10 Must-Read Books about C. S. Lewis

Remembering C.S. Lewis: Recollections of Those Who Knew Him ed. by James T. Como

This collection brings together the recollections of twenty-four men and women who knew C. S. Lewis both in his professional and in his everyday life.  An intimate, varied look at the celebrated author.

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The Company They Keep: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien as Writers in Community by Diana Pavlac Glyer

Glyer proposes to change our understanding of the Inklings by going against the common understanding that the Inklings did not influence each other’s writings. She defines the difference between “influences” and “similarities” and goes on to outline how writers can be influenced by resonators (supporters), opponents, editors, collaborators, and referents. It’s also a fascinating read for those interested in the writing process.

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C. S. Lewis: A Biography by Roger Lancelyn Greene and Walter Hooper

The first biography of C. S. Lewis to published, this book was written by his former student and later friend Roger Lancelyn Green, along with his secretary Walter Hooper.  It paints a sympathetic picture of Lewis, focusing on his academic and literary life.

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Lenten Lands: My Childhood with Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis by Douglas H. Gresham

Joy Davidman’s son recounts his life growing up in New York, Joy and C. S. Lewis’s romance and eventual marriage, life at the Kilns, and his life as a farmer and radio announcer up until Warnie Lewis’s death. An intimate glimpse at C. S. Lewis’s home life by his stepson.

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All My Road Before Me: The Diary of C. S. Lewis, 1922-1927 by C. S. Lewis

This volume collects five years’ of diary entries by C. S. Lewis when he was in his early 20s, returned from WWI and attending university.  It contains a foreword by Lewis’s friend Owen Barfield and an introduction by Walter Hooper.

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Boxen: Childhood Chronicles before Narnia by C. S. Lewis and W. H. Lewis, ed. by Walter Hooper

While growing up, C. S. Lewis and his brother Warnie imagined a world of talking animals that they called Animal-Land or Boxen.  This book collects their stories, sketches, and maps.

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The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis by C. S. Lewis, ed. by Walter Hooper

This three-volume collection includes letters from Lewis’s boyhood and time serving in WWI through his professional life and marriage to Joy Davidman, right to the day before he died.  His thoughts on theology, poetry, and children’s stories can be found within, as can his correspondence with such figures as J. R. R. Tolkien and Dorothy Sayers.

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Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life by C. S. Lewis

Lewis’s spiritual autobiography famously recounts how he converted to Christianity by attempting to explain his search for joy, a piercing longing for something else.

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C. S. Lewis in a Time of War by Justin Phillips

Phillips’ book traces the history BBC and its religious programming before moving into an examination of the request for C. S. Lewis to provide a series of talks on Christianity during WWII. This look at a specific historical moment may be of most interest to readers who enjoy works about radio broadcasting or who are really fascinated by the details of Lewis’s life.

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Planet Narnia: the Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C. S. Lewis by Michael Ward

Ward argues against the common perception that there is no unifying theme that ties the seven Chronicles of Narnia together.  He suggests that Lewis was inspired by medieval cosmology and that each of the seven books reflects characteristics of a planet, including Jupiter, Mars, Sol, Luna, Mercury, Venus, and Saturn.  A provocative criticism of Lewis’s work.

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