book review · books · shanti · writing

Every Book I’ve read in 2020 so far in one sentence

I have read a fair bit this year, and all kinds of books. I thought I’d review all of them in one sentence!


Mystics of Mile End

This was extremely weird, but I learned a bit about Jewish mysticism.


If I came from a different background, I would have appreciated this more; I don’t agree with all of it, but I think it widens the Overton window for discussions of sexuality in North American Christianity.


I didn’t really need to read this but I appreciated Spufford’s compassionate faith, and love the idea of emotional logic.

My Sweetest Escape

I read this because I was on a tramp and had nothing else to read but it was utterly dreadful, cliched, and boring.

Salt on Your Tongue

An overdone metaphor, but exquisite writing makes up for a lot.

Serious Moonlight

I liked this more than Starry Eyes, and it made me want to run around Seattle.

Hope in the Dark

A friend gave me this for my birthday, and Rebecca Solnit is brilliant and galvanising.

Not the Girl You Marry

Adults are dumb, and this rom-com was painless but predictable.


I learned a lot about how broken the North American church is, although it didn’t feel very profound.

A Moonless Starless Sky

Super inspiring, compassionate journalism that made me want to venture into hurting places and tell more stories.

Coming Up Roses

Short story collections are inevitably a mixed bag, but good ones like this remind me of the possibilities of petite fiction.

The Lightest Object in the Universe

Okay, this book has a political agenda and is low on plot, but it filled me with hope and gladness, and if you are afraid of apocalypse and societal transformation, read it (pairs well with Hope in the Dark!).

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Perfectly grand in scope, truly one of the best fantasy books of all time.

Night of Cake and Puppets

A sugary sweet dessert of delight.

Days of Blood and Starlight

Laini Taylor makes her world work in all this glorious intricacy, i think this is the most complex book of the trilogy.

Dreams of Gods and Monsters

War is bad, and violence perpetuates itself, and with great courage reconciliation is possible, and there is enough plot threads to choke on.

Inconspicuous Consumption

I read enough ~environmental news~ that this wasn’t too surprising, but presented compellingly and still useful.

The Girl From Everywhere

It took me years to read this, and like all time travel books, the plot was a bit twisty but still a solid adventure.

The Wrong Side of Right

More boring and less developed than I remember!


Very sweet and fun without being provoking.

The Dangerous Country of Love and Marriage

Provocative, lovely, attentive solace.

Dinner at Rose’s

Family and friendship and love in small town New Zealand (although one really problematic scene with a Māori character).

David Copperfield

Injustice is real, but this book is a (lengthy) hoot.

All Who Live on Islands

I actually wrote a whole review, I love non-fiction essays.

Father and Son

Very compelling and fast, which surprised me, and helped me understand religious movements in 19th century England.


The Ship Beyond Time

I loved all the reflecting about the future, and also this is a straight up delightful adventure.

Everything I Know About Love

reading this has helped me not move to London and take a lot of drugs in my 20’s, and also I want to cherish my friends more.


This book is one of my happy places.

The Earth Does Not Get Fat

Let’s traumatize the main character more by explaining to her why she’s so traumatized!


The Boat (DNF)

Life is too short to read short story collections this depressing (or maybe I’m not literary enough).

Loveboat Taipei

Teenagers are idiots (said the 20 year old), but seriously Ever pull yourself together and rebel more creatively.

A Field Guide to Getting Lost

I want to get lost more; I want to pay attention to the world better.


do you like short reviews? have you read any of these?

4 thoughts on “Every Book I’ve read in 2020 so far in one sentence

  1. Ahhh what a fun blog post, I love the idea so much! πŸ™‚ I’m happy you liked Serious Moonlight, I found it to be such a great read too πŸ™‚


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