Carolyn Cannot Live Without Books!

Hi, I'm Carolyn F and I've been an avid reader since elementary school when dinosaurs roamed the Earth (also known as the 1970's). My favorite genres change every five to ten years so who knows what it is now.


Passage - Lois McMaster Bujold


I keep forgetting how young Fawn is. I like how the Lakewalkers aren't shown as completely good and the farmers mostly bad. Sad middle imagining what happened to the father and the rest of the crew. Enjoyable book/series. I'm planning on reading more of the series.


Scardown - Elizabeth Bear

I'll start with complaints. 
1. If your book is written in English, if you use another language in same book make sure you have the English translation. I've seen this done before in many book I've read. It's irritating if you don't have access to the internet to translate sometimes whole paragraphs of dialogue.
2. When the POV changes, maybe list in the paragraph title whose POV it is or maybe "Casey thought. . ." so we have an idea who is talking. One chapter took me over 1-1/2 pages to figure out whose POV it was.

I loved the ending. The one man, two women (not lesbian) thing - I just couldn't imagine it working so smoothly. Overall, a good book/series.


Something Wicked This Way Comes - Ray Bradbury

Re-read by Audiobook. I read this when I was in high school - I think around 1978 - and thought it was such a scary, fantastic story. If there would have been goth in the 70's, I would have been one. Everything scary, occult, horrific I read. Just a bundle of sunshine!

This reading I liked it (thank goodness) but not as much as I did when I was a teenager. The narration included a part about how Ray Bradbury came up with the idea for the story which was interesting. The narration was good but I didn't remember Will being so whiny.


The Pilot's Wife - Anita Shreve


I wish Melanie Griffith would have narrated other books because she does a fantastic job. Her voice is a little gritty and is just wonderful to listen to.

The story itself I really enjoyed but mentions of the SPOILER!! IRA - Irish Republican Army  really date it. I was thinking, oh year, I remember there were problems with them in the 1990s. I just enjoyed the whole book front to back. 5 stars.


Annihilation - Jeff VanderMeer


If there was a drinking game for every time the author wrote "perhaps" I'd be dead. Things happen but not really. Things are seen but not really. Is that a rat or something else becoming a rat? I could never really figure out whether events really happened to the characters. And there was way too much reminiscing/self-reflection going on for my taste. I way come back to the remaining books of this trilogy or I may not.


The Immortalists - Chloe Benjamin


I kept putting off requesting this book because I stopped reading family sagas in the early 1980s. But I kept reading the blurb over and over and finally thought why not. This book was so good! It's about 4 brothers and sisters and their life from an encounter with a psychic until their death. I liked that it didn't jump around between them but had four parts for each person. The family itself was so sad. All of the stuff they did or should have done, I just wanted to grab the fictional person by the shoulders and tell them that they matter. I loved the ending. I would definitely recommend this book.

Maggie Hoffman did a great job with the narration - both the men and women, young and old.


Based on a True Story: A Memoir - Norm Macdonald


First off, Norm Macdonald did such a great job with this book. In the beginning when he was doing the voices of a young man, an older man, his father - they were all just great. He should really look into doing more audiobook narrations.

And speaking of the beginning of the book. I was feeling so sorry for Norm's family and the family friend with the squirrel. When I started the book I was telling my husband (a huge Norm Macdonald fan), "He's hit rock bottom Danny. He's drinking, doing drugs, has no money, people are tripping him as he gets off stage. It's horrible." Danny said he hadn't heard a thing and he still liked him. Then the next chapters started and I was thinking, "Wait a minute that doesn't sound right." I went online and he wasn't even born where he said he was and he wasn't dirt poor. Norm was interviewed and he said that the only part that was true was when he said there was water in a river. So the next day, I get home and tell Danny it was all a lie - or not really a lie, fiction. 

Norm does use living people in this book especially his friend Adam Eget who according to the book was giving hand jobs under a bridge when Norm made him his ASSistant. The difference between ASSistant and assistant went on a little too long. 

Overall, I loved the book. I'm listening to this book and trying not to smile and laugh like a loon while I'm on the train. The gambling bit went on way too long too but other than that, a real funny book of fiction.


Any Other Name - Craig Johnson
This man is always trudging through snow while dead American Indians talk to him. Is this the third book this has happened to him? The bad guys weren't just bad but demented and if these were real people I would hope that everything they did was done to them twice. 

I'm going to hold off on the next book in the series because although the series does have some humor, this one made me just sick to my stomach. Even with that, good book/series.



Beguilement - Lois McMaster Bujold

Another great series by this author. I loved that the language wasn't all flowery, I loved the humor, I loved the romance and the speed of it. I can't wait to read the next book in the series.



