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Reader's DigestReader's Digest

Reader's Digest December 2018/January 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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the miracle of memory

As I hang the first ornament, I’m singing along with Eartha Kitt. I know I look like a fool in my Santa hat, belting out “Santa Baby,” but it’s the Sunday before Christmas, tree-dressing day. I’ve chosen the towering Bavarian stick-skier in a red quilted jacket that my dad loved. “Not right in front, it’s dorky,” Rachel protests. She is grown, a working nurse, but revisiting the “OMG, Dad!” role of youth. When I was a kid, my mother had the Christmas-tree bug, and I’ve taken the same silly joy in the ritual. I remember her holiday jazz albums (Jimmy Smith, Stan Getz) dropping from the stack onto the turntable as my two older brothers and I danced, quibbled, and dressed the tree. So I string the lights and build the fire, then…

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Old-Time Doctor Remedies That Work I can’t treat eyestrain by placing cucumber slices on my eyelids because I’m allergic to cucumbers. I tried to achieve similar results by closing my eyes for 15 minutes, but I failed since I couldn’t resist reading the rest of your fine magazine. However, I still wonder whether the secret to avoiding eyestrain is simply to close your eyes once in a while. —MARKELL RAPHAELSON WEST Laurel, Maryland You encouraged people to use aloe vera for burns, but you failed to mention that bottled aloe vera products may actually contain very little aloe vera. The most reliable source is the real plant. Everyone should have one on their windowsill. —T.B. via e-mail How to Conquer Panic Attacks I had panic attacks for 28 years, took every prescription drug in the book, meditated,…

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the caped crusader

AUSTIN PERINE IS not your typical superhero. Oh, sure, he looks the part, with his signature cape flapping against his blue shirt. He has an arch nemesis, as all good heroes must. He even uses a catchy name for his heroic alter ego: President Austin. But two things set this caped crusader apart: His adversary is not confined to the pages of a comic book—President Austin’s foes, hunger and homelessness, are very real. Also, he’s only four years old. Our hero’s origin story started this past February in the Perine family living room in Birmingham, Alabama. Austin and his father, TJ Perine, were watching a program on Animal Planet about a mother panda leaving her cubs. “I told him that the cubs would be homeless for a while,” TJ says. “Austin didn’t…

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dog’s best friend

JARRETT LITTLE WAS road testing his mountain bike outside of Columbus, Georgia, when his riding partner, Chris Dixon, stopped suddenly. Something in the distance moving among the trees had caught her attention. It turned out to be a sandy-colored five-month-old Great Dane mix. “He was really thin, ribs showing, and had a lot of road rash and a broken leg,” Little told CBS News. The cyclists fed the friendly pup and shared their water. They also quickly realized that the dog was coming with them, although they had no idea how. They were more than seven miles from downtown and riding bikes. “We couldn’t leave him,” Little told the Ledger-Enquirer. “Out there next to the Oxbow Meadows, he was going to end up as alligator food.” Little, a 31-year-old brick and concrete…

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the chicken wing super bowl

You ate 47 pounds of chicken wings in 30 minutes to win Wing Bowl 26. How do you train for that? The night before, the girls had a night out and we ate a lot of nachos. That morning, I drank at least three gallons of water to stretch my stomach. When did you realize you might be good at this? When I did my very first challenge, everybody took note of it. I kept saying, “I just ate a hamburger, whatever.” Do you compete often? Fifteen to 20 times a year. I won $22,000 at my first Wing Bowl. (She has also competed with cinnamon rolls, bratwurst, pudding, and fried mushrooms, though not at the same time.) But how do you still weigh only 127 pounds? Any professional eater will not eat…

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life in these united states

On the phone with my 93-year-old brother in Wisconsin, and I told him I thought it was time he paid someone to shovel snow for him. He suddenly grew indignant. “Why should I pay someone to shovel?” he demanded. “I can get my son to do it. He’s only 70!” —DAVID GROESCHEL Philadelphia, Pennsylvania All I’m saying is, if we had a dungeon, my wife would decorate it with throw pillows. — @THEBOYDP (Boyd’s Backyard™) Before heading off to Mexico on vacation, my daughter asked her doctor for medicine to ward off any potential stomach troubles. Instead, the doctor prescribed bottled water and electrolytes, “which have simple sugars and salt.” My daughter liked that. “Oh,” she said, “like a margarita?” —KAARYN ROBERTS La Sal, Utah My three-year-old son: I don’t know what I want to be when I…