Movies like Julie & Julia and Eat, Pray, Love paved the way for a new wave of inspiring stories for the senses. While there's value in a serious read, we all need some more indulgent pages now and again. Whether it's for your own reading list, or a gift for a sweet tooth bookworm, these chocolate-dipped novels are sure to satiate.
Chocolat, Joanne Harris: Before Juliette Binoche fell under the chocolate trance of Johnny Depp in the 2000 film, Chocolat enchanted readers in the novel by Joanne Harris. A woman and her young daughter move to a small town in France, only to receive disapproval from a neighboring church at their desires to open a chocolate shop. Much too indulgent for the conservative authority that rules the village. As the author says, “in Chocolat it is love, and not faith, which ultimately holds the key to salvation.” Readers of any philosophy will dive right into the beautiful imagery and eye-opening story about humanity.
Pure Chocolate: Divine Desserts and Sweets from the Creator of Fran’s Chocolates, Fran Bigelow: Once you take a bite of Fran’s famous gray salt caramels, you’ll go to great lengths to recreate that delicious sensation. Luckily, the creator behind Seattle’s famed sweets shop shares all in the book, Pure Chocolate. Travel through the history of chocolate, the science behind cocoa percentages, and the art of the label. Fran reveals secrets from the kitchen that manipulate ingredients to fit her recipes exactly, so you can start experimenting with your own concoctions if you’re so inclined. Follow through with 75 recipes for any chocolate occasion (yes, we’ll count finishing the book as an occasion).
The Great Book of Chocolate: The Chocolate Lover’s Guide With Recipes, David Lebovitz: As the former pastry chef of Alice Waters’ Berkeley landmark, Chez Panisse, David Lebovitz knows his away around chocolate. This compact publication only proves that further, as he weaves masterfully from terminology, to theory, to history, to cooking. Curious about chocolate around the world? Let the pages take you to Paris and beyond, and you’ll emerge as a bona fide cocoa expert. Once you’ve truly whetted your appetite, try out one of 30 recipes to satiate your craving.
The Chocolate Lovers’ Club, Carole Matthews: Looking for a truly indulgent read? Follow the lives, loves, and losses of four women that meet in a beloved chocolate cafe every week. They discuss relationships and happiness over creamy creations at Chocolate Heaven, all while navigating the (sometimes not-so-sweet) events of life. Think Sex and the City, minus the cosmopolitans, plus a quality dark chocolate. Save it for a rainy day on the couch, or for the arrival of your next Chococurb box!
My Life from Scratch: A Sweet Journey of Starting Over, One Cake at a Time, Gesine Bullock-Prado: Despite running a successful production company with her sister (actress Sandra) in Hollywood, Gesine Bullock-Prado wasn’t happy. She found solace in baking, which remained a hobby until the day she decided to move across the country and make it a career. She and her husband moved to Vermont and opened Gesine Confectionary, and the rest is not just history, but an entertaining read for anyone that’s imagined a fresh start.