This morning, I spent some time researching whether Greg Kinnear is actually really Christian or just does those movies for the money (it seems like it’s for the money, though he does hope there’s golf in heaven!). This important research naturally led me to think about other kinds of inspirational media, in particular Chicken Soup for the Soul, the book series created by a pair of motivational speakers Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen that replaced meaningful conversation entirely for a brief period in the 1990s. According to Wikipedia, the original book was on the New York Times Best Seller List continuously from ’94 through ’98.
If you somehow missed this juggernaut, the books were collections of “inspirational” “true” stories, compiled by Canfield and Hansen. By the time I became aware of the books, there were already a number of them in the series. My sister and I had a copy of Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul, at least one of whose stories read like an eating disorder how-to. When I checked in on Chicken Soup today, though, I was delighted to find out that the books have continued to multiply, to such an extent that the titles are now, by necessity, quite specific.
It’s worth checking out the whole list (I call it “Chicken Soup for the Friday Soul”), but here are some of my personal favorites:
Chicken Soup for the American Idol Soul
Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Cat Did What?
Chicken Soup for the Chiropractic Soul
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Just Us Girls
Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul
Chicken Soup for the Network Marketer’s Soul
Chicken Soup for the Woman Golfer’s Soul
and of course, Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul.