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Reader's DigestReader's Digest

Reader's Digest April 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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a nice place survives

ON OUR 20TH anniversary, Susan and I headed off for a few days to a lovely valley about an hour away. We didn’t know much about the town, but that was fine. Our goal was really just to renew our faith in each other. We began by stocking up at the quirky Village Market in Glen Ellen, California. Within minutes, friendly locals spotted us and started chatting in the aisles with charming tips. You gotta hike to Jack London’s house. Oh, dinner at the Fig Café. Hours later, having followed their yellow brick road all day, we walked, delirious, back from dinner to our creekside inn. “I think I could live here,” Susan said. It turns out that Glen Ellen’s contagious spirit was not our passing illusion. In October 2017, the Nuns…

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Fact or Fiction? You list what you call the longest word in the English language, a technical name for a protein that is 189,819 letters long. Actually, the longest word is smiles, because if you look closely, there is a mile between the first and last letters. —DAVID J. THOMPSON Sebring, Florida I enjoyed “Fact or Fiction?” but I kept waiting to read how everyone thinks the bald eagle got its name from the appearance of being bald due to its white head. In fact, the Celtic word bal means “white patch.” The bald eagle got its name because its head is white, not bald. —ELLEN VOIE Waupaca, Wisconsin As a volunteer Chicago Greeter, I take visitors on walking tours to show off our great city. I try to give them tidbits they can take…

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“breathe for her”

AT FIRST, MICHAEL Surrell didn’t see the black smoke or flames shooting from the windows of his neighbors’ home. He and his wife had just parked around the corner from their own house in Allentown, Pennsylvania, when they got a call from one of his daughters: “The house next door is on fire!” He went to investigate. That’s when he saw two women and a girl hysterical on their porch. “The baby’s in there!” one of the women cried. Though the fire department had been called, Surrell, then 64, instinctively ran inside. “The baby” was 8-year-old Tiara Roberts, the woman’s granddaughter and a playmate of Surrell’s three youngest kids, then 8, 10, and 12. The other two on the porch were Tiara’s aunt and cousin. Entering the burning house was like “running…

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sign the friendly skies

LARA DALY WAS seated on an Alaska Airlines flight en route from Boston to Los Angeles when a flight attendant asked an urgent question over the loudspeaker: “Does anyone on board know American Sign Language?” Clara, 15 at the time, pressed the call button. The flight attendant came by and explained the situation. “We have a passenger on the plane who’s blind and deaf,” she said. The passenger seemed to want something, but he was traveling alone and the flight attendants couldn’t understand what he needed, according to Clara had been studying ASL for the past year to help with her dyslexia and knew she’d be able to finger spell into the man’s palm. So she unbuckled her seat belt, walked toward the front of the plane, and knelt by the…

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the north american scrabble championship

Do you have a favorite letter? The C. A lot of starting-out players are afraid of C’s because they don’t make any two-letter words. But I did a survey of the dictionary and found that the C starts more words than any other letter in the alphabet except S. It also combines well with H, L, R, and S and ends a lot of adjectival words. So it’s massively powerful. Wait, you did a “survey” of the dictionary? How many words do you know? Probably around 120,000. Were you always good at Scrabble? Well, I was beating my mother regularly when I was eight. Your older brother, Larry Sherman, also plays. Are you the Serena and Venus Williams of the Scrabble world? He’s not as close to me as Venus is to Serena.…

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Our son was upset that his baseball coach yelled whenever he or a teammate made a mistake. “It’s just something coaches do,” I said. “It’s not personal.” His response was hard to argue with: “If it’s not personal, then why do they use your name?” —LAURA MCKINNEY Ruston, Louisiana One day, I was trying to get my seven-year-old’s attention. When he finally turned to me, I asked, “Didn’t you hear me calling you?” He responded, “Not the first two times.” —REDDIT.COM Ad spotted in my weekly bargain bulletin: “FOR SALE: Crestview cemetery plot, $200, so I don’t have to spend all eternity beside my ex!” —ANTHONY CIALELLA New Castle, Pennsylvania When my 85-year-old father was in the hospital, his doctor, trying to determine Dad’s mental state, asked, “What gets you up in the morning?” My father shrugged. “Probably the…