Our family continues to progress through Newbery Medal Award Winners. Just tonight we wrapped up Dead End in Norvelt.
We have now completed enough books (thirteen), as a family, that I thought we should begin ranking them. The following list does not include the works that were not award winners (but that we might have greatly enjoyed) – such as the seven books from The Chronicles of Narnia, Hatchet (an honor recipient – and truly the family favorite), or The Hobbit.
Here is the list to date (we now have a new title at the top spot):
Honestly, I don’t know why I continue to read Brown. The author consistently and unapologetically betrays the reader’s trust. One of the most important principles for historical fiction is that the author may take liberty concerning the characters in question but still maintain accuracy as it relates to the events in question. In Inferno, as in all of his previous works, Brown approaches his work with an undercurrent of skepticism towards the Catholic Church (so much so that he is ready and willing to mislead his audience in the matter of their motives and methods).
To be fair, Brown is usually so gifted in bringing about suspenseful and surprising turns and twists that keep his readers engaged. This work was a bit different in that the first half was a bit predictable and problematic. But there is a reason for that. Everything changes soon enough – finally making sense of why events unfolded the way they did.
That being said, the author’s agenda in this book was just too much to overlook. Population control. Genetic and biological research. The villains are not only glamorized but actually justified?
The author writes (speaking of an accomplice to a terrorist attack), “You are a member of a new breed of thinkers. You provide counterpoint. You can help them understand the mind-set of visionaries like Bertrand – brilliant individuals whose convictions are so strong that they take matters into their own hands.”
Dangerous territory to tread. We must value life – womb to the tomb.
- The Dark Knight. Possibly the best villian in the history of cinema (3:10 to Yuma is right up there – but not a superhero movie).
- Man of Steel. The origin story we were waiting for. We need to wait for the entire trilogy to be completed before this interpretation can truly be judged (especially in comparison to Nolan’s Batman).
- Batman Begins. The greatest story ever told about a superhero.
- Superman II. For the era there was none better.
- The Avengers. Until I saw the film for myself, I did not believe that it would be possible to juggle so many egos and actors. Well done. The most fun on the list.
- Captain America: The First Avenger. The most underrated superhero of them all.
- Spiderman 2. Transformed special effects for superhero movies. They should have stopped here.
- Batman There would probably have not been a Nolan-take on the Dark Knight had Burton not revived the Caped Crusader (and recaptured the darkness behind the mask).
- Superman. Truly the beginning of the modern-day genre.
- X-Men. Marvel entering the fray.