Chocolate-inspired Bookish Ramblings

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”   Charles M. Schulz

It’s beginning to look and feel like Spring which means it’s time for the Lewisburg Chocolate Festival. This delightful (and delicious) festival has been celebrating all things chocolate for seven years with tastings, children’s events, movies, music, a chocolate themed dinner, chef demonstrations and more.  I’ll be spending the day with a few friends and my 16 y.o. niece celebrating the joys of white, dark, milk and flavoured chocolate. I know this event isn’t exactly book-related, but here are a few books featuring chocolate to pique your reading interest and tease your taste buds.

Up first is the classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. This book has been a favorite of children and adults ever since it was first published in 1964. You’ve probably seen the movie, but (trust me) you need to read the book! (Psst . . . the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory movie will be shown at this year’s festival.)

Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory is opening at last!

But only five lucky children will be allowed inside. And the winners are: Augustus Gloop, an enormously fat boy whose hobby is eating; Veruca Salt, a spoiled-rotten brat whose parents are wrapped around her little finger; Violet Beauregarde, a dim-witted gum-chewer with the fastest jaws around; Mike Teavee, a toy pistol-toting gangster-in-training who is obsessed with television; and Charlie Bucket, Our Hero, a boy who is honest and kind, brave and true, and good and ready for the wildest time of his life!

Next up is an ALA Best Book for Young Adults award winning book, The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier. This book was first published in 1974 and has also been made into a movie (read the book!). Who knew that refusing to sell chocolate for a school fundraiser would result in such a wonderful read?

Jerry Renault ponders the question on the poster in his locker: Do I dare disturb the universe? Refusing to sell chocolates in the annual Trinity school fund-raiser may not seem like a radical thing to do. But when Jerry challenges a secret school society called The Vigils, his defiant act turns into an all-out war. Now the only question is: Who will survive? First published in 1974, Robert Cormier’s groundbreaking novel, an unflinching portrait of corruption and cruelty, has become a modern classic.

First published in 1984, Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel has delighted readers around the world. Ms. Esquivel provides a story that incorporates magical realism with history, romance and passion for a read that is sure to delight.

A sumptuous feast of a novel, it relates the bizarre history of the all-female De La Garza family. Tita, the youngest daughter of the house, has been forbidden to marry, condemned by Mexican tradition to look after her mother until she dies. But Tita falls in love with Pedro, and he is seduced by the magical food she cooks. In desperation, Pedro marries her sister Rosaura so that he can stay close to her. For the next twenty-two years, Tita and Pedro are forced to circle each other in unconsummated passion. Only a freakish chain of tragedies, bad luck and fate finally reunite them against all the odds.

Needless to say there are countless other reads in a variety of genres that feature chocolate in their titles or storylines. I was rather astonished when a Goodreads search returned with over 2800 books. Most of these had chocolate in the title, some titles were repeat listings due to variations in print (hardcover, paperback, trade paperback, foreign language versions, etc.), and others presumably featured chocolate in the storyline. There were a few returns that had me scratching my head, such as the ESV Study Bible.

I won’t be doing much reading this Saturday, well at least not during the day. I hope that everyone has a delightful weekend. I’m off to enjoy some chocolate (okay a lot of chocolate).

Happy reading! and a Good Cause…Literacy is promoting literacy by offering to give away a minimum of 5000 books through the First Book literacy program. How can you participate? Simple, join (if you haven’t already), join the GoodReads Book Club and pledge to read A Visit From the Goon Squad to your shelves (read, to be read, or currently reading) by August 2, 2011. will be donating 1000 books to children in need for every 10000 members that add A Visit From the Goon Squad to their shelves. Want to learn more? Visit for more information. A great book, a great website and a great cause.