A 6th Bowl of Chicken Soup for the Soul: 101 More Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit

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Overview

Eternal "soup lovers" will discover there is only one "recipe" for compassion, wisdom, inspiration, and love--the latest serving of "Chicken Soup for the Soul".
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Overview

Eternal "soup lovers" will discover there is only one "recipe" for compassion, wisdom, inspiration, and love--the latest serving of "Chicken Soup for the Soul".
Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author

Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, have dedicated their lives to the personal and professional growth of others.

Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, have dedicated their lives to the personal and professional growth of others.

Biography

While Jack Canfield himself may not necessarily be a household name, it's very likely that you have heard of his famed Chicken Soup for the Soul series and nearly as likely that you have at least one of them sitting on your very own bookshelf! Having got his start as an inspirational speaker, Canfield's own story is nothing less than inspirational.

Jack Canfield had been traveling around delivering key note speeches and organizing workshops to help audiences build their self-esteem and maximize their potential when he had an in-flight brainstorm that changed his life. While flying home from a gig, Canfield realized that the very same advice he had been delivering during his in-person addresses could potentially form the basis of a book. Canfield used inspirational stories he'd gleaned over the years as the basis of his speeches, and he thought it would be a terrific idea to gather together 101 inspirational stories and anthologize them in a single volume. Upon returning home, Canfield approached friend and author Mark Victor Hansen about his concept. Hansen agreed it was a great idea, and the two men set about finding a publisher. Believe it or not, the mega-selling series was not an easy sell to publishers. "We were rejected by 123 publishers all told," Canfield told Shareguide.com. "The first time we went to New York, we visited with about a dozen publishers in a two day period with our agent, and nobody wanted it. They all said it was a stupid title, that nobody bought collections of short stories, that there was no edge -- no sex, no violence. Why would anyone read it?"

Canfield wisely practiced what he preached -- and persisted. Ultimately, he and Hansen sold the first Chicken Soup for the Soul book to a small press based in Deerfield Beach, Florida, called Health Communications. The rest, as they say, is history. There are currently 80 million copies of the Chicken Soup books in print, with subjects as varied as Chicken Soup For the Horse Lover's Soul and Chicken Soup For the Prisoner's Soul. Canfield and Hansen ranked as the top-selling authors of 1997 and are multiple New York Times bestsellers. Most important of all, the inspirational stories they have gathered in their many volumes have improved the lives of countless readers.

This year, expect to see Canfield's name gracing the covers of such titles as Chicken Soup For the Scrapbooker's Soul, Chicken Soup For the Mother and Son Soul, and Chicken Soup For the African American Woman's Soul. He and Hansen have also launched the all-new "Healthy Living" series and 8 titles in that series have already been released this year. There is also the fascinating You've GOT to Read This Book!, in which Canfield compiles personal accounts by 55 people each discussing a book that has changed his or her life. The most compelling of these may be the story of young entrepreneur Farrah Gray, who read Deepak Chopra's The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success at the age of 11 and made his first million dollars at the age of 14!

With no sign of slowing down, Canfield continues to be an inspiration to millions, who fortunately refused to give up when it seemed as though he would never even get his first book published. "Mark and I are big believers in perseverance," he said. "If you have a vision and a life purpose, and you believe in it, then you do not let external events tell you what is so. You follow your internal guidance and follow your bliss, as Joseph Campbell used to say."

Good To Know

Canfield is the founder of two California based self-esteem programs, "Self-Esteem Seminars" in Santa Barbara and "The Foundation For Self Esteem" in Culver City.

Writing the first Chicken Soup book was a lot more daunting than Canfield expected. After the first three years of research, he and Mark Victor Hansen had only compiled 68 stories -- 33 tales shy of their goal of 101 stories.

Along with co-writing dozens of full-length books, Canfield also publishes a free biweekly newsletter called Success Strategies.

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Canfield:

"My inspiration for writing comes from my passion for teaching others how to live more effective lives. I started out as a history teacher in an all-black inner city high school in Chicago, graduated to a teacher trainer, then psychotherapist, then trainer of therapists, then large group transformational trainer and then a writer and keynote speaker. All along the way, my desire was to make a difference, to help people live more fulfilling lives. That is what I still do today. Most people don't know this but I was not a good writer in college. I got a C in composition. Nobody would have ever believed I would grow up to be a bestselling author."

"I play guitar, and I am learning to play the piano. I love movies and some TV shows. My favorites are Six Feet Under, Grey's Anatomy, House and Lost. I love to play Scrabble, poker and backgammon with my in-laws, nieces and nephews. We really get into it. I love to travel. I have been to 25 countries and try to add two or three new ones every year."

