As a Luddite by temperament and aptitude I still like the idea of books as potential termite food. I have just caught up with the second of Susan Hill’s Simon Serrailler novels and find it absorbing because of the depth of its characterisation- it is one of those rare crime/detective stories where my interest in the main players completely eclipses my concern with fathoming the central mystery- but also am pleased by the author’s rare ability to portray faith as it truly is for most people. In many modern novels religious belief is treated the way a vegan might handle a Mcdonald’s burger,with a mixture of tentativenesss and horror, but here it is pictured as a natural part of the emotional and ethical landscape of ordinary and decent human beings.
And concerning another old fashioned medium of communication, don’t miss the remaining episodes of Diarmaid MacCulloch’s ‘A History of Christianity’, which is coming to the end of its run on BBC2 soon.Certainly it is the best overview of Christianity broadcast in my life time. If you miss the series wait until the paperback comes out – it is slightly shorter than Lord of the Rings!