Season to Taste by Molly Birnbaum

81%

14 Critic Reviews

Her story includes probing introspection, especially as smell relates to emotion, alongside passages of sweeping journalistic discovery of all things olfactory.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

“A rich, engrossing, and deeply intelligent story….This is a book I won’t soon forget.”
—Molly Wizenberg, bestselling author of A Homemade Life

“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

Season to Taste is an aspiring chef’s moving account of finding her way—in the kitchen and beyond—after a tragic accident destroys her sense of smell. Molly Birnbaum’s remarkable story—written with the good cheer and great charm of popular food writers Laurie Colwin and Ruth Reichl—is destined to stand alongside Julie Powell’s Julie and Julia as a classic tale of a cooking life. Season to Taste is sad, funny, joyous, and inspiring.

 

About Molly Birnbaum

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Molly Birnbaum is a recipient of the Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship in Arts and Culture from Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism. Her work has appeared in the New York Times and ARTnews magazine, and she writes the popular food blog My Madeleine. She lives in Boston.
 
Published June 21, 2011 by HarperCollins e-books. 324 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Season to Taste
All: 14 | Positive: 13 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Excellent
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on May 15 2011

Her story includes probing introspection, especially as smell relates to emotion, alongside passages of sweeping journalistic discovery of all things olfactory.

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Examiner

Excellent
Reviewed by Amy Goodfellow Wagner on Jul 05 2011

Season to Taste will literally change the way you think about and respond to the millions of smells that are part of the world around you and that you would sorely miss if they were gone.

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Star Tribune

Excellent
Reviewed by MEGAN DOLL on Jun 25 2011

What remains constant, however, is Birnbaum's insatiable curiosity, convivial voice and talent for unpacking the significance of smell.

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The Telegraph

Excellent
Reviewed by Victoria Moore on Oct 07 2011

...which tells the story of how it feels for a young woman who is just about to start cookery school to lose – and, eventually, recover – her sense of smell...

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Book Journey

Good
Reviewed by Sheila on Nov 20 2011

Molly tells an amazing story of a dream to be a chef and how in the blink of an eye, that dream was shattered.

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Rebecca Reads

Good
Reviewed by Rebecca Reid on Nov 03 2011

The result is a book that is a fascinating tribute to smell as a part of daily life. I enjoy popular science books, and this has a nice blend of memoir mixed in to it.

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Beth Fish Reads

Good
Reviewed by Beth on Aug 13 2011

...a fascinating account of the years after her accident, Birnbaum relates her personal depression and frustration about losing her sense of smell...

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Leeswammes' Blog

Good
Reviewed by Judith on Jul 26 2011

The book was quite an easy read, except for some of the science bits, which may put some people off. Read on, skip a paragraph, and you’ll likely find the next bit interesting again.

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From Left to Write

Below average
Reviewed by Molly on Apr 06 2012

It’s not until Chapter 7 “key lime and lavendar,” that her research and her personal journey melds together.

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The Novel World

Good
Reviewed by Narineh on Jul 09 2011

I thought this was a wonderfully penned memoir. Never did I feel that the author took on a “poor me, pity me” stance.

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Elizabeth Editorializes

Good
Reviewed by Elizabeth Lee on Oct 02 2012

...brings to light all the many surprising ways in which scent affects our existence – safety, relationships, and memories are just a few of the aspects that are severely impacted by the absence of smell.

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KiwiFloraReads

Good
Reviewed by Kiwiflora on Jun 01 2012

This is a great story of self discovery that is also very informative and relevant to us all.

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Present Day Girl

Good
Reviewed by Alexis on Apr 21 2012

Molly Birnbaum carries you through her loss of smell like a mystery citing scientific theories and studies throughout her narrative beautifully.

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Katherine Martinelli

Good
Reviewed by Katherine Martinelli on Apr 02 2012

While it’s all about the absence of smell, Birnbaum fills her prose with original but spot-on descriptions of scents.

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Reader Rating for Season to Taste
70%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 43 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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