Ladies, Lunch, and Literacy


Smart Summer Reads Begins on Sunday, July 20, 2014



Don't Miss this Dream Team of Authors ... 
We invite you to meet Alison Gaylin, Annabelle Gurwitch, Jo-Ann Lautman,
Sandra Tsing Loh, Linda Schreyer, Shari Shattuck, and Taylor Stevens
Please join us on Sunday, July 20 for the 4th annual Smart Summer Reads program. You will meet fabulous authors, participate in a fun, face-paced program, and engage in conversations with lovers of literature and everything books! You will also meet our 2014 non-profit literacy organization, Literally Healing. Oh, and there will be chocolate.
Our program starts at 3pm in the Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore space in Redondo Beach. Here's the line up authors for our speed-dating program:

Alison Gaylin has written books with titles like You Kill Me, Hide Your Eyes, and Into the Dark, that will have you quickly turning pages. That is, if you're brave enough … Alison introduce you to Brenna Spector her protagonist in her latest series who has perfect autobiographical recall (hyperthymesia) of her adult life but struggles with the details about her childhood. The third installment in her Brenna Spector series is Stay with Me … we think you will.

Annabelle Gurwitch has been making us laugh in every form of media, from spots on television to columns to NPR-radio segments. Her new novel, I See You Made an Effort, a collection of honest essays about "survival stories from the edge of 50," promises more of the same.

Jo-Ann Lautman and Linda Schreyer have co-written Tears and Tequila, a heartwarming, heartbreaking tale of love, loss, and laughter. Linda Schreyer is an accomplished screenwriter with multiple television and film credits and a background you will want to know more about. Jo-Ann Lautman is the former Director of the Bereavement Program at Stephen S. Wise Temple and the founder of Our House, a prominent grief support center in Los Angeles. The stories in Tears and Tequila are more real to her than fiction.

As the titular "Madwoman in the Volvo," Sandra Tsing Loh has no trouble bringing her deepest and most emotional experiences to the page. A memoir about menopause, Loh's latest book  informs, as well as entertains. Don’t be surprised when you will find yourself quoting from this book when you talk with your friends.

When Shari Shattuck is not appearing on stage and on screens both big and small, she can be found writing novels in the forests above Los Angeles where she lives with her family. Her seventh novel, Invisible Ellen, is the perfect summer read, one that will have you laughing and crying and falling in love with two unforgettable characters.

Although she was discouraged from writing as a child, Taylor Stevens' unyielding drive to tell stories ultimately won out. This is most fortunate for us because her protagonist, Vanessa Michael Monroe may very well be one of the most interesting figures in suspense fiction today. If you haven’t read her … yet, you can start with The Informationist and find out why the rest of us are ... If you are already a fan, The Catch is the latest in her addictive series.


Smart Summer Reads is free and open to the public. Please email Emilio ( to let him know you are coming. This will help us make sure that we don't run out of chocolate.


Save the Date!

Smart Summer Reads continues in Redondo Beach on Sunday, August 17! The authors we have confirmed so far are:

Michelle Gable, Laura McNeal, Nicole Mones ...

More details to come ...




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About Ladies, Lunch, and Literacy

Ladies, Lunch, and Literacy is an off-site event program that invites selected authors to lunch in a personalized setting. Join the Ladies, Lunch and Literacy email list (See join our Email list on the sidebar) if you are interested in:

  • Having lunch with new authors. Lunches are held in Los Angeles and San Diego
  • Meeting other readers and building a community that loves to learn about, and talk about new books
  • Receiving a signed first edition from a promising new writer and creating buzz and book group interest for a debut author
  • Supporting a non-profit literacy-based organization with part of the proceeds from our events
  • Eating lunch at local, independently owned venues

Our 2014 Non Profit Literacy Partner

The 2014 non-profit beneficiary of our Ladies, Lunch, and Literacy events is Literally Healing at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, an innovative reading program dedicated to advocating literacy and supporting strengthening patient families. Their Gifting Library offers patients staying in the hospital and their visiting siblings the opportunity to choose and keep one brand new book every day during their hospital stay.   

Come to any of our events and find out how you can help make a difference!

Book List

Stay with Me (Mass Market Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780061878268
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Harper, 6/2014
Three lives are bound together by a split-second mistake, and a child's fate hangs in the balance. 
What happens next will test--and restore--your faith in humanity. 
Far from the neon lights of the Vegas strip, four lives are about to collide. A middle aged woman attempting to revive her marriage. A returning soldier waking up in a hospital with no memory of how he got there. A very brave eight-year-old immigrant boy. 
This is a story about families--the ones we have and the ones we make. It's a story about America today, where so many cultures and points of view collide and coexist. "We Are Called to Rise" challenges us to think about our responsibilities to each other and reminds us that no matter how cruel life can be in a given moment, it is ultimately beautiful to live, and live fully.

ISBN-13: 9780399166181
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Blue Rider Press, 3/2014

Tears and Tequila (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9781935212294
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Prospecta Press, 6/2014

ISBN-13: 9780393088687
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: W. W. Norton & Company, 5/2014

Invisible Ellen (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780399167614
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Putnam Adult, 6/2014

The Catch (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780385348935
Availability: On Our Shelves Now!
Published: Crown, 7/2014