Friday, November 13, 2009

Book Review: Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet

While riding my bike in the rain this morning, I finished listening to Born on a Blue Day. I particularly like listening when I ride in the rain because it is distracting and riding in the rain, while I'm always glad I've done it and even am doing it, isn't the most carefree thing in the world. I find that by listening to books, I can hear traffic/people/whatever just fine. Music tends to make those things much more muted and is, therefore, not as safe, but I have to admit that I sometimes listen to music, as well, particularly if I'm on a bike path, as I was this morning.

I really enjoyed Born on a Blue Day, which is the memoirs of an autistic spectrum man who is also a savant. I found listening to Daniel's descriptions of how he sees numbers (in color and shape, which changes as he does math) and how he views the world to be fascinating.

Daniel tells the reader about his life from his earliest memories (incorporating those of his parents', as well) up through the writing of the book, as an adult man who is in a committed relationship and can function independently.

I have to admit to a particular interest in this subject matter, as I've often felt that Davan has some characteristics along the autism spectrum. For that matter, she's come by them honestly. I see a very little of myself and her in these pages. Neither of us are savants, but we have our quirks for sure. Hearing Daniel talk about his quirks, so to speak, I was often struck with a little ping of recognition regarding things that Davan says or does.

I did find that I was glossing over a lot of Daniel's more technical descriptions, but I found them interesting, as well, if a little challenging to grasp.

I give the book a 9 and highly encourage you to pick it up if you have an interest in numbers, language, or autism.

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