How to Participate: 2012

Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads 2012 is a community-wide event! How may you participate?

Hold A Discussion Group In Your Community

Organize an event or discussion related to the read.
Events may be open to the public or restricted. Examples include:
• Book clubs wishing to use the book at a private meeting or discussion
• College or high school instructors assigning the book to their class
• Local workplaces hosting discussion groups for their employees
• Coffee shops inviting customers to connect over coffee on a particular night
• Film societies presenting a film related to the topic

Learn How To Moderate a Discussion Group
All of the information that you need to moderate your own discussion group can be found on our Resources page.

Tell Us About Your Event

If you have an event related to the Read, and would like to have it listed on this site, please contact Tim Grimes, Ann Arbor District Library Community Relations and Marketing at grimest@aadl.org (734-327-4265). Please tell us the title of the event, date, time, location, sponsoring organization and contact information. Also, let us know if registration is required or if the event is on a drop-in basis.

Keep Checking this Website for Updates!
The site will change often as events are added. Please check for changes.

Resources: 2012

About the author: Daniel Tammet

Click here for copies available at the Ann Arbor District Library.

Click here for copies available at the Ypsilanti District Library.

Reading Guide Questions

Selected Bibliography

Eastern Michigan University Library 2012 Reads Research Guide

Youth Reading List - Curated by the Ann Arbor District Library & the Ypsilanti District Library

Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Read Posters

Events at University of Michigan
University of Michigan's College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA) is also exploring the theme of language for their winter, 2012 semester. Visit their general site and click on their "events" & "exhibits" tabs and more in order to find ways to participate with UM's exploration on the theme of Language.

Book Discussion Broadcast

Sponsors: 2012

Thanks to the following organizations for their contributions to the 2012 Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads:
Ann Arbor District Library
University of Michigan
Washtenaw Community College
Washtenaw Intermediate School District
Ypsilanti District Library

Special Thanks to the Following Individuals Who Served on 2012 Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads Committees:

Blue Ribbon Committee
Dr. Rose Bellanca, President, Washtenaw Community College
Laurel Champion, Executive Vice-President, AnnArbor.com
Mary Sue Coleman, President, University of Michigan
John Hieftje, Mayor, Ann Arbor
Dr. Susan Martin, President, Eastern Michigan University
Jill Morey, Director, Ypsilanti District Library
Josie Barnes Parker, Director, Ann Arbor District Library
Paul Schreiber, Mayor, Ypsilanti

Steering Committee
Donna DeButts, Community Relations Coordinator, Ypsilanti District Library
Tim Grimes, Community Relations and Marketing Manager, Ann Arbor District Library
Diane Hockett, Treasurer, Washtenaw Intermediate School District
Lori Kunkel-Coryell, Assistant Director, Ypsilanti District Library
Ira Lax, Outreach Assistant, Ann Arbor District Library
Evans Young, Assistant Dean, College of Literature, Science and the Arts, University of Michigan

Screening Committee
Ira Lax, Outreach Assistant, Ann Arbor District Library, Co-Chair
Sara Memmott, Librarian, Eastern Michigan University, Co-Chair
Maureen Angyan, Teacher, Ypsilanti Public Schools
Kathe Blue Hetter, Teacher, Ann Arbor Public Schools
Barbara Klaver, Teacher, Ann Arbor Public Schools
Lori Kunkel-Coryell, Assistant Director, Ypsilanti District Library
Molly Mahony, Tanner Philosophy Librarian, Department of Philosophy, University of Michigan
Judy Nagle, Author
Nicola Rooney, Nicola’s Books
Sandor Slomovits, Musician
Evans Young, Assistant Dean, College of Literature, Science and the Arts, University of Michigan

Selection Committee
Barbara Klaver, Teacher, Ann Arbor Public Schools, Chair
Ryan Case, Ann Arbor District Library
Nancy De Wolf, Ann Arbor
Sarah Fabian, Librarian, Eastern Michigan University Library
Karen Jordan, Director, Programming and Community Engagement, University of Michigan Library
Alyson Lobert, Ypsilanti District Library
Rhonda Walker, Teacher, Ypsilanti Public Schools

