The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

The Rosie ProjectThe Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Professor Don Tillman has few friends, struggles in social situations and shows little emotion, yet he has a brilliant brain. Early on in my reading of this book I wrote down two names which in my view summed up Don; Spock and Mr Bean. To me Don seemed like a combination of the two characters. The book is set in Australia and begins with Don taking over a lecture for a fellow professor where he must give a talk on Asperger’s Syndrome. We are immediately thrown into Don’s world where there is a schedule for everything, thus making Don’s world totally efficient.

However Don’s world is not complete, he wants to share it closely with a fellow human being, but with few friends and no social life he needs a plan. He starts The Wife Project, a complex idea revolving around set of questions and throwing himself into the dating scene. Don has 304 potential candidates from his project and asks his friend Gene to help choose a date. Gene and his wife Claudia coach Don, advise him and nudge him along a path of discovery.

Meanwhile Rosie turns up in Don’s life. Sent by Gene as a wild card and a joke, Rosie disrupts Don’s life. They become friends as Don helps Rosie with her own problems and they devise The Father Project in an attempt to find Rosie’s true biological father using DNA testing and hopes to lay some ghosts to rest. Their project stretches across Australia and even requires a memorable trip to New York. Don is starting to discover things about himself when Rosie forces him to drop his schedules and learn to have fun. He finds the realisation quite disturbing yet promising. Upon their return he embarks on The Don Project in a final attempt to catch the perfect partner for life.

Whilst reading this book Don will quite likely drive you mad, but I couldn’t help also admiring him, his attention to detail, his memory, his dedication. In the end it doesn’t matter if he was an undiagnosed Asperger’s sufferer or not, he made something of his life, he found happiness and he’ll go on learning. I didn’t know anything about this book before I started reading it, I was drawn to the title, obviously! I’m glad I read it, I think often our own paths in life have projects along the way, most not quite as planned out as Don’s.

This review is based on a free copy of the book given to me by for International readers find a copy here from

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Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando

RoomiesRoomies by Sara Zarr

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Elizabeth Logan lives with her Mum in New Jersey. It’s the start of the summer holidays and she is looking forward to going away to college at Berkley in San Francisco in the autumn. When she gets an e-mail from college informing her of her allocated room mate, she immediately contacts her.

Lauren Cole lives with her large family in a suburb of San Francisco and looks forward to her own space when she goes away to college. Lauren juggles two jobs plus she helps at home with her younger siblings.

The girls start e-mailing over the next few weeks and find that it’s useful to have a friend who they can talk to who doesn’t know anything about their past lives. As the weeks and days until the start of the college term get nearer the girls begin to worry about the changes that are about to happen.

Each girl finds themselves on a journey of beginnings and endings. They both get new boyfriends and their relationships with friends and family start to change. It’s not just the girls, they find their peers and families have similar fears.

This would make and ideal read for anyone about to leave home and go away to college or any family members who have a teenager who they will be sending a student off to college or university.

This review is based on a free copy of the book given to me by

For international readers this book is also available on

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Good Deeds Week 19th – 25th January

Good deedsWelcome to my weekly roundup of my year long challenge to do one Good deed a day for a year. This challenge began back in April 2013 and is still going strong. My inspiration came from reading “A Year of Doing Good” by Judith O’Reilly. Here is what I’ve been up to this week.

January 19th – Went to visit my parents and return a book about the geology of New Zealand. A fascinating book, but I didn’t get to finish it, just a bit too academic this time. Mum had a friend whom she wished to lend the book to. Was able to help out with several small computer issues Mum had, just tweaks and finding files saved all over the system. Good deeds received: Have related the tale of our missing parcels (from last weeks post) Dad was able to lend us 2 clamps from his own workshop for us to continue with our bookcase project. Thanks Dad.

January 20th – A good morning helping out at school, no phone calls interrupting me and I successfully completed all my tasks. Sorted out a coffee date with a friend for next week to catch up with each other, and lucky me I’m also out to dinner with friends next Wednesday.

January 21st – Just heard of a friend who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, will be supporting the family any way I can in the next few months. Walked to the post box to post a letter and picked up litter on my way home. Met my neighbour who is just recovering from a stroke and had a chat.

January 22nd – Volunteered to be the driver today for my dinner date next week with a couple of friends. Set up two book reviews on , they recently contacted me about doing some book reviews for them and I started with The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion and Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando.

January 23rd – Posting a cover reveal today for author Cherie Reich and her new book Reborn. Dashed to the post box with an urgent letter and took a calmer stroll home and picked up more litter. Good Deeds received; Lots of Thanks from Cherie for the cover reveal, she’ll be sending me the book to read and review in a few weeks time.

January 24th – Officially launched my A to Z April Challenge 2014 today, I’ve probably jumped the gun, but I need authors to sign up and so I need to give them time to start acting. Got a book you think could fit? Want to promote it for free? Check out the post and get in touch The A to Z Challenge was set up in 2010 by Arlee Bird and last year over 1600 bloggers from around the world took part. I had a ball visiting other bloggers who write about all sorts of subjects that I wouldn’t usually seek out and I increased my followers to my own blog too. Good Deeds received; The first authors to jump in and sign up for the challenge are thrilled to have the opportunity of a free promotion.

January 25th – Today I have a guest author on the blog, L.T Vargus, if you’ve missed some posts this week do try and check out her interview. My A to Z Challenge has had a great start, I’ve filled 8 places already. Please do spread the word if you know an author who might like to have their book promoted during the challenge. There won’t be much work involved. Short punchy posts work well during the challenge because everyone is encouraged to visit and comment on as many blogs as they can, so they only have time for a quick visit to blogs. The trick is to make the post a memorable one with easy links for readers to buy the book or find out more about the author.