Hot Apple Cider: Words to Stir the Heart and Warm the Soul is a Canadian version of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. This anthology features 30 Canadian Christian writers and a foreword by bestselling author Janette Oke. It’s now a bestseller and has inspired A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider.
The very first story in A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider left me in tears. The next stories kept me turning pages, wanting more. Like the first anthology, A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider is a collection of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. My only complaint about both anthologies is that there isn’t enough fiction. The majority of both books is nonfiction, but the fiction stories are my favourite parts.
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“Twenty-five Years Later” by N. J. Lindquist is the story of five college girls, gathering for a reunion twenty-five years after graduation. They haven’t seen each other since they graduated and each one has changed quite a bit. It made me think of my own group of college girlfriends (especially as we plan our own weekend “reunion” this year). I loved the twist at the ending, as the main character, Marianne, who has struggled for years with insecurity and wonders what her friends saw in her all those years ago, finally has an answer.
Lindquist is also the publisher and editor of both anthologies. She says, “The Hot Apple Cider books aren’t sweet and sentimental. Instead, they’re empowering, because they reassure you that you’re not alone, that God is at work in your life, that good will come out of the struggles you face, and that every person matters.”
Every story in A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider left me with something to consider or thinking “Yes! I’ve felt that way too!” The short stories also made it easy to pick up the anthology when I had a few minutes to spare.
Several of my favourite authors have selections in A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider, including:
- “A Glimpse of Heaven” by Donna Fawcett
- “On Being Still and Knowing” by Glynis M. Belec
- “The Road Trip That Wasn’t” by Janet Sketchley
- “A Personal Makeover—Inside and Out” by Kimberley Payne
- “Dancing in the Kitchen” by Marcia Lee Laycock
To get a taste of A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider, you can listen to Lindquist reading six excerpts from the anthology:
A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider has gotten endorsements from Phil Callaway (bestselling author), Ginger Kolbaba (founding editor of Kyria.com), Larry Willard (owner and publisher, Castle Quay Books Canada) and many others. Every writer in the book is a member of The Word Guild, and several are also members of Inscribe Christian Writer’s Fellowship.
Throughout A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider, black and white photos enhance the stories and compliment the theme of apple cider. A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider is a book that all Canadians can be proud to have on their bookshelves. If you’re part of a book club, you can also get a Discussion Guide to go with the anthology.
Have you enjoyed either of these anthologies? Which is your favourite story or selection inside?