8 Best Books By C.S.Lewis

8 Best Books By C.S.Lewis

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C.S Lewis needs no introduction in the literary world. He has written some of the best books in fiction as well as non-fiction Christian apologetics. Lewis lived a remarkable life that was tragic and full of pain, with the occasional season of immense joy. However, he did not let these events dominate his life. Instead, Lewis poured his experiences into writing, and he is one of the greatest writers in history.

Lewis’ books attract millions of readers all over the world. A large majority of the readers are undoubtedly interested in the Christian literature. However, most of Lewis’ books cater to non-Christians who might have questions about this religion. It is also interesting to note that Lewis was an atheist for some time while he was young. This gives him a unique perspective from two angles, especially when it comes to religious and philosophical topics. 

Today we compile our recommendations of the best books by C.S. Lewis. 

The Great Divorce

This classic book by Lewis tells of a bus ride between hell and heaven. The theological vision of the author is the inspiration behind this book. Lewis wanted to publish the book under the title Who Goes Home, but the publisher did not think it was appropriate. The first publications were in a series form in a newspaper. However, later publications are in a book form. 

The Great Divorce is one of the best books that dwell on the meditation of good and evil. In more than one way, this book’s theme runs parallel with The Pilgrim’s Progress. 

  • Review: Lewis’ vivid description of a dull and desolate atmosphere will haunt you. In addition, the book is an excellent testament to his mastery of translating his imagination into paper. It is also a chance to view heaven and hell from a different perspective, challenging and frightening at once. However, an issue you might have with the book is finding original editions. Some editions of The Great Divorce are hopelessly below standard. Therefore, if you plan to read this classic book, find a good version first. 
  • Author: C.S. Lewis. 
  • Pages: 146, Paperback. 
  • Publisher: HarperCollins. April 21, 2015. (First Edition – 1945)

Mere Christianity

This is another classic book by C.S. Lewis. It is a theological book as the title implies. The transcripts of Mere Christianity are from Lewis’s BBC radio talks between 1941 and 1944. 

In this revolutionary evangelist book, Lewis rejects the idea of denominations in Christianity. Instead, he asserts a common ground where everyone’s faith can grow and stand. He talks about a fundamental component of human life – love. Lewis writes that every individual loves himself or herself, so it might be possible to apply it to others. 

  • Review: As mentioned above, the book explores the fundamentals of Christianity. For readers from the Christian faith, the book is a fantastic opportunity to explore their faith in an intimate manner. However, Lewis does not intend this book exclusively for Christians. It is an excellent book for non-Christians who are curious to know about the religion. The only issue you might have with this book is the writer’s use of earlier texts and words. In this regard, it may not be a suitable book of choice for young readers. Apart from this fact, this is one of the best books by C.S. Lewis. 
  • Author: C.S. Lewis. 
  • Pages: 190, Paperback. 
  • Publisher: MacMillan Publishing Company. 1960 (First publication 1952)

The Chronicles of Narnia

This world-famous series is popular all over the world, similar to its writer. The book is about a magical land, Narnia, and is a collection of seven books that outlines the creation of Narnia to its destruction. 

In the chronicles, the heroes are all children from the real world. Magic transports them to the fantastical land of talking animals. Aslan, the ruler of the lands, occasionally summons the children in his crusade to keep Narnia free from evil. The film adaptation of the series has also been widely successful. 

  • Review: The Chronicles of Narnia are a set of classic books about the eternal battle of good versus evil. In addition to its engaging theme, the plot that seamlessly combines magic with reality makes this book a hit among children and adults alike. All the books have a Christian influence, much like other books from Lewis. But this does not take away its essence – that good triumphs over evil. Lewis’s ability to describe the smalest details of majestic creatures and the epic scenes is nothing short of magical. Even though it is primarily a children’s book, adult readers also enjoy it. You just need to find the books from credible publishers as substandard versions are rampant. 
  • Author: C.S. Lewis. 
  • Pages: 767, Paperback. 
  • Publisher: Geoffrey Bles, The Bodley Head. October 1950 – September 1956.

The Screwtape Letters

The Screwtape Letters is a highly acclaimed satirical Christian novel. Hilariously, a worldly-wise demon writes a series of letters to his young nephew. Screwtape is an old demon who knows all the tactics to lure a human to the father in the underworld. In his letters, he mentors and teaches a young demon, Wormwood, to bring a young human to Satan. 

The book was a dedication to J.J.R. Tolkien. This masterpiece continues to serve as an inspiration for movies, comic books, and theater. Several songwriters have also used the book as an inspiration for their songs and performances. The most notable one is U2’s video for Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me.

  • Review: This book is just one example of Lewis’ brilliance in writing. The corresponding between the two demons is full of humor and seriousness all at once. Their schemes of taking a young British man down to the underworld will make you think about the tempters’ unending crusade to crush humans. Nevertheless, the same plans will also make you laugh aloud. The book has undertones of Christian beliefs, no doubt. Nevertheless, irrespective of your faith, you should read this fantastic book. 
  • Author: C.S. Lewis.
  • Pages: 160, Paperback, and Hardcover. 
  • Publisher: Geoffrey Bles. 1942.

