A few days ago, I had a terrible toothache and had to rush to my dentist for treatment. Writhing in agony, I kept thinking of just one thing. How important it was to take good care of my teeth. It underscored to me something that we tend to forget ever so often. Why do we so easily take so much for granted? How often we forget we are more fortunate than many others. That we should be thankful  for what we have. My teeth may not be the best but heck, at least I have teeth! I need to count my blessings.These thoughts were reinforced when I read “Chicken Soup For The Soul: 20th Anniversary Edition” by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Amy Newmark. Canfield and Hansen are the co-founders of Chicken Soup for the Soul, while Ms. Newmark is their Publisher and Editor-in-Chief. This book was published in June 2013.

In India, we have a slogan which is popular in every sale, “Buy One, Get One Free.” I guess this  applies to this book too as it has a big bonanza for the reader. It has the 20 original stories from the path breaking “Chicken Soup For the Soul” which was published way back in 1993, in addition to 20 new ones. As an avid reader, it is what I would call a ” Collector’s Item”, one that you should buy and treasure for yourself and your family.

I read this book with great anticipation because a sequel of sorts is that much more difficult to write, especially when the original was a block buster when it was first published. At that time, it made a huge name for itself being so inspirational and serving as the model self- help book. But did you know that it was rejected by 144 publishers before it was eventually  published in June 1993 and went on to sell over 10 million copies?

As you know, “Chicken Soup For The Soul” is a world leader in life improvement. They say in their website, “We have been helping real people share real stories for twenty years, bringing hope, wellness, inspiration and love to hundreds of millions of people around the world.” I can certainly vouch for that having read many of the books in this series.

I loved the book . It is full of human interest stories which remind us that life has its shares of ups and downs. Also that to lead a fulfilling life doing what we like to do best of all, it is crucial that we are grateful for what we have, and share what we have and what we know with others who are less fortunate.

Stories like, “Puppies for Sale” by Dan Clark and “Take A Moment To Really See” by Jeffrey Micheal Thomas are extremely uplifting. It made me admire the inert capabilities of people and how they achieved their dreams when most others in their circumstances would have given up much earlier.

A few of the stories that will stay in my mind for a long time: “Bopsy” by Canfield and Hansen; “The Box” by Florence Littauer,; ” Bag Lady” by Bobbie Probstein, and “In A Heartbeat” by Anthony Robbins.

Heidi Krupp, who helped select the 20 new stories says in her Foreword, “… Chicken Soup for the Soul is all about: sustenance through stories…….that elevate us and nurture us and give us the power to live some new stories of our own. It’s a recipe for enjoying life, making the most of yourself, and sharing your discoveries with the people you care about- even if you haven’t met them yet.”

I can’t promise that the book will transform you into being someone special, but it will certainly make you try to be one.

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