Each month, BookSparks founder Crystal Patriarche shares what she reads so you can grab the books that need to be on your radar. Squeeze the last drop of sunshine out of summer with these August picks!

tom lake

Tom Lake by Ann Patchett

At the family orchard, Lara’s three daughters visit in the spring of 2020 and coax her into sharing the tale of her young love story with a famous actor. As she regales the tale, her daughters are left to reflect on their own loves and lives. While the world changes forever, the lives of these women also begin to churn as they discover more about themselves and each other.

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Happiness Falls by Angie Kim

When the adored family patriarch of a biracial, Korean American family goes missing, a mystery intertwines with a family’s history. Only Eugene seems to have witnessed what happen, but a rare disorder keeps him from being able to speak. As Mia and others look for the missing man, secrets and fascinating questions intermingle as the clock ticks on finding her father.

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The Other Year

The Other Year by Rea Fry

This contemporary women’s fiction novel takes a look at the idea that a life’s entire course could be traced back to one single moment. The Other Year looks at two parallel timelines, one where Kate gets to keep being a mother and one where she doesn’t. This book explores romances, grief, abandonment, resilience, and love, in a heart-breaking, yet sharply funny way.

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The Stockwell Letters

The Stockwell Letters by Jacqueline Friedland

Based on the true story of Ann Phillips, Jacqueline Friedland brings a rich world to the life of an abolitionist. When Ann was twenty-four, she fell ill and her famed abolitionist husband forbade her from participating in anti-slavery activities. When a fugitive slave is caught in Boston, Ann cannot ignore the call. Fighting injustice and the restrictions imposed on women at the time, Ann fights with vigor for a future of freedom.

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Family Lore by Elizabeth Acevedo

Flor has always had the gift of being able to tell the exact day a person is going to die. So when she requests to have a living wake, her sisters suspect she’s foreseen her own end. But Flor isn’t sharing. As the sisters gather for the event and other family members join, the secret lives of the attendees swirl with Flor’s purpose for a family epic that can’t be missed.

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The Many Lives of Mama Love

The Many Lives of Mama Love by Lara Love Hardin

When Lara is caught stealing her neighbors credit cards to fuel her heroin addiction, she is convicted of thirty two felonies and thrown in prison. As an inmate, she discovers the unusual caste and currency system of jail. Rising through the ranks to become a leader amongst the incarcerated, Lara finds the environment strangely similar to that of a PTA. Upon release she becomes a ghostwriter and suddenly amongst the most famous and revered people of society. Battling shame in search of redemption, Lara shares her harrowing journey.

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She Watches

Justified: City Primeval

It’s been 15 years since Raylan Givens left Kentucky. Now he’s in Miami, still operating as a U.S. Marshall and raising his daughter. When a chance encounter on a Florida highway brings him face-to-face with The Oklahoma Wildman, he heads to Detroit to work with the lawmen this sociopath has already evaded.

She Listens

Meet Cute

Let’s face it, most of us don’t have all day to curl up on a couch with a good book or even zone out on a show with any real regularity. Thank the Universe for podcasts, Audible and other audio-based content. This tail end of summer is all about winding down the warm weather season with headphones in, A/C blowing at full force and multi-tasking as kids go back to school, holiday season stares us down and vacations shrink into the rearview mirror. The completely bingeable stories over at Meet Cute are the exact remedy for this season. Told in bite-sized episodes, Meet Cute shares diverse, feel-good stories in a format that is perfect for those brief trips in the car and a long line at the grocery store. Each month we’ll be sharing the latest stories from this romance publisher taking a new approach to the kind of stories we can’t get enough of.