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January 27, 2011

Love and Chocolate

Posted by Dana

Chocolat-Harris-Joanne-9780140282030.jpgFebruary is right around the corner, and that means all things love and chocolate.  With that in mind, here are five books with chocolate in the title to consider for book club.  That's right... down with love... chocolate rules.  

  1. LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE by Laura Esquivel
    From the publisher: Earthy, magical, and utterly charming, this tale of family life in tum-of-the-century Mexico became a best-selling phenomenon with its winning blend of poignant romance and bittersweet wit.

    And best of all?  It comes with recipes you can make for book club.  Just sayin'.
  2. JULIA'S CHOCOLATES by Cathy Lamb
    From the publisher: In her deliciously funny, heartfelt, and moving debut novel, Lamb introduces some of the most wonderfully eccentric women since "The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" and "The Secret Life of Bees," as she explores the many ways to find the road home.
    Do you really need a description of this one?  Perhaps a movie night would be in order with this one?
  4. THE CHOCOLATE WAR by Robert Cormier
    From the publisher: Stunned by his mother's recent death and appalled by the way his father sleepwalks through life, Jerry Renault, a New England high school student, ponders the poster in his locker-"Do I dare disturb the universe?"

    Part of his universe is Archie Costello, leader of a secret school societ-the Virgils-and master of intimidation. Archie himself is intimidated by a cool, ambitious teacher into having the Virgils spearhead the annual fund-raising event-a chocolate sale. When Jerry refuses to be bullied into selling chocolates, he becomes a hero, but his defiance is a threat to Archie, the Virgils, and the school. In the inevitable showdown, Archie's skill at intimidation turns Jerry from hero to outcast, to victim, leaving him alone and terribly vulnerable.
  5. CHOCOLAT by Joanne Harris
    From the publisher: Chocolat is an enchanting novel about temptation, pleasure, and the ultimate folly of self-denial. The town of Lansquenet, solemnly preparing for Lent, is set astir when Vianne Rocher and her spirited daughter arrive on the heels of the carnival and open a chocolate shop across the square from the church. Vianne's uncanny ability to perceive her customers' private discontents and alleviate them with just the right chocolate treats quickly charms the villagers -- and enrages Pere Reynaud, the conservative local priest. Certain that only a witch could create such magical cures, Reynaud vows to block the chocolate festival Vianne plans for Easter Sunday and to run her out of town forever. Witch or not (she'll never tell), Vianne soon sparks a dramatic confrontation between those who prefer the cold comforts of the church and those who revel in their newly discovered taste for pleasure.

So, is the power of suggestion working on you yet?  Can you just imagine all the various chocolate treats you could serve at your next book club meeting?

-- Dana Barrett, Contributing Editor