April 25, 2013
A 5th Portion of Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen
Too much of a good thing can make it bad. And as with five servings of real chicken soup, a 5th book of "general" Chicken Soup for the Soul makes you more queasy than cured. Like all of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, this one contains a 101 short stories that are meant to inspire.
In this 5th portion, the chapters are titled, "On Love", "On Parents and Parenting", "On Teaching and Learning", "On Death and Dying", "A Matter of Perspective", "Overcoming Obstacles", and "Eclectic Wisdom". There was a lot of variety in the stories as you can see from the chapter titles, but none really stood out. There were even a few I couldn't really see why they were included as there was nothing inspiring about them (like the story of a mom who paddled her daughter at the beach and then marveled how easily kids forgive). It was just kind of rambling without a true sense of purpose to the story.
I didn't find any of the people in the stories especially endearing. Because the stories are so short you don't really expect to get a connection, but even just reading about them I didn't get the usual tears or smiles that I get with some of the other books. I think I got more meaning from the stories that had pets in them, at least they're cute and furry. Or maybe I'm just feeling anti-social and heartless tonight, who knows.
As I said before, there aren't any stand out stories in this book. I just got done reading it and while I remember what happens in a good many of them, none of them really did anything for me. I think they were just trying to get another book out and didn't pay as much attention to the quality of the stories this time around. And some of them even seemed familiar to some of the other books, especially the one that goes around naming famous people and their failures before they were famous. They have a rendition of that in every book. But at least it was a quick read and easily read in one sitting.
I think that most people will be content to stop at the first or second book in this series (of the general ones at least) rather than go on this far. Only a few really die-hard fans of the series could appreciate this book.
A 5th Portion of Chicken Soup for the Soul