Sunday, October 02, 2011

A summer reading report

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!


Unknown said...

thanks Simon, very helpful, wont be splashing out £110 though!

Andy Goodliff said...

It will eventually become a paperback at around £25 ... i think they publish the hardback so they get libraries to cough up first! very cheeky!

simon said...

Two librarians I have spoken to have no intention of coughing up for it, arguing that if IVP can produce a thousand pages at £40, why can't Blackwells?! I think it's staggeringly short-sighted. But I hope you're right about the cheaper paperback edition because it's an excellent resource.