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Twenty-One Truths About Love

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  670 ratings  ·  425 reviews
"Radical, extraordinary, and profoundly human." - Taylor Jenkins Reid

1. 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
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published November 19th 2019 by St. Martin's Press
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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  670 ratings  ·  425 reviews

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May 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
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
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
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
Larry H
Oct 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
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

4.5 Stars

Seven 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
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Katie B
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Kristy K
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.
Bam cooks the books ;-)
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
Nov 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, kindle
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
Andy Winder
Apr 25, 2019 rated it liked 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
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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.
Laura Harrison
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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)
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
Jamie beauty_andthebook_
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
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
Nov 06, 2019 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Rating: 2.5 stars rounded up to 3 stars

1. 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
Oct 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Lisa Aiello
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: just-fiction
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
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Crystal Zavala
May 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
1. I love lists
2. I love books
3. I loved this unique style of story-telling
4. I love quick reads
5. I thought I knew how the book would resolve
6. I was wrong
7. I didn't enjoy the ending
8. Everything wrapped up in a perfect little bow
9. I did not like how judgmental he was
(Slight spoilers below)
10. I don't appreciate people getting away with things with no consequences
11. SO MUCH White Male Privilege
Dec 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommended to Michelle by: Beatrice Jason
3.5 stars
Twenty-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
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Lorri Steinbacher
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
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.
Cindy H.
Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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,
Steph's Romance Book Talk
DNF @28%/ 2 Stars / 0 Steam Fans

This 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
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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 ...more
“9. Do the thing you are thinking about doing right now. Today. Thinking about it is simply fear masquerading as thoughtfulness.
10. Living well is the best revenge. If that doesn't work, bide your time. You can always ruin your enemy's life at a later date.”
“No one really changes. Assholes are always assholes. Angels are always angels. You are the person you've always been. Some people just learn to hide their ugly parts.” 3 likes
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