Chicken Soup for the Soul

I have been gatekeeping these books for a while now but they should get the recognition they deserve!

“Chicken Soup for the Soul” created by Jack Canfield is a book that is not talked about enough. And guilt pressures me now as I remembered it only while creating two previous posts on reading slumps. I cannot believe that I missed this one and I’m about to recover myself.

Chicken Soup for the Soul is a series of books where every single one is dedicated to one specific theme. Each book has a similar opening: “Chicken Soup for the Soul: 101 stories about…” and the topic. As you might have guessed it’s not some ordinary series, it truly is a magical one. All of their books contain 101 stories, but not fictional, real-life, personal ones! Thousands of people from all over the world send their stories to the publishers, which later on are carefully chosen for the new novel. Some of them are sad, some of them are happy, some are amusing and others are scary, but every single one with no doubt teaches you an important lesson. You get overly emotional, you sob, you laugh, you learn. It motivates you and inspires you. People share their most beloved, secret stories with millions of readers. It’s like making a hundred and hundreds of pen friends!

Remember when I said that “All the Flowers in Paris” is the only book that made me cry?

I lied. This one did too. Not once, and not twice, but dozens of times. And I’m so glad that one day I was introduced to this series. And now I want to introduce you all to them.

Here are some of my personal favorites:

  • Chicken Soup for The Soul: 101 stories about happiness
  • Chicken Soup for the Soul: Runners: 101 Inspirational Stories of Energy, Endurance, and Endorphins
  • Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas Magic: 101 Holiday Tales of Inspiration, Love, and Wonder
  • Chicken Soup for The Soul: 101 motivational stories

Please check out this book, read it once and believe me you will get addicted.

“Breakfast at Tiffany’s” by Truman Capote

This is the last book from our cozy fall reads list that I’ll be covering, expect more books within a different perspective. If you want to see the full list make sure to check out my cozy fall reads list.

For this week, as a perfect closure I chose “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” by Truman Capote. 

I strongly recommend this book for everyone who likes to dig deeper and uncover the man character more. “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is a classic that invites readers into the vibrant world of New York City’s social scene in the 1940s. At its heart is Holly Golightly, a young and elusive woman whose elegance attracts those around her. The novella is told through the eyes of an unnamed narrator who becomes entranced by Holly’s charm and unconventional lifestyle.

Here I might say that this book did not make it to my favorite’s list. I still recommend it for you my dear readers as I believe everyone reading it from their own perspective might find something new for themselves. I am not saying that I hated it but I am not saying that I enjoyed it either. 

So as you might already anticipate this review will differ from my previous ones. 

Light, I would even say windy, Holly Golightly flutters through her life within the pages of this book. She lives out of suitcases, tries not to get attached to anything or anyone. She runs away from any hint of “sedentariness”. Even from an ordinary cat. But people are attracted to it and I might add there are reasons for her behavior. A difficult childhood and the need to find ways to survive early (are major ones). Hence the marriage at the age of 14, and the provision of dubious services, including, transmitting the “weather forecast” to prison. Which later comes out sideways for Holly…

But let’s drop that and continue  (no spoilers as I promised!)

Holly literally flutters through life, looking for her place. She charms and manipulates people and as you might connect the dots the only thing she cares about is herself. She just can’t live by the unwritten laws of society and can’t find her place in life. 

There is also a symbolic meaning in the name that she chose. After all, she refused to take the name that was given to her at birth, Lulamae. Instead she took – Holiday which by obviously means a day of festivity. As wherever she goes there is always a party around her and amounts of people wanting to be in her vicinity. It also appeared for me that with her name “Holiday” she is compensating for something that was missing from her life.  As for her surname, even though she has inherited it from her husband, the translation also adds a sense of symbolism to her character which means: going to the light. So Holly travels to the ‘light’ that only she can see. As she has a dream, and her dream’s name is – Tiffany. 

I really don’t want to spoil it for you as I am sure you heard a lot about this book (or movie) and are willing to explore it yourself! I would like to chat about it even more if you have different thoughts on it, feel free to comment under this post. 

Enjoy your reading!

“The Pumpkin Spice Cafe” by J.S. Malpas.

Hey everyone, today I want to talk about a book that totally warmed my heart – “The Pumpkin Spice Cafe” by J.S. Malpas. Which was mentioned in the cozy fall reads post. As a student with a great amount of work, finding a book that whisked me away to a snug place was a total win, and this one nailed it.

Imagine a cute café in a small town, filled with the cozy scent of pumpkin spice and freshly baked goodies. That’s the setting of this story, and let me tell you, it feels like you’re right there, soaking up the atmosphere. Perfect for fall!

The main character, Emily is a student, so many of us could relate to her struggle of balancing studies and personal dreams. Watching her try to revive a struggling café hit home – it’s that classic tale of going after your dreams no matter what.

The other characters were like a bunch of puzzle pieces, each adding their own flavor to the story. From the cafe regurlars to the mysterious chef. They all made the story feel real and welcoming, like making friends in real life.

The best part? This book talks about sticking it out when things get tough and going after what makes you happy. To every struglling person out there it mgiht felt like a gentle push to chase what truly matters.

The story flowed really nicely, making it a perfect read during study breaks. The author’s way of painting pictures with words made the scenes feel so alive – I could almost smell the coffee and hear the café buzz.

