Bitter Chicken Soup

chicken soup for the soul

Chicken Soup for the Soul
101 Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit
Canfield and Hansen

Another title from Mary’s Swedish Death Cleaning Project

Why on earth I have this book is completely beyond me. As a librarian, this book and its 10 million incarnations, were everywhere. I developed a deep and abiding hate for this series. I remember the first couple that showed up. Not my jam, but patrons liked these books. Okay. I can appreciate this. I even had someone who wanted me to order every single one because they wanted to read them all. In order.

I posted about the Chicken Soup books back in 2016 when I saw the Chicken Soup for the American Idol Soul. Really. I remember looking at the book and thinking somebody has to stop this madness!

I don’t think I have heard a peep about these books since that posting, so it was surprising that one these books ended up in my collection.  As an aside, I never did see a book for the librarian’s soul. Maybe we are just soulless?

Reasons I might have this book:

  1. It belongs to someone else and it found its way here.
  2. Someone gave it to me as a joke.
  3. Someone gave it to me seriously.

I guess I will never know.

Soulless in Michigan,


chicken soup back cover

introduction chicken soup book


  1. Does the term ‘glurge’ ring a bell? I believe it was coined on ‘Snopes’ to describe inspirational stories that sounded like someone dumped a cup of sugar into the chicken soup.

    1. That’s the only place I’ve read of it, though they used the term hyperglycemic shock at that time. I never looked at these books, and am glad they have faded away except for the people who enjoy them.

  2. I had the parody of this, which was called: “Chicken Poop for the Soul” – somehow that one seems more appropriate for mid-2020,

  3. Our patrons still ask for them, I have to replace the children’s ones every couple of years as they go out so much.

  4. I remember a parody of this book called Chicken Poop for the Soul. One of the stories in it was called “The Littlest Devil”, where a devil has a problem bringing disaster and destruction into the world because he’s too little. Then, instead of trying to create something big, he creates a tiny flea that ends up causing a huge blackout in a major city. It was beautiful. 🙂

  5. I know someone who was approached to submit a piece for one of their books, and turned down the offer because the contract terms were ridiculously exploitative. The original author got a small amount of money (like maybe a couple hundred bucks, max), and gave up all future reproduction rights, including calendars, posters, etc.

  6. There’s another series that seems to be a copy/knockoff of Chicken Soup, called Taste Berries For Teens. I haven’t actually read one, but from the cover, it seems to be aimed at the same readers.

    1. Chicken soup makes metaphoric sense, I don’t know if a “taste berry” is a thing… just checked. A “taste berry” is a small West African fruit that causes bitter or sour things to taste sweet if eaten beforehand. Do “taste berries for teens” sugarcoat their obnoxious messages then?

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