Elements of Taste

Elements of Taste

Understanding What We Like and Why

Book - 2017
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In this smart, funny, and well-researched book, Benjamin Errett brings together the latest findings from the worlds of psychology, criticism, neuroscience, market research, and more to examine what taste really means-- and what it can teach us about ourselves. Covering kitsch, nostalgia, snobbery, bad taste, George Michael, and what it means to be "basic," this is the ultimate read for anyone who devours popular and not-so-popular culture.
Publisher: New York, NY : TarcherPerigee, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC [2017]
ISBN: 9780399183447
0399183442
Branch Call Number: 306 ER78
Characteristics: 227 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm

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SkokieStaff_Steven Apr 11, 2018

Since my job involves buying books for other people to read, I take more than an academic interest in Benjamin Errett’s “Elements of Taste: Understanding What We Like and Why.” Errett basically clumps together various forms of entertainment (specific books, movies, songs, and so on) into broad categories based on the five physical tastes of sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umani. This schema works surprisingly well and is fun to apply on one’s one after Errett explains how it all works. I can easily see that my own tastes run to “bitter” and away from “sweet,” something which holds true whether we are talking books, music, or items in a grocery store. “The Elements of Taste” succeeds as an easy to read guide to the overflowing banquet of entertainment choices we all face. Advanced readers of this book might also want to check out Tom Vanderbilt’s more substantial “You May Also Like: Taste in an Age of Endless Choice.”

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