Travels 2015: A Hornby Island Reader

Travels 2015 is a series of updates I originally posted on Facebook while on vacation. What started as a quick update and a couple photos transformed into a series of mini-essays that I would have posted on this website had it been up and running at the time. This one was written on August 7th, 2015.


As I shared my summer reading list with my family, I was asked "how much time are you actually planning on spending with us?" (Which isn't fair. They spent just as much time reading as I did. You should see the stack of booksIlona brought!) But true to form, the books along the left ('Select Letters of John Newton', a largely wishy-washy book by Annie Dillard, and 'A Brief History of Thought' [which Tim Keller calls "the one book to read to understand culture"]) have all been untouched. I'll probably get started on one or two of them as I travel.

On my iPhone you'll see an audiobook of Wendell Barry's 'Jayber Crow'. It's been a delightful listen, a story of a small town barber that's full of very real characters, well turned phrases, and an understanding of the human heart that progresses along with the story. It's accompanied many an ocean walk these past weeks.

Tim Keller's book on prayer is almost a compilation of thinking and advice on prayer from throughout church history. Very practical. And every vacation for the last six years has included at least one P. G. Wodehouse. They are the perfect summer combination of witty brilliance and mindless fun.

But my true Honby companion has been 'Music at Midnight', John Drury's fine biography of the English poet-priest George Herbert. It's a guide to bot his life and his poetry. Herbert's richly Reformed Anglican faith was actualized through struggle that resulted in some of the finest poetry in the English language. It was a joy to unpack its depth. It was also fascinating to uncover his life; he has an ambitious and successful academic career in Cambridge before poor health and inner turmoil brought him to lead a humble life as a village parson. I was struck by the way his struggles found their purpose through his writings, which tooka life of their own after Herbert's death, encouraging and building up many, many readers. It was a reminder to persevere in faithfulness, trusting that through Christ we will bear fruit, despite what we may or may not see today.

I hope you enjoy the series of pictures of the various vantages I viewed with this volume in hand.

P. S. Coffee Update: My aunt, who came up by car to visit us for the week, was kind enough to purchase a Moka espresso pot on my behalf, as well as pick up a bag of Fernwood decaf. How kind! My coffee drinking is restored.