Outreach Committee
Ronnie Connors, Assistive Technology Consultant, Washtenaw Intermediate School District
Donna DeButts, Community Relations Coordinator, Ypsilanti District Library
Sharon Gambin, Kerrytown Book Festival
Amy Goodman, Executive Director, Washtenaw Literacy
Tim Grimes, Community Relations and Marketing Manager, Ann Arbor District Library
Karen Jordan, Director, Programming and Community Engagement, University of Michigan Library
Ira Lax, Outreach Assistant, Ann Arbor District Library
Molly Mahony, Philosophy Librarian, University of Michigan
Joetta Mial, Another Ann Arbor
Jean Nelson, Liaison, Washtenaw Community College
Kate Pittsley, Business Librarian, Eastern Michigan University
Nicola Rooney, Owner, Nicola’s Books
Gayle Townsend, Community Relations Manager, Barnes and Noble Bookstores
Amanda Uhle, Executive Director, 826michigan
Evans Young, Assistant Dean, College of Literature, Science and the Arts, University of Michigan

Events: 2012

10TH ANNUAL ANN ARBOR/YPSILANTI READS EVENT

The 10th annual Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads Event will be held Thursday, January 19 in the Towsley Auditorium of the Morris Lawrence Building at Washtenaw Community College.

Focusing on the 2012 Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads book selection "Born On A Blue Day: Inside The Mind Of An Autistic Savant" by Daniel Tammet, the evening will feature nationally-known Autism Consultant Dr. Julie Donnelly and (via Skype) Dr. Darold Treffert, one of the world’s leading experts on Autistic Savant Syndrome.The public program will occur from 7:00 to 9:00 pm.

Doors will open at 6 pm to offer the opportunity to connect with community agencies and representatives who will be staffing information tables in the lobby. Many of these organizations will center on autism and local related services. There will also be time following the event to interact with these local organizations. Copies of the book will also be for sale

Dr. Darold Treffert will discuss Extraordinary Savant Syndrome highlighting recent developments in research on this remarkable condition, including acquired savants and genetic memory that hint at the hidden potential--a little Rain Man perhaps--within us all. He will also discuss and show videos from his interactions with Daniel Tammet (the author of "Born On A Blue Day") and Kim Peek (the original Rain Man).

Dr. Treffert wrote the forward for the original U.K. version of "Born On A Blue Day" and served as the consultant for the Oscar-winning film Rain Man, starring Dustin Hoffman. He has appeared on numerous television and documentary programs including 60 Minutes, Oprah, Today Show, CNN and the Discovery Channel in the U.S. and in foreign documentaries in Japan, Germany, Australia, Sweden, Korea and many other countries. He met his first savant in 1962 after developing the child-adolescent unit at Winnebago Mental Health Institute in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and has been engaged in research on savant syndrome since that time. He was a technical consultant to the movie Rain Man which made ‘autistic savant’ household words.

Dr. Julie A. Donnelly will focus on A Mother’s Story: The Account Of Jean-Paul Bovee, her child who was born with classic autism in a time when the advice of medical professionals was to put the child in an institution. Julie was told that autism was “incurable by definition” and that his disability was her fault. Despite these opinions, she worked with her son in her home and, with the help of his step-father and three siblings, he progressed and attended school. His school years were difficult, but he continued to improve. People were surprised when he graduated from high school, but he went on to finish college with two master’s degrees. He later married and currently has a two-year-old son to whom he is a devoted father.

Julie, his mother, became a teacher of children with autism, then an autism consultant. She is is currently Associate Director of the Missouri state autism agency for the Dept. of Education. She has helped to initiate an online Master’s Degree in Autism Program for the University of Missouri-Columbia and teaches the autism classes in this program. Julie has taught and consulted in the public schools for over 30 years and publishes and presents nationally and internationally.

This is a key event for the 2012 Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads program, which this year focuses on the theme of "Language: How We Communicate." For information on the event, call 327-4555

Click here for our Facebook page.

OTHER EVENTS

Events at University of Michigan
University of Michigan's College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA) is also exploring the theme of language for their winter, 2012 semester. Find an event to attend on campus as it ties in well to this year's Ann Arbor/Ypsi Reads theme. Search UM's LSA event calendar to find which events you'd like to attend!

Sunday, January 08, 1:00 pm-03:00 pm
Hands-On Workshop: Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads Event: Comic Artists Forum With Guest Artist Rob Stenzinger For Adults And Teens (Grade 6 And Up)

Learn how to communicate YOUR ideas through innovative comic storytelling techniques in this January edition of Comic Artists Forum, featuring (via skype) guest artist Rob Stenzinger, the creator of Art Geek Zoo: The Way of Sound, a music fantasy adventure online at artgeekzoo.com, collected in print, and available as an eBook. Rob will show you how to publish your serial comic one page at a time, keep your readers interested, and have it all link together as one big story. In this interactive workshop via Skype, he will share comic storytelling techniques, the importance of the dramatic reveal, and why comics are the perfect home for your serial story. We'll even work as a group to chain together a few short comic strips into a serialized comic! Drawing supplies will be provided.
Ann Arbor District Library - 4th Floor Meeting Room
343 South Fifth Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Details: call 327-8301 or visit aadl.org

Wednesday, January 11, 7 pm
Community Reads Program: Introduction to Deaf Culture and Language

Receive a general orientation to deafness, deaf culture, and communication strategies including basic survival sign language from Terri Flanagan, an interpreter with Deaf and Hearing Impaired Services, Inc.
Ypsilanti District Library,
5577 Whittaker Rd.
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Details: 482-4110 ext. 1377

Wednesday, January 11, 7:00 pm-08:30 pm
Lecture: Ann Arbor /Ypsilanti Reads Event: How To Achieve Student Success For Adults And Teens (Grade 6 And Up)

Join us for this session, presented by the UM Center For Human Adjustment, which offers tips to help middle and high school students with language-based learning disabilities, including dyslexia, improve the way they tackle reading and writing assignments, as well as organize themselves and prepare for tests. Do not miss this informative presentation by Karen Wasco, M.S., CCC-SLP.
Ann Arbor District Library - Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room
343 South Fifth Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Details: 327-4555 or visit aadl.org

The following lecture series from The Judson Center Autism Connection of Washtenaw County has two topics that occur on alternating Thursdays with a starting date of Jan 12th and ending date of April 19th. ALL community members and interested individuals are invited to attend. You must register beforehand to attend by contacting Colleen Huysman at colleen_huysman@judsoncetner.org or calling at (734) 528-1692, ext. 23222. Space is limited. View the program flyer here.

Series 1: January 12, 7-9pm (and continues every other Thursday until April 19th)
Transition to Adulthood

This is one of two series that the Judson Center Autism Connections of Washtenaw County has started that acts as a support group for parents and caregivers of children on the Autism spectrum. The series will explore the best care and services available to individuals on the Autism spectrum. The “Transition to Adulthood” series will empower parents to meet the challenges that face adolescents on the Autism spectrum as they age into independent adults. Each session is $5 per family and childcare is provided. There is a reduced rate of $25 for all seven sessions. Remember to register (information above).

Full schedule for Transition to Adulthood Series:
January 12: ABCs to Academic Success Dr. Geri Markel
January 26: E. Explore D. Develop U. Understand C. Create A. Advocate T. Transition E. Evaluate Susan Rogers, LMSW
February 9: Adult Social and Life Skill Development Dr. Suzi Naguib, Sunfield Center
February 23: Washtenaw County Services Daryl Greenleaf
March 8: TBD
March 22: Parent Advocacy Ann Telfer
April 12: Sexuality and Relationships for Individuals on the Spectrum Susan Rogers, LMSW

Location for Series:
Judson Center Autism Connections of Washtenaw County
3840 Packard Rd. Suite 110 Ann Arbor, MI 48108.

Series 2: January 19, 7-9pm (and continues every other Thursday until April 19th)
Parenting Children on the Autism Spectrum

This is one of two series that the Judson Center Autism Connections of Washtenaw County has started that acts as support group for parents and caregivers of children on the Autism spectrum. “Parenting Children on the Autism Spectrum” will educate and guide parents of young children with ASD on how to cope with new diagnoses, establish a therapeutic plan and help children succeed in developing peer relationships and entering school on a positive note. Each session is $5 per family and childcare is provided. There is a reduced rate of $25 for all seven sessions. Remember to register (information above).

Full Schedule for Parenting Children on the Autism Spectrum Series
January 19: The 10th annual Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads Event (this event will not be held at the Judson Center - it will instead be held the Towsley Auditorium of the Morris Lawrence Building at Washtenaw Community College at 4800 Huron River Drive Ann Arbor, MI 48105). You will not need to register for this event but will need to for the others. Details about the event are at the top of this page.
February 2: Understanding ABA Therapy Emily Besecker, M.S. BCBA, and Shannon Leveille, M.A. FLC, Judson Center
February 16: P.L.A.Y. Project Kathie Klingensmith, M.A., CCC-SLP
March 1: TBD
March 15: The Diagnosis of Autism Dr. Fiona Miller
March 29: Integrating Therapy Goals Dr. Suzi Naguib
April 19: YOGA for the family

Location for Series:
Judson Center Autism Connections of Washtenaw County
3840 Packard Rd. Suite 110 Ann Arbor, MI 48108.

Sunday, January 15, 2:00 pm-03:30 pm
Film: Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads Event - Film: Brain Man: The Boy With The Incredible Brain

This year’s Read focuses on the book Born On A Blue Day: Inside The Mind Of An Autistic Savant by Daniel Tammet - a journey into one of the most fascinating minds alive today—guided by the owner himself. Gain insight into the mind of this extraordinary individual - one of the world's 100 living geniuses – when you join us for this intriguing documentary, first broadcast in Britain in 2005. The Boy With The Incredible Brain is Daniel Tammet’s breathtaking story. A twenty-something with extraordinary mental abilities, he is one of the world’s few savants. He can do calculations to 100 decimal places in his head, and learn a language in a week.This documentary follows Daniel as he travels to America to meet the scientists who are convinced he may hold the key to unlocking similar abilities in everyone. He also meets the world’s most famous savant, the man who inspired Dustin Hoffman’s character in the Oscar winning film Rain Man.
Ann Arbor District Library - Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room
343 South Fifth Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Details: 327-4555 or visit aadl.org

Thursday, January 19, 7:00 pm-9:00 pm
10th Annual Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads Event At Washtenaw Community College - Morris Lawrence Building at Washtenaw Community College - Morris Lawrence Building

This 10th annual event focuses on the 2012 Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads book selection Born On A Blue Day: Inside The Mind Of An Autistic Savant by Daniel Tammet, and will feature nationally-known Autism Consultant Dr. Julie Donnelly and (via Skype) Dr. Darold Treffert, one of the world’s leading experts on Autistic Savant Syndrome. Arrive early (door open at 6 pm) and spend time interacting with local organizations, many of will center on autism and local related services. Copies of the book will also be for sale.
Washtenaw Community College
4800 Huron River Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Details: 327-4555 or visit aadl.org

Tuesday, January 24, 6:30 pm
Community Reads Program: The Oral Tradition in Native American Cultures

What’s the purpose of oral tradition in traditional and contemporary Native communities? Using material from noted American Indian scholar and poet Paula Gunn-Allen and others, EMU Professor Lori Burlingame will talk about the importance of oral tradition.
Ypsilanti District Library,
5577 Whittaker Rd.
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Details: 482-4110 ext. 1377

