one sentence book reviews


I read 36 books in 2022. It was a pretty even mix between “this is a horrible book and I hate it” and “reading this doesn’t feel like a waste of time.” There were even a few that I actually liked a lot. Not totally unheard of for me, but it seems like I end up reading a lot of books I should’ve put down halfway through.


Even just one full sentence might be a little too ambitious, because I’m no longer any good at writing about books. Here goes nothing:

My Dark Vanessa, Kate Elizabeth Russell: I don’t typically like stories dependent on the unreliable narrator’s awareness (or ignorance) of the fact that they’re an unreliable narrator but it was good here.

The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison: Toni Morrison’s first novel is better than most writers’ 5th or 6th or 10th or…

Woman on the Edge of Time, Marge Piercy: A man on Goodreads whose favorite book is Lolita would like you to know that there is no value in a woman writing science fiction. (Two sentences for this one: I do and don’t want to know what he thinks of Octavia Butler and Ursula K Le Guin.)

A Girl is a Half-formed Thing, Eimear McBride: The writing and language makes the ending more devastating than it would’ve been if it was straightforward and easy instead.

634 Ways to Kill Fidel, Fabian Escalante: The feds hate Cuba because Fidel Castro dying of old age and not a booby-trapped seashell is embarrassing for them.*

Transcendent Kingdom, Yaa Gyasi: Holy shiiiii-

*I actually didn’t like this book much, but sometimes it’s fun to read about the US failing (over and over and over) to assassinate (and embarrass? they tried to poison him so his beard would fall out. huh?) world leaders for once.