Thursday, 8 May 2014

Books and chocolate

 
Books and chocolate...sigh. There's pleasure just in thinking about the combination. But what would be ideal reading with which chocolate? This is the question posed by the great chocolate book tag challenge, accepted from my blog friend Gill at A Head in a Book. As I try to do with real chocolate, I have gone for quality over quantity, and have limited myself to two choices, but I hope they look as delicious to you as they are to me.
 
 
Candied orange and clementine dipped in bitter dark chocolate would be a perfect accompaniment to Jess Walter's Beautiful Ruins, a bitter-sweet love story that begins in Italy in 1962 and fizzes with humour and satire. (Couldn't resist adding the mock-orange blossom, Philadelphus.) I loved this novel, from the opening line: "The dying actress arrived in his village the only way one could come directly - in a boat that motored into the cove, lurched past the rock jetty, and bumped against the end of the pier." The quality of the writing is a constant delight, as are Walter's observations and cynicism about the film industry both then and now.
 

A white chocolate shard studded with pieces of nut and dried fruit would go beautifully with Bright Young People: The Rise and Fall of a Generation, 1918-1940 by D J Taylor. This is one of those books I pick up and dip into - and end up re-reading completely because it's so good. A bit like thinking I will only eat part of the white chocolate shard. And the book is equally full of fruit and nutcases: the mad party world of Evelyn Waugh and Nancy Mitford. But who were they all, these "vile bodies" and what became of them after their gilded youth? Highly recommended if you enjoy literary connections and the novels of the period.

I'm aware I haven't risen to the full chocolate challenge, but the baton is anyone's to take up! If you go over to Gill's blog, you can see how it's supposed to be done. Post me - and her - a link if you do.

7 comments:

Gill Edwards said...

Love your choices, that second book sounds great im going to Amazon right now to find it. And i want some of those chocolate orange slices, im drooling over the picture. Thanks for taking up the challenge Deborah
Gill x

Anne Bennett said...

Fun idea. Chocolate and books. It is obvious that you live in a part of the world where good chocolate is appreciated and available. Alas, I am sure I could never find two such exquisite examples around here, or not easily anyway.

As much as I love both books and chocolate I don't seem to read books that evoke the need for a specific type of chocolate or even remind me of any with the possible exception of dark bitter chocolate that must only be tasted in tiny qualities or it is overwhelming like the book I just finished last night. I could only cope with it in small doses. Ha! Not very complimentary was it?

Thanks for visiting my blog. I really, really enjoyed the audiobook of Beautiful Ruins but I sometimes wonder if the format changes the experience so much that the book is vastly different if read in the normal fashion. I am glad to hear that others enjoyed it as much as I did.

-Anne at My Head is Full of Books

Marcheline said...

Well, I have one suggestion for a bar to go along with "The Lantern"...

New Tree Belgian Milk Chocolate Bar Lavender

"Enjoy a peaceful moment with this delectable floral milk chocolate. We combine the finest Latin American cacaos with delicate Provence lavender and soothing lime blossom extract."

Deborah Lawrenson said...

Great suggestion, Marcheline. Have you tried New Tree Thyme choc? That might work, too. And I'm sure I've had one from them with dried fig, which was lovely.

Marcheline said...

No, I've never had either... but there's a first thyme for everything! *giggle*

Muriel Jacques said...

Books and chocolate and a match made in heaven. Enough said!

Stephanie Bird said...

I use to enjoy a good bit of chocolate while reading but have been on a diet since my New Years Resolution back in January--ugh! I love your literary and chocolaty combos and the gorgeous photos made my mouth water. I have to enjoy chocolate vicariously through others now but will hop over to the other blog you mentioned to check out what's up in the worlds of chocolate and writing.

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