The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis

With the newly released Prince Caspian movie and my appreciation for all things Narnia – I found myself wondering why I, the reader that I claim to be, had not read any of the books in this series yet.  This very thought said out loud, led to the series showing up on my desk within hours of my uttering the desire to read them.  (YAY!)

So- over the holiday weekend I curled up with my cup of tea, my favorite blanket and the first book in this series, The Magicians Nephew (interestingly enough as I thought for sure book one would be The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe).

Right away I noticed with a tinge of dissapointment that C.S. is writing to children and in a very grandfatherish tone.  Things are written such as, “and wasn’t that a wonderful surprise boys and girls?”  Discouraged, even though I have nothing against reading a children’s book (I have read every Harry Potter book through twice) I wanted a bit more to the book.  I read on and something happened….

I found it quite interesting to find similarities to this book and to J.K. Rowlings books on Harry Potter.  For one thing – characters in many cases have similar names, such as in this book Digory the little boy, is also the name of a boy in the Potter books.  The magic and going to other worlds is also similar.  I have not researched this yet, but I had read an article in Christianity today a while ago that talked of some of J.K.’s influences.  I remember one was Tolkien as she loved The Lord of The Rings.

The biblical references in this book are profound and I always find myself amazed at C.S. Lewis’s style of writing for the times.  He did not have the influence of tv shows and the movie technology there is today to create such vidid and profound characters all at the same time.  The meaning in his books are so great and the fact that he aimed for his audience to be children is also wonderful because the books are such learning tools while at the same time fun and interesting.  (I think as I continued reading I may have become younger…)

Digory is tempted to take the apple for himself

Uncle Andrew is unable to understand Aslan and only hears roars

In this book there is the creation story in Narnia and how Aslan created all

and so much more…..

A couple things I want to point out that I enjoyed were that this first book explains how the lamp post came to Narnia as well as how the wardrobe was created and why it was magical….

If you haven’t read this book – I recommend it!

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

This book, Eat Pray Love arrived on my door step as an error on a book swap I was doing.  Reading the back of the book I had decided that I did not want to read this book….  a book written as the author travels through Italy, India, and Indonesia in search of fullfillment….  no thank you….

Then as it sat on my desk top I decided I was interested enough in the traveling side of the book to take a peak….  and so I did.

I really enjoyed the first part of the book on eating and Italy.  As Elizabeth travels through Italy I love the picture she paints of the beauty of the area, you can almost taste the incredible foods she encounters and her experiences are wonderful….

The prayer section in India was…. interesting.  This is a “procede with caution” book.  While I found some of her writing in this section to be beautiful (the act of praying in the New Year as it came across the skies like a large heavy bag carrying the unknown – births and deaths, great happiness, and sorrow…) she experienced an Indian Guru who acted as her swami and at that point – the culture was interesting, but she never seemed to quite get the Christianity part down and throughout the book continues to search for self fullfillment.

The final section was on love and at this point she is in Indonesia where she spends time with a medicine man who also had odd beliefs yet she continues her learning of deep prayer.

So – I was not even sure I was going to review this book because of the turns it takes.  It is about 80% great – she has an amazing sence of humor (I laughed out loud at a couple of her thoughts like when the medicine man forgets who she is and calls her Sharon…) and her writing at times made me really stop and think…

…”One should search for God as a man who’s head is on fire searches for water…”

I enjoyed reading about how other cultures see God.  Reading of some of their customs was really interesting and I did learn a few cultural things.  However – I again caution the reader who chooses to read this book to do so lightly and realize that the author has no strong faith base and her searching is taking her all over the board.

Again – about 80% interesting and educational – about 20% I skimmed and found totally off the mark.

Just Walk Across The Room by Bill Hybels

Bill Hybels is an amazing speaker and author.  Without mixing words, Bill Hybels lays it on the line that evangelism – is everyones duty.  We are all to be like Jesus and approach people – build disciples for HIm… and Bill gives us a few tools as to how.

I enjoyed reading about Bill’s approach and love how the first step is always just talking, getting to know one another – because hey, I can do that!  Building relationships and doing it consistently is the theme of this well written book.

We used this book as a guide for our 401 class and it was a great discussion book.  Highly recommend this read.  Bill has a few stories and activities that I would like to implement in my own life.