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Originally published Saturday, December 12, 2009 at 7:57 PM

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The Short List

A chocolate buffet at the Four Seasons

Chocolate and books are two of our favorite things at The Seattle Times.

Food and drink

Chocolate buffet

Hands down the best chocolate event this holiday: the all-you-can-eat chocolate buffet at ART Restaurant and Lounge, inside the Four Seasons hotel this Thursday. White-chocolate panna cotta, chocolate fondue, earl grey chocolate tart, Valrhona chocolate doughnuts and a dozen other chocolate bites and desserts. 5-9 p.m. Thursday, 99 Union St., Seattle; $15 adult, $7 children aged 6 to 12, free 5-and-under (206-749-7070 or fourseasons.com/seattle).

Tan Vinh

Seattle Times staff reporter

Books

'U Is for Undertow'

Twenty-one books in, and Kinsey Millhone is still eating Quarter Pounders, hanging out at Rosie's with her landlord Henry, and solving cases the old-fashioned way: with index cards and gumshoe grit. "U is for Undertow" (Putnam), the latest in Sue Grafton's thoroughly addictive mystery series, is a cleverly time-shifting tale of an unsolved child abduction, with Kinsey in fine form — even as she confronts some truths from her own past. You'll never see Kinsey in the movies (Grafton has vowed never to sell screen rights), so give yourself the fun of meeting her on the page.

Moira Macdonald

Seattle Times arts writer

'A Lost Lady'

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This lesser-known 1923 classic by Willa Cather can be read in a single sitting — but it covers a whole lifetime. Its title character is charm personified; she's also flighty, deluded, even adulterous. Stuck in a small Nebraska town with a much older and strangely understanding husband, she shines for one local teenage boy as a beacon for the possibilities of life elsewhere. While he comes to see her failings, he also makes you feel that bright sympathy and moral waywardness were never so seductively entwined.

Michael Upchurch

Seattle Times arts writer

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