November 29th–A Very Good Day

Three wonderful authors, for whose work I am very thankful, were born on this date. Any of their books would make lovely Christmas presents.

1. C.S. Lewis
Lewis is the best writer and the most profound thinker of the three, the one whose work will stand the test of time. I predict that Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, and Till We Have Faces, in particular, will be read and appreciated a hundred years from now. Because he died fifty years ago on November 22, 1963, he has been remembered with many, many articles and blog posts this month. Here are links to just a few from this year and from other years.
50 Years Ago Today, RIP Jack
Jared at Thinklings: Remembering Jack (2005)
Lars Walker at Brandywine Books: The Feast of St. Jack and The Great Man’s Headgear
Hope at Worthwhile Books reviews Out of the Silent Planet, the first book in Lewis’s space trilogy.
Heidi at Mt. Hope Chronicles writes about her appreciation for the works of C.S. Lewis.
Jollyblogger reviews Lewis’s The Great Divorce.

2. Madeleine L’Engle
Ms. L’Engle is the most likely of the three to have her work become dated. However, the science fiction quartet that begins with A Wrinkle in Time may very well last because it deals with themes that transcend time and localized concerns. And I still like The Love Letters the best of all her books, a wonderful book on the meaning of marriage and of maturity.
Madeleine L’Engle favorites.
In which I invite Madeleine L’Engle to tea in June, 2006, before her death last year.
A Madeleine L’Engle Annotated bibliography.
Semicolon Review of The Small Rain and A Severed Wasp by Madeleine L’Engle.
Semicolon Review of Camilla by Madeleine L’Engle.
My Madeleine L’Engle project, which has languished this year, but I hope to get back to it in 2009.
Mindy Withrow writes about A Circle of Quiet.
Remembering Madeleine: Obituaries and Remembrances from September, 2007.

3. Louisa May Alcott.
I love reading about Ms. Alcott’s girls and boys even though many people are too jaded and feminist to enjoy books that celebrate the joys of domesticity and home education.
Circle of Quiet quotes An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott on the wearing of blue gloves.
Carrie reviews Little Women, after three attempts to get though it.
Claire, The Captive Reader re-reads my favorite Louisa May Alcott novel, Eight Cousins.
Claire, The Captive Reader revisits Rose in Bloom, the sequel to Eight Cousins.
Sam at Book Chase reviews Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women by Harriet Reisen.
Joyfuly Retired sponsored an “All Things Alcott” Challenge in 2010 where you can find links to many posts about Louisa May and her family and her novels.

November 29, 2007: To This Great Stage of Fools.

Saturday Review of Books: November 23, 2013

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” ~C.S. Lewis

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Welcome to the Saturday Review of Books at Semicolon. Here’s how it usually works. Find a book review on your blog posted sometime during the previous week. The review doesn’t have to be a formal sort of thing. You can link to your thoughts on a particular book, a few ideas inspired by reading the book, your evaluation, quotations, whatever.

Then on Friday night/Saturday, you post a link here at Semicolon in Mr. Linky to the specific post where you’ve written your book review. Don’t link to your main blog page because this kind of link makes it hard to find the book review, especially when people drop in later after you’ve added new content to your blog. In parentheses after your name, add the title of the book you’re reviewing. This addition will help people to find the reviews they’re most interested in reading.

After linking to your own reviews, you can spend as long as you want reading the reviews of other bloggers for the week and adding to your wishlist of books to read. That’s how my own TBR list has become completely unmanageable and the reason I can’t join any reading challenges. I have my own personal challenge that never ends.

I’d especially like to have your links to posts on any of the many books of C.S. Lewis, on this the 50th anniversary of his death, or links to your reviews of Cybils nominees. Come on, Lewis fans and Cybils reviewers, share with us.

Fifty Years Ago Today, RIP Jack

“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now…Come further up, come further in!”― C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle

'C.S. Lewis' photo (c) 2010, Owen Massey McKnight - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/Fifty years ago a not-so-quiet man whose friends called him Jack slipped quietly from his home near Cambridge, England, into his Real Home and found True Joy. While most of the world, certainly the United States, were mourning the violent death of another Jack, Clive Staples Lewis had died about an hour before Kennedy and gone through “a door out of a little, dark room (that’s all the life we have known before it) into a great, real place where the true sun shines and we shall meet.” (Till We Have Faces)

And today, fifty years after his death, a memorial will be dedicated to Lewis in Poet’s Corner at Westminster Abbey. Others are celebrating all month and on through the end of the year, not his death but his life and work and legacy. On Pinterest, 50 Fans, 50 Years Later quotes authors and other who laud the influence of C.S. Lewis. And this post at the C.S. Lewis blog collects links to news articles celebrating the legacy of Lewis.

“Comparisons are odious,” said the philosopher, but they are inevitable. I venture to guess that Lewis’s influence and legacy will last a lot longer than that of a certain U.S. president. No disrespect intended to the other Jack, but how many people has God used to such great effect for His kingdom as He has used C.S. Lewis, that reluctant convert?

“You must picture me alone in that room at Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England” (Surprised By Joy, ch. 14, p. 266).

Till we all—Jack Kennedy, “Jack” Lewis, and the rest of us, reluctant to face a holy but loving God–till all of us “have faces”, may the grace of God sustain us until we are surprised by the joy of His presence.