OK I'm ok with 19.16 now. As Robko and others have pointed out, when you change the bottom bar to "Shortlist", pressing "Show all" brings up the shortlist in one tap, so is actually quicker to get to the shortlist than from 1.9.14.
The bar does make the homepage messy, what with 5 items of my shortlist shown above and below, but I can live with it.
My kobo doesn't run particularly faster or look particularly better with fonts, but I wasn't unhappy with the speed or the fonts in 1.9.14 anyway.
The only thing I want really that isn't there is custom folder lists accessible like the library and shortlist.