Sail into summer reading
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Steve Almond, a man who claims that he’s eaten a piece of candy every day of his life, loves his Kit Kats® and peanut butter cups, but he loves his Valomilks® and Abba-Zaba’s®, too. In his book Candyfreak, which is part memoir and part candy exposé, he takes his readers on a tour of small, independently owned candy factories and relates stories about his personal experiences with candy.
Candyfreak is one of my favorite books, but not necessarily because of its prose style or life lessons. It’s true that the writing is sharp and witty, but mostly, I like the book because of its focus. When it comes to self-indulgence, candy is my favorite vice. Sometimes I wonder if I should have outgrown my taste for Skittles® or Cadbury Eggs® by now, but Almond reassures me that I’m not alone in my fixation.
Before you read this book, you should keep two things in mind. First, once in a while, Almond—whose political views lean pretty far to the left—slips into brief political rants that some people may find distasteful or distracting. Even if politics do sneak into the story from time to time, though, they constitute only a tiny portion of the book. Above all, this is a book about candy, and about a man’s hilarious, obsessive relationship with it. And here’s the other thing you’ll want to know: Unless you possess extraordinary willpower, you should plan to keep a well-stocked candy dish within arm’s reach to satisfy the cravings Candyfreak will induce.
Candyfreak’s entertaining vignettes and mouthwatering descriptions make this book a delightful summer treat.
—Heather Ross ’03 received a B.A. in English from Messiah, an M.F.A. in creative nonfiction from Goucher College, and a Master of Arts in information resources and library science from the University of Arizona. Heather works as a librarian in the Pima County Public Library system in Tucson, Arizona. She likes to read outside or at home, particularly with her cat on her lap and a handful of candy beside her.