You will need to eat chocolate while reading this book.
18 August 2011
Something lighter today than the books I've been discussing lately...
Recently I read Frances Park's and Ginger Park's memoir Chocolate Chocolate: A True Story of Two Sisters, Tons of Treats, and the Little Shop That Could, about how they started a candy store in Washington D.C. in the 1980s, financed largely by a small legacy left them by their father (who died a too-early death). This was an okay book, although I didn't stick any bookmarks in it--there weren't that many memorable passages. The appeal of this book is not so much in the sisters' writing skills (although they do have skill; they've written numerous and well-reviewed books for kids) as it is in the setting of their story: their shop, Chocolate Chocolate.
The book opens (in 1983) with the sisters scouting locations for their new shop, and then attending the International Summer Fancy Food and Confection Show to find chocolate suppliers. From there they move on to dealing with the contractor who builds out the space they've rented--or, more accurately, the contractor who cocks up the job of building out the space they've rented. They have a rocky start, but over the years they settle into their groove, put together a group of loyal and regular shoppers, and deal with their own personal life ups and downs.
Each chapter is titled with the name of a different type of chocolate, and the book is rich with candy (and customers of candy) descriptions. I almost made it all the way through, but by the time I hit page 200 I gave in, walked to Walgreens with CRjr, and bought a 3 Musketeers bar. (The big one.) I later consumed it (inhaled it) while finishing the book, and it was a very enjoyable experience.
This is a nice fluffy summer read (see? some nonfiction can be considered "beach reading") but don't read it if you're on a diet.