This week’s staff pick, The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, is a funny, delightful love story about discovering who we are and finding someone to love us, idiosyncrasies and all. Don Tillman is a genetics professor in search of a wife. Rosie Jarman is a bartender trying to find her biological father. Seemingly incompatible, Don is intrigued by Rosie and decides to help her with the father project. The two develop an unlikely relationship which find’s Don breaking a few of his rules and changing both of their lives. What sets this book apart is the imperfect but wonderful characters and the many laugh out loud moments. A favorite among a few of our staffers.
“Genetics professor Don Tillman’s ordered, predictable life is thrown into chaos when love enters the equation in this immensely enjoyable novel. Never good with social cues, Don explains his difficulty empathizing with others, which he forthrightly says is a defining symptom of the autism spectrum, as a result of his brain simply being wired differently. Diagnosis is not the issue here, as the reader is rooting for Don as he searches for ways to fit in. With his fortieth birthday approaching, he designs a questionnaire to find a compatible female life partner using his overriding devotion to logic. But he finds his quest competing with the request of a woman to discover the identity of her biological father. The protagonist is passingly similar to that of Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (2003), but Simsion’s first novel is not as dark, focusing instead on the humor and significance of what makes us human. Don is used to causing amusement or consternation in others, but as his self-awareness and understanding grow, so do his efforts to behave more appropriately. Determined and unintentionally sweet, Don embarks on an optimistic and redemptive journey. Funny, touching, and hard to put down, The Rosie Project is certain to entertain even as readers delve into deep themes. For a book about a logic-based quest for love, it has a lot of heart.” –Bridget Thoreson, Booklist