1.27.2010

Wednesday Book Recommendation: January Booking It



I'm still booking it with Jessica over at Life as Mom. What about you? It's been nice to have some sort of a list to work from as there have been times when I have stood in front of my bookshelves and looked at all my books with no idea what I wanted to read. Now I have a list of books I know I want to read before the end of the year, which means I am no longer at a loss. :-)

Here's my original list:
  1. The Bible (that won't be in a month, but in a year)
  2. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
  3. The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  4. Taliesin by Stephen R. Lawhead
  5. The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis - January
  6. Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss
  7. Skating Shoes by Noel Streatfeild
  8. Becoming a Person of Influence by John C. Maxwell and Jim Dornan
  9. Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
  10. An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott
  11. Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman
  12. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain
Since today is Wednesday and it's time for my normal Wednesday Book Recommendation, I decided to write about my "official" January read, The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis.



I have to start out by saying that I had no idea what to expect from this book. I have read other books by Lewis (The Screwtape Letters, The Four Loves, Mere Christianity, his Space Trilogy, and of course, the Chronicles of Narnia series), but nothing prepared me for this book. It was not at all what I expected - not in a bad way, just that it was different that my preconceived idea of what the book would be about. 

In many ways it reminded me of a mix of Lewis's Space Trilogy and The Screwtape Letters. Lewis is an expert on writing entertaining and engaging stories that have a deeper meaning. The Great Divorce draws you in by not quite knowing where Lewis is going with the story. As each character is introduced, the first response is to wonder why they cannot see the beauty all around them. Why can they not stop talking about the past or step outside of their own importance? Lewis nails various people and attitudes as the reader follows one man on a journey around Heaven (later found to be a dream). As the reader of this book, there were several times that I was caught up short when I recognized an aspect of a character (one that was chosing not to see the vibrant colors and the Joy that could be theirs) in me.

In various ways, Lewis shows the choice that people make between the beauty of Heaven and the horrors of Hell - which the people are too wrapped up in themselves and their own importance to see. They believe that they know better than God what they need and how they can be used. They believe that life on earth (which ends up being Hell) is better than that which Heaven can offer. It's a well written story that shows that no one will have their arm twisted to chose Eternal Life, but that it is a choice each individual must make for themselves.

I enjoyed reading The Great Divorce, but as small and short as the book is, it's one I think I will need to re-read to fully understand. Because I went into the book thinking it would be something entirely different, I now want to read it again for clarity.

If you want to pick up a copy of the book through Amazon, you can click on this link and I'll earn some money back with your purchase.


3 comments:

  1. Thanks Carrie! What a clear and concise review! I always wondered what this book was about, and now, thanks to you, I know! And because I love and respect C.S. Lewis so much, I suppose I'll add this one to my reading list--maybe for 2011!?

    Thanks again! I'm almost done with the Green Gables prequel, so look for that review in the near future. Blessings!

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  2. I love crossing things off lists!
    Good luck with yours. Love C.S. Lewis
    :)

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  3. I really am impressed with the depth of your book choices. You don't monkey around. ;) Thanks for the inspiration.

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There are more than 400,000 words in the English language. My only request of you is this: Use them wisely.

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