Conversations, VOLUME 6

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

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.

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


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A Grief Observed

“A Grief Observed is a collection of C. S. Lewis’s reflections on the experience of bereavement following the death of his wife, Joy Davidman, in 1960. The book is compiled from the four notebooks which Lewis used to vent and explore his grief. He illustrates the everyday trials of his life without Joy and explores fundamental questions of faith and theodicy. Lewis’s step-son (Joy’s son) Douglas Gresham points out in his 1994 introduction that the indefinite article ‘a’ in the title makes it clear that Lewis’s grief is not the quintessential grief experience at the loss of a loved one, but one individual’s perspective among countless others.” (Wikipedia)  This is perhaps the quintessential book on the experience of facing grief, and especially as a Christian. “[The] true consolations of religion” says Madeleine L’Engle in her foreword, “are not rosy and cozy, but comforting in the true meaning of that word: com-fort: with strength.  Strength to go on living, and to trust that what Joy needs, or anyone we love who has died needs, is being taken care of by that Love which began it all.”  And this is the wondrous gift of Lewis’s narrating his own grief here, that through the storm of grief, he comes to trust in the love and goodness of God’s providence.


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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.