Best of 2006

Today is the one day of the year where it’s proper to use that annoying “see ya next year” joke, and what better way of ending out a banner year than to follow the tradition of years past (2004, 2005), and list a few of my “bests” from A.D. 2006:

Best Novel (read in 2006): It’s a toss-up this year between two very different but equally grand novels: A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole, and The Children of Men by P.D. James. Dunces is by far the funniest novel I’ve ever read, and James’ work (which has just been released as a feature film) is remarkable in its use of literary device to both draw attention to current issues facing mankind and to appropriate spiritual themes.

Best Nonfiction: David Wells’ No Place for Truth: or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology. It’s more than a decade old, but it still captures quite well the current state of evangelicalism, its deficiencies, and the key ingredient that’s missing.

Best Movie: Like last year, I didn’t make it out to the cinemas that much (I think that M. Night Shyamalan’s The Lady in the Water was the only one I made it out to see on the big screen). For the titles I saw on DVD, the quality of selection was pretty sparse. I did, however, spend much of the summer watching a different film noir selection each week. I saw many of the classic greats, including the 1949 Orson Welles classic, The Third Man, which as a 57 year-old film takes the honors for my best of 2006.

Best TV Show: If it had actually aired this year, Lost might get the nod for best TV show. But since ABC thinks it can stay on top with only 6 “Best. Episode. Ever.” spots, it gets demoted a bit in my book. Also demoted is House, which — while it still has good characters — has resorted to unnecessary plot gimmicks. These demotions notwithstanding, I’ll have to go with The Office as 2006’s best. There’s never been another show that does awkward better, and awkward is in.

Best Reality TV Show: Ever since the 33rd season of Survivor, I’ve pretty much given up on “reality” TV. Then, I got cable and discovered The Discovery Channel. Two of its recent shows have kept me and my wife riveted: Man v. Wild with the inimitable Bear Grylls, and Everest: Beyond the Limit — a harrowing record of this year’s expedition.

Best Comment Left At TruePravda: That will have to go to Ron Lowe’s successful attempt at outdoing my eulogy for Dr. Ronald H. Nash. In fact, the position of Lowe’s comment and my post should probably be reversed!

Best Quote: (from the ultrasound tech) “I’m 99.9% sure it’s a girl!”

What are your 2006 bests?