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Old books: The Chronicles of Narnia

C.S. Lewis is without a doubt one of my favorite authors, so I always get excited when I find copies of his books (even if I already have the books). A few months ago, I found these beautiful copies of Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia at a used bookstore. They may not be first editions or worth much, but I love them! They are early 1960’s editions, but I’m missing The Magician’s Nephew!!! So if anyone finds a copy of The Magician’s Nephew that looks like these, I want it!

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The Chronicles of Narnia

Mr. Thomas at the lamppost.

Voyage of the Dawn Treader...my favorite!

Voyage of the Dawn Treader…my favorite!

 

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Stories

I don’t think I’ve ever read anything by C. S. Lewis that I didn’t like. He has so many amazing quotes! This quote is from the Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis. I wish I could write letters like this…

“I think the thrill of the Pagan stories and of romance may be due to the fact that they are mere beginnings—the first, faint whisper of the wind from beyond the world—while Christianity is the thing itself: and no thing, when you have really started on it, can have for you then and there just the same thrill as the first hint. For example, the experience of being married and bringing up a family cannot have the old bittersweet of first falling in love. But it is futile (and, I think, wicked) to go on trying to get the old thrill again: you must go forward and not backward. Any real advance will in its turn be ushered in by a new thrill, different from the old: doomed in its turn to disappear and to become in its turn a temptation to retrogression. Delight is a bell that rings as you set your foot on the first step of a new flight of stairs leading upwards. Once you have started climbing you will notice only the hard work: it is when you have reached the landing and catch sight of the new stair that you may expect the bell again. This is only an idea, and may be all rot: but it seems to fit in pretty well with the general law (thrills also must die to live) of autumn & spring, sleep and waking, death and resurrection, and ‘Whosoever loseth his life, shall save it.‘”

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Children’s Lit

“No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally–and often far more–worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.” ~C. S. Lewis

One thing I’ve loved about this summer is having the time to read not only thick, long books, but also a few children’s books. Like Lewis said, if a children’s book is good, anyone should be able to enjoy it! Here’s a little about the children’s lit I’ve read so far this summer:

Leepike Ridge by N. D. Wilson

I just finished reading this book the other day, and really enjoyed it! I read an interview with the author and decided to give one of his books a try. The author has a great sense of humor (I highly recommend reading his biography on his website–very entertaining!) which made this book fun to read! On top of that, this book is filled with suspense, treasure, mystery, and colorful characters! The story is about the adventures of a young boy who finds himself swept into a maze of caves inside a mountain. I think anyone 9 and up would enjoy this book! I can’t wait to read more books by this author.

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The Reb and the Redcoats by Constance Savery

Several years ago I loved reading this author’s book Enemy Brothers, so I decided to also give this book a try! This historical fiction book (recommended for 10+) is set during the Revolutionary War in England. In this story, four children are fascinated with a young American soldier being kept as a prisoner of war in their uncle’s house. Despite their uncle’s strict rules and strong dislike for the American soldier, the children attempt to befriend “the Reb.”

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Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Have you ever wished the characters in books were real? In this book, Meggie and her father come face to face with the characters from a book–and it’s not as wonderful as they imagined it would be. When Meggie and her father read aloud, stories literally come to life! They have to find a way to send the characters back into the book before their own stories have a tragic ending. I decided to read this book after seeing the movie. I really enjoyed this creative fantasy! I also read the sequel (Inkspell), which wasn’t quite as good but still enjoyable. Although I started the final book in the trilogy (Inkdeath), I didn’t finish it. The books become darker and overrun with villains while the protagonists become increasingly filled with hatred and ill will for their enemies. I just decided there were other books I’d rather spend my time reading! Even though it’s written for children, I would recommend these books for teenagers or adults.

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Psalm 138

I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart;
    before the “gods” I will sing your praise.
I will bow down toward your holy temple
    and will praise your name
    for your unfailing love and your faithfulness,
for you have exalted above all things
    your name and your word.
When I called, you answered me;
    you made me bold and stouthearted.

May all the kings of the earth praise you, Lord,
    when they hear the words of your mouth.
May they sing of the ways of the Lord,
    for the glory of the Lord is great.

Though the Lord is on high, he looks upon the lowly;
    but the proud he knows from afar.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
    you preserve my life.
You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes;
    with your right hand you save me.
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
    your love, O Lord, endures forever —
    do not abandon the works of your hands.

This is one of my favorite psalms! There is so much truth packed into these 8 verses, and God has used them so many times to encourage me! One of my favorite things about these verses is how they describe how God strengthens us to be bold and stouthearted. Yet while we are called to be bold for Him, these verses also remind us that humility is better than pride. C. S. Lewis said, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less” which reminds us that humility isn’t beating ourselves up over our flaws or mistakes; humility is switching our focus from ourselves to others. When we think about ourselves, we hesitate to exert the energy to go to the extra mile or do something outside of our comfort zone. I want to strive to live humbly–to think less about me and more about God. And then, as a result, take action to live boldly according to His plan for my life (which is always better than my own, prideful plan!).

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C. S. Lewis

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough

or a book long enough to suit me.”

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