The "Ladies Who Lunch and Read" topped off the annual Friends of the Laguna Beach Library fundraiser Tuesday at Sapphire with awards for the prettiest hats worn by supporters.
Kathleen Lechner won first prize. She wore one of her mother's hats in honor of Mother's Day.
Second prize went to school member Betsy Jenkins, wearing a side-brimmed blue and green silk "garden party" hat from Duet on Forest Avenue.
Librarian Jenny Gasset was awarded third prize for the floral fascinator she made herself. Fascinators are those confections attached to headbands seen often by viewers of the royal wedding.
"I recommend wearing a hat because if you don't, they make you the judge," said hatless Laguna Beach Community Foundation President Darrcy Loveland Bickel.
Friends of the Laguna Beach Library President Martha Lydick received an honorable mention for the navy blue straw hat that had been sitting in her closet unworn for three years since she bought it at Sutton Place.
Councilwoman Elizabeth Pearson was also given a mention for her white straw hat trimmed with full-blown pale lilac roses swathed in chiffon drapery. Studio Arts Gallery owner Rebecca Barber got a nod for her perky topper, as did City Treasurer Laura Parisi for the wide-brimmed grey straw picture hat given to her by her daughter, Alex Navas, who works at Sutton Place in Peppertree Lane.
Past Laguna Beach Seniors Inc. President Pauline Walpin wore a pearl-beaded, white straw hat, shaped like an Egyptian crown, a present from Pearson.
Alice Dawson, widow of former Councilman Howard Dawson, chose a hat made by Michelle Boyd, wife of Councilman Kelly Boyd.
"Michelle didn't recognize it because I put a flower on it for spring," Dawson said.
Boyd wasn't wearing one of her own creations; she bought her doll-sized, gold and bronze, straw fascinator at Duet.
Sandy Ohanesian's fascinator was a silk flower in shades of beige and brown.
Despite the oohs and aahs over the hats, the real business of the luncheon is to recommend books one has read.
"'Religious Literacy' by Stephen Prothero is book about how important it is to understand other religions," Lechner said.
She also recommended "The Snowball," a biography of Warren Buffett.
"It's not the usual thing I read — I am not in the financial world — but it is very well written."
Jenkins, who just returned from China, said she read two great books on the trip: "The Last Chinese Chef" and "Fallen Leaf, " both recommended by Joe and Jane Hanauer —she owns Laguna Books in the Old Pottery Place, which he redeveloped.
"But my point is, if you are going on a trip, nothing is better than reading about where you are going," Jenkins said. "It makes the trip more interesting. Go to Jane's store and she will fix you right up."
Vicki de Reynal recommended a book about buying a house in Italy, written by actors Michael Tucker and Jill Eikenberry.
Mary Fitzgerald said many of the women at the luncheon had probably seen "The King's Speech" and enjoyed it, but the book contains more information about the therapist. It was written by his grandson.