Friday, January 10, 2020

Twenty-one Truths About Love: A Novel

"Twenty-one Truths About Love: A Novel" is the latest book by author Matthew Dicks, also known as Matthew Green, or the guy who wrote "Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend".

What makes this book different is that it's written entirely in bullet points. Yes, it is a book of fiction. Yes, it does have a story arc. I love bullet points, but yes, it's difficult to read, and I imagine even more difficult to write.

Yes, it's good.

Blurb
Daniel Mayrock's life is at a crossroads. He knows the following to be true:
1. He loves his wife Jill... more than anything.
2. He only regrets quitting his job and opening a bookshop a little (maybe more than a little)
3. Jill is ready to have a baby.
4. The bookshop isn’t doing well. Financial crisis is imminent. Dan doesn't know how to fix it.
5. Dan hasn’t told Jill about their financial trouble.
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:
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. He doesn't want to live in the shadow of his wife’s deceased first husband.
Dan is also an obsessive list maker; 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 do anything for the love (and soon-to-be new love) of his life.


Recipes for Love and Murder: A Tannie Maria Mystery

A year ago, I saw Sally Andrew's "Recipes for Love and Murder: A Tannie Maria Mystery" in a South African book shop, and added it to my to-read pile. Its time has finally come, and I was glad to be able to travel down the memory lane to the Little Karoo, the ostrich farms, bobotie and the heat of the South African summer.

This book is a "cosy" murder mystery, which makes a nice change from everything that's a thriller these days. I know there are two more books in the series, and I can't wait to get my hands on them!

Blurb
Tannie Maria (Tannie meaning Auntie, the respectful Afrikaans address for a woman older than you) is a middle-aged widow who likes to cook—and eat. She shares her culinary love as a recipe columnist for the local paper—until The Gazette decides its readers are hungrier for advice on matters of the heart rather than ideas for lunch and dinner.
Tannie Maria doesn’t like the change, but soon discovers she has a knack—and a passion—for helping people. Of course she shares her recipes and culinary advice whenever she can! Assisting other people with their problems, Tannie Maria is eventually forced to face her own issues, especially when the troubles of those she helps touch on the pain of her past, like a woman desperate to escape her abusive husband.
When the woman is murdered, Tannie Maria becomes dangerously entwined in the investigation, despite the best efforts of one striking detective determined to keep her safe. Suddenly, this practical, down-to-earth woman is involved in something much more sinister than perfecting her chocolate cake recipe . . .