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Reader's DigestReader's Digest

Reader's Digest February 2019

In this era of information overload, Reader’s Digest offers something unique: the very best advice, information and inspiration from multiple sources, condensed into an easy-to-read digest. In each issue you’ll get trusted, time-saving insights about Health, Personal Finance, Work, Family, and National issues, PLUS exclusive book excerpts, news-making interviews, and humor.

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10 Issues


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blown away!

BY THE TIME I first visited Chicago, at 18, I already knew I would love it. I was raised in Northern California, which, despite all the Olympic swimmers it bred, was not exactly a place of broad shoulders. Chicago’s tough counterimage lured me right in. A favorite song was Lou Rawls’s novelistic “Dead End Street.” “They call it the Windy City,” Rawls recounted, a blues bass dramatizing his memories of winter. “Because of the Hawk … the almighty Hawk, Mr. Wind.” By fate, my best friend at college was a Chicagoan, so I began visiting often. That Hawk was something, all right. I can still recall the knife-edged terror as John and I braved 20-below windchill before ducking into one of the city’s warm bars. Then I fell for a beautiful girl, and she…

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Back to the Future I give your new format two thumbs up. I would give it more if I had more thumbs. From Grumpy Cat on the cover to the last page, aptly named Photo Finish, this was one of the best issues ever. —LAURIE SANCHEZ Kingman, Arizona Your reference to the old series I Am Joe’s Body in your letter explaining how the new design came about prompted me to share this. In the ’70s, I was a heavy smoker. I knew it wasn’t healthy but could not change my habits. Then I read “I Am Joe’s Lung.” The next morning, I walked out my front door and coughed up blood. Talk about a wake-up call. On New Year’s Eve, I had less than half a pack of cigarettes left, so I…

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detroit’s proud tiger

AS JOHN GEORGE remembers it, the Detroit neighborhood he grew up in was straight out of Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life. “We knew all our neighbors,” George, 60, told Detroit’s Metro Times. “On Christmas Eve, we’d all go to midnight Mass, and there’d be 300 people in our house at one o’clock to about five in the morning. The folks were just really good, hardworking people.” By the ’80s, however, the old neighborhood was more Pottersville than Bedford Falls. Due in part to economic downturns and a nationwide drug epidemic, well-kept homes had been abandoned and kindly neighbors had fled to the suburbs. But not George. “Living in any city, it’s like being in a relationship,” he told Reader’s Digest. “Some days are better than others. But it was my…

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the car on the ledge

IT WAS RUSH hour on the morning of June 1 in the West Texas city of San Angelo. Heather Santellano, 36, was driving her white 2012 Mazda on Houston Harte Frontage Road with her nine-year-old daughter and ten-year-old son in the back. Suddenly, a red pickup truck cut them off. Santellano turned the wheel hard to the right, sending the Mazda skidding off the road and down an embankment that ended in a drop-off after about 50 feet. If the car didn’t stop, it would go airborne and plunge onto the road some 20 feet below. Then a bit of luck: As the car raced toward the edge, its undercarriage got stuck on the cement lip of the embankment ledge, stopping it cold. The occupants, however, were far from safe. The…

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the world beard & moustache contest

When did you start thinking of your facial hair as a competitive asset? I usually just braid my beard, but I’d get compliments on it, so I found a contest. It was so much fun, it was ridiculous. The best way to describe a beard contest is as a cross between a beauty pageant and a dog show. Your beard is almost two feet wide and as curly as a basket of snakes. How did you come up with the design? I paid attention to what the winning styles were for other events. I was being strategic. I didn’t have a name for my design, but I get called Mr. Pretzel a lot. What’s your technique? I’ve learned how to do all my styling with my hands. You can’t use bobby pins…

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life in these united states

After my husband injured himself, I ran him over to the doctor’s office. There, the nurse dressed his wound and gave him instructions on how to care for it. She then reassured him by adding, “Now, if you do everything I’ve told you, you won’t be with us for long.” —TRUDY MASLOFF Portland, Oregon In his late 80s, my father-in-law went to the DMV to renew his driver’s license. At one point during the road test, he approached a four-way stop, looked to his left, and cruised straight through the stop sign. “Sir! You didn’t look to your right,” yelled the frightened inspector. My father-in-law calmly shook his head. “That’s Mum’s side.” —PATRICIA L. BUCK Windham, Maine The topic of conversation was nose jobs. My slightly confused young daughter asked, “Where does the doctor get the…