The Rosie Project and its sequel, The Rosie Effect, both by Graeme Simsion, leave readers wanting more. More theories from protaganist Don, a sharply intelligent, deeply socially awkward geneticist who’s too logical for his own good. More charming bickering between him and Rosie, the woman who falls in love with him despite herself. More feminist musings. And way more of the special sauce that makes Simsion’s books so satisfying: a whole lot of heart. But until Simsion produces another gem, here are a few more titles that will have you laughing and grabbing the tissues all at the same time. Don’t worry, we won’t tell Don.
The Storied Life of AJ Fikry, by Gabrielle Zevin
The owner of an uber-literary indie bookstore, widower AJ Fikry is as set in his ways as Don. But his life is turned upside down when he adopts a young girl someone abandoned in his store. The story’s small cast of characters—AJ, his adopted daughter, the woman he falls in love with—are deeply intertwined, and just as the Rosie leads are often surprised to learn how similar they really are, these characters must learn again and again how much they depend on each other. Filled with references to classic novels, this is a must for book lovers.
Envisioning Information, by Edward Tufte
If your favorite part of the Rosie Effect was imagining Don’s infographic takeover of Rosie’s bathroom, in an attempt to optimize her health, you may be inspired by the great Edward Tufte’s series on envisioning information. This classic book analyzes the best strategies for visualizing data, and is filled with charts, diagrams, maps, and more. If you’re looking for a satisfying way to capture complex info, this book will soothe your soul and help you channel your inner Don.
Attachments, by Rainbow Rowell
Rowell wrote this novel about finding office romance via email before Eleanor and Park, but it’s filled with the same elements that made her YA readers swoon. Romcom-worthy moments of mistaken identities and miscommunications, a distinct voice, unforgettable characters: sound familiar? This novel is a lovely one to chase down after The Rosie Effect.
Paperback $16.19 | $17.99
Why We Love?, by Helen Fisher
Despite being a world-renowned evolutionary psychologist, Don’s best friend, Gene, has some fishy theories about how to attract the opposite sex. But Helen Fisher’s classic exploration of the natural instincts and chemistry that lie behind romantic love is the real deal. In Why We Love, she details the powerful role our brains and bodies play in our relationships, and how they can lead us astray. A fact Gene is, sadly, all too familiar with.
Me Before You, Jojo Moyes
If you’re looking for another novel that will break your heart open, Jojo Moyes is a safe bet. Her books are filled with heart and characters you can’t help caring about. In Me Before You, she tells the story of Louisa, a sheltered girl whose life changes when she takes a job caring for Will, a suicidal man confined to a wheelchair after a terrible accident. If that sounds like it will make you cry, it will. But it will also make you laugh and nod your head as you recognize yourself and everyone you know in this tale of grief and courage.