Can someone tell me where to begin reading C.S.Lewis?Can someone tell me where to begin reading C.S.Lewis? Connie #recommend
I would start with the Chronicles of Narnia – The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
I love ‘Till We Have Faces.
in a comfy chair, near a source of warmth, with a nice hot beverage close to hand.
The magicians nephew
Nooo! That’s a prequel. You have to read them in the order published. Start with lion, witch, wardrobe
It helps to set the stage for the next book
It breaks it. It was meant to be a prequel. Even Lewis says to start with the captivation of LWW.
I did not know this!
It is so cleverly written
Its fantastic! My favourite
This is one of my favorites!
One of the best books of all time!
It depends. He wrote for adults and children. He wrote fiction and non-fiction. He wrote fantasy and science-fiction. If you enjoy satire read “The Screwtape Letters.” I thoroughly enjoyed “The Great Divorce” a very profound short novel about Heaven – about dying and going there to live – it’s about forgiveness and letting go.
Mere Christianity if you are looking for a spiritual perspective.
“The Great Divorce” and “The Screwtape Letters”. Both are fairly short. Not about divorce. Very thought provoking. Love Narnia, but those are the ones that really made me love CS Lewis
Agree with Screwtape Letters. Need to read The Great Divorce
@Mike. It was an eye opener. Makes me want to read them both again. ?
I would either begin with The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe or I would go with The Screwtape Letters.
Mere Christianity … hands down.
“The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”
Out of the Silent Planet is really good. Don’t start with The Magician’s Nephew, rather, read The Chronicles of Narnia as he wrote them, and start with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
The Great Divorce is one of my all time favorites. As many have mentioned where you begin depends on what you are looking for. If you are seeking spiritual enlightenment, start with A Grief Observed. Otherwise start at The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe introduce the characters in his best-loved series The Chronicles of Narnia. I recommend you start there.
Fiction:The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe series -start with the Magician’s Nephew
Apologetics : Mere Christianity, then The ScrewTape Letters
I suggest The Magician’s Nephew first because it explains how Narnia came to be…and Aslan?
This hurts so much! I can’t believe I’m having such a visceral reaction! Magicians nephew is a prequel. It’s meant to be read in the published order!
Narnia doesn’t need explaining, the reader discovers what Narnia is along with the characters. Reading the magicians nephew first doesn’t enhance that experience. And reading it later allows the reader another experience of discovery.
Goodness, either way is ok, I think.? I was curious about what C.S. Lewis himself, thought, so that’s the way I chose to read them. That’s the beauty of reading…it’s an individual experience. Just enjoy…magic can’t be rationalized or squashed into one right way…✌?
As a bookseller, I have this debate frequently with coworkers. We think it does matter. The sense of wonder that the reader experiences along with Lucy and the other Pevensey children depends on not knowing anything beforehand. Srsly!! ?
@Laura..I can, literally, envision your face through this thread. I admire your conviction❤️?
@Sylvia lol!! Displaced aggression, I guess! I honestly can’t understand why I’m feeling so strongly about this one! But you’re right, I certainly am. 😉
@Laura..I get ya!
If you type in what order to read Narnia books it comes up with 2 different lists. One is order written in & other is order according to when they happened. Difference of opinion on which list is best. I would recommend Magician’s Nephew first because it tells the start of Narnia.
If you are not familiar with him, his partial autobiography Surprised by Joy will I think give insight to his work
Ah! How could I forget
I would definitely begin by finding a quiet porch swing or a treehouse, and bring a cold glass of tea or something, plus a snack. Then dive into Narnia and read for hours and hours. ?
Thank you for sharing the link! The series is terribly injured when you start wrongly with magician. It just breaks it.
The publisher renumbered the books after magicians nephew was written, but it was never meant by Lewis to be the first in the series.
But honestly, it doesn’t matter….just dig in ?✌?
The Screwtape Letters.
Mere Christianity ! I reread it often
Loved the Screwtape letters
‘Til We Have Faces
I LOVE reading. But I’ve been driving so much I also listen to audiobooks and just for fun the other day I listened to The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and it was so much better listening to it rather than reading it.
I can’t wait to listen to the rest of The Chronicles of Narnia.
I found the same thing with the Amelia Peabody books read by Barbara Rosenblatt! I *loved* reading them, but they’re even better when read by her! Another reader makes a mess of them. I also preferred Harry Potter on audio. And Sabriel series read by Tim Curry. 🙂
Anything read by Tim Curry has to be good!
Fiction or non fiction? Fiction I loved “the lion the witch & the wardrobe” nonfiction I loved “the great divorce” which is not a book about divorce but on the afterlife.
Screwtape Letters. The first nonfiction I read was A Grief Observed. I bought it shortly after my father died, but couldn’t read it until a couple of years later when my own grief wasn’t so raw. I loved Mere Christianity, too.
