Summer 2020 Reading Round Up

Welcome back!

To all my lovely fellow American friends reading this today, I hope you had a lovely holiday weekend (and stayed safe in the process). I had plans to start outlines for the next draft of a work-in-progress over the weekend, but I spent the entire time sleeping and watching YouTube instead.

And I have no regrets.

If there's one thing I've (re)learned in the last year or two, it's that you need to listen to your body when it tells you to slow down. The work will still be there when your body is ready to handle it. 

At least one that hasn't changed in all the chaos is my love of reading. Here's what I've been reading over the last few months! 

What I was able to read this summer

Here is the magical list of things I was able to finish reading over the course of the summer. I was busy with work projects for a lot of the time, so it's not as robust of a list as I would have liked to compile. All of the reading I finished was fiction, so I've broken the list down by story-length. 

I've rated and/or reviewed most of these on Goodreads if you'd like to know what I thought of them. Reviews posted on this site are linked as well.


  1. Binti: Home - Nnedi Okorafor (2017,
  2. Binti: The Night Masquerade - Nnedi Okorafor (2018,
  3. Junkyard: A Fractured Stars Novella - Lindsay Buroker (2019, self-pub)


  1. Alien Secrets (Solar Warden #1) - Ian Douglas (2020, Harper Voyager) 
  2. The Sentient - Nadia Afifi (2020, Flame Tree Press) [read my review]

What I am still reading

Since there are a few books I started later in the summer and am still working my way through, I thought I'd go ahead and include them in this post in their own section.

Nonfiction Reads

  1. If You Feel Too Much: Thoughts on Things Found and Lost and Hoped For - Jamie Tworkowski (2015, TarcherPerigee)
  2. Structuring Your Novel: From Basic Idea to Finished Manuscript - Robert C. Meredith & John Fitzgerald (1972, Harper & Row, Publishers)

Fiction Reads

  1. Plague Ship - Andrew North [pseudonym for Andre Norton] (original publication 1956, Gnome Press)
  2. An Unnatural Life - Erin K. Wagner (2020, Tor/Forge)

What I didn't finish (and don't intend to)

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw a recent post where I alluded to there being a couple of books I started reading this summer that I was never going to be able to finish. 

View this post on Instagram

Every once in awhile, I compile a list of the stories I've read and share (most of) them with the internet on my blog. Some are ones I started at the same time as books on one of my previous lists, but most end up being ones I finish in one to two sittings.⁠ ⁠ And then there are the books I will never be able to finish. I don't run into many, but this summer there were two I started that I never finished and never intend to.⁠ ⁠ I'm brainstorming a possible post for later this month or early next month about the kinds of things that make me never want to come back to a book, but I thought I'd turn the question over to you.⁠ ⁠ Have you run into any books recently that you can't bring yourself to finish? If so, what were they and why did you stop reading?⁠ ⁠ #books #reading #bookworm #book #booklover #booknerd #bibliophile #bookish #read #bookaddict #igreads #bookaholic #reader #author #writersofinstagram #writersofig #writingcommunity #writerscommunity #writer #authorsofinstagram #lifeoftiger #catsofinstagram

A post shared by Cat Pollock Writes (@catpollockwrites) on

It happens to everyone at some point, I'm sure. 

I considered calling these books out in this section of the Round Up. Then I thought it might be better not to. Then I decided it might be best to work on a blog post about what it is about some books that makes me set them down and never return to them. 

Depending on how I feel about the process of writing that post, it may be up in a few weeks. Or it may never see the light of day. Keep your eyes open either way.

I don't think this summer has been quite what any of us envisioned for it. I know a global pandemic was the last thing I anticipated at the beginning of the year when I started thinking about when it would be best to start posting again. 

I do hope all of you are healthy and safe (or on your way to those things). I was sick in the spring, am still recovering, and in my second round of quarantine after having family members I've seen recently test positive. So far I'm showing no signs of reinfection. 

Let's hope it stays that way, yeah?

Links to the last few Round Ups: