Real life Rain Man

. May 16, 2012.

Language: How We Communicate is the theme of the 10th annual Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads, the community program that encourages reading and discussion on a different topic every year. After a lengthy selection process, beginning last summer and culminating in October, the book chosen for this year’s Reads is Daniel Tammet’s Born On A Blue Day: Inside The Extraordinary Mind Of An Autistic Savant, a memoir written by a man who is unique in a number of ways. Tammet is an autistic savant, who like Rain Man’s Raymond, is capable of almost inconceivable mental feats: he speaks ten languages and learned Icelandic in one week, he can perform computer-like calculations in his head, and has memorized and recited the value of pi to more than 22,000 digits. Unlike the original Rain Man, though, Tammet is living a completely independent life and has created and manages a website to teach languages. The main public event for the AA/Ypsi Reads will be held on January 19, in the Towsley Auditorium at Washtenaw Community College. Dr. Darold Treffert, a world-renowned expert on Autistic Savant Syndrome will speak via Skype. 7pm. Free. For more information, visit aaypsireads.org.