It’s not often, as a church leader, you get to recommend a book with deep magic and dragons in the title but I had a book on my shelf that I’ve been meaning to read for ages but never quite got round to it. Then a few days ago I picked it off my shelf and began reading it. The book in question was ‘’Deep Magic, Dragons and Talking mice’ ’by Alister McGrath and what a treasure that book turned out to be. It’s an introduction into the life and work of CS Lewis. I guess more than anything it’s attempting to try and get another generation into discovering and reading CS Lewis, famous children’s writer, apologist and Christian speaker as well as being an important English literature scholar. Alister McGrath still thinks Lewis has plenty to say not just to the Christian but as an apologist writing for the sceptic. In a lot of ways Alister McGrath is a brilliant person to write about CS Lewis. They were both radical atheist in their teens, both experienced seismic conversions to Christianity and have both worked as Oxbridge academics while also having careers as apologists in the media. McGrath has been reading Lewis for 40 years and has published a well-received biography of him in 2013 (which is going on my Christmas list). You can tell from the title that he is going to look at the Narnia books but he goes far beyond that giving the reader a huge sweep of Lewis’ thought and throwing in influences and events from Lewis’ life. McGrath demonstrates that Lewis was no dry and dusty academic. (He is very scathing of a recent film about Lewis shadowlands on that score). He shows his ideas were deeply connected to his life experiencehis childhood, academic pursuits, seeing active service in a war, friendships, loves and losses. Deep Magic is an easy read. I’m not sure the conversational style, let’s have a chat with Lewis, always works and can get in the way a bit but McGrath is very good like Lewis at presenting very sophisticated ideas clearly and simply. We get to look at everything from the meaning of life to friendships, the Narnia books, the art of apologetics and the use of the imagination as well as rational argument. Suffering, hope and Heaven it’s all there. The subtitle to the book is ‘How reading CS Lewis can change your life’ and for once this is not a publisher’s hyperbole. Multitudes of people have had their lives changed by Lewis; their thinking deepened, their faith strengthened and their imagination expanded. If you are not familiar with Lewis’s thought—or only familiar with part of it—I recommend Deep Magic, Dragons, & Talking Mice as well worth a read. It will also act as encouragement, I’m sure, to read Lewis again. Well it certainly has to me. Give this book a go and then go and read some Lewis. ‘Mere Christianity’, ‘Screwtape Letters’, ‘A Grief Observed’, ‘The Problem of Pain’ and so on not forgetting the Narnia books as something to read to the children and grandchildren and the child in us all.