You May Also Like

Taste in an Age of Endless Choice

Publisher: Vintage Canada

From the bestselling author of Traffic, a brilliant and entertaining exploration of our personal tastes--why we like the things we like, and what it says about us.

Everyone knows his or her favourite colour, the foods we most enjoy, and which season of The Sopranos deserves the most stars on Netflix. But what does it really mean when we like something? How do we decide what's good? Is it something biological? What is the role of our personal experiences in shaping our tastes? And how do businesses make use of this information to develop and sell their products?
     In You May Also Like, Tom Vanderbilt dives deep into this complex and fascinating world. He explores the physiology of eating to reveal how our taste buds, which can only recognize five tastes, interact with our olfactory systems and our memories to create an astounding array of flavours. He shows how difficult it is, even for experts, to pinpoint exactly what makes something good or enjoyable, and how companies like Netflix can make or lose millions based on their ability to predict what we will enjoy. Like his bestselling book Traffic, Vanderbilt's new book takes us on a stimulating and surprising intellectual journey that helps us better understand our world and ourselves, and the things we so often take for granted.




From the Hardcover edition.

PRAISE FOR

“We live in an age of bewildering choice, yet we are the sum total of our decisions. You May Also Like is my favourite kind of book—surprising, smart, and superbly researched. It tackles that most mysterious of subjects: what make us tick.” —Terry O’Reilly, author of The Age of Persuasion and host of CBC Radio show Under the Influence

“A fascinating romp through the mysteries of taste.” —Susan Pinker, author of The Sexual Paradox and The Village Effect

You May Also Like is the best kind of science writing—deeply reported and researched, a witty investigation that’s precisely to my taste.” —Clive Thompson, author of Smarter Than You Think

“[Vanderbilt] is a generally amiable and thorough guide to a subject that can get either fussy or murky fairly quickly, and he has an obsessive determination to get to the bottom of something we exercise so often and unthinkingly we tend to take it for granted.” —Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times Book Review
 
“‘Why do we like the things that we like?’ This question, so deceptively simple, is explored to great and fascinating lengths in Tom Vanderbilt’s new book You May Also Like: Taste in an Endless Age of Choice.” —New York Post
 
“Vanderbilt delivers the explanations with ample documentation and enough humorous asides to make his book deliciously palatable the whole way through.” —BookPage
 
“Banish all thoughts of boredom: You May Also Like . . . is a lively exploration of the concept of ‘taste.’” —Stylist Magazine
 
“Vanderbilt is a skillful synthesizer, and You May Also Like is full of unexpected connections among seemingly disparate ideas.” —Felix Gillette, Bloomberg Businessweek
 
“A fascinating exploration of how human preferences emerge, why we like the things we do, and why tastes change over time. . . . [A] fascinating account that encourages readers to reflect upon their own preferences while making a compelling argument that those preferences can, and do, change with little conscious effort. . . . Essential for readers who are interested in getting a glimpse of the decision-making process at influential online media companies, as well as those who are interested in the processes that govern individual preferences and taste making.” —Library Journal
 
“[E]ntertaining . . . . [T]here’s much to behold in this exhaustively researched, intellectual assessment of human preference.” —Kirkus Reviews
 
“Vanderbilt has done extensive research into what factors determine a person’s preferences or tastes. . . . You May Also Like is an interesting read for anyone interested in the psychology of choice.” —CityScene Magazine


From the Hardcover edition.