Book Beginnings and Friday 56: Reflections on the Psalms by C.S. Lewis

So I just realized that my last post for Book Beginnings (hosted over at Rose City Reader) and Friday 56 (hosted at Freda’s Voice) was also a C.S. Lewis book. What a lovely coincidence!


If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might remember that my daughter gave me Reflections on the Psalms as a birthday present last year — an incredibly thoughtful birthday present at that! I love C.S. Lewis, but I’ve found this one a little hard to get through, unfortunately. It’s full of genius, as are all of his books that I’ve read, but this one puts me to sleep a bit. That said, I’m highlighting it this week because 1) I’m almost done! (half a chapter left), and 2) Despite it’s slowness, I have learned a lot from it and I’m still glad I’ve read it; you might find it worth your time as well!


Here goes:


This is not a work of scholarship. I am no Hebraist, no higher critic, no ancient historian, no archaeologist. I write for the unlearned about things in which I am unlearned myself.

Page 56:

There is a stage in a child’s life at which it cannot separate the religious from the merely festal character of Christmas or Easter…But of course the time will soon come when such a child can no longer effortlessly and spontaneously enjoy that unity. He will become able to distinguish the spiritual and festal aspect of Easter…And once he has distinguished he must put one or the other first.

The opening lines are a little off-putting if you don’t recognize Lewis’s genius; it is precisely this “unlearned-ness” that makes his writing approachable and understandable to so many. My excerpt above from page 56 is just one example of his ability to speak spiritual truths in a straightforward manner. This one happens to be timely, too, given that Christmas just recently passed!

Book Beginnings and Friday 56: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

I enjoyed doing last week’s post, so I’m back with the Book Beginnings (hosted over at Rose City Reader) and Friday 56 (hosted at Freda’s Voice) memes for this week!


I just wrapped up reading The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (the third book in the Chronicles of Narnia) with my six-year-old as our bedtime read-aloud. I originally bought the Chronicles of Narnia box set at a used book sale a year or so ago because I’ve enjoyed several of C.S. Lewis’s nonfiction books and wanted to read them. My daughter asked to read them, so we’re slowly making our way through them together. I’ll probably reread them with the next two kids, too 🙂


Without further ado…


There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it. His parents called him Eustace Clarence and his schoolmasters called him Scrubb. I can’t tell you how his friends spoke to him, for he had none.

Page 56:

It seemed to Lucy that a great valley in the sea opened just before their bows, and they rushed down into it, deeper down than she would have believed possible. A great grey hill of water, far higher than the mast, rushed to meet them; it looked certain death but they were tossed to the top of it. Then she ship seemed to spin round. A cataract of water poured over their deck; the poop and forecastle were like two islands with a fierce sea between them.

As with the other books in the Chronicles of Narnia, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is full of great adventures! We’re excited to start the next installment.

Book Beginnings and the Friday 56: Stopping the Road


I’m trying two new link-ups this week. The first is Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader, were you share the first line (or so) of the book you’re currently reading, and the second is The Friday 56, hosted by Freda’s Voice, where you share an excerpt from page 56 or Kindle 56%.

So, here goes: I’m currently reading Stopping the Road: The Campaign Against Another Trans-Sierra Highway by Jack Fisher. It is phenomenally well-researched and very illuminating as to the political processes behind road building and the preservation of our country’s wild areas.



Writing in a 1938 issue of American Forests under the title, “Roads Running Wild,” recent Stanford University graduate and mule packer Norman B. Livermore Jr. argued persuasively for limits on road building into the Sierra Nevada. He never forgot the shock of encountering an automobile close by the John Muir Trail while leading a pack trip in 1930.

Page 56 (*actually page 57, but close enough):

Cultural historians credit the interstates with spawning such features of American life as fifty-mile commutes, the two-mile traffic jam, recreational vehicles, the regional mall, and the spring-break trek to Florida.

The book was a gift from my husband after he travelled out to Mammoth Lakes (where they wanted to build the road), and he plans to read it when I’m done. I’m excited to get to talk about it with him when he’s done!