Ladies, Lunch & Literacy began in 2008 as a program that introduced debut authors to readers over lunch at independent restaurants and venues in Los Angeles and San Diego. Not every worthy debut author can come to lunch. Subscribe to this book club and be the first to know about an upcoming writer of merit.
- Customers have the option of purchasing a 3, 6, or 12-book subscription to any of our clubs to receive books we highly recommend and believe are likely to be collectible ... books you’ll value having on your shelves.
- Subscribers receive 20% off cover price of selected titles through the cost of each subscription, which can be picked up in store or scheduled to arrive in a special FFBC box shipped by the 20th of each month.
- You may pick up your new book at either Mysterious Galaxy San Diego or at the Redondo Beach satellite office.
- Many, but not all selections will be signed.
- And don't forget: FFBC memberships make great gifts!
To sign up, or for more information, contact the staff in San Diego (310-542-6000). The Ladies, Lunch & Literacy Club membership list will be maintained by the Redondo Beach location, but all fantastic titles can be picked up in either store, or shipped to you!
A new title will be revealed each month!
"Poised to become the breakout debut of the year." --The New York Times
"Nearly impossible to put down." --NPR
"The word 'masterpiece' has been cheapened by too many blurbs, but My Absolute Darling absolutely is one." --Stephen King
A brilliant and immersive, all-consuming read about one fourteen-year-old girl's heart-stopping fight for her own soul.
Turtle Alveston is a survivor. At fourteen, she roams the woods along the northern California coast. The creeks, tide pools, and rocky islands are her haunts and her hiding grounds, and she is known to wander for miles. But while her physical world is expansive, her personal one is small and treacherous: Turtle has grown up isolated since the death of her mother, in the thrall of her tortured and charismatic father, Martin. Her social existence is confined to the middle school (where she fends off the interest of anyone, student or teacher, who might penetrate her shell) and to her life with her father.
Then Turtle meets Jacob, a high-school boy who tells jokes, lives in a big clean house, and looks at Turtle as if she is the sunrise. And for the first time, the larger world begins to come into focus: her life with Martin is neither safe nor sustainable. Motivated by her first experience with real friendship and a teenage crush, Turtle starts to imagine escape, using the very survival skills her father devoted himself to teaching her. What follows is a harrowing story of bravery and redemption. With Turtle's escalating acts of physical and emotional courage, the reader watches, heart in throat, as this teenage girl struggles to become her own hero--and in the process, becomes ours as well.
Shot through with striking language in a fierce natural setting, My Absolute Darling is an urgently told, profoundly moving read that marks the debut of an extraordinary new writer.
I could not be more charmed by this mystery within a mystery by a master in this genre – Horowitz. From the start, you know you are in for a treat and a mystery far beyond the latest installment from fictional English sensation Alan Conway. When Editor Susan Ryeland sits down to edit Alan’s new Atticus Pünd mystery, we are right there with her, reading along. And by the end of manuscript for this delightful/playful/somewhat satirical romp through the English countryside, we are intrigued. It will be no surprise to any mystery reader that the manuscript is incomplete, the author is dead, and our illustrious editor turns into an amateur sleuth, but the enchantment continues as we learn more about all of the characters (suspects) known by Alan Conway. Magpie Murders is fun, creative, and simply a great read.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Moriarty and Trigger Mortis, this fiendishly brilliant, riveting thriller weaves a classic whodunit worthy of Agatha Christie into a chilling, ingeniously original modern-day mystery.
When editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway's latest novel, she has no reason to think it will be much different from any of his others. After working with the bestselling crime writer for years, she's intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus Pund, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. An homage to queens of classic British crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Alan's traditional formula has proved hugely successful. So successful that Susan must continue to put up with his troubling behavior if she wants to keep her job.
Conway's latest tale has Atticus Pund investigating a murder at Pye Hall, a local manor house. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but the more Susan reads, the more she's convinced that there is another story hidden in the pages of the manuscript: one of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition, and murder.
