Everyone Has Stories to Share about Their “Wonderful, Wacky Family”

A New Chicken Soup for the Soul collection showcases those quirky yet lovable relatives

COS COB, Conn. – Joshua Mark calls his mother the “queen of the cautionary tale” because during his childhood every morsel of maternal wisdom came with a story about someone who died after not following the advice she was sharing. The boy who tripped over blocks on his bedroom floor? Dead. And that’s why Joshua needed to clean up his room. The boy who developed blisters and blood poisoning after not wearing socks with his shoes? Dead. The girl who ran from the school bus without looking, eager to show her report card to her mom? Dead. At the time, Joshua found these tales annoying, but now he looks back on them nostalgically.

From the things that mothers say, to wacky dad antics, to those eccentric aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents, there are plenty of laugh-out-loud stories to tell. And then there are the stories about spouses, or the stories that people tell on themselves. “I never stopped laughing as I edited this new collection,” says Chicken Soup for the Soul editor-in-chief and publisher Amy Newmark. “But it’s not all laughs. There are plenty of stories that tugged at my heartstrings as well, filled with love and appreciation for those wacky relatives.”

Donna Anderson tells us how her Aunt Vee tried on all the woven plant baskets at her local store, eventually buying one that fit her head. She had been surprised they were selling “hats” in the garden section of the store. And Pamela Dunaj went from embarrassed to proud when her professional opera singer aunt stood up during the film Mary Poppins and turned and serenaded the entire audience, to a standing ovation.

Nearly everyone thinks his or her own family is “wacky” or has at least one or two members who stand out from the crowd in a unique way. With its 101 stories of eccentric, yet lovable, relatives, Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Wonderful, Wacky Family (November 1, 2022, 978-1-611590975, $14.95), provides a heartwarming and hilarious tour of everyone else’s families!

“What I enjoyed about these stories is how much the writers truly care about their family members. Every story is filled with love and admiration for that eccentric aunt, that strict dad with a heart of gold, that flighty grandma who ultimately imparts the best advice, or that quirky mom who helps a family have fun together,” continues Newmark. “As I read the stories, I felt even more strongly the bonds of family and appreciated my own.”

Those bonds incorporate every kind of family as well, because family is what we say it is, after all. So Grant Madden discovered a new best friend in his wife’s ex-husband as they shared parenting duties. And Joan Gelfand’s family gatherings now include her ex and all the kids and grandkids from both sides of the family. Robin Jankiewicz had to tell her divorced parents they were ruining a perfectly good divorce when they moved back in together and their bickering resumed.

Family is the gift that keeps on giving, and so is this new Chicken Soup for the Soul collection, which is entertaining at the same time that it makes us appreciate our own unique family members.


Chicken Soup for the Soul publishes the famous Chicken Soup for the Soul book series. With well over 100 million books sold to date in the U.S. and Canada, more than 300 titles, and translations into more than 40 languages, the phrase “chicken soup for the soul” is known worldwide and is regularly referenced in pop culture. Today, 29 years after it first began sharing happiness, inspiration and hope through its books, this socially conscious company continues to publish a new title a month. It has also evolved beyond the bookstore, with a podcast, education programs, dog and cat food, licensed products, and video, television and movies through its subsidiary, Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment.


For a review copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Wonderful, Wacky Family or an interview with Amy Newmark:


Shelby Janner
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