San Juan Island Adventures

Fiction - General
171 Pages
Reviewed on 09/26/2014
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

San Juan Island Adventures: Visit San Juan Island through the eyes of Grandpa is a travel/philosophical book written by Jack M. Schneider. Grandpa has a large extended family, which enjoys a family gathering each year. This year, they’ll be meeting up on San Juan Island in the Puget Sound, off the coast of Washington State. Grandpa likes to call himself an 'Analytic Philosopher', which means he reads a lot and has evolved his own ideas on life, though he’s also influenced by his father’s take on the world. Each day, the family gets together and discusses various subjects, such as religion, careers, the role of government, privacy and the importance of travel, and Grandpa gets to field the questions posed by his grandchildren. When the family is not engaged in dialog, they see the sights of San Juan Island and look for orcas in the Sound. San Juan Island Adventures: Visit San Juan Island also contains a number of photos of the resort where they stayed, Roche Harbor and the Puget Sound.

Jack M. Schneider’s travel and philosophy book, San Juan Island Adventures: Visit San Juan Island through the eyes of Grandpa, is a remarkable treatise on life and one man’s view on how it should be lived. I loved the give and take of the questions posed by the author’s grandchildren and the intellectual tenor of the work as a whole. San Juan Island Adventures felt a lot like a modern version of the sessions held by Plato and Socrates. I came away quite impressed by the author’s self-taught erudition and strong ethical sensibility. We agreed on many things, and then not so much on others, something that I’m sure Mr. Schneider would be expecting. Were I to be invited to the next family gathering, I’d come prepared with a few questions of my own. I enjoyed my time spent with Grandpa and his family, and I took away some valuable insights and things to think about as I finished the text and went on to the pictures, which are marvelous as well, and made me think of vacationing there myself soon.

Bil Howard

San Juan Island Adventures is a mixed bag book. The author, Jack M. Schneider, who identifies Grandpa as his alter ego in the narrative, has certainly taken a great deal of time putting together a full collection of not only historical and interesting sites of San Juan Island, but has also found it fit to express his opinions about a vast number of topics as well. The narrative works through questions that his teenage grandchildren have asked him about things over the years, as though they have sat down to do an interview. As Grandpa expounds upon the questions asked, the reader is not only treated to historical facts and points of interest concerning San Juan Island, but given plenty of food for thought on a number of very deep topics, ranging from evolution, religion, economics, politics, just to name a few. The colorful pictures of the sites of San Juan Island add a great deal to the narrative and allow the reader to get a look at the subjects that are being discussed throughout the narrative.

Jack M. Schneider has certainly put a great deal of thought and effort into the construction of San Juan Island Adventures and has a unique way of expressing himself. Though initially it takes some patience to get into the narrative’s style, the reader will find themselves following along easily and taking part in learning about the rich history of the area. The opinions that are expressed are not likely to be shared by all and at times, in my opinion, become rather tedious. I was not thrilled with the style used, but it works as long as the reader is patient. All in all, San Juan Island Adventures will capture your interest and keep you engaged with its historical facts and very likely even stir up your ire a little bit in the process.