Thursday, July 28, 2011

Chocolate Diaries

I am a firm believer in the power of chocolate.  Nineteenth century German chemist Baron Justus von Liebig said, "chocolate is a perfect food, as wholesome as it is delicious, a beneficent restorer of exhausted power." So true, so true.

The Chocolate Diaries: Secrets for a Sweeter Journey on the Rocky Road of Life
Karen Linamen, author of The Chocolate Diaries: Secrets for a Sweeter Journey on the Rocky Road of Life, agrees that everything is better with chocolate, and so, chocolate figures heavily in her book about dealing with the unexpected ups and downs of life.

I really liked this book.  Ms. Linamen's style is honest, breezy, and humorous, and I found it to be a quick read.  Sprinkled throughout the book are short "Sweet Secrets," in which readers and friends of the author answer the question, "What's your secret to a sweeter journey on the rocky road of life?"  And each chapter ends with a section titled "Food for Thought," with questions for reflection or discussion, plus a chocolate recipe, "because real women don't need a cookbook."  This is a book that I would enjoy reading with my small group at church--it's fun to read and would provide great jump-offs for conversation (and, of course, we would need to make and share the chapter's chocolate recipe at each of our meetings :-)

I loved the opening illustration using the Food Network series Chopped, in which chefs are given unusual and sometimes unappetizing ingredients from which they must prepare a dish.  Ms. Linamen shared that her favorite episode is one where chefs are asked to create an appetizer with chocolate and sardines!  Of course, the chefs always come up with delicious dishes, and Ms. Linamen compares this to our lives.  We don't always get the ingredients in life that we want or hope for, and some of our ingredients are downright unappetizing or even bitter, but "if we know the secrets, the bitter flavors can not only be tamed, sometimes they also end up being the very thing that transforms our efforts from ordinary to truly remarkable."

Throughout the book, Ms. Linamen shares the secrets: various tools for coping with our rocky roads in life, and by the end the reader learns that while chocolate helps, really it's God to whom we should turn when our journey gets a little (or a lot) rough. 

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review.

Did you like this review?  Please take a moment to rate my review below (if you read my blog via email, you will need to visit my blog to rate my review).


  1. I just found out that everyone who ranks my review is automatically entered into a drawing to receive a free copy of the book! Yay!

  2. I've never really understood why so many people are enamored with chocolate. I just don't get it. Personally, I think very few things are better with chocolate.

    Fine review, though.

  3. Perhaps, I just have not tried the right kind of chocolate ... or paired with the right stuff ...


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