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Smart Summer Reads August 2020

Smart Summer Reads August 2020 authors with book jackets

Sunday, August 30 marks our second SSR event for 2020. These are the authors that are attending :

Audrey Carlan

Christina Clancy

Emery Hayes

Jenn McKinlay

Amy Meyerson

Ivy Pochoda


Smart Summer Reads (SSR) is how Ladies, Lunch & Literacy celebrates summer! While finding you the perfect book for your summer vacation or poolside read, we promise you one of the most fun book events of the year!

This year, Smart Summer Reads goes virtual. This is how it will work:

  • The six authors shown above have been invited to meet you and discuss their latest book.
  • Join us at 3:00pm to see who else is attending and meet our authors. Please login at least 5 minutes early, you won't want to miss this!
  • Once the introductions are done, you will be assigned to a Breakout room. (This will be a random assignment. We are sorry that we cannot accept requests to be placed with your friends.)
  • One author will join you for 10 minutes. She will begin by talking about her book and her background and then open it up for Q&A.
  • After 10 minutes, we will move the author to another Breakout room. This will continue until you have had an opportunity to meet all 6 authors.
  • Before attending SSR, we encourage you to visit this page and purchase books by these author(s). This will add to your enjoyment of meeting each author and get any questions you have answered! Please let us know if you would like us to ship the book(s) to you or if you would like to pick them up from Creating Conversations. All requests should be placed in the comment section of your order.
  • The program will wrap up around 4:30pm.

Reservations are required. To register, click here.


Event Date: 
Sunday, August 30, 2020 - 3:00pm to 4:30pm
Virtual Event
The Imperfects Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780778305071
Published: Park Row - May 5th, 2020

From the bestselling author of The Bookshop of Yesterdays comes a captivating new novel about a priceless inheritance that leads one family on a life-altering pursuit of the truth.


The Millers are far from perfect. Estranged siblings Beck, Ashley and Jake find themselves under one roof for the first time in years, forced to confront old resentments and betrayals, when their mysterious, eccentric matriarch, Helen, passes away. But their lives are about to change when they find a secret inheritance hidden among her possessions--the Florentine Diamond, a 137-carat yellow gemstone that went missing from the Austrian Empire a century ago.


Desperate to learn how one of the world's most elusive diamonds ended up in Helen's bedroom, they begin investigating her past only to realize how little they know about their brave, resilient grandmother. As the Millers race to determine whether they are the rightful heirs to the diamond and the fortune it promises, they uncover a past more tragic and powerful than they ever could have imagined, forever changing their connection to their heritage and each other.


Inspired by the true story of the real, still-missing Florentine Diamond, The Imperfects illuminates the sacrifices we make for family and how sometimes discovering the truth of the past is the only way to better the future.

These Women: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062656384
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ecco - May 19th, 2020

From the award-winning author of Wonder Valley and Visitation Street comes a serial killer story like you've never seen before--a literary thriller of female empowerment and social change

In West Adams, a rapidly changing part of South Los Angeles, they're referred to as "these women." These women on the corner ... These women in the club ... These women who won't stop asking questions ... These women who got what they deserved ...

In her masterful new novel, Ivy Pochoda creates a kaleidoscope of loss, power, and hope featuring five very different women whose lives are steeped in danger and anguish. They're connected by one man and his deadly obsession, though not all of them know that yet. There's Dorian, still adrift after her daughter's murder remains unsolved; Julianna, a young dancer nicknamed Jujubee, who lives hard and fast, resisting anyone trying to slow her down; Essie, a brilliant vice cop who sees a crime pattern emerging where no one else does; Marella, a daring performance artist whose work has long pushed boundaries but now puts her in peril; and Anneke, a quiet woman who has turned a willfully blind eye to those around her for far too long. The careful existence they have built for themselves starts to crumble when two murders rock their neighborhood.

Written with beauty and grit, tension and grace, These Women is a glorious display of storytelling, a once-in-a-generation novel.

The Second Home: A Novel Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781250239341
Published: St. Martin's Press - June 2nd, 2020

Tender and compassionate, incisive and heartbreaking, Christina Clancy's The Second Home is the story of a family you'll quickly fall in love with, and won't soon forget.

After a disastrous summer spent at her family summer home on Cape Cod, seventeen-year-old Ann Gordon was left with a secret that changed her life forever, and created a rift between her sister, Poppy, and their adopted brother, Michael.

Now, fifteen years later, her parents have died, leaving Ann and Poppy to decide the fate of the Wellfleet home that's been in the Gordon family for generations. For Ann, the once-beloved house is tainted with bad memories. Poppy loves the old saltbox, but after years spent chasing waves around the world, she isn't sure she knows how to stay in one place.

