Never enough Tolkien?

Good morning, bookies. Stand by for news!

*There’s never enough Tolkien. When I saw The Children of Hurin was going to be published as a novel, I found it very strange. A new entry in the Canon of Middle Earth in novel form, 35 years after Professor Tolkien died? But I loved the book. In places it was sketchy, true, but in places it was completely fleshed out, and it was all JRRT. Indeed, in some ways it was far more ambitious than was The Lord of the Rings. It gives depth to the whole history. Glorious.

Now, there is a live chat for you fanatics out there, on October 14th. No, it’s not with Professor Tolkien. Sorry. It’s with Alan Lee, the Tolkien family’s chosen artist for illustrating Middle Earth. Here’s the link. Enjoy.

And lest we forget, this is the 70th anniversary f the first publication of The Hobbit. As you may know, there is a film in the works (which the Tolkien estate fought to prevent. But they also fought to prevent the first three films, and as much as I respect Christopher Tolkien’s editing of his father’s works, I loved the movies) for sometime in the near future, along with two original films that will fill in the time gap between The Hobbit and LOTR. (These movies I am much less on board with. Original Middle Earth material from a non-Tolkien source? Color me dubious.)

*Another group weighs in on the debacle that has become Ebay. As I write this Ebay’s stock is flirting with a 52 week low of $19.94. The linked article does a good job of explaining some of the mess and why Ebay’s customers are leaving the site in droves.

And if that’s not enough for you, Morgan Stanley downgraded Ebay’s stock today. Here’s a quote from an article on the reasoning why: “Seller checks and proprietary data indicate that trends deteriorated more than expected in Q3 amid eBay’s ongoing transition in its core marketplace, greater economic sensitivity and poor demand,” he writes in a research note today. Joseph writes that he now expects greater deceleration in global gross merchandise volume in Q3 than previously expected, with a possible year-over-year decline in the U.S. And he also cautions that eBay faces a “challenging holiday season.” Jospeh also notes that the company’s current issues are likely to linger: he cut estimates not only for Q3 and Q4, but also for 2009. “We have less conviction in eBay’s strategy to transform its core marketplace from an auction-based ‘thrift’ to a transaction-oriented platform that better addresses fixed-price in-season retail,” he writes.”

Put another way, the whole thing is a mess and nobody has a clue where it will wind up, including those running the company.

* Controversy continues to follow Gwen Ifill and her role as moderator in the VP debate. I’ll say this: she stands to gain substantially from an Obama victory in terms of book sales, therefore she has a vested interest and should not moderate. Can’t anyone spell ‘conflict of interest?’

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