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Chicken Soup for the Soul

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Two of America's best-loved inspirational speakers share the very best of their collected stories and favorite tales that have touched the hearts of people everywhere. Canfield and Hansen bring you wit and wisdom, hope and empowerment to buoy you through life's dark moments. Two of America's best-loved inspirational speakers share the very best of their collected stories and favorite tales that have touched the hearts of people everywhere. Canfield and Hansen bring you wit and wisdom, hope and empowerment to buoy you through life's dark moments.


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Two of America's best-loved inspirational speakers share the very best of their collected stories and favorite tales that have touched the hearts of people everywhere. Canfield and Hansen bring you wit and wisdom, hope and empowerment to buoy you through life's dark moments. Two of America's best-loved inspirational speakers share the very best of their collected stories and favorite tales that have touched the hearts of people everywhere. Canfield and Hansen bring you wit and wisdom, hope and empowerment to buoy you through life's dark moments.

30 review for Chicken Soup for the Soul

  1. 4 out of 5

    mark monday

    ¡REVIEW #500! one fine summer day, young mark monday - aged 4 or 5 - was tooling around the neighborhood on his Big Wheel. he was a happy lad and liked to make others around him feel happy too. this outlook soon saw its first challenge when he wheeled up to his friend Tommy - who looked miserable and had clearly been crying. "What's the matter, Tommy?" "Dad's going away!" young mark monday was a military brat and so was Tommy, so mark knew exactly how he felt. he had felt the same way, many times. b ¡REVIEW #500! one fine summer day, young mark monday - aged 4 or 5 - was tooling around the neighborhood on his Big Wheel. he was a happy lad and liked to make others around him feel happy too. this outlook soon saw its first challenge when he wheeled up to his friend Tommy - who looked miserable and had clearly been crying. "What's the matter, Tommy?" "Dad's going away!" young mark monday was a military brat and so was Tommy, so mark knew exactly how he felt. he had felt the same way, many times. but he hated seeing his friend Tommy looking so upset. he thought for a moment, and as his thoughts tended to do, they moved towards his favorite shows, Sesame Street and Electric Company. what happened when kids had problems on those shows, problems that they didn't know how to solve? why, they sang about them! and then the problems just didn't seem so big anymore. and so young mark sang. "Don't be sa-ad, Tommy! Just be gla-ad, Tommy! The sun is bright, Let your heart take --" mark was silenced when Tommy suddenly picked up a rock and smashed it right into his face. then Tommy ran off. mark sat there stunned... then slowly rode his Big Wheel home, crying and bleeding. from that day on, he knew the dangers of trying to turn a frown upside down.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Leftbanker

