Season to Taste and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
$12.82
Qty:1
  • List Price: $14.99
  • Save: $2.17 (14%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 4 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Season to Taste: How I Lo... has been added to your Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Season to Taste: How I Lost My Sense of Smell and Found My Way Paperback – May 29, 2012


See all 8 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback, May 29, 2012
$12.82
$2.22 $3.72

Frequently Bought Together

Season to Taste: How I Lost My Sense of Smell and Found My Way + Navigating Smell and Taste Disorders (Neurology Now Books) + Remembering Smell: A Memoir of Losing--and Discovering--the Primal Sense
Price for all three: $47.21

Buy the selected items together

If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 69%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.


Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ecco; Reprint edition (May 29, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780061915321
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061915321
  • ASIN: 0061915327
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #969,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“After reading Birnbaum’s smart, lovely book, readers will be reminded to savor their next meal, each fragrant bite.” (Boston Globe)

“Tantalizing. . . . A pilgrimage out of devastation, toward reclaiming the dream of being a chef. . . . Where [Birnbaum] ends up will surprise you, much as it did her.” (Washington Post)

“Rich and insightful. . . . A veritable feast for the reader.” (Charlotte Observer)

“Powerfully explores the science of smell and its ties to emotion, love and even memory. . . . A truly mouthwatering read.” (BookPage)

“Moving and informative.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Fascinating and vivid. . . . Packed with information and a great read to boot. I was smitten.” (Library Journal)

“A culinary-minded journalist . . . movingly depicts the nearly ineffable plight of the anosmic . . . alongside passages of sweeping journalistic discovery of all things olfactory. A brave, unflagging memoir.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“A Summer Hot Read.” (New York Post)

“A fascinating, illuminating and heartwarming read and a revelation of how aroma is woven, in intricate and complex patterns, through the tapestry of our lives.” (Frangrance Forum)

“Molly Birnbaum writes with great curiosity and depth, reawakening in us all the sense of taste that we take for granted.” (Amanda Hesser, author of The Essential New York Times Cookbook)

“Molly Birnbaum’s fascinating book takes her--and us--deep inside the mysterious world of scent. Her writing about this unseen force is fresh, smart, and consistently surprising. If this beautifully written book were a smell, it would be a crisp green apple.” (Claire Dederer, bestselling author of Poser)

“A wonderful book about life’s unexpected turns, about love and its complexities, and about the ineffably mysterious human brain. I couldn’t stop telling people about it, while I was reading it. It will make you see your nose, your life, and your most important decisions in a whole new way.” (Maile Meloy, bestselling author of Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It)

“Molly Birnbaum’s fascinating journey, told with charm and compassion, is ultimately a story of triumph. A book for food lovers, sensualists, and all of us in search of our true heart’s desire.” (Kim Sunée, bestselling author of Trail of Crumbs)

From the Back Cover

When a head injury obliterated twenty-two-year-old Molly Birnbaum’s sense of smell, it destroyed her dream of becoming a chef. Determined to reawaken her nose, she bravely sets off on a quest to rediscover the scented world. On the way, she seeks out everyone from former poet laureate Robert Pinsky to neuroscientist Oliver Sacks. A moving personal story packed with surprising facts about the senses, Season to Taste brims with the scents of Molly’s world—cinnamon, cedarwood, fresh bagels, and lavender—lost and finally found. In Season to Taste, Molly describes an ineffable, but indispensable, layer of life.


More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
10
4 star
10
3 star
12
2 star
4
1 star
0
See all 36 customer reviews
This may be just a personal preference on my part, which other readers would not find in the least important.
Trudie Barreras
Overall, I recommend the book to anyone who is interested in reading about cooking, taste, perfume, and the science of scent.
Julie D.
Molly Birnbaum invites her readers to understand how the world is to a person who has lost her sense of smell.
Philip Henderson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Philip Henderson VINE VOICE on May 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Molly Birnbaum invites her readers to understand how the world is to a person who has lost her sense of smell. Well-written, informative, and mysterious, Season to Taste explores the many ways that our ability to detect odors contributes to our enjoyment of everyday activities. The olfactory sense often is taken for granted. Nearly everyone can smell the odors that surround us. We know that the olfactory sense in dogs and cats is superior to ours, however there is no common olfactory acuity test to determine whether my ability is average, above or below average. I don't know and I don't care if my acuity is as good as or better than yours. If I lose my vision, I become blind; if I lose my auditory ability, then I am deaf. What are you called when you lose your ability to smell? You are called an anosmiac. However, there is a great deal to learn about the human brain by discovering what happens when a person loses her sense of smell.

In Season to Taste, Molly Birnbaum takes the reader on her personal journey as she loses the ability to experience olfactory sensation. Molly Birnbaum loses her olfactory ability due to a blow to the head in an automobile accident. She soon learns that of the more than 2 million Americans who are unable to smell the world, only a very few are able to regain their sense of smell. Worst, there are no medical treatments that offer hope. You lose your sense of smell, then you have to learn to get used to this loss.
Molly is not satisfied with the prognosis. She sets on a path to restore her olfactory sense recognition. Because she cannot smell, she also cannot taste. Food has texture. Just using your tongue food can be sweet, sour, bitter, salty, or spicy hot . . . however with anomsia, all the nuances are gone.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rabid Reader VINE VOICE on May 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As someone who has always had an extraordinarily keen sense of smell, the topic of this book was fascinating to me. What is life like for those who cannot smell at all? We hear a great deal about those who struggle with the inability to see or hear, but the inability to smell is rarely brought up as a "handicap".

This book helped me to see that the inability to smell does handicap an individual in ways that are significant; compromising safety (an inability to smell a gas leak or a fire or if food has gone bad), relationships (the inability to know if unpleasant body odor is present or if someone has been drinking) and the general enjoyment of life (the smell of pine and peppermint at Christmas, the smell of bread in the oven or a steaming cup of hot coffee). Life without smell quietly loses a layer of dimension that most of us take for granted.

The author weaves her personal experience of loss with an explanation of the science of smell, bringing them together in an enjoyable book that is neither too depressing nor too optimistic in tone. Once you've read it, you'll know a little more about smell, a little more about what it means to be "handicapped", and a lot more about the complexities of all of the pieces of the puzzle that constitute "sensory experience".
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mary Ann VINE VOICE on August 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book was exhausting from the first words. I kept getting bogged down with how heavy the stockpots of chicken broth were, how filthy the mushrooms seemed, how sweaty the cooks kept getting. . . . then we heard about her very decrepit grandmother who did not recognize her, and a trip to Africa that was three months of hot, frustrating, nerve-wracking futility. And that was BEFORE she had the accident when things started to really go downhill. Ms. Birnbaum is a vivid writer, but the dreariness imbedded in the triumph overwhelmed the positive energy that she had to have. I identified with her struggles, and I read the book, but I cannot think of a fellow reader with whom I would want to share it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By atmj TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
While reading this book, I found it ironic that a book written about a sense that was lost, would have so much sensory detail within. Each chapter was filled with descriptions of how autumn smells, how fragrant an apple pie can be, how certain smells elicit emotions. When we obsess we don't do it in a small way.

The author a young woman poised to start her education at the coveted Culinary institute of America to become a chef, gets her plans derailed by a freak accident and a complete loss of her sense of smell. Smell being so intertwined with taste makes it impossible for her to consider continuing on with her plans of becoming a cook.

This book described the author's feelings of confusion and loss in the face of such a setback. Her mourning for her sense of smell fills this book with graphic recollections of what she no longer can perceive. Food is lacking. It is now only a sweet, salty texture lacking all the nuances that a good cook needs. However she also realizes the loss of smell has made her vulnerable in the part it plays in safety and in human connection. She cannot smell smoke or the cologne of her boyfriend. With someone so cued into smell for her occupation, this is no less than an amputee's sense of loss for a limb. However to everyone around her, her loss is not visible.

The author pursues this subject (loss of smell) with a vengeance and consults experts in the medical field, the scientific field the culinary field and industry as well. Her research is scientific and detailed. She fills in the research with the details of her life as she rebuilds it.

I can't help but wondering if this this accident in someways was fortuitous. The author an excellent writer and beginning chef was forced to pursue another avenue of employment.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?