I've struggled through Mere Christianity, Screwtape Letters, and been inspired by countless words from the late C.S. Lewis. He had a way of saying things in a way that captured exactly what you didn't know you were thinking. So, when I found "From the Library of C.S. Lewis," I had to check it out. The book is full of excerpts from the breadth of authors who influenced C.S. Lewis. I was fascinated by how many different types of literature he read. As interesting as it was to read works by a variety of authors, reading excerpts is a bit like reading a verse from the Bible without taking the time to consider the context. And although the sections were divided by topics, since there were a bunch from Chesterton and other writers equally influential, it would have been nice to see their works together. It's still fascinating to see life through the reading glasses of C.S. Lewis, but this book wasn't exactly what I'd hoped.
I always welcome an opportunity to review good Christian literature... at least as time allows. Most recently I have been hearing many reputable speakers and preachers quoting C.S. Lewis so I thought it might be nice to learn more about the life of the man behind the Chronicles of Narnia. So when a chance to read "From the Library of C.S. Lewis; Selections from Writers Who Influenced His Spiritual Journey" I snatched it up!
I must admit, I was a bit disappointed. Probably because I am a busy mom with only snit-bits of time... but I thought this book would be perfect with its excerpts and snapshots of men (and women) Lewis read (and knew). Yet, most of the time I felt like I was entering mid-way through a conversation between a meeting of the minds. Many of the book's entries were difficult to follow and left me either lost or, if I could catch hold of the conversation, wanting to know more about the topic in its full context.
I will concede, however, if one has the mental capacity and time to truly focus on the intellectual contents of this book (or take time to cross reference and review the source in full), it may prove to be quite resourceful. It is divided by topics (very helpful) and a bio of each contributing author is provided at the end of their respective excerpt.
To sum-up: From the Library of C.S. Lewis is not leisurely reading - which is what I typically look for. However, if you are looking for some meaty content, the thought-provoking narratives have value. This book would make a wonderful reference for those in ministry or seeking deeper discovery into the influential voices of C.S. Lewis. For the astute intellectual who doesn't mind picking up halfway into a conversation!
"From the Library of C.S. Lewis; Selections from Writers Who Influenced His Spiritual Journey" was provided by BloggingforBooks.com in exchange for my honest review.
...but the compilers fail to do the obvious: arrange the selections by writers, not topics. Rather than make chapters of the selections by Chesterton, McDonald, st Augustine and the others, each writer's works are scattered throughout the book under different topical headings.