    This series of books have the same tone as those cynical, anti-intellectual mega-church TV preachers who wear $30,000 wristwatches and claim to have all of the answers to your existence. If every story in this book isn't 100% fabrication, I'm certain that they have been generously embellished (sort of the same thing as fabricated). Spoiler Alert! Your prayers are never answered; for every happy ending there are countless unhappy stories. Everyone dies, sooner or later. You can kid yourself about This series of books have the same tone as those cynical, anti-intellectual mega-church TV preachers who wear $30,000 wristwatches and claim to have all of the answers to your existence. If every story in this book isn't 100% fabrication, I'm certain that they have been generously embellished (sort of the same thing as fabricated). Spoiler Alert! Your prayers are never answered; for every happy ending there are countless unhappy stories. Everyone dies, sooner or later. You can kid yourself about this with religion or hack bibles like this piece of trash, or you can just accept our fleeting existence on our humble planet and try to make the most of it. Just what it means to "make the most of it" is entirely up to you. For me, this means studying languages and piano and reading a ton of books and writing and seeing the world and experiencing new cultures, among other pursuits. Praying ain't one of them. To each his own. The best part about trashing this stupid book is that there is no such thing as a soul and if you disagree with me, I suggest that you take flying lessons (don't bother with the bit about landings) and fly a plane into your computer right into my review of this book. That'll learn me! The Goodreads blurb for this book describes the authors as, “Two of America's best-loved inspirational speakers.” Other famous inspirational speakers: Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Dale Carnegie, Jim Jones, Tony Robbins, Richard Simmons, and Reverend Lovejoy from the Simpsons, to name only a few. Not very good company to keep. Let's just consider that word for a moment. Inspire: to influence, move, or guide by divine or supernatural. Do you really want to be guided or influenced by these two hucksters? Life doesn't come with instructions; so why do so many people look for them in this sort of childish pabulum? There are no easy answers. You just have to take bits and pieces of the wisdom handed down to us through the centuries and cobble some meaning together on your own. I have news for you: none of this wisdom is to be found in the self-help aisle at Barnes and Nobles, and there is certainly none to be found in this collection of fortune cookie aphorisms. Instead of wasting your time with this garbage, read something that will give you some true understanding of human existence. I'll bet that most people who rated this five-stars don't believe in evolution. Evolution is one of the most illuminating ideas in all of human history, but these people would rather ignore science and take refuge in religion, superstition, and this sort of “uplifting” silliness. What does evolution have to do with these stories? The title of the book mentions the soul, something I don't believe in. Consciousness, yes, the soul, no. Just when did mankind attain a soul? Did the Neanderthals have souls? Homo erectus? Australopithecus? Stephen J. Gold was asked if he had learned anything or if his thinking was altered because he had been diagnosed with cancer. He told the interviewer that his intellectual foundation would have been pretty weak if something as minor as his own illness could have rocked him off of it. If this sort of trash is your intellectual foundation, you are making a house of (greeting) cards. Before you let me have it because I think this book is trash, look at your own ratings. I'm sure that there are books that you hate that other people treasure. I don't care if you don't like a book that I may think is excellent. The whole idea of this site is for readers to voice their opinions. I give most books 5 stars so if you're looking for something that I have written with a positive slant, read a review of a book that I loved.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ladan

    One of those books which forces one to think positive even if one is 100% doomed to failure, extinction, defeat, or death

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Ryan

    I loved this collection of short-stories. They are inspirational, motivational, and beautifully written. Many made me cry, which is also very cathartic. The real magic behind the Chicken Soup Series is knowing the effort that Jack Canfield put into the promotion of this book before it became popular. After being turned down 144 times, he persisted. He is a model of passionately pursuing your dreams until they are realized. I also had the chance to meet Jack Canfield at the premiere of the Keeper o I loved this collection of short-stories. They are inspirational, motivational, and beautifully written. Many made me cry, which is also very cathartic. The real magic behind the Chicken Soup Series is knowing the effort that Jack Canfield put into the promotion of this book before it became popular. After being turned down 144 times, he persisted. He is a model of passionately pursuing your dreams until they are realized. I also had the chance to meet Jack Canfield at the premiere of the Keeper of the Keys, a documentary movie that I am featured in along with Jack Canfield, John Gray and Marci Shimoff. Jack was also kind enough to read and endorse my book, The Upside of Down Times: Discovering the Power of Gratitude which can be found here: http://amzn.to/NjNs06

  5. 5 out of 5

    Beata

    About as spiritually enriching as the inspirational quotes you find on packets of instant oatmeal. If Nicholas Sparks were a motivational speaker, he would have churned out these tepid pieces of crap while bingewatching "Touched by an Angel." About as spiritually enriching as the inspirational quotes you find on packets of instant oatmeal. If Nicholas Sparks were a motivational speaker, he would have churned out these tepid pieces of crap while bingewatching "Touched by an Angel."

