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It ain’t easy being an adult candy junkie: shrinking beneath the incredulous stare of the checkout clerk, wilting under the outraged cries of your dentist, cowering in fear of an organized intervention by friends and familyliving, in short, like a pariah. And why? Because you’re slave to a substance that is legally available to mere children. If, like me, you worship at the altar of Hershey and stock up on sweets the way an Arctic explorer lays in stores of pemmican, then Hilary Liftin’s Candy and Me (A Love Story) just might be your guilty pleasure. Liftin dispenses her life story in bite-sized chapters, filling the reader in on bad relationships, lost jobs, and the candies (Root Beer Caps, Twizzlers, Junior Mints) that helped see her through. Like the sugar she craves, Liftin’s book is so many empty caloriesbut as every sweets addict knows, they’re the best kind. Liftin reads at 7:30 p.m. at Barnes & Noble, 3651 Jefferson Davis Highway, Alexandria. Free. (703) 299-9124. (Michael Little)