Jun 26, 2012

From the Library of C.S. Lewis

While in school, I loved it whenever a teacher would share about the books and authors that shaped their thinking and teaching. It helps me to understand why they think they way they do. Many, including myself, consider C.S. Lewis to be a teacher. Although he never directly taught me, his works have helped to shape me and the way that I think. From the Library of C.S. Lewis allows those of us who have been mentored by the writings of Lewis to pull back the curtain and read from the authors that mentored him. James Stuart Bell has compiled selections from some of the works that Lewis read and learned from. The selections include works from G.K. Chesterton, George MacDonald, George Herbert, Thomas Aquinas, Andrew Murray, Augustine, Brother Lawrence, Beowulf, Aristotle, C.G. Jung, Owen Barfield, and Julian of Norwich. This is a collection of great works and authors all of which were found in Lewis's library and influenced him.

This book is a wonderful resource to anyone who has been influenced by Lewis or to someone who is studying the work of Lewis. The readings have been organized by topic which would make it easy study specific topics alongside the works of Lewis. I think that Bell has done a great service to anyone wanting to study Lewis and his works. The only downside to this book is that it is only selections from the writers who influenced Lewis. It is hard to just sit down and read through, it is merely readings organized by topic. As I read through sections of it, I found myself wanting some commentary on how these works influenced his thinking or references to his work to show how these readings connected to his work. The book, however, is what it says it is. Bell does not explain anything, he is merely presenting. While I wish I had some more explanation, the book itself is impressive and would have taken a lot of work just to put together.

I would recommend this book to anyone studying Lewis or someone has read a great deal of Lewis. This would be a good companion to any serious reader of Lewis. I could also seeing this book being useful from a devotional standpoint. The readings are short and organized by topic. My only warning is for those who might be looking for an explanation of how these works shaped Lewis. This book is all readings and no commentary. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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