Friday, December 17, 2010


I decided to be more selective about the books I post because:
a. I honestly read too many books
b. This gives it a sense of coherence.

So today, I decided to post about the 2 chocolate related books I read yesterday: A true history of Chocolate and Chocolate (By The Knowledge).

A True History of Chocolate is a rather scholary treatise, looking at chocolate from Maya-times to modern times, even looking at the origin of the word. It's very very precise (i.e. well referenced), which I could probably learn from). But even if it's very scholarly, it's also very interesting to read, and it gives a good social context of the use of chocolate, how it gains its popularity and such.

But reading this, I realised that even in History books, there is bias (here comes the ToK lessons). The bias is more obvious in this book, as the author admits that there is dry wit and opinions in the preface, but I did realise that opinions are also hidden in innoucuous statements such as those about the Marquis De Sade and how he has been unjustly judged. On the other hand, it is really hard to write a completely neutral piece of work, since everyone has their opinions, and asking them to be completely objective is impossible. So I suppose it's up to the reader to sort our what is fact and what is opinion.

The other book was Chocolate (I forgot the title) by The Knowledge. It's also a history of chocolate, but aimed at kids/teens. Which is why even though the gist of both books is the same, this book has less details, and chooses interesting trivia to present to it's readers. Futhermore, it has a bigger emphasis on chocolate as a solid. But that makes it interesting, since they have all the history and trivia of the well known chocolates such as Cadbury's Dairy Milk, Mars bars, Snickers, etc.

I suppose with two different books aimed at two very different audiences, the approach will naturally be different. But that makes them enjoyable in their own way (:

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