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Coffee House Lies: 100 Cups of Flash fiction

4.16  ·  Rating Details ·  50 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
These fun-sized stories are just right for a coffee break, public commute, waiting room, bedtime story, or any other time you want a quick trip without leaving the farm.

The 100 stories in this quirky collection range from a few sentences to a few pages. Included are stories nominated for the 2013 Pushcart Prize, Micro Award, and Wigleaf Long List. Nearly all of them have
Paperback, 209 pages
Published August 5th 2014 by South Coast Books (first published January 1st 2014)
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Archit Ojha
Officially peculiar set of stories.

And peculiar in a good sense. Carly Berg is one queer talent in the literature arena.

Coffee House Lies is a compilation of 100 bursts of imaginations across the skies of the minds.

Flash Fiction indeed.

The stories are strange, not normal and extraordinary. I've read dozens of short story anthologies this year.

And by far this is the most different one!

They range from being bizarre to that of a normal routine human mind to that of a remarkable streak of literature
Mike Robbins
Dec 11, 2015 Mike Robbins rated it it was amazing
Flash fiction – short, concise stories as little as one page, and rarely more than four or five – is a form that has become newly popular with digital publishing. Carly Berg must be one its best exponents. She’s written a guidebook called Writing Flash Fiction that contains some excellent advice on writing in general. After reading it, I wanted to see whether she was any good herself. Having now read Coffee House Lies, I can report that she is, very.

These stories all, in some way, reflect the h
Douglas Goldfine
Aug 18, 2014 Douglas Goldfine rated it it was amazing
This book is a gem! Delightful, insightful, thought provoking, and hilarious. Flash fiction isn't for everyone, but if you like short short stories, you won't be disappointed. Many of the stories have a touch of the surreal. A few of my favorites:

In The Shirt Off His Back, the work shirt of a woman's ex-husband returns home in human form and they get along much better that way.

In Bringing Back Beulah, a group of little girls in the 1970's have a séance to bring back a departed great aunt, and ar
Mehreen Ahmed
Aug 07, 2016 Mehreen Ahmed rated it really liked it
Mehreen's review

These stories range from trivial to the sublime. Each having its own merit, they would most likely appeal to readers depending on the mood and wavelength. Some stories are intriguing with an element of surprise in the end, The Horse Head Earrings for instance. Others are more common with more predictable endings. One way or the other, I think as an anthology of short stories, the book would render as an enjoyable read overall.
Darrell Nelson
Oct 18, 2015 Darrell Nelson rated it it was amazing
As the name implies this is a book of 100 pieces of flash fiction. This makes it tough to grade. I could have rated each one and divided by 100, but I am way to lazy for that. Taken individually, I ran across a number of them that I would give a 5 star to, as well as a few that I could almost hear the whooshing sound as they flew over my head. I'm sure with those someone else would have clicked and loved them but they had me lost. Luckily, a book with 100 super short stories, you can catch the ...more
Gerard Bianco
Dec 13, 2015 Gerard Bianco rated it really liked it
Coffee House Lies: 100 Cups of Flash Fiction is a treasure trove of 100 interesting, imaginative stories. The author’s writing is bold and she takes big chances with her storytelling. What can, at first, appear to be careless enthusiasm, is really the result of the author’s courageous effort to produce an interesting and unique story.

Flash fiction is a genre which can, often times, cave in on itself. Those who are not familiar with this style of literature will either hate these stories or love
Connie Lacy
Nov 22, 2015 Connie Lacy rated it really liked it
I’m new to flash fiction but I understand the draw. And this collection by Carly Berg is quirky enough to hold your attention. Some memorable stories in this volume, including “Oysteresque,” about a woman who creates pearls. Or at least, that’s her story. I enjoyed seeing the world through different women’s eyes, getting a peek at very different lives that veer from the bored to the fantastic. These are little nuggets of fiction that convey a lot in a few words, like “Bringing Back Beulah,” ...more
Mar 12, 2015 Candice rated it it was amazing
This book was an adorable little read. I wish i would have savored it more because i sat down and read the entire thing. Every story was beautifully written and heartfelt and funny. I do think some of the stories might have been more adult oriented than for children but even though were still so great. I actually rated every story seperately but over 70 % of them got a five star from me. I find it hard to talk about how great this book is without going into detail about specific stories. The ...more
Larry Manch
Aug 19, 2014 Larry Manch rated it it was amazing
'Coffee House Lies' offers some great reading in short bursts - flash fiction. The stories are unusual, interesting, well crafted, and well worth reading. Ms. Berg put some interesting imagination into these short pieces; a fertile mind for telling stories. If you want to know who really killed Marilyn Monroe and JFK, you have to read Ms. Berg's take on it. Highly recommended. This book will keep you entertained for quite awhile.
Aug 20, 2014 Conny rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I was a First Read Winner of this book and I really enjoyed the fun sized stories in it. It is the perfect book for when you just have a few minutes, like on your coffee break, and you want a quick story or you can spend hours and just loose yourself in all the different, funny, twisted and surreal works of flash fiction. I think this will also make a perfect gift for any book lover. I even caught my husband picking it up and reading a couple of quick stories.
Aug 31, 2014 Rando rated it it was amazing
Awesome book that drew me back to reading when I strayed away a bit. Bite-sized flash fictions that will haunt you or crack you up, and the best part is you can read'em while you're waiting in a line or commuting in a bus. Plus, the author's got a flair of style, e.g. Jesus Penis Guacamole. If you're wondering about this exclamation, you should probably read this book.
Rajalakshmi Prithviraj
Oct 23, 2015 Rajalakshmi Prithviraj rated it it was amazing
I learnt the art of writing flash fiction from Carly Berg through her book by the same name. And from this collection of hers, I have learnt the power that very short stories have.

