Photo by Trnava University on Unsplash

What We’re Reading: A critical look at the Chronicles of Narnia

Adrienne Gibbs
The Medium Blog
Published in
5 min readMar 2, 2024


Hi everyone,

Perhaps you’ve heard of Mychal Threets, the librarian out of California who became famous on social media for his #LibraryJoy posts, where he encouraged little kids to visit the library with their parents and to read books. Threets recently left his job, due to online harassment by adults who disliked his fervent approach to literacy. But here’s a happy ending: Threets is now working for PBS, an American television station dedicated to education.

Plenty of Medium writers delve into classic literature and libraries every day. Steph Lawson publishes daily from a library and it’s cool to follow her series about it. How’s that for #LibraryJoy? The account for EveryLibrary offers a peek into a program called “Mother Goose on the Loose” that helps toddlers learn to read. It has good advice!

Also interesting are the ongoing literacy discussions about historically popular books. One such debate surrounds The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis. The popular children’s book series is looked at by some as a fantasy, by others as an allegory for Christianity and by still more as wildly inappropriate for 2024.

The 1950s-era series “aged like milk and it had some gnarly racial implications, writes Sean Myers in An Injustice! Meanwhile Brian Tubbs reminds fans of “5 Great Quotes” from the series, in the publication Fantasy Fiction and Reviews.

As for why we read and re-read these books, the writer Alison Kilian has a theory:

“Books we read as children become time capsules, preserving fragments of our youthful selves. The characters, settings, and emotions embedded in those pages evoke a powerful sense of nostalgia.”

What book series did you read as a kid? What series are you reading now (or re-reading?) If you analyzed them here (or you plan to), let Medium know by sharing the post in the responses.

Thanks for reading and for writing,
Adrienne Gibbs, Director of Content @ Medium

P.S. Are you a writer or editor here? Make sure you register for the upcoming Pub Crawl on Medium! If you’re an editor or owner of a publication, apply to host a virtual booth!

What We’re Reading

Library display at the Siuslaw Public Library showing material Herbert researched for Dune

The Origins Of ‘Dune’

Published by Aspiring Reader in Hooked on Books

The Oregon Dunes span over 30,000 acres and still attract over a million and a half tourists to this day. But long before Herbert was a journalist and before environmental issues were everywhere in the news, the coastal communities in the 1920s were struggling with the impact and movement of these dunes.

Photo by Blaz Photo on Unsplash

Is Reading a Dying Pastime?

Published by John Egelkrout in Bouncin’ and Behavin’ Blogs

So how does a person get their child to read? By being a reader yourself. By letting your child see you read. By having reading materials in the house. By introducing your child to the public library. By buying books for your child. And by showing an interest in your child’s reading.

Together To Do — A To Do List Inside iMessage

Inside iMessage Extensions — The Quirky World Of Apple’s Niche Development Tools

Published by Jan Kammerath

An iMessage extension is nothing more than a small application inside iMessage that works either in the message editor view or the message view. There’s very little documentation on that, so you need to refer to Apple’s WWDC17 presentation “What’s New in iMessage Apps”. The full video is available here: “Video: What’s New in iMessage Apps”.

By John Welford

How We Saved Our Library

Published by John Welford in Thirty Over Fifty

In Leicestershire, the blow came in 2014, when the decision was made to make drastic cuts in the employment of library staff, particularly in rural parts of the county. If villages wanted to keep their libraries, they would have to staff them themselves.

A meeting was convened at County Hall at which anyone interested in running their local library on a voluntary basis was invited to put themselves forward. Given that I was only working part-time (one evening a week at De Montfort University in Leicester), and had years of prior experience as a full-time professional librarian, I responded to the call.

International Women’s Day is approaching, which means we can all expect more stories analyzing the state of women in the world. Until all those pieces drop, we can review a 2023 look at how the day is approached in New York City, where global rights expert Lina AbiRafeh asks if we accept the status quo or push for something different for women. Meanwhile, Me and My Muse looks into what she describes as the ethnic cleansing of the day.

Today’s Final Word goes to Robert Roy Britt, who wrote a piece about the history of Leap Day for the science publication Aha! Amongst other interesting tidbits, Britt writes this:

“Remember that funky tilt in our planet’s axis? Yeah, it’s not fixed. It behaves like a spinning top that’s winding down. Discovered in 1891, this time-distorting wobble has since been found to move the location of the North Pole as much as 7 inches (17 cm) a year. At the same time, Earth’s overall rotation lurches a bit, speeding up and slowing down. The result: The length of our day is constantly changing, if ever so slightly.

The difference in time on a given day can be 1 millisecond (a thousandth of a second) or more. The effect: Over months and years, the highly accurate atomic clocks fall a teensy weensy bit out of step with Earth’s daily rotation.”

For more about Leap Day, ancient Egyptians, and ruminations on time zones, read the rest of the article here.

What’s your favorite read of the week? What have you written about lately? Let us know in the responses.



Adrienne Gibbs
The Medium Blog

Director of Content @Medium. Award-winning journalist. Featured in a Beyoncé reel. Before now? EBONY, Netflix, Sun-Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe.