Twenty-One Truths About Love
"Radical, extraordinary, and profoundly human." - Taylor Jenkins Reid1. Daniel Mayrock loves his wife Jill…more than anything. 2. Dan quit his job and opened a bookshop.3. Jill is ready to have a baby. 4. Dan is scared; the bookshop isn’t doing well. Financial crisis is imminent. 5. Dan hasn’t told Jill about their financial trouble. He’s ashamed. 6. Then Jill gets pregnant.This heartfelt story is about the lengths one man will go to and the risks he will take to save his family. But Dan doesn’t just want to save his failing bookstore and his family’s finances—he wants to become someone.1. Dan wants to do something special. 2. He’s a man who is tired of feeling ordinary. 3. He’s sick of feeling like a failure. 4. Of living in the shadow of his wife’s deceased first husband.Dan is also an obsessive list maker, and his story unfolds entirely in his lists, which are brimming with Dan’s hilarious sense of humor, unique world-view, and deeply personal thoughts. When read in full, his lists paint a picture of a man struggling to be a man, a man who has reached a point where he’s willing to anything for the love (and soon-to-be new love) of his life.

Twenty-One Truths About Love Details

TitleTwenty-One Truths About Love
Author
ReleaseNov 19th, 2019
PublisherSt. Martin's Press
ISBN-139781250103482
Rating
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Humor

Twenty-One Truths About Love Review

  • Meredith
    January 1, 1970
    I was going to create my own list comprised of twenty-one truths about this book, but I realized I only needed one:I loved Twenty-one Truths About Love! Twenty-one Truths About Love is a humorous, quirky, and endearing read about one man’s fears, anxiety about impending fatherhood, feelings (mostly of inadequacy), and the minutiae of daily life all detailed in the lists that he makes constantly throughout the day and night. Dan makes lists. Dan writes lists mostly about: his financial I was going to create my own list comprised of twenty-one truths about this book, but I realized I only needed one:I loved Twenty-one Truths About Love! Twenty-one Truths About Love is a humorous, quirky, and endearing read about one man’s fears, anxiety about impending fatherhood, feelings (mostly of inadequacy), and the minutiae of daily life all detailed in the lists that he makes constantly throughout the day and night. Dan makes lists. Dan writes lists mostly about: his financial problems, failing business, lying to his wife Jill about his business and their finances, Jill’s first husband whom Dan feels he will never live up to, his father who walked out when he was a child, Little Debbie Snack Cakes, and books, amongst other tops. Dan’s lists reveal that he is a lovely person who loves his wife and family and will do whatever it takes to make them happy, even if it means robbing a bunch of senior citizens at Bingo night. When I first started reading Twenty-one Truths About Love, I was a little upset when I flipped through the book to see that the entire book is made up of lists. I made some faces and grumbled a lot about how I wasn’t going to like this book, and then started reading. And I read and read and read. Before I knew it, I was ¾ of the way through and enjoying every minute of it. Somehow, through these lists, Dicks creates a multidimensional character in Dan--he is flawed, lovable, and relatable. Dan stumbles a lot but through his ups and downs, he offers up bits of wisdom about life and love. This book is filled with humor, heart, and lots of love. I recommend for a light, fun read!I won a copy of this book through a GoodReads giveaway!
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  • Fran
    January 1, 1970
    We lie most often to the people we love. Time passes, lies multiply, and arguably a situation worsens. Case in point, Dan Mayrock's expenses which are outpacing his income at the bookstore he opened after leaving teaching. Jill, his pregnant wife, is being kept in the dark, led to believe the bookstore is profitable. Financial disaster is looming on the horizon.Dan is overwhelmed and anxiety ridden. His former therapist suggested that he "log" his feelings. Dan does so in the form of "obsessive We lie most often to the people we love. Time passes, lies multiply, and arguably a situation worsens. Case in point, Dan Mayrock's expenses which are outpacing his income at the bookstore he opened after leaving teaching. Jill, his pregnant wife, is being kept in the dark, led to believe the bookstore is profitable. Financial disaster is looming on the horizon.Dan is overwhelmed and anxiety ridden. His former therapist suggested that he "log" his feelings. Dan does so in the form of "obsessive lists". Everything, even the minutest occurrence, is on some detailed list. Dan and Jill met at a school faculty meeting. He thought Jill to be the most competent teacher ever. He didn't think he was skilled as an educator. Leaving teaching behind, he opened a bookstore. Realistically, Dan found it difficult to turn a profit. "Watching great books go unread and terrible books sell like hotcakes" was disheartening.Dan could not believe that Jill "blindly accepts me for exactly who I am". Jill was a widow when they met. "There will always be a part of Jill's life that will remain a secret to me because you can only tell your second husband so much about your previous life with your dead husband...I feel...so insecure." Will he ever measure up to Peter? Desperate times call for desperate measures. Reading through Dan's lists, it is clear that he waffled while creating a ridiculously, outlandish plan to procure money quickly."Twenty-One Truths About Love" by Matthew Dicks was written in a unique style. Read the lists and discover Dan's resolutions. Dan's anxieties, feelings of abandonment, failure and desperation are palpable. I enjoyed meeting Bill at the Bingo Hall and Clarence, the labradoodle. Dan's outlook was changing, but, in what ways?Thank you St. Martin's Press and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review "Twenty-One Truths About Love".
