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Called: My Journey to C. S. Lewis's House and Back Again

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4.31  ·  Rating details ·  93 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Called is the heart-breaking, humorous, and refreshingly honest account of one twenty-something's adventure of learning what it means to be called by God-an adventure that took him to England, C. S. Lewis's house, and back again--and why it was only in the reality of his worst nightmare that he learned what it means to be called.

What is it like to be ''called'' by God for
...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published February 10th 2015 by Leafwood Publishers (first published February 4th 2015)
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Melissa Tagg
Feb 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Winsome. Engaging. Poignant. Ryan Pemberton's CALLED is all this and more.

I have to be honest. Part of the reason I picked up CALLED, Ryan's brilliantly and personably penned memoir about his time at Oxford, was pure nostalgia. I studied and interned in England ten years ago and have returned several times since. I was pretty sure the book would feed my nostalgia.

And it did. Little details--mentions of Sainsbury's, digestives (tea biscuits with the best/worst name ever), cozy pubs--took me back
...more
Justin Wiggins
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Called, My Journey to C.S.Lewis’s House and Back Aagain, by Ryan Pemberton, is an honest account of how Ryan left the safety of a secure job in the states, and moved with his family to Oxford, England to pursue his dream of writing and theology. This major life decision to him seemed irresponsible at times(maybe even madness) and during his time in Oxford, living at C.S.Lewis’ home The Kilns, Ryan really questioned himself. Yet, by taking this risk, Ryan learned what it actually does mean to be ...more
Seth Thomas
Mar 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: vocation-calling
Ryan Pemberton's story of calling, embracing failure, and discovering a new imagination for how to live out of his God-given identity is powerful. This book was a delightful read. Pemberton's style is easy to interact with and it felt like we were sitting in a corner of Eagle & Child pub, listening to him tell the story first hand.

The question of calling weighs on many of us. It seems we live in a time where we have either lost the tools to discern our way forward or we have lost a sense of
...more
Laura Smith
Apr 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
A beautiful tale of the pain, triumph and ultimate fulfillment involved in answering God's call. In Pemberton's writing debut, he shows he is a gifted storyteller, weaving together his personal journey to the magical Oxford, England, and the home of the man who most inspired him, C.S. Lewis, with the trials of casting down his proverbial net and following Jesus' call. Ryan illustrates that although Jesus never said it would be easy to follow Him, He did promise it would be amazing beyond our com ...more
Katherine Jones
May 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It didn’t take much to persuade me to love this book. It is, after all, a story with one of my favorite writers at its heart. A story about story. And about calling, faith, doubt, fear, heartache, and–ultimately–understanding and triumph.

Ryan Pemberton’s voice is authentic and deeply personal. After reading his story, you will most likely feel as if–were you fortunate enough to meet him at a party–you could dispense with the small talk and jump immediately into issues that really matter.

Reading
...more
Wendy Macdonald
Apr 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I've been in a season of reading memoirs and Called is one of my favorite picks. Because I love C.S. Lewis I suspected that Ryan's book would be engaging. It was more than that. I learned about C.S. Lewis, about Ryan and his family, about Oxford, and about my own calling that God is awakening me to embrace. Ryan's from the heart writing drew my own heart closer to God. It's not often I write down sentences from a book so I won't forget the treasures I've found--but Called is one of these books. ...more
Judy
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I most enjoyed the little tidbits I learned about C.S. Lewis’s life and the Oxford experience. Pemberton’s is an engaging tale. I look forward to his next book.
Melinda
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put this book down! A very honest view of what the emotions of giving your life completely to serve God.
Catherine L.
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fast paced, thought provoking, entertaining, and scattered throughout with great nuggets. Pemberton is a great storyteller, and a very likable protagonist. You have the feeling he and his wife would make great friends. There are plenty of Lewis stories for Narnia lovers, publishing misadventures for aspiring authors, and reflections on discerning God's will for anyone. One to keep on the shelf and refer back to (or re-read) in the future, whenever the idea of following God in crazy directions is ...more
Zach Kendrick
Apr 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Using the medium of story, Pemberton shares his experience with following the call of God on his life. For him the call meant leaving his comfortable job and studying theology halfway around the world in an effort to become a writer who relays spiritual truth in a way that the average person can apply to their lives. The journey took him from mountain tops, living in C.S. Lewis' home; to lows, living away from his wife during their first pregancy. However, through it all, Pemberton reminds us th ...more
Jamie
May 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
This month not only marks the one year anniversary of the Inklings Series, but also the month when Tolkien and Lewis first meet (May 11th if you’re curious), so I made myself wait to post this review in this month! It seemed fitting :).

