Your Summer Reading List

June 2020
Written By: 
Julie Flanagan
Photographs by: 
courtesy of Gallery Books & Levi Monday

Book reviews

On Ocean Boulevard By Mary Alice Monroe
Gallery Books, $26.99
Release Date: May 19, 2020

Looking for your next summer must-read? Mary Alice Monroe's latest release, On Ocean Boulevard, checks all the boxes. Set just a couple hours south of the Grand Strand, the novel focuses on beloved characters from the Rutledge family. It also incorporates the theme of environmentalism that threads through all Monroe's works.

As Cara prepares for her upcoming second wedding, she's not so sure the grand affair she and David have planned is what she even wants. While she knows she loves him, things are happening quickly and feel out of her control. When an unexpected illness strikes her family, Cara is forced to question the life she is creating.

After moving to California and taking a chance on a career and relationship, Cara's niece Linnea returns home to Sullivan's Island to figure out her next steps. Will finding new love and throwing herself into a position she's passionate about set her on the right path? Meanwhile, Linnea's parents, having survived bankruptcy, put the hope of their future on a new home they are building.

Amid all the personal happenings, it is loggerhead nesting season, a special time for the family that goes back generations. Like these majestic creatures, the Rutledges are also going through a cycle of rebirth and returning home.

Hitting Rock Middle By Sallie Holder
Advantage Media Group, $27.95
Release Date: January 14, 2020

While many of us are living a successful life by society's standards, does that mean we are truly fulfilled? Sallie Holder's Hitting Rock Middle helps explore important questions around feeling stuck in a career or life that isn't allowing you to live as your authentic self.

Named a "Top Professional of the Year" before she turned 30, Holder was excelling at a career in law. Despite the outward appearance of success, she was miserable. She had hit Rock Middle. She wasn't failing, but she knew she wasn't where she was supposed to be or doing what was she was meant to do. Far too many of us know this feeling all too well.

Once you know you've hit Rock Middle, it's overwhelming to know how to take steps to find yourself again. Holder's book helps you get your footing by providing a roadmap to realize true fulfillment. You'll learn how to create a clear vision for your future, develop decision-making skills so that you know where to focus and redefine your goals, and how to pave the path to reach them. She is also quick to share helpful anecdotes from her personal journey.

Holder breaks down larger concepts into chunks that seem manageable, allowing you to make a plan for daily, weekly and monthly actions that will create a feeling of happiness. If you know it's time for you to make a change, Hitting Rock Middle provides the perfect framework for moving forward and achieving your dreams.