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  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    The premise of this book intrigued me - a book made up completely of lists. But what sounds good in principal didn’t quite live up to its potential. Despite being told purely in the form of lists, it doesn’t take long to get the gist of the story. 1) Dan has left teaching to open a bookstore. 2) The bookstore is losing money and they’re on the verge of going broke. 3) Jill doesn’t know this. 4) Jill wants a baby and becomes pregnant. 5) Jill is a widow. 6) dan writes lists about every idiot The premise of this book intrigued me - a book made up completely of lists. But what sounds good in principal didn’t quite live up to its potential. Despite being told purely in the form of lists, it doesn’t take long to get the gist of the story. 1) Dan has left teaching to open a bookstore. 2) The bookstore is losing money and they’re on the verge of going broke. 3) Jill doesn’t know this. 4) Jill wants a baby and becomes pregnant. 5) Jill is a widow. 6) dan writes lists about every idiot thought he’s ever had.Why I dislike Dan...1 ) I don’t care about 90% of what Dan writes. 2) Dan not only hides their financial condition from Jill, but doesn’t seem to have any meaningful communication with her at all. 3) he dislikes Jill’s dog. 4) Dan is a total wimp. 5) Dan is a complete Idiot when it comes to thinking of ways out of his financial difficulties. 6) I like thank you notes. I think one of the few things that Dan and I agree on is that The Alchemist is a horrible book. It’s an extremely fast read. Parts are funny, although not as many as I would have liked. My final thoughts on the book… 1) it’s hard to really like a book when you think the main character is an idiot. 2) the lists format got old and started irritating me. 3) I couldn’t believe that a real person would be writing so many damn lists especially while doing other things. 4) I loved Bill Donovan and wish I had a friend like him. My thanks to netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advance copy of this book.
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  • Larry H
    January 1, 1970
    Things I enjoyed about this book:1. The fact the book was written entirely in lists was really creative.2. Amidst everything that went on in the book, it’s really a story about love, fear, and family.3. Many of Dan’s thoughts are surprisingly on par with mine.Things I didn’t enjoy about this book:1. The list format started to wear me down.2. There was one particular plotline that I found really irksome. 3. Darned book made me cry...Dan left his teaching job to run a bookstore. It wasn’t as easy Things I enjoyed about this book:1. The fact the book was written entirely in lists was really creative.2. Amidst everything that went on in the book, it’s really a story about love, fear, and family.3. Many of Dan’s thoughts are surprisingly on par with mine.Things I didn’t enjoy about this book:1. The list format started to wear me down.2. There was one particular plotline that I found really irksome. 3. Darned book made me cry...Dan left his teaching job to run a bookstore. It wasn’t as easy or profitable as he thought it would be. (Of course, he thought teaching would be easy, too, but...) He's afraid to reveal the extent of his financial struggles to his wife, Jill.Much of Dan’s life is characterized by running away from his problems. He’s the master of not saying what needs to be said. He has feelings about his father, who is suddenly trying to reconnect with him after years of estrangement. He has feelings about the specter of Jill's first husband, who died, hanging over their heads.When Jill gets pregnant he knows he must do something to get money or he’ll lose her—but his idea is a desperate one. He struggles with the reality of the situation and every possible solution, but he keeps coming back to the least-certain and riskiest one. And he knows the ramifications of his actions may be worse than his current situation. Twenty-one Truths about Love is a poignant, sometimes scattered, sometimes disturbing look into the mind of a man who is struggling in so many ways. While some of the lists in the book illustrate where Dan's heart and mind are, some are a little quirky and bizarre. And some are downright funny.Matthew Dicks is a great writer (his Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend still haunts me). I loved the concept and the heart of this story. It’s just, the list thing dragged the story down a bit, to the point where I skimmed through the lists when the subject seemed extraneous. (Some of the lists ran way too long, too.)Despite my ultimate weariness with the lasting power of this concept, this was a really creative twist in storytelling and I’ll think of this book for a long while.NetGalley and St. Martins Press gave me an advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making this available!The book will publish on November 19.See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.Check out my list of the best books I read in 2018 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2018.html. You can follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.
