Conversations, VOLUME 6

C.S. Lewis – A Guide to 7 Lesser Known Books

Beyond Narnia and Mere Christianity

A Guide to Seven Lesser Known Books by C.S. Lewis

2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the death of C.S. Lewis.

Now would be a good time to revisit Lewis’s work; re-read the Chronicles of Narnia certainly, share them with your kids or grandkids, but also dig deeper into his work, you might be surprised by what you find.  We offer here a guide to seven of our favorite lesser-known books by C.S. Lewis.  We hope that you will find this guide helpful as you revisit his work over the coming months and years.

Also of interest for this C.S. Lewis anniversary year:

What other books would you include here? What are your favorite C.S. Lewis books?


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Next Book

Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life

If you haven’t read this already, I would definitely start here, with this autobiographical narrative of the first half (or so) of Lewis’s life. Surprised by Joy tells of the story of Lewis’s youth and the staunch atheism he developed, as well as his eventual conversion to Christianity.  This book tells the story of the experiences that would set the stage for the breadth and depth of his writing, and in that way this memoir is helpful in understanding the rest of Lewis’s work.  Borrowing its title from a Wordsworth poem, this book is arranged around the theme of joy and the role that it played in guiding Lewis to faith and guiding his work for the balance of his life. 

Reading for the Common Good
From ERB Editor Christopher Smith

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-Karen Swallow Prior

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  1. I have been reading a number of Lewis’ books this year after reading McGrath’s new biography. I have read several you have suggested. But I would also suggest Letters to Malcolm. When I first read it I thought it was actual letters instead of a fictional book. So I was a bit disappointed to learn that it was fictional. But I don’t think the detracts from the fascinating discussion about the nature of prayer and the Christian life.

    I would also definitely recommend McGrath’s new biography for anyone that wants to go a bit deeper on Lewis.

    • Yes, LETTERS TO MALCOLM is another excellent one, though it’s been longer since I’ve read it than most of the ones here…

  2. I would add another allegorical work, “The Pilgrim’s Regress,” to this list. It’s a little snarky, and absolutely beautiful.

  3. I’ve read and own most of those that are suggested, in addition (of course!) to Mere Christianity and the Narnia books. I have recommended A Grief Observed to several different people, over the years, when they had lost loved ones, and I remember being very intrigued with Lewis’s depiction of heaven, and the reactions of the bus riders from hell, in The Great Divorce.

    Frankly, while I am surprised to see nothing of Screwtape Letters, in this discussion, I did not enjoy it. Does any Christian really enjoy it? But I need to read it, again, as I was so much younger, when I read it, before.