Among my holiday reading highlights this year were two excellent books: William Gibson's Zero History continues to confirm Gibson as one of the best novelists around. It's a taut, wonderfully constructed thriller with savvy observations about contemporary culture and a truly sympathetic central cast of characters.
And Richard Sennett's Respect: The formation of character in an age of inequality confirms his status as one of the leading thinkers of our day. The book is a wide-ranging, historically erudite exploration of how we build respect in an unequal society. He leaves countless loose ends but provides a mountain of stimulating ideas and insights. I await delivery of his slightly older book on work.
Tomorrow I start teaching again at Spurgeon's - two slots this semester as I'm covering for a sabbaticalling colleague. So, it's Introduction to Paul at 8:30am tomorrow (what a great way to start the week!) and New Testament Theology at 8:30am on Tuesday. I've been frantically reminding myself over the past 48 hours what these two courses are about - especially NTT which I have not taught before. Looking forward to being stimulated by a set of lively students.
I have also written a review of the Blackwell Companion to Paul for Regents' Reviews. This is an excellent and wide-ranging resource covering all bases in the area of Pauline studies. But it's so eye-poppingly expensive (£110 for a 600 page book) that I wonder who will benefit from its insights!