Simply Happy by Amy Newmark

Amy Newmark: editor-in-chief of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, full-time mom of four, former hedge fund manager, writer, SUPERWOMAN.

Simply Happy: A Crash Course in Chicken Soup for the Soul Advice and Wisdom is a compilation of stories from many of the Chicken Soup books as seen through the eyes of this woman who has quite literally done it all.

When Amy and her husband Bill purchased the Chicken Soup franchise, Amy took the time (weeks!) to read every single one of the books this company had already published. About 150 volumes in total, each containing 101 true stories written by people just like you and me. (In fact, two of my own true stories have been published in Chicken Soup books since Amy took the helm. When this book came out, Amy offered a free copy to any Chicken Soup author who'd like to publish a blog-based review.)

From these diverse stories, Amy gleaned bits of wisdom that resonated with her own inner knowing, based on the life she led up to this point. And Amy has led quite an interesting life!

How many women do you know who have managed a hedge fund while raising four children in a blended family, working from home, never missing a single field trip, soccer match, or PTA meeting? I'm guessing not too many! Amy's work ethic puts me to shame. I cannot imagine where she found the hours, not to mention the energy, to do it all.

And in the course of this crazy busy life, Amy was able to find meaning in the little things. Each chapter in her book points to one of these small, yet vitally important, snippets of wisdom. Some examples are: "Pretend to be the person you want to be." "Be bold and speak out." "Make friends with your body." "A smile is a boomerang."

Who can benefit from reading this book? Just about anyone. Perhaps some of the stories are aimed more toward women, but certainly not all of them. 

I think this book will appeal in particular to those who can relate to Amy's own personal history. Those superwomen and supermen who lead busy lives and perhaps have missed a few opportunities to stop and smell the chicken soup simmering on the stovetop.