Wednesday's Inspiring Book

Yup. Another Wednesday, another return of the Inspiring Books series.

All writers love books, and we all have ones that changed us. Whether it's because we wanted to write them, wanted to meet the author, learned a few tricks, stole a few words, or even took some warnings for things we did not like, the books we've read make the books we write.

It's been a fun list so far - at some point I'll do a recap - and there's no real shortage of books that helped make me who I am today (and, of course, continue to do so. Never stop reading.)

Today's book - well, today's books, really - is THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA

I think it says a lot that I could just have easily dropped a few hints - lamppost, lion, witch, Father Christmas - and most of you would have guessed it. Like LOTR and Harry Potter, Narnia has become a cultural icon and a brand all by itself. C. S. Lewis' stories, Christian allegories done in a way the never wanted to hide the meaning, are also just good old fashioned yarns, sword-and-dagger adventures with magic very firmly rooted at their heart. 

The seven books are all very different. People think, quite rightly, of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe when they think of Narnia, but it's the smaller stories - The Silver Chair for one - that really brought home to me how epic the series is. The children and their followers come in and out of Narnia, but Narnia itself (and I almost wrote 'herself' there) steals the show. That's storytelling magic at its best.

Of course any children's author will have opinions on Narnia. Neil Gaiman has admitted he has issues with the morals, and wrote The Problem of Susan to express some of those. You don't have to believe in Christianity or even like the conclusion of these books to get that they're darn good reads, though. Lewis' imagination is stunning and his ability to bring it all down to personal and individual levels sets him apart, I think, from a lot of other writers. 

So, there you have it. Today's book that inspired and helped make me a better writer. Nothing I could emulate, but something I can aspire to.

C.S. Lewis - he is awesome.


  1. I am lovin' this post. This series has meant a great deal to me in my life. I read them all once a year (sometimes skipping Prince Caspian, I'll admit). While I'm a sucker for fantasy, magic creatures, and adventures, I pick up on new and more intricate themes every time I read them. While The Last Battle is one of my least favorites, the vision of Heaven at the end has always excited me. The idea of a never ending adventure where the more you wander the better it gets, makes me hope that Heaven is just that way!
    PS: I've never been so angry as when I read "The Trouble with Susan." I know he has a right to his opinion...but that was a bit over-the-top. Almost wrote a strongly worded letter...

    1. 'Allo there! I know you didn't like Gaiman's take on it (I agree it's unnecessarily extreme and a tad perverse, maybe) but at least the books themselves stand up to criticism. I think the adventure aspect of Narnia is what seals it for me - the way the kids get swept up in a way all kids want to be when the're at home, bored.