Recruits in a boot camp go through tough training exercises to become an elite cadre of readers. The near-death experience of an atheist makes him re-evaluate his life. An academic abandons his two kids and meets them as adults. A chef uses his TV cooking show to re-connect with his family. Four movie fanatics go for a last binge in cottage country. A self-made billionaire teaches a free course in inner peace. This collection features an eclectic variety of stories that are at once thought-provoking and whimsical, with a touch of the incongruous and the absurd.