Tuesday, January 31, 7:00 pm-08:30 pm
Lecture: Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads Event: Dr. Rick Solomon Discusses Autism: The Brain-Mind Connection

Find out more about autism in this informative lecture by developmental and behavioral pediatrician Rick Solomon MD. In this lecture Dr. Solomon will update participants on the most recent scientific evidence related to autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs). His talk will cover the brain science and genetics of ASDs; demonstrate the diagnostic criteria with video examples; discuss possible causes for the large increase in prevalence, including the controversial relationship between ASD and immunizations/mercury; and overview the evidence for behavioral, developmental, educational and dietary/alternative interventions. His PowerPoint and a list of scientific references will be provided.
Ann Arbor District Library - Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room
343 South Fifth Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Details: 327-4555 or visit aadl.org

Thursday, February 2, 10:30 am
Thursday Morning Book Discussion: Born On a Blue Day

Everyone is invited to join in the discussion and share your thoughts about the author Daniel Tammet, autism, genius, and more.
Ypsilanti District Library,
5577 Whittaker Rd.
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Details: 482-4110 ext. 1377

Monday, February 6, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Monday Evening Book Discussion

Join in the discussion of the book selected for Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads 2012 "Born On A Blue Day: Inside The Extraordinary Mind Of An Autistic Savant" by Daniel Tammet . Anyone is welcome to attend.
Traverwood Branch
3333 Traverwood Drive (at Huron Parkway)
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Details: 327-4555 or visit aadl.org

Wednesday, February 15, 7-8:30 pm
Community Reads Program: The Spectrum of Communication

People with autism often have difficult communication with others. Did you know that there’s now an app to help with that? YDL and the Autism Collaborative Center of Eastern Michigan University present a timely and topical discussion of communication issues for people with autism. Listen to moderator Dr. Sally Burton-Hoyle plus a panel of local speakers discuss these issues and how they can be addressed.
Ypsilanti District Library,
5577 Whittaker Rd.
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Details: 482-4110 ext. 1377

Wednesday, February 15, 12:10-1:00pm
Wednesday Book Discussion: Born on a Blue Day

Everyone is invited to join in the discussion and share your thoughts about the author Daniel Tammet, autism, genius, and more. Bring your lunch, refreshments provided.
Tanner Philosophy Library - UM Campus
1171 Angell Hall
435 S. State
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Monday, March 12, 7:00 pm
Monday Evening Book Discussion: Born On a Blue Day

Everyone is invited to join in the discussion and share your thoughts about the author Daniel Tammet, autism, genius, and more.
Ypsilanti District Library,
5577 Whittaker Rd.
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Details: 482-4110 ext. 1377

Book Discussions Open to the Public

Sunday, December 18, 9:30pm
Televised Book Discussion

Tune in at the Community Television Network (CTN-Channel 17) to watch Alyson Lobert from the Ypsilanti District Library, Ira Lax from the Ann Arbor District Library, Judy Nagle, a writer and retired humanities teacher and Molly Mahony from UM Tanner Philosophy Library discuss "Born on a Blue Day" as an important selection for this year's community read. They discuss the wide-appeal of the book and the insights learned about the autistic-mind. They don't give too much away about the book so you can still enjoy viewing the discussion even if you haven't finished the book yet! Check here for other viewing times of the book discussion broadcast or watch online after the initial airing.

Thursday, February 2, 10:30 am
Thursday Morning Book Discussion: Born On a Blue Day

Everyone is invited to join in the discussion and share your thoughts about the author Daniel Tammet, autism, genius, and more.
Ypsilanti District Library,
5577 Whittaker Rd.
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Details: 482-4110 ext. 1377

Monday, February 6, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Monday Evening Book Discussion

Join in the discussion of the book selected for Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads 2012 "Born On A Blue Day: Inside The Extraordinary Mind Of An Autistic Savant" by Daniel Tammet . Anyone is welcome to attend.
Traverwood Branch
3333 Traverwood Drive (at Huron Parkway)
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Details: 327-4555 or visit aadl.org

