Does everyone have a books to read pile? Maybe a shelf? Or in my case, entire bookshelf? From what I can tell, the answer is yes – if that person considers themselves to be a somewhat regular reader. I think working in a bookstore makes this even worse, because I am constantly finding books that I think that I would love to read. I do a fairly decent job in showing restraint, mostly because my husband likes me to bring home some of the money I earn at work and not spend it all on books.
Anyway, I’ve had The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion on my shelf for a long time, just waiting to be read. I picked it up once, but only got a few pages in before something more pressing seemed to jump in the queue and knocked it out. I decided to give it another go earlier this week, and found the book to be charming and humorous.
Don Tillman is as socially awkward a guy as you are likely to ever meet. The book falls short of diagnosing him with Asperger’s syndrome, but it is not so subtly implied by his clinical psychologist friend, and can give you a pretty good idea of his inability to respond well to social cues. Don wants to find a wife, and decides that the most logical way to to this is to create a survey that his potential suitors would fill out to determine marriage suitability. Some questions would be automatic disqualifiers – such as, “do you smoke”, correct answer, “no”. Whereas others were on a bit more a sliding scale – ” do you eat kidneys?’, correct answer – occasionally.
Don’s “Wife Project” gets derailed a bit when he meets Rosie – a wholly unsuitable wife candidate, but a woman on a quest of her own. Don uncharacteristically agrees to help her try to find her biological father, as he is a geneticist and can analyze DNA. Their unlikely partnership involves many changes to Don’s rigid schedule and he begins to see that perhaps he can change certain aspects of his life without catastrophic consequences.
I found the book to be thoughtful without being too sappy, and you can’t help but root for Don to find happiness. Neither chicky nor highbrow, it’s a great book for anyone who just wants a light read with a charming story.