The Next Best Book Club discussion


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message 1: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10124 comments Mod
Hey everyone! It's the first of the month and that means our November "Foodie" group read is starting!

This month's pick is CHOCOLAT and our discussion leader is Jessica!

I'm sure she'll pop in shortly to get the discussion going, but in the meantime, feel free to chat amongst yourselves about the book....

message 2: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Heffner (jessica617) | 31 comments Hey Everyone. How are you all liking Chocolat? I have to say that the reviews are correct, the food imagery in this book is overwhelming. In a good way. I found myself putting the book down to find some chocolate or candy several times! Did anyone else experience this?

message 3: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I belong to a movie/book club at my local library. We did this book and the movie a couple of years ago and it was one of the few times that the majority (not me!) liked the movie better than the book! I wonder how much that had to do with Johnny Depp, though?

The way she describes the sweets and confections is very, very surreal. Instead of just smelling and tasting she makes you literally crave like Jessica said. Not just for the taste, but for the emotions that go along with the treats. :) Good writing.

message 4: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Heffner (jessica617) | 31 comments I have not seen the movie but do plan to watch it this month. I love to see how stories translate on film. Generally, I prefer the book to the movie; however there are some exceptions - The Notebook for instance. I heard that in the Chocolat movie, Reynaud is the mayor of the French town, rather than the parish priest. It seems to me that would be a substantial change detrimental to the movie's ability to stay true to the themes in the book.

message 5: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Jessica wrote: "I have not seen the movie but do plan to watch it this month. I love to see how stories translate on film. Generally, I prefer the book to the movie; however there are some exceptions - The Noteboo..."

I think the themes are kept intact, it just becomes less "religious" prejudice and more general "moral" prejudice when you change the priest to the mayor. Either way, it's prejudice, but maybe easier for a film audience to accept.

message 6: by vicki (new)

vicki lee zell (vlzbooks) | 6 comments I have not read the book. The movie is worth seeing if you haven't yet viewed it. It's a little dark, but thought provoking.

message 7: by Dawn (new)

Dawn | 547 comments I love the film Chocolat but have yet to read the book. I'm eager to read it and see how the film compares. I must confess a good portion of my adoration for the film is nostalgic. My mom, little sister and I watched it at least half a dozen times together when I was in high school. BTW, this is a great November read pick.

message 8: by Shelley (new)

Shelley | 36 comments On an ancillary note, the actress in the film can also be found in a recent but little-noticed movie called Words and Pictures.


message 9: by Tina (new)

Tina | 143 comments I read this book back in April 2013, just a week after Easter. I remember having eaten a few chocolate eggs, but nothing to compare with the ones in this story. Also, the weather was chilly and very windy, which made the story seem very familiar! (I also saw this title as a movie and am glad to have read the book.)

message 10: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Heffner (jessica617) | 31 comments I agree with the weather and sweets feeling familiar. I started reading this last month during our state fair. Though the story is set in the spring around Easter, it is a perfect book for fall.

message 11: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Heffner (jessica617) | 31 comments I really like the edition I have of this book where the priest's chapters are titled with a date in a different font. Otherwise, his chapters begin the same as Vianne's. This is a creative way to distinguish storylines. Does anyone have a version of this book that does not have this change?

message 12: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Heffner (jessica617) | 31 comments Where is everyone? Have you finished Chocolat? What did you think? Feel free to post as you work through the book. You don't have to completely finish it before commenting.

message 13: by Demetra (new)

Demetra (dedra_de) I just finished reading Chocolat. It took me a little while to get into it. I wasn't really a fan of the book's message: just do what feels good and to hell with the consequences. This definitely wasn't a favorite of mine.

message 14: by Nancy H (new)

Nancy H | 91 comments I loved this book and have already read its two sequels. What a fantastic series of stories, plus they just fed my chocolate addiction even more!

message 15: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Heffner (jessica617) | 31 comments Great to hear you recommend the sequel, Nancy. So many sequels end up falling flat after a great first book.

message 16: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I wasn't even aware there were sequels. What are they?

message 17: by Karly (new)

Karly (karlyrose) | 34 comments I finished the book back at the beginning of November but haven't had a chance to join in yet. I haven't seen the movie but would consider it. Overall I really enjoyed the book. The imagery and interpersonal dynamics of the provincial small town drew me in. I loved it & could definitely see the town square, the houseboats, the chocolaterie, the church etc as the author walked you through them.

As for the book's message, I didn't feel as though it was moralistic as much as it was reflective. Via the very basic vehicle of chocolate, a quietly clandestine village is awakened. The simple confection stirs something different in everyone - liberation, tradition, superstition, childhood memories, absolution, a startling confrontation with ones self. In the end, the characters' transformations can't be attributed to a single newcomer and her candy shop; they simply served as a spark to light the fire.

message 18: by Natalie (new)

Natalie (aquariusnat) | 41 comments This was another situation of loving the movie and reading the book several years later . The book was beautiful and at some point I'll read the sequels .

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