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Book Review: Add 'Twenty-One Truths About Love' To Your List Of Heartwarming Novels


There are at least nine reasons I loved Twenty-One Truths About Love by Matthew Dicks:

  1. The novel is told entirely through a series of lists kept by its main character, Daniel Mayrock. These are texts from his wife, to-do lists, pet peeves or random thoughts.
  2. The unusual structure allows you to slowly get to know Dan, who is expecting his first child and consumed with anxiety about his finances and impending fatherhood.
  3. There’s a bookshop angle.
  4. The novel is quirky and endearing in a good way, like The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry or Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, which happen to be two of my personal faves.
  5. Twenty-One Truths about Love was published in 2019. That means it’s available in paperback. So my procrastination is your reward.
  6. Dan’s wife, Jill, is a young widow, and there aren’t enough contemporary novels that explore love and marriage after widowhood.
  7. Dan has strong opinions about vampire fiction, parallel parking, ice-breaker exercises and Little Debbie snack cakes, and he’s not afraid to share them.
  8. Poignant moments with a grizzled-older-friend character.
  9. This book is entertaining, relatable, and laugh-out-loud funny at times, and it’s damn near impossible not to read in one sitting. 

Matthew Dicks is a six-time grand champion of the Moth storytelling competition, and his prowess comes through so clearly. Add it to your to-be-read list.

Suzanne Perez is a longtime journalist covering education and general news for KMUW and the Kansas News Service. Suzanne reviews new books for KMUW and is the co-host with Beth Golay of the Books & Whatnot podcast. Follow her on Twitter @SuzPerezICT.