I finished six books in the month January: C.S. Lewis’s The Last Battle and five others. Read on for my impressions of each title (listed in the order I completed them).
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read A Christmas Carol aloud to my children. Either reading the story together or watching a screenplay of the same is a Christmas tradition we rarely miss. We love recounting the midnight visitations of Christmas ghosts upon Ebeneezer Scrooge and the transformation that resulted from those brief encounters.
For the past few years, we’ve listened to an audio version of the book. I’m afraid the inimitable British actress and our dear friend, Miriam Margolyes, has quite spoiled our family with her expert reading of Dickens’ classic. The voices she gives each beloved character make them instantly spring to life, such that my family is no longer content to listen to me stumble through the reading of the tale myself. If you’ve never listened to an audioversion of this Christmas classic before, I highly recommend this one.
The Silver Chair by CS Lewis
The grandkids and I finished CS Lewis’s The Silver Chair together last month, also on audio.
This volume of The Chronicles of Narnia tells the story of a hapless prince held captive by the seductive lies of an evil enchantress.
And there he would’ve remained had help not been sent from above to break his chains and free him from captivity.
I’ll skip drawing any political parallels here and note, simply, that if we place our trust in earthly powers to save us, we are doomed before we ever begin.
Our hope must remain in the One who came down from above. Who offers to free us from captivity and redeem us from our sin. Namely, our hope is found in the Lord Jesus Christ and in Him alone.
Loving My Actual Christmas by Alexandra Kuykendall
I know. I know. Loving My Actual Christmas sounds like a book one should read in December, right?
So you might think I’m a little late on reading this one. But not really. I had no trouble loving Christmas, but the first week of this new year presented some real challenges. Ha!
So the message was more timely for me in January than it would’ve been during the holidays. Especially the part that encouraged readers not to get so caught up in their goals and to-do lists that they miss opportunities to love the people around them. Isn’t that a good word?
In fact, I enjoyed Alexandra Kuykendall’s Christmas title so much that I immediately added her companion titles Loving My Actual Life and Loving My Actual Neighbor to my reading list, as well. Watch for those reviews later on this year.
Hope Your Heart Needs by Holley Gerth
After the year we all had in 2020, I think a lot of people are looking for renewed hope. Holly Gerth’s Hope Your Heart Needs points them to the only place they’ll ever find lasting hope — in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Her book offers a glimpse into God’s unfailing love and unchanging character. These 52 devotional readings remind us that “the God who scattered stars like diamonds across the velvet of the universe, the keeper of every sparrow, the maker of us all, is inviting us to draw closer to him. He is the place where our hearts can go on the hard days and the happy ones, in the highs and lows, when we are sad or frustrated or downright giddy. He is what we’ve been searching for all along.”
The Last Battle by CS Lewis
While re-reading C.S. Lewis’s The Last Battle recently, I couldn’t help but notice a lot of modern-day parallels in this classic story.
For instance, the children who loved Narnia found themselves fighting against cruel lies and wicked deceit. They faced self-serving betrayal.
And even false Christs.
Yet through it all, they remained confident that Aslan was still on his throne: good, faithful, and never-changing.
It pained them to see Narnia — the blessed land they loved so much — divided and destroyed. Yet their grief did not nor could not overshadow the joyful hope that awaited them in Aslan’s country.
It’s Not Supposed to Be this Way by Lysa TerKeurst
I also finished Lysa TerKuerst’s It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way last month.
Again, what a timely book for our present age this proved to be!
Are you facing personal struggles? Did the past year bring financial hardships or declining health issues? Maybe you’re dealing with seemingly insurmountable marriage problems. Or grieving over infertility and miscarriage. Or simply trying to navigate life in a world that devalues everything you hold dear.
Regardless of the trials you’re facing, Lysa’s book offers a message of hope and healing in the midst of suffering. Her encouragement is drawn deeply from the Word of God, the only fail-safe place hope can be found.
That’s it for the books I read in January. For more of my book reviews, follow this link: Flanders Family Recent Reads
What about you? Have you read The Last Battle? Or finished any other good books lately? If so, tell me about them in the comment section below. I’d love to hear your impressions.