We're off on holiday later this morning, with a week in Carmarthen followed by the Aber Conference. I usually take a few books with me when we go away. Often a novel or two and a couple of theological titles. Novel-wise in recent years it's been something by P. D. James and/or John Grisham. This year I thought I'd have a change from law-based fiction and have a go at Gilead by Marilynne Robsinson. It takes the form of a letter from a dying Minister to his young son. Sounds good.
Also I think I'll pack my recently aquired copy of The Poems of Edward Taylor, edited by Donald E. Stanford. I'm just getting into Taylor's work and being on holiday will give me a little more time to meditate on his wonderfully Christ-centred metaphysical poetry.
When it comes to theology, I'm not sure what to bring. I'd like to finish Vanhoozer's Remythologizing Theology. I've got as far of page 377 out of 539pp. I managed to get a free copy from CUP in exchange for reviewing it on the blog, so I'd better get cracking. On the other hand, a £70 heavyweight hardback hardly lends itself to reading on the beach. What if it accidentally got smeared with sun cream, or splattered by one of Mr. Whippy's 99's melting in the hot sun? Unthinkable. But then again, we don't have to go to the beach.
I've got some books on Roman Catholicism on the "to read" pile in preparation for my Westminster Conference paper on Puritan Attitudes Towards Rome, but do I really want to take Pope Benedict XVI: Commander of the Faith on holiday? The question kind of answers itself. Although...
Of course, this is meant to be a family break, not study leave. So, I won't be able to spend too much time with my head buried in a book. But as nothing is more relaxing than a good read there will have to be room amongst the suitcases, beach cricket set and other holiday stuff for some reading materials. Swimming in the sea, watching Toy Story 3, evening walks along the beach and Remythologizing Theology. Sounds like a good holiday to me.