Wednesday, February 15, 12:10-1:00pm
Wednesday Book Discussion: Born on a Blue Day

Everyone is invited to join in the discussion and share your thoughts about the author Daniel Tammet, autism, genius, and more. Bring your lunch, refreshments provided.
Tanner Philosophy Library - UM Campus
1171 Angell Hall
435 S. State
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Monday, March 12, 7:00 pm
Monday Evening Book Discussion: Born On a Blue Day

Everyone is invited to join in the discussion and share your thoughts about the author Daniel Tammet, autism, genius, and more.
Ypsilanti District Library,
5577 Whittaker Rd.
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Details: 482-4110 ext. 1377

About the Reads

In 2012, the program will encourage readers of all ages to explore the theme of Language: How We Communicate.

Born on a Blue Day
Daniel Tammet, Born On A Blue Day: Inside The Extraordinary Mind Of An Autistic Savant New York: Free Press, 2007.

Click here for information about the three finalists.

Statement of Purpose
The Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads program is a community initiative to promote reading and civic dialogue through the shared experience of reading and discussing a common book.

History
Launched in 2003 by the University of Michigan Life Sciences, Values and Society Program, the Reads project was fashioned after a civic reads program designed by the Seattle Public Library. The book chosen for the inaugural Reads was “Lincoln’s DNA,” by Phillip R. Reilly. The Ann Arbor District Library was a major partner in this effort along with other area organizations.

In subsequent years, the Reads Program has been co-sponsored by the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti District Libraries and is supported by interested civic groups, the University of Michigan School of LS&A, the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti Public Schools, local bookstores, Eastern Michigan University Libraries and Washtenaw Community College.

Reads Theme
The theme that informs the selection of potential reads titles often follows the broad topic chosen for the University of Michigan’s LS&A School for its annual “theme semester.” Previous themes have included a review of civil rights in the United States in celebration of the anniversary of Brown v Board of Education; “Revolutions in Science,” a discussion of evolution and the scientific method and “We the People...” how we define citizenship; in 2008 the theme was China and America: Bridging Two Worlds; and for 2009, The Universe: Yours to Discover. However, this year the Steering Committee opted for a general theme of "Language: How We Communicate."

Book Selection
Books chosen for the Reads should meet the following criteria:

Readability:
- The writing should be engaging and thought-provoking.
- The subjects discussed should be accessible to readers throughout the community, high-school age and above.
- The length, price and availability of the book should be suited to involvement by the general public.
The book should be available in audio format.

Appropriateness:
- The book should explore and develop an understanding of the theme of the Read.
- Its treatment of issues should encourage readers to discuss the subjects further with others, at home, work, reading clubs and community events.
- Ideally, the exploration of these concerns should lead to constructive dialogues across the many boundaries that presently separate members of our community from each other, whether by race, gender, age, residence, occupation, or other affiliation.

Process:
Selecting the final book for the Reads is a two-pronged process. During the summer the Book Screening Committee made up of individuals selected as representative of various civic constituencies read approximately thirty titles of fiction and non-fiction that reflect the year’s theme. In the fall, the Book Selection Committee reviews the three titles suggested by the Screening Committee and makes a final recommendation of the Reads book for the coming year.

Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads 2012 is scheduled to occur January through February 2012. Please watch this site for more information.

Three Finalists for 2012

A selection committee of community leaders, librarians, students and educators in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area will meet in late-October to choose one of three books as the focus for this year on the subject of 'Language: How We Communicate'.

The three book finalists will be available in alternative formats for those who are unable to read or use printed materials due to a physical disability (blindness, macular degeneration, paralysis, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, dyslexia, etc.). Please contact the Washtenaw Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled at 1-734-327-4224.

Click on the titles below for more information about the books and authors, and to add your comments.

The three books under consideration are:

Lost in Translation

Eva Hoffman, Lost In Translation: A Life In A New Language. New York: E.P Dutton, 1989.

