Ladies, Lunch, and Literacy in 2010

So far, it has been a great year for Ladies, Lunch, and Literacy. 2010 has brought three incredible authors to lunch in Manhattan Beach. Both Saving CeeCee Honeycutt and The Postmistress have soared to Best Seller lists across the country and The Irresistible Henry House was reviewed and praised in every magazine and newspaper we picked up.

And ... Everyone loved meeting Pete Nelson at our May lunch. I thought You Were Dead has been an irresistible read.

If you were unable to come to lunch, you still have an opportunity to buy a (very collectible) signed first edition of these two books! But you must act now, quantities are limited.


And then stay tuned ... there are more wonderful books for your to discover this year!


And thank you for your support of Ladies, Lunch, and Literacy!

I Thought You Were Dead Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781565125971
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Algonquin Books - April 13th, 2010

Here are three reasons to read this book.
First, you have to love this title. I don’t care what other people say. For me the cover, the title, and the first line of a book will often sell me on giving it a read.
Second, this line (I Thought You Were Dead) is actually spoken in the first chapter … by a Dog named Stella … who plays a major part in this story about Paul Gustavson , a man who is struggling in life, love, and work.  Paul’s father is gravely ill, his wife left him, his girlfriend has another guy, his relationship with his brother is strained, he has no idea what he wants out of life and he is writing a book called Nature for Morons (from which you can read delightful excerpts). But he has a wonderful companion in his aging Lab-shepherd mix (the aforementioned Stella) who always tells him the truth and is in fact his best friend.
Paul’s journey toward resolving his personal issues unfolds as he jogs through North Hampton, Mass., participates in his father’s recovery, and drinks beers with his buddies at the local, Bay State bar (though not necessarily in this order). And you will be smiling, laughing, and crying along with him.
Third, I am not the only one who is enthusiastic about I Thought You Were Dead. This is the number one IndieBound pick for April, which means that independent booksellers across the country have endorsed this book and will be recommending it to their customers. I hope you got to meet Pete at lunch in Manhattan Beach on May 12.

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780670021390
Availability: Special Order
Published: Pamela Dorman Books - January 12th, 2010

This book embarrassed me! I read it on a plane to New York City and I could not stop the tears from running down my face every 10 pages or so. I just hope the passengers on the seats next to me were paying as little attention to me as I was to them!

CeeCee Honeycutt grew up in a dysfunctional family in a small town in Ohio with a psychotic mother and an absent, alcoholic father until she was 12 years old and her mother is killed (I am not telling any secrets here … you know this by the second sentence.) When her great-aunt Tootie shows up to take her home with her to Savannah, Georgia, CeeCee knows her life will never be the same … and much of that is a good thing, except that she doesn’t realize it at the time.

CeeCee arrives at Tootie’s gracious home in Savannah and is immediately swept into a world of southern grace and style … one that seems to be populated exclusively by eccentric women. Small bits of southern wisdom and down-to-earth traditions sprinkle this story of CeeCee’s journey from a lost childhood to a wonderful new life surrounded by her new southern family. Hoffman’s sensitive treatment of dealing with grief and living life on one’s own terms was inspired and inspirational. Like some of the life lessons learned from these engaging women, this book is a gem.

The Postmistress Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780399156199
Availability: Special Order
Published: Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam - February 9th, 2010

The Irresistible Henry House Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781400063000
Availability: Special Order
Published: Random House - March 16th, 2010

This book delighted me … from beginning to end. In 1946, on the campus of Wilton College in western Pennsylvania a major in Home Economics was all the rage for women and the Practice House was one of the toughest requirements in the program.


The Practice House was run by Martha Gaines, a widow with a dour temperament and the long-held belief that there is only one way to do things. This is especially true regarding her rules for raising the “practice babies” that entered the lives of these women during their turn in the Practice House. Henry House was one of these babies and this is his story.


The reading of The Irresistible Henry House is equal part a study in human relationships and a blast to the past. Live through the 1950s and 60s with Henry as he grows up and then comes of age working for Disney Studios and experimenting with drugs and free love. This is one of those books that I didn’t want to end. Every page was a charming, nostalgic, and poignant trip through our own histories. This is a story that can’t possibly be true, but yet …