Coffee House Lies is a flash fiction collection of very short stories which can be read anywhere, any time. In fact, each story is refreshingly different, hence you feel like continuing; its like 'let me read one more!!'.

Carly has ensured that each story is like a different cup of coffee, differing in taste, aroma and
Barbara Land
Oct 10, 2015 Barbara Land rated it it was amazing
I would heartily recommend Coffee House Lies: 100 Cups of Flash Fiction by Carly Berg to everyone who has ever enjoyed a surprise and who wants to fill empty time with something valuable, such as sitting in a doctor’s office, waiting for your table at a restaurant, or traveling on a subway train. I wouldn’t recommend reading them all at once. I would pick one out, like a piece of candy from a shiny box, because we all know that "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna ...more
Gloria Piper
Berg's flash fiction is a collection of surprise packages, little stories that vary from vignettes and statements to poems. They flash by in a sentence to maybe a couple pages, word pictures made to provoke emotion.

They have a feel of free-writing, where you put pen to paper, relax the mind, and let whatever words surface to spill onto the paper. Among the spillage lurks a story. Flash fiction, gleaned from truth of the writer's soul. This allows for a dream logic that admits a wide range of ap
Oct 12, 2015 Fulluri rated it it was amazing
Unique, lucid and entertaining

Ms. Berg's stories can be best described in three words: they are UNIQUE, LUCID and thoroughly ENTERTAINING. Each story takes you to a different world and keeps you enchanted till the end. Sometimes the tone is quite casual ("She could go to Hollywood or anywhere, who gave a shit."), sometimes painfully realistic and bleak ("After downing four shots of vodka, she surrendered to blissful oblivion. Like many misunderstood souls, she required these mood-altering substa
Bonnye Reed
Jan 29, 2016 Bonnye Reed rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone!~
Recommended to Bonnye Reed by: Carly Berg
XXX I received this Kindle Flash novel from Carly Berg in exchange for a review. Thank you, Carly Berg, for sharing your work with me.

This was my first experience with 'flash fiction'. I love short stories, but wasn't sure you could contain a whole story in a couple of pages. I was so wrong. These flash stories are a hoot. Most leave you laughing, a few leave you thinking.... Several have multiple endings, a couple no ending at all - make it up yourself. Kibbles and Bits is only 50 words and sh
Francis Powell
Sep 22, 2015 Francis Powell rated it it was amazing
Carly Berg stories start with a sudden burst and as a reader you are immediately drawn in. It seems from the start that you are going to be led on a surreal sometimes disturbing journey? Ever had a conversation with your ex-husband’s shirt…? All is surprisingly plausible in these short witty stories. It is hard to decipher the motives behind these stories, the real world the author lives in, but this only makes me want to read more and more, to delve deeper into the mind of the author. Not many ...more
Anu Rajaram
Oct 07, 2015 Anu Rajaram rated it it was amazing
This book is full of surprises and unexpected twists. I started reading the first few stories, then skipped ahead to a few titles that sparked my interest. The stories are fun, eclectic and totally unique and cover myriad genres. I finally ended up reading the entire book cover-to-cover, to make sure I did not miss any stories. :)
This light-hearted book is perfect for traveling, waiting rooms or just curling up in bed on a rainy day!
You may not enjoy all the stories since the author has put in
Gillian Felix
Sep 28, 2015 Gillian Felix rated it really liked it
I am glad I was asked to review this book. Carly Berg is truly a creative mind. These short stories hit the spot for me, they are quick witty and some of them had me thinking what if?

