Recent reading worth checking out

The Churchill Arts Council will present a gallery walk through and artist’s reception on Saturday at the Oats Park Art Center.

The event is a celebration of the closing of the exhibition “Not Shaking In My Boots,” recent ceramic works by Reno artist, Richard Jackson. The artist will lead a walk through of the works on display which will be followed by a reception.

The event will be held from 5-7 p.m. and is free and open to the public. For more information, you can call CAC at 775-423-1440.

Tom Vanderbilt is the author of a number of books including one about his travels through the ruins of Atomic Age America and another entitled, “Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do and What It Says About Us.”

His most recent offering is “You May Also Like: Taste in an Age of Endless Choices” (Alfred A. Knopf).

It is an engaging book-length essay on why we like what we like, why we hate what we hate and how our choices are shaped by a myriad of factors, delving into an examination of what our choices and preferences might say about who we are.

Some of the topics he considers include from what makes an ideal cat to why we are drawn to the works of artists who were easily dismissed in their own lifetimes.

Vance Packard’s “The Hidden Persuaders,” was originally published in 1957 and was one of the first accountings of the so-called motivation researchers, who analyzed consumer desires to find out how to get people to buy what they were selling.

Now, in the digital age these attempt are a little more complex and Vanderbilt considers how all those online “likes” “stars” and “thumbs-up” are influencing, perhaps even dictating, consumer choices.

Some of the chapter headings give you an idea of the scope of his investigations: what your music playlist says about you and what you say about it; when looking at art, how do we know what we like; why do we like the food we like; and, in the case of beer, cats and dirt, how do the “experts” decide what’s good?

He also considers how to spot fake Yelp reviews and the algorithms Netflix uses to make your movie recommendations as well as a host of other online digital curiosities in this humorous and insightful review of our tastes—why

Kirk Robertson covers the arts and may be reached at


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment