Thursday, July 1, 2010

Summer Reading

Often, people ask me to recommend books.  I don't think I have ever given a reading list that didn't include at least one book by C.S. Lewis.  His books have impacted thousands of Christian leaders and thinkers and continue to be relevant to young Christians.  Given that it is summer and a good time to get ahead on reading, I thought I would recommend a few of his most important books:
  • Mere Christianity is Lewis' landmark work.  In it, he outlines and supports the core doctrines of our faith.  Not only is the book informative, it is also beautiful as all of his books are (Keep in mind that his initial profession was literature).  This is a great book for anyone thirsty for knowledge, wondering where to start.  Also, the Signature Classic series looks really cool.  You can't help pouring a cup of coffee or a hot tea and reading for hours in a bookstore or coffee house. 
  • Surprised by Joy is one of his most underrated books.  It is a memoir of sorts that outlines Lewis' conversion to Christianity from atheism.  Interestingly, he touches on this feeling of intense desire for something this world does not fulfill (a feeling he calls "joy").  While the book is not as popular as others, it is very interesting and thematically affects every other book he writes (including his fiction).  
  • The Problem of Pain is very special to me, because I read it the semester my grandmother died.  The book deals with why a good God allows pain in the world.  If you haven't read the book, you might be surprised at the answer he gives.  This is one of the top 5 most influential books of my life.  I have to recommend you read it this summer. 
  • The Screwtape Letters is sinister.  It is like reading an Alice Cooper album.  It is a series of letters written from the perspective of one demon to another.  There are a lot of insights about temptation and the nature of our Enemy.  
These books have been very significant to my spiritual growth.   

What are some of the most influential books of your life?  


  1. Interesting you didn't mention any fiction (except Screwtape Letters, but that's more theology in a fiction mask). I absolutely adore the cosmic trilogy: Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength. Till We Have Faces is also very moving.

    Basically, if you see his name on it, it's good coffee shop reading.

  2. There is a waiting list at the Avon Lake Public Library for Mere Christianity. :) It may not end up being "summer" reading.