I would recommend this book to anyone who love reading short stories. They are filled with humor and creativity. Some of the stories are like fables for adults. Very entertaining and fun. Of course I enjoyed some more than others. The author writes very well and you really get into the characters and the story even
Florian Armas
Nov 05, 2015 Florian Armas rated it really liked it
Coffee House Lies, is not a novel. You can read it from the first story to the last, upside down, from left to right; it doesn’t matter, you will still enjoy the process. There is humour and dark humour, unexpected endings, a long experience of life, and many hidden things to discover, some happy and some sorrow. I tried hard to make a real review, but my endeavour came to a conclusion with a bunch of short, scattered thoughts, not much different to the stories themselves. In the end three ...more
Emma Jaye
Oct 14, 2015 Emma Jaye rated it really liked it
A definite toilet book, which is a compliment, believe it or not.
These stories are designed to be read in short 'sittings' and range from the head scratching, to the sublime, thought provoking and heart warming. Each makes you think, maybe a little, maybe a lot, but always about the vast and varied imagination of the author. Her ability to cut out detail, yet still convey a story is quite astounding. I particularly liked 'the shirt off his back' but 'Oysterque' was a real headscratcher.

Justin Joseph
Sep 01, 2014 Justin Joseph rated it it was amazing
I love the flash format of this book where you can pick it up at any time, get a story in and a quick dose of laughter. The author's language usage is witty, and I'm looking forward for Coffee House Lies 2 or anything else along the lines.
Robin Anthony Peacock
Dec 15, 2015 Robin Anthony Peacock rated it really liked it
Coffee House Lies. Carly Berg.
This is an anthology in its purest form. The author has collected dozens of her own short stories, flash fiction, into a single volume and presented them in a seemingly random order to the reader. There seems to be no thread or vein that ties these works together; they are all so very different it is difficult to categorize many of them at all.
I found some of them interesting, some amusing, some surreal and some simply nonsensical to the point of absurdity. Edward L
J.B. Markes
Nov 02, 2015 J.B. Markes rated it it was amazing
I was gifted a copy of Coffee House Lies in return for my honest opinion. I’ve never been a fan of flash fiction, but Carly Berg has made me reconsider. Each story in Coffee House Lies is, of course, brief, but don’t let that fool you; the author takes you to some rather dark places and leaves you there for days to come. Her style is refreshingly modern and she chooses her words so carefully that I felt I was reading poetry at times. Her themes are real and dirty, sometimes frightening but ...more
J.C. Wing
Dec 09, 2015 J.C. Wing rated it it was amazing
The stories included in Carly Berg’s Coffee House Lies are quirky, entertaining, disturbing, funny, depressing … and insanely creative. I have not read much flash fiction, but I do believe Berg has made me a fan of the genre.

The book kicks off with one of my favorites; The Shirt Off His Back, followed by another amusing tale titled Jackie, We Hardly Knew Ye. After these first few stories, I found myself very curious to read another, and another. Not all of them were to my taste, but there is no
Danielle Urban
Dec 09, 2015 Danielle Urban rated it really liked it
Carly Berg is a talented writer whose words come off the pages and bring to life the stories. The stories range in size and kind. However, readers will be amazed at each individual story. Some tug at your heart while others make you laugh out loud. I was lured deeply from page one and could not put the book down. After reading the Coffee House Lies, I am left in total awe of this writer's talent. No matter what she writes, I feel curious and always love the new adventure waiting in my hands. I ...more
Nov 18, 2015 Liselott rated it really liked it
These 'Cups of flash fiction' are at the best if you read them in the same way you are having an espresso.
I don't have one espresso after another nor do I sip it. So if you got an hour to read, go back to your novel instead.
Of course you can read it in a sitting but its not called flash fiction for nothing. Coffee House Lies is perfect for when you are out and about and you got a minute or two wherever you are, plus the cover in itself is just absolutely beautiful.
Frank Wright
Jan 09, 2016 Frank Wright rated it really liked it
These entertaining little stories will give you a shock every time you read one. This book is perfect for a fast paced world and offers short bursts of entertainment filled with humor, surprise, and sometimes a little horror. They are wonderfully thought-provoking. Each one is vastly unique, yet they all compliment each other in a special way. Frankly, I was pleasantly and repeatedly invigorated throughout the whole book.
Lea Clark
Aug 16, 2014 Lea Clark rated it did not like it
Shelves: first-reads
This was a first reads book. I was very disappointed. The stories seemed to end without any conclusion. I kept wondering if there was some deeper connection that I was missing. I ended up with the feeling that I was reading a high school class free write assignment.
Maureen rated it it was amazing
Mar 01, 2016
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Story Prompts That Work: 52 Detailed, Tested Story Starters for Short Stories and Flash Fiction (for Adults and Teens) by Carly Berg

Writing Flash Fiction: How to Write Very Short Stories and Get Them Published by Carly Berg

Coffee House Lies: 100 Cups of Flash Fiction by Carly Berg (210 pages)
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