Back in May, Nelson Suit of Inkspokes asked if I’d like to participate in the Chocolate Book Blog Tour. Of course! How could I not? Pairing some of my favorite books and authors with chocolate, I couldn’t resist. Then June, July and August came and went and I still hadn’t jumped on the tour. Why? Because writing used to be my luxury, a vacation, a tour of my thoughts and now my time is not my own. But I’m not the only one lamenting how quickly time, whether a season or a moment, is zooming by. Every where I turn, someone is gasping that vacation is over, school is about to begin, the weather is crisper, Halloween chocolate is out on shelves, and the Rockettes are celebrating Christmas in August. So here we are, past August’s prime and I’m just about to endulge in a mini mental vacation by taking the Chocolate Book Blog Tour on bite-size stops of summer.
I came across Irish author, Marian Keyes‘ books, about ten years ago while searching for summer reading material at a local library. I picked up a few of her pastel-covered paperbacks with images of watermelons, cocktails, and kites, and figured any one would be the perfect light reading I was looking for. I started with Rachel’s Holiday, then Watermelon, then Angels – I was hooked. It was chick-lit but different – it was empowering, it was liberating, it was daring, it was funny, it was sad, it was hopeful and hopeless, it was addictive.
Keyes’ protagonists, quirky twenty-something sisters from a slightly dysfunctional Walsh family, represent a modern coming of age women facing every day issues of balancing careers, friendships, relationships, family, self-discovery, transformation, and well-being. Keyes characters are saucey and sobering in their emotions, reactions, and habits, often consumed in unhealthy relationships with themselves and others. Her characters’ depressive and alcoholic tendencies create further complications. I could feel their pain, their hopes, their humor – all things impossible to describe – but Keyes does it, she makes you feel it and believe it. A common theme in Keyes’ books is travel and this need to lose yourself in order to find yourself. For these reasons, I pair Keyes with Anthony Berg’s miniature Chocolate Liqueur Bottles, adorably, colorfully wrapped shots of Baccardi, Cointreau, Jack Daniels, Malibu, or Kalhua that leaves some heat in your heart.