C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) was one of the greatest authors and apologists of the twentieth century. He was a paradoxical man–intensely private and world famous, a family man and confirmed bachelor until later in life, and a staunch atheist who became a reluctant evangelist. He is the chosen literary icon of modern American Evangelicals, but despite the fact that most of his writing heavily reflects his Christian faith, his appeal extends far beyond a single denomination or religion.
Lewis’s work is remarkable not only for its clarity and insight into the human condition, but its breadth. During his sixty-four years Lewis wrote poetry, fantasy and science fiction, academic and popular nonfiction, essays, and more, so it’s difficult to choose just three books to start with. My reason for picking these particular books is because each one reflects a key period of Lewis’s life–his literary childhood, his conversion to Christianity and subsequent rise to fame, and the years leading up to his death.