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Ten Things I've Learnt About Love

3.29  ·  Rating details ·  1,735 ratings  ·  328 reviews
Alice has just returned to London from months of travelling abroad. She is late to hear the news that her father is dying, and arrives at the family home only just in time to say goodbye.Daniel hasn’t had a roof over his head for years, but to him the city of London feels like home in a way that no bricks and mortar ever did. He spends every day searching for his daughter; ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published January 2nd 2014 by Picador (first published January 1st 2013)
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Average rating 3.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,735 ratings  ·  328 reviews


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Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
Ten Things I’ve Learnt About Love is so far out of my comfort zone that I had to take a train back, but it was definitely worth the trip. It is a soft, nostalgic story about a woman who is a bit lost but more importantly, who doesn’t want to be found. As the youngest of three daughters, Alice has a hard time finding her place in her own family. She also has a hard time staying in one place; she is a wanderer, restless by nature. It doesn’t take long for her to start feeling trapped so she travel ...more
Kristin Strong
Aug 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WARNING: THE TITLE MAKES YOU THINK THIS IS SOME KIND OF CHICK LIT THING ABOUT SOME GIRL WHO MAKES LISTS OF THINGS SHE DOES OR SOMETHING. THAT IS SO NOT WHAT THIS BOOK IS. IT IS MUCH BETTER THAN THAT, SO DO NOT BE TAKEN IN.

Flat-out awesome. Best book I've read in months, and I've read quite a few books this year.
Parallel stories of a young British woman who's just lost her father to cancer and a homeless man who is searching for the daughter he knows exists but has never met. Both narrators and i
...more
Ashley Dartnell
Mar 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ten Things I Love about this book:
1) It's a love song to London--the best city in the world--and it is clear that Sarah has worn out a few pairs of shoes tromping all over it.
2) Hampstead, my neighborhood, plays a major part and my church and reverend feature. I know exactly where Alice and Daniel meet on the heath.
3) The lists remind me of Nick Hornby's High Fidelity--another great book.
4) It's hard to write a modern story with a love component--yet Sarah has done it brilliantly.
5) The writing
...more
Tazeen
Sep 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To say that I loved ‘Ten things I’ve Learnt About Love’ by Sarah Butler would be an understatement. Yes, I loved it but I also felt that I have lived that book, that life, those choices and those regrets.
I checked out the book because I liked the cover. It is styled as a list and even though I am not a person who makes lists, but I am drawn to them so I picked up the book. The two protagonists – Daniel and Alice – are both lost and looking for something. Alice has returned to London just in time
...more
Uwe Hook
Sep 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
10 reasons to read the book.

1. The lists at the beginning alternate between being hilarious and heartwarming.
2. It's an interesting look at what having synesthesia (seeing colors in letters and words) is like.
3. Excellent job creating place atmosphere, such as a homeless shelter.
4. Alice's two sisters, "Terms and Conditions," are a hoot.
5. There's a hilarious scene between Alice and a real estate agent concerning her father's estate.
6. Alice's dad, while technically not present for much of the t
...more
Ellis
DNF at 48%

I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I can't do it. I haven't DNFed in ages but this book is just too bizarro for me. At first it was just boring, so I thought I would make it through but then Daniel begins to fixate on his daughter in a way that made me extremely uncomfortable. He's obviously still in love with her mother, but the woman left him and is dead now and somehow he has channeled his feelings for her in this obsessive quest to find his daught
...more
Kerstin
Oct 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
This was absolutely beautiful! Such a touching, moving and heart-breaking story full of hope.
What I loved is that it almost feel like a love letter to London, rather than a story simply set in the city!
Alice
Mar 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
After hearing my sister’s review of this book I was slightly apprehensive about picking it up, so I did put it off for a while. What a mistake! Basically I kept picking this book out of my TBR jar but deciding not to read it but in the end I thought enough was enough so I made myself pick it up and start reading and I am so glad I did!!

This book is definitely one of my favourite reads so far in 2014, it is going to be receiving a four star rating but it is so close to a five star it is unreal, I
...more
Larry H
Jul 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alice has always felt like the black sheep of her family. Her mother died when she was four years old, and she has always felt that her father and older sisters somehow blamed her for that. In fact, she has always felt as if everyone blamed her for being born in the first place, because apparently so much changed in their lives afterward. Maybe that's why she has always been on the move, running away from home when she was a child, and traveling the world as an adult, never really settling down ...more
Laurel-Rain
Dec 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What if the whole of your life you were searching, struggling to find your place in the world?

As the youngest of three daughters, Alice is approaching her thirtieth birthday, but has yet to find her unique connections to the world and to others. She doesn't mesh with her older sisters, who seem to look upon her as the black sheep. She can feel their criticism whenever they look at her, and they question her choices. Her relationship with Kal has also failed, yet a part of her wants to reconnect
...more
Chaitra
I kept putting this book down after every 4-5 pages. It got tiring. It's an interesting premise. A rootless youngest daughter comes back to her father's death bed. Another rootless and homeless person wanders around London conceiving little offerings to the daughter he hasn't ever met. They don't meet, they don't meet, they don't meet, until they finally do.

I'm not being fair, because it certainly doesn't seem like the work of a first time author. My problems with it are two things that aren't
...more
Amy
What a lovely (in every sense of the word) novel. Parallel stories of Alice, youngest daughter, odd (wo)man out, wanderer, and Daniel, living rough, but who loved once, deeply and dearly. Each are lost souls, following the trajectory that fate presents, looking for signs and direction which way to go next. It is a song of love to London, as well, secret spots, and out of the way joys.

