This Week’s Reading (August #2)

Here’s a look at my reading list for the second week of August:

This year I have the privilege of teaching the Chronicles of Narnia to a class of seventh graders. I started reading the Chronicles when I was seven, and they have had a profound influence on the way I think and live. I’m really excited to work through these books with some young minds this year.

If you know any young people, be sure you get these stories into their heads!

To help me dig deeper into Lewis’s books, I’m working my way through these two commentaries on Narnia:

What I Learned in Narnia

  1. What I Learned in Narnia. Douglas Wilson traces seven themes through the Chronicles: authority, confession, nobility, spiritual discipline, love of story, grace, and love for Aslan. In each chapter Wilson explains how Lewis develops one of these themes in his stories, and then draws several poignant applications to the reader’s life. Wilson’s writing and moral insight is perfectly suited for a young adult—but adults (like me) have much to gain from this book. I found myself appropriately admonished, corrected but not crushed. Thankfully, Wilson also reminds the reader throughout that the Chronicles are first of all to be enjoyed. Amazon: Print, Kindle

planet

  1. Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis. In this book, Michael Ward presents his explanation of the imaginative structure behind Narnia. He argues that Lewis crafted Narnia around the symbolism, characteristics, and mythology connected to the seven planets of the medieval universe. Ward’s case is very compelling, and one quickly realizes that Planet Narnia isn’t just about Narnia but about the entire imaginative world of C.S. Lewis.  This is an important and accessible piece of Lewis scholarship. Amazon: Print, Kindle

I highly recommend both of these books to you. Wilson’s book explains how the Narnia stories shape the reader’s moral imagination. Ward’s book details the brilliance of C.S. Lewis’s moral and artistic imagination. Both are great reads for any Lewis fan.

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