A Year In Books

Chronicles of Narnia

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! Last week, I completed my yearly Chronicles of Narnia marathon. It was magical. Obviously. Although, I have to admit an ulterior motive in finishing them quickly- I am currently reading another incredible book and I wanted to make sure it was the last entry in A Year In Books. I can’t believe I actually fulfilled a New Year’s resolution for once! I’m feeling quite satisfied with myself to be honest. Anyway, on to the Chronic-What-Cles of Narnia.

The Horse and His Boy

I love this story because it’s a rare glimpse into the glory days of the reign of the Pevensies in Narnia. Also, it’s a great geography lesson of the world in which Narnia exists. You get to learn more about the other countries and customs that inhabit that world. I also love a great underdog story and this certainly is one. It’s the story of Shasta, a poor and beaten boy from Calormen who meets a talking horse, Bree, that tells him he clearly isn’t a native Calormene and convinces him to run away with him to Narnia. Along the way, they meet another talking horse, Hwin, and runaway Aravis. They join together to flee to Narnia and the North. I don’t want to ruin it for those of you who haven’t read it, but there is a pretty spectacular happy ending here.

Prince Caspian

The Pevensies return to Narnia! The Pevensies return to Narnia!! Except Narnian time works differently from ours so many centuries have passed since the days when Peter sat on the throne as High King. Telmarines have taken over and let me tell you, they aren’t so nice to the talking animals and magical creatures of Narnia. And the Telmarine King isn’t even nice to his own nephew, the rightful King, so his nephew, Caspian, flees into the forest and finds the remnants of Old Narnia. A war ensues and the Pevensies are called from our world to Narnia’s aid. And guess what? They totally win. It’s awesome. Except for the part when Aslan says Peter and Susan won’t be returning to Narnia, that’s actually a bit sad.

The Voyage of The Dawn Treader

Here we meet Prince Caspian again! He’s such a charming lad. Lucy and Edmund return to Narnia, well, not actually Narnia, but rather a Narnia ship bound for the utter East and Aslan’s country. Along the way, they seek to find certain Lords who were loyal to Caspian’s Father and had to flee the evil of his Uncle. Boy are there some adventures on this journey! Probably more than any of the other books, this one had me flipping through the pages furiously to find out what happened. It’s a great read and has one of C.S. Lewis’ best characters in it, Reepicheep the mouse, who is the most valiant and brave of all the talking animals. We also meet Lucy and Edmunds cousin Eustace, who is quite a pill although you come to like him by the end of the book. C.S. Lewis had such a knack for writing very developed characters in very few words and Eustace and Reepicheep are great examples of that.

The Silver Chair

This is my favorite of all the Chronicles. I absolutely love the story, I mean, you can’t really go wrong with an underground world and an enchanted Prince, but this book also features one of my favorite fictional characters of all time. Puddleglum. He is at once both pessimistic and hopeful. I adore him. This is another excellent example of Lewis being able to write a fully developed and endearing character in a short book. Whenever I think of my favorite fictional characters, Puddleglum is one of the first to come to mind. He’s so dark and yet so full of light. I also love learning more about Eustace and his companion on this journey, Jill. They both attend a wretched school full of bullies but they get their revenge in the end and it’s both satisfying and funny. I have to admit, I have a sweet spot for traveling tales and this is top amongst those.

The Last Battle

This book is the final adventure in Narnia. In fact, it’s the end of Narnia itself. Just as Aslan brought the world into being in such a beautiful way, so he ends it. This is a spectacular story and I rather think has some good lessons about not being swayed by propaganda. Everyone is back in this tale, yes everyone, including all four Pevensies. But how can that be? You may be asking. To which I reply, with Aslan, there is always a way. And it’s lovely and sweet and sad all at the same time. It’s an ending only C.S. Lewis could write and get away with.


Even though I read these books every year, I never tire of them. They never fail to delight and excite me. If you haven’t read them, and like fantasy adventures with talking animals, magical creatures, and children saving the day, then you absolutely must read these.

