You May Also Like by Tom Vanderbilt | LJ Review

9780307958242__1454351398_32425redstarVanderbilt, Tom. You May Also Like: Taste in an Age of Endless Choice. Knopf. May 2016. 320p. notes. index. ISBN 9780307958242. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780307958259. SOC SCI
Vanderbilt (Survival City; Traffic) pens a fascinating exploration of how human preferences emerge, why we like the things we do, and why tastes change over time. In a narrative that takes readers into the offices of companies such as Netflix, Pandora, and Spotify, whose business models hinge on the ability to predict accurately consumer media preferences, the author also investigates the competitive worlds of cat shows and beer contests to identify what makes an expert judge different from the average person. He considers the impermanence and evolution of human taste, citing examples from the art world, athletic competitions, food science labs, and scholarly research. The result is 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. VERDICT 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.—Rebecca Brody, Westfield State Univ., MA

This review was published in Library Journal’s February 1,  2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35 percent off the regular subscription rate.

 

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