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2014 Chicken Soup for the Soul Find Your Inner Strength Book Review

Updated on September 8, 2017
Peggy W profile image

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

Family photos & the Book titled Chicken Soup for the Soul
Family photos & the Book titled Chicken Soup for the Soul | Source

Chicken Soup for the Soul and Author Gail Sobotkin

Gail Sobotkin is a retired nurse and an author who is one of the 101 writers who have their personal stories included in the latest edition of the book titled Chicken Soup for the Soul. This particular book published in 2014 also has on the front cover: Find Your Inner Strength.

There were twelve different editions of Chicken Soup for the Soul books published in 2014 and every one of them has a different focus and theme as do the more than 250 successful books published thus far.

Gail's story of losing the young man Helmut who happened to be the love of her life to an aggressive form of cancer when she was the tender age of eighteen and Helmut only a few years older, transformed her life. Gail was with Helmut when he died as well as by his side through the excruciating days of his illness leading up to his death. But better than to summarize what she has written, you can read her poignant story for yourself right here.

Gail Sobotkin as many of you know is fellow HubPage writer who goes by the name of Happyboomernurse.

Photo of Gail Sobotkin used with her permission.
Photo of Gail Sobotkin used with her permission.

Gail dug deep into her soul and found her inner strength ultimately caring for many other patients through the years in her professional capacity as a registered nurse and nurse educator.

Reading her many stories through the years on HubPages, she has also found joy and shares her exuberance of life with others as well as her beloved husband Fred of 40 years.

Chicken Soup for the Soul

This successful series of books titled Chicken Soup for the Soul was founded in 1993 and due to the overwhelming response to that first book, it has continued being published with different stories to this very day.

When one is feeling a bit ill or under the weather so to speak, a good hearty bowl of chicken soup often does the trick. Many of our grandmothers as well as our mothers used that home remedy and numerous people still ascribe to its warming medicinal use today.

The title of Chicken Soup for the Soul undoubtedly was meant to make us feel better just like Grandma's homemade soup did when it was made with her loving hands.

Warming Chicken Noodle Soup


Having just finished reading this particular book, I can attest to its value. This one as it states on the cover contains "101 Empowering Stories of Resilience, Positive Thinking & Overcoming Challenges."

Fran Drescher who most people would know from her role on 'The Nanny' writes the powerful forward to this book sharing her own life altering adjustment of being a cancer survivor.

The Cancer Schmancer Movement originated and continues to this day with her role as an activist.

She definitely turned her "pain into purpose" and is an inspiration to others as are the other authors who make up this assemblage of stories.

Wonderful Bedtime Reading Material
Wonderful Bedtime Reading Material | Source

Chicken Soup for the Soul Authors

The authors of these 101 stories come from all walks of life and have each had varied life experiences.

Some have waged war with all different types of illnesses, disabilities, self destructive behavior and/or health challenges of one sort or another.

Whether it is themselves personally doing battle or assisting a loved one, their stories are encouraging because they have all learned in one way or another how to cope and deal with the issues that ensue. Lessons can be learned from their shared experiences and we can become empowered by reading them.

Some like Gail have learned how to deal with devastating loss and make it a pivotal point in their lives.

Acceptance of what the new normal has become may not be easy but once accomplished is a step in the right direction. Reaching out to others can be healing because one soon realizes that while every persons journey is unique, there are similarities which can bind us together and help salve our wounds.

Like Gail, I also suffered the loss of my first true love.

My Charles was an engineer. He was also a Navy pilot and had been accepted into a program which would have led to his becoming an astronaut.

Charles was an intelligent and special young man whose smile lit up every room he entered. Unfortunately our dreams of marriage and a happy life together were summarily ended with an unexpected Navy airplane crash in Pensacola.


I was already in the last year of my nurses training and had driven up to Corpus Christi to visit him. I was staying with a fellow nurse friend of mine. I will never forget that knock on the door with two uniformed Naval personnel who had come to inform me of the death of my Charles.

Like Gail I also struggled at first to come to terms with this immense loss in my life and felt some of the same emotions she shared. Also like her with the help of my family and friends I became focused on my nursing career eventually meeting the loving man who would later become my husband. We have now been happily married for the last 47 years.

Broken Egg just like Humpty Dumpty!


Benefiting the Humpty Dumpty Institute

When people purchase any of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books of which there are many, a portion of the proceeds goes to help fund the Humpty Dumpty Institute.

Remember the old nursery rhyme about putting Humpty Dumpty back together again? This non-profit organization helps fund things like the digging of wells for people who need clean water. They have helped to eliminate abandoned land mines which can cause the loss of legs or worse! Teachers are certified and medical units minister to those in need.

This is just a partial listing of the good works achieved in the developing world and elsewhere. To read about what powerful entities they team up with to accomplish those goals and more, click on the highlighted link above.

It is wonderful to think that when reading an enlightening and encouraging book like Chicken Soup for the Soul Find Your Inner Strength, part of the proceeds are being spent in such a humanitarian manner!

Have you ever read a Chicken Soup for the Soul book?

See results

Chicken Soup for the Soul Videos

Telling Stories

Through the telling of stories we can learn from one another. We can grow! We can overcome difficulties. We can rise to challenges thrown in our path. We can learn to dream again!

That is the beauty of reading the stories in these Chicken Soup for the Soul books. The stories are all short but to the point. The pages can easily be bookmarked and picked up when one has a moment of time to read another uplifting story. I found it good nighttime reading prior to going to bed.

I would give this book a definite thumbs up rating!

Thank you Gail for your part in authorship, sharing of your story and also for bringing this particular book to my attention as a special gift. I intend to share it with others!

© 2015 Peggy Woods


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    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Mary,

      My book is now on a bookshelf but will put it out in our guest bedroom if we have overnight guests. It is a perfect book for casual reading of a story or two if one has a few extra moments. Gail did such a good job writing her personal story and I agree that it is uplifting. Thanks for the vote and share.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      I have this wonderful book, too. I don't keep mine by the bedside; I keep mine in the "library" and I'm always surprised when I see someone pick it up and read a couple of stories.

      We are all proud of our Gail and her story is truly uplifting.

      Voted this UP, and shared.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi poetryman6969,

      I totally agree with what you wrote. :)

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      These books are a good way to add to your coping skills and to be encouraged.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi colorfulone,

      So happy to hear that you enjoyed this book review. It certainly is uplifting to read. Thanks for the share.

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Chicken Soup for the Soul is a great book to read, Peggy. It is a feel good book that feeds and lifts the soul. Love your review. - Kudos!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Suzanne,

      I agree with you. It is always nice to have uplifting messages or stories to read readily available in our homes and any of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books would certainly fit that category.

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 2 years ago from Texas

      About 20 years ago, I read lots and lots of self help books while working hard on self improvement and regaining my health. I did read a few of the Chicken Soup books. After a while, it seemed as if all the self help books really shared pretty much the same message, so I stopped reading them. What I have come to realize is that; even though the message is similar from book to book, the value lies in repeated reading. It's good to have a self help book simmering on the back burner at all times! I'll give this one a try! Thanks! Voted up and useful! :)

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Kristen,

      I would love reading a dog lover's edition of this Chicken Soup for the Soul series since we are big animal lovers. Am sure the stories are great. Glad you liked this and congrats to the person in your writing group who will have his or her piece published.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Peggy, this was a beautiful book review. Thank you for sharing your own personal story. I've heard of Chicken Soup for the Soul. My Buddy and Me essay, I sent that to the Chicken Soup for the Soul Dog Lover's edition, a decade ago and got declined. But a member of my local writing group have gotten a piece to be in a future Chicken Soup edition later this year. I forgot the title and when it comes out. Voted up!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Patricia,

      There is much that many of us can share and hardly anyone that I know escapes this life without developing some scabs. Reading books like this showing how other people move on past their personal trials can be good for us to know when facing ours when they happen. Thanks for the shares and well wishes. :)

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      Turning to uplifting, hope-filled writings of others is one way to help cushion ourselves against what comes, and it does come.

      Knowing that others share similar experiences gives a commonality to the experience and makes it more endurable.

      "Reaching out to others can be healing because one soon realizes that while every persons journey is unique, there are similarities which can bind us together and help salve our wounds." This line from your text is spot on!! There is strength drawn from the knowledge that there are a community of others worldwide who share our journey.

      Great hub, Peggy.

      It is my pleasure to once again voted up and share and g+

      Please know that many Angels greet you as you read this. ps

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Sunshyne1975,

      Yes, this series of books has had a long life and there is no reason to think that it will not continue being published long into the future. Nice that your daughter introduced them to you and that you are liking them as much as you do. Enjoyed your comment.

    • Sunshyne1975 profile image

      Sunshyne1975 2 years ago from California, US

      Oh my goodness I had no idea there were so many of these books published! I have read quite a few of them, as I come across them. They are very inspirational and I think I will start seeking them out now. My daughter got me started me on them and I have in turn introduced them to my son. Thank you so much for all of the information. Great hub. Voted up and more!!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi How to - Answers,

      Yes, there are many versions of this book printed each year with different stories. Nice that the book you already have brings you some comfort. Appreciate the share.

    • How to - Answers profile image

      L M Reid 2 years ago from Ireland

      I have an older version of this book here which I have read a few times. I did not realise that the newer editions had different stories.

      I do read a lot of books that have positive messages and help me with depression and this one is near the top of my list.

      Voted up and shared

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Thelma,

      So glad you liked my review of it. Each and every true story is not only interesting but empowering when learning how others coped with what had transpired in their lives. If this is any example, I can see why this series of books is so popular!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 2 years ago from Germany

      What a great review! I have not heard of this book Peggy. I´ll check if I can have that book here in our book stores if not I have to order it online. Thanks for sharing this to us. Congratulations to you and Gail!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Gail,

      Thanks for allowing me to add your photo to this book review hub. I am glad that we both went on to find long lasting love and happiness with our husbands. We will both always cherish memories of the special men in our youth. I am pleased that you also enjoyed the videos.

      Hugs and blessings to you too! :)

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 2 years ago from South Carolina

      Dear Peggy,

      Thank you for this heartfelt review and for sharing your own story of losing your sweetheart, Charles, at such a young and tender age. He sounds like he was a fine young man and the shock of losing him so unexpectedly must have been really hard for you.

      I am glad that, like me, you eventually went on to find love and happiness with your husband of many years. That was a blessing, but I know that Charles will always still hold a special place in your heart.

      I enjoyed reading this review and learned a lot through the videos you included.

      Sending Hugs, Love & Blessings,


    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Au fait,

      If you check out their website they invite people to submit stories so they undoubtedly have a great number from which to choose when publishing their new books. Obviously they pick the best submissions. Nice that you were gifted with one so that you know the value. Appreciate your votes and share.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 2 years ago from North Texas

      I received one of the books years ago, maybe the one from 1993. It was a gift from my daughter. It is indeed a wonderful book. I had no idea before reading this article of yours that there are different ones published every year. It's uplifting to know there is enough material to keep publishing new stories every year.

      Voted up, BAUI, and will share with followers.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Martie,

      That is wonderful that a copy of this book is being shipped to you. Glad you liked this review or "teaser" but you are thanking the wrong Peg. I'll accept the compliment in any case. :)

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 2 years ago from South Africa

      I have heard that 'Chicken Soup for the Soul: Find Your Inner Strength: 101 Empowering Stories' is on its way to me. I can't wait to read it. This hub of your is a delicious teaser, thank you, PegCole :)

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Alicia,

      I think that you would be pleasantly surprised at the value of reading these books. They are all true stories and are not only informative but inspirational as well. Glad you liked my review of this particular book.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Although I've heard of the series and seen the books in stores, I've never read any of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Thank you very much for this review, Peggy. I like the sound of the books. Thanks for sharing the touching stories, too, including your own.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Audrey,

      Glad you liked this review of the book. There are many heartwarming stories included...102 of them if one includes the forward which I certainly count as worthy. Appreciate your comment.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      A really inspiring review and congrats to you and to Gail!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Mary,

      I think that I will leave the book in our guest bedroom as a perfect spot for any overnight guests we might have visiting. Nice to know that you also enjoyed this book including Gail's entry.

      Let me know if some of your articles get included someday into a future book. Knowing how they like to group submissions into different titled books, the wait could be long or short depending upon how many other articles of a similar nature to yours have been submitted. Good luck!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 2 years ago from Florida

      I have my copy of CSFTS in my bath room, (have to have good reading material there, you know). I have read it cover to cover, including Gail's beautiful story. It is a great little book and I like it when my friends and family come over and read a story or two.

      I have submitted a couple of stories to them, but I haven't heard whether or not they will be published.

      Gail has been a long time friend of mine, too. I enjoyed your personal story very much.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Bill,

      So glad you liked this. Gail is a real treasure as a writer on HubPages and as a person. She enriches so many lives many of whom she will never even meet in person. We are all fortunate to know her through what she shares in her writings. Her entry in this book is no exception!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I am so happy that you paid tribute to Gail. She is one of my oldest friends here at HP, a wonderful friend, follower and supporter. This was beautiful, Peggy!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Jackie,

      The man who became my husband is a keeper! I am definitely lucky to go hand in hand through life with a kind and wonderful man such as him. After this many years we know each other pretty well by now and are also best friends as well as husband and wife.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Beautifully done and thanks for sharing your sorrowful lose. I am very pleased and inspired by your long and successful marriage though. ^+

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Peg,

      It does put things in proper perspective, doesn't it! I am happy to hear that you have also been reading it.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Great review and spotlight on Gail's contribution to the series. It is a great way to gain perspective on life's difficulties. I've been reading my copy of the book and it always makes me feel blessed afterward.