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  • Cheri
    January 1, 1970
    !! NOW AVAILABLE !!4.5 StarsSeven years ago I read Matthew Dicks ‘Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend’ and loved it, so I was anxious to check out his latest, ’Twenty-one Truths About Love.’While the idea of a novel written entirely in lists sounds a bit out of the ordinary, the reality is that this one allows the reader to slowly get to know Daniel Mayrock, his personal insecurities about his marriage to Jill, the potential success (or failure) of his bookshop, bills – that are now more imposing !! NOW AVAILABLE !!4.5 StarsSeven years ago I read Matthew Dicks ‘Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend’ and loved it, so I was anxious to check out his latest, ’Twenty-one Truths About Love.’While the idea of a novel written entirely in lists sounds a bit out of the ordinary, the reality is that this one allows the reader to slowly get to know Daniel Mayrock, his personal insecurities about his marriage to Jill, the potential success (or failure) of his bookshop, bills – that are now more imposing since he left his teaching position, as well as his outlook on life and the way we often fail at maintaining the love and life we had envisioned for ourselves and those we love. And, of course, he makes lists of the way he feels he’s failing. And then, when he sees their bank accounts draining away, and feeling guilty over their pending financial disaster from crashing their dreams, Jill’s dream of having a baby is just beginning to come true. Of course, this sends Daniel into somewhat of a tailspin, questioning his worth as a husband, future father, especially since his father abandoned him as a child. Adding to this is the specter of Jill’s deceased first husband, whose presence is strongly felt, and to whom Daniel is sure he can never measure up.More charming than this is sad, there are moments of humour throughout, and characters that enter into Daniel’s life add some much needed, fatherly moments of advice that remind him that after all, what truly matters is love. Pub Date: 19 Nov 2019Many thanks for the ARC provided by St. Martin’s Press
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  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    Told entirely in list form, Matthew Dicks manages to flesh out a fallible but entirely endearing main character in Dan, owner of a failing bookshop and soon-to-be dad. The love he has for his wife is felt palpably, even through the lists, and so are all of Dan’s feelings; his anxiety and his robust sense of humor.While at times I wished for some traditional narrative, I was in awe of all I felt about the characters and how connected I was to this story. Overall, I was grateful for this depiction Told entirely in list form, Matthew Dicks manages to flesh out a fallible but entirely endearing main character in Dan, owner of a failing bookshop and soon-to-be dad. The love he has for his wife is felt palpably, even through the lists, and so are all of Dan’s feelings; his anxiety and his robust sense of humor.While at times I wished for some traditional narrative, I was in awe of all I felt about the characters and how connected I was to this story. Overall, I was grateful for this depiction of a man with a simple, straight forward life, and so much love and goodness in his heart.I received a complimentary copy from the publisher.Many of my reviews can also be found on instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader
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  • Katie B
    January 1, 1970
    When I read the publisher synopsis for this one, I instantly was intrigued. The entire story is told by lists the male protagonist, Dan, has written. Yes, lists. At first glance when you flip thru the pages, it sure doesn't look like a typical story. But give this one a chance as somehow the author manages to pull off a pretty decent story while doing so in an unusual way.Dan loves his wife Jill and he can't entirely figure out what an amazing woman like her is doing with a regular ol' guy like When I read the publisher synopsis for this one, I instantly was intrigued. The entire story is told by lists the male protagonist, Dan, has written. Yes, lists. At first glance when you flip thru the pages, it sure doesn't look like a typical story. But give this one a chance as somehow the author manages to pull off a pretty decent story while doing so in an unusual way.Dan loves his wife Jill and he can't entirely figure out what an amazing woman like her is doing with a regular ol' guy like him. He quit teaching awhile back to fulfill his dream of owning a bookstore. Unfortunately things aren't going so well and he is basically hemorrhaging money. He knows he needs to tell his wife he has been dipping into their savings but he's ashamed and feels like a failure. So what is Dan willing to do to turn things around? Frequently when I first start a book it takes awhile before I have a good feel for the characters and what is going on, and that certainly was the case here. It helped tremendously that the lists are like journal entries, in that they are in chronological order so eventually it really does feel like a typical story. List by list, I started to feel like I got Dan and understood him. I definitely didn't agree with many of his actions especially the whole keeping things from his wife stuff. However, while he could be frustrating, he certainly felt realistic.The humor is one of my favorites aspects of this book and I definitely had a few laugh out loud moments. And while I definitely liked the story, it got a bit messy towards the end when it became pretty outlandish. However, the author manages to turn things around and there truly are some good moments at the end. So I guess you could say it was almost worth it to read the kinda unbelievable stuff in order to get to the real heart of the story. This might not necessarily be a perfect read, but I finished the book with a smile on my face which is always a good thing. I do recommend this one for anyone who appreciates it when writers switch things up a bit and try something different. Thank you to St. Martin's Press for sending me an advance reader's copy! I was not obligated to post my review here and all views expressed are my honest opinion.
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  • Kristy K
    January 1, 1970
    I think your liking of this book will be largely dependent on if you can read a whole book composed solely of lists. I will admit it got old after a while, but Dan’s quirks and self-actualizations made it worth the read. Dan reminded me a lot of Don from The Rosie Project and he had me laughing out loud one moment and feeling empathy for him the next. Overall, this was a quirky, touching novel. I received an advanced copy through Netgalley in return for an honest review.
