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Liar, Liar, These 11 Books Are On Fire

Sarah Jane Abbott is an assistant editor for Paula Wiseman Books and Beach Lane Books, imprints of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing.  She grew up having NANCY DREW books read to her by her father, and is now an avid reader of mystery, thriller, and horror, along with everything from literary fiction to poetry to personal essays.  She graduated from Bucknell University with a degree in English and a concentration in creative writing.  Sarah Jane is an advocate of quasi-destructive book love—her best-loved volumes are highlighted, scribbled in, dog-eared, and wavy from being dropped in the bath tub.  

Two of my favorite epigraphs come from Stephen King’s ON WRITING:

“Honesty’s the best policy.”—Miguel de Cervantes

“Liars prosper.”—Anonymous

A lie is a powerful thing; a single untruth can become the catalyst for shocking and unexpected events. And the unraveling of a lie can make for a fascinating read. Here are some books about lies and liars—some who prosper and some who certainly do not.


The Truth and Other Lies
by Sascha Arango
Henry Hayden is a best-selling author, but only he and his wife know that she is the actual writer of his novels. When his mistress becomes pregnant, it seems his façade is about to crumble. On a rain-soaked night at the edge of a cliff, his permanent solution becomes his most terrible mistake. Now not only are the police after Henry, but his secret past threatens to catch up with him as well.
The Truth and Other Lies
Sascha Arango

Did you binge read LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE and THE SILENT WIFE? Well, cancel your Saturday plans because you’ll need to read this book in one sitting. Henry Hayden is a bestselling author whose wife is the brains behind his success. When she dies rather suspiciously, his carefully constructed façade begins to crumble.

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The Liars' Club
by Mary Karr
Mary Karr's funny, poignant, and illuminating memoir of a childhood in an east Texas oil town brings us a cast of darkly hilarious characters: a hard-drinking father, a sister who can talk down the sheriff at age 12, and an oft-married mother whose accumulated secrets threaten to destroy them all.
The Liars' Club
Mary Karr

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Liar, Liar, These 11 Books Are On Fire

By Sarah Jane Abbott | December 4, 2017

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We Were Liars
by E. Lockhart
The Sinclairs are an old-money family who own an island off Cape Cod, where they gather each summer for an extended family reunion. Most summers, Cadence Sinclair Easton enjoys hanging out with her cousins and her friend Gat. But one summer, something terrible happens—something Cadence can’t seem to remember. Can she piece together the truth?
We Were Liars
E. Lockhart

While summering on her grandparents’ dreamy East Coast private island, something happened to 17-year-old Cadence Sinclair. But it’s not what happened that hurts—it’s the remembering that proves most agonizing as she pieces together what really happened to her. WE WERE LIARS is a literary musing on young love, memory, coming-of-age, and tragedy with a deliciously twisty ending.

Crazy like: A beautiful, cracked liar.

Best crazy moment: The reveal . . . (Shh!)

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Liar's Poker
by Michael Lewis
In the 1980s, Michael Lewis was fresh out of school when he landed a job at Salomon Brothers, one of Wall Street’s premier investment firms. During the next three years, he rose through the ranks, raking in millions for the firm. LIAR’S POKER is a knowing and hilarious insider’s account of an unprecedented era of greed and outrageous fortune.
Liar's Poker
Michael Lewis

MENTIONED IN:

Liar, Liar, These 11 Books Are On Fire

By Sarah Jane Abbott | December 4, 2017

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The Liar's Wife
by Mary Gordon
Mary Gordon presents a quartet of emotionally resonant stories. Here we meet the ferocious Simone Weil during her last days as a transplant in New York City; a vulnerable American graduate student who escapes to Italy after her first love affair; the charming Irish liar after whom the book is titled; and Thomas Mann, a great writer whose conscience won’t let him enjoy the advantages earned by his genius.
The Liar's Wife
Mary Gordon

MENTIONED IN:

Liar, Liar, These 11 Books Are On Fire

By Sarah Jane Abbott | December 4, 2017

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The Lying Game
by Ruth Ware
In this twisty, chilling thriller, three women receive the text they’d hoped would never come from the fourth in their formerly inseparable clique—it says only “I need you.” The four were best friends at boarding school, where they played “The Lying Game,” telling lies at every turn about their fellow students and faculty. But their game had consequences, and the girls were expelled under mysterous circumstances after the death of their art teacher.
The Lying Game
Ruth Ware

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The Patron Saint of Liars
by Ann Patchett
St. Elizabeth’s, a home for unwed mothers, usually harbors its residents only briefly. Rose Clinton, a beautiful, mysterious woman who comes to the home pregnant but not unwed, arrives planning to give up her child. When her baby is born, Rose decides that she and the child will stay. But Rose’s past won’t be kept away.
The Patron Saint of Liars
Ann Patchett

St. Elizabeth’s is a home for unwed mothers in Habit, Kentucky, that usually harbors its residents for just a short time. But when beautiful, mysterious Rose Clinton comes to the home pregnant but not unwed, she decides to stay.

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All Men Are Liars
by Alberto Manguel
In this gorgeously imagined novel, a journalist interviews those who knew Alejandro Bevilacqua, a brilliant, infuriatingly elusive South American writer. But the accounts of those in his circle of friends, lovers, and enemies become increasingly contradictory, murky, and suspect. Is everyone lying, or just telling their own subjective version of the truth?
All Men Are Liars
Alberto Manguel

MENTIONED IN:

Liar, Liar, These 11 Books Are On Fire

By Sarah Jane Abbott | December 4, 2017

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Big Little Lies
by Liane Moriarty
Three women are each at a crossroads. Madeline’s ex-husband and his new wife have moved to her town, and their daughters are at the same school. Celeste, wealthy mother of twin boys, has the perfect life, but perfection comes at a price. Single mother Jane is new to town and harbors secret doubts about her son. When Madeline and Celeste take Jane under their wing, none of them realize how her arrival will affect them all. We're fans of the television show but trust us, the book is better.
Big Little Lies
Liane Moriarty

For your friend who loves everything Reese Witherspoon does

Reese Witherspoon has awfully good taste in all things literary, which is why we are so excited about her new HBO series based on Liane Moriarty’s BIG LITTLE LIES. In her pitch-perfect way, Moriarty shows us the truth about what really goes on behind closed suburban doors. Hint: the reality is filled with parenting and playground politics, ex-husbands and ex-wives, and fractured families.

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Bones Never Lie
by Kathy Reichs
Forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan is called in by the Charlotte Police Department’s Cold Case Unit to investigate the murders of two children separated by thousands of miles but both perpetrated by Anique Pomerleau, a serial killer Brennan tried and failed to apprehend in the past. Can she rise to the challenge, reconnect with her bitter ex-partner, and stop the killer for good?
Bones Never Lie
Kathy Reichs

MENTIONED IN:

Liar, Liar, These 11 Books Are On Fire

By Sarah Jane Abbott | December 4, 2017

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Every Last Lie
by Mary Kubica
Clara Solberg's world shatters when her husband and their four-year-old daughter are in a car crash, killing Nick while Maisie is remarkably unharmed. The crash is ruled an accident . . . until the coming days, when Maisie starts having night terrors that make Clara question what really happened. Tormented by grief and her obsessive belief that Nick’s death was far more than just an accident, Clara is plunged into a desperate hunt for the truth.
Every Last Lie
Mary Kubica

MENTIONED IN:

Liar, Liar, These 11 Books Are On Fire

By Sarah Jane Abbott | December 4, 2017

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