Fine feathers spoke volumes at the annual "Ladies Who Lunch….and Read" event held May 8 at Three Seventy Common for the first time.
The restaurant across the street from the Laguna Beach Library opened specially for the Friends of the Library luncheon, where participants paraded their chapeaus and touted books they had recently read.
"Everybody had a wonderful time and they are still talking about it," said Friends President Martha Lydick. "The food was magnificent, the staff was friendly and efficient and there was parking.
"We will be back next year."
Lydick won second prize for the best hat, a feathered fascinator that reflected the beaded and embroidered peacock on her sheer jacket.
Fascinators, which perch on the side or front of one's head were popularized by guests at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Librarian Jenny Gasset won first prize for the fascinator which she made.
Gasset recommended reading "Hunchback of Neiman Marcus," written by Sonya Sones.
"She is a poet writing for young adults when I first heard of her," Gasset said. "I was excited to see an adult book by her in which the poems build the story."
"She broke the rules and we could learn a lot from her," Mangels said.
Realtor and arts patron Bobbi Cox recommended "South of Broad," by Pat Conroy, the author's first book in years.
"I didn't want to finish the book because I didn't want to leave the characters," Cox said.
Mary Fitzgerald read "Killing Lincoln" by Bill O'Reilly with her book club.
"Some members had to bring it in a brown paper bag," she said
Fitzgerald also read "Caleb's Crossing" by Geraldine Brooks that School Board President Betsy Jenkins recommended.
"The book takes place in the early 1600s in the brand new colony of Massachusetts, where the natives end up attending Harvard," Jenkins said.
Madeleine Visca was touched by Donna Shore's "Florence Nightingale" and how God called her to the service of others.
And of course, the luncheon would have been incomplete without some reference to "50 Shades of Grey," read by many, but mentioned only by Laguna Books' Lisa Childers.
Among the noteworthy hats worn to the luncheon: Councilwoman Elizabeth Pearson's pearl-flower-trimmed ivory straw, divine with the ivory silk jacket she had bought at the Benefit Boutique.