Follow the meme

Chris, over at Things I’ve Seen, is propagating a meme, and has tagged me as one of its carriers. I’m called upon to answer the following five questions:

Total number of books owned

Between 2300 and 2400, at a quick count. About 900 of those in my office at work; there are probably another 100 at home that count as my work books, 200 that are Hester’s work books; around 70 are Bridget’s books – and a further 150 are children’s books too old for Bridget.

Last book bought

The last book I bought was Grace and Necessity by Rowan Williams. As you’ll know if you came here from Chris’s post, I’ve written about Rowan Williams. I’m not planning on doing very much more of that, but I try to keep up with his more academic writing. I don’t know much about this new book, except that its a tweaked version of some lectures currently still available online: the 2005 Clark Lectures.

Last book read

Well, recreation-wise, I’m in the middle of The Count of Monte Cristo; before that I read John le Carre’s Secret Pilgrim. (I’m also reading some bits of Russell and Whitehead’s Principia Mathematica, which I found online, and which reminds me what it used to be like being a mathematician). Work-wise, I’m in the middle of numerous books, including Peter Ochs, Peirce, Pragmatism and the Logic of Scripture (for the second time), and Robert Jenson’s Systematic Theology. Probably the last work book that I read all the way through was Nicholas Lash, Believing Three Ways in One God (again, for the second time). Although, come to think of it, I read various books on Barth for a review I was writing recently.

Five books that mean a lot to you

This is hard. It says ‘mean’ not ‘meant’, so I’m trying to think of books that I think shape who I now am, rather than books which grabbed me massively in the past.
The Bible
Paul Scott, The Raj Quartet. A book (okay, a set of books) that shows what novels can do by way of exploring people, events, culture, and place without flattening.
Tim Jenkins, Religion in English Everyday Life. It’s only a short step from the kind of novel Paul Scott writes to the kind of social anthropology that Tim Jenkins does: intelligent, rich, careful description of social facts.
Hans Frei, The Identity of Jesus Christ. An enigmatic and easily mis-read book, this one – but learning to read it well has been a significant part of my theological education.
Rowan Williams, On Christian Theology. A remarkable collection of essays, which I continue to find deeply thought-provoking.

Tag five people to continue this meme

I don’t think five people read this blog, let alone five people with blogs of their own! However, I’ll tag Hester and Bridget (of course).

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