  6. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    I am done with self-help mumbo-jumbo... Don't tell me another story about this person who achieve this without giving me names, dates and factual evidence that is referenced! I am done with self-help mumbo-jumbo... Don't tell me another story about this person who achieve this without giving me names, dates and factual evidence that is referenced!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    This book was given out at work. Very readable and unoriginal. I'm far too cynical to enjoy and find deep meaning in stories like these. This book was given out at work. Very readable and unoriginal. I'm far too cynical to enjoy and find deep meaning in stories like these.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Joolz

    Once started, couldnt put it down! A real heart warmer, lifted my spirits no end, even when I didnt realise it needed lifting. TBH, it restored my faith in mankind, esp after watching the news all the time. This would also make a great gift for a reader or any genre, if they dont like it, then there must be something wrong with them! Many a time i found myself laughing out loud, crying to myself or just stopping to think to myself at the though-provoking story I had just read. Will definately re Once started, couldnt put it down! A real heart warmer, lifted my spirits no end, even when I didnt realise it needed lifting. TBH, it restored my faith in mankind, esp after watching the news all the time. This would also make a great gift for a reader or any genre, if they dont like it, then there must be something wrong with them! Many a time i found myself laughing out loud, crying to myself or just stopping to think to myself at the though-provoking story I had just read. Will definately read again some day!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bogdan

    Everyone finds his own interpretation of the information read here. If you seek for answers or opinions you will find them rather different. I liked the book a lot and will turn back to it many times more in the future.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    This is a really odd book. Although I really liked a few of the stories, many of them seemed engineered to make the reader dab at the eyes with a tissue. The act of giving out hugs to randomly chosen strangers has been elevated nearly to the status of a religion. And as warmly as I feel toward some of my friends here on Goodreads, I'm just not a very spontaneous hugger. *Sigh* This is a really odd book. Although I really liked a few of the stories, many of them seemed engineered to make the reader dab at the eyes with a tissue. The act of giving out hugs to randomly chosen strangers has been elevated nearly to the status of a religion. And as warmly as I feel toward some of my friends here on Goodreads, I'm just not a very spontaneous hugger. *Sigh*

  11. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Gibson

    “Two seeds lay side by side in the fertile spring soil. The first seed said, “I want to grow! I want to send my roots deep into the soil beneath me, and thrust my sprouts through the earths crust above me…” And she grew. The second seed said, “I am afraid. If I send my roots into the ground below, I don’t know what I will encounter in the dark. If I push my way through the hard soil above me I may damage my delicate sprouts.” And so she waited.” MORAL OF THE STORY: Seeds can’t talk, jerkoff. And havi “Two seeds lay side by side in the fertile spring soil. The first seed said, “I want to grow! I want to send my roots deep into the soil beneath me, and thrust my sprouts through the earths crust above me…” And she grew. The second seed said, “I am afraid. If I send my roots into the ground below, I don’t know what I will encounter in the dark. If I push my way through the hard soil above me I may damage my delicate sprouts.” And so she waited.” MORAL OF THE STORY: Seeds can’t talk, jerkoff. And having wicked-passionate earth-shattering sex on a daily basis will certainly do a lot more for your soul than this collection of insipid quasi-life affirming claptrap. I found this book in the garage. I didn’t realize it was at the BOTTOM of a box of books for a reason. I thought, what the hell, I could use a few stories to open the heart and rekindle the spirit, so I put it next to the bed for a little dream inspiration. More like night-sweats and hideous thoughts of Mary Poppins on crack. If this is Americas ‘book of wisdom and solace for the ages,’ we are in deep doo-doo. I would line the cage these pages if I were inspired enough to have a bird. Instead, it’s back in the box. In the garage. Waiting to be taken to the next church flea market.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Garden of Eden

    I remember reading this when I was still a young girl. I was a school librarian back then so I often read any Chicken Soup books. Sounds like I was slacking off huh. xD anyways I remember liking it as a young girl. It's a food for thoughts. I remember reading this when I was still a young girl. I was a school librarian back then so I often read any Chicken Soup books. Sounds like I was slacking off huh. xD anyways I remember liking it as a young girl. It's a food for thoughts.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Travis

    I think the best thing in this book is the section about John Goddard, a kid who sits down and makes a "life's list" or a "bucket list" as it was popularized by the movie. And that kid did some absolutely amazing things! I was blown away, and still make copies of that story to share with teens when I teach them. It strongly influenced my habit of setting goals and trying to keep track of the adventures that I do have. But to be honest, I can't remember many (any?) of the other stories. I think the best thing in this book is the section about John Goddard, a kid who sits down and makes a "life's list" or a "bucket list" as it was popularized by the movie. And that kid did some absolutely amazing things! I was blown away, and still make copies of that story to share with teens when I teach them. It strongly influenced my habit of setting goals and trying to keep track of the adventures that I do have. But to be honest, I can't remember many (any?) of the other stories.

