Chicken Soup for the Fisherman's Soul: Fish Tales to Hook Your Spirit and Snag Your Funny Bone

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More than fish tales in this delightful book, readers will discover stories about the special relationships that develop through fishing-between parents and children, between friends and lovers, between fisherman, nature, and the elusive fish.

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Chicken Soup for the Fisherman's Soul: Fish Tales to Hook Your Spirit and Snag Your Funny Bone

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More than fish tales in this delightful book, readers will discover stories about the special relationships that develop through fishing-between parents and children, between friends and lovers, between fisherman, nature, and the elusive fish.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Abolitionist Sojourner Truth delivers her famous speech "Ain't I a Woman," Malcolm X writes from prison about his developing interest in books, Colin Powell offers his thoughts on the Buffalo Soldiers, and Maya Angelou presents an excerpt from her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings in this inspirational anthology compiled by professional speakers Canfield, Mark V. Hansen, and Lisa Nichols. Other luminaries include Lalita Tademy, who felt driven to quit her job to investigate her ancestry, which results in her writing the novel Cane River; Magic Johnson, revealing the bad news he received regarding his health; and Nelson Mandela, walking to freedom after 27 years in prison. Most of the contributions, however, are from unfamiliar and unidentified voices, African Americans who share their memories of family, their triumphs, their testimonies of faith, and how they made a difference in the lives of others. Despite some lackluster storytelling, this collection is recommended for public libraries and should appeal primarily to YAs. Ann Burns, Library Journal Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781623610166
  • Publisher: Backlist, LLC - a unit of Chicken Soup of the Soul Publishing LLC
  • Publication date: 9/18/2012
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 579,329
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Jack Canfield

Jack Canfield is cocreator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, which includes forty New York Times bestsellers, and coauthor of The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. He is a leader in the field of personal transformation and peak performance and is currently CEO of the Canfield Training Group and Founder and Chairman of the Board of The Foundation for Self-Esteem. An internationally renowned corporate trainer and keynote speaker, he lives in Santa Barbara, California.

Mark Victor Hansen is a co-founder of Chicken Soup for the Soul.


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 "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

Naming Worms

I think my dad wanted a son. Instead, he got three daughters. Seeing as how the son he anticipated was never forthcoming, Dad decided to improvise and I, being his youngest, won the privilege of being nurtured outdoors.

Being turned into a tomboy didnÆt bother me in the least. I loved putting on my plaid, flannel shirt and doing things outside with Dad, especially fishing. Whether we oared across a lake in a rowboat, or hiked down a cliff with nothing more than a hook and some string, I could think of no better way for a dad and his little girl to spend the day.

I would marvel at how patient and focused Dad was when he fished. He would concentrate on his line for hours at a time. If he was any more calm, he would have slipped into a coma. This used to drive me bananas. Being seven years old, I craved more excitement. I imagined a huge fish, bigger than me, gulping down my bait and flapping ferociously in the water until I heroically hauled it into the rowboat. This never happened. Instead, I would spend my time watching Dad as he stared intently at his line. He never blinked, sometimes for the whole day. How could he be so patient?

One day DadÆs patience was put to the test when my fascination shifted from the fish to the bait. While waiting for a nibble on my line, I peeked into the can of worms we had in the rowboat with us. I dug my little fingers into the moist soil and pulled a resisting worm from its burrow. I let him squirm (I decided it was a ôheö) across my hand. It tickled. I took another worm from the can. Then another. Then another. Soon, three or four worm heads popped out of the soil to see what all the commotion was about. I was in love.

I felt as though I had made a can-full of new friends who would keep me company during these long, uneventful fishing trips. Each worm was given a name according to his personality. When you are seven years old worms have personalities. There was something endearing about my mucous-covered companions with no faces. I promised each of them that not one would be put on a hook and fed to the fish.

Then, disaster struck. Dad pulled Hamilton out of the can. I gasped in horror as he attempted to manipulate his poor writhing body onto a hook. There was a terrified look where HamiltonÆs face would have been, if he had a face.

ôDaddy, No! DonÆt put Hamilton on the hook! HeÆs my favorite!ö

Dad raised an eyebrow. ôYou named the worm?ö he asked in disbelief.

Exhaling and shaking his head, Dad pulled out another worm. It was Wigglesworth. He was the skittish one who was particularly worried about being used as bait. I had made a special promise to him and could not possibly allow the poor little guy to be hooked, for I was a woman of my word.

ôThatÆs Wigglesworth! DonÆt hurt him!ö

DadÆs frustration grew as he pulled more worms from the can. First Winthrop, the shy worm. Then Slimey, the friendly worm. And Marvin the show-off. Finally, Dad pulled out Maxwell, Sammy, OÆReilly, Buster and Doug. Dad groaned as I pleaded to not hurt my friends.

ôDonÆt tell me you named all of the worms in this can.ö

With a sheepish nod, our fishing trip was suddenly over.

The next day, Dad drove into town and picked up a bucket of crawfish. When he brought them back to the cottage, I opened the lid and peeked in. I heard a despairing yelp emerge from his throatùI turned around to see him running frantically toward me, with his arms flailing and with a look of terror on his face.

ôNo! You have to quit making friends with the bait!ö

Allison McWood,
Chicken Soup for the Fisherman's Soul

¬2004. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Chicken Soup for the Fisherman's Soul by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Ken McKowen and Dahlynn McKowen. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2013



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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2012


    Pokes his head in then dissapears

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2012


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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2012


    Honeyflower picks a fish for her and Climbclaw, then dropped a carp in the pile.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2012

    Freshkill Pile

    5 rabbits, 7 mice, 4 voles, 6 squirrels, 2 swallows, and 11 fish.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2011

    Fantastic Book!!!

    Chicken Soup for the Fishermans' soul is a great compilation of fishing stories from man places around the world. This book contains stories from Salmon fishing in Alaska, to Trout fishing in Colorado, all the way to Bluegill fishing in Florida. Some stories are sad and have deep meaning to them, while others are full of pure joy and light-heartedness. I think that the biggest message in this book is that fishing isn't just about catching fish, and that for many people, it has much deeper meaning. I found that nearly all of the book was highly enjoyable. The stories had a lot of detail and used fantastic imagery to paint a vivid picture of the surroundings. The only dislikable part to this book are the stories where the authors skimp out on the details and seem to rush the story. I recommend this book to everyone, because everyone can get something big out of reading this book. If you are a fish lover, then you will find this book highly enjoyable. I am not a fan of books, however I gave this book a chance and it paid off. I loved the book and found it easy to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2004

    A wonderful read! I love to just open it up at random and read stories.

    A great collection of stories that strikes so many cords in my memories of growing up fishing. My favorite story was Tadpoles Triumph by Banjo Bandolas. I grew up fishing from piers in the south and everything he wrote rang so true and familiar.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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