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  • Bam cooks the books ;-)
    January 1, 1970
    What?!? A novel made up entirely of lists?!? That's either extremely innovative or just plain crazy!! Okay...I'm coming down on the side of innovative because you know what? I thought those lists did work to tell this story. Reason for Dan's lists? He saw a therapist who suggested journaling, which he thought sucked. So list making was a compromise and is now a habit, a way to think things out and make sense of things on paper. But for Dan "a habit is just an obsession that pretends to the What?!? A novel made up entirely of lists?!? That's either extremely innovative or just plain crazy!! Okay...I'm coming down on the side of innovative because you know what? I thought those lists did work to tell this story. Reason for Dan's lists? He saw a therapist who suggested journaling, which he thought sucked. So list making was a compromise and is now a habit, a way to think things out and make sense of things on paper. But for Dan "a habit is just an obsession that pretends to the intentional and controllable."Problem #1: Dan is married to the woman of his dreams who is a young widow but somehow her first husband Peter is a wall between them in Dan's mind. How does he measure up? How can you compete with a dead man who can do no wrong? Problem #2: Dan has quit teaching and opened a bookshop which isn't doing all that well. He lies to his wife about the state of their finances. And every month things get worse...Problem #3: Dan's father walked out on his family when his wife was unfaithful and hasn't been a part of his two sons' lives for many years. Now he seems to want a relationship but Dan wants no part of that...Problem #4: Dan's wife is pregnant, which exacerbates a lot of the above problems. Can Dan be a good father when he has had no example to follow? Yes, lists are limiting in what we learn about what the other characters are thinking and feeling--for instance, does his wife compare Dan to Peter constantly? But the lists reveal a lot about Dan and all his quirks and neurosies. I haven't mentioned humor yet and I should have because this novel is SO laugh-out funny at times. I came to love Dan as much as his family and friends do--if only he could believe that! Great story about the angst of modern life. I received an arc from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks for the opportunity.
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Dan Mayrock is an ex-teacher that now runs his own bookstore and through lists unfolds his story of not being completely honest to his wife, Jill. The couple are now expecting a baby and Dan has to work through a lot of his issues in order to move on or face some pretty severe consequences. The list thing did wear on me by the 52% mark, but I still wanted to find out if Jill and Dan were going to have an honest discussion about what he was keeping from her. So that kept me reading and I was Dan Mayrock is an ex-teacher that now runs his own bookstore and through lists unfolds his story of not being completely honest to his wife, Jill. The couple are now expecting a baby and Dan has to work through a lot of his issues in order to move on or face some pretty severe consequences. The list thing did wear on me by the 52% mark, but I still wanted to find out if Jill and Dan were going to have an honest discussion about what he was keeping from her. So that kept me reading and I was quite satisfied with the conclusion of Dan's story. Thanks to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an e-arc in exchange for an honest review. Goodreads review 03/11/19Publication Date 19/11/19
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  • Andy Winder
    January 1, 1970
    This was a cute and lighthearted read. It reminded me of David Sedaris (which the narrator seems to admire a lot) meets The Storied Life of AJ Fikry. I enjoyed the list format and thought the overall feel was reminiscent of a romantic comedy. There was one major plot point in the book that confused me (won't name specifics because spoilers) because of how drastic it was and also how quickly it was wrapped up. Also, I felt like for a bookshop owner, Daniel didn't seem to like books much–I wish it This was a cute and lighthearted read. It reminded me of David Sedaris (which the narrator seems to admire a lot) meets The Storied Life of AJ Fikry. I enjoyed the list format and thought the overall feel was reminiscent of a romantic comedy. There was one major plot point in the book that confused me (won't name specifics because spoilers) because of how drastic it was and also how quickly it was wrapped up. Also, I felt like for a bookshop owner, Daniel didn't seem to like books much–I wish it showed more of that passion for stories and why he wanted to own a bookshop in the first place because I think that would have made the book more endearing.
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  • Rylee
    January 1, 1970
    Oh my gosh!! I won this book through a Goodreads Giveaway and I read it in ONE DAY. Yes the listing makes it a fast read but I could not stop. I was laughing and crying throughout the whole thing. Amazingly written; I didn't think that through listing there could be such a well developed story but it was! One that I'll forever be recommending.
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  • Laura Harrison
    January 1, 1970
    Darn near impossible not to read this all in one sitting. I am a sucker for books that have anything at all to do with bookstores. Entertaining, enjoyable read!
  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    January 1, 1970
    I moved this book up on my list after hearing about it on the Book Cougars- a story about a man, his relationship, and his failing bank account, told completely in lists. It's a fun concept and I think the author (who I know best as a frequent Moth StorySlam winner) thinks in lists, so this was a natural approach for him.In my reading experience, I found it a bit tedious, if I'm being honest; and it didn't read as quickly as I was in the mood for. The main character is a bit unlikeable and just I moved this book up on my list after hearing about it on the Book Cougars- a story about a man, his relationship, and his failing bank account, told completely in lists. It's a fun concept and I think the author (who I know best as a frequent Moth StorySlam winner) thinks in lists, so this was a natural approach for him.In my reading experience, I found it a bit tedious, if I'm being honest; and it didn't read as quickly as I was in the mood for. The main character is a bit unlikeable and just needs to tell his wife about the finances, and she wouldn't spend $212 on a purse! Also one list basically replicates a portion of his book on storytelling, which was weird to see in two settings.I had an early copy from the publisher through NetGalley and it comes out November 1, 2019.
