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    Back from Gilligan’s Island…

    I’m back from a few days of R&R on Gilligan’s Island (actually, Lanai, one of the least developed Hawaiian Islands) and feeling better than ever. Only one comment on Lanai: go there at least once in your life. And if you’re planning an incentive trip for your agents, give this island (and the only two resort hotels on it) serious consideration. Let me know if you’d like the contact information for the resort sales manager, and I would be happy to put you in touch with him.

    You can be as active (hiking, biking, horseback riding, snorkeling, golf, four-wheel driving excursions – a real “must do” since there are only a few miles of paved roads on the island) or as vegetative (as in enjoying hours on a virtually private beach) as you like. We did a nice combination of both vacation styles and would return in a heartbeat. Nuf’ said…


    Annual Meeting Comments…

    Thanks so much for the positive comments on the recent Alliance Annual Meeting that many of you posted. Thanks also for the very helpful constructive criticism and speaker recommendations that you included on your evaluations. We take your comments very seriously, and you can bet that you’ll see your ideas incorporated into future Section and Annual Meeting programs. If you haven’t seen the photos from the Annual Meeting, check them out by clicking here…

    On the bookshelf…

    Between some of those activities listed above and on the long flight to and from Lanai, I had the chance to devour several excellent books. Here are a few “mini-reviews” for you to consider before your next literary shopping excursion:

    • Lost in Shangri-La, Mitchell Zuckoff – Terrific read documenting one of the riskiest and most creative rescue missions of World War II. Great cast of characters and the interviews with the few remaining survivors of the event really bring the story home.
    • In the Garden of Beasts, Erik Larson – It’s on all the best-seller lists and rightly so. An inside look at the build-up of Nazi power (and the rest of the world’s seeming indifference to the looming threat) from the perspective of the unlikely American Ambassador to Germany in the 1930’s. Couldn’t put this one down.
    • The Wrong War, Bing West – First-hand account of the decade-long war in Afghanistan and the author’s suggestions for changes to our military strategy there. Worth reading.
    • Churchill’s Empire, Richard Toye – There is no shortage of books written by or about Winston Churchill, and I found this to be one of the best in summarizing his views on imperialism and his ultimately failed efforts to preserve the British Empire. The most interesting section of the book is one that deals with Churchill’s first military experience in, where else, Afghanistan. You’ll be surprised that America is fighting the same insurgents in the same region – with the same results and frustrations – as the British were in the 1890s. It sharpens the messages made by Bing West in The Wrong War.

    Happy reading…

    One Response

    1. Anybody else have trouble getting into In the Garden of Beasts? I started it in August… Sure much slower going than Larson’s last, The Devil in the White City.

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