Crystal Patriarche’s whole business is all about books. As the Founder and CEO of SparkPoint Studio, she has built the ultimate destination for authors, publishers and readers. Over the past decade, she has created industry-leading brands like BookSparks (publicity for authors and publishers), She Writes Press and SparkPress (publishing imprints with an emphasis on female authors), and founded our own site,, too.

As an avid reader and true bookworm, Crystal’s #TBR list is eclectic, inspiring and always one to watch. In fact, many of her book picks here were also picked by Hello Sunshine and Read With Jenna for their book clubs or by our own readers in our She Reads Awards. We can’t wait to see what she reads next!

Luster by Raven Leilani

Edie has been stumbling her way through her twenties when she meets Eric. Invited into his house by his open-marriage wife, Edie becomes a role model for his daughter in a world with shifting racial politics and sexual manners. Luster was also a nominee in the She Reads Awards for Best Women’s Fiction Book of the Year.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Nora Seed finds herself in a magical library, beyond the edge of the universe, questioning her life’s choices. In this library, she looks through stories of what her life could have been if she made different choices, and determines what is truly important to her.

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

Gifty is a Ghanaian immigrant, 60 years old, and a neuroscience PHD candidate at Stanford struggling to find the scientific basis behind the suffering that has plagued her family. Along the way, she finds herself tempted by the salvation promised by the evangelical church in which she was raised.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi 

In the eighteenth century, two half sisters are born in two different villages in Ghana and lead very different lives. One will marry an Englishman and live her life in a comfortable castle, the other will be captured, imprisoned at the same castle, and sold into slavery.

Very Nice by Marcy Dermansky

Rachel Klein’s creative writing professor Zahid never meant to spend the summer the summer in her home, and she never meant to kiss him, but when they do, they both agree it’s very nice. Rachel’s mother Becca never meant to have a love affair so soon after her divorce, but when she does, it’s not so nice.

Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy

Franny Stone is desperate to run away from her destructive past, and deems a final trip to Antarctica the best way to get away from it all. When Franny’s secrets catch up with her, she wonders how much she will risk to redeem herself.

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak (published before 2020 but read this holiday and loved) 

The Birch family must endure each other for seven days after their daughter Olivia comes home after treating an epidemic abroad and is told she and her whole family must quarantine. Nothing can be kept secret in such close quarters and tensions risen, but nothing causes more shock than the arrival of an unexpected guest.

The Mothers and The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

The Mothers follows beautiful Nadia, a secret pregnancy, love triangles, and endless questions of what could’ve been. The Vanishing Half, an Oprah summer book pick, covers similar themes of escapism and lies through a heartfelt narrative of racial identity.

And Now She’s Gone by Rachel Howzell Hall

Grayson Syke’s search to find Isabel Lincoln is dangerous and complicated, especially since Isabel does not want to be found. As her secrets are revealed the danger progresses and those Isabel once loved learn how her fear led her to abandon everything in order to survive. See our interview with the author.

A Star is Bored By Byron Lane 

Charli Besson takes on the role of assistant to the famed, chaotic, and possibly hopeless Hollywood star Kathi Kannon. Both help each other and develop a friendship, but Charli soon gets bored living on the sidelines and wonders if he can become a star on his own in this 2020 beach read.

Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell

In 1580s England, Agnes is a wild and well-known healer. Eventually, she settles down in a happy marriage, only to have it all unravel when her husband’s beloved young son succumbs to fever.

Saving Ruby King by Catherine Adel West

A She Reads pick for Best BIPOC Debut Books of the Year, Saving Ruby King is the story of Ruby’s life after the unexpected death of her mother. Despite her abusive father, Ruby forms a lasting friendship with her best friend Layla, and together they show that their friendship transcends the past and the future.

The Book of V by Anna Solomon

In where three women’s lives are intertwined when all of their stories come together in the modern day. Lily, Vivian and Esther all have their stories to tell.

The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi 

After escaping from her abusive marriage, Lakshmi heads to Jaipur where she becomes a well known and renowned henna artist as well as a confidant for the city’s upper class women. When her abusive husband shows up with her sister, who she has never met before, Lakshmi is tested but nonetheless is determined to persevere and continue the work she loves. See our book look for The Henna Artist feature by Pia Cortez.

Strangers and Cousins by Leah Hagen Cohen 

Clem is about to get married, and her parents have decided to host her wedding at their house in the idyllic town of Rundle Junction. However, Clem has a different agenda but what she doesn’t know is that by the end of the ceremony everyone in her family will have a role to play.

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith 

Seventeen-year-old Cassandra lives in a run down castle with her family where she spends a total of six months writing in journals. Her entries fill up three journals and describe the events within the castle walls and her descent into love, but by her final entry she has finally captured the castle and the reader’s heart.

All Adults Here by Emma Straub 

When Astrid witnesses an acquaintance get hit by a school bus, she recalls repressed memories of herself as a parent. After realizing she wasn’t the parent she thought she was to her now adult children, Astrid and her kids must now confront these issues to finally begin to heal. What to read next if you loved All Adults Here>>

Writers and Lovers by Lily King

Writers and Lovers was a nominee for Best Surprise Hit of 2020 in our She Reads Awards. In 1997, Casey Peabody arrived in Massachusetts without a plan but with a dream to live a creative life, unlike her friends who have given up on that dream. When the thirty-one-year- old falls for two men at the same time, her world fractures even more but even then she is determined to fulfill her creative ambitions.

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez 

One Hundred Years of Solitude tells the story of the birth and death of the mythical town of Macondo through the Buendía family. Full of unforgettable characters, sadness and happiness – this novel is a literary work of art.

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne

Cyril Avery is adopted and is often reminded by his parents that he isn’t a real Avery. Cyril runs adrift in the world and spends a lifetime learning who he really is as well as learning his identity and about his home country.