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  • Jamie beauty_andthebook_
    January 1, 1970
    Having absolutely loved Dicks' Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, I was beyond excited for Twenty-one Truths About Love, especially when I saw that Taylor Jenkins Reid blurbed the cover! Unfortunately, this book didn't work quite as well for me as Memoirs did. A 300+ page book written entirely in lists? Sounds interesting, right? At the onset, the format felt fresh and fun and lent itself to a quick read, but quickly, I realized there was a reason this style hadn't been used before - it's fun and Having absolutely loved Dicks' Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, I was beyond excited for Twenty-one Truths About Love, especially when I saw that Taylor Jenkins Reid blurbed the cover! Unfortunately, this book didn't work quite as well for me as Memoirs did. A 300+ page book written entirely in lists? Sounds interesting, right? At the onset, the format felt fresh and fun and lent itself to a quick read, but quickly, I realized there was a reason this style hadn't been used before - it's fun and fresh for a little bit - and then I would have liked some traditional chapters. 300+ pages of lists is a LOT of lists. Some of the lists made me laugh out loud and some made me really want to scream at our main character Dan (there's a lot of privilege and complaining with this one). For me, this would have been cute to have each chapter start with a list and then proceed into more of a traditional format after each list, rather than continued list after list. What I did love: Dan owns a bookstore! How can you not love a protagonist who works around books and talks about books within a book! Dan's friend Bill from bingo was also a really bright spot in this book!Overall, not my favorite, but open to more from Dicks in the future and really hoping he goes back to more of the vibe I felt in Memoirs!Thank you to St. Martins for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.
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  • Kristy
    January 1, 1970
    Dan Mayrock is an obsessive list maker who has quit his job as a teacher and opened a bookstore. But now he's in financial trouble and afraid to tell his wife, Jill. Jill was previously married and Dan feels he can never quite live up to Jill's late husband. And then, Jill gets pregnant. Now Dan feels even more pressure to be the best he can be for Jill. The shtick of this book is that it's told entirely in list form. No dialogue, no narrative, nothing. Just lists. It did wear a little thin at Dan Mayrock is an obsessive list maker who has quit his job as a teacher and opened a bookstore. But now he's in financial trouble and afraid to tell his wife, Jill. Jill was previously married and Dan feels he can never quite live up to Jill's late husband. And then, Jill gets pregnant. Now Dan feels even more pressure to be the best he can be for Jill. The shtick of this book is that it's told entirely in list form. No dialogue, no narrative, nothing. Just lists. It did wear a little thin at times, but it was an interesting way to learn about someone's life. You learn about Dan's finances, feelings, and amazingly, a lot about his past. For me, what really got me about this book is that I just couldn't warm to Dan. I think most people find this book heartwarming and cute, but I found him--and it--annoying and whiny. He doesn't want to tell his wife about his financial problems with the store, so he concocts some ridiculous scheme to "help" the family instead. It was just too much for me. Man up, tell your wife, and take responsibility for your actions. I didn't find it cute, and if I was his wife, I would have kicked him to the curb. It's a shame, because a lot of the book was filled with really funny and spot-on observations about life. I especially loved Dan's ruminations on teaching and meetings. They were incredibly true to life. There are a lot of humorous and touching moments in this book, but I could never really push past the fact that he was a spineless liar. "'Let's start off with an icebreaker' are words no human being has ever wanted to hear." Overall, I enjoyed pieces of this book, but found myself skimming others. I liked the idea of it, but could never warm to Dan and since the whole book was his lists and life, it was hard to enjoy without liking him. I need a book from the POV of his older Bingo buddy, Bill. Now he was a cool dude. I received a copy of this book from St. Martin's Press and Netgalley in return for an unbiased review; it is available everywhere as of 11/19/2019. Blog ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ PaperBackSwap ~ Smashbomb
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  • Judy
    January 1, 1970
    Interesting book. The entire story is told in lists. I never would have thought an entire novel could be written in lists and make any sense but Dicks accomplished this, made it interesting and as a reader I totally understood and felt the story. I felt like the list maker protagonist was OCD though. I enjoyed the book and was intrigued with the innovation. I did sometimes get bored with those lists and some didn't seem relevant to the story. Overall it was a fun read - even though I didn't like Interesting book. The entire story is told in lists. I never would have thought an entire novel could be written in lists and make any sense but Dicks accomplished this, made it interesting and as a reader I totally understood and felt the story. I felt like the list maker protagonist was OCD though. I enjoyed the book and was intrigued with the innovation. I did sometimes get bored with those lists and some didn't seem relevant to the story. Overall it was a fun read - even though I didn't like Dan, the list maker. He makes too many lists and doesn't even seem to make any progress on the things he makes list about doing.Thanks to Matthew Dicks and St. Martin's Press through Netgalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Aisling
    January 1, 1970
    This is an adorably quirky and surprisingly moving book. It is essentially an entire book of lists. At first I thought, this is fun but it's going to get old quick. But no! The author, by varying the length of sentences in each list, manages to get a lot of information across and tell a story. And you see progression. The characters develop, there is a plot, and like a great novel the reader changes along with the protagonist. I want to say this book is like really good poetry but I know a lot This is an adorably quirky and surprisingly moving book. It is essentially an entire book of lists. At first I thought, this is fun but it's going to get old quick. But no! The author, by varying the length of sentences in each list, manages to get a lot of information across and tell a story. And you see progression. The characters develop, there is a plot, and like a great novel the reader changes along with the protagonist. I want to say this book is like really good poetry but I know a lot of people loathe poetry so I won't...the point is it takes great talent to say something in less words, in sentence fragments even. This book is about one man's experience of loving, forgiving, and accepting but it's also got a lot of wry humor and observances. Highly recommended!
