Creator of The Practical Dev, Ben is a software developer living in New York City. He is the co-founder and CTO of Argo.
It had been some time since the last time I'd started and finished a fictional book. As much as I wanted to get into something, I found myself making the utility-driven choice every time. Lately, I have read a lot of books on business, economics, history, and of course, software development. I love reading those, but I needed a little fiction in my life. Having failed to get through a few recommended novels, I turned to Bill Gates' recommendations and settled on The Rosie Project.
Melinda picked up this novel earlier this year, and she loved it so much that she kept stopping to read passages out loud to me. I started it myself at 11 p.m. one Saturday and stayed up with it until 3 the next morning. Anyone who occasionally gets overly logical will identify with the hero, a genetics professor with Asperger’s Syndrome who goes looking for a wife. (Melinda thought I would appreciate the parts where he’s a little too obsessed with optimizing his schedule. She was right.) It’s an extraordinarily clever, funny, and moving book about being comfortable with who you are and what you’re good at. I’m sending copies to several friends and hope to re-read it later this year. This is one of the most profound novels I’ve read in a long time.
I wholeheartedly agree with all of Mr. Gates' assertions. If you read this website, you are probably the type of person that will love this book. I can confirm Gates' assertion that the overly-logical types, like myself, can identify with the hero wonderfully. The story is told completely from the perspective of a man seeking a woman in his life, and much of the character's aloof tendencies surface as sexist mansplaining asshattery, so I could see this book being a potentially frustrating read for women. That being said, the women I talked to that have read it love it for its honesty. Besides being clever and relatable, the book has several great character arcs and has a wonderfully winding and twisting plot. I genuinely had no idea how this was going to end, right up until the end. It's a truly great read.
If you are anything like me, this is an absolute page-turner. I listened to it as an audiobook. The novel and the audiobook can both be found on Amazon. As a sidebar, I recommend the audiobook format in general. I'm addicted to the audiobook-at-the-gym lifestyle these days, which is a pretty healthy addiction.