Masterful, clever, and relentlessly suspenseful, Magpie Murders is a deviously dark take on vintage English crime fiction in which the reader becomes the detective.
As you might imagine, I have read a number of page turners in my time. But I can honestly say that I have never been this breathless as I read and walked in the steps of this delightful, yet damaged 14-year-old autistic girl. Ginny Moon is finally living with her “forever parents” after spending most of her life either with her abusive mother or bouncing around the foster care system. She is a handful for her new family, but they understand her special needs and have adopted her and love her.
Ginny has a substantial support system both professionally and at school, which monitors her every move. The problem is that Ginny cannot get past abandoning her “baby doll” and there is a huge miscommunication about the importance and meaning of this issue. The resulting race against time and Ginny’s ability to circumvent those who love her will leave you breathless too.
Not only is this a compulsive read, but it is also a rare insight into the thought process of an autistic child and this is priceless. Ludwig drew from his own experiences as an adoptive father to an autistic teenager. We thank him for sharing his love and his experience.
— Terry Gilman
-Moving . . . surprises and devastates.---New York Times Book Review
-A masterful epic.---People magazine
-Mesmerizing . . . The Women in the Castle stands tall among the literature that reveals new truths about one of history's most tragic eras.---USA Today
Three women, haunted by the past and the secrets they hold
Set at the end of World War II, in a crumbling Bavarian castle that once played host to all of German high society, a powerful and propulsive story of three widows whose lives and fates become intertwined--an affecting, shocking, and ultimately redemptive novel from the author of the New York Times Notable Book The Hazards of Good Breeding.
Amid the ashes of Nazi Germany's defeat, Marianne von Lingenfels returns to the once-grand castle of her husband's ancestors, an imposing stone fortress now fallen into ruin following years of war. The widow of a resister murdered in the failed July 20, 1944, plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Marianne plans to uphold the promise she made to her husband's brave conspirators: to find and protect their wives, her fellow resistance widows.
First Marianne rescues six-year-old Martin, the son of her dearest childhood friend, from a Nazi reeducation home. Together, they make their way across the smoldering wreckage of their homeland to Berlin, where Martin's mother, the beautiful and naive Benita, has fallen into the hands of occupying Red Army soldiers. Then she locates Ania, another resister's wife, and her two boys, now refugees languishing in one of the many camps that house the millions displaced by the war.
As Marianne assembles this makeshift family from the ruins of her husband's resistance movement, she is certain their shared pain and circumstances will hold them together. But she quickly discovers that the black-and-white, highly principled world of her privileged past has become infinitely more complicated, filled with secrets and dark passions that threaten to tear them apart. Eventually, all three women must come to terms with the choices that have defined their lives before, during, and after the war--each with their own unique share of challenges.
Written with the devastating emotional power of The Nightingale, Sarah's Key, and The Light Between Oceans, Jessica Shattuck's evocative and utterly enthralling novel offers a fresh perspective on one of the most tumultuous periods in history. Combining piercing social insight and vivid historical atmosphere, The Women in the Castle is a dramatic yet nuanced portrait of war and its repercussions that explores what it means to survive, love, and, ultimately, to forgive in the wake of unimaginable hardship.
I am sure that comparisons will be made between The Lonely Hearts Hotel and The Night Circus. Both have a sense of magic hovering in the background and introduce fascinating protagonists with unique talents and personalities. In The Lonely Hearts Hotel, Pierrot and Rose are raised in an orphanage in Montreal in the middle of the Great Depression. Both suffered early childhood trauma at the hands of the nuns who ruled the orphanage with iron fists. But in the midst of dire despair, they find each other, discover their (almost magical) gifts, and make plans for their future. None of this plays out smoothly and their lives take discouraging turns and twists away from each other and into the depths of the Montreal criminal underworld. Ultimately, they will reunite and move toward their dream of creating entertainment that will wow their world. This book is captivating and joyful and romance rules much of the plot despite some of the dark subject matter.