Your most comfy chair with a cup of hot cocoa? Lol! ? with Any of his books that interest you the most!
I agree with the suggestions for Narnia (first-LW&W) and The Great Divorce. I read TGD right after my grandfather passed away. It really gave me new insight into what might be ahead. It’s been 20+ years (and 3 more grandparents who are gone) since I first read it, and I still reflect back on that time.
Have you read A Grief Observed?
Surprised by Joy
@Sarah I own but haven’t read it.
@Melissa, I bought it shortly after my dad died, but couldn’t read it for a few years. It’s heavy reading, but profound. It helped me process my experience with grief.
@Sarah I’m sure I’ll get to it. TGD really helped me through these losses. ❤️
@Melissa I’ll have to read that one.
Surprised by Joy
Chronicles of Narnia
Many are suggesting Screwtape Letters or Til We Have Faces. Even for a veteran Lewis reader, those are challenging reads. Surprised by Joy is autobiographical and a great read. Mere Chrisianity is his defense of Christianity as a world view. And of course Chronicles of Narnia are his collection of children’s lit, wonderful stories. So, it depends on what you’re comfortable with. I, for one, can never get enough of Lewis!
The first thing I ever read by him was Screwtape Letters when I was 18. I thought it was great. It was assigned reading, though.
@Sarah it is great. I’ve read it several times and with each read it gets deeper and deeper and as relevant as when he first wrote it. Our book club just spent 11 weeks discussing it.
He also has a Sci-Fi series, but I haven’t read those. It really does depend on your mood, interest, and maybe what you think of when you hear his name (theology vs children’s book vs science fiction).
The sci fi are also good. Also with theological undertones.
The Narnia series – all 7 books, starting with The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.
Actually, start with The Magician’s Nephew. Its the prequel to the series.
I agree to start with Lion. The prequel doesn’t match up to the quality of the other stories.
I highly recommend reading in publication order. Save chronological order for a reread.
Til we have faces and Narnia and the space trilogy.
The sci fi series is very interesting. Out of the silent planet is particularly good.
Narnia to start, but with Lewis all his work is brilliant and thought provoking. Right now I am reading Lewis’ Reflection of the Psalms, which has brought me new insight to me on the Book of Psalms, especially his chapter on Nature within the Psalms.
I think I missed that one, thanks for the heads up.
Loved the Psalms read
The end…personally not a fan.
If you start with The Chronicles of Naria, I like to read them in order of the series, not publication series. So:
1. The Magician’s Nephew
2. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
3. The Horse and His Boy
4. Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia
5. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
6. The Silver Chair
7. The Last Battle
There are a great Lewis starter. Then I read Screwtape Letters, Mere Christianity, etc. Enjoy!!!
Narnia or Screw tape letters
Screw tape letters.
The Screw Tape Letters.
Anything like the screwtape letters? Wasn’t wormwood the nephew in that?
@Katherine precisely — Wormwood was the nephew to whom the letters were addressed.
So much I learned on this thread! Thanks for the question I didn’t realized had so many answer’s!!
Please let us know which one you choose!?
Narnia. Everyone should start with Narnia.
In college my friends and I took turns reading the chronicals of Narnia out loud. Such fun and so different from just reading the book.
With any author I prefer to read rheir works chronologically.
Why is everyine saying to start the Narnia chronicles at lion the witch and the wardrobe? The magicians nephew is the forst book
I’m learning through the thread that it’s the prequel and meant to be read last.
Lewis himself recommended starting with Lion…
@Angie Yes, that’s always been my understanding. But I always start with it anyway when I re-read this favorite series of mine!
They were published in a specific order and are best read in that order. LWW, PC, VDT, SC, HHB, MN and LB.
I always figured C.S. Lewis wrote The Magician’s Nephew as an afterthought in order to explain the wardrobe. I can’t imagine reading it after The Last Battle. I’ll stick with my reading sequence, established in the 50’s 🙂 To each his own.
So glad I read this. Was just about to start the Chronicles of Narnia.
Chronicles of Narnia
Begin in a cozy chair with a cuppa.
I tried the Screwtape letters but found it confusing. We hashed it out in bible study but all agreed it was difficult. The Four Loves is much better! I’d like to read Narnia Chronicles next.
I love Narnia, but the first CS Lewis nbook I read was Out of the Silent Planet as part of my high school English class. It was the first book of that genre I read and it opened the door to many great reads.
I just ordered this one. I’m excited.
Chronicles of Narnia or Screwtape Letters
Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.
The Screwtape Letters is my favorite
Anywhere is good.
on page 1
One in every crowd!?
If you are reading the Chronicles of Narnia start with The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe .
Or (IMO) the Magician’s Nephew, which is a “prequel”, but actually explains the origin of the Wardrobe. Though not in chronological publication order, it really makes no sense to read the Magician’s Nephew after the last book in the series, The Last Battle.
