More bookily goodness
A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby. This was the first time I had read a book by Hornby. It's about a group of people who meet on top of a building on New Year's Eve. They are all there to kill themselves. They form a little support group and comedy ensues. It had the best dialogue of all the books I read last year.
The Carpet Makers by Andreas Eschbach. OK, a planet has a medieval society that is completely devoted to making hair carpets. These carpets are made by carpet makers who devote their whole lives to making a single carpet. Supposedly the carpets are taken to the palace of the immortal galactic emperor and used to beautify the dump. It turns out there are thousands of planets doing the same thing in one section of the galaxy. They can't all be supplying the emperor's palace with carpets. Who has a palace that big? So where are these carpets going and why? This is an episodic novel that focuses on several characters in order to tell its tale. What impressed me was that the author was not especially attatched to any of the characters who moved his story along. They were as vulnerable to misfortune as the rest of the characters. That is probably one of the reasons this book received such high praise from Orson Scott Card. He's not afraid of bumping off a major character himself.
I'll do more tomorrow. I've been sick today. Only a couple of more left.