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Human beings don’t do death very well. Intellectually we know our lives are finite, yet we put off facing reality until it smacks us in the face. Even though we know our parents will one day die (and so will we), we are often unprepared when the time comes to move our parents into assisted living or to navigate the horrors of dementia, or to figure out how to broach the taboo subjects of money, wills and last wishes.
Most of us who enjoy reading know that it has many benefits, but if someone asked us to rattle off those benefits off the top of our head we might hesitate. Recently I ran across an article on lifehack.org that lists the ten ways reading makes people more successful. Here they are in a nutshell.
Jojo Moyes is a bestselling author in Britain. Me Before You is her first book to make the leap across the pond and it is a doozy! Lou’s family needs her paycheck to make ends meet, but the diner where she works as a waitress just closed. In desperation she takes a job as a companion for Will, a handsome man who was in an accident two years ago and is now an angry, bitter quadriplegic.
In the first sentence of Anna Karenina Tolstoy proclaims, “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Perhaps this explains why most literary novels are about unhappy families. There has to be a conflict in order to keep the reader’s interest.