A Year of Reading Lewis

There are writers who challenge you, confound you, entertain you, puzzle you, encourage you, or teach you, and then there is C.S. Lewis, who can manage to do all of those things in one piece of writing.

This musty Oxford don, whose academic speciality was Medieval and Renaissance Literature, was, according to Wikipedia, a “novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian, and Christian apologist.”

When I first took my steps into faith, by happy accident (no accident at all, of course), one of the first books I read was Mere Christianity. This book, with its robust defence of the Christian faith using philosophy and reason, gave short shift to any idea I might have had that the Christian faith is only for simpletons or naive people who simply accepted their view of the world as “faith” which could not be questioned.

I have since read most of Lewis’ works, both fiction and non-fiction, and I have to say he is very much one of my top three of my all-time favourite writers.

But it has been a while since I have read much of his works, so I thought I would dive back into his writings this year, and share with you some of the delights I find along the way.

I will not be reading all of Narnia, however, it would probably take me all year to read through all of the series. But I might dip into one of the books, because you can’t cover Lewis without venturing into Narnia at least once.

I’m going to start with his other speculative fiction books, his Space Trilogy, consisting of Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength. Throughout the course of the year I will also read through some of his non-fiction as well as some of his little-known short stories.

I’m looking forward to reconnecting with Lewis; in so many ways he feels like an old friend. I hope you enjoy my visits with him, too, and if I can encourage any of you to read some of his books as well, I will be very delighted.

Meet me here on the last Friday of the month, and we’ll talk Lewis together.

It is a good rule, after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between. If that is too much for you,  you should at least read one old one to every three new ones.

                                         – C.S. Lewis

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What about you? Have you read any C.S. Lewis? What is your favourite book? Which ones would you like to see me cover? Anyone want to read along with me? First up: Out of the Silent Planet.

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Movie review: The Hobbit, Part Three: Battle of the Five Armies

Over the Christmas holidays the family and I took in Peter Jackson’s final take on The Lord of the Rings saga.

Just to give you some background, let me state that I have been a fan of Tolkein’s LOTR since I first picked up the books in high school. I have read those three books, as well as The Hobbit, many times. Like many other fantasy authors, Tolkein’s work had a huge influence on me both in terms of subject matter and inspiration to write a tale of my own. I suffered through previous attempts to being these movies to the big screen, so when I saw the first LOTR movie it was an absolute delight. It was astounding to see Middle Earth brought to life in a credible way by someone who obviously loved the books as well. So, hats off, Peter Jackson!

But this post is about The Hobbit, pt 3. I have to confess that when I went to the first Hobbit movie, I actually hadn’t clued in to the fact that it was going to be a trilogy (not sure how I missed that). When I got to the end I thought…what? How on earth is he going to stretch the story out for three movies?

And we saw how….padding, background stories for some of the LOTR characters, and more padding. I enjoyed the first two movies, but…well….I have to say I found Pt. 3 a bit tedious. Not a lot of story, and a whole of sturm and drang, as they say.

The parts I enjoyed the most were any scenes with Bilbo (Martin Freeman, how I love you!) and any scenes with Smaug (“Magnificent” special effects, just, wow). Unfortunately there weren’t many of either of those. The rest of it seemed like a series of attempts to make one exciting video game sequence after another.

But I can’t diss it too badly. I have great respect for what Jackson has done in bringing these beloved tales to life. I just wish he hadn’t lingered so long on The Hobbit, it felt like a bit of a money grab rather than an attempt to tell the story faithfully to the original.

Please, Mr. Jackson, get to work on those Temeraire stories! I can’t wait to see what you do with a whole movie (or mini-series!) about dragons…..

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My rating for this movie: 3 stars. What do you think? Did you like it? How many stars would you give it?