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Southwest Book Club Meets July 14

bornblueday.jpgThe Southwest Book Club will meet on Tuesday, July 14, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. at the Southwest Library in the Meeting Room. The club will discuss the book Born on a Blue Day: A Memoir by Daniel Tammet. The author, who has a form of autism called Asperger's syndrome is a savant with genius-level mathematical and language talents. Daniel describes how he was shunned by his classmates and offers insight into how he experiences the world.

Copies of this book may be reserved for home delivery or location pick-up at http://www.ocls.info

Anyone age 18 or older is welcome to attend. The book club meets monthly at the Southwest Branch Library.

For more information, please call 407.835.7323 or email southwest@ocls.info

Discussion Questions
If you are unable to attend the meeting or you would like to join our discussion, you can share your thoughts or respond to the discussion questions below. Simply click "Comments" located at the bottom of this post. Join the discussion!

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. "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?

3. 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 accomodate 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?

4. How can Daniel's professional and personal success be understood in light of his having grown up in a large family and the parenting he received?

5. Why do you think Daniel describes meeting Kim Peek (the person whose life as a savant inspired the film, Rain Man) as "one of the happiest moments" of his life?

Discussion questions obtained and adapted from http://www.simonsays.com

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