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  • Krista
    January 1, 1970
    Rating: 2.5 stars rounded up to 3 stars1. The author, Matthew Dicks is a brave man.2. His new book written completely in lists.3. I liked it a first, but I soon wanted a meatier story.4. Told from Dan’s perspective. Dan seems to have either OCD or an anxiety disorder – or both.5. Dan owns a bookstore. He keeps the true state of the bookstore finances from his wife.6. Dan’s wife Jill is a widow. Dan fears that he will never measure up to Jill’s first husband.7. Jill gets pregnant.8. Dan still Rating: 2.5 stars rounded up to 3 stars1. The author, Matthew Dicks is a brave man.2. His new book written completely in lists.3. I liked it a first, but I soon wanted a meatier story.4. Told from Dan’s perspective. Dan seems to have either OCD or an anxiety disorder – or both.5. Dan owns a bookstore. He keeps the true state of the bookstore finances from his wife.6. Dan’s wife Jill is a widow. Dan fears that he will never measure up to Jill’s first husband.7. Jill gets pregnant.8. Dan still doesn’t tell her their financial situation.9. Dan meets Bill, a crotchety Vietnam Vet at Bingo.10. Dan and Bill become friends.11. This book goes on and on this way.12. It’s a quick read, but the gimmick soon became tiresome.13. Kudos to the author for trying something new.14. I’ve really enjoyed Mr. Dick’s previous works.15. It just didn’t work very well for me.16. Better luck next time.‘Thank-You’ to NetGalley; the publisher, St Martin’s Press; and the author, Matthew Dicks; for providing a free e-ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Tami
    January 1, 1970
    I don’t believe I have ever read a story that is told completely in lists. This book is like being in someone else’s mind 24/7 and knowing their every thought—appropriate or not. In order not to deviate from the list format, I’ll list all the reasons I loved this book.1. It’s funny and made me laugh out loud quite a few times.2. It’s wonderful to see how much Dan loves his wife and how he respects her grief over the loss of her first husband.3. I loved the bookstore atmosphere and the monthly I don’t believe I have ever read a story that is told completely in lists. This book is like being in someone else’s mind 24/7 and knowing their every thought—appropriate or not. In order not to deviate from the list format, I’ll list all the reasons I loved this book.1. It’s funny and made me laugh out loud quite a few times.2. It’s wonderful to see how much Dan loves his wife and how he respects her grief over the loss of her first husband.3. I loved the bookstore atmosphere and the monthly books featured. I also loved Dan’s witty opinions about some of the books—and his opinions of his employees.4. Dan has some interesting thoughts about the teaching profession. Most were spot-on. Especially his thoughts about meetings.5. Dan’s friendship with Bill, the widower he met at bingo, was heartwarming. I think I love Bill too! He is my favorite character in the book.6. Dan’s love for the baby that he thought he didn’t want was proof that he was meant to be a father. Not just a father, but a great father!This is a really sweet, book that doesn’t take too long to read. It is the perfect read going into the holiday season.Many thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for allowing me to read an advance copy and give my honest review.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Yes, I read this book in one day! This book certainly takes on the "human element" of our lives, what we worry about, the people we love, and how we learn as we go through our days, years, and our life experiences. Many laughs in this book for me. I only rated it four stars as towards the end it got a little long, dragged on a tad, and with an odd plot line. Other than that, there's probably enough recognition of ourselves in this book with those that we love the most. Thanks for allowing me to Yes, I read this book in one day! This book certainly takes on the "human element" of our lives, what we worry about, the people we love, and how we learn as we go through our days, years, and our life experiences. Many laughs in this book for me. I only rated it four stars as towards the end it got a little long, dragged on a tad, and with an odd plot line. Other than that, there's probably enough recognition of ourselves in this book with those that we love the most. Thanks for allowing me to review this ARC copy.
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  • Lisa Aiello
    January 1, 1970
    If I had a dime for every time I said "I'd read a shopping list written by "x" author", I'd have enough of them bright shiny suckers to pay for this gem ten times over. And that's exactly what you do with this book - it's nothing but 350+ pages of lists. It couldn't have been more enjoyable!!! Who knew that reading an author's lists would truly be this fantastic.At least thirty times while reading this, I stopped and thought to myself, Matthew Dicks and I need to be best friends. That was even If I had a dime for every time I said "I'd read a shopping list written by "x" author", I'd have enough of them bright shiny suckers to pay for this gem ten times over. And that's exactly what you do with this book - it's nothing but 350+ pages of lists. It couldn't have been more enjoyable!!! Who knew that reading an author's lists would truly be this fantastic.At least thirty times while reading this, I stopped and thought to myself, Matthew Dicks and I need to be best friends. That was even one of my updates! I wondered if it would be acceptable to send him a request and beg him to be my friend. Instead, maybe I could just quietly stalk him...but no matter what I wanted to know the person who wrote this stuff. Because every word, every list, every thought was like it was coming out of my own messed up head. There's confirmation and ample reminders in these pages that EVERYONE is just a little afraid and neurotic and strange, and it's perfectly okay. In fact, it's better than okay!But I digress. Back to the book. The way these lists are written, it tells a complete story. It is brutally honest, funny, irreverent, charming, and utterly addictive. To all of my favorite authors out there, I can honestly say that when I say "I'd read a shopping list written by you"...well, I literally mean it!! And you have Matthew Dicks to thank, because he proved the theory and did so with style and grace!