  14. 4 out of 5

    sologdin

    Douchey crap. These kind of platitude-laden opiates really do more harm in lowering the IQ of readers than in any salving they might accomplish.

  15. 5 out of 5

    James Collins

    This Soup is Good As a Christian writer and pastor, I am always looking for good illustrations. The Chicken Soup for the Soul book series is stocked with inspirational stories, perfectly appropriate for the author/speaker. Not all stories in this book are necessarily Christian. Many have a "believe in yourself" message and the Christian message is "die to yourself" and believe in Christ. However, there is enough here on love, connection, and gratitude, to be useful. Some of the stories are a litt This Soup is Good As a Christian writer and pastor, I am always looking for good illustrations. The Chicken Soup for the Soul book series is stocked with inspirational stories, perfectly appropriate for the author/speaker. Not all stories in this book are necessarily Christian. Many have a "believe in yourself" message and the Christian message is "die to yourself" and believe in Christ. However, there is enough here on love, connection, and gratitude, to be useful. Some of the stories are a little outdated. I'm sure the editors would like to remove the touching story of O.J. Simpson's childhood ambition considering his life since the book was published. Speaking of touching, the Me Too Movement would have a fit on the section that encourages hugging random people. Still, the classic Chicken Soup holds up well. I'm looking forward to a second bowl.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    I've heard a lot about this book over the years and always imagined it would be soppy clap trap, but I actually really enjoyed it! I think I have to admit to myself that I love a feel good story- I suppose I've always thought it "un-cool" to like this kind of feel good, happy hopeful book, but as I get older (yes, I know, I'm only 25) I realise that what's cool doesn't matter, and if it makes you feel good- why not read it! I admit I cried whilst reading this book. If you're a cynic like I was g I've heard a lot about this book over the years and always imagined it would be soppy clap trap, but I actually really enjoyed it! I think I have to admit to myself that I love a feel good story- I suppose I've always thought it "un-cool" to like this kind of feel good, happy hopeful book, but as I get older (yes, I know, I'm only 25) I realise that what's cool doesn't matter, and if it makes you feel good- why not read it! I admit I cried whilst reading this book. If you're a cynic like I was give it a try- you never know, you might even like it (and you don't have to tell anyone!)

  17. 4 out of 5

    Hiba Arrame

    I couldn't get myself to sleep before finishing up all of the stories included in this book, it was an amazing experience, and I'm really thankful to the professor who had recommended it to me, it's a book that holds in it that hope that we all need to reassure us that there's still beauty and goodness out there waiting to be discovered, that within ourselves are hold much more capacities than we think we have. I think that this book should be read by every soul longing to peace and divine beauty I couldn't get myself to sleep before finishing up all of the stories included in this book, it was an amazing experience, and I'm really thankful to the professor who had recommended it to me, it's a book that holds in it that hope that we all need to reassure us that there's still beauty and goodness out there waiting to be discovered, that within ourselves are hold much more capacities than we think we have. I think that this book should be read by every soul longing to peace and divine beauty.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ashwini

    Though I prefer reading novels than short stories, some of the stories in this book were simply touching. While some change the way I look at things, some actually made me wonder if miracles are for real.. Must say, this book was well compiled!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Yamna

    What a beautiful book. It was such a humbling experience to read all those stories :)

  20. 5 out of 5

    yanitta☏

    I have no idea what Chicken Soup for the Soul is about, but I was rewatching Friends: TOW Chandler can’t cry, and I’ve got to read this book!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lotte Houghton

