Tag Archives: cs lewis


Last year, the only challenge I entered myself in was a goal of 50 books, tracked by Goodreads. I hit my goal, but this year I wanted to mix things up a little and give some props to other book bloggers.  I found a great list of options at Novel Challenges. It’s searchable by keyword and by year. 

Clocks, Cogs and Mechanisms Reading Challenge 2012

Focusing on Steampunk titles, including classics like HG Wells as well as newer graphic novels.  Levels are cleverly named Brass Gears, Flight goggles, Button-up boots and Clockwork Corset.

Merely Mystery Reading Challenge 2012
This challenge breaks down mysteries into sub-genres and the readers are encouraged to choose titles from the various types.  Choose from The Whodunit, Locked Room Mystery, Cozy, Hard-Boiled/Noir, The Inverted Detective Story, The Historical Whodunnit, The Police Procedural, The Professional Thriller, The Spy Novel, Caper Stories, The Psychological Suspense, Spoofs and Parodies.  And this one has a prize!

Victorian Challenge 2012
So this might not be much of a challenge since I read a great deal of Victorian literature already, but it will help me focus on some authors and works I have yet to delve into.  This one works more like a book club, setting authors in advance. January: The Bronte Sisters, February: Charles Dickens, March: Robert Louis Stevenson, April: Emily Dickinson, May: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, June: George Eliot, July: Oscar Wilde, August: Anthony Trollope, September: Elizabeth Gaskell, October: Mark Twain, November: Lewis Carroll, December: Louisa May Alcott.

Tea & Books Reading Challenge
From the site: This challenge was inspired by C.S. Lewis’ famous words, “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”  You better settle in with a large cup of tea, because in this challenge you will only get to read books with more than 700 pages.
I’ve only committed to two, making me a “Chamomile Lover.”

What will you read this year?

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I am a great lover of literature. I am also a great lover of these books, these tales. They are a modern “1001 Nights”, born of a war-torn society with Blitzkrieg ringing in their ears, and Coventry freshly wounded. “The Chronicles of Narnia” reflect British pride yet give away a certain sense of doubt and skepticism. These stories encourage a fight against evil, despite the odds of winning. It is the fight that is worth it.

The first cinematic installment of these fantastic tales remained greatly faithful to CS Lewis‘s original book (with only one fabricated scene – on the icy river escaping from the wolves). It answered to some of the current trends in blockbuster film-making but it still managed to retain some soul.

Prince Caspian also remains fairly faithful to the book. Some elements are glossed over or “sped through” to get to the lavish battle scenes. I would have enjoyed seeing a young Caspian with his tutor on the parapets at night as so vividly described in the book. Instead, it was only alluded to in the film.

Crossing the Fords of Beruna was also severely truncated and the fact that the non-talking bear that was slain they actually butchered and carried with them for the couple of days they trekked through the woods.

However, plenty of attention was given to the two main battles – at Miraz’s castle and at the ruins of the Stone Table. Both were well rendered, if a little too long.

It’s as if the producers decided that the story is only there to lead up to the battle, and the battles are what sell the movies. I have 60 years of history that say otherwise, but I am not a profit-driven entity in the art business. The greatest atrocity was saved for the last three minutes. In a flagrant disregard altogether, some genius decided that it would be a great idea to have Susan (just as she is able to jump back into England forever, never to return to Narnia ever) turn back and kiss Caspian. And as if that wasn’t painful enough, their lips touching cued a trashy, t-weeny, Hannah Montana song with even worse lyrics. It was so bad that everyone in the theatre either laughed or threw up their arms in disgust.

Disney/Walden Media/Adamson need to realize that these stories are already popular. We are going to the movies to see the books we read come to life, not some numbers-crunching producer who never read them (let alone under the covers with a flashlight because you couldn’t sleep without knowing what happened next) version of what will sell adjunct merchandise.

They had better be careful. If they wish to make the entire series of 7, they better not break the trust of those who love Narnian lore.

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