Season to Taste: How I Lost My Sense of Smell and Found My Way Paperback – 4 Aug 2011
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`A rich resonant book, bubbling with curiosity and humour and intense with a life of the senses' --The Times
'A true and poignant story that will make you inhale deeply and savour whatever you smell' --Time Out
'A deliciously sweet and funny account of experiencing pain and overcoming it' --Jewish Chronicle
'An emotional impassioned appeal for a wider appreciation of the sense of smell's importance to our wellbeing' --Herald
`When it comes to doing her groundwork, Birnbaum is unbeatable'
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." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
It's frightening, too. I mentioned to friends that I was losing it, and to a man, they helpfully observed, 'That'll be a brain tumour, then'. You can imagine the state I was in by the time I finally dragged myself to the doctor. Oddly enough, he never seemed to think it was a brain tumour. Anyway the ability to smell finally disappeared, and you learn to live with it. This will get me into trouble, but I do regard it as a kind of disability. Matters of personal hygiene, gas leaks, loads of other stuff are suddenly uncheckable; you are closed off completely from a stunningly subtle and gratifying input of information and, mostly, pleasure.
So this book. Grand, it will fill you in on the beautiful world of smell, and I came away from it aching, positively aching to have my sense of smell back. But it's not a self help manual. The author got lucky. The rest of us won't. I didn't finish it actually, don't begrudge the author her happy ending at all, but maybe this book is best read by those who still have a sense of smell. Make the most of it, you lucky so and sos ...
I never really explored this minor condition as it's caused me little trouble (after all, I'd rather keep my sight, touch, hearing, instead of a sense of smell), so this book gave me so much information about the different forms of anosmia and the human biology behind it all. She goes into depth of the science of scent and smells and interviews both experts and ordinary people while keeping it written in a light and flowing style, including the interaction of her personal life with this disability. I've learnt more about my condition from this book than any of my off-and-on research over the years. Full five star book.
Good value for money as always
As the publicity info indicated, Molly Birnbaum, clearly a highly talented chef-in-the-making, lost her sense of smell and taste as a result of a traffic accident, shortly before she was due to start training at a prestigious Culinary School. This book charts her personal story around the loss of 2 lesser-valued senses, smell and taste, and also contains a more scientific journey into olfaction.
Like Birnbaum, I am someone who had a profound awareness of living in a world full of aroma, a good smell memory, a strong realisation of the fact that the world is full of aromatic messages, and smelled my way around my world with as much pleasure as hearing it and seeing it. Like Birnbaum, I have experienced anosmia. And the loss of the particular pleasure olfaction brings is something I mourn. I've been fortunate not to lose my sense of taste, but from time to time I am anosmic, hyponosmic and, gloriously, sometimes fully scenting - without fully knowing, or being able to predict, why I move through these states rather than having a steady sense of smell
So, I know that part of my extreme pleasure in this book is because it feels personal and pertinent - but even if I were not intermittently anosmic, I would have adored this book. Birnbaum (who after having to give up her culinary dreams, trained as a journalist) is a beautiful and evocative writer, particularly about olfactory and gustatory experiences, painting her way through smells and tastes with her choice of words. I found I could smell the smells she was describing, and taste the tastes, through her ability to engage my imagination fully.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
High recommend for those who are looking how small and silence details of our senses play an huge important details to day-by-day lifePublished 11 months ago by Marcos A Coco
Molly writes her personal experience of losing her sense of smell in a moving and honest way, while also giving sound technical and medical information. Read morePublished on 13 Oct. 2013 by Amazon Customer
Smell is probably the most overlooked sense in literature, as well as maybe the most difficult to describe on paper, but Molly Birnbaum paints a vivid picture of olfactory delight... Read morePublished on 21 Oct. 2012 by Toast
I found this book to be an enjoyable read. It is a well-written account of the author's experiences and how she adapted to accept her affliction. Read morePublished on 18 Oct. 2012 by Pallus
I love food and I love books about food.
I really liked the idea of this book. The thought of a chef who had lost their sense of smell. Read more
I chose this book because I am suffering partial loss of taste - reasons unknown. The title suggests that Molly Birnbaum was going to explain how she coped with loss of taste and... Read morePublished on 2 Aug. 2012 by Pam
A fascinating book into a discourse on one of our most important senses, smell. Taken so much for granted, I also recognise that for myself, it just takes a whiff of something to... Read morePublished on 14 Jun. 2012 by Sandford
I haven't read this book because I got it for a relative who lost her sense of taste and smell many, many years ago, and despite a brief reappearance of both, and numerous... Read morePublished on 20 April 2012 by Paul Pinn
A fascinating read, once completed I found I was much more appreciative of my sense of smell. Right from the start it is clear to see just how passionate Molly is about food and... Read morePublished on 18 Jan. 2012 by a/s/l