Maira's Books

In January of 2005 I started this blog as a record of books I’ve read as I was afraid I would forget what I have read. I have often referred back to my own blog to remember a book's contents or see what I have read by an author. I have enjoyed passing my books on to friends or recommending books to read. I know I have missed recording some, but in general I try to keep up with what I have read or listened to.

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Location: Kalamazoo, MI, United States

I am a librarian at Waldo Library at Western Michigan University.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

No! I Don't Want to Join a Book Club by Virginia Ironside (2007)

Wonderful, down to earth book about turning 60 - in my generation that led a pretty wild life in the 1960's & 70's. Of course everyone is different and I don't always feel like the character Marie (kept being pronounced as "marry") Sharp, who lives in Britain, retired art teacher, divorced a long time ago, one grown son. But she reflects accurately so many of my feelings about getting old. I want to actually buy this book and underline certain passages. HOpefully I can add to this reflection, as the book deserves it, but too many books haven't even made it into my blog, so I will stop here.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (2013)

What a delight! This was such a fun book, narrated by Don, a brilliant geneticist living in Australia, who is wired differently. He does not know how to act appropriately in social situations, needs to schedule everything to the minute, says what his mind perceives as scientifically correct, doesn't care how he dresses, does not feel emotions, and so forth. As he tells the story, he explains how he sees it and then what his thought process is to come up with what he actually says - often wildly inappropriate, but funny. I never felt I was laughing at him, but with him.  Though a friend asks Don to lecture on Asperger's, it seems he doesn't tie in the symptoms to himself, and I don't dare diagnose, but... 

Don decides he does want a partner in life, so for his Wife Project he writes up a questionnaire that would get at the traits he wants - no smoking or drinking (though he drinks himself), highly educated, understands numbers, organized, will eat strange things, etc. Of course very few women fit, and when one does, but is a advanced ballroom dancer, he teaches himself to dance all the ballroom dances - just without a live partner or music - you can see that just leads to a hilarious situation. He is used to being laughed at, as it has been going on all his life, so he seems not to mind, but is rescued by Rosie, a bar maid that has come to him wanting to find out who her real father is. It is someone her mother slept with at her graduation party, so the two of them create the Father Project and go off to gather DNA samples from dozens of men.

Heartwarming, as Don learns social skills - by applying his amazing brain to the task and make many people's lives better. Will read the sequel soon.