February 1, 2011

500, 300, Book Review and GIVEAWAY!!!

Oh yes, it's finally here!

My 500th post just happened to coincide with my 300 followers count. Whoo-hoo!

(I don't normally celebrate follower counts because, as you all know, they pretty much ping-pong up and down from day to day. As of this writing, I had exactly 300. So if by the time you see this it's back down to 296, well, I'm not lying, that's just what I saw.)

Anyway, today's post is a book review, and as usual I feel like the LAST person on earth to read these books, but in case I'm not, here is my breakdown of:

The Chronicles of Narnia.

Actually, now that I think about it, I wonder how many other people are like me, and always heard about them and watched the old LWW videos as kids but never got around to reading the books. I'm probably not as behind the curve as I first imagined.

I absolutely loved them. They were fast reads - I think I read the whole set in a week. If you haven't read any of them before, they are written in a very conversational tone. You feel like you're sitting, listening to your grandfather tell you a story, not just reading a book. It's wonderful.

I wouldn't call them children's books. They are written on a level children can understand, but that doesn't make them children's books. They are still stimulating to the adult imagination and emotions. And Lewis has a great way of weaving in moments that adults would latch onto more than children would.

For example, there's one part where Aslan is telling a little girl that he called her to Narnia because he had a mission for her. She says, "No, you didn't call us, we were calling you and asked to come here." And he replies, "But you couldn't have called to me if I were not first calling to you." That's some deep theology there. I had to stop and meditate on that for a few minutes in the middle of my reading. Still makes me teary to think of.

There were many moments like that that make the reading experience so rich, beyond the beautiful three-dimensional world and characters.

Another thought I had was - to be honest - if these were not already established as "Christian children's classics," I'm fairly certain most of the fundamentalist Christian families who embrace them so dearly today would be very skeptical about them. I mean, there's magic (in a good light), witches, the dreaded Santa Claus, and other than "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe," no large-spun Christian allegories, just a few snatch moments like the one I described above. Even the last book, "The Last Battle," gives an image of the end times that doesn't really line up with most Conservative theology.

I will absolutely be reading these with my kids. Lots of magic and adventure and fantasy and good moral lessons, about standing up for what's right; fighting for what you believe, even if it's a losing battle; being true to your friends even after they've hurt your feelings; having faith in things unseen. These are all things I want to instill in my children and remind myself of often.

"When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."
~ CS Lewis

Which is why I love fantasy and sci-fi. They communicate these lessons so much more openly than regular fiction does, in my opinion. They train a young brain to accept the fantastic over the empirical, believing based on faith, allowing your mind to accept possibilities outside and beyond your personal experience. And that's my abbreviated pro-fantasy/sci-fi speech. ;)

All that to say, the giveaway prize is this exact book set! Of course it's books, this is me we're talking about, here! (It's not the same one I used, this is a brand-new one, just so you know :))

So, to enter, the one requirement is that you comment below telling me that you're a follower.

And, of course, if you guessed the prize correctly on my last post, you will get 10 EXTRA entries!

Clue #1: Those are all book series
Clue #2: Those are the release dates for the recent movie versions based on the books (By the way, kudos to the person who called me out on screwing up one of the movie release dates. My bad.)
Clue #3: Is a quote from "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe"

For bonus entries:

Post a separate comment about your favorite fantasy/sci-fi book/movie (Harry Potter and Twilight acceptable, as examples): 1 entry
Blog about this giveaway: 5 entries
Anyone who tells me they were referred from your blog post: 3 entries (to you)

So there you have it. I'll keep this open until midnight Sunday, and then I'll announce the winner Monday morning. What better way to begin a week than finding out you won a giveaway??


  1. Not sure if being the 1st will be a good or bad thing here, but, as you know, I'm a follower =) I have not read these books, so I'd love to have an excuse to dive into them.

    Thanks for a great giveaway and congrats on 500 & 300 (it's still at 300 as I type this...)

  2. and since the Twilight series is the only series I have read over and over, it appears to be my favorite =)

  3. Gah! I was so torn on guessing the movies or the books. Blast!

    I'm a follower :)

  4. My favrite sci-fi has got to be the HP series. Books and movies. I actually get so sad and anxious thinking the movies are nearly over. They ARE the epitome of my childhood. The magic, the wonder, the way they suck me in. I have read them all at least, kid you not, 30 times.

  5. Right now I'm working through Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. WOW! If you haven't read them, you should check them out!

  6. I'm a follower :)

  7. Love this giveaway!
    I am a follower.

    Congrats on reaching 500 posts & 300 followers!

  8. My favorite series is a tie between the Chronicles of Narnia & Harry Potter. I just cannot choose between them;)

  9. I also blogged about this giveaway.


  10. Choosing my favorite fantasy/sci-fi is hard...it's a toss up between Harry Potter and The Narnia Series. I love them. I've read each series numerous times:) I've even got DH hooked on the Narnia books.

  11. I looooveee this series! I've been meaning to buy it... eventually. I'm a follower :)

  12. I have two favorite series: Harry Potter, which totally rocks, and the Ever World series, which I read in middle/high school. It's actually a great series blending tons of mythology from all kinds of cultures. Check it out!

  13. I am a follower!
    Congrats on your 500 & 300!

  14. Of course I follow. =) Did I come close enough on my guess to get 10 extra entries...??? ;-)

  15. I think the only fantasy books I've EVER read where the Twilight books. =P I do have the HP books for my Nook, but I haven't started reading them yet. I LOVE the HP movies though. I have my SIL to thank for that. Haha!

  16. Hey pretty girl I am blogging again just wanted to let you know..as well as say I love Narnia! Hope you are well!

  17. I was/am your 300th follower!!! I noticed it when I clicked "follow" haha.

  18. And, my favorite series is the Chronicles of Narnia! I've probably read them about 10 times each. I'm wanting to read Harry Potter though, because I keep hearing how awesome they are...

  19. Don't enter me (it would just feel wrong, so I won't do the requirements :-)) but I'm going to have to read these!! Remember when I told you I was reading the Hunger Games series?? I finished it, still unsure how I feel about them. Maybe it just wasn't good timing to read them? I dunno. Miss you!!!

  20. My favorite fantasy books are the Harry Potter series. The Chronicles of Narnia are a close second though. I was always checking them out from the library to the point where the librarian was like "Aren't you tired of these yet?" For some reason I never got around the buying them though.

  21. still reading you girl! You can't get rid of me. And these would be great for my boys -- just sayin.

  22. I'm a follower!!! I've never read this and really want to!

  23. I'd have to say my favorite fantasy book is The Hunger Games. I love it! The whole series is great!

  24. Favorite fantasy/sci fi series. Dies the Fire. Seriously. read it. today.


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