Synopses & Reviews
Born on a Blue Day
is a journey into one of the most fascinating minds alive today guided by its owner himself. Daniel Tammet 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 almost unimaginable mental powers, much like those portrayed by Dustin Hoffman in the film Rain Man
Daniel has a compulsive need for order and routine he eats the same precise amount of cereal for breakfast every morning and cannot leave the house without counting the number of items of clothing he's wearing. When he gets stressed or is unhappy, he closes his eyes and counts. But in one crucial way Daniel is not at all like the Rain Man: he is virtually unique among people who have severe autistic disorders in that he is capable of living a fully independent life. He has emerged from the "other side" of autism with the ability to function successfully he is even able to explain what is happening inside his head.
Born on a Blue Day is a triumphant and uplifting story, starting from early childhood, when Daniel was incapable of making friends and prone to tantrums, to young adulthood, when he learned how to control himself and to live independently, fell in love, experienced a religious conversion to Christianity, and most recently, emerged as a celebrity. The world's leading neuroscientists have been studying Daniel's ability to solve complicated math problems in one fell swoop by seeing shapes rather than making step-by-step calculations. Here he explains how he does it, and how he is able to learn new languages so quickly, simply by absorbing their patterns.
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.
"This unique first-person account offers a window into the mind of a high-functioning, 27-year-old British autistic savant with Asperger's syndrome. Tammet's ability to think abstractly, deviate from routine, and empathize, interact and communicate with others is impaired, yet he's capable of incredible feats of memorization and mental calculation. Besides being able to effortlessly multiply and divide huge sums in his head with the speed and accuracy of a computer, Tammet, the subject of the 2005 documentary Brainman, learned Icelandic in a single week and recited the number pi up to the 22,514th digit, breaking the European record. He also experiences synesthesia, an unusual neurological syndrome that enables him to experience numbers and words as 'shapes, colors, textures and motions.' Tammet traces his life from a frustrating, withdrawn childhood and adolescence to his adult achievements, which include teaching in Lithuania, achieving financial independence with an educational Web site and sustaining a long-term romantic relationship. As one of only about 50 people living today with synesthesia and autism, Tammet's condition is intriguing to researchers; his ability to express himself clearly and with a surprisingly engaging tone (given his symptoms) makes for an account that will intrigue others as well." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"This is a concise book about a very expansive mind. By studying Daniel we may come closer to being able to tap the 'little Rain Man' that exists, perhaps, within us all." Darold A. Treffert, MD, author of Extraordinary People: Understanding Savant Syndrome
"A riveting account of living with autism....Transcends the disability-memoir genre." Kirkus Reviews
"The probability of someone having both synesthesia and autism is incredibly small....The resulting book is a story of a life that is both remarkable and inspiring." Simon Baron-Cohen, author of Mindblindness and The Essential Difference
"It was fascinating to read how the mind of a mathematical savant is both similar to and different from my visual brain. Daniel thinks in patterns of color, shapes, and relationships between numbers, instead of in photo-realistic images. This book is a must-read for anybody who is interested in how the mind works." Temple Grandin, bestselling author of Animals in Translation and Thinking in Pictures
"Something in the way that Mr. Tammet describes the beautiful, aching, hallucinatory process of arriving at his answers illuminates the excitement of all cogitation." The New York Times
"Although Tammet is only 27, his autobiography is as fascinating as Benjamin Franklin's and John Stuart Mill's." Booklist
Traces the inspiring story of an autistic savant with genius-level mathematical talents, describing how he was eschewed by his classmates in spite of his near-photographic memory and super-human capacity for math and language, in a firsthand account that offers insight into how he experiences the world. 75,000 first printing.
One of the worlds only 50 living autistic savants is the first to tell his compelling and inspiring life story, and explain how his incredible mind works. While Tammets brain has amazed scientists for years, readers will be moved by this remarkable mans story.
A cutting-edge account of the latest science of autism, from the best-selling author and advocate
A cutting-edge account of the latest science of autism, from the best-selling author and advocate
When Temple Grandin was born in 1947, autism had only just been named. Today it is more prevalent than ever, with one in 88 children diagnosed on the spectrum. And our thinking about it has undergone a transformation in her lifetime: Autism studies have moved from the realm of psychology to neurology and genetics, and there is far more hope today than ever before thanks to groundbreaking new research into causes andand#160;treatments. Now Temple Grandin reports from the forefront of autism science, bringing her singular perspective to a thrilling journey into the heart of the autism revolution.
