Jackie’s Favorite C.S. Lewis Books

cs lewis1. The Chronicles of Narnia are hands down my favorite of Jack Lewis’s books and so take the #1 spot.  Were I pressed to delineate the order in which I rank them, I would say this: The Last Battle; The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; The Horse and His Boy; The Magician’s Nephew; The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; Prince Caspian; The Silver Chair.  I think.  I love them all though and usually listen to a Narnia audiobook to fall asleep each night.  In this way, I read the whole series perhaps a dozen times a year.  That’s a lot of Narnia– just the way I like it.

2. The space trilogy: Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength.  Theological science fiction?  Heck yes!  And each book is better than the last.

3. The Great Divorce.  One crazy bus ride through the afterlife.

4. Till We Have Faces.

5. A Grief Observed.  Written after his wife died.  I read this in one evening.

6. Mere Christianity.

7. The Problem of Pain.  How can God be all-good and all-powerful if there is still pain in the world?

8. Letters to Children.  A collection of Lewis’s letters written mostly to kiddos.  LOVE.

Notably absent:
The Screwtape Letters.  While this book of advice from one demon to his nephew is an oft-quoted favorite of people, it’s not one of mine.  It’s clever and valuable, and you should definitely read it, but it’s a lot to swim through.  Even Lewis claimed it was “not fun” to write and that he’d never written anything with “less enjoyment.”  He wrote, “Though I had never written anything more easily, I never wrote with less enjoyment . . . though it was easy to twist one’s mind into the diabolical attitude, it was not fun, or not for long. The strain produced a sort of spiritual cramp. The work into which I had to project myself while I spoke through Screwtape was all dust, grit, thirst, and itch.”  He “was resolved never to write another ‘Letter.'”

Surprised by Joy.  This is Lewis’s autobiography, and while it’s been many years since I’ve read it, it certainly wasn’t a favorite of mine.

3 thoughts on “Jackie’s Favorite C.S. Lewis Books

  1. Though I’ve not read much Lewis, his profound quotes never cease to amaze me. Just today, I ran across this one — “Every disability conceals a vocation, if only we can find it, which will turn the necessity to glorious gain.”

  2. Love this! I haven’t read much of Lewis’ non-fiction (which I hesitate to even admit…) but I’ve always been told “Surprised by Joy” and “Screwtape” are ones I MUST read. I trust your opinion, and will now be searching for “Letters to Children” (which I didn’t even know existed!)

  3. I felt really dumb trying to read Mere Christianity. Too deep! Then about a few years later, I gave the book a second try, and had finally understood it. I’ll have to read A Grief Observed next.

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