If you’re in any way involved with the Christian book trade you’re probably aware by now that SCM-Canterbury Press’ distribution division has changed its name to Norwich Books and Music: details on the right for those who may have missed the announcements elsewhere.
It’s always a pleasure to leaf through publishers’ catalogues and AI (Advance Information) sheets, and I’m pleased to say that SCM-Canterbury’s latest, received late last week and mostly previewing titles due in the final quarter, Oct – Dec 2008, didn’t disappoint me.
An absolute must-buy, sneaking back in from an earlier preview, is Volume 2 of ‘The Dave Walker Guide to the Church’, My Pew: Things I Have Seen From It. Due in August, it should raise a few eyebrows and plenty of laughs as Dave brings us more of his quirky and entertaining take on the church. My advice to clergy is jettison the hymnbooks and replace them with copies of this: your congregation will be too busy laughing at one another and hopefully themselves to notice the organist and choir storming out in indignation, leaving you free to run the show the way you’ve always wanted to with absolutely no one paying any attention whatsoever (9781853118999, August 2008, £5.99).
Update, 13/6/2008: Serious fans won’t want to miss the new Dave Walker Guide to the Church 2009 Calendar, hot off the press today according to the man himself. Far too frivolous for a serious bookshop like mine, of course 😉 (Dave’s other books)
From there it seems an almost natural progression into what promises to be a fresh and invigorating exploration of ‘fresh expressions of church’, Leadership in Mission Shaped Churches: Emerging Theological and Practical Models (9781853118166, November 2008, £16.99). Edited by Martyn Percy and somebody else (the book cover says Richard Turnbull; the AI sheet talks about Louise Nelstrop: go figure), this is billed as filling “a real gap for good, critical reflection on a prominent feature of contemporary church life”. Contributors include Steven Croft and John Hull, both of whom contributed to Church House Publishing’s Mission-shaped Questions.
Rather more specialised but of undoubted interest for anyone studying theology and counselling in depth is a lower priced edition of Marcus Pound’s Theology, Psychoanalysis and Trauma, part of the Veritas Series published jointly by SCM and Nottingham University’s Centre for Theology and Philosophy. John Milbank is cited describing the book as “the most important sustained reflection on the relation of theology and psychoanalysis to date.”
It originally came out last year in hardback at £60, well out of reach of most cash-strapped students; this paperback release, due September 2008, brings the price down to a more manageable £19.99. The ISBN quoted on the AI sheet (978033441399) is a digit short: it should be 9780334041399.
Those are just three forthcoming from SCM-Canterbury that stood out for me. Can’t help thinking that Dave’s book will prove much more effective in dealing with trauma than the heavy duty tome I’ve finished up with, but any students tempted to cite My Pew in their dissertations would probably be wise to think again…
Finally, a word of thanks to Kevin Allard, SCM-Canterbury’s UK Sales Manager, who helped sort out a wee problem with one of their Study Guide series recently supplied to me by STL. The book came in at a short discount and when I queried it STL told me that reduced discounts from their suppliers inevitably resulted in reduced discounts to us as retailers. I contacted Kevin to find out what the problem was: turned out to be a data entry error at STL which has now been corrected. So next time STL seem to be short-changing you on the discount front, don’t take no for an answer: follow it up with the publisher. As they say at Tesco, every little counts…