- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (20 Aug. 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0340961333
- ISBN-13: 978-0340961339
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 328,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Embracing the Wide Sky: A tour across the horizons of the mind: The Enormous Potential of Your Mind Paperback – 20 Aug 2009
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More About the Author
Despite early childhood epileptic seizures and atypical behaviour, Tammet received a standard education at local schools. His learning was enriched by an early passion for reading. He won the town's 'Eager Reader' prize at the age of eleven. At secondary school he was twice named Student of the Year. He matriculated in 1995 and completed his Advanced level studies (in French, German, and History) two years later.
In 1998 Tammet took up a volunteer English teaching post in Kaunas, Lithuania, returning to London the following year. In 2002 he launched the online language learning company Optimnem. It was named a member of the UK's 'National Grid for Learning' in 2006.
In 2004, Tammet was finally able to put a name to his difference when he was diagnosed with high-functioning autistic savant syndrome by Professor Simon Baron-Cohen at Cambridge University's Autism Research Centre.
The same year, on March 14, Tammet came to public attention when he recited the mathematical constant Pi (3.141...) from memory to 22,514 decimal places in 5 hours, 9 minutes, without error. The recitation, at the Museum of the History of Science in Oxford, set a European record.
Tammet began writing in 2005. His first book, Born On A Blue Day, subtitled 'A Memoir of Asperger's and an Extraordinary Mind', was first published in the UK in 2006 and became a Sunday Times bestseller. The US edition, published in 2007, spent 8 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. In 2008, the American Library Association named it a 'Best Book for Young Adults'. It was also a Booklist Editors' Choice. It has sold over 500,000 copies worldwide, and been translated into more than 20 languages.
In 2009, Tammet published Embracing the Wide Sky, a personal survey of current neuroscience. The French edition (co-translated by Tammet himself) became one of the country's best-selling non-fiction books of the year. It also appeared on bestseller lists in the UK, Canada, and Germany, and has been translated into numerous languages.
Thinking in Numbers, Tammet's first collection of essays, is published in August 2012.
In 2008 Tammet emigrated to France. He lives in Paris.
Entertaining and informative about an impressive range of subjects . . . EMBRACING THE WIDE SKY is fun and inspirational (FT Weekend)
Packed with his clear summaries of fascinating experiments . . . Recent debate has bumped up this book from delightful to vital (Daily Telegraph)
Far from a one-dimensional prodigy, his is a rich multi-textured intelligence. A beautiful mind. (Scotsman Magazine)
truly fascinating (Guardian)
Packed with fascinating new brain research . . . an ambitious book, written by a remarkable man (BBC Focus magazine)
Tammet puts his exceptional abilities to work in his book Embracing the Wide Sky... Tammet's lucid writing makes his book both informative and entertaining. (Courier Mail)
Displaying that he is not just one-dimensional with his genius, Tammet's book is a fine example of his goal to share his brilliant knowledge with the world to inspire and encourage...a thoughtful and highly informative read. (The China Post)
A brilliant portrait of the human mind and the extraordinary potential within every one of us, by real-life Rain-Man and bestselling author of Born On A Blue Day.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The writing is straightforward and functional rather than inspired, but by no means dull or clunky. The concept of using autistic experiences to better understand non-autistic minds works well and there are some interesting ideas presenting in a simple and accessible pop-sci way.
Where it all started to fall apart for me was around Chapter 8 where the focus moved beyond the brain and started to look at wider social issues. In this section complex issues were addressed from a surprisingly elitist, simplistic and close-minded perspective which made for an irritating and uncomfortable read and ultimately spoiled a decent book. I've never enjoyed being told what to think, particularly where the basis is a gross over-simplification of a complex issue. To usefully understand our shades-of-grey world you need both intelligence, and the ability to tolerate ambuguity, and I think the latter is what is missing from this book and costs it a star or two.
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A particularly illuminating moment for me came with a comment about a study into children with autistic-spectrum disorder, comparing their creativity with a control group. One question was "how would you make this toy more fun?" - the control group did better than the kids with ASD. But as Tammet explains, for someone who sees detail before they see broader issues (and as Tammet says of himself, someone who sees the scratches on the table before they see the table), this is such a sloppily-worded question that it's incredibly difficult to answer. What kind of fun? Fun for whom? When?
Understanding this, and taking savant skills out of the realm of the superhuman & into the real world, is one of the book's key strengths. The principal weakness is that Tammet isn't an incredibly engaging writer and can come across as a bit stiff and stilted at times - but this is in the nature of his brain, so it would be a bit foolish to expect otherwise and considered in this context he writes with great skill. The book challenges preconceptions about autism without being judgmental or confrontational, and has left me thinking quite a bit about the nature of the brain. Well worth the purchase.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Daniel Tammet attempts to describe the nature of mind and manipulation of knowledge that his savantism masters with velocity that any general reader may understand and share. Read morePublished 7 months ago by jtlenaghan
I love these books by Daniel Tammett, written about himself, by him, rather than by someone else . I have bought extra copies, because it's so difficult to describe to someone else... Read morePublished 24 months ago by Seaweedgirl1
Despite the author's impressive memory, the parts of the book on mnemonic theory are exceedingly poorly researched and dull. Read morePublished on 5 Aug. 2013 by Zero
Interesting book for all the mathematicians out there, the author describes how he sees numbers in different perspectives and assigns smells, shapes and colors to them in order to... Read morePublished on 1 Aug. 2013 by Bruno
I bought this book for myslef as I have been reading a lot of books about Aspergers or books written by people with Aspergers. Read morePublished on 10 April 2013 by Jill
An excellent and informative book, recommended to all interested in this subject. Arrived promptly and in great condition. Great price too!Published on 26 Oct. 2012 by Mr. Adnan Al-mahrouq
I read this book a while ago and thought it was rather vague .just read'Moonwalking with Einstein'and realised why. Read morePublished on 19 Oct. 2011 by books
I view books about 'geniuses' with jaded suspicion. They either seem to be trite how-to manuals for 'awakening your own genius', or sycophantic biographies about particular... Read morePublished on 10 July 2011 by regodibay
found his writing hard going book did not flow as well as his first. But I like him very muchPublished on 26 Jun. 2011 by GG05
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