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  • Anne
    January 1, 1970
    It's official: I have a huge crush on Dan, the protagonist of this hilarious novel! If you like the humor of Dave Barry or Jonathan Tropper, this is surely the book for you! I often read beside my husband as he is watching sports on TV. Yesterday I noticed him giving me the stink-eye and when I questioned him he told me I'd been laughing out loud consistently. Yes, guilty as charged. I put off reading this book for awhile when I realized it was a novel of lists. How could that possibly turn into It's official: I have a huge crush on Dan, the protagonist of this hilarious novel! If you like the humor of Dave Barry or Jonathan Tropper, this is surely the book for you! I often read beside my husband as he is watching sports on TV. Yesterday I noticed him giving me the stink-eye and when I questioned him he told me I'd been laughing out loud consistently. Yes, guilty as charged. I put off reading this book for awhile when I realized it was a novel of lists. How could that possibly turn into an interesting plot? I was wrong. Here are the two biggest reasons I loved this book: 1. Dan is a teacher who quits his job to open a bookstore. I taught high school English for 40 years and loved it. All of his comments about meetings and administrators are accurate. 2. I too, dreamed of owning a bookstore but, of course, never did,Dan is a self-deprecating, admittedly flawed man who is worried about losing his wife Jill as he believes she is a much better person than he is (and because her first husband Peter still occupies her memories). Much of the novel is silly (yes, of course his outlandish plan to supplement his income is ridiculous) but the humor is subtle and as aforementioned, laugh-out-loud funny! Some of his suggestions are brilliant however, like the one where he questions the wisdom of putting Sesame Street characters on diapers (when we all know what kids do in them). Instead, he suggests manufacturers use suggestions for parents who will actually READ the diaper (as in read to your kids tonight, put down your phone, sing to your child). The only downside I see is that now I will have to break down and buy the hardback copy when in comes out for myself and good friends, as there are so many things I need to re-read in this gem! Oh, and the best advice I've heard that I think we should all adopt is one of Dan's Laws of the Universe:"You should be required to read a book for every ten selfies you take," YES!!Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!
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  • Crystal Zavala
    January 1, 1970
    1. I love lists2. I love books3. I loved this unique style of story-telling4. I love quick reads5. I thought I knew how the book would resolve6. I was wrong7. I didn't enjoy the ending8. Everything wrapped up in a perfect little bow9. I did not like how judgmental he was ...(Slight spoilers below)10. I don't appreciate people getting away with things with no consequences11. SO MUCH White Male Privilege
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsTwenty-One Truths About Love is a novel told exclusively in a series of lists. Quite the twist on the epistolary format, it gives a unique structure to the novel. As I approached this book I must admit that I was nervous that this had the potential to come off as a gimmick. But when I delved into Matthew Dicks's novel I was taken in by Dan's humble nature and the vulnerability that Dicks allows him to show as he navigates his way through his fears and failings.The Story: Daniel Mayrock 3.5 starsTwenty-One Truths About Love is a novel told exclusively in a series of lists. Quite the twist on the epistolary format, it gives a unique structure to the novel. As I approached this book I must admit that I was nervous that this had the potential to come off as a gimmick. But when I delved into Matthew Dicks's novel I was taken in by Dan's humble nature and the vulnerability that Dicks allows him to show as he navigates his way through his fears and failings.The Story: Daniel Mayrock is a man who has given up his teaching career to open up a bookstore. He quickly realizes that he is running through money faster than he is making it. He attempts to find a way around his dilemma (albeit by questionable means) without alerting his wife to their situation. The result: Twenty-One Truths About Love is a touching and humorous tale about a man who loves his wife and discovers himself.Special Thanks to NetGalley, Beatrice Jason at St. Martin's Press and Matthew Dicks for access to this book.
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  • Robin
    January 1, 1970
    I was merrily reading along, thinking I would assign it a rare five stars, when a weird little plot point happened that brought down the tone of the story. Judging from reviews, a few other readers have felt the same way.Nonetheless, this is funny and sometimes moving story of a man grappling with lifestyle choices, his struggling bookstore business, finances, and his insecurities from marrying a widow. His observances are sometimes spot-on and at times laugh-out-loud funny; other times, his I was merrily reading along, thinking I would assign it a rare five stars, when a weird little plot point happened that brought down the tone of the story. Judging from reviews, a few other readers have felt the same way.Nonetheless, this is funny and sometimes moving story of a man grappling with lifestyle choices, his struggling bookstore business, finances, and his insecurities from marrying a widow. His observances are sometimes spot-on and at times laugh-out-loud funny; other times, his opinions are annoying (like when he dissed libraries and librarians), but he is always candid about how he really feels.If you're looking for something fairly light and a quick read, give this a try. Be forewarned, though, that if you have a digital review copy, the last two chapters may be reversed (June before May) that may spoil the ending. The print ARC appeared to be fine.Thanks to the publisher for the digital review copy.
