But I've been shaken out of my lassitude by finally succumbing to rave reviews and making the time to get started on The Doors of the Sea: Where was God in the Tsunami? by David Bentley Hart.
There's a theory that says a writer has to grab you on the first page if they want you to finish their book. When the fourth word of the book is 'verdant' you know you're reading a writer, but it was page six that hooked me good:
Considering the scope of the catastrophe, and of the agonies and sorrows it had visited on so many, we should probably have all remained silent for a while. The claim to discern some greater meaning - or, for that matter, meaninglessness - behind the contingencies of history and nature is both cruel and presumptuous at such times. Pious platitudes and words of comfort seem not only futile and banal, but almost blasphemous; metaphysical disputes come perilously close to mocking the dead. There are moments, simply said, when we probably ought not to speak. But, of course, we must speak.
I read it out to Jude when I got home, and her immediate response was to reserve the book to read herself. With three demanding kids, she's pretty choosy with her time. Now she wants The Beauty of the Infinite for Christmas!
Joy in the reading of theology; an aesthete would be pleased...