“Humans often fail to see what is close to them and obvious to others.” Don Tillman
10 Bookers met at the home of Daryl Daniels to discuss this month’s selection pitting a socially inept, emotionally challenged geneticist who is tone deaf to irony against an edgy young woman, a barmaid/doctoral candidate in psychology whose fallback mode is sarcasm and you have the basis for this romantic comedy, a debut for Australian author, Graeme Simsion.
Kay Robinson, thanks to technology savvy Barry Daniels, aired on the big screen television a short interview with the author, a former information systems consultant turned novelist. One would suspect his extensive background and research of data-modeling lent insider knowledge of how “geeks” might formulate a sixteen-page questionnaire to find the perfect wife. Don Tillman, the protagonist, although not officially diagnosed with Asperger’s in the book, showed definite signs of the syndrome including social behavior and lack of empathy. We also watched a cartoon directed at children and young adults using an example of crashing into an alien planet that looks like Earth to show how those with Asperger’s are wired differently than others. Kay shared an article written by Scott Burns, financial writer for the Dallas Morning News and MIT graduate, showing survey results touting MIT graduates live longer. Nerds rule. And, a young man’s journey with this disease recently ran in The Monitor highlighting more awareness of this highly functioning disorder on the autism spectrum. Kay did a wonderful job of fostering a lively conversation of a book that delivered comedic relief for our everyday existences and enabling us to look inside our own relationships. Round of applause for an excellent job!
One reviewer compared the novel to the character, Sheldon, on the television comedy, The Big Bang Theory, saying that if you like the show, read the book, if not you won’t enjoy the “deadpan, nudge-nudge, wink-wink humor.” Evidently, our group found laugh-out-loud passages, such as Don practicing ballroom dancing and sexual positions with a skeleton and his Standardized Meal System (Lobster Salad Tuesday) to telling Rosie on their first “date” she was “quite intelligent for a barmaid.”
The author summed up the contrast between Rosie and Don in the pendant that she wore, identified by a Latin inscription meaning, “I am all that has been, is, and will be.” The quote is from Isis (no not that one) but the Egyptian goddess of rebirth, one of the most familiar images of empowered and utter femininity. She taught women how to grind corn, make bread, spin flax, weave cloth, and how to tame men enough to live with them…she was called “The One Who Is All.” Don Tillman met his match when he met Rosie’s pendant!
We talked about our own idiosyncrasies, preferring to call them organizational tools, revealing most of us are list makers, a very common way to keep your life in proper order unless you make a list of your lists, then we might take a harder look at you. This novel is relevant in today’s world of bullying with early diagnosis advantageous in clarifying the differences between us…..more walking in other’s shoes. The ending, although rushed, solved Rosie’s who’s your daddy dilemma, delivering a fairytale conclusion that love conquers all in which everything is ordained to work out for the best . Sony Pictures has optioned the book for the big screen and if you want to find out what’s next, The Rosie Effect, the sequel keeps the story going forward.
On the business side:
The very same company, Amazon, putting most of the “brick and mortar” bookstores out of business is opening over three hundred of the same in the near future. Go figure.
April 1st is the date for the annual Books in Bloom fundraiser, held at the Cain Center with proceeds directed to the Henderson County Clint W. Murchison Memorial Library in Athens. Jan Jarboe Russell is the featured author of The Train to Crystal City: FDR’s Secret Prisoner Exchange Program and America’s Only Family Internment Camp during World War II. From 1942 to 1948, trains carried thousands of Japanese, German, Italian immigrants and their American-born children to a small desert town at the southern tip of Texas. Crystal City was at the center of a government- prisoner exchange program called “quiet passage.” During the war, hundreds of prisoners were traded for “more important Americans” – diplomats, businessmen, soldiers, physicians, and missionaries behind enemy lines in Japan and Germany. The story focuses on the lives of two American-born teenage girls. Bonnie Magee will find out the deadline to reserve a table and confirm the cost involved in the attending the luncheon and/or author reception and I’ll pass this information along as soon as possible. Those at the meeting today expressed an interest in supporting this function as a group and I hope we can find someone to coordinate the committee to organize our table. We may also consider this book for our summer read. More later.
COLOR CODING SYSTEM
WHITE: LIGHT READ
PINK: MODERATELY CHALLENGING
March 15th: If You Find Me, by Emily Murdoch
PINK, but a deeper shade due to subject
Home of Rebecca Brisendine,
Tentative, Backup Kay Robinson
Note later date
Reviewer: Barbara Creach
April 12th: Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah
Home of Kay Robinson
Reviewer: Jean Alexander
May 17th: Wine & Cheese evening meeting, 6:00 P.M.
Note later date
Bonnie Magee, Food Czar
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Home of: Beverly Dossett
Reviewer: Jean McSpadden
Summer Break: June, July, & August
Summer Read, TBD
September 13th: Beginning of Bookers’ 12th year
Behind you, beside you, and in front of you could be the “pearls” you are looking for. Don’t forget to
open your eyes.