The Liars' Club: A Memoir

by Mary Karr | Biographies & Memoirs |
ISBN: 0140179836 Global Overview for this book
Registered by BigJohnLefty of Des Moines, Iowa USA on 3/20/2004
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9 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by BigJohnLefty from Des Moines, Iowa USA on Saturday, March 20, 2004
Bought this at Planned Parenthood book sale in Spring.

Update 9-10-04 -- promised to hotflash as part of TBR RABCK challenge....

Journal Entry 2 by BigJohnLefty from Des Moines, Iowa USA on Saturday, October 02, 2004
This was quite an interesting book - like Ann Landers once said, "truth is stranger". I can relate to somebody approximately my age in terms of the times and everything... the way it leaves off all her teen years is a little unusual - just jumps from age 9 to 25, with some of the gaps filled in as a sort of flashback.

Journal Entry 3 by BigJohnLefty at via USPS in Posted, A RABCK -- Controlled Releases on Saturday, October 02, 2004

Released 14 yrs ago (10/2/2004 UTC) at via USPS in Posted, A RABCK -- Controlled Releases

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

Mailed to hotflash as a RABCK.

Journal Entry 4 by LynnWrites from Tucson, Arizona USA on Monday, October 04, 2004
rec'd this book in today's mail....I am ALWAYS pleased to find a book in my mailbox, but this time I truly don't know why it came to me. I can't remember requesting it in a trade or being offered a RABCK..feel stupid here... So, to whover sent it - thanks very much (no return address on package). It looks very, very interesting.
EDIT...now that I can see the journal entries I can see that it was BigJohnLefty who sent it!!! Thank you very much for the RABCK.

Journal Entry 5 by LynnWrites from Tucson, Arizona USA on Friday, July 29, 2005
The best word I can come up with to describe the tone of this memoir is gritty. Gritty to the core.

Here is a childhood set in the American 1950s in west Texas, but 180 degrees from anything even vaguely resembling the harmonious and bland 1950s Cleaver family we were all forced to believe was normal Americana. This book starts out deep in the middle of a vivid childhood memory: a childhood obviously filled with anxiety and confusion, dominated by the casual negligence of adults sideswiped by their own internal hells. Somewhere, around page 156, it really hit me that this work is as memoir, not a work of fiction; this “story” was Mary Karr’s growing-up, day-to-day reality. Right there, for me, the tone of this tale changed from disturbing to chilling. I’m still absorbing the impact of this memoir.

Mary Karr writes vividly, graphically, using great imagery. From page 132: this is a description of flaming refinery towers: “They make a weird Oz-like glow that bleeds up the whole bottom part of the sky. It’s a chemical green light the color of bread mold, rising up the night sky like a bad water stain climbing wallpaper.” This rich style is sustained throughout this book. It is a book that has to be read slowly, in part to soak up all the detail and emotions and, in part, to have time to pause and just take a breather from the nonstop emotional force.

I think Molly Ivins describes Mary Karr’s writing best in her review for The Nation : “To have a poet’s precision of language and a poet’s insight into people applied to one of the roughest, toughest, ugliest places in America is an astonishing event.”

This book is an accounting of life as Mary Karr knew it, told with boldness and clarity and without apology. It just is what it was. With the exception of the bit of grounding she found with her father and the company of his American Legion buddies, Mary and her sister were growing up, spiraling out of control, at the mercy of her alcoholic, manic mother, a half-crazed grandmother, misc. stepfathers, fighting for a place in a world where she and her sister both knew in their hearts that their family wasn’t the “norm”, and where toughness and resiliency—not love—were what was needed to survive. And these two kids were survivors. There is a great statement on page 187: “..we wanted a straight-thinking adult but couldn’t find one…”.

Deathbed truths, presented at the end of the book, if revealed earlier in life, could have made such a difference to the lives and mental state of everyone concerned. Lies, sins of omission, guilts, family myths –the fear of letting those close to us see who we really are. Again, I am still absorbing this book, especially in the light of today’s awareness of child abuse, addictions, behavioral problems....
I think my next read has to be something light !!
Thanks so much for sharing this book with me ! I will now make it available to someone else.

Journal Entry 6 by LynnWrites from Tucson, Arizona USA on Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Passed to another BookCrosser at our meetup this evening.

That's me, second from the right in our BC Meetup photo

Journal Entry 7 by rainflower from Tucson, Arizona USA on Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Caught at a Bookcrossing MeetUp. This looks very interesting and I look forward to reading it!

Journal Entry 8 by rainflower from Tucson, Arizona USA on Monday, February 06, 2006
This was a very interesting memior.

Journal Entry 9 by rainflower from Tucson, Arizona USA on Tuesday, March 07, 2006
Sending to a fellow bookcrosser as a RABCK.

Journal Entry 10 by Aisling78 from Essex, Massachusetts USA on Saturday, April 01, 2006
This book arrived safely, but in the midst of a family crisis, and I haven't had a chance to journal, read it, or even think about it until now. Thank you so much for this kind RABCK. Even though books were the furthest thing from my mind during this time, it was heart-lifting to find something waiting for me in my mailbox during such a difficult time. I know this will be a tough book to read, but in a way, it will help me take my mind off my own problems for a while. Thank you, rainflower, for your random act of kindness. I can't begin to explain what it meant to me.

