or deal with disappeared family members etc. Not light. Maybe close to work BUT then the Uganda trip is work.
COLM TÓIBÍN - NORA WEBSTER
I haven’t read enough Tóibín and this one set 1960s Ireland looks like my kinda book.
DAVID PARK - SWALLOWING THE SUN
I love David Park and when I got this in a charity shop I knew it would do nicely! Set in Belfast again. I love novels set in places where I live or travel to.
What I don’t need to do now is to make it a job to read them all. I need to rest and see how the reading goes. Last year I stressed myself out worrying I wouldn't get all my reading finished. Chill Steve! The Rice book looks the heaviest and that might take me the entire Uganda trip. You will see how I get on and what ones got read and didn’t when I review them all in late August!