Just when the sisters decide to sell, Michael re-enters their lives with a legitimate claim to the house. But more than that, he wants to set the record straight about that long ago summer. Reunited after years apart, these very different siblings must decide if they can continue to be a family--and the house just might be the glue that holds them together.

Told through the shifting perspectives of Ann, Poppy, and Michael, this assured and affecting debut captures the ache of nostalgia for summers past and the powerful draw of the places we return to again and again. It is about second homes, second families, and second chances.

Paris Is Always a Good Idea Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593101353
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Berkley - July 21st, 2020


A thirty-year-old woman retraces her gap year through Ireland, France, and Italy to find love--and herself--in this hilarious and heartfelt novel.


It's been seven years since Chelsea Martin embarked on her yearlong postcollege European adventure. Since then, she's lost her mother to cancer and watched her sister marry twice, while Chelsea's thrown herself into work, becoming one of the most talented fundraisers for the American Cancer Coalition, and with the exception of one annoyingly competent coworker, Jason Knightley, her status as most successful moneymaker is unquestioned.


When her introverted mathematician father announces he's getting remarried, Chelsea is forced to acknowledge that her life stopped after her mother died and that the last time she can remember being happy, in love, or enjoying her life was on her year abroad. Inspired to retrace her steps--to find Colin in Ireland, Jean Claude in France, and Marcelino in Italy--Chelsea hopes that one of these three men who stole her heart so many years ago can help her find it again.


From the start of her journey nothing goes as planned, but as Chelsea reconnects with her old self, she also finds love in the very last place she expected.

What the Heart Wants (Wish #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781335484918
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Hqn - July 28th, 2020

From the #1 bestselling author of the beloved Calendar Girl books comes the first in a witty, wise and emotionally compelling new series, where coming home is just the beginning...

"Fly free."

For ten years those words, written on pink parchment paper in her mother's beautiful handwriting, have been Suda Kaye Ross's guiding star. Every year on her birthday, Suda Kaye opens another of the letters her mother penned before she passed, heeding the advice inside as she fills her life with experiences. From Italy to Australia, from Rio to Russia, she's slaked her wanderlust. And then, on her twenty-eighth birthday, she opens the letter that sends her home.

Returning to Colorado means confronting everything--and everyone--she left behind, including her cherished sister, Evie, and her first love, Camden Bryant. Suda Kaye and Cam spent four years and one unforgettable night together. Given the way she ran out on him, it's no surprise that he's wary, resentful...and engaged to someone else. Evie, hardworking and ├╝berresponsible, just wants her sister to put down roots at last.

For Evie's sake, and her own, Suda Kaye is trying to build a new life, all the while wondering whether it's too late to come back home--or if the most important part of her never really left.

Cold to the Bone: A Nicole Cobain Mystery Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781643854984
Published: Crooked Lane Books - August 11th, 2020

The brutal murder of a teenager and a deadly medical drama plunge a small-town sheriff into a vortex of treachery and greed in the debut novel of Emery Hayes's A Nicole Cobain Mystery series.

First female sheriff of Toole County, Montana Nicole Cobain earned the position through mental and physical grit and when a young girl is found murdered on icy Lake Maria, every bit of it is tested. But what begins as a chase for the killer quickly unravels into a high stakes medical transaction with harrowing consequences.

Eight years ago, Nicole fled her fast-track position as a homicide detective with the Denver Police Department in an act of desperation to save both her son and herself. Answering a recruitment ad, she showed up in the foothills of Glacier National Park and was elected sheriff six years later. She has a measure of peace in her new surroundings, her son is thriving, and she has effectively distanced herself from her past. Until Benjamin Kris shows up again.

Benjamin is the father of Nicole's son and a big-time charmer who has quickly scaled the crime ladder. He has a large clientele and is looking forward to a big pay day that lands him in Toole. But when it becomes clear he could be a suspect among several others in town with opportunity and motive, it's up to Nicole to sift through the tangled threads to find the killer before they strike again.

The Bookshop of Yesterdays Cover Image
ISBN: 9780778369080
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Park Row - May 7th, 2019

Wonder Valley: A Novel Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780062656360
Published: Ecco - July 3rd, 2018

Visitation Street: A Novel Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780062249906
Published: Dennis Lehane Books/Ecco - April 15th, 2014

Word to the Wise (A Library Lover's Mystery #10) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593100042
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Berkley - June 30th, 2020

Sprinkle with Murder (Cupcake Bakery Mystery #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780425233429
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Berkley - March 2nd, 2010

Cloche and Dagger (A Hat Shop Mystery #1) Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780425258897
Published: Berkley - August 6th, 2013

The Good Ones (Happily Ever After #1) Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780451492432
Published: Berkley - February 5th, 2019

International Guy: Madrid, Rio, Los Angeles Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781503904668
Published: Montlake Romance - February 5th, 2019