Alice has come home because her father is dying. Daniel is living on the streets because when his heart broke, s
...more
Bella Martinez
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cancer, adultery
Sarah Butler's story captures the difficulties in defining family. The connection between the two main characters was clear from the beginning...but Sarah Butler made both Alice and Daniel very believable and sympathetic characters. I was pleased that the ending was as ambiguous as the word "family".
Elizabeth
Aug 24, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-reads
It is unfortunate that this book was given a chick-lit style cover. This is not a story of a slightly lost young woman who finds her path to love and life. And even though I had read another review of this book which said the same thing, I still wasn't expecting the novel that I got.

Instead, this is a poignant, sparsely written story of a slightly lost young woman, Alice. She has just rushed to London from months of travelling abroad because her father is dying, and arrives at the family home o
...more
Jill
Aug 11, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Think of “Ten Things” as an ode to unfinished business. It focuses on two characters, Alice – the youngest daughter in a family of three girls, who has left behind unresolved relationships, both with her soon-to-die father and her boyfriend Kal. Daniel, a street hobo who experiences vibrant colors as letters and is mourning a loss, is on his own unfinished mission. Slowly, they move closer towards each other and to some sense of stability and connection.

It’s a strange, fugue-like book that seems
...more
Lolly K Dandeneau
The writing is poetic and I felt a heaviness reading it. It is a story of drifting and of trying to understand who and what you are to yourself and those closest to you. Alice comes home to a dying father and under the surface lies the reason for her never feeling quite a part of her family. Daniel ties into it all, a man living on the streets of London who has been searching to find her and wants to be loved, accepted by Alice. It's so much more than that and yet it seems like a simple book, wi ...more
Sarah
Feb 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read
An absolutely beautiful story, with a lovely feeling to it. It had a little bit of an unsatisfactory last sentence… I’m big on making an impact in the last sentence… like the last sentence should make you exhale for the longest time… and this one didn’t. But that’s okay – not many stories do in reality. It was the most beautiful story. So much imagery of London too, which made me smile a lot. I was a walker when I lived in London; I would get up in the morning and put a drink and a sandwich in m ...more
Lorri Steinbacher
Aug 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quiet book. One of those that leads you along by the arm, you're a little uncomfortable because you don't know where you are headed, but once you get there, it was well worth it. Butler captures Alice's restlessness, her rootlessness perfectly. You wonder as the book goes on how much is nature, how much nurture. And as much as Alice feels she is not a part of her family, deep down she is tied to them ore than she'd like to admit. When you watch her struggle with her relationship with Kal, you ...more
Robin Lynn
Sep 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-checkout
This book unhinged me. I got it by mistake, if there is such a thing. I was told to read Ten. Everytime i searched for that title, this one came up. So i thought, why not. I started to read it and was so confused and frustrated i put it down for a couple of days. After coming on goodreads and perusing the synopsis and other peoples reviews i decided to give it another try. I will never be the same. I didnt get all the characters but the ones that were important i spent the night in shelters with ...more
Marcie Lovett
An easy read, broken into chapters narrated alternately between two characters. Although I knew almost immediately what the relationship between them was, I see that it was a surprise to other readers. I thought the "Ten Things" lists at the beginning of each chapter outlived its amusement after the first 3 or 4. Almost gave up on this book early on; it doesn't get interesting until 100 pages in or so. Loved reading a story based in London, didn't enjoy the story very much.
Jane
Sep 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was so unusual. The title and structure don't do justice to the beauty and subtlety of the book. The author says it's a love song to London. Yes, but also to family and fathers. Throughout the entire book, it's what isn't said that matters. The lists of "ten things," vary--some are so moving; some seemed to me like filler. The over all effect is beautiful. Mary Lynn suggested the book earlier this summer. I am so glad I found and read it.
Margerywieder
Apparently, this was a bestseller in England, and it has the characteristics of one: very accessible, easy read that easily holds your interest and has a little bit of a twist (a list of ten things at the start of each chapter). But the writing isn't at all standout, so though I might go to three and a half stars, it's not a must-read.
Neenee
Jun 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-2014
Nicely written. Stir emotions.

I love the way Ms. Butler describes the places, the people and even the smallest things so beautifully. And naturally how Alice's thoughts jump from one thing to another. Quite a 'fleeting' creature.

Definitely this does not belong under chick-lit category. It has a darker tone.
Hillary
Dec 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: author-friends
If this weren't billed as a debut novel, one would never know it. Sarah Butler writes with the deftness and delicacy of a master storyteller, giving us a compassionate, achingly beautiful rendering of a father and daughter.
Paul
Jan 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A deeply loving tale of two lost souls who find each other. A story about family and loss and how life can somehow make things right in the least obvious ways.
Kristi
Jan 23, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: quit-reading
Painful.
Sally Boocock
Feb 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
One of the most moving books I have read. for anyone who knows London well it is a love story of the city as well. Really touches the heart. Had tissues out on more than one occasion
Sarah
Feb 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful story set in London.
Amanda
Jul 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very meditative and thoughtful book. It made me notice tiny things on the street as I walked throughout my day: stray objects, stolen smiles, mumbled words. I'm glad I read this one.
Elizabeth Norris
I loved this book. It's quiet and beautifully written and was the perfect read for a weekend curled up on the couch with my family.
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Ten Things I have Learnt About Love 1 21 Feb 22, 2013 07:31AM  

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Sarah Butler is in her early thirties and lives in Manchester. She runs a consultancy which develops literature and arts projects that explore and question our relationship to place. She has been writer in residence on the Central Line, the Greenwich Peninsula, and at Great Ormond Street Hospital, and has taught creative writing for the British Council in Kuala Lumpur. Ten Things I've Learnt About ...more

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