Saturday, 9 April 2011

C.S. Lewis: the magical world of Narnia

The Linen Hall Library (Belfast) organised an exhibition that featured the popular Irish novelist, C.S. Lewis who created the magical world of Narnia. With my personal fascination of Lewis' writings, I have already collected most of his stories and visited some of the Belfast landmarks, including the place that inspired Lewis to write about Narnia - the Mountains of Mourne. I climbed the mountains in two separate occasions!

The exhibition also taught me some basic facts about C.S Lewis books. I learned the suggested sequence in reading his Narnia series as follows: (1) The Magicians Nephew - 1955, (2) The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - 1950, (3) The Horse and his Boy - 1954, (4) Prince Caspian - 1951, (5) The Voyage of the Dawn Treader - 1952, (6) The Silver Chair - 1953, (7) The Last Battle - 1956. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe is the first published story of the seven Chronicles of Narnia, and then followed by Prince Caspian. The Magicians Nephew should be read first for you to understand the creation of Narnia - how Lewis started the fascinating characters and other things (like wardrobe) in the chronicles.

Note: Click the images and you will be directed to the podcast, or HERE of the talk/lecture series about the life and writings of Lewis and to find out more of the symbolism and iconography of Narnia.

BookFaces from the Book Depository: My first online purchase

WHEN I FOUND OUT THAT THE BOOK DEPOSITORY is offering free delivery any where in the world, without a second thought I placed my first order online. But why children's books written by Morris Gleitzman? It is a long story but... seven years ago, I lived in Brisbane, Australia as part of my postgrad program and this was the time that my passion for books started.

For two years, I collected different books - from fantasy to children's books with authors that are unknown to me. At that time, I was collecting and reading books not based on bestseller's status, but guided by films or friends' recommendation. Surprisingly, I collected books that required me to send 6 balikbayan boxes to Manila for door-door delivery. Until now, these books are still kept inside the boxes - waiting for me to release them and maybe they are excited to feel the fresh air and some touches from dust!

Since I was busy with a research project at the university, I concentrated on children's books which are more manageable to read and less time consuming to finish the books. And this the reason why I was captivated with Morris Glietzman's stories and introduced the adventures of Limpy, the toad... I loved his Limpy and Goliath tandem stories - from Toad Heaven to Toad Rage!

Then few weeks ago, I decided to buy Gleitzman books from the Book Depository - a trilogy (Once, Then and Now). Once and Then are previously published separately but the latest edition contained both of them. With excitement, I immediately read them all in a matter of less than a week... I finished reading Now few hours ago!

Synopsis (from GoodReads) : (THEN and ONCE) That's the good thing with stories. There's always a chance they can come true. Felix is lucky. Unlike the other children in the orphanage, he's certain his parents will come back for him one day. And whatever the Nazis do and however many books they burn, Felix's imagination provides him and his companions with an endless supply of stories - stories that protect them when they're on the run, shield them from the violent madness all around, give them hope when all seems lost, and one day may even save Felix's life. (NOW) Morris Gleitzman's acclaimed story of friends Felix and Zelda in Nazi-occupied Poland has captured the hearts and minds of readers worldwide. In "Now", he delivers the final chapter, bringing this most moving of stories into the present day.