Things I’m thankful for today:

  1. The boys’ baseball games yesterday. It was Judah’s first tee-ball game, but he actually hit a pitch from the coach. Levi also had a great time. Asher had a double-header, his first games ever for player pitch. He didn’t get a hit, but he stayed planted in the batter’s box–no fear. He struck out but ran to first on a dropped pitch by the catcher. Thanks to smart base-running (and listening to his coach), he eventually scored. Asher also played third base for a while and covered it very well. I was so proud of him.
  2. Judah had a night in with Daddy last night while the big boys when to the Springfield silly symphony with Mom. We had ice cream together at Dairy Queen and joked and laughed a lot. It meant the world to Judah, and thus it meant the world to me.
  3. I was burnt to a crisp yesterday but nevertheless am very thankful for the sunshine after the recent rains and flooding. I’m trying to stay out of the sun for most of the day today and let the reverse-raccoon mask on my face heal.

(The below review was originally posted to Goodreads on August 19, 2016.)

This actually struck me as a 2.5, but I really do want to give it 3 because I’m proud of Brown. He left religion largely alone, for once, and it’s not that I don’t think that organized religion could use a drubbing now and again–it’s the way he usually goes about it. He’s so darned smug all the time, so much smarter than his readers. Even if you agree with him, you really don’t because he’s smarter than you. And all those usual tricks are here. The sudden twists always depend on characters revealing tidbits of information to each other all along the way, with the pat excuse of “I didn’t know if you could be trusted, but now I know you can.” There’s subterfuge and changing of sides mostly in order to explain why a character had been reticent to reveal information at a more convenient time in the plot. And Brown at one point even conveys a character’s memory in first person internal monologue, only to reveal later that those were a different character’s thoughts. I’m pretty sure this is cheating, but because the entire world bought and adored The Da Vinci Code, he gets away with it. And we’re so far into the story now we just have to see where it’s going. Darn you, Dan Brown, but I just can’t quit you. The book does ultimately have a message that will be divisive, and of course Brown does his “you know I’m right” spiel through Robert Langdon and other heroes involved. I’m interested to see how this plays out in the upcoming Howard/Hanks adaptation. Ultimately, this is my favorite of Brown’s Langdon books. It’s like his publisher told him to pick a different sacred cow to slaughter. It’s refreshing. It still doesn’t hold a candle to Digital Fortress, which I believe to be Dan Brown’s greatest novel, but it’ll do for Langdon.

Rating: 3/5

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