With echoes of The Night Circus, a spellbinding story about two gifted orphans - in love with each other since they can remember - whose childhood talents allow them to rewrite their future.
The Lonely Hearts Hotel is a love story with the power of legend. An unparalleled tale of charismatic pianos, invisible dance partners, radicalized chorus girls, drug-addicted musicians, brooding clowns, and an underworld whose economy hinges on the price of a kiss. In a landscape like this, it takes great creative gifts to thwart one's origins. It might also take true love.
Two babies are abandoned in a Montreal orphanage in the winter of 1914. Before long, their talents emerge: Pierrot is a piano prodigy; Rose lights up even the dreariest room with her dancing and comedy. As they travel around the city performing clown routines, the children fall in love with each other and dream up a plan for the most extraordinary and seductive circus show the world has ever seen.
Separated as teenagers, sent off to work as servants during the Great Depression, both descend into the city's underworld, dabbling in sex, drugs and theft in order to survive. But when Rose and Pierrot finally reunite beneath the snowflakes - after years of searching and desperate poverty - the possibilities of their childhood dreams are renewed, and they'll go to extreme lengths to make them come true. Soon, Rose, Pierrot and their troupe of clowns and chorus girls have hit New York, commanding the stage as well as the alleys, and neither the theater nor the underworld will ever look the same.
With her musical language and extravagantly realized world, Heather O'Neill enchants us with a novel so magical there is no escaping its spell.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Civility a transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel
In all ways a great novel, a nonstop pleasure brimming with charm, personal wisdom, and philosophic insight . . .this book more than fulfills the promise of Towles' stylish debut, Rules of Civility." Kirkus Reviews(starred)
With his breakout debut novel, Rules of Civility, Amor Towles established himself as a master of absorbing, sophisticated fiction, bringing late 1930s Manhattan to life with splendid atmosphere and a flawless command of style. Readers and critics were enchanted; as NPR commented, Towles writes with grace and verve about the mores and manners of a society on the cusp of radical change.
A Gentleman in Moscow immerses us in another elegantly drawn era with the story of Count Alexander Rostov. When, in 1922, he is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the count is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel's doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him a doorway into a much larger world of emotional discovery.
Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count's endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.
If I told you the storyline of All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, you may not think this is a book for you. But if I tell you how much love and compassion are poured into the characters and the writing, you may change your mind. Despite the setting, many taboo subjects, and the huge age gap between the two main characters, this is a love story that will draw you in and stick with you long after you turn the last page.
Wavy meets Kellen when she is just 8 years old and Kellen is a young man of 21. They both have complicated and violent backgrounds and are immediately attracted to one another. Wavy’s parents are drug addicts and meth dealers who are beyond inept in taking care of both Wavy and her younger brother, Donal. As a result of her childhood abuse, Wavy refuses to communicate with almost everyone in her small world of family and school. Kellen was brought up in a life of violence and drugs, but has a heart of gold and intelligence that few notice or care about. They form an unbreakable bond through their shared history and the circumstances that make up their lives. This bond is strengthened and tested in ways beyond imagining and this is the storyline of this dazzling, page-turning debut.
A beautiful and provocative love story between two unlikely people and the hard-won relationship that elevates them above the Midwestern meth lab backdrop of their lives.
As the daughter of a drug dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. It's safer to keep her mouth shut and stay out of sight. Struggling to raise her little brother, Donal, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible adult around. Obsessed with the constellations, she finds peace in the starry night sky above the fields behind her house, until one night her star gazing causes an accident. After witnessing his motorcycle wreck, she forms an unusual friendship with one of her father's thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold.
By the time Wavy is a teenager, her relationship with Kellen is the only tender thing in a brutal world of addicts and debauchery. When tragedy rips Wavy's family apart, a well-meaning aunt steps in, and what is beautiful to Wavy looks ugly under the scrutiny of the outside world. A powerful novel you won t soon forget, Bryn Greenwood's "All the Ugly and Wonderful Things "challenges all we know and believe about love.