“I met Rosie at the airport. She remained uncomfortable about me purchasing her ticket, so I told her she could pay me back by selecting some Wife Project applicants for me to date.
‘Fuck you,’ she said.
It seemed we were friends again.”
― Graeme Simsion,
For most of December, (before I get too close to the next book launch) I thought it would be fun to share books that have had profound impacts on me. Although, it’s fair to point out the title of this post feels a little deceiving because, to me, all books mean something. 🙂
Nonetheless, these are books that I keep close by. The majority of which have spent a Christmas season or two as gifts to friends and family.
I’m pretty sure I’ve written about The Rosie Project here before.
First, the synopsis:
The art of love is never a science: Meet Don Tillman, a brilliant yet socially inept professor of genetics, who’s decided it’s time he found a wife. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which Don approaches all things, he designs the Wife Project to find his perfect partner: a sixteen-page, scientifically valid survey to filter out the drinkers, the smokers, the late arrivers.
Rosie Jarman possesses all these qualities. Don easily disqualifies her as a candidate for The Wife Project (even if she is “quite intelligent for a barmaid”). But Don is intrigued by Rosie’s own quest to identify her biological father. When an unlikely relationship develops as they collaborate on The Father Project, Don is forced to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie―and the realization that, despite your best scientific efforts, you don’t find love, it finds you.
Back when I read this book, I gushed and I gushed. Basically, I couldn’t shut up about it. It was an instant favorite. Now, it’s a once a year re-read.
In fact, in what Don would for sure say was an over the top emotional response, I wrote the author and professed my love for his novel, after which I felt that immediate familiar pang of regret one gets when they know they’ve just made themselves look like a crazy person. Nevertheless, he must know a thing or two about crazy because he seemed pretty unfazed when HE WROTE BACK. He wished me luck with the writing. It was a really nice thing to do.
Long story long, I have a thing for Don’s character. I feel like I’ve lived with a few Don Tillmans’ in my time. I adore his honesty—his approach to life—his intelligence.
It’s maddening. And it’s lovely all the same.
My favorite quotes:
“It seems hardly possible to analyze such a complex situation involving deceit and supposition of another person’s emotional response, and then prepare your own plausible lie, all while someone is waiting for you to reply to a question. Yet that is exactly what people expect you to be able to do.”
“How can you tell if someone is a vegan? Just wait ten minutes and they’ll tell you.”
“I’ve sequenced the questions for maximum speed of elimination,’ I explained. ‘I believe I can eliminate most women in less than forty seconds. Then you can choose the topic of discussion for the remaining time.’
‘But then it won’t matter,’ said Frances. ‘I’ll have been eliminated.’
‘Only as a potential partner. We may still be able to have an interesting discussion.’
‘But I’ll have been eliminated.’
I nodded. ‘Do you smoke?’
‘Occasionally,’ she said.
I put the questionnaire away. ‘Excellent.’ I was pleased that my question sequencing was working so well. We could have wasted time talking about ice-cream flavours and make-up only to find that she smoked. Needless to say, smoking was not negotiable. ‘No more questions. What would you like to discuss?”
“Love is a powerful feeling for another person, often defying logic.”