Journal Entry 11 by Aisling78 from Essex, Massachusetts USA on Friday, June 30, 2006
I just discovered that I hadn't journaled after reading this book -- I'm hoping to offer it as a bookray, and saw that it was still listed as TBR when I searched for it on my bookshelf. I'm sorry I've gone so long without letting previous readers know that it was read, and is not collecting dust, forgotten, somewhere in my house.

This book was an incredibly written memoir...sometimes funny, sometimes sad...and always startling and sobering to know that this is not a work of fiction, this was someone's childhood. The memories of sexual assaults, bitter fights between her parents, divorce, and alcoholic parents were horrifying. This was a dramatic book, all the more for demonstrating what survivors Mary & her sister were, for enduring the childhood they had and coming out stronger for it. I strongly recommend this book.

Thank you, rainflower, for generously RABCKing this book to me. Now I want to share it with other bookcrossers and let it continue it's travels.

Journal Entry 12 by Aisling78 from Essex, Massachusetts USA on Friday, June 30, 2006
I'm going to share this book as a bookray. (International if there is interest). http://www.bookcrossing.com/forum/20/3641925/1

If you would like to join this ring please PM me with your location & shipping preferences.
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Here's my guidelines, paraphrased from other bookcrossers:

* If you wish to be added to the list, please PM me with your details.

* You will be sending the book to the person who appears after you in the list, so please PM them after the book arrives for their address, so there's mimimal delay after you've completed the book. If the next in line does not respond to several PMs over a period of a few weeeks, try posting an "In Search Of..." post in the forums, and contact me, and I'll reshuffle the shipping order.

* It's not a race, but please read and send the book on as speedily as you can, other people are dying to read it too! About two to three weeks is OK. (I understand when life gets in the way -- but please PM me if you've had the book in your possesion for longer than a month, so I don't worry that it's lost for good!)

* Please journal the book once you have received it (so we all know where it currently is) and again when you have read it (so we know what you thought of it -- part of what I love about Bookcrossing is hearing other's opionions of books I've loved).

* If you're the last person on the list please use your best judgement as to where the book goes next, RABCK, another ray or ring, or wild release...I'd just prefer that the book continues to travel rather than sit on a bookshelf collecting dust.

* Enjoy! It's supposed to be fun!
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Tentative shipping order (This may change slightly if more bookcrossers are interested)

Bibliocrates -- Alabama
KarenZero --New York
Mamikaem --Missouri
missprisy -- Massachusetts
dietcokemama -- Massachusetts
beekeeper40 -- United Kingdom
BellaMack* and sarahbear* (But only if an Australian bookcrosser who can ship internationally joins) -- Australia
hshah -- India

Journal Entry 13 by Bibliocrates from Fort Collins, Colorado USA on Wednesday, August 30, 2006
I got the book yesterday. Thanks for sending it. I will get to it as soon as I can.

Journal Entry 14 by Bibliocrates from Fort Collins, Colorado USA on Saturday, October 07, 2006
Thanks for sharing this book Aisling78. I didn't mean to keep it for so long. I will try to have it in the mail by Monday...

I really liked this book, although I wouldn't rank it as one of the best memoirs I have read lately. It was disturbing on some levels, but not so much so that I couldn't get through it. It was also comforting in an odd way. The members of the Karr family are obviously very close, and that is always a good thing in my book. I can't say that I can relate to having my father beat a man to a bloody pulp for disrespecting me or my mother.

Journal Entry 15 by Bibliocrates from Fort Collins, Colorado USA on Monday, November 06, 2006
Omigosh! Has it really been over 2 months since I received this book. I'm ashamed of myself! This book was finally shipped to KarenZero today. I'm so sorry for the delay everyone!
Media Mail
8.80 oz.
Delivery Confirmation Number: 03052710000105244657

Journal Entry 16 by KarenZero from Brooklyn, New York USA on Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Received safely. Will read ASAP!

Journal Entry 17 by KarenZero from Brooklyn, New York USA on Sunday, December 17, 2006
I really enjoyed this memoir! Mary had an incredibly challenging childhood, yet she turned out well. It is hard to understand what a childhood like that would be like. If you enjoyed this book, I would recommend "The Glass Castle" by Jeanette Walls - its another very good memoir about a difficult childhood.

Thanks for sharing the book!

Journal Entry 18 by Mamikaem from Maryland Heights, Missouri USA on Friday, December 22, 2006
Received this in today's mail. Will get to it as soon as I can. I have some other rays/rings on the stack, but I will be mindful of the time limit. Thanks!

Journal Entry 19 by Mamikaem from Maryland Heights, Missouri USA on Monday, February 05, 2007
Well, I'm past my time limit and still have not started this. Passing it onto Missprisy in today's mail.

Journal Entry 20 by missprisy from Edmond, Oklahoma USA on Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Arrived today, this book is next TBR.

Journal Entry 21 by missprisy from Edmond, Oklahoma USA on Saturday, February 17, 2007
I finished this book today. This wasn't one of the better memoirs I have read, but I'm sure it takes a lot of courage to write about your screwed up childhood. Karr did a good job with that. This book will be off to dietcokemama next week.

Mailed Feb 20

Release #18 for Guinaveve's Keep Them Moving 2007 Challenge


Journal Entry 22 by dietcokemama from Beverly, Massachusetts USA on Monday, April 09, 2007
I am way to late in journaling this, but I do have it. I've been struggling through it and not getting very far. That's probably more a reflection of everything going on in life more than the book. I'm going to give it a couple more days and if it doesn't "click" for me, I'll send it along to keep from stalling the ring any longer.

Are you sure you want to delete this item? It cannot be undone.