I thought I should begin my book spotlight series with a solid winner, and then follow with some lesser known books. So, I’ll start with Surprised By Joy: The Shape of My Early Life, “a partial autobiography describing C.S. Lewis’ conversion to Christianity.”
I read this one while away on work in Australia, and it was so good that I immediately read it a second time. In my opinion, it’s hard to beat Lewis’ writing style, and this is possibly the greatest sample of his work. Of special note for me were the shocking similarities between his personality and my own. And, of course, the writing is oddly reminiscent and incredibly fascinating.
I know some folks are disappointed that Lewis lacks the terseness of Hemingway, but if I’m being honest (and I like to think that I always am), his meandering words are part of his magic. Especially in this instance. Lewis was not required to create or explain. He simply wrote, as from his heart, and I found the effect breathtaking.
Of course, he was a religious fellow, and this piece describes his journey toward Christianity. As a result, some might be put off by it. Aside from those folks and the ones who prefer the staccato style, if you’re looking for something to slowly savor, this is a fantastic choice.
5 stars out of 5