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 husbandI feelso 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. What A novel made up entirely of lists That s either extremely innovative or just plain crazy OkayI 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 worseProblem 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 thatProblem 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. 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 cryDan 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 You can follow me on Instagram at 4.5 StarsSeven years ago I read Matthew DicksMemoirs of an Imaginary Friendand 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 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 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. 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. 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 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 endearing. Radical, Extraordinary, And Profoundly HumanTaylor Jenkins Reid Daniel Mayrock Loves His Wife Jill Than Anything Dan Quit His Job And Opened A Bookshop Jill Is Ready To Have A Baby Dan Is Scared The Bookshop Isn T Doing Well Financial Crisis Is Imminent Dan Hasn T Told Jill About Their Financial Trouble He S Ashamed Then Jill Gets PregnantThis 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 Dan Wants To Do Something Special He S A Man Who Is Tired Of Feeling Ordinary He S Sick Of Feeling Like A Failure Of Living In The Shadow Of His Wife S Deceased First HusbandDan 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 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 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 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 from Dicks in the future and really hoping he goes back to of the vibe I felt in Memoirs Thank you to St Martins for an advanced copy All opinions are my own.
Matthew Dicks is the internationally bestselling author of the novels Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, Something Missing, Unexpectedly, Milo, The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs, and the upcoming novels The Other Mother and Cardboard Knight, as well as the nonfiction Storyworthy Engage, Teach, Persuade, and Change Your Life Through the Art of Storytelling His novels have been translated into
- 352 pages
- Twenty-one Truths About Love
- Matthew Dicks
- 09 November 2018 Matthew Dicks