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    1. Hometown:
      Santa Barbara, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 19, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Fort Worth, Texas
    1. Education:
      B.A. in History, Harvard University, 1966; M.A.T. Program, University of Chicago, 1968; M.Ed., U. of Massachusetts, 1973
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

The Dustpan Carrier


"It is always the English teacher who holds the dustpan." The last time I saw Mrs. Jones was in 1991. I had graduated from college and, proud of my accomplishments, came back to Douglas Anderson School of the Arts to find and thank the woman, the teacher, who changed my life.


I spoke to her classes that afternoon about the importance of self-esteem and setting high goals for oneself. I heard myself speaking, but I was somewhere else in that classroom, five years back, sitting at the corner desk with my fingers twisting and twisting that long black hair I once had.


In December 1986, my father, a rabbi and teacher himself, had brought me to Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, in desperation. I sat in the hallway while he went into the principal's office and spoke to her. I only heard a few of those words, in between the clutter of strange faces in the hall and the pit-pat of ballet-slippered feet on the white tile, but I knew why I was there and why they chose to whisper. In a nearby practice room, I heard the rhythmic clicking of a metronome, followed by a hesitant piano scale.


"I don't know where else to put her." My father's voice broke, and then I heard a muffle of a deep, authoritative female voice.



"Rabbi, I understand your position, but we only hold auditions in the summer. "For the first time in my life, I heard my father weep. I pressed my head tight against the green door, felt the cold on my cheek, and closed my eyes, tried counting to ten the way my therapist had taught me only a week before, breathing in on every number, then out, slowly.


My father's voice interrupted at seven. "She was raped by a group of boys at her school a month ago. She can't go back there."


I auditioned for The School of the Arts that day, sitting at the piano in the stuffy little practice room I had heard someone struggling in earlier. I lay my hands heavily on the yellow-stained keys and with my heart, with tears, with pain, I played Rachmaninoff, Beethoven, and finally, my father's favorite Chopin Nocturne. The teacher nodded, the principal put her hand up to her mouth and shook her head, and my father's face melted into quiet relief. It wasn't until Friday, however, that I met her, Mrs. Jones, when I was transferred into her creative writing class at 11:00 A.M. In my memories of her, she is always the same. She wore brown Sandals, a blue flower-printed skirt, and a wrinkled white blouse with its hilly collar bent. She held a constant confused expression and played with a charm on her necklace, sometimes the wisp of hair that often fell over her eye. As she walked closer to my desk in the corner, I noticed she was pigeon-toed. She didn't bend over me the way the other teachers had, but rather, knelt at my desk, and smiled at me, eye-level.


We'll be working in our journals today," Mrs. Jones said softly. She smelled like soap and mothballs and lilacs. "Do you have a notebook you can use as your journal?"

I could feel the inquisitive eyes in the classroom on "the new girl." A pretty blonde-haired girl in the front of the room mumbled loudly to her neighbor about my "special audition."


"Get to work, please," Mrs. Jones told the class. Please, I thought. I believe it was the first time I had ever heard a teacher say "please" to a student!


I pulled a green notebook out of my book bag and Mrs. Jones lay her cool, dry hand on mine. "I'm so happy to have you in my class," she whispered.


That journal, I believe now, saved me from insanity. I wrote everything that day and from that day forward; I turned myself inside out and dumped it into my green notebook the way I'd seen my mother plop her matzo balls into her chicken soup. I wrote about "them." I wrote their names down and crossed them out, then wrote them again and again, until it didn't hurt so much to hear them in my head. I wrote the word "rape" in red because it felt hot and burned and it was sore and I knew that even if I ignored it, it would not go away.


Mrs. Jones didn't judge my words the way the district attorney had. She didn't probe and pry and prick me like the psychologists or the nurse examiner at the hospital. She didn't insult and blame and scream like my mother initially had&#151or weep like my father&#151Mrs. Jones became much more than my English teacher. She was a partner in my internal battle, guiding me with her red-penned words on the many pages of my always-read, always understood, journal.


In 1991 I went back. I walked through the bustling hallway (I had arrived just as the bell rang), and was surprised at how young the students looked. Had I been so young just five years ago? No, I believe I was much, much older. By coincidence, Mrs. Jones was just leaving her classroom as I approached. She carried a crumpling cardboard box full of journals. At first, she just smiled, had that confused, but friendly look of unfamiliarity. And then it hit her. "Tali is it really you?"


I've been told that it is the English teacher, always the English teacher, who is directly faced with the at-risk students. The faithful dustpan carrier who picks up the pieces when they fall. Perhaps this is because writing so often mirrors our innermost fears and dark secrets, places where a science or math teacher have no grounds to step.


I chose to teach English because I had no choice.


I will never forget what Mrs. Jones did for me. It's been almost ten years since high school. I have my own group of students now and I, too, carry around a worn cardboard box full of journals. And a dustpan.


—Tali Whiteley



¬ 1998 Tali Whiteley


All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission of Health Communications, Inc. from A 6th Bowl of Chicken Soup for the Soul.

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