What are y’all reading this week?

20 thoughts on “A Year In Books

  1. sophie king says:

    Loving the book’s cover… so pretty. Quite ashamed of myself for not having read the Chronicles of Narnia, will try to fix this this year.

    At the moment I’m reading Zero Day by David Baldacci; it’s about a war hero turned military investigator who has to investigate the murder of a fellow military man… I am totally captivated by it.

  2. michael says:

    Hey there, mama – hope all is well in your world. I’m actually reading the Narnia books to my eldest daughter now and, like poetry, reading them aloud brings an entirely new richness to the words. It’s slow going (we’re about halfway through Prince Caspian) but we’re both loving it.

  3. Congratulations!! That is truly an impressive New Year’s Resolution. I’m also very excited to tell you that I’m halfway through Mindy Kaling’s memoir and really enjoying it (although between you and me, we’re funnier), AND Peppermeister also got me Tiny Fey’s “Bossypants” – sweet! But now will I EVER get to that Alice Bliss book so I can send it to you [along with slap bracelets, I hope!]?!

    1. Yes, please get to that book! Because I really want to read it but also I really want a slap bracelet. I’m so glad you got Mindy Kalings book and that Peppermeister got the Tina Fey book. I can’t wait to hear what you think about them!

  4. I’ve never read the Narnia books, but you make me want to. Good job.

    I recently finished The Snowman by Jo Nesbo, which I imagine is similar to the Narnia books — you know, a dark story with an alcoholic protagonist and a serial killer.

    Before that I read Origins of the Specious by Patricia T. O’Conner and Stewart Kellerman. As with her other books (such as Woe Is I) I thought it was a fun and enlightening look at the English language.

    I have a sneaking suspicion the latter book might be more interesting to you. I don’t know why.

  5. “The bolt of Tash falls from above!” “Does it ever get caught on a hook halfway down?” I always did like that line from The Horse and His Boy. 😛

  6. I haven’t read the Narnia books in a looooong time. I should pick them up again. I love reading Lewis’ non-fiction, as well.

    It’s tough, though, because if I’m in a “fantasy world” mood, it’s hard to go past Terry Pratchett and/or Lord of The Rings.

  7. I’m reading Creating Modern Captialism: How Entrepreneurs, Companies, and Countries Triumphed in Three Industrial Revolutions by Thomas K. McCraw for an Econ class next semester. Don’t.be.jealous.

    If I weren’t in grad school, I probably would be reading the Tiny Fey book that you (and everyone else) is raving about!

  8. Tammy says:

    Thanks for the read on the reads! I’m finishing the “Hunger Games” for the second time -long story why I’m reading them twice. I don’t really think they were worth reading twice, though, is what I want to say. Anyway, looking forward to next reading “The Penderwicks” which are my daughters favorite childhood books. Happy New Year and Happy New Resolutions!

    1. Thanks Tammy! I really enjoyed the Hunger Games but I tend to agree with you on the second reading of them-they were quite intense and I could use another couple months before reading them again if at all. Although, I probably will read them again right before the movie comes out. Enjoy The Penderwicks, they are such wonderful books!

  9. Mrs. Paladin bought me a Kindle 3G for Christmas… She got tired of me perching on the edge of the technology cliff waffling back and forth and decided to sneak up from the rear and give me a good shove 🙂

    So a better question might be “What are you NOT reading this week?”

    Might be a shorter list. I’ve discovered the 48,000 some-odd free titles for download, you see. I still aesthetically prefer “real” books… but I think I’m going to like the e-reader after all. Maybe I’ll use some of the money I’ll save on weekly reads and invest in some pretty editions of my favorites for the bookshelf.

    1. Ok, if you can go e-reader, I guess I can too. I’ve been resisting but my Mom got a Kindle for Christmas and I have to admit, it looks very appealing. And I love your idea of using the money you’re saving to buy some really nice copies of favorite books. Oh Paladin, what would I do without you?

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