Summer Reading Giveaway: How Voracious Reading Began in Narnia, but not with a Wardrobe

Jabberwocky Audio Theater is joining other writers and artists for a Summer Sci-Fi/Fantasy Book Bundle Giveaway now through July 12th.

I’m also taking the opportunity to talk about science fiction and fantasy books that have influenced me through the years, including a few that aren’t in the bundle. (I already talked about The Expanse and Dune, which are both represented.)

One of those inspirations is the first series I remember “devouring” (it was either this or the one I’ll talk about tomorrow)… and it was one where I talked about the books with other kids like I hear my kids compare notes about video games today. (We did that too: Activision’s Starmaster still rules.)

The Chronicles of Narnia

Yup, that’s the set we had…

Anyway, I’m talking about C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia. It would be a few years more before I tried to tackle Tolkien, and hey, these had kids in them, anyway. I wasn’t the only grade schooler who appreciated that.

One facet of my pre-pubescent reading marathon is my brothers and I had a first taste of integral relationship between reading and rebellion. You see, the box set we had was pretty much the image you see above, which is quite certain about which book is first. You all probably know as well: it’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, right?

Well, precocious little readers that we were, we had learned (possibly from my mom, who was a librarian) that C.S. Lewis’s preferred first book was what the box set insisted was book #6: The Magician’s Nephew. So we started there… and of course, as any kids want to share their earth-shattering discoveries, we tried to convince others to try that order. “The first book will make a lot more sense!” we cried. But some of our peers felt this would displease the publishing gods because it clearly wasn’t the first book.

I’m given to understand the reading order is something of a heated discussion to this day, though more recent sets have altered the order we were presented with.

In any case, let us know any book series you tore through (or are tearing through) and if you want in on the giveaway, be sure to enter before July 12th!

Bjorn Munson, Jabberwocky Audio Theater

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