Chicken Soup for the Father's Soul: 101 Stories to Open the Hearts and Rekindle the Spirits of Fathers

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New dads, granddads, single dads and dads-to-be - this book offers them all an entertaining and inspiring collection of stories on the triumphs and trials of the amazing journey called fatherhood.

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Overview

New dads, granddads, single dads and dads-to-be - this book offers them all an entertaining and inspiring collection of stories on the triumphs and trials of the amazing journey called fatherhood.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Since fathers occupy such a special place in our hearts, why not give them a book that will occupy a special place in their hearts? This endearing ode to fatherhood features contributions from famous dads, like Bill Cosby, alongside not-so-famous contributors -- all recounting moments of pride and fulfillment shared with fathers, sons, and daughters. Like all the Chicken Soup books, this one is filled with a warmth and humor that will truly fortify the soul.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen are the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling coauthors of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen are the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling coauthors of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

Jeff Aubery is the coauthor of Golfer's Soul, and a father of two.

Mark and Chrissy Donnelly are the coauthors of the #1 New York Times bestselling Couple's Soul, Golfer's Soul and Sports Fan's Soul.

Mark and Chrissy Donnelly are the coauthors of the #1 New York Times bestselling Couple's Soul, Golfer's Soul and Sports Fan's Soul.

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

Holding Hands

The best thing to hold on to is each other.


Anonymous


I was sleeping late. I had just published the first issue of my local newspaper,
Atlanta 30306
, and was recovering from three all-nighters earlier in the month.
The phone rang.

The call was from either a brother or a sister. I don't remember which now. My dad had been walking down the hallway at the Northside YMCA on Roswell Road, going to his daily swimming aerobics class, when he had a massive stroke.

I drove quickly to Piedmont Hospital and ran into the emergency room. I thought about how Dad had cared for me there through broken bones, an appendectomy and so on. Now, I was going to see him.

I found him in a room, unconscious. It was so quiet. I just stood by his side,
helplessly. A nurse I hadn't seen standing in the corner told me I could touch him.

Touch him? I thought. How? I looked at his hands. I remembered grasping them in handshakes for years. I remembered how later, after our family discovered affection, hugging him, and even in recent years, kissing him. But I had no memory of ever just holding his hand, as a child might grab a parent's hand to cross the street.

I placed his hand in mine and just held it. It felt so large; bony, yet soft. Why have I never done this before? I thought. Was it my insecurities or his?
Perhaps both. It was the last time I touched my father. He never regained consciousness and died later that evening.

I revisit that image often and have drawn much comfort from remembering that simple act of holding hands with my dad during the last hours of his life. A seemingly small gesture, but one that allows two people to connect so quickly,
so closely.

My own eleven-year-old son knows this and is, thankfully, not bound by the inhibitions of earlier generations. One time, after my dad's death, I was walking in a mall with him and his cousin of the same age. His cousin asked him why he was holding my hand. He said nothing, but quickly released my grasp. That was it, I thought. The defining moment. Even though I had felt a little self-conscious holding his hand there in the mall, I knew I would miss his touch more than he would ever know. Yet, a few weeks later during another weekend together, he quietly slipped his hand in mine. I felt connected again.

This summer in Paris, we walked along the Seine as I led him and his thirteen-year-old sister to cathedrals and museums. He grabbed my hand, and we walked together for several blocks. My daughter, who had stopped holding my hand at age nine or ten, sped up and looked over at the clasp. I knew she was going to say something as only a sister, much too cool for such a display, would. Then she caught my eye and my smile. Uncharacteristically, she retreated and said nothing.

And so we continued along the riverbank, a family of three, she comfortable in her detachment, my son content with his innate instinct to connect with others, and me, somewhere in between.

Sometimes,
we have a choice of when to let go. Sometimes, we don't.


Chris Schroder




¬1996,
1998 Chris Schroder. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Chicken Soup for the Father's Soul, by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Jeff Aubery, Mark Donnelly,
Chrissy Donnelly; ¬ 2001.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Introduction xv
Share with Us xvii
1. Fatherhood
A Moment Can Last Forever 2
Wake-Up Call 5
Warning: An American Teenager Is Loose in Europe 9
How I Got into the Movies 12
The Smell of Grass 16
Rapid Rites of Passage 18
Benched 23
Mollie's Moment 26
The Tooth 30
The Red Chevy 32
My Secret Valentine 36
My First Fish Story 38
Play It as It Lays 40
2. Sports, Vacations and other Adventures
Finding My Way with Jesse 44
He's Your Fish, Son 49
Father at Sea 54
Becoming a Jock Dad 58
That's My Boy! 62
Softball People 66
Hunters' Bond 72
The Family Ski Trip 78
The Last Rainbow 83
Final Season 87
3. Rites of Passage
No More Sunday Matinees 94
The Important Test 98
Daddy Loves His Car 102
Fathers Are Good at Telling Tall Tales 108
Nerd Day 111
Another Milestone 112
The Bank of Dad 114
Last Words 116
Taking Care of Things 119
You Can Share My Daddy 126
Little Boxes of Chocolates 128
Don't Let Go, Dad! 131
Daddy's Little Girl 134
Grandpa Pinch-Hits 137
Catch and Release 143
Now I Understand My Dad 149
4. Balancing Work and Family
A Handful of Blackberries 156
Family Picture 162
A Father's Interpretation of 1 Corinthians 13 166
Statistics 168
Working from Home 170
My Biggest Fan 173
Where Am I Going So Fast? 174
Employee of the Year 177
You Can Do Anything 179
Taking the Time 181
5. Special Moments
Riding Tandem 184
A Secret Promise Kept 190
Longer, Daddy ... Longer 194
What Any Father Would Do 196
I'm Daddy's Girl 198
The Walnut Tree 200
A Different Perspective 206
Golf Balls in Heaven 208
The Confession 211
The Stranger Who Became My Dad 213
My Father's Day Card 217
My Wife Is Having a Baby 219
The Color of Love 223
A Piece of Chalk 227
Holding Hands 230
More Than a Friend 233
A Young Man's Odyssey 235
6. Overcoming Obstacles
Perfection 242
Nonstop 246
Babies and Restaurants Are the Chernobyl of Parenting 252
If You Love Me, Say That! 256
Night Moves 258
The Gag Gift 260
For My Grandson 264
When Life Throws a Hardball 266
A Year of Firsts 271
My Father, the Hero 274
The Lovesick Father 278
My Father's Fishing Partner 282
Hello ... Good-Bye, Daddy 289
The Most Precious Gift 293
A Favorite Recollection 296
The Turtle 299
Down Suicide Hill 303
7. A Father's Wisdom
A New Perspective 308
Uncle Bun 309
Once the Son, Now the Father 311
Dad, I Have a Beach Ball 316
Pass It On 319
A War Story 324
My Forever Valentine 326
Dad's Squirrel 329
My Father, My Son, My Self 333
Thank You, Dad 339
More Chicken Soup? 343
Supporting Children and Families 344
Who Is Jack Canfield? 345
Who Is Mark Victor Hansen? 346
Who Is Jeff Aubery? 347
Who Are Mark and Chrissy Donnelly? 348
Contributors 349
Permissions 361
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