Thursday, March 16, 2017

Our Uneasy Relationship with Sweetness

Turbinado Sugar. Photograph. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 May 2016. Accessed 22 Feb 2017.

Our society's feelings about sugar are complicated, to say the least. We can remember from our childhoods science experiments that taught us to make rock candy, birthday parties awash in sweet treats, and very full trick-or-treat bags at Halloween. Why at a later age is it so wrong to unabashedly say I Love Cake?  We talk about "arm candy" and things being "a piece of cake" or "easy as pie," but even in our own library catalog we can find books about weaning ourselves off sugar published as long ago as 2003 (H. Leighton Steward's The New Sugar Busters!). Certainly in recent times, there has been much talk about the ill effects of too much sugar from respected news sources such as the New York Times and many people have decided to cut it out of their diets for health reasons.

What's your stance on sugar? Do you enjoy sweet treats? Is sugar not an issue for you, or do you crave it? We've put together a list of books from the catalog that stand on both side of the fence - books that wax nostalgic about all things sweet, discussing the process of creating sweets and the history of their consumption, as well as books about quitting the sugar habit and fiction that celebrates confectionery (lots of love out there for beekeepers, bakers, and candy shops). As always, we want to remind you that we recommend checking with a medical professional before starting any diets suggested by books from the library catalog, but we hope you find something on this list that whets your appetite!


Cake: A Slice of History by Alysa Levene

The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets edited by Darra Goldstein

Not So Sweet

The Case Against Sugar by Gary Taubes

Year of No Sugar by Eve O. Schaub

JJ Virgin's Sugar Impact Diet: Drop 7 Hidden Sugars To Lose Up to 10 Pounds in Just 2 Weeks by JJ Virgin, CNS, CHFS, New York Times bestselling author of The virgin diet

Fictional Treats

The Confectioner's Tale: A Novel of Paris by Laura Madeleine

The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert

Cake Shop in the Garden by Carole Matthews 

Wedding Girl by Stacey Ballis 

Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen 

Life is Sweet by Elizabeth Bass [eBook]

Sweetness of Honey by Kent  

The Cake Therapist by Judith Fertig

The Secret to Hummingbird Cake by Celeste Fletcher McHale

Recipes For Love and Murder by Sally Andrew 

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