Weaving her own experience with remarkable new discoveries, Grandin introduces the neuroimaging advances and genetic research that link brain science to behavior, even sharing her own brain scan to show us which anomalies might explain common symptoms. We meet the scientists and self-advocates who are exploring innovative theories of what causes autism and how we can diagnose and best treat it. Grandin also highlights long-ignored sensory problems and the transformative effects we can have by treating autism symptom by symptom, rather than with an umbrella diagnosis. Most exciting, she argues that raising and educating kids on the spectrum isnand#8217;t just a matter of focusing on their weaknesses; in the science that reveals their long-overlooked strengths she shows us new ways to foster their unique contributions.
From the and#8220;aspiesand#8221; in Silicon Valley to the five-year-old without language, Grandin understands the true meaning of the word spectrum. The Autistic Brain is essential reading from the most respected and beloved voices in the field.
The remarkable story of an ordinary man whose world was transformed when a traumatic brain injury left him with an extraordinary mathematical gift.
The remarkable story of an ordinary man who was transformed when a traumatic injury left him with an extraordinary gift
No one sees the world as Jason Padgett does. Water pours from the faucet in crystalline patterns, numbers call to mind distinct geometric shapes, and intricate fractal patterns emerge from the movement of tree branches, revealing the intrinsic mathematical designs hidden in the objects around us.
Yet Padgett wasnand#8217;t born this way. Twelve years ago, he had never made it past pre-algebra. But a violent mugging forever altered the way his brain works, giving him unique gifts. His ability to understand math and physics skyrocketed, and he developed the astonishing ability to draw the complex geometric shapes he saw everywhere. His stunning, mathematically precise artwork illustrates his intuitive understanding of complex mathematics.
The first documented case of acquired savant syndrome with mathematical synesthesia, Padgett is a medical marvel. Struck by Genius recounts how he overcame huge setbacks and embraced his new mind. Along the way he fell in love, found joy in numbers, and spent plenty of time having his head examined. Like Born on a Blue Day and My Stroke of Insight, his singular story reveals the wondrous potential of the human brain.
About the Author
Daniel Tammet lives with his partner, Neil, in Kent, England, where he runs a successful web-based business for language tutorials.
Table of Contents
A Note from Maureenand#8194;vii
and#160;and#160;and#160;Chapter One:and#160;and#160;and#160;Jason 2.0and#8195;1
and#160;and#160;and#160;Chapter Two:and#160;and#160;and#160;Jason 1.0and#8195;13
and#160;and#160;and#160;Chapter Four:and#160;and#160;and#160;Gray Matterand#8195;33
and#160;and#160;and#160;Chapter Five:and#160;and#160;and#160;Compounded Lossesand#8195;43
and#160;and#160;and#160;Chapter Six:and#160;and#160;and#160;New Giftsand#8195;55
and#160;and#160;and#160;Chapter Seven:and#160;and#160;and#160;The Edge of a Circleand#8195;75
and#160;and#160;and#160;Chapter Eight:and#160;and#160;and#160;Inflection Pointand#8195;91
and#160;and#160;and#160;Chapter Nine:and#160;and#160;and#160;Joe Collegeand#8195;101
and#160;and#160;and#160;Chapter Ten:and#160;and#160;and#160;The Hermit and the Hermitageand#8195;117
and#160;and#160;and#160;Chapter Eleven:and#160;and#160;and#160;The Man from Planet Futonand#8195;135
and#160;and#160;and#160;Chapter Thirteen:and#160;and#160;and#160;Savant and Yogi?and#8195;165
and#160;and#160;and#160;Chapter Fourteen:and#160;and#160;and#160;Itand#8217;s All Relativeand#8195;181
and#160;and#160;and#160;Chapter Fifteen:and#160;and#160;and#160;Scandinavian Springand#8195;191
and#160;and#160;and#160;Chapter Sixteen:and#160;and#160;and#160;Traveling Without Movingand#8195;203
and#160;and#160;and#160;Chapter Seventeen:and#160;and#160;and#160;Pilgrimage to Wisconsinand#8195;213
and#160;and#160;and#160;Chapter Eighteen:and#160;and#160;and#160;No Regretsand#8195;219