The bitter and the sweet of everyone’s favorite treat.


The True History of Chocolate

By Sophie D. Coe and Michael D. Coe


In this engaging volume, husband-and-wife anthropologists Michael and Sophie Coe team up to uncover the diverse history of the “Food of the Gods.” The Mayans used chocolate as currency, while the Aztecs mixed it with chilies to create a less valuable but more flavorful confection. The Spaniards shipped it back to Europe and began its transformation into the very altered commodity that would nevertheless be regarded as a heavenly delicacy. A surprising and informative historical tour.


Jacques Torres’ A Year in Chocolate: 80 Recipes for Holidays and Special Occasions

By Jacques Torres


Of course you'd like to make your own bonbons for Valentine’s Day, and have chocolate caramel corn ready for Halloween. But how about ringing in the New Year with poached pears dipped in chocolate fondue? Famed chocolatier Torres, the dean of pastry studies at the French Culinary Institute in New York, shares delectable recipes appropriate for each month of the year.



Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

By Roald Dahl


If you've only seen the movie versions, you've yet to taste the real magic in Roald Dahl’s irresistible story. With his legendary amalgam of zany energy and arch wit, the author takes the wide-eyed child in everyone on a hilarious ride through Willy Wonka’s mysterious factory. Charlie Bucket is the hero, but of course the real treats from the reader are the fates delivered to the ill-mannered children who accompany him -- just deserts indeed.




Candyfreak: A Journey Through the Chocolate Underbelly of America

By Steve Almond


Almond’s lifelong passion for sweets takes the wheel as he road-trips to America’s regional candymakers, such as the producers of Philadelphia’s Goldenberg's Peanut Chews and Nashville’s Goo Goo Clusters, and chronicles their battles to survive against the Big Three (Hershey’s, Nestle, and Mars) in this charmingly personal look at candy’s evolving role in our national life and business.




Bitter Sweet : Recipes and Tales from a Life in Chocolate

By Alice Medrich


As one of the American pioneers of an "adult" approach to chocolate, the highly inventive Medrich brings her decades of experience to bear in a book of recipes that includes some of her legendary dishes (such as the Queen of Sheba cake), and provides insight into cooking with the wide array of chocolates that is now available to the home chef.

April 16: ""Blue pottery vases and bowls for flowers are most attractive, and certain blue books...will repeat and emphasize color."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.

Dispute Over a Very Italian Piglet

Amara Lakhous delivers a mystery novel with its finger on the hot-button issues of today's Europe.  Immigration and multicultural conflicts erupt in the Italian city of Turin, as journalist Enzo Laganà looks to restore peace to his native burg.

Papers in the Wind

In this insightful novel by Eduardo Sacheri, a young girl left destitute by the death of her soccer-playing father is uplifted by the bold schemes of her uncle, his pals, and one newbie player to the professional leagues.