Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul 2: More Stories to Open the Hearts and Rekindle the Spirits of Mothers


Moms and chicken soup are practically synonymous. We can all remember a time when we were young and under-the-weather, and Mom soothed and nurtured us back to health with her magical chicken soup elixir. Now Canfield, Hansen and company bring back those cherished moments with a delightful new batch of stories for and about mothers. This collection will make readers feel good all over. Customers will find solace and comfort in chapters on: love; motherhood; family life; children as teachers; maternal wisdom; ...
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Moms and chicken soup are practically synonymous. We can all remember a time when we were young and under-the-weather, and Mom soothed and nurtured us back to health with her magical chicken soup elixir. Now Canfield, Hansen and company bring back those cherished moments with a delightful new batch of stories for and about mothers. This collection will make readers feel good all over. Customers will find solace and comfort in chapters on: love; motherhood; family life; children as teachers; maternal wisdom; overcoming obstacles; special moments; across the generations; giving birth; letting go; higher wisdom; and heroic moms.

Celebrity contributors include Barbara Bush, Reba McEntire, Erma Bombeck and Montel Williams. Nothing says love like something from Mom's kitchen, so be sure to stock up early for the holidays!

"...yet another collection of uplifting prose in the popular series...Barbara Bush, Joan Rivers, Reba McEntire, Dave Barry, and the late Erma Bombeck are among a few of the writers who have contributed to this edition."

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Jack Canfield

Jack Canfield is a co-founder of Chicken Soup for the Soul.

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

Marci Shimoff is a celebrated transformational leader and a #1 New York Times bestselling author. In addition to authoring the worldwide bestseller Happy for No Reason, she is the coauthor of six of the top-selling titles in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and a featured teacher in the international movie and book sensation The Secret. President and cofounder of The Esteem Group, Marci delivers keynote addresses and seminars to corporations, women’s associations, and professional and non-profit organizations. Over the past 28 years, Marci has inspired millions of people around the world, sharing her breakthrough methods for personal fulfillment and professional success.


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

Confessions of a Stepmother

When I met Larry, my husband-to-be, he came complete with an eighteen-month-old daughter, McKenna, and a four-year-old son, Lorin—on weekends.

The day I met the children, we walked around a pond, Larry holding the diapered McKenna in his arms while Lorin ran around finding frogs to show me. I was stunned. These children were an enormous piece of the man I loved and yet had really nothing to do with me. How did this stepmother thing work?

I quickly fell in love with Lorin's impish grin and McKenna's pudgy baby body,
warm against my chest as I held her. I was completely captivated by my new and charming "instant family," but the children's mother, Dia, was a different story. We had a wary relationship, the edge of hostility between us only thinly veiled. I did my best to ignore her and focused instead on the two adorable children she'd borne.

The children and I got along well, though Lorin was somewhat standoffish. Perhaps it was loyalty to his mother, or being a boy, or at four simply wanting more independence. McKenna, being so little, had no such qualms. She loved me and let me know it, unreservedly and with a sweetness and innocence that took my breath away. I couldn't resist her love and when I fell, I fell hard. Almost immediately, we formed our own mutual fan club—two hearts that beat as one.

In fact, it was McKenna who proposed to me first. We sat together in an airport waiting room, on our way to visit Larry's parents. She was almost three, and she sat facing me in my lap, playing with my necklace and every so often looking into my face with worshipful eyes. I smiled at her, feeling the fullness of love for her present in my own heart. Larry sat beside us and Lorin was motoring around the rows of plastic seats, making engine noises with his mouth. To the casual observer, a typical young family. But we weren't a family because Larry hadn't popped the question yet. And although I didn't want to be pushy, we both knew my patience was wearing thin. What, I wondered, was he waiting for?

Then McKenna pulled her pacifier out of her mouth and returning my smile, said brightly, "Will you marry me?" After a moment of shocked silence, we all laughed till our sides hurt. Me with delight, Larry with the release of tension and the children simply because the grown-ups were laughing. Happily, it didn't take Larry long to follow up with his own proposal.

As time went on, I got used to part-time parenting—and having the children's mother as an unavoidable part of my life. I really liked Dia, but our positions seemed to dictate a certain grumpiness with each other that I did my best to squelch. Sometimes I had the guilty wish that the children's mother would simply disappear. A quick and painless illness and on her deathbed, she would make me promise to raise her children for her. Then the children could stay with us—truly be mine—and we could be a "real" family.

Fortunately that never happened. I didn't really want her to die; I just was jealous that she'd had children with my husband. All right, so he was her husband at the time—it still rankled.

I watched the children grow, changing from toddlers to schoolkids. And their mother and I continued our civilized and awkward interactions, arranging for the children to come and go and negotiating vacations and holiday schedules.

My friends all told me that Larry should deal with his ex-wife, and for a while we tried that. But as an active and willing caregiver, I was involved with decisions, so Dia and I went back to our previous arrangement. And as the years went by, I noticed that our phone calls changed. I actually enjoyed talking to Dia about the kids. And I think she realized that there were very few people in the world who were as interested in, charmed by or concerned about her children as I was. We began a slow but perceptible metamorphosis that was completed the year Dia sent me a Mother's Day card, thanking me for "co-mothering" her children.

That was the beginning of a new era for Dia and me. And while it hasn't always been perfect, I know now it's been extraordinary. I have a few thank-yous of my own:

Thank you, Dia, for being big enough to share your children with me. If you hadn't, I would never have known what it was like to hold a sleeping infant and feel the complete trust displayed in the limp, silky-skinned limbs gathered carefully in my embrace. I wouldn't have had the opportunity to marvel at the twists and turns a little boy's mind makes as he tries to make sense of a large and complex universe.

I would never have known that children could cry so loudly when their stomachs hurt or that after they threw up, they could smile so radiantly at you, the tears still wet on their cheeks, their pain already forgotten.

I would never have watched a boy struggle to become his own person, or have been so closely involved with the painful and serious process of "growing a teenager." I would never have had the awe-inspiring privilege of watching that squirty twelve-year-old who could drive you wild with his questions turn into a heartbreakingly handsome hunk with the megawatt smile and charming personality.
As he gets ready to leave for college, I know he will drive a new generation of women wild—for entirely different reasons.

I wouldn't have felt the thrill of seeing our beautiful daughter on stage,
expressing herself with a grace and depth of emotion that seemed too old for someone so young. Or had the distinctly undeserved (and guilty) thrill of vanity and pride when someone who didn't know us commented that McKenna looked like me.

Thank you for making Christmas morning a communal occasion, so the children never had to feel divided on the holiday they held so dear. I looked around one year as we all sat around the tree, while the children delivered the gifts. There we were,
you and your husband, Larry and me, the kids . . . and surprisingly, I felt at home.

I understood then that you didn't have to disappear for us to be a real family.

Carol Kline

(c)2000. All rights reserved. Reprinted from
Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul 2 by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Marion Owen, Cindy Buck, Carol Sturgulewski, Pat Stone, Cynthia Brian.
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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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2002


    This book is an excilient book to read if you are a mother or even an expected mother I, cryed I, laught it was great and in the time being that I read this it gave me a warm feeling inside. I would prefer this book to anyone who has a child or is expecting one to read it, because it shows different aspecs of the relationships with their mothers.

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    Posted January 12, 2011

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    Posted January 20, 2010

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