Good morning bookies! Stand by for news and comment.
First of all, a big hello to the latest subscriber. I’ll do my best to keep you entertained and informed.
*** I haven’t mentioned Ebay for a while, despite a plethora of news about that failing company. As of this writing the stock is trading around $11.65. It’s 52 wk high is about $34. In other words, the stock has lost 2/3 of its value.
Now, John Donohoe can spin that any way he wants, he can blame the economy, he can blame the site itself, but the stock market has NOT lost 2/3 of its value in the last year. Ebay should be gaining strength in a bad economy as people sell stuff to makes ends meet, but instead it is sinking into the west. As in turns out Donohoe’s strategy of insulting loyal customers and overcharging the ones who stay did not result in more people using the site. Who’d a thunk it?
Anyway, I’ll post some nice general analysis articles as they appear, but none right now. Most of them are from financial talking heads who haven’t really got a clue what’s going on with ebay, but are reading press reports and financial statements, as if that says what people will do in the future. Ebay’s problem is really very simple: the site thought that it could abuse its best customers and found out that it couldn’t.
Okay, okay, I’ll post ONE informed article from the financial sector. This one is from the Motley Fool, who have consistently shown a better understanding of the forces at work in ebay’s demise.
*** Live in Florida and love mysteries? If so, do yourself a favor and check out Mystery Florida in Sarasota, June of this year. Looks like great fun, some A-list authors are already on board, even your friendly neighborhood bookseller would like to be there for this one, if he did not already have a commitment for that time.
Having attended a great number of cons in my life, I can tell you that if you’ve never been to one you don’t know what you’re missing. Very often you can sit with a favorite author and just shoot the breeze for hours on end, preferably over drinks in a bar. This would be an excellent in-country vacation for those living in the southeast.
*** Keeping with the con theme, another really nice looking book festival is the Southern Kentucky Festival of Books in April. Every year I think I would like to go, and every year I cannot, for one reason or another. This year’s author lineup is really impressive.
*** With brothers like this, who needs enemies? Mark McGwire’s younger brother, Jay, is shopping a book about his brother’s alleged steroid use. A 58 page proposal, no less. How hard up for money is this guy, anyway? Jeez. Supposedly he claims that he shot Mark up with the drugs, which, of course, makes him equally liable in terms of criminality. (Not that either would ever be prosecuted.)
Good morning bookies! Stand by for news.
*** Have you ever attended a convention for books and/or authors? If so, then you know how much fun they can be, both as a chance to discuss mutual likes (or dislikes) with other fans of the genre, or to listen to favorite authors answer questions on a panel, to be exposed to new ideas…just to be stimulated and given new enthusiasm for something you already love. If you have not been to a convention, make it a goal in 2009 to go and have some fun. I’ll try to keep you updated on some that I think might be fun. And to start off with:
You love mysteries, so there’s great writers to hob-nob with. It’s March, so most of the country is cold, what’s not to like about a Florida beach? The site only has the Guests of Honor currently but usually there is a contingent of Florida writers who show up, Florida having more than its share of great crime writers, and in the end who really cares, anyway. It’s probably a lot warmer in Florida than wherever you are going to be.
If you prefer something a bit more general than a crime convention, and maybe something a bit more northerly, than you might try the Southern Kentucky Festival of Books.
Or, if you are really looking for something big, there’s always the Virginia Festival of the book in Charlottesville.
*** The World Fantasy Awards were announced yesterday at the World Fantasy Convention in Alberta, Canada. I notice some old favorites of mine on the lists, authors I read during the heyday of my SFF reading some 30 years ago. Kim Newman is still around and I loved Anno Dracula and its sequels, real ground-breaking stuff. Good for him!
*** Marilyn Ferguson, a new age author, has died at age 70. The extremely influential 1980 book, The Aquarian Conspiracy, tied together disparate threads of research, such as biofeedback, seeking a comprehensive whole. This gradually coalesced into the New Age Movement.
Good morning, bookies! Stand by for news. This is the Blog for Saturday, October 11. I have no idea why Blogger is datelining this for Friday. Is time different in Googleland?
First, a request. If you like this blog, please send a link to anyone you think might be warped enough to find it entertaining and/or informative. If you are so inclined, subscribe. Your friendly neighborhood bookseller would certainly appreciate it. The content will grow as time goes by, but this past week has been tough because aged relatives have needed some attention.
*** MidSouthCon is slowly, but surely, filling out their guest roster for next year. Yesterday Stanton Friedman was added to the lineup. If you’ve ever watched a show on UFOs, Area 51, Roswell or Alien Abductions, you will probably recognize Friedman. The GOH is Mike Resnick and the Artist GOH is Vincent DiFate. A good lineup so far, I suppose. Let’s see who else gets added.
For Memphis and Mid-Southerners who are fans of SFF (Science Fiction Fantasy) and don’t know what MidSouthcon is…shame on you. Get ye hence to yonder website and put aside your errors!
*** Obituary- Peter Vansittart died October 4 at age 88, reports the Guardian. Known for his imaginative historical novels, Vansittart always seemed to stitch the most unlikely epochs separated by centuries into a cohesive whole. His last novel, Secret Protocols, was published in 2006.
*** Heresy or truth? Although not strictly book related, your friendly neighborhood bookseller finds the linked story below interesting. A Cambridge professor opines that the Beatles weren’t folk or youth heroes, they were just capitalists cashing in on the hysteria they generated.
I certainly hope so.
I was never a big Beatles fan. I had no ill feelings toward them, but there was always this vaguely uneasy feeling that something wasn’t on the up and up. This is why I preferred The Stones, there was never any doubt about their motivation. Sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll and money. The Beatles always implied they were somehow above all of that, and I never bought it. Apparently I wasn’t the only one. You’ll need to log in to read the link. If you don’t want to log in, ignore the link, the commentators’ name is David Fowler, he’s an historian at Cambridge University. The quote you need to know is this: “They did about as much to represent the interests of the nation’s young people as the Spice Girls did in the 1990s.” Perfect.
*** The Booker Prize will be awarded in London on Tuesday and there are dozens of articles to choose from previewing the event. I’ve picked one a bit off the beaten track, highlighting two Aussies who are up for the prize. My reasoning? I like Aussies.
Oh, and there is no hooker. That was just to jazz up the blog title for the day.