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  • Lorri Steinbacher
    January 1, 1970
    Read in prepub. Due out October 2019.Loved this book. The format was perfection--a story told in the form of lists that the protagonist is using as a kind of therapeutic exercise (that doesn't seem to be helping). Very funny with a heart that makes you forgive the nearly ridiculous solution that Daniel come up with.Recommended for people who like non-traditional narratives, stories with neurotic, off-beat characters. For fans of The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry or Where'd You Go Bernadette.
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  • Cindy H.
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to NetGalley and my friends at St. Martin’s Press for gifting me with an ARC of Matthew Dick’s newest novel, Twenty One Truths About Love. In exchange for the ARC I offer my unbiased opinion.A story written and told entirely through a series of lists sounds super gimmicky and super annoying ~ and it was and wasn’t. As a list maker myself, I easily fell into the pattern of reading Dan’s lists as a way of journaling through his anxieties, fears, grievances and priorities. Dan’s lists Thank you to NetGalley and my friends at St. Martin’s Press for gifting me with an ARC of Matthew Dick’s newest novel, Twenty One Truths About Love. In exchange for the ARC I offer my unbiased opinion.A story written and told entirely through a series of lists sounds super gimmicky and super annoying ~ and it was and wasn’t. As a list maker myself, I easily fell into the pattern of reading Dan’s lists as a way of journaling through his anxieties, fears, grievances and priorities. Dan’s lists range from WHY PARALLEL PARKING IS BULLSHIT to ADVICE MY FATHER GAVE ME THAT IS WORTH PASSING ON TO MY CHILD. He also shares his DO NOT READ LIST( Dan owns a bookshop) as well as a monthly list of books to peruse. Through Dan’s lists we come to understand what makes Dan the man he is, his unwavering love for his wife Jill, his sadness towards his father, and why potentially robbing The Daughters of the American Revolution Bingo Hall might be the answer to all of his financial woes. I absolutely adored this quirky book!!!!! I never thought I could shed a few tears over a list titled My Highlight’s (children’s monthly magazine) Submission., but I did. Bravo to author Matthew Dicks for creating such a memorable, light hearted, big laughs of a novel.
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  • Ayekah
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book! As a recovering list maker and worrier, this book was so easy to fall into. It's easy to read, his inner dialogue was hysterical yet serious at times and it's so relatable for everyone. I love finding a book that anyone can read and this is one of those! Halfway through I wanted to e mail the other just to say "hi, your book is insanely good and so glad I'm not the only person on the planet who rehearses things in their head." This book is in short a chronicle written by Dan, I loved this book! As a recovering list maker and worrier, this book was so easy to fall into. It's easy to read, his inner dialogue was hysterical yet serious at times and it's so relatable for everyone. I love finding a book that anyone can read and this is one of those! Halfway through I wanted to e mail the other just to say "hi, your book is insanely good and so glad I'm not the only person on the planet who rehearses things in their head." This book is in short a chronicle written by Dan, husband of Jill. Dan was a schoolteacher which didn't suit him, so he's bought a bookstore and Jill is still teaching. They met at school. Jill is also a widow which adds so much to this story. When she gets pregnant again the story makes these wonderful and very real turns in Dan's thought process. The business is floundering and is Dan's biggest worry. Comic relief is his decision to play bingo in hopes of winning money to refill the coffers of their dwindling savings, which of course he hides from Jill.Throw in a secondary character he meets at bingo and this book just sent me over the moon! Stellar work Matthew, I absolutely loved this book!
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  • Steph's Romance Book Talk
    January 1, 1970
    DNF @28%/ 2 Stars / 0 Steam FansThis is the one time that bites me in the butt for not reading the blurb before attempting to read this story. This book is written entirely in lists and this may seem interesting but by the 28% mark, I was annoyed and bored with the content. Daniel quit his job as a teacher to open a bookstore, he is also lying to his wife - Jill about their finances, doesn't want to start a family, and he also comes off as super awkward with random ramblings that do nothing to DNF @28%/ 2 Stars / 0 Steam FansThis is the one time that bites me in the butt for not reading the blurb before attempting to read this story. This book is written entirely in lists and this may seem interesting but by the 28% mark, I was annoyed and bored with the content. Daniel quit his job as a teacher to open a bookstore, he is also lying to his wife - Jill about their finances, doesn't want to start a family, and he also comes off as super awkward with random ramblings that do nothing to help set up a plot for this story. Obviously, there are people that like this sort of thing but it did not work for me. Video review available in Week 47 Nov 17 – 23 weekly book reviews. For other video book reviews check out my YouTube Channel: Steph's Romance Book Talk
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