A Grief Observed

A Grief Observed is a collection of Lewis’ thoughts on mourning after the death of his wife. Not surprisingly, the books’ contents come from the four notebooks that he used to write about his grief. In the text, he talks about his experience and emptiness without his wife. It has a significant impact on his life, and he is not happy. However, most importantly, he is struggling with his faith. 

The first publication of the book was under N.W. Clerk, a pseudonym. Lewis maintained that he did not want to reveal his real identity at the time. However, later publications of the book were under C.S. Lewis. A Grief Observed is the inspiration for the movie, Shadowlands

  • Review: Because the manuscripts for this book come from Lewis’s journal, it is honest and candid, which is not surprising. There is bewilderment and resentment towards the Almighty for the loss of a beloved one. Apart from the venting, the tone of Lewis’ writing and the stages of his profound grief resonate with readers. Despite its grim beginning, the book ends with Lewis feeling grateful for the time of loving – however short it was. A Grief Observed is endearing and uplifting, and one of the most honest books you will ever read about venting and mourning.  
  • Author: C.S. Lewis.
  • Pages: 160, Paperback. 
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber. 1961.

The Four Loves

This is a philosophical book from C.S. Lewis. Similar to some of the books from him, The Four Loves is also a collection from his talks on the radio. It explores the four different types of loves – Affection, Friendship, Eros, and Charity. The book encourages all individuals to accept all kinds of love, although it may not be easy.

Lewis explores the topic of love from a religious as well as a philosophical point of view. However, at the time of its first publication, there was a lot of criticism for the book’s open view on sex. 

  • Review: Despite its initial criticism, The Four Loves is a great book. After all, it is when we experience all the love that we become truly alive. Lewis’ take on the four types of love will make you want to open your heart to loving. Lewis uses simple language, but his ability to translate complex ideas into writing is a feature that readers will love. The book is a challenge as well as an encouragement to be open to love. Nonetheless, it is certain that your heart will be heartbroken. Lewis’ description of a cold and impenetrable heart at the end of a life that did not love is enough to shake you. Overall, a fantastic book for everyone, young and old. 
  • Author: C.S. Lewis.
  • Pages: 160, Paperback, and Hardback. 
  • Publisher: Geoffrey Bles. 1960.

The Problem of Pain

This is another book from Lewis surrounding a Christian dilemma. In The Problem of Pain, he explores the evils of pain and suffering. But most importantly, he tries to get to the bottom of why Christians ask about God’s intention during a difficult time. 

He further looks at animal suffering, sinfulness, and the problem of hell. The book concludes that no amount of pain or intellect can dissolve the human need for faith. After all, God is powerful, just, and full of love. 

  • Review: In this deeply religious book, Lewis explores the relationship between God and human suffering. Instead of offering an ultimate solution to the challenge, his honest admission of not having the answer is one of the best parts of the book. It makes the book relatable and human.Moreover, considering that Lewis was an atheist at one point in his life, his conclusions about evil is an inspiration. Sometimes it is not finding the answers that matter – it is the acceptances that you do not have the solutions that help you develop your faith. Overall, it is an excellent book for Christians as well as non-Christians who want to explore the religion a bit deeper. 
  • Author: C.S. Lewis.
  • Pages: 148. 
  • Publisher: The Centenary Press, 1940. 

Out of the Silent Planet

It is the first book in the Space Trilogy by C.S. Lewis. It is a science fiction novel about the kidnapping of Dr. Ransom, a Cambridge academic. But after his abduction to Mars or Malacandra, Ransom learns that Earth is a tragic and silent planet. The whole universe knows this sad fact about our world.

But that is the least of Ransom’s worries. He discovers that he is a candidate for human sacrifice and that his captors plan to plunder the Earth. Perelandra and That Hideous Strength follow the book

  • Review: Lewis’ take on fantasy and science fiction is nothing short of spectacular. His description of the inhabitants of outer space, as well as the location, is one of the best aspects of the book. Interestingly, Lewis does not mention the topic of science throughout the book. Another fantastic thing about Lewis’ book is that he wrote it before the inception of space travel. Even back then, he was able to imagine a world of sentient beings in space. The book has a simple language much unlike Lewis’ book on theology. Out of the Silent Planet is an excellent prequel to the two books that followed it.
  • Author: C.S. Lewis.
  • Pages: 264, Hardcover. 
  • Publisher: John Lane. 1938 

About C.S. Lewis – A short biography

Clive Staples Lewis or C.S. Lewis was a prolific writer, and he was born in 1898 in Belfast, Ireland. His most notable works include The Chronicles of Narnia and Mere Christianity, among others. 

Lewis wrote over thirty books in his lifetime. He was also a friend and colleague of J.R.R. Tolkien at Oxford University. Lewis’ mother passing at an early age was one of the reasons he turned back on Christian faith. However, after his injury in WW2, among other things, he came back to his faith. 

Lewis married an American writer Joy Davidman. Unfortunately, she died from cancer just after four years of marriage. As for Lewis, he passed away from kidney failure in 1963.

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