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Ten books and songs for summer…

As you can imagine, things are just a little hectic around the Alliance as we prepare for the Annual Meeting next month in Nashville. But I’ve still made time to update my itunes file and squeeze in a few good books on those flights to member society conventions and regulator meetings. Here are the top ten additions to my playlist and reading list. Share your comments and suggestions by posting a comment at the end…


I’m a California kid who loves the beach but is not crazy about the Beach Boys. However, there are a couple of tunes on “Holland” – and old and obscure album that did not sell well – that I just couldn’t live without: Funky Pretty and Sail On, Sailor.

Dizz Knee Land – It took me forever to find this one because I forgot the name of the band (it’s Dada) and the spelling of the title is ridiculous (to avoid being sued by the Head Mouse, no doubt). But I remembered some of the lyrics (degenerate though they may be), and Googled them, and presto, there it was for only 99 cents.nils lofgren

Many of you probably know Nils Lofgren as a member of the E Street Band, but I just love his first self-titled album, and have two favorite cuts: Back It Up, and Keith Don’t Go.

 Members of the Dead always had side projects and one of those that I was particularly fond of was Kingfish, a band that Bob Weir fronted. They only made one album and do a terrific cover of Big Iron, an old Marty Robbins tune.

Nothing says summer of ’73 better than Linda Rondstadt. And the song that makes me want to pull over and just listen is Blue Bayou.

 Summer in the San Francisco Bay Area when I was growing up meant seeing Tower of Power just about every weekend. If there’s a better brass section, I haven’t heard it, especially on these two tunes: You’re Still a Young Man and Don’t Change Horses (in the Middle of a Stream)

Boz Skaggs was another regular on the Bay Area concert circuit in my formative years. And by Boz Skaggs, I mean the pre-“Silk Degrees” artist who could really rock. My top Skaggs tune: We Were Always Sweethearts


  1. American Heiress – The story of the Patty Hearst kidnapping and trial byamerican heiress Jeffrey Toobin. Just started it and literally can’t put it down.
  1. No Way Down – Terrific mountaineering book about an ill-fated expedition to the summit of K2.
  1. The Last Campaign – 82 days on the campaign trail with Bobby Kennedy in 1968. Moving, thought-provoking, insightful look into what might have been.
  1. I Am Pilgrim – While I prefer non-fiction, this is a page-turner and a great beach read.
  1. ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror – If you want a better understanding of what’s going on in Iraq, Iran, and Syria, this is the book for you.bad days in history
  1. Bad Days in History – An interesting and sometimes humorous compilation of the worst things that happened on every day of the year from the dawn of recorded history.
  1. The Unraveling – Another book on the Middle East situation written by Emma Sky (who seemed to be everywhere, influencing every decision for the better part of two years). Not my favorite.
  1. Target Tokyo – Jimmy Doolittle was one of my mother’s heroes, and this accounttarget tokyo of his famous raid on the Japanese home islands is gripping. But the story of what happened after the mission – and how the aviators got back home – is what really moved me.
  1. Going Clear – If you’ve ever thought of becoming a Scientologist, read this, and you won’t.
  1. The Oregon Trail – One man’s account of his modern day ride in a covered wagon across one of the routes that shaped the nation.


One Response

  1. Joe, once again – you should be The Teacher of your Tribe … You would be one of the best,

    Stan >

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