There’s a quote, well two actually, in The Magician’s Nephew which speak of Narnia coming to life – causing the witnesses to feel alive (you can find them here or here). One reason I love those quotes is because it makes the readers come alive and they stir your
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Nocturne
Nov 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed-books
Called is a curious tale of a man's move to Oxford University and how he came to live in the house that had belonged to C.S. Lewis. A memoir that Michael Morris (of the novels Man in the Blue Moon and Slow Way Home) compares to stories from the NPR segment 'This American Life'. I suppose I understand the story is downright relatable whether or not you have any religious inclinations. Mr. Pemberton is a writer, an avid reader and learner, a loving husband and in this piece a young man trying to f ...more
Jen H.
Sep 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book just might be a game changer for me. In saying that, I don't want to lead anyone astray. There is nothing new or sensational in what Ryan Pemberton includes in this book. But what IS sensational is Ryan's transparency about what he writes about. The book is less about certainty than it is about insecurity, something I found quite refreshing in a book written by an academic. It is about following Christ even when the pathway is obscured. And since I spent the summer of 2014 at Oxford, i ...more
Kevin Sheth
Dec 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
As someone whose pursuing a similar path, I found Ryan Pemberton's story to be encouraging and thought-provoking. While the story does involve C.S. Lewis, the book is really about Pemberton's journey through Oxford with his wife Jen. Though I believe there are some missteps in how Pemberton views and understands God's "will" for his life (as well as some other theological nuances), the book is wonderfully written and very interesting.
Katerina
Nov 20, 2016 rated it liked it
"Called" tells of Ryan Pemberton's journey to Oxford for an undergraduate degree in theology. He heads to Oxford because of his love for C. S. Lewis. While there he is able to live in Lewis's old house and serve as a tour guide. "Called" is fun read but not particularly insightful. I suspect it will appeal most appears to those who admire both C. S. Lewis's and Oxford.
Ann
Aug 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Not what I expected. Story a little repetitive and contained details I felt were not necessary to the narrative. However the last few chapters had a different voice that really express the author's struggle with his actions, and his ultimate understanding of choices. It certainly poses hard questions on following a spiritual life. Worth the read.
Natasha
Sep 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully written book containing beautiful truths learned by the author. I felt like I was right there with him at Oxford, and he does a great job of connecting the reader with his story as well as connecting what he learned to other's lives. I will be looking for more by this author.
Anthony
Aug 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well done

Great read! It was entertaining but more importantly, it stirred my heart and my mind. Very thought provoking on what it means to be called by God. I loved Ryan Pemberton's honesty about doubt and confusion and failure in the midst of following God.
Victoria
Mar 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-list-2015, 2015
via his article in Bible Study Mag (March 2015)
Andee
Aug 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It was such a charming story about following a dream and that dream turning out to be a life changer. Sometimes you just need to read something uplifting. This is it.
Sarah
Mar 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding! I did not want to put this down. One thing I really enjoyed was learning more about Oxford itself.
Gerard Whyte
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Feb 15, 2015
Jenna
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Dec 17, 2017
David Bastedo
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Ellen Little
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Chad-melissa Miller
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Jun 19, 2017
David Miles
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Feb 06, 2015
Sean Post
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Feb 27, 2016
Melissa
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Sep 23, 2015
Karen Storey
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I tell stories. Like the one about the time I left the Pacific NW & PR for Oxford & Theology and lived in C. S. Lewis's house. "Called," now available.
More about Ryan J. Pemberton
“To be fair, I spend most days living inside my head--hoping that when I finally open my mouth or put pen to paper, what comes out will matter.” 7 likes
“I think that’s what we are all meant to do, all we can do, with the gifts we have been given, be they experiences or talents. Those gifts are waiting to be used to touch others’ lives, as we patiently listen for and obediently follow the direction to which God is calling us. Because that’s what you do with gifts, you give them away.” 4 likes
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