The Chocolate Bar Challenge is a blog tour in which participants choose up to eight of their favorite books and then pick the perfect chocolate to go with each of them. I was tagged by the lovely AFE Smith and since the only thing I like better than books or chocolate is books AND chocolate, this seemed like a fantastic idea.
Now, on to the deliciousness! In no particular order, of course. 🙂
First up, it’s my all-time favorite book, Time Enough for Drums by Ann Rinaldi. It’s set in Trenton during the Revolutionary War and follows Jemima, a staunch Patriot who can’t understand why her parents allow a Tory to tutor her. But things aren’t quite what they seem, and as the war takes an unexpected toll, she learns some hard lessons about freedom and responsibility. It’s a fantastic book, and I’ve read it so many times I can quote it at length.
I think the best chocolate to pair with a great comfort read like this (because it’s one of my favorite comfort reads) is a milk chocolate Dove bar. Smooth and creamy with just the right amount of sweetness, it goes too quickly, just like this book.
Next up is a true classic, Persuasion by Jane Austen. I had a hard time choosing just one of her books because I love them all, but I especially love this story of unrequited love eventually reconciled. It’s such a fantastic book that now I want to go read it again. I mean, just read that letter to the left – how could you not be moved? 🙂
For such a richly layered tale, I think a Kit Kat would be perfect, especially a king size one, because then you just might make it all the way through the book before the bar is gone. Maybe. 🙂
Chasing Azrael by Hazel Butler is an amazingly gripping tale of a woman still mourning the loss of her husband who must face her demons in order to help her best friend. It’s a dark book, but there are moments of lightness throughout, and it’s just really good.
So for this book, I can’t think of anything better than Mounds. The coconut filling provides a light counterpoint to the dark chocolate, and I could eat them all day (much like I could have spent all day reading this book). Actually, any coconut cream would do, and Russell Stover makes a delightful coconut cream. And now I want one. Badly. 🙂
Next is East of Eden by John Steinbeck. My high school English teachers adored Steinbeck, but not me. We started with The Red Pony in eighth grade and read a book of his each year after that. I read this one my senior year of high school and expected to hate it because I’d hated everything else of his I’d read. But this was unexpectedly good, and it’s been my favorite Steinbeck novel ever since. Set in California’s Salinas Valley, the book follows the Trask and Hamilton families, whose intertwined destinies mirror the fall of Adam and Eve and the rivalry of Cain and Abel (yes, I got that from Goodreads – it’s been a while since I’ve read this book, but it’s stayed with me all the same).
So, since this book was an unexpected delight, I think the only chocolate for it is Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Cream. I don’t normally like white chocolate – too bland – but this is just the right blend of creamy and crunchy.
The Princess Bride by William Goldman is the first book I ever read where I couldn’t decide if I liked the book better than the movie or not. Usually the book is always better, but in this case, it wasn’t so clear-cut. The story of Buttercup and Westley is one of twue wuv and…well, I’ll just let the grandfather explain it:
The Grandson: A book?
Grandpa: That’s right. When I was your age, television was called books. And this is a special book. It was the book my father used to read to me when I was sick, and I used to read it to your father. And today I’m gonna read it to you.
The Grandson: Has it got any sports in it?
Grandpa: Are you kidding? Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles…
The Grandson: Doesn’t sound too bad. I’ll try to stay awake.
Grandpa: Oh, well, thank you very much, very nice of you. Your vote of confidence is overwhelming.
As for a chocolate choice…I think a nice Toblerone would go well with this. It’s got peaks (the Cliffs of Insanity!) and valleys (the Fire Swamp!), it’s smooth (like the Man in Black) and sweet and a little bit nutty (like Vizzini).
Pathways by Jeri Taylor is a collection of backstories for the bridge crew of the starship Voyager. It’s a great book, with great insights into great characters, and I love love LOVE it.
For a book based on one of my favorite shows, I think I have to choose one of my favorite chocolates, Lindt’s Lindor milk chocolate truffles. Words cannot adequately describe how awesome these are, especially in the summer when the centers melt and you bite into them, only to be treated to an explosion of chocolate…Mmm, it’s heavenly. 🙂
Both Sides of Time by Caroline B. Cooney is the first book in the Time Travelers Quartet and is an amazing book. It’s about Annie, a teenager in 1995, who finds herself transported back to 1895. Her presence disrupts the lives of the wealthy Stratton family, and Annie is forced to think about what she really wants in life. It’s a fantastic story, and the next two books (Out of Time and Prisoner of Time) are just as good. I was disappointed with the final book, For All Time, but that’s not to say it wasn’t good – it just wasn’t as good as the first three.
Anyway, for this book, I think chocolate-covered cherries would be the perfect accompaniment. They’re sweet, like Strat, and a little old-fashioned (at least I think so, because they remind me of my grandmother).
My final pick is Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. The story is about Annemarie Johansen, a ten-year-old Danish girl whose family helps a Jewish family escape from Denmark during WWII. It’s the first book I ever read about the Holocaust. Even though it’s a work of fiction, it captured my imagination and I read everything I could find on the topic as I grew older. It’s really a wonderful book about a horrific time in history.
The best chocolate for this book, I think, is a great big mug of hot chocolate because there’s nothing quite as comforting as hot chocolate. What? That’s not a chocolate bar? Well, it is if you make it with a melted Hershey’s bar. No? All right, fine, then I think I’ll have to go with a 3 Musketeers bar. Like they say (and like the resistance movements proved), it’s all for one and one for all.
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