Good morning bookies! Stand by for news and comment.
*** Indications of Ebay’s continuing slide are becoming common-place, but even the casual observer cannot fail to see the irony in this latest bit of news. One of John Donahoe’s excuses for wiping out the best ecommerce site on the net was to make it an Amazon clone. There are rumors that he wants to be Jeff Bezos’ love child, or at least his adopted son, but those are still rumors at this point. Anyway, for the first time in a long time Amazon beat Ebay in unique visitors during November and, if you’re Ebay, this is a very bad thing.
This means that Ebay has given up its place as the premier site for odd and unusual things on the web to beat Amazon at its own game, except Amazon is increasing its lead while Ebay is alienating its market. How, exactly, this benefits anyone except Amazon is unknown at this point. But BBG is beginning to smell a rat. Could Ebay be committing suicide on purpose, to directly aid Amazon in taking over the world? Granted, that seems a bit extreme on the surface of it, but what else explains the stupidity of telling all of your customers to get lost? Except, of course, stupidity itself.
*** From my editor at ILAM and the lady who created the site, Sally Powers, comes this snippet about popular crime fictioneer J.A. Jance: “J. A. Jance has a book coming out next summer combining two of her series characters, J. P. Beaumont and Joanna Brady. She’s on tour with the current Ali Reynolds book and another is coming out next December. If you get a chance to hear her speak don’t miss it. Her anecdotes, especially about book tours, are priceless. As is her opinion of New York publicists and their grasp of geography!”
So there you have it, Jance-o-philes. Catch her on her current tour and save your pennies for next summer’s big event.
*** Okay, your friendly neighborhood bookseller admits that he is a junkie for biographies about our Founding Fathers, an interest sparked by David McCullough’s utterly brilliant biography of John Adams. So it’s with surprise and excitement that he sees Lynne Cheney will be writing a new biography of James Madison. I have no idea whether Mrs. Cheney can write or not, but while Madison is a crucial figure in the early history of the USA, even today his wife remains better known that her husband, (which makes me crave a Dolly Madison cake about now) his place in American history has not really been solidified in the public mind. I’m glad of this and wish her the best.
*** I include the next story for several reasons. One, I love A Christmas Carol, both the book and most of the various movie versions. Indeed, the Patrick Stewart production is on tonight and I may choose it for my viewing pleasure. Two, I don’t really know much about Dickens so something biographical would be a pleasure. Three, and most importantly, the linked review of the new book by Les Standiford, The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits, gives me the chance to say that Standiford is one fine fellow, a better writer (his John Deal mysteries were terrific and deserved far more attention than they received) and to post the picture that I have of him with some unknown but dashing chap in a bookstore.
*** It is with great reluctance that BBG includes this story concerning two books about the 1958 NFL championship game. The game was great, perhaps the greatest ever played, but the reluctance comes in that your resident blogger actually remembers the game. Or, at least, bits of it. I was a tyke at the time, running around and being obnoxious, and have only dream-images of the game being on at my uncle’s house while my relatives crowded around the flickering screen of the TV. I have no idea why it made such an impression on me. None. I wasn’t old enough to know what football was, yet there was something so profound about that game that I remember the event. Strange thing, memory, storing away stuff for no apparent purpose and forgetting things you really should remember.
Anyway, there are two new books about that game, either or which would probably be a great gift idea for dad or granddad.