Man Without Words
Susan Schaller, A Man Without Words. New York: Summit Books, 1991.

Born on a Blue Day

Daniel Tammet, Born On A Blue Day: Inside The Extraordinary Mind Of An Autistic Savant. New York: Free Press, 2007.

Reading Guide Questions

The following Reading Group Discussion Guide for "Born on a Blue Day" can be found at the back of your book for easy access.

1. How does Daniel Tammet’s experience of numbers and language differ from that of most people? What explains his intense attraction to prime numbers? How does Daniel characterize his relationships with numbers, and how does it compare to his relationships with people?

2. How are Daniel’s savant syndrome and his epilepsy connected? Why might epilepsy allow some regions of Daniel’s brain to perform with remarkable efficiency? Of Daniel’s many remarkable abilities as a savant, which did you find most fascinating or extraordinary, and why?

3. “Predictability was important to me, a way of feeling in control in a given situation, a way of keeping feelings of anxiety at bay, at least temporarily.” To what extent is Daniel’s need for regularity and predictability a kind of compulsion? Why might similar behavior in someone without savant syndrome be perceived as neurosis? How does the unexpected affect Daniel?

4. How can Daniel’s professional success be understood in light of his having grown up in a large family that required a great deal of him socially, despite his autism? What roles might his family’s uncertain finances and his father’s illness have played in Daniel’s development? How would you characterize Daniel’s connection to his family as an adult?

5. Why was Daniel unable to reveal the fact of his homosexuality to his parents prior to his time volunteering in Lithuania? How did his experiences living abroad affect Daniel’s sense of self? To what extent were you surprised at Daniel’s ability to adapt to life in another country?

6. How would you describe Daniel’s relationship with his partner, Neil? In light of Daniel’s unique neurological concerns, why was their decision to move in together especially complicated? How do they accommodate Daniel’s autistic spectrum disorder in their day-to-day life as a couple? Given that Daniel has difficulty feeling and identifying emotions, why do you think he is able to experience romantic love?

7. “The relationship I have with language is quite an aesthetic one, with certain words and combinations of words being particularly beautiful and stimulating to me.” How does Daniel use his knowledge of different languages to help him understand and learn new languages? What does Daniel’s invention of a language of his own, Manti, reveal about his desire to communicate his appreciation of language to the world?

8. How does Daniel describe his experience of the number pi? Why are scientists particularly interested in his ability to see numbers as landscapes with color and texture? How did Daniel’s memorization and recitation of thousands of digits of pi affect him and how did it enhance his visibility in the world of savant study?

9. Why might Daniel have felt a special kinship with Kim Peek, the person whose life as a savant inspired the film Rain Man? How does Daniel’s experience of autism differ from Kim’s, and what neurological abilities do they share? Why do you think Daniel describes meeting Kim Peek as “one of the happiest moments” of his life?

10. What impact did Daniel’s conversion to Christianity in 2002 have on his life? What role does his religious belief play in his engagement and interaction with others? To what extent are you surprised that someone with Daniel’s gifts and abilities is able to put his faith in God?

Born on a Blue Day

Born on a Blue Day Born on a Blue Day: Inside The Extraordinary Mind Of An Autistic Savant :A Memoir, by Daniel Tammet.

Born On A Blue Day is a journey into one of the most fascinating minds alive today -- guided by the owner himself. Daniel Tammet is virtually unique among people who have severe autistic disorders in that he is capable of living a fully independent life and able to explain what is happening inside his head.

He sees numbers as shapes, colors, and textures, and he can perform extraordinary calculations in his head. He can learn to speak new languages fluently, from scratch, in a week. In 2004, he memorized and recited more than 22,000 digits of pi, setting a record. He has savant syndrome, an extremely rare condition that gives him the most unimaginable mental powers, much like those portrayed by Dustin Hoffman in the film Rain Man.

Fascinating and inspiring, Born on a Blue Day explores what it' s like to be special and gives us an insight into what makes us all human -- our minds.

What did you think of this book? Tell us!

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