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"The Chocolate Diaries: Secrets for a Sweeter Journey on the Rocky Road of Life" by Karen Scalf Linamen was a great little book that couldn't have come at a better time. When I signed up to review this book I had no idea what to expect. I have read self-help books in the past that were so dry I would have rather taken a 20 mile hike in the Arizona desert with no water (in the middle of summer) than finished reading the book. Others were essentially no more than a compilation of lists that were uninteresting and of no real help. This book, however, was different.
Each chapter starts with a catchy title and a thought and ends with a series of questions that can be used for reflective thought, discussion, or journaling. The content really makes a reader think about her life and what she is doing to make a positive transition. The chapters also include a recipe to make a quick snack with chocolate as an ingredient. The book is put together well, and the theme works to make the reader smile.
One thing I really enjoyed about this book is that while it is a Christian self help book, it is not overly pushy on the religion aspect. There is a section that will help woman interested in starting a relationship with Jesus hop on board, but the book itself does not require that woman believe in Christianity in order to enjoy it. The author does a great job of introducing the religion to women who may not believe and showing them what Christianity has to offer, but she does not try to sell Jesus.
This book would be perfect for a bible study group of women who are each in their own places in life. Every woman, no matter her age, has gone through some type of rocky patch in life. With the assistance of this book, a group could help each other or learn techniques for when they are hurting. It also makes a great gift for someone who may need some encouragement. I am, in fact, going to pass it along for just that purpose. A friend of mine is hurting, so I am going to send her the book, along with a journal and a small box of chocolate.
I am so glad I got the opportunity to read "The Chocolate Diaries." This is a beautiful book that truly spreads positiveness- something this world needs more of. I can't wait to read others by this same author!