I was about halfway through my teenage years when I realized that my family was completely “out there.” Some of my relatives were infuriatingly embarrassing. Others were hilariously bizarre. But overall, they just weren’t on par with the rest of society.
Then, when I reached my early twenties, I realized that everybody else felt the exact same way. Families are nuts. There’s just no other way of putting it. Everyone thinks their family is odd, and really, everyone is right. But of course, the other thing all families have in common is their unfailing love for each other, and that is something that makes all the nuttiness worthwhile.
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Matters, the amusing new book from the Chicken Soup for the Soul creators, is packed with 101 stories about the most lovably wacky family members imaginable and their various escapades. The book sounded like such enjoyable reading that I started flipping through it immediately.
I was looking for entertainment when I opened the book, and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Matters definitely didn’t disappoint. The stories were hilarious and heart-warming and I spent a large part of my time laughing out loud as I read. Whether I was reading about the elderly father that had tried to shoot the television because he didn’t like Conan O’Brien’s laugh or the women who finally conquered her fear of her family’s favorite sledding hill only to lose the sled halfway down and end the run with her pants around her ankles, I loved the tales of love, laughter and misadventure in this book.
One of my absolute favorite stories was the recounting of a mother who was sleepily awakened by her son when he called to his brother about “more spray stuff.” The mother opened her eyes to see her son standing by her bed with an empty bottle of Windex, shot out of bed in a panic and rushed down the stairs to see what had happened. She found her oldest child diligently spraying Windex and 409 on the sofa, and when he moved aside she saw that the floor and couch were both covered in syrup.
As the family cat streaked around the house tracking syrup up the stairs, the poor mother walked somewhat dazedly to the kitchen to look for something to clean up the mess and saw a puddle of syrup that seemed to be moving across the floor. The mystery was explained when she took a closer look and saw that a bevy of ants had invaded her house to take advantage of the unexpected feast. Finally, she turned around and looked at her two boys, both in their underwear, holding empty bottles of cleaning products and covered in syrup. At that moment, she couldn’t help but laugh and the three cleaned up the mess together. What mother hasn’t experienced these same emotions?
Like all Chicken Soup for the Soul books, the stories are divided into different sections covering various topics such as Kids Will Be Kids and Relatively Embarrassing. While most of the book is light-hearted, there is a final section that deals with more serious stories. All of the stories were enjoyable to read and many were very touching as well. The book is a great reminder of how powerful the family bond is, even when it is tested with the most trying of circumstances. It is also an excellent reminder that the most mortifying family moments today will most likely be the most cherished family memories in the future.
Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Matters would be a great gift for a family member this holiday season and would be a good book to pick up for yourself too. When the stress of irritable in-laws and holiday hosting seems overwhelming, picking up this book will be sure to leave you feeling better, and will most likely also have you realizing that your family isn’t so bad after all! If you’re looking for a book that delivers laughter and love at the same time, check out Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Matters today.
Buy It: To purchase Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Matters, check your local bookstore or shop online now
Win It: Three lucky readers are going to win their own copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Matters
To Enter (mandatory): Visit the Chicken Soup for the Soul website and tell me about something you liked or something you learned there
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Giveaway ends 11:59 pm CST on January 15, 2011. Open to US and Canada