Friday, March 6, 2009

Friday Book Review: Chicken soup...

Anyone out there a short story fan? I'd say non-fiction short stories, but in this case, that might be stretching credibility just a tad. If you are, you may have run across the Chicken Soup series at one time or another, even if you haven't actually read one.

In case you're unfamiliar, the Chicken Soup for the [insert object of affection]lover's soul books are supposedly true accounts of miraculous, inspiring, and/or touching experiences revolving around someone's experience with the named thing. So in this case, horses.

Chicken Soup for the Horse Lover's Soul II by Jack Canfield
I received this as a present one Christmas. I've never read a Chicken Soup book before -- if you're a fan of anthologies like this, you probably already know what you'll find inside. If you've never read one, some advice: unless you're a fan massive quantities of sweetness and light (think eating a whole cake, or a giant swirl of cotton candy all at one go), it may be best not to read them in one sitting.

I did. Which in retrospect was most likely a mistake. Read over a period of time, I probably would have enjoyed all of the stories more. Read all at once, by two thirds of the way through the book, I was on inspiration overload.

The first third of the book was great -- I sniffled my way through part of a box of tissues. The last handful of stories were for the most part realistic and believable, and I enjoyed them, as well.
A few in the middle, however, rubbed me completely the wrong way. If you're a horse owner, you'll know which ones when you hit them.

Overall, it wasn't a bad read, and there are a couple of stories I may read again some day or recommend to friends. When, if ever, I read another Chicken Soup book, however, I think it will be one or two "bowls" at a time.
And I really mean that last sentence. I don't know that I would voluntarily pick one of these up again outside of a doctor's or dentist's office waiting room or other, equally dire, location with a serious dearth of reading material. (Which is why I bring my own book along when I visit those places!)

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