top of page

Day 5, Jurassic Park, M. Crichton

Poor Michael Crichton. He was much maligned for some time, and I must admit that his work eventually went downhill, but not until after this book brought a true enjoyment of reading to me, and a later book of his, "Timeline" reawakened a long dormant interest in history. Again, brother Chip introduced me to this one. I challenged Claudia Morgan with it for no specific reason.

Day 1, Winnie the Pooh, A. A. Milne

This was the first "real" book I ever read, and I wonder how many others could say the same. I challenged my wonderful sister-in-law with it because she just seems like a Winnie the Pooh kinda person.

The Seven Book Challenge

Created: June 9, 2019

7 Books that I Really, Really Liked

On June 3, 2019, I received a challenge on Facebook from dear friend Susan McCombs. She's the leader of a small writing group I've been in for years. The challenge read:

"Day 5 of a challenge to post the cover of seven books I have loved - one a day, no explanations, no review, just the cover. Today I challenge: John Shinnick Let’s promote literacy and the love of a good book!"

Immediately, titles went through my mind and I thought "This should be easy!" Actually, it was. I quickly came up with seven, which I think turned out to be a good sampling. If I have a problem with them in retrospect, it's that my list is biased toward older books and with one exception, not indicative of my more recent readings. These are accounted for in my other "scholarly" pages!


Day 2, Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien 

I count this as a single book because that's how Tolkien saw it - it was his publisher that wanted three releases, and the rest is history. One of my favorite memories of childhood was that of my brother, Chip, reading "The Hobbit" and then this to my sister Ann and I. I went on to read it myself. Four times. For obvious reasons I challenged my brother with this epic.

Day 3, The Foundation Trilogy, I. Asimov 

I was thoroughly fascinated by this story. There are several very popular sci-fi books that never grabbed me (Dune falls into that category) but this was great writing. I've always considered Asimov to be one of the most brilliant minds of the 20th century. I challenged niece Linda with this.

Day 4, Lenin's Tomb, D. Remnick

This is the book that is indicative of my more recent reading. As the cover indicates, it covers how the collapse of the Soviet Union came about. Remnick was there as the Washington Post's Moscow correspondent, and had great contacts and insights. The opening of the book recounts the initial dismantling of the Berlin Wall and is as suspenseful as any spy novel ever written. I challenged Alan Naldrett, himself a prolific author of history, with this one.


Day 6, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, C. Doctorow

I challenged Michael Arnold with this book since he was the one who turned me on to it in the first place. This work of 22nd century science fiction takes place mostly in Disney World and is a funny yet somehow disturbing vision of our future. I went on to read several other Doctorow works, despite their catagorization as young adult fiction. Most I liked, a couple not so much. I just did a quick search of his books, and I may want to get back into him!

Day7, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, D. Adams

Last but SO not least of the seven is the best example of silly science fiction ever. I was at a bookstore during lunch hour when the book caught my eye. Thank heavens I had no meetings that afternoon since I totally lost track of time, not returning to work until after 3:00. A couple of years later, a friend recommended a book Adams had co-authored, "Last Chance to See", totally non-science fiction, about traveling the world to see a handful of endangered species. Adams visited San Francisco for a book signing, but I obediently attended a staff meeting instead. Now this brilliant author is gone. I challenged John Richardson, an old music friend of mine since he showed interest in this challenge and, as a wonderful songwriter, I thought he'd appreciate it.

bottom of page