    One day, Justin Bieber saw a kid fall to the ground and asked his bodyguard to help him up. He then looked at the kid in the eye and said "If you learn to get up after falling over and not give up on your dreams, you can do anything that you want". And do you know who that little boy grew up to be? Albert Einstein This is basically the book, some of the affirmations and messages of the stories were nice enough to even go through to the cynical heart of an auld woman like me. I liked the title an One day, Justin Bieber saw a kid fall to the ground and asked his bodyguard to help him up. He then looked at the kid in the eye and said "If you learn to get up after falling over and not give up on your dreams, you can do anything that you want". And do you know who that little boy grew up to be? Albert Einstein This is basically the book, some of the affirmations and messages of the stories were nice enough to even go through to the cynical heart of an auld woman like me. I liked the title and fancied reading something comforting but it just doesn't deliver. You can't manufacture wisdom and this just didn't inspire me. Obviously a lot of people like it and I hope that it's helped bring them some comfort. It is keen on championing the individualist underdog as they overcome obstacles which comes across as disingenuous in a society full of inequality and injustice. Let's face it, chicken soup isn't very comforting if you're a chicken. Also, some of it has really not aged well - I didn't like the message of "staying positive and keeping faith can cure illness" as I think that this is obviously shite and unfair to people who have lost loved ones to illness. And also, could they really not have edited the references to 'primitive cultures' out? It's really not aged well. And don't get me started on the inclusion of the inspirational story of OJ Simpson - it was quite the surprise!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cassandra Kay Silva

    I read this. I admit it. It was awhile ago and someone gave it to me for free. It's absolutely not my style and pretty stupid. I read this. I admit it. It was awhile ago and someone gave it to me for free. It's absolutely not my style and pretty stupid.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Esmeralda

    A great read, in general very inspiring. Help you to keep your life on track. Should probably be read a few times per year for maximum effect.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Mark Villareal

    Simple and down to earth. A great read to spark your thoughts and generate a renewed mindset.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Grieve

    Not sure how I feel about this book, and was not inclined to read all the way through. It's the first (and only) one of this series I have looked at, and it doesn't really appeal. Perhaps it's more for American tastes, and I am just a cynical Brit. I can see that it's a good thing to have a book of inspirational stories, but I can't help thinking that they may be no more than fiction, and a clever marketing idea has made these books the best-sellers they are. However, cynicism aside, if some read Not sure how I feel about this book, and was not inclined to read all the way through. It's the first (and only) one of this series I have looked at, and it doesn't really appeal. Perhaps it's more for American tastes, and I am just a cynical Brit. I can see that it's a good thing to have a book of inspirational stories, but I can't help thinking that they may be no more than fiction, and a clever marketing idea has made these books the best-sellers they are. However, cynicism aside, if some readers are helped and motivated by these books, then that is surely a good thing, so who am I to complain? Reviewed in exchange for a preview copy.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Unfortunately, I had to throw this book away after reading it. I'd worn it out. Whole sections could no longer be held together with tape. Even though this was a re-reading, and many of the stories have become wayyyyyyy too familiar over the years (the starfish story), the stories still had the power to make me cry... even in front of my students (who were silently reading their own versions of Chicken Soup). I'm buying a new copy for next year. Unfortunately, I had to throw this book away after reading it. I'd worn it out. Whole sections could no longer be held together with tape. Even though this was a re-reading, and many of the stories have become wayyyyyyy too familiar over the years (the starfish story), the stories still had the power to make me cry... even in front of my students (who were silently reading their own versions of Chicken Soup). I'm buying a new copy for next year.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Don

    A few good messages, but most of the stories sound contrived to me.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Adriana Espada leyton

    3.75 Beautiful stories! I highly recommend this book =)

  29. 5 out of 5

    Noor Abu Hassan

    A must Read. Enjoyed it. Hope I read it younger💗

  30. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    I don't really remember the stories anymore, but I liked it when I read it in elementary school! I don't really remember the stories anymore, but I liked it when I read it in elementary school!

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