@Marilyn you are correct. Thanks for pointing this out.
I started with The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, but I started my kids on the Magician’s Nephew.
I began with Mere Christianity. But Narnia is a good place.
Love his books.
The Great Divorce. It’s a small book, not about divorce, but it will make your think! One of my all time favorite books.
I started with the genre that was easiest to get into and from there I went on to others. Now all of this works are incredibly valuable to me and others. But as he took his time in writing-take your time in processing and enjoying.
Fiction – The Chronicles of Narnia (in order)
that was my start
My son has the Narnia series in one book which we read together when he was in the fifth grade. Such a wonderful way to connect with children, read together.
There’s Mere Christianity. He has a science fiction series.
The Narnia Books are a natural starting place, but I also enjoy The Screwtape Letters.
For fantasy fiction, The Chronicles of Narnia, for a take on the afterlife, The Great Divorce, for a view on the Christian way of thinking and behaving, The Weight of Glory. The first two are entertaining, the last, more rather, philosophical.
He also wrote a version of Pilgrims Progress, but I can’t recommend it, stick to John Bunyan’s original work written in 1678.
He named it The Pilgrim’s Regress, and it is my least favorite of his works.
The first one I read was Mere Christianity in 1962. Oops that was many moons ago.
The lion the witch and the wardrobe
I prefer my recliner. LOL .. sorry … couldn’t resist. Definitely Narnia
Technically magicians nephew….but I think you are best off starting with The Lion, witch and wardrobe
Through the Shadowlands – love story with his wife Joy.
Beautiful story and movie!
The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe!
The Great Divorce
Screwtape Letters 🙂
Or Screwtape Letters
I came across this anthology, which I found very helpful–gave me ideas for more reading: Dorsett, Lyle W. ed. The Essential C. S. Lewis (1996)
A collection of pieces from every genre in which Lewis wrote, including the entire texts of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Perelandra.
Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois houses many of the letters and writings of CS Lewis and other greats in the Marion E. Wade Center. It’s a great, small museum if you want to know more about some literary giants. Lyle Dorset worked there for many years and is an expert.
Also see http://www.cslewisinstitute.org/
Very carefully :))
Mere Christianity or zThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. After that, The Great Divorce and The Abolition of Man.
Oh my gosh….what are you in the mood for?
The great divorce
the chronicles of narnia
Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold
Before or after his conversion
Screwtape Letters.The Four Loves is so dull it always makes me think it’s called The Three Loves. Really, I get confused on the title all the time even with the riveting escalator dream sequence opening scene. Perelandra and Out of the Silent Planet are OK sci fi (I even learned something from them) but That Hideous Strength is kind of a wash and Narnia is definitely for kids… and really irritating in places when for an adult. But Screwtape Letters is CS Lewis at his best. The prevalence of beavers as more than a symbol for industry and perseverance is fun to reflect on, though. He really liked beavers and they show up in many of his works, not just the Narnia series.
This comment is extraordinarily accurate.
That being said, if you’ve never done Narnia they are lovely to read (I prefer to start with lion witch wardrobe)
Silver Chair remains my favorite. Puddleglum steals the show, not bad for a symbolic Calvinist.
You need to read “Mere Christianity” first to set the stage for all these other works. It is foundational.
Lion witch and wardrobe
The Screwtape Letters.
I agree with Deborah.
The lion, the witch, and the wardrobe
The lion the with and the wardrobe
I’d start with Narnia. The first one is The Lio n, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Surprised by Joy. His autobiography is fantastic.
A comfortable chair ?
The lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Narnia, The Magicians Nephew is first in the series although, most people start with The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe.
The Magician’s Nephew is kinda weird, TL,TW,&TW is my absolute favorite, and The Horse and His Boy is my daughter’s favorite–she has read it many times over.
Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe is the best.
Till We Have Faces: a Myth Retold is one of the least known, but it’s also Lewis’ favorite of what he wrote. It’s the first book of his I ever read, and have reread it multiple times since. I agree with Lewis…in my view it’s far superior to the Narnia Books. Till We Have Faces – Wikipedia
Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold is a 1956 novel by C. S. Lewis. It is a retelling of Cupid and Psyche, based on its telling in a chapter of The Golden Ass of …
Thanks for the recommendation, Fran
A Grief Observed
The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe.
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.
Bench. Mere Christianity
Mere Christianity, followed by the Screwtape letters
Any of them.
On a bus. Maybe in a coffee shop.
The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe is good. Surprised by Joy. Or his last book, published posthumously, A Grief Observed.
If you’re planning on reading the Narnia series, it’s really best to start with The Magician’s Nephew. Even though it’s not the first in the series, it prefaces the first book and will give you a solid background on Narnia and the English characters when you hit The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.
I’d say The Screwtape Letters. Narnia is a delight! Those are the most approachable in many ways, but don’t miss The Great Divorce!