The End Has Come (The Apocalypse Triptych) (Volume 3) - Jamie Ford, Hugh Howey, Seanan McGuire, John Joseph Adams, Ken Liu, Scott Sigler, Ben H. Winters, Elizabeth Bear, Carrie Vaughn, Jonathan Maberry

Anthology. I'm going to read each author's work in this triptych. Starting with Volume 1, then Volume 2 and lastly Volume 3. I'm hoping that each story will give an extension of the beginning story. 

3.79 stars average

1. Bannerless by Carrie Vaughn. Fantastic story. Dystopian investigator finds out what's happening in a small village. Love it. 5 stars

2. Like All Beautiful Places by Megan Arkenberg. I may have read this author before. I remember a story of a melting landscape and a sea with no waves. I thought at the time, it's the moon that makes the waves not air. This book is very similar. 2-1/2 stars.

3. Dancing with a Stranger in the Land of Nod by Will McIntosh. Families trying to figure out what their new normal is. 4 stars.

4. The Seventh Day of Deer Camp by Scott Sigler. A man does whatever it takes to save innocents. Really good story. 5 stars

5. Prototype by Sarah Langan. Through evolution, human's have turned into pets/experiments. A really sad story. 4 stars

6. Acts of Creation by Chris Avellone. What is going on? Is it real, a computer, what? 2 stars

7. Resistance by Seanan McGuire. How can the victim keep being told that she's to blame? She didn't (view spoiler). It just didn't make sense. And the ending didn't make sense either. 2 stars

8. Wandering Star by Leife Shallcross. A quilt shows that in the end a family stays together. Sweet story. 4 stars

9. Heaven Come Down by Ben H. Winters. After everyone has died and everything is destroyed and then rebuilt, she learns the truth. 3 stars.

10. Agent Neutralized by David Wellington. 10 years later, he can finally do something semi-good. 5 stars

11. Goodnight Earth by Annie Bellet. I don't understand why this story has this title because the others made sense, this not so much. Much, much, much later the world has changed and not for the good. 3 stars.

12. Carriers by Tananarive Due. Decades later, after being used and abused, a survivor finds some happiness. Loved it! 5 stars.

13. In the Valley of the Shadow of the Promised Land by Robin Wasserman. Now everyone has aged and the leader has told a story to justify everything he's done thinking he'll be able to write the ending the way he wants. I really enjoyed all three stories. 4 stars. 

14. The Uncertainty Machine by Jamie Ford. A 3rd survivor doesn't know if he's going to be rescued or forgotten. Okay story. 3 stars.

15. Margin of Survival by Elizabeth Bear. A woman and her sister try to survive not only the first apocalypse but the many afterwards. Sad story. 4 stars

16. Jingo and the Hammerman by Jonathan Maberry. With the new normal, people are just doing their job striking down zombies that accumulate and a coincidence happens. I don't understand Moose's tears at the end, I would think it would be more laughter than anything. Much better than the other two stories. 4 stars.

17. The Last Movie Ever Made by Charlie Jane Anders. The teenagers are older now and the world has changed but not completely. When they find themselves trapped in their hometown, they use a movie to escape but the outcome isn't exactly what they wanted. Really good story. 4 stars

18. The Gray Sunrise by Jake Kerr. The asteroid hits with a father and son trying to escape. Another great story. 5 stars.

19. The Gods Have Not Died in Vain by Ken Liu. After the near destruction of the world, an inventor has found a solution that might save Earth. I really enjoyed these three stories. 4 stars.

20. In the Woods by Hugh Howey. SPOILER[So these idiots extract revenge 500 years later on a lone woman who had nothing to do with what happened (hide spoiler)] How stupid could they be!? The story was good but the revenge was ridiculous. I don't think anyone with half a brain would have done this. So 3 stars for the storytelling but not the ending.

21. Blessings by Nancy Kress. Many years after the 2nd story, the world seems to have changed for the better, but not perfect. Another good story. 4 stars


The End is Now (The Apocalypse Triptych Book 2) (Volume 2) - John Joseph Adams, Hugh Howey, Daniel H. Wilson, Robin Wasserman, Jamie Ford, Jonathan Maberry, David Wellington, Ben H. Winters, Sarah Langan, Tananarive Due, Scott Sigler, Seanan McGuire

Anthology. I'm going to reach each author's work in this triptych. Starting with Volume 1, then Volume 2 and lastly Volume 3. I'm hoping that each story will give an extension of the beginning story. 

3.85 stars average. A lot of really great stories in this anthology

1. Herd Immunity by Tananarive Due. Did she know what would happen? 5 stars

2. The Sixth Day at Deer Camp by Scott Sigler. The friends find out the survivors are much more than they thought. Good story. 4 stars.

3. Goodnight Stars by Annie Bellet. Trying to get home while everything is falling apart. They receive a sad message that is really appreciated. 4 stars.

4. Rock Manning Can't Hear You by Charlie Jane Anders. Some sort of bomb goes off after Rock & Sally make another Harold Lloyd-ish movie. Now the world has to somehow move on. Enjoyed this story. 4 stars

5. Fruiting Bodies by Seanan McGuire. The mold is growing and now someone else close to the protagonist succumbs. Still the reactions seem muted. 2-1/2 stars

6. Black Monday by Sarah Langan. A group of scientists try desperately to make cyborgs they can send to the surface to help people survive below with awful consequences. 4 stars.

7. Angels of the Apocalypse by Nancy Kress. A woman helps her sister and the ones like her even though she doesn't understand what makes them tick. Another good one. 4 stars.

8. Agent Isolated by David Wellington. The man from the last story escapes, he tries to save people, then just a couple of people, but nothing works. Really sad story. 4 stars

9. The Gods Will Not be Slain by Ken Liu. Chaos, then some lessening, then a potential for another acceleration. Another good story. 4 stars

10. You've Never Seen Everything by Elizabeth Bear. A woman walks through hell to get home and finds out they've moved on. Really ending. 4 stars.

11. Bring them Down by Ben H. Winters. The power takes over after they felt things had changed. Another good, confusing story. I hope the 3rd story explains everything. 4 stars

12. Twilight of the Music Machines by Megan Arkenberg. It's like I started a book in the middle. I just don't understand. 2-1/2 stars

13. Sunset Hollow by Jonathan Maberry. So most of these stories are a continuation in some way from book one, to book two and then book three. Story one was about an asteroid. This one is about zombies. I get that the author wants the story to read as frantic thoughts but it's a lot of repeat phrases, sometimes with one word different. Drove me crazy. 2 stars. 

14. Penance by Jake Kerr. One of the lottery workers finally feels like he's helping someone. Great story. 5 stars

15. Avtomat by Daniel H. Wilson. An ancient relic brings mechanicals to life in Russia. Good story. 4 stars.

16. Dancing with Batgirl in the Land of Nod by Will McIntosh. As the disease spreads, some people try to clear their conscious before they are unable to speak. 3-1/2 stars.

17. By the Hair of the Moon by Jamie Ford. A survivor in an opium den tries to find a way to escape what's happening. Good story. 3-1/2 stars

18. To Wrestle Not Against Flesh and Blood by Desirina Boskovich. Waiting for the next phase, they learned they were tricked and then turn on each other. A very sad ending. 4 stars.

19. In the Mountain by Hugh Howey. The start of the Founders and their realization of how long they really have in there and how many can make it. 4 stars.

20. Dear John by Robin Wasserman. Wow, just wonderful story. One of the survivors writes goodbye letters to her lovers and tries to figure out what she wants next. Really good! 5 stars


The End is Nigh - Hugh Howey, John Joseph Adams

Anthology. I'm going to reach each author's work in this triptych. Starting with Volume 1, then Volume 2 and lastly Volume 3. I'm hoping that each story will give an extension of the beginning story. 

3.89 stars average. Most of these stories were 4 or 5 stars. I would definitely recommend this book.

1. The Balm and the Wound by Robin Wasserman. A con-man is right and his unknown young son ends up being just what his cult needed. Loved this story, which I didn't think I would because I thought it would ridicule religion but nope. It ends with may he was right all along. But we'll see. I'm so glad I can keep the story going. 5 stars

2. Heaven is a Place on Planet X by Desirina Boskovich. Aliens came and said everybody will be vaporized and moved to another planet but you MUST go on as usual or you'll be misted (kind of vaporized but not to another planet) by the chosen enforcers. Good story, it was sad which people were chosen to be misted. 4 stars.

3. Break! Break! Break! by Charlies Jane Anders. A teenager and his friends make movies a la Harold Lloyd while he runs from bullies and his brother prepares to join the Army all in the middle of a "conflict". Good story. 4 stars. 

4. The Gods Will Not Be Chained by Ken Liu. A push for a kind of immortality isn't going as planned. Another really good story. 4 stars

5. Wedding Day by Jake Kerr. An asteroid is going to hit North America and some of the other countries are accepting refugees. There's a lottery to see who gets to go. Sad/sweet story. 5 stars.

6. Removal Order by Tananarive Due. A deadly flu has evacuated a city leaving a granddaughter caring for her dying grandmother. Great story. 5 stars.

7. System Reset by Tobias S. Buckell. A techo nut sets off an EMP so that the world will be reset with him and his kind as the leaders. The people that try to stop him have another idea. Really good story. 4 stars.

8. This Unkempt World is Falling to Pieces by Jamie Ford. A party, a false alarm, then the read thing. Sad ending. Good story. 4 stars

9. BRING HER TO ME by Ben H. Winters. An already dystopian world with a power and a final solution. I really liked this story.5 stars.

10. In the Air by Hugh Howey. A Wool prequel about a man who has three choices and hopes he picked the best one. 4 stars.

11. Goodnight Moon by Annie Bellet. A group of scientists prepares for the worst. Really sad story. 4 stars.

12. Dancing with Death in the Land of Nod by Will McIntosh. Neighbors try to help others with a paralyzing disease. Super sad ending. 4 stars.

13. Houses Without Air by Megan Arkenberg. Somehow the world is running out of oxygen - smog, volcano? And one roommate works on a computer game and the other works on a diorama. I was still confused by the end of the story. 2-1/2 stars

14. The Fifth Day of Deer Camp by Scott Sigler. A group of friends on their annual hunting trip find out Earth has been invaded. Good story. 3-1/2 stars

15. Enjoy the Moment by Jack McDevitt. A physicist discovers an anomaly which will eventually change everything on Earth. 4 stars.

16. Pretty Soon the Four Horsemen are Going to Come Riding Through by Nancy Kress. A mom tries to raise two very different daughters. 4 stars

17. Spores by Seanan McGuire. A practical joke goes wrong. I would have been beyond furious and would come at them for blood. The reaction seemed pretty tame to me. 2-1/2 stars

18. She's Got a Ticket to Ride by Jonathan Maberry. A man tries to save a girl from a cult and find out she doesn't need saving. For a short story, it's kind of weird to complain about it being too long in parts. When the protagonist goes on, and on, and on about kids going bad and then does the same about planets to the point where I start being bored at page 1-1/2, something is wrong. Maybe it's me but 2 stars for this story. 

19. Agent Unknown by David Wellington. A 20 year incubation time has expired. 4 stars.

20. Enlightenment by Matthew Mather. Okay, that was weird & gross. 2 stars

21. Shooting the Apocalypse by Paolo Bacigalupi. A photographer and a reporter discover a story that could kill millions. 4 stars

22. Love Perverts by Sarah Langan. Horrible parents have a miracle kind son who will sacrifice everything for his family. Wonderfully sad story. 5 stars


The Last Victim - Karen Robards

I thought this book was okay. The beginning was riveting but then with the grownup Charlie there was too much upset stomach, throwing up, dizzy, weak, tripping over herself. I like my main female characters to not be so delicate. Then after the beginning of the book mentioned this over and over, it seemed to disappear. However, this colored my perception of the main character throughout the book. So, 3 stars because of that.


Once a Hero - Elizabeth Moon

I loved this book. I like my sci-fi with a few space battles, some time on-planet, and a little romance. This had them all. I'm hoping that Esmay is in more of the books in this series, although she isn't a Serrano.


Shadow Falling - Rebecca Zanetti

First off, the names remind me a lot of what Lora Leigh names male characters including one whose name is Tace Justice. A little eye-rolling.

And then very weak women who are having to be carried and who faint all the time saying they're going to kick someone's ass. I'm surprised the guys don't laugh immediately. Also, I've never heard anyone man or woman say "Damn Straight" and I come from a long line of poor rednecks so you'd think I'd have come across that phrase a time or two. Nope. But I see it constantly in these types of books. This was such a struggle to finish that I'm not going to read anymore of the series for a while. I was bored through most of it especially with Raze (his real name supposedly) having a secret that everyone knows he is keeping but he can't make up his mind whether he's going to tell it, even though he keeps talking about it and other people talk about it and he even mentions there's a letter somewhere that talks about it. 

Then the author throws in a religious group that's segregated themselves not because of the religion but because they don't have the virus. Why make them religious?

And, of course, the bad guy - who for some stupid reason the good people think should stay President even though he's a psychotic killer - just skips away from every bad situation. Especially when these supposed elite soldiers are after him and he, with no training, can just shoot and stab with abandon and the soldiers are saying "Aw shucks, he got away again. Dagnabbit!" If they say, "Damn Straight" then they probably say "Dagnabbit" too. 

2-1/2 stars.


Nova - Margaret Fortune

This book was mostly a young adult romance with a saboteur thrown in. It ended okay, maybe a little cliffhanger-ish. I'm not sure if the author is planning on writing more books regarding these characters. 3 stars