C. S. Lewis is one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. His books have inspired readers around the world, and his ideas on theology, philosophy, and literature continue to shape contemporary discourse. With over 30 books to his name, choosing the best C. S. Lewis books can be daunting. In this article, we’ve curated a list of the 10 best C.S. Lewis books you should read.
The Chronicles of Narnia Series
The Chronicles of Narnia is a series of seven books that have captured the hearts and imaginations of readers for decades. Written by C.S. Lewis, the series is a masterpiece of fantasy literature that has inspired countless adaptations, including films, TV shows, and stage productions.
The series tells the story of four siblings, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, who discover a magical land called Narnia. Each book in the series follows the children as they embark on incredible adventures, meet unforgettable characters, and ultimately fight to save Narnia from evil forces.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
The first book in the series, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, is a timeless classic that has been beloved by readers of all ages for generations. The book tells the story of the four siblings as they climb through a wardrobe and enter the world of Narnia, where they meet Aslan, the great lion, and battle the evil White Witch.
Aslan is a powerful and majestic character who represents all that is good and just in the world. He embodies the values of courage, loyalty, and selflessness, and is a symbol of hope for the people of Narnia. The White Witch, on the other hand, is a cruel and calculating villain who seeks to rule Narnia with an iron fist. She represents the forces of darkness and tyranny, and is a powerful reminder of the dangers of greed and ambition.
The second book in the series, Prince Caspian, is another thrilling adventure that explores themes of courage, loyalty, and the power of faith. The book sees the children return to Narnia to help Prince Caspian reclaim his rightful place as the king of Narnia. Along the way, they encounter a variety of challenges and obstacles, including battles with fierce creatures and treacherous enemies.
Through their struggles, the children learn important lessons about the importance of standing up for what is right, even in the face of overwhelming odds. They also learn about the power of faith and the importance of relying on each other for strength and support.
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is the third book in the series and is widely regarded as one of the best. The book sees the youngest sibling, Lucy, and her cousin, Eustace, join Prince Caspian on a sea voyage to the end of the world. Along the way, they encounter dragons, sea serpents, and other dangers, and must rely on their wits and courage to survive.
The book is a breathtaking adventure that explores the power of friendship and bravery. It also introduces a variety of new characters, including Reepicheep, a brave and loyal mouse who becomes a beloved companion to the children.
The Silver Chair
The Silver Chair is the fourth book in the series and follows Eustace and his schoolmate Jill as they embark on a quest to find Prince Rilian, who has been kidnapped by an evil witch. The book explores the themes of temptation, perseverance, and hope in the face of adversity.
Throughout their journey, Eustace and Jill encounter a variety of challenges and obstacles, including dangerous creatures and treacherous enemies. They must rely on their courage and determination to overcome these obstacles and ultimately save Prince Rilian from the clutches of the evil witch.
The Horse and His Boy
The Horse and His Boy is the fifth book in the series and follows the adventures of a boy named Shasta and his talking horse, Bree, as they escape slavery and journey to Narnia. The book explores issues of identity, self-discovery, and the transformative power of love.
Shasta and Bree encounter a variety of challenges and obstacles on their journey, including dangerous creatures and treacherous enemies. They must rely on their courage and determination to overcome these obstacles and ultimately find their way to Narnia, where they discover their true identities and their place in the world.
The Magician’s Nephew
The Magician’s Nephew is a prequel to the series and tells the story of the creation of Narnia. It follows two children, Digory and Polly, as they journey to other worlds and witness the birth of Narnia. The book explores themes of creation, temptation, and the consequences of our actions.
Throughout the book, Digory and Polly encounter a variety of challenges and obstacles, including dangerous creatures and treacherous enemies. They must rely on their courage and determination to overcome these obstacles and ultimately witness the creation of Narnia.
The Last Battle
The Last Battle is the final book in the series and sees the children return to Narnia to face their ultimate challenge. The book explores the themes of faith, sacrifice, and the importance of standing up for what is right.
Throughout the book, the children encounter a variety of challenges and obstacles, including battles with fierce creatures and treacherous enemies. They must rely on their courage and determination to overcome these obstacles and ultimately save Narnia from destruction.
The Chronicles of Narnia is a timeless classic that has inspired generations of readers. Through its unforgettable characters, thrilling adventures, and powerful themes, the series has become a beloved part of our cultural heritage, and will continue to captivate readers for generations to come.
The Space Trilogy
The Space Trilogy is a three-part science fiction series that explores themes of good and evil, the nature of humanity, and the relationship between religion and science. It was written by C.S. Lewis, the author of the beloved Chronicles of Narnia series.
The Space Trilogy takes readers on a journey through the cosmos, introducing them to strange and wondrous worlds and creatures. But beyond the adventure and excitement, the series delves deep into philosophical and theological questions, challenging readers to think deeply about the nature of existence and their place in the universe.
Out of the Silent Planet
Out of the Silent Planet is the first book in the series and follows a man named Ransom as he is kidnapped and taken to a planet called Malacandra, where he uncovers a sinister plot. The book explores the themes of loneliness, wonder, and the search for meaning in life.
As Ransom explores Malacandra, he encounters strange and fascinating creatures, including the hrossa, a race of intelligent otter-like beings, and the sorns, towering, wise creatures with elongated limbs. Through his interactions with these beings, Ransom begins to question his own assumptions about what it means to be human.
Out of the Silent Planet is a thrilling adventure that will keep readers on the edge of their seats, but it is also a deeply philosophical work that challenges readers to consider their place in the universe and the nature of their existence.
Perelandra is the second book in the series and sees Ransom journeying to Perelandra, a newly-formed planet where he is tasked with preventing the corruption of its innocent inhabitants. The book explores themes of temptation, innocence, and the struggle between good and evil.
On Perelandra, Ransom encounters a new race of beings: the Green Lady and her husband, the King. The Green Lady is innocent and pure, and Ransom is tasked with ensuring that she remains so, despite the temptations of the Un-man, a demonic presence that seeks to corrupt her.
As Ransom battles the Un-man, he grapples with his own inner demons and the nature of temptation. The book is a powerful exploration of the struggle between good and evil, and the importance of maintaining one’s innocence in the face of temptation.
That Hideous Strength
That Hideous Strength is the third and final book in the series and sees Ransom returning to Earth to confront a sinister organization that seeks to control the world. The book explores themes of power, corruption, and the nature of evil.
On Earth, Ransom joins forces with a group of rebels who are fighting against the organization known as N.I.C.E. (the National Institute of Coordinated Experiments). N.I.C.E. is a shadowy organization that seeks to use science to control humanity, and Ransom must use all of his wits and courage to stop them.
That Hideous Strength is a powerful exploration of the dangers of unchecked power and the corrupting influence of evil. It is a fitting conclusion to the Space Trilogy, bringing together the themes and ideas explored in the previous two books and taking them to their logical conclusion.
Theological and Philosophical Works
C. S. Lewis was a brilliant theologian and philosopher, and his works in these areas continue to be widely read and studied.
Mere Christianity is one of the most influential Christian books of the 20th century. It presents a series of logical arguments for the existence of God, the nature of Christ, and the morality of Christianity. The book is a timeless classic that continues to be read and debated by believers and non-believers alike.
The Problem of Pain
The Problem of Pain explores the question of why there is suffering in the world and how a good God could allow it to happen. The book is a profound meditation on the nature of God and the human experience.
The Screwtape Letters
The Screwtape Letters is a satirical novel that takes the form of a series of letters from a senior demon, Screwtape, to his nephew, Wormwood. The book explores the nature of temptation, the human condition, and the spiritual battle between good and evil.
The Great Divorce
The Great Divorce is a novel that explores the nature of heaven and hell and the human desire for redemption. The book follows a group of people as they take a journey from hell to heaven and examine their own lives and choices.
In conclusion, C. S. Lewis was a prolific writer who made significant contributions to literature, theology, and philosophy. This list of the 10 best C. S. Lewis books you should read offers a wide selection of his best works, from timeless classics like The Chronicles of Narnia to profound theological works like Mere Christianity and The Problem of Pain.
Are C.S. Lewis’s novels for children?
The beloved Narnia series was written for children aged between 8 and 12. However, C.S. Lewis also wrote adult fiction, including his sci-fi series, Out of the Silent Planet. He also wrote numerous non-fiction volumes that explore faith and philosophy.
How many adaptations have there been of the Narnia novels?
Narnia has been adapted into several different productions for both the big and small screens as well as the stage. The most popular adaptation was produced by Walt Disney in 2005.
How many novels are there in the Narnia series?
There are seven books in the original Narnia series. There have been several related novels that offer readers additional insight into the world of Narnia