Monday, February 20, 2012

First Chapter Review: The Chocolate Diaries by Karen Scalf Linamen

This book is one of the few that doesn't come from my free Kindle e-book collection. I requested this book for review from Blogging for Books through WaterBrook Multnomah. As is sometimes the case, I requested a few too many books to review last year and now I am scrambling to catch up.

TITLE: The Chocolate Diaries: Secrets for a Sweeter Journey on the Rocky Road of Life

AUTHOR: Karen Scalf Linamen

BLURB: Karen Linamen dishes up a satisfying blend of moxie and mocha, sharing stories from dozens of women who reveal savvy strategies for embracing a sweeter life—even while traveling rocky roads. If you’re hungry for more joy, reasons to laugh again, ideas to help you heal, and reliable hope leading to a sweeter future, this journey will leave you satisfied.

Funny, transparent, and uplifting, The Chocolate Diaries is like taking a road trip with good friends who are wise about life. And while you’re at it, indulge (just a little) in the quirky recipes for concocting chocolate delights out of whatever ingredients you can round up in your kitchen. The road may still be bumpy, but you’ll be having too much fun to care.

COVER:  Although it's a bit too purple for my tastes, it definitely captures the essence of the book. The diary page directly relates to the title, as does the sweet that is pictured next to the brown drizzled title. Simple, but nice.

FIRST CHAPTER:  The narrative opens with the author finding her fifteen-year-old daughter cooking in the kitchen at 3 a.m. because she couldn't sleep. In love with Italian cooking, Kacie also wants to marry Robert, the nephew of Buddy Valastro from Cake Boss. The author quickly moves from Kacie to how watching the Food Network has a show that best represents her life. The show is called Chopped.

In between this moving narrative is a question, "What's your secret to a sweeter journey on the rocky road of life?" This is answered by another person who the author has posed this question to--in Chapter One that person is Cindi Chase Joseph from California. The narrative continues and then ends with a "Food for Thought" section that asks questions of the reader, followed by the "Because Real Women Don't Need A Cookbook" section that includes a recipe.

KEEP READING!  Confession time. I'm on Chapter 8.  What I like about this opening chapter is that the author wastes no time in getting to her theme:  food and those big and little obstacles we all face in life. As I already know from reading ahead, her daughters play a significant role in this book, so that it opens with Kacie is not a surprise. I liked that aspect anyway, because so much of a mom's life is her children, it made sense. The format of The Chocolate Diaries is also great because it provides the reader other people's perspectives on how to handle the challenges they face, while giving them time to reflect at the end of each chapter, and the reward of a quick and easy recipe.

Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook Press (May 3, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1400074029
ISBN-13: 978-1400074020
SRP:  $13.99
I received a free e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinions. A full review will follow shortly. I received no monetary compensation for my review.


Jill Kemerer said...

I haven't seen this book--but what a great title! It sounds as if the author gives a great mix of family, womens' life, and yummy recipe. Can't beat that combo!

Mayra Calvani said...

Sounds like a delicious book!

Anonymous said...

The title is what drew me in to find out more. Thanks for sharing your first chapter review of the book.