chicken soup for the difficult soul

Our self help books are tailored to people who don't think there is just one way to live life.  Sure there is a cookie cutter model to follow, but our books are catered to those who are ready to scrap it.  Life can be surprising and it's okay not to know how to deal with it.  We've gathered authors  who've struggled with decisions, status, inter, and intrapersonal relationships to help you with the ride.  

"The Age of Empathy" by Franz De Waal
"This book helped me adopt more children" -Angelina Jolie Are you hard to reach? Have you been called apathetic? Read the book that has helped thousands reconnect to their natural and animalistic empathy. Learn how to embrace our instinctual need for affection and approval. Franz De Waal derailed the thought that humans are being animals when they are being callous. He proves that empathy is a natural practice that can be seen in animals as well as humans. He helps us get over our pride and admit that we are all animals, and animals need love too. "Yet even though we live in cities and are surrounded by cars and computers, we remain the same animals with the same psychological wants and needs" (De Waal 26).
GIG Lara Harding "The Florist"
Do you feel particularly unfulfilled at your job? Have you always had a secret underlying passion? Why not take the jump? Lara Harding is an inspiration to all. Fed up with her cubicle and mundane office work, she decides to pursue her passion and become a florist. See how she copes with the fear of losing societal status. "I think what I do brings joy into people's lives" (Harding 211). Lara never gets upset with people do with their flowers. She believes that it's your life and you are in control. "If somebody gives you a flower, do what you want with it, you know? It's yours, enjoy it" (Harding 211). We can all stand to learn that lesson with Lara, both as the flower giver and recipient. "This chapter inspired me to start my passion of cooking" -Gordon Ramsey
"The Empathy Exams" By Leslie Jamison
Do you find it hard to lean on someone? At times, do you find it difficult to ask for help? Do you have trouble processing your emotions? Have you been called a 'bottler'? Read this excerpt from "The Empathy Exams" to find out how Leslie Jamison copes with trauma and emotions. Thousands of Americans have thanked her for breaking the silence and stigma around abortions and describing the overwhelming feelings associated with making the choice. Terrified that questioning her decision would make it wrong, Leslie bottles up all of her feelings surrounding it to put on a strong face. Unfortunately, pain demands to be felt. Experience a triumph of the human spirit as Jamison deals an unexpected pregnancy, a termination, and a heart ablation all in one dark winter. "I needed something I didn't know how to ask for. I needed people" (Jamison 15). "Leslie Jamison is a hero" - Cecile Richards (President of Planned Parenthood)
Working by Studs Terkel Fred Ringley's Chapter
Do find yourself unhappy at your job? Do you let things like societal status keep you from doing what you please? Are you looking to take a more extreme step than Lara Harding did? Well, join Fred Ringley as he packs up his big city life and heads out to Arkansas in this chapter of "Working". "We have everything and we are poor" (Terkel 533). Knowing very little about farm life, Ringley is an inspiration to all as he takes a giant leap of faith and purchases a milk cow. Fred gives up everything the "American Dream" constitutes he should want and risks it all in the pursuit of happiness for his family. Find out how he copes with the loss of his former friends and life. "My personal status with somebody else may have gone down. My personal status with myself has gone up one hundred percent" (Terkel 536). "Ringley inspired me to learn the value of the dairy cow and simple farm work" -Christopher J. Policinski (CEO of Land of Lakes LLC)
The Most Human Human By Brain Christian
How do we relate to each other? What makes some interactions more meaningful than others? How can we connect to each other in a way that doesn't seem fake? Join Brian Christian as he accepts the challenge to compete to be the 'Most Human Human'. However, first he must explore what that means. This answer has the option to be either depressing or enlightening. Join as he answers the great questions he poses. "How do we connect meaningfully to each other as meaningfully as possible" (Christian)? This is a must read for anyone grappling with how we as a race connect to each other or anyone who is scared that technology is outpacing human interaction. "The story of progression of technology doesn't have to be a dehumanizing or dispiriting one" (Christian). "This book inspired me to rethink our artificial intelligence models" -Steve Jobs
"Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina of Tuscany" By: Galileo
Have you ever had someone doubt your ideas? Have you ever had a whole religion persecute them? Well even if you haven't had to go up against a whole church, we have all been doubted or shot down at some point. In "Letter to the Grand Duchess", Galileo takes on his critics. This is a must read for anyone who needs advice on handling conflict. "But I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with senses, reason and intellect has intended us to forgo their use and by some other means to give us knowledge which we can obtain by them" (Galileo 297-300). He handles his argument with grace by focusing more on backing up his reasoning rather than giving reasons why his persecutors are wrong. "This book inspired me to talk to Katy Perry" -Taylor Swift
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