And the ending? It tied everything up just right, leaving me feeling satisfied without being too obvious. It’s the kind of ending that sticks with you, leaving a sweet feeling long after you finish. (I’ll drop the details in order to avoid spoiling it for you).

So, if you’re after a heartwarming story that feels like a big hug on a chilly day, “The Pumpkin Spice Cafe” is your go-to. Whether you’re a student looking for a break or just need a feel-good read, this book is like a warm blanket – cozy, comforting, and totally charming. Make sure to check it out, and let me know what you think!

“The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern

As we already covered the top 5 cozy fall reads I was not able to leave you all with just simple list, so let’s dive in a little more and review one of these fascinating reads. Which is The Night Circus.

“The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern provides an appealing escape into a magical and enchanted world. I personally am in love with fiction and mystery, so it was just a masterpiece for me. The story takes place against the setting of a mysterious battle between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who perform in the exciting “Le Cirque des Rêves”. However, this circus can only be seen at night, when a variety of imaginative tents, each more beautiful than the last, can be seen.

The writing of Morgenstern is truly incredible. She creates a colourful and captivating landscape that gives you the impression that you are exploring the surreal attractions of the circus. The characters in particular, Celia and Marco –  have been well-developed, and their transformation (which I want to mention but I believe it will be a little spoiler) is inspiring and you can feel it deep in your soul (I mean..I did:).

“The Night Circus” focuses on the complexities of human connections when faced with extreme circumstances as it examines themes of love, fate, and sacrifice. When you wish to lose yourself in a world where dreams come true on cold autumn evenings, it’s the ideal fall read, offering a very comforting experience. So grab your favourite hot beverage, settle into a cozy corner, and allow this story to transport you to a world of magic and wonder.

“The Notebook”- A Timeless Ode to Love and Memory

Now we are here once again discussing a story that broke me into tears. If you have no idea what I am talking about make sure to check the first blog post, leaving the link down below for you!

Nicholas Sparks, who is known for his romantic stories with a lot of heart, gives us another touching story in “The Notebook.” The novel attracts readers to the ongoing love story of Noah Calhoun and Allie Nelson, which is set against the scenery of a quiet coastal community.

Sparks capture the reader’s attention from the first few pages on with his descriptive style, creating a realistic picture of Noah and Allie’s young love that transcends socioeconomic class. Each character has a distinct depth that adds to their complex development and makes them both likable and accessible. (I never usually suggest it but if you are having a hard time portraying it check out the movie, it was so beautifully filmed).

I’m not going to dig deeper into the narrative and spoil everything for you but what I can say is that Sparks expertly communicates the challenges of love and sacrifice, for people of all ages. The book’s greatest strength is how emotionally complex it is, taking readers on a roller coaster of feelings from the ecstatic highs of new love to the heartbreaking lows of separation and loss.

The novel’s setting along the coast provides a gorgeous backdrop and adds to its appeal.  The immersive reading experience is made possible by Sparks’ talent for creating situations that stay in your mind for long.

Even while “The Notebook” is now considered a classic in the romance genre, not everyone might actually enjoy it. The narrative may seem predictable to certain readers since it follows certain genre standards. The tempo can also be sluggish, highlighting the meditative tone of the narrative. But if you are looking for a new read and romance’s of Sparks have not been on your TBR yet go ahead and add them, who knows this book can be your door into the world of romance novels. 

All the Flowers in Paris

Historical novels with a pinch of romance and drama? Dual POVs? Heartbreaking stories to sob? If you like to see all of these in your book then continue reading because this is a perfect match for you!

Get ready for an emotional journey as I begin a review of one of my favourite books, a tears-worthy tale that has been with me for a long time. I’m excited to introduce this book to you and highly suggest it to anyone looking for an engaging and compelling read. I read this novel around 5, maybe 6 years ago and as long as I can remember it is the only book since then that actually made me cry. 

Sarah Jio’s “All the Flowers in Paris” is a touching historical fiction book that unfolds within dual timelines. The story follows two women, Caroline in the present and Celine during World War II, against the backdrop of Nazi-occupied Paris. The novel explores themes of love, sorrow, and resiliency as their lives collide as a result of a common tie. Jio creates a narrative that is both heartbreaking and heartwarming with vivid prose and a wonderful balance of historical depth and romance, making it an engaging read for those who enjoy emotionally charged stories. (Because believe me, when I say emotionally charged I mean it).

With an amazing dual timeline (that I definitely won’t stop mentioning) the reader is taken between the gloomy past and the upbeat present thanks to the viewpoints of Caroline and Celine. I found this technique to be captivating and intriguing because it made it possible to comprehend the individuals and the historical setting more thoroughly.

“All the Flowers in Paris” has an evident emotional impact. Jio’s style effectively conveys the core of faith, sacrifice, and the unbreakable human spirit (my dear Caroline). I became really absorbed in the characters’ experiences as a reader, feeling everything from hope to heartbreak. It’s uncommon for a book to provoke such a strong emotional reaction, yet it did so effortlessly. 

Sara Jio has created an appealing option for readers who like historical fiction with a strong emotional core. It’s a